As far back as she can remember, Jessica Dettmer has wanted to fly.
She has many fond memories of airports and international flights, and realised she was born to fly at just four years of age when she fearlessly went acrobatic flying.
Her family had plans for her to start flying as soon as she could see over the aircraft dashboard, but after the sudden loss of her father, the dream was put on hold.
Now, with the help of her Associate Degree in Aviation (Professional Pilots) studies at RMIT, that dream is finally coming true.
In Year 10, Ms Dettmer completed work experience at the Royal Victorian Aero Club, where she got her first taste of what it might be like to work as a pilot.
Later she had her first piloting experience through a Young Eagles Experience Day in 2006 at the Royal Victorian Aero Club.
"On that first flight I realised flying was the only thing for me," Ms Dettmer said.
"Soaring through the clouds makes me feel at peace and gives me a strong sense of freedom.
"Flying also drives me to live my own life and I am inspired to achieve."
Ms Dettmer completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Aviation) at RMIT in 2009 and is now in her final year of the Associate Degree at RMIT Flight Training at Point Cook.
Her first solo flight at RMIT was a milestone event.
"It was probably one of my greatest achievements and happiest moments I've had at RMIT flight school, however it was pretty scary and I was very nervous.
"Really, all you need to do is follow your checklists and do exactly what you have done numerous times with your instructor, but the feeling of an empty aircraft and knowing it's all up to you is the scary part."
At RMIT, Ms Dettmer gets to practice her skill in a Cessna 172S and an acrobatics plane, the Decathlon.
"The Decathlon aircraft is by far the most fun to fly in because the controls are really sensitive, allowing you to perform amazing manoeuvres," she said.
"You could say that it's like driving a sports car and the Cessna 172 is like driving a regular car."
Ms Dettmer's career aspiration is to one day work for the Royal Flying Doctors.
"I know I'll need a lot of experience for this and I have been told it is very hard to get into, so I plan to work for charter and cargo companies throughout Australia to gain the experience I need," she said.
"I'd also like to work for an international airline one day; working my way up the ranks to captain and sitting in the left seat of a large Boeing or airbus aircraft.
"Really for me, my dream job is anywhere - as long as I'm able to fly!"
To find out more about a career in aviation, head to the RMIT Flight Training Open Day at Point Cook on Sunday, 31 August, 10am - 4pm.
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