Luke Merton wins pilot scholarship

Luke Merton and instructor Tim Laider

Broken Hill student pilot Luke Merton was awarded a Recreation Aircraft Australia $2500 scholarship grant.

The Giving Young Fliers Training Support (GYFTS) scholarships are jointly sponsored by Airservices Australia and OzRunways.

Luke, who is in Year 9 student at Willyama High, was not expecting to receive the nationwide scholarship for under 25s.

This is the first time this scholarships has been gifted to a local.

Luke explained that he would use the scholarship for ongoing training toward his recreational pilot certificate.


Instructor Tim Laider has been giving Luke flying lessons and prepared Luke to successfully complete his basic aeronautical knowledge theory exam.

Luke’s father, Warwick Merton, explained that it will take Luke about five months to get his pilot’s certificate.

“This scholarship will really help us out with training costs,” said Mr Merton.

Luke started his aviation studies last year and recently completed the fourth of five theory exams.

There was a community of people supporting Luke to achieve this scholarship and Luke wanted to acknowledge these people for their help on his journey.

They include his family, a previous teacher of Willyama High Mr Grant Smith, Far West Flying Padre David Shrimpton, friend Dave Sammit, Tim and Sue Laidler and members of the Silver City Recreational Aircraft Club.

“Flying is an exciting challenge for young people and a dream that is achievable in Broken Hill,” Luke said.

Luke encourages anyone interested to reach out on Facebook to the Broken Hill Aero Club or Silver City Recreational Aircraft Club if they wanted help to start their dream.

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