Meet Your Instructor
Martin Hughes - Chief Flying Instructor
Martin Hughes’ life story didn’t begin in Australia – his roots go back to the other side of the world in the United Kingdom. Flying even back then was a family trait. His father flew Short Sunderland aircraft with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Coastal Command during the Second World War in the North Atlantic. After that, Martin was accepted as an officer cadet at RAF Cranwell, graduating with the aerobatic prize. Next step was advanced jet training in the Folland Gnat, a transonic jet trainer, at RAF Valley in Anglesea, Wales. “This aircraft was a delight to fly. It could go supersonic in a dive, gave the pilot an excellent command of view and handled beautifully.”
His next posting was to a Canberra reconnaissance squadron for three years which took him to the Near East, Middle East and the Far East. “That was a great tour,” he commented. Eventually, Martin found his way back to Folland Gnats, this time as flying instructor where he spent 2 years training students and 3 years training other instructors, including members of the famed RAF Red Arrows Aerobatic team.
After 12 years of military service, Martin’s father suggested that he might like to leave the RAF and take over the family business, The Silver Brumby Inn, in Thredbo. Opting for premature retirement, Martin decided to accept this offer and emigrated to Australia.
Having completed the R/A licence and re-qualified as a flying instructor, Martin joined the Jindabyne Aero Club and, on 02 May 2012, opened his new flight training facility at Jindabyne Randall Community Aerodrome, with the iconic wedge tail eagle as his logo (Aquila Audax Australis - AAA!) and a name to match the locality, Alpine Aviation Australia (AAA). In the past eight years, Martin has trained several students to pilot certificate standard with cross country and passenger carrying endorsements. Some have gone on to military training, others into civil aviation and the rest just happy to fly recreationally. AAA has students from both local schools, Jindabyne Central School and the Snowy Mountains Grammar School, and several adults over a range of ages. There is never a dull moment - except when the weather prevents any flying! But, even then, there is plenty to occupy the mind and any excess energy - aircraft need washing from time to time, just like pilots! Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains provide magnificent scenery and they are only 45 minutes from Merimbula and the coast! Come fly with AAA and learn how to soar like an eagle and 'cast off the bounds of earth'!