Female pilots taking off

Avid aviators Denise Harslett from Stanthorpe and Gwen Tyburczy from Hendon are enjoying the freedom of being able to fly.
Avid aviators Denise Harslett from Stanthorpe and Gwen Tyburczy from Hendon are enjoying the freedom of being able to fly.

UNPRECEDENTED numbers of women are following their dreams and signing up to gain their recreational pilot's licence, and Stanthorpe's Denise Harslett and Hendon's Gwen Tyburczy are two of them.

"I guess most people dream it would be great to fly like a bird but never do anything about it," Mrs Harslett said.

Mrs Harslett and Mrs Tyburczy said in the near future they would graduate from the Queensland Recreational Aircraft Association Flying School based at Warwick's Massie Airfield.

Mrs Harslett was inspired to pursue her goal after her son Tim learnt to fly a plane, and she thought, "Why can't I?".

"The best thing about flying is having a bird's eye view of the countryside, especially on one of those beautiful clear sky days," she said.

Mrs Tyburczy has dreamt about flying since her father learnt to fly when she was eight years old, but didn't think she would have the opportunity, or that it was something she could achieve. But her love of flying motivated her to eventually achieve her goal.

"It's also a great way to travel - an opportunity for holidaying with a difference and travel with a wonderful group of friends in QRAA," she said.

She and husband John were part of the QRAA flying tour to Lake Eyre in March, where John did all the flying.

She said the next trip is the 10-day 2800km tour north to Cooktown, across to the Gulf, over to Adels Grove then home via Charleville.

This time both of them will take their turn in the pilot's seat.

Learning to fly is quite affordable. Pilot certificate can be achieved for under $5000. For more details visit


Public event

What: Wings Over Warwick

When: Saturday, September 8

Where: Massie Airfield

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