By Jennifer Cairns 09 Jan 2023 5 min read

How I became a First Officer for Jetstar Airways

Meet Rosina, A320 First Officer at Jetstar Airways for almost 9 years! She kindly gives us a run down of her career thus far. 


Can you remember when you decided to be a pilot, and how did you make it become a reality?

I grew up in a small town of 2,000 people on the outskirts of the Barossa Valley, South Australia where there were no airports for miles! However, I remember a drive to Adelaide airport with my parents to drop mum off for a flight to Melbourne, I must’ve been around 8 years old. As we drove up to the terminal I saw the aircraft parked on the other side of the fence and I remember thinking to myself 'wow, that is SO cool'. I was just in awe of the aircraft and knew that I had to make it pilot jobs a part of my future.


Can you share an overview of your career so far?

I began flying lessons at the age of 16 at Parafield Airport. After finishing schooling in the midst of an industry downturn, I recognised that aviation job prospects were looking slim. Diverging from the path I had envisioned, I completed a Bachelor of International Business at Flinders University. Then, after a few years in the corporate world I finally took the plunge to follow my flying dream! 

I was awarded a flying scholarship from the Royal Victorian Aero Club to continue flying training, then gained a pilot jobs position on the Rex Airlines’ Pilot Cadetship. After 5 years gaining valuable experience flying the Saab340 turboprop for Rex between regional and capital cities, I then landed a position at Jetstar as a First Officer on their A320 fleet. I’ve now been with Jetstar for almost 9 years! 


What's the best thing about being a pilot?

A great aspect to flying short haul is the variety of destinations. My job takes me from major capital cities to our overseas Indonesian and New Zealand neighbours. But most of all I enjoy still being able to fly a visual circuit in the A320 to our beautiful regional destinations such as Proserpine, Launceston and Mackay.


What's the most challenging element?

Managing fatigue is the greatest challenge that pilots face today. We often fly through all hours of the night, multiple sectors, in challenging weather in a pressurised cabin. The negative effects of fatigue on the human body should never be underestimated.


What has been your career highlight (s)?

I’ve found my ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ in aviation to be the most memorable; my first solo at Moorabbin Airport in a C152, my first and last flights at REX in the Saab 340 and also my first flight in the A320 at Jetstar.


What advice would you give to aspiring aviation professionals searching for a job?

Speak to Pilots at the airlines you are aspiring to and get a feel for the company, the work conditions and lifestyle to consider if that particular operator is really for you or is compatible with your goals.

Persistence is key. If you ever get a knock back, dust yourself off and keep trying!


Quick fire questions

Take off or landing? Landing!
Favourite airport to land at: Proserpine, for its location between ocean and mountains and also for the opportunity to fly a visual circuit.
Favourite place for a vacation: Zambia, for the wild animals and the hospitality.
Finish the sentence - I love flying because ................. of the amazing views from the flight deck and variety of destinations and people.


Follow Rosina and stay up to date with her adventures! Instagram: @rosy_b