Chief Flying Instructor and Owner of AFT.
Josh Kamal is Chief Flight Instructor and Owner of Adventure Flight Training. Establishing the school in 2019, Josh’s primary aim is to create a safe, enjoyable environment for students to learn to fly and to Live The Dream! With extensive experience flying and instructing in a range of light sports aircraft, Josh’s style is unique.
Josh describes his instructing style as a ‘mateship approach’ - one that focuses on the relational aspects between student and instructor. Like everything at AFT, Josh’s main goal is to build trust and create a space where the relationship between student and Instructor is built on a foundation of friendship and connection. By understanding you as a person - what motivates you, your hobbies, passions, and even your fears, Josh is able to customise his approach to help you feel comfortable, safe and free to learn and make mistakes. “Our goal at AFT is to create a community, to foster lifelong friendships and build a school where people from all backgrounds can feel welcome, so at the end of the day, the pilots we produce are safe, capable, competent and passionate about recreational aviation”.
Josh specialises in Recreational, passenger, Navigation, formation flying and tailwheel endorsements.
Josh was born and bred in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and the one word which resonated with him more than anything else was basketball. He ate, slept, dreamt basketball and had a thirst for all things sport, the outdoors and adventure. As he grew older, that passion extended to hiking, 4WD-ing, kayaking and paramotoring. When he was 18, Josh was told that, due to his severe colourblindness, he would never be able to fly a plane. But for anyone who has ever met Josh, they would know that the one way to challenge Josh into doing something is to tell him he can't do it. So a week later, Josh headed out to Bendigo and started flying a light sports Plane! That was it, Josh was addicted! He replaced basketball with adrenaline, skydiving, paramotoring and the freedom of the skies.
His first flight lesson was a bit of a brutal learning curve. In addition to learning the effect of controls, Josh also learned that focusing on the instruments can also lead to a severe bout of motion sickness! But a few full sickbags didn’t stop Josh, and he was hooked. “I fell in love straight away. I loved the challenge of the unknown and the desire to master that control.” For Josh, “it was the sense of freedom - real freedom - that got me - motion sickness aside” In fact, the experience of motion sickness has helped inform and shape Josh’s own instructing style. Based on his own experiences, Josh has developed a cache of practical tools to teach people to direct their focus, such as covering the instruments with a cloth or a towel to help students keep their eyes outside. This hands-on, practical approach threads through every aspect of Josh’s instructing approach, and through the way he runs Adventure Flight Training as a flight school.
Josh is determined to set himself apart, creating a safe and enjoyable space to learn, to be able to make mistakes in a controlled environment, and to be comfortable to safely learn from those mistakes. “My style is very much based on a ‘mateship’ approach,” he explains. “My goal is to be your friend first, instructor second. By getting to know you as a person - your hobbies, passions, interests, communication style - this helps me to be able to understand why you’re here, why you’re wanting to learn to fly, and what works for you as a student. I’m able to then tailor my instructing approach to you as an individual.” For Josh, his primary objective as Chief Flying Instructor is to understand how each individual learns and help explore and challenge each student’s fears and boundaries in a safe and encouraging way, so that learning and skills development can be facilitated through a strengths-based approach, never through aggression or anger. His aim is to unpack the learning process and slow it down to help students understand what they’re doing, so that they become safe, competent pilots who can enjoy and share a lifelong adventure in flying.
Adventure Flight Training is more than just a school for Josh. It’s a passion and a symbol of living life to the fullest and following your dreams. Working as a landscaper, Josh was instructing on the side as a means to build up his hours so that he could conquer the skies flying Lear jets. It was following the unexpected death of his very close friend Jordan, with whom Josh had travelled, explored and gone on grand adventures with, that Josh found himself facing a crossroads. “Jordan and I always said to each other we were ‘living the dream’ and after he died I was really lost. It forced me to realise that my dream, my passion for aviation and love of instructing was something I simply couldn’t sacrifice to the daily grind any longer.” So in Mid-2019, Josh took the leap and established Adventure Flight Training, with the goal of creating a small, community-orientated recreational flight school dedicated to teaching people how to fly through a unique, personalised style which prioritises the relationship between student and instructor as the greatest tool in supporting students in their learning journey. For Josh, building that trust is the most important mechanism for creating safe, competent, capable and reliable pilots.
“AFT is about the Adventure, the lifestyle, the community we create. The flight training is just extra,” says Josh. And this dream has quickly become a reality. AFT is a school that is unlike any other recreational flying school in Australia. Instead of pushing out the numbers, AFT aims to build a community where people from all walks of life can meet, share experiences with mates, have a coffee and explore their love of flying, giving people the freedom to truly Live The Dream.