High flyer swaps commercial for military aircraft

Corporal Kyani Miechel had been a cabin crew member for both Virgin Australia and Tigerair before joining the Air Force.

She has swapped shuttling holiday makers around Australia for ensuring soldiers and ministers arrive safely in the Middle East.

“If I ever have a hard day, all I have to do is look out at the sunset from the jet and be in awe of all the amazing things I have witnessed and achieved,” Cpl Miechel said.

Cpl Miechel is a Crew Attendant (CREWATT). Training across Air Force is undergoing some significant changes throughout 2019 and Cpl Kyani Miechel says it is positive.

Crew attendants will now be cross-trained on the different aircraft at both 33SQN and 34SQN.

“CREWATTs will now train across all jets to enable a seamless transition between the units when required to supplement crews,” Cpl Miechel said.

In her current role as Standards at 33SQN, Cpl Miechel said this – among other team building benefits – will expand the scope of her role.

“I also review and align standard operating procedures and there is increasing opportunities to branch out into checking and instructor roles, driver training and aviation safety roles,” she said.

Prior to enlisting three years ago, Cpl Miechel worked for both Virgin Australia and Tigerair and can now fly as a solo CREWATT with up to 14 PAX on-board the KC-30A.

“The CREWATT role in Defence is so dynamic and diverse offering both domestic and international travel, outside a normal 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday job,” she said.

“No one day is the same. First, you could be travelling with 270 passengers, then away for two weeks on a VIP task, and next on a deployment for three months.

“As you progress and your personal situation changes, flexible working, study options and ample family support is provided.”

The Air Force Gap Year Program is offered to school leavers and Cpl Miechel encourages any young, travel-lovers who like customer service to apply.

“The role is fantastic – it’s like hospitality in the sky and so much more than just serving tea and coffee,” she said.

“Some of my favourite tasks to-date have included Avalon Airshow and flying the Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence into Kabul in the Middle East.”

What is the job?

Royal Australian Air Force Crew Attendants combine customer service skills with resourcefulness, initiative and a high level of responsibility.

Their responsibilities include assisting passengers as they embark and disembark the aircraft, calculating aircraft weight and load distribution, managing the cabin, providing in-flight food and beverage services as well as ordering the food for each flight, liaising with Customs and Quarantine authorities, and caring of the passengers and crew in emergency situations.

Along with Australian Defence Force personnel, their passengers can include VIP’s, such as Government ministers, Australian and foreign heads of state, Royalty and guests of the Australian Government.

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