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Case Study - Capt. Matthew Nielsen / 09 December 2017

MBF Spotlight - A Director's Insight


Career Summary

I have had an interest in aviation from a very young age. Growing up on a farm in New Zealand cemented a curiosity about the incredible capabilities of helicopters. After a few years with the New Zealand Army, I elected to continue with flight training in helicopters. I worked commercially and as a flight instructor all around the North Island before pursuing multi-engine and instrument qualifications in Queensland, Australia. I was very fortunate that at that time the oil and gas industry in Australia was picking up in a big way and I secured employment with Bristow Helicopters in 2006. This journey has seen me fly on a range of operations in some beautiful and challenging parts of the world. I’ve trained or operated in New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, The Northwest Shelf of WA, the Kimberley, the Northern Territory, Bass Straight, the Solomon Islands, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Papua New Guinea. Nowadays you’ll find me working as an oil and gas and SAR pilot on the AW139 out of Exmouth, WA. I work away for two weeks and have two weeks at home with my family in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.


The Importance of the AAPMBF

I remember as a new co-pilot being introduced to Glenn Williams in Karratha. Glenn was a director and chairman of the AAPMBF and as my young family had started to grow in number it was certainly time to get serious about making provisions for their financial security in the event that I couldn’t work. In the early days my membership was largely driven by the advice and encouragement of my Bristow colleagues. After all, we all think we are invincible in our twenties! However, as time went on it became clear that the MBF was making a positive difference not only to the lives of Bristow pilots but Australian pilots everywhere. I guess it would be fair to say that in the early years I took for granted the comfort and security provided by the MBF. It wasn’t until I was faced with the illness of close colleagues that the reality of just how fragile our Class 1 Medical Certificate can be hit home. Having to imagine what would happen if my family was faced with an extended period of limited income really highlighted the importance of the MBF. I have always believed in the importance of leadership as being a service to others, and my years as a pilot representative within Bristow and the AFAP seemed to naturally evolve into an interest in participating more directly within the MBF.


Interest in being a Director

I stood for Director elections in 2011 and have served as one of the Directors of the MBF since that time. I am involved with the Investment Committee and have also acted as the Chairman of the Rules Committee since 2015. I have seen firsthand the incredible support the MBF gives to its members. It’s a unique challenge and sometimes reaching a consensus amongst nine aircraft captains can be colourful! I guess it’s evidence of just how seriously the Board takes its role in managing the best interests of members and preserving the vision of the AAPMBF founders. I welcome the queries of all members and prospective members about the activities of the MBF. I’d also be happy to talk to those of you who might also like to consider stepping forward in service as a director.

Fly safe ... stay well!

Matthew Nielsen
Director – Chairman Rules Committee