Ashley got involved with aviation flight training before completing year 12. Initial flight training took place in a Cessna 172 for the Australian Restricted Private Pilots Licence (RPPL) in 1991/92. Flight training was conducted at John Williams Flying School in Tocumwal, New South Wales.
Further flight training took place at The Australian Aviation College, (now called Flight Training Adelaide) located at Parafield airport in Adelaide, South Australia. Ashley earned an Australian Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) and a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (ME-CIR) in 1993.
Attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. Graduating in December 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Studies, which consisted of 3 minors Aircraft Accident Investigations, Intelligence Gathering & Analysis and International Business.
Studying Aircraft Accident Investigation led to a summer internship with the American Airlines Flight Safety Department located in Dallas, Texas. The NTSB investigation of American Airlines Flight 1420 was still ongoing during the summer internship in 2000.
After graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Ashley relocated to Northern Virginia to start an airline career with Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA). In April 2002, Ashley started work as a Ramp Agent. The job involved working around J41 turbo-props and CRJ200 regional jets at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). This was the recommended way to learn about airlines operations getting involved in an airline operational position.
Ashley was awarded a scholarship, along with 10 other Independence Air employees, to be trained and qualified as a US Flight Dispatcher. Ashley worked as an Independence Air Flight Dispatcher and IAD Ramp Controller for about 6 months before all operations ceased January 5th 2006 due to bankruptcy. (Press play at top of this page to hear audio recording working as a Ramp Controller on the Independence Air company VHF frequency at KIAD.)
Relocated to Melbourne, Australia September 2006 started working for Jetstar Airways as a Flight Dispatcher and Flight Follower. The position involved prepping flight plans for all domestic flights across Australia and international ETOPS flights to New Zealand. The aircraft fleet size at the time consisted of 23 Airbus A320s.
Due to paperwork issues back in the United States, Ashley had to return to the US in late 2007. Ashley remained in the US for the duration of the paper work being sorted out. While waiting for the paper work to resolve itself, Ashley trained for a US Multi-Engine Land Commercial Pilots Licence in Florida.
Upon returning to Australia in 2009, Ashley was re-hired to take up his previous position as Flight Dispatcher and Flight Follower with Jetstar Airways in Melbourne. The Flight Dispatching and Flight Following position since expanded to include Airbus A320s, A321s and A330s. All flights across Australia and all international ETOPS and Non-ETOPS flights to New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangkok, Vietnam, Japan, Fiji and Hawaii. Ashley worked as Flight Dispatcher until the position was outsourced to an overseas company in 2010.
Ashley has completed the Certificate IV & Diploma of Advertising and the Advanced Diploma in Marketing & Communications at RMIT.
Ashley is now in production of a new audio podcast, The Aircraft Accident Investigation Podcast.