Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe helps out two pilots from PNG complete their flight training

He's the home-grown Hollywood great known for his generosity. Now it has been revealed that Russell Crowe helped out two young pilots who were struggling to complete their aviation studies.

Crowe offered Jed Katal and Clyde Awesa, both from Papua New Guinea, financial assistance so they could complete their flight training, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Now the pair have landed their first jobs as pilots with Torres Strait Air, an air charter company based out of Cairns North, Queensland. 

After arriving in Australia in 2018, the Covid pandemic put a halt to Katal and Awesa's studies two years later.

The two men encountered further trouble when their flight school on the NSW Mid North Coast closed down.

It was about this time that Crowe, who first met the men by chance on the tarmac of Coffs Harbour Airport, stepped in.

The 59-year-old Gladiator star hooked the men up with a new flight school, White Star Aviation, in Ballina, NSW.

While Crowe would not confirm his act of generosity, he told The Daily Telegraph he was proud of his friends' achievements.

Crowe struck up a friendship with Katal and Awesa over their mutual love of rugby league.

The Oscar winner later helped the keen footy players join the Orara Valley Axemen, a rugby league club based near Crowe's home near Coffs Harbour.

Under the stewardship of coach Sam Burgess, formerly of Crowe's South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Axemen have a special place in the actor's heart.

He has long had an association with the team, having helped save the bush club when it was forced to withdraw from the local competition in 2020.


Story first published on The Daily Mail Australia

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A. James For Daily Mail Australia