Junior Flying Champ

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Junior Flying Champion

Cambridge’s Zac Williams has taken out Waikato Aviation’s Junior Champion title for 2017.

Competing at Waikato Aviation’s Aviators’ Club’s annual flying competition, Williams gained six first places over two days of contests to land the Foote Cup.

Designed to replicate actual flying situations, the competition tests pilots' specific skills throughout  circuits, landings, flying with, and without, instruments and simulated forced landings without engine power.  Circuits require precise landing skills as pilots attempt to land on a target within a grid.

Williams grew up in Auckland and would spend weekends watching the planes land at Auckland airport with his grandmother.  It sparked his interest in flying.

“Humans weren’t made to fly so it’s a massive thrill to be up in the air,” said Williams.

Williams is a member of the Vantage Windows and Doors National Sprint Cycling Team and  has been flight training part time with Waikato Aviation since 2015.  He recently gained his Private Pilot Licence.

“There will come a time when professional cycling is not an option and that is when my flying career will kick in,” said Williams.  “In the meantime I will keep cycling and in my spare time work towards my Commercial Pilot Licence.”

Williams is currently doing night flying training.

Youngest Female Senior Club Champion

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Youngest Female Senior Club Champion

Competing in nine seperate flying contests over two days, Jessica Weston is Waikato Aviation’s youngest female, and the first woman in more than twenty years, to become the Aviators’ Club’s senior champion.   

At 21 years old, and with not quite two years flight training, Weston won the Senior Low Flying,  Senior Navigation, Senior Instrument Flying and Ladies Circuits, beating a number of experienced recreational pilots and fellow students, to be awarded the J A Harper trophy.

Designed to test pilots' abilities and replicate actual flying situations, the annual competition assesses a range of flying skills.  Circuits require precise landing skills as pilots attempt to land on a target within a grid. In the senior instrument flying contest the pilot must rely solely on their instruments.  The navigational competition requires contestants to plan, map and fly a predetermined flight without the use of GPS apps, and in the difficult low flying contest the pilot must complete a defined pattern, including steep turns, at the same level and constant speed.

Flying is in Weston’s blood.  Her grandfather’s brother also trained at Waikato Aviation.  Despite Weston dreaming of flying since childhood she joined an accounting firm after leaving Te Awamutu College, but late in 2015 her grandfather came across a Waikato Aviation brochure and gave it to Weston. She took a trial flight and by January 2016 she was enrolled in the full time training course.

“I love the challenge of flying”, said Weston. “Nothing compares to the feeling of being in the air, and of course you get a different, and an amazing, view of the world.”

Weston recently gained her Commercial Pilot Licence and is currently doing night flying and multi engine training with Waikato Aviation.

When Weston completes her training she wants to work as a flight instructor, however she hasn’t ruled out a job as a commercial airline pilot with Air New Zealand.

In mid November Weston will represent the Waikato at the regional flying competitions in Tauranga. 

Come Fly With Us


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If you have ever thought about flying as a career or a hobby then why not join Mandy, Tracey and Kelly at Waikato Aviation.

For Tracey Gore and Mandy de Beer flying was something they had dreamed about since childhood. Tracey took her first flight at eighteen months in a glider piloted by her father and over the years flying with him secured her desire to fly as a career. At sixteen years old she started her flight training in earnest.

Mandy also took her first flying lesson at sixteen years old, two months after she arrived in New Zealand from South Africa. Twenty days before her eighteenth birthday Mandy earned her Private Pilot Licence.

Kelly Fuatai Lowen’s sisters are both flight attendants – Kelly might have followed in their footsteps but when she saw a picture of a Boeing 747 cockpit she thought it looked so ‘cool’ that her career path was set.

Mandy, Tracey and Kelly still love flying and today all three are flight instructors at Waikato Aviation. Mandy is also an aerobatic instructor.

A 20-minute flight with Mandy, Tracey or Kelly is a great way to experience the thrill of flight. Flights are available in our two seat Alpha aircraft or in the Cessna four seat aircraft, enabling friends or family to also enjoy the experience.

For more information go to www.waikatoaviation.co.nz/experience or ring 07 843 5655.

Kelly Fuatai Lowen first Waikato Aviation Intern

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Flying Instructor Kelly Fuatai Lowen has been announced as the first recipient of Waikato Aviation’s  new internship programme.

“Kelly is the perfect candidate for the role. She has already graduated with our New Zealand Diploma in Aviation (Instructor stream) and with her excellent people and communication skills we believe she has a great future in Flight Instruction,” said Waikato Aviation General Manager and Chief Flying Instructor Peter Wilson.

 Lowen, a local girl who finished her schooling at Waikato Diocesan school, joined Waikato Aviation’s Diploma in Aviation course in 2015.

“This is a great opportunity”, said Lowen.  It’s a gateway into full time employment, I am part of a great team and I am doing what I love. It couldn’t be better.”

 Training pilots since 1933, Waikato Aviation has seen a considerable increase in the demand for Flight Instructors. The Civil Aviation Authority requires all Flying Instructors to have completed an initial six months and 100 hours of instructing under the direct supervision of a senior Flight Instructor. Waikato Aviation’s internship programme will provide this initial experience.

  “An experienced senior Instructor will mentor and support each intern, helping them to develop their instructional skills both in the classroom and in the aircraft”, said Wilson.

“Employers are looking for Flight Instructors who have completed direct supervision, and display essential industry skills such as a customer service focus, strong communication and team working competencies. Our internship is designed to develop these competencies along with experience in, and the development of, flight instructional techniques and skills.”  

 Interns will be selected each term from Waikato Aviation graduates, with the next intern being announced in October.

Diamond DA42 online

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A change of name, a rebranding exercise and a new aircraft has marked Waikato Aviation’s further investment in the aviation education business. 

Formally known as Waikato Aero Club, Waikato Aviation have been training pilots for more than 80 years.

General Manager and Chief Flying Instructor Peter Wilson said “The new name better represents the company’s unique blend of recreational pilot training, full time professional pilot courses and commercial aviation services. Many members of the Greater Waikato community have gained a pilot licence with us and we have a 90% success rate for our course graduates finding employment within the aviation industry”.

“We may have removed the word club from our name however that aspect of our business is still a draw card for students. The combination of a professional flight training academy and a successful recreational pilot’s club gives students a complete flying experience.”

In keeping with their planned investment in the aviation industry, Waikato Aviation has recently purchased a twin engine DA42 aircraft. The DA42’s state of the art instrumentation and navigational systems are similar to those used in commercial airliners and better equip students for a commercial pilot’s role.

Waikato Aviation offers the two year, full time course, the NZ Diploma in Aviation.  Students graduate with a Commercial Pilot Licence. The next intake is in September. 

New Internship Programme

"Employment pathways to the future"

"Employment pathways to the future"

Waikato Aviation’s internship programme is designed to prepare graduates of the New Zealand Diploma in Aviation Instructor Stream with on job training in a mentored environment.

Interns are directly supervised by a senior instructor. The senior instructor will mentor and support the intern helping them to develop their instructional skills both in the classroom and in the aircraft.

The internship programme will give the graduate 6 months direct supervision. This will enable the intern to be better positioned and work ready when applying for employment on completion of the programme.

The programme will include all components of Flight instruction; delivering pre-flight briefs, flying lessons, post-flight debriefs, teaching in the classroom, aircraft cleaning and maintenance, administration work and other tasks related to the operation of a successful aviation organisation.

Key outcomes of the internship will be; Customer service focus, the ability to work in a team environment, time management, to interact with peoples from the flight academy and community, to interact with peoples from all cultures and backgrounds.

The programme will be 6 months in length during which the intern will be paid for time worked in the classroom and in the aircraft.

To be successful in gaining a place on the internship programme, graduates will have demonstrated an above average standard during their training programme. Graduates need to apply and meet certain criteria based on performance and suitability.


Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers

We get to see it often, its always the same. The smile after that first flight is priceless.

Giving someone the experience of flight is so much more than just a day out. Firstly its the excitement of something new, an experience that can’t be had everyday. Then there’s the buzz of taking off, climbing in to the unknown, looking down and realising that the world really is beneath your feet, anything is possible. 

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