As a child, I wanted to fly. It’s all I ever wanted to do. I wasn't one of those kids who was inspired by a magical aviation experience and I didn't know any pilots with exciting stories but I did have the dream.
I still have it.
I don’t fly much anymore, but once flying is in your blood it’s there for good. These days my role within aviation is to assist aspiring pilots to realise their dreams - whatever they want to fly, we want to help them to succeed.
Learning to fly is an exciting journey, a flight path with its usual mix of fine days, excited take offs and happy landings with a little bit of turbulence sure to be experienced. For most, its the realisation of a dream and the hope of continuing on with the perfect career.
Waikato Aviation started flight training from the Hamilton Airport (then called the Waikato Aero Club and the Rukuhia Aerodrome) in 1933 and notwithstanding a brief recess during World War 2, we have been training pilots continuously ever since. In 2003 we gained accreditation to offer NZQA approved full-time flight training programmes and this enabled our students to access the funds for flight training through the student loans scheme.
We are really proud to have seen a large number of our students and instructors move into flying roles with organisations all over the world. These roles are varied, we have our pilots flying aerial surveying, airliners, air ambulance, mountain and bush flying and in the adventure and tourism industries.
A number of our Pilots start training as secondary school students, working part time to fund precious flight hours in the weekends. Upon leaving school, they continue on our full-time training programme and graduate qualified with the New Zealand Diploma in Aviation, including a commercial pilots licence, an instrument rating and a flight instructors rating. We have a number of our students now flying with airlines around the world including EasyJet, Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific.
Students may also train initially with the different New Zealand Aero Club organisations, and then apply and join our full-time programme. Once such Waikato graduate is now flying with Sounds Air. Sounds Air fly Cessna Caravans and Pilatus PC12’s between New Zealand’s North and South Island’s.
Our focus is on flight training and student outcomes, we are proud to have pilots that we have trained flying with tourist operators, air ambulances and with airlines delivering vital services in countries such as Africa, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Canada and here at home in New Zealand.
What ever your aviation dream, I look forward to meeting with you and discussing how Waikato Aviation can assist you to achieve.
For more information visit learn to fly