INTRODUCING YOUTH TO AVIAN OPPORTUNITIES YOUNG EAGLES
As a Young Eagle member you will get the opportunity to experience flying for yourself.
You will have the opportunity to actually fly in an aircraft, experience how it works and look down on the world below from inside the safety of an aircraft. Does this sound exciting to you? Would you like to enjoy this wonderful experience?
You can, because this is an invitation to you to take to the skies and become a member of the Flying NZ Young Eagles.
Yes, pretty much anyone can learn to fly! If you are in reasonable health and look forward to learning a new discipline, you can learn to fly.
You can start to learn at any age but to fly solo you must be 16 years of age and to hold a licence you must be 17. To fly solo you must also be able to pass a medical. The medical requirements are detailed below and are not overly onerous.
If you do not have a medical, you can still fly but will need to have an instructor with you at all times.
IS FLYING JUST FOR THE ELITE?
Those who love flying come from all walks of life, from the high school student who works on the checkout at the local supermarket to earn enough money for the next flight, to the 777 captain who just can't wait to get back home and down to the local aero club to fly a "real" aeroplane. The common bond amongst pilots is not their wealth, occupation or social status but their passion for flying. A typical flyaway group or club competition team may consist of a student, a butcher, a doctor an office worker, a builder's labourer, and a teacher. They will all travel and compete together, mix socially and support each other and their team.
Flying NZ clubs are incorporated societies and are run by an Executive of members for the benefit of all members. The diversity of the members' backgrounds and their willingness to participate in the running of the club and the skills and knowledge they can bring to the club, is often one of the club's greatest strengths.
IS IT JUST A MALE THING?
Most people will be familiar with Rotorua girl, Jean Batten who set a world record in 1936 by flying solo from England to New Zealand. New Zealand's first woman pilot was Aroha Clifford who gained her pilot licence in Christchurch in 1929. Ever since women have played a major role in aero clubs participating as pilot members, instructors, and competitors in National and International competitions. There is the New Zealand Association of Women in Aviation and many female aero club members are also members of the Association.
DO I NEED A MEDICAL?
To fly solo (and get a pilot licence), yes.
The medical requirements for a Microlight Pilots Certificate and Private Pilots Licence (PPL) are similar (and both can be issued by your own doctor), although a full aviation medical (particularly a Class 1 medical for a Commercial Pilot Licence), must be issued by a Designated Medical Examiner, certified by the NZ Civil Aviation Authority.
You will need to have your medical certificate before your instructor can let you fly solo. Talk with your instructor early on and they will advise you the best medical for your aims and the best place to get one.
IS IT SAFE?
Yes. There is risk in everything, but Flying NZ clubs minimise those risks as far as reasonably possible.
The maintenance of certified light aircraft is strictly regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and aircraft can be maintained only by CAA-licensed engineers. All aircraft have scheduled checks every 50 hours of flying time, plus annual and other checks.
Some airspace is also controlled, ensuring that light aircraft do not conflict with commercial traffic.
Flight Instructors employed by Flying NZ aero clubs are experienced professional pilots who have been trained to competently teach student pilots. Instructors are tested by a CAA-appointed examiner to obtain their Instructor rating, then supervised by a more senior instructor for a period. After qualification, all instructors are required to undergo regular competency checks.
Your instructor will take you through a structured training syllabus and only when you are competent will you be allowed to fly solo.
If you fly at a Flying NZ aero club, the guidance given by your instructor does not stop once you have obtained your licence. Your instructor can continue to support you with advice, and help with planning your next adventure. When flying cross country support may be available from instructors at other Flying NZ clubs ensuring that you are well briefed about local weather and topography.
Cross-country (longer distance) flights can be monitored with a flight plan, ensuring that Airways New Zealand (who provide air traffic services, like control towers) are aware of your plan and can support you should you need it.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
You can take as long as you like to learn to fly. If you are in a hurry you can get your GA Private Pilot's Licence in just a few weeks but most people will take between twelve months and two years. During this time you can mix with other club members in club activities and learn a lot more than just the practical side of being a pilot. Depending upon the type of aircraft you learn in, the frequency that you take lessons, and your speed at acquiring the new concepts and skills, it will take between about 50 and 75 hours of total experience for you to qualify for your full Private Pilot's Licence, allowing you to carry passengers cross country. For some people, just learning to fly solo is enough and this can usually be achieved in 12 to 20 hours of dual instruction.