On a long-overdue trip to New Zealand, my bride and I were very lucky to commit some General Aviation while there this month.
My brother has lived on the North Island for nearly forty years and it's not hard to understand why. My first visit left me with the impression of New Zealand as a beautiful place filled with kind, outgoing people.
I'm sure most of you saw the May '12 AOPA Pilot article about flying in NZ. Although time and money didn't allow us to do the Flyinn New Zealand safari (but I'll keep buying lotto tickets), we were able to book a plane with the Nelson Aero Club. Located at the north end of the South Island, Nelson is a nice town and a great place to fly. Not much else flying that morning other than Air New Zealand Dash 8s because wind was honking out of the southwest. We met our CFI, Martin Voice, who discussed our route, weather, local conditions, etc. You could tell he enjoyed teaching others how to fly. Martin made us feel welcome and unhurried; just a part of the broader aviation community. A typical Kiwi! We preflighted one of the cleanest, best maintained 172's I've ever seen. She flew as sweet as she looked, too. What a treat!
We had an awesome flight over Queen Charlotte Sound and Tasman Bay. It was an outstanding logbook memory. One technical point: the flight was billed on a meter that only runs at 40KTs or higher airspeed, not Hobbs or Tach. That was new to me. Given the metering and the exchange rate, the 250/hr NZD (including CFI) was not that expensive compared to many parts of the States.
Stop in and go fly with them if you're in the neighborhood. Martin will get you sorted. http://www.nelsonaeroclub.co.nz/
ZK-ETU, 1.8 Hours.
Look through your logbook and tell us the story behind some memorable entry.
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