FAQs - Find Out More

1. What are the Medical requirements?

You must obtain a medical certificate before you can fly solo and to apply for a NZ pilots licence. Medical requirements in New Zealand depend on age and the class of licence you wish to obtain. For a Private Licence you require a Class 2 Medical Certificate and a Commercial Licence you require a Class 1. Each Medical certificate has to be renewed periodically. To find out more about Aviation medicals please contact our local aviation doctor.

2. Where do I get a pilots medical?

We have a local aviation medical examiner that can issue you with your pilots medical and can be found at:

Wakatipu Medical Centre
11 McBride St
Frankton
Queenstown
Ph: 442 2288

3. I wear glasses can I still learn to fly?

Yes you can fly with glasses however there are certain requirements you must adhere to like carrying a spare set of glasses with you at all times whilst flying.

4. English is not my first language, could this be a problem?

To fly in New Zealand you must be assessed to have a good ability to speak, read and understand the English Language as English is the dominant language in Aviation worldwide. Our Instructors will assess you as you learn and all pilots must pass a formal test for English Language Proficiency before applying for their licence.

5. I hold a foreign pilots licence, can I fly in New Zealand?

Yes you can. Please look at our information under overseas pilots.

6. What is the best time of year for flying in Queenstown?

You can fly anytime of the year here in Queenstown! There are some seasonal effects to the area yet generally we are able to fly on most days, all year.

7. How do I become a Pilot?

The First step is to Contact us at the Aero Club and get involved and join as a member. Please see our page on becoming a pilot or download how to become a pilot from CAA.

8. What Does it Cost?

The main cost is rental of the aircraft, which can vary a little due to fluctuations in fuel price and other variables. Contact us for an up to date prices for our aircraft. Other costs include your Pilots Medical, Theory examinations, study material and Flight Test fees.

9. How long does it take?

Time can vary and is dependant on a number of factors, such as your own availability and weather. On average students at the Wakatipu Aero Club take between six and twelve months to complete their PPL. Training is very much tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle. Talk to one of our Instructors or Senior Staff and they will help you structure a training schedule to suits your needs.

10. How long is my licence valid?

Pilot licences are valid for the lifetime of the holder however there are currency requirements and a biennial flight review, to ensure you are still operating the aircraft safely.

11. What do you mean by 'current' or 'currency'?

Before exercising the privileges of their licence all pilots must ensure they hold a current medical, current BFR (biennial flight review) and are current on the aircraft type they intend to fly. Currency on type requires at least 3 take off and landings in the last 90 days.

12. What is a Biennial Flight Review or BFR?

A BFR is a 2 yearly flight review that covers all flying manoeuvres and pilot decision making for your level of licence. This is to ensure that all pilots are still operating the aircraft safely, making appropriate decisions and is up to speed with the current rules and regulations. Our instructors are qualified to carry out this flight assessment.

13. Who is the CAA?

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is the regulatory body which exists to govern aviation in New Zealand and ensure aviation safety.

14. What are the requirements for employment in Queenstown?

Queenstown is surrounded by Mountainous Terrain, which requires a higher level of awareness and knowledge to operate safely amongst them. Queenstown is also a busy airport and requires a good level of local knowledge to get around easily.

Wakatipu Aero Club prides itself in delivering the highest level of Instruction in Mountain flying boosting our pilots to a high standard that is sought after in the aviation industry. We offer a 50 hour Mountain Flying Course that is a pre-requisite for employment in the Queenstown/Milford area.

15. What is involved in the Mountain Flying Course?

Course duration can be tailored to meet individual needs, it includes basic to advanced mountain flying techniques and decision-making skills. During your course you will be applying the techniques learned to fly into short bush strips, beaches and into some of the most spectacular yet challenging environments in the world.

16. Will the Mountain Flying improve my Piloting ability?

The Mountain Flying course is designed to teach pilots to operate an aircraft in a mountainous environment safely. It teaches specific techniques and decision making skills that can be applied to all areas of flying. Mountain Flying experience will teach you more about the aircraft, environment and you as the pilot, improving your awareness and piloting ability to an advanced level.

  1. What are the Medical requirements?
  2. Where do I get a pilots medical?
  3. I wear glasses can I still learn to fly?
  4. English is not my first language, could this be a problem?
  5. I hold a foreign pilots licence, can I fly in New Zealand?
  6. What is the best time of year for flying in Queenstown?
  7. How do I become a Pilot?
  8. What Does it Cost?
  9. How long does it take?
  10. How long is my licence valid?
  11. What do you mean by 'current' or 'currency'?
  12. What is a Biennial Flight Review or BFR?
  13. Who is the CAA?
  14. What are the requirements for employment in Queenstown?
  15. What is involved in the Mountain Flying Course?
  16. Will the Mountain Flying improve my Piloting ability?