Hamish Christie / Student

hamish-christieBeing born and bred in Southland, Southern Wings was the right choice for me when it came to flight training. Progressing first as a student pilot and then working up the instructing ladder, Southern Wings provided me with all the support and opportunity I needed to achieve my airline dream.

Invercargill and its surrounding regions offered a diverse set of challenges and conditions, which helped me hone my stick and rudder skills as well as build my situational awareness – some of the best flying in New Zealand.

All of the staff at Southern Wings are very passionate about aviation. They were always happy to go above and beyond to help, and share their knowledge and experience.

The skills I’ve learnt and the memories I have of Southern Wings will stick with me throughout my career.

Achievements

Commercial Pilots Licence, Multi-engine Instrument Rating, C-Category, B-Category and Multi-engine Instructor Rating.

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2010 – 2014 Instructor, Southern Wings Aviation College, 2010-2014.
  • 2014 – Present Current employment: Captain, ATR-72-600, Air NZ / Mount Cook Airline

Lee McMillan / Student

lee-mcmillanEvery pilot starts somewhere and looking back I can’t think of a better place to start than Southland and with Southern Wings. What you learn in those first years of a flying career stay with you and so does the influence of those who pass on their passion and knowledge.

Achievements

Commercial Pilot License, Multi Engine, Instrument Rating, C Category and B Category Instructor

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2000 – 2001 Southern Wings, Instructor
  • 2001 – 2003 Stewart Islands Flights
  • 2003 – 2004 Great Barrier Airlines
  • 2004 – 2007 Air Nelson, Captain Saab 340A and Dash 8 Q 300
  • 2007 – 2010 Pacific Blue Captain B737 – 800
  • 2010 – Emirates

Brett Gameren / Student

brett-gamerenTraining with Southern Wings provided varied terrain and weather which was invaluable for developing not only stick and rudder skills but also decision making skills.  The staff passed on their passion and knowledge and I have many great memories of the good times at Southern Wings.

Achievements

  • Commercial Pilot Licence
  • Multi-Engine
  • Instrument Rating
  • C Category Instructor Rating

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2006 C Category Instructor Southern Wings
  • 2006-2007  Akuna Seaplanes Australia
  • 2007 China Southern Western Australia Flight College
  • 2007 –2010Stewart Island Flights
  • 2010 – Air New Zealand,  Boeing 787

Peter Blake / Student

peter-blakeAfter I graduated from Southern Wings my first  job was with Farmers Air as a  loader driver.  This soon lead to low level survey flying for Farmers Air/ Kiwi Air  in Africa, North America, Asia and the Arctic. Now I primarily ferry planes around the world.  In the 6 years since I have left Southern Wings, I have flown around the world twice in a single  engine aircraft, and have flown a solo crossing of the north  Atlantic, the Indian Ocean  and around the Pacific Ocean. The training I received at Southern Wings was great. I learnt a  mix of flying skills aerobatics, mountain flying, beach landings and most important, I learnt how to fly in all sorts of weather. The staff were great to work with and taught me the things I needed to know to get a job flying.

Achievements

  • Commercial Pilot Licence
  • Multi-Engine
  • Instrument Rating

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2004 –  Kiwi Air, Geophysical Survey
  • Africa, Asia, North America, Australia and the Middle East

Leon Gibbs / Student

leon-gibbsTraining with Southern Wings was the only choice for me.  No other environment can offer what Southland offers.  The adverse weather, a friendly social environment and top instructors was what I was looking for in a training organisation and met all of my expectations.

Achievements

  • Commercial Pilot License
  • Multi Engine
  • Instrument Rating
  • C Category Instructor Rating
  • B Category Instructor Rating

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2008 Southern Wings Instructor
  • 2010 Stewart Island Flights
  • 2012 Air New Zealand

Matt Hollands / Student

matt-hollandsI found Southern Wings a great place to study with some of the best instructors I could have asked for, with awesome flying country, the Catlins, Fiordland and the Southern Alps are a stone throw away.  The help and encouragement I received allowed me to get into a great first job in turbines flying all over the world doing airborne survey operating.  My overseas experience in Australia and Africa has shown me that there is so many opportunities available to those willing to enjoy working all over the world.

Achievements

  • Commercial Pilot Licence
  • Multi-Engine
  • Instrument Rating

Aviation employment since graduation:

  • 2007 – Kiwi Air Ltd
  • 2011 – New Zealand Skydiving School
  • 2013 – Air Safaris