Jul 23, 2018
Well because it’s the most beautiful country to learn to fly in of course! With rugged snow-capped mountains, deep valleys smothered in untouched rainforest, sparkling glacier fed Lakes, wild wind swept hills and some of the most stunning beaches found anywhere in the world – who wouldn’t want a front row seat above all that?
Bringing it back down to solid ground for moment, what this spectacular unique landscape means for a prospective pilot is complete and comprehensive flight experience in a wide variety of different flight conditions and terrain – exactly what a good pilot requires in order to develop a wide skill base.
The Top 3 Reasons Why NZ Is The Best Place To Learn To Fly
1. Varied And Interesting Terrain
Whether you are setting out on a planned career path or just looking for a new challenge, learning to fly is an extremely rewarding experience. Choosing exactly where you learn to fly will have an impact on your skills and experience obtained. A good pilot need as much exposure to as many different flight situations as possible. Flying over a variety of terrain provides a complex series of flight conditions (variable winds, air flow patterns, temperatures and visibility etc) that offer a ever changing learning environment – and variety is something New Zealand has in bucket loads.
New Zealand’s North Island provides a lush green landscape filled with native forest and farmland. Two prominent mountains centrally located within the Tongariro National Park and one a short distance away named Mt Taranaki form good reference points. A large number of lakes, rivers and water ways also feature, Lake Taupo being the largest at the very centre of the North island.
The ocean is never far away in the North, coastlines range from wide sandy beaches to rugged rocky out crops with a number of sheltered Bays along the way. The North Island is predominantly undulating hill country with a tendency towards foggy, wet conditions in the winter months and hot humid conditions in the summer.
The South Island of New Zealand offers a good contrast to the North. Its long narrow form is dominated by a large mountain range within the central landscape. The expansive plains of the Canterbury region and steep hill country between Blenheim and Kaikoura make up the majority of the eastern side of the range, the lush green rainforest of Nelson, Greymouth and Hokitika squeezed into the west.
Further South as the mountains recede, the dense rainforest of the Fiordland National Park takes precedence along with a wide expanse of farmed land encircling New Zealand’s most Southern city – Invercargill.
2. The Weather
When learning to fly, whether in NZ or anywhere around the world, the weather suddenly becomes your biggest obsession. Optimum flight conditions for new pilots include clear skies and calm consistent winds along, but as training advances it becomes important to experience as many varied in-flight weather conditions as possible.
New Zealand, from top to bottom has a wide range of weather conditions, from snow in the south through to the hot and humid conditions in the north. This along with highly changeable day-to-day weather conditions allows pilots to complete varied cross country flights, while experiencing a vast range of weather circumstances.
While when training to become a pilot a variety of weather conditions are desirable, it is still necessary for there to be enough days where flight training is safely permitted. Many parts of New Zealand have a high level of sunshine hours and fairly stable conditions for the majority of the time making flight training possible year round.
3. Uncluttered All Access Airspace
In New Zealand it is possible to fly just about anywhere you like, when you like. There are very few airspace restrictions and a relatively low amount of traffic, particularly when outside of the main centres. As long as you abide by the Civil Aviation rules and regulations – New Zealand is yours to explore as you wish.
Controlled airspace areas like larger cities and airports do require attention and there are several Military Zones which require permission to enter scattered throughout the North Island. Most notably the Waiuru Military area, and the Ohakea Military area, but the majority of these are situated off shore so do not present a problem. There are also some small no fly zones around protected wildlife areas of importance and that need to be avoided. See here for more information on no-fly zones in New Zealand.
Still Need Convincing?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – take a look at some of these great pictures of flying in New Zealand – need we say any more?
New Zealand offers world class flight training in an ever-changing environment filled with challenging terrain and weather all rolled into one beautiful little package. Looking for a professional flight school in NZ with bases in the North and South Island? Contact the team at Southern Wings Flight School.