Learning to fly and gaining your Private Pilot Licence is fun, challenging and very rewarding. It gives you the independence to fly friends and family around the beautiful New Zealand landscape in a fast and exciting fashion.

Marlborough Aero Club aircraft in Marlborough NZ

The geographical nature of the Marlborough area makes Omaka and the M.A.C. the ideal place to learn to fly and to continue to fly

 - M O’Sullivan, Blenheim

Learning to fly and gaining your Private Pilot Licence is fun, challenging and very rewarding. It gives you the independence to fly friends and family around the beautiful New Zealand landscape in a fast and exciting fashion.

At the Marlborough Aero Club we aim to keep the FUN in flying. Our experienced instructors will train all students to the highest standard, concentrating on “stick and rudder skills”, decision making and safety all while having a great time. We are the only organisation to give training into airstrips as part of your PPL, which will teach you invaluable skills above a normal PPL and a chance to really appreciate the amazing scenery of the region.

Marlborough is the perfect climate for learning to fly. It is the sunshine capital of New Zealand, has varying terrain and some challenging weather conditions to gain the best flying experience.  Most of all it has some of the most beautiful scenery New Zealand has to offer, all within 30mins from Omaka.

What can you do once you gain your PPL?

≫ Achieve ratings to fly in any of the Club’s aircraft

≫ Fly to main airports throughout NZ in your preferred aircraft

≫ Take passengers on all flights

≫ Enter Club competitions, which could result in competing at national and international levels

≫ Take part in advanced flying (e.g. Strip Flying) under expert supervision

≫ Hire one of the Club’s aircrafts and only pay for the running time

≫ You cannot receive any payment for your services on a PPL licence, if you wish to do so then you need to obtain a Commercial Pilots Licence

How do you obtain a PPL?


To obtain a PPL you need to be at least 17 years of age. However, you are able to start flying at any age and can go solo at 16 years of age. We have students ranging from early teens to their 70’s.


To gain a PPL or fly solo you must hold a current Medical Certificate. There are two types of medical that are acceptable:

1. A Land Transport DL9 medical. This can be obtained through your local GP by getting a Land Transport Medical using a DL9 Form. To be able to fly on a DL9 driver licence medical certificate, your DL9 needs to be at least a Class 2 (2,3,4,5) medical certificate with passenger (P) endorsement. There are some restrictions that apply when gaining a PPL with a DL9 medical, please contact the club to discuss.

2. Civil Aviation Authority Class 2 Medical - To gain a full un-restricted PPL you require a Civil Aviation Authority Class 2 Medical Certificate. This is more comprehensive than the DL9 medical. You can gain your Class 2 medical here at Omaka by the famous Dr Dave Baldwin, with the Bulls Flying Doctors Service. If you are under 40 this is valid for 5 years, over 40’s 2 years. If you are in good health, there should be no problem. If you do have concerns, please contact us.

Flight Time

You must complete at least 50 hours total flight time of which:

≫ 15 hours must be dual instruction
≫ 15 hours must be solo flight time
≫ 5 hours must be instrument flight time
≫ 10 hours cross-country navigation training
≫ 5 hours dual instruction in Terrain and Weather Awareness
≫ Once you are ready you must pass a flight test which will include all normal and emergency flight manoeuvres. This will also include a test on your ability to comply with Air Traffic Services practices and procedures. Marlborough Aero Club instructors have a 90% pass rate for all pilot licences.


Pass an examination in six subjects:

Flight Radio – learning phrases Pilots use to make clear communication calls
Human Factors – health, stress, judgement and decision-making
Meteorology – cloud formations, NZ’s weather patterns, different weather conditions affecting aircraft performance, interpreting aviation weather reports
Aircraft Technical Knowledge – aerodynamics, engines, electrical systems, your flight instruments and aircraft weight & balance
Navigation – using aeronautical maps, compass, calculating flight time and fuel
Law – Civil Aviation Rules and Regulations

These exams are multi-choice and require a 70% pass rate. Exams are sat here at the Marlborough Aero Club via ASPEQ who administer the exams on behalf of Civil Aviation Authority.

PPL Course Fees

MAC Annual Membership Fee Marlborough Aero Club $190
Medical Exam Application Fee CAA $121
Class 2 Medical Exam Dr Dave Baldwin $450
Radio, Human Factors, Meteorology, Navigation, Law, Air Tech - $94 each
ASPEQ $600
ICAO English Exam ASPEQ $150
Logbook, Set of PPL text Books, Navigation Computer, Aviation Ruler and Protractor
Marlborough Aero Club $500 (approx.)
Minimum of 50* flying hours
(35 dual @ $269 p/hr)
(15 solo @ $228 p/hr)
Marlborough Aero Club $12,835
Airways and Landing Fees Marlborough Aero Club $120 (approx.)
PPL Flight Test Fee Flight Test Provider $600
Total $15,556

* 50 hrs is the legal minimum. Hours flown prior to flight test will depend on student ability. Most students achieve their licence with approx 65 hrs. A realistic PPL price estimate is approx: $19,600. This is based on pay as you go, usually over 1-2 years to achieve.

For more information, call 03 578 5073 or email fly@marlboroughaeroclub.co.nz