The Marlborough Aero Club are specialists in airstrip flying training. We have over a dozen airstrips available within 30 minutes flying from Omaka - all with varying levels of challenges ranging from curved, to one way, to sloping, to beaches … One thing they all have in common are they are lots of fun!
You'll learn skills that may one day save your life. Things like how to fly safe low-level circuits, correct approach profiles, importance of good airspeed control, tailwind take-offs & landings, one way strips including correct decision making points, bad weather flying - reduced visibility/avoiding turbulence.
Whilst many pilots are proficient and safe in the normal course of their flying, we have observed that the average pilot's the ability to land on a given spot at a precise airspeed is lacking. This is the key to airstrip flying – being precise in the approach, the touchdown point, and the airspeed. The reasons for this are obvious – the margins for error are greatly reduced. At your typical airport with a 1000m runway, most pilots can get down and stopped within 400 – 600 metres. However, on many of the airstrips we frequent, the total length might range from anywhere between 350 to 500 metres. It doesn't mean the aircraft is not capable of operating in these places. It just means that the pilot must have the required skills and training to know how to do so safely. These skills can then be transferred back to the local airport, where the precision approaches and airspeed control can be practiced and perfected.
These are advanced skills not normally covered in the typical PPL or CPL syllabus, and are sadly lacking in many pilot trainees in the modern world of automated aviation. Gaining some additional “hands on” flying skills will very likely set you apart from the crowd and might just be the thing that makes you stand out for a prospective employer.
Our courses are typically run over 2 days and include 4-6 hours flying time including additional groundwork discussing key points. Lunch breaks take place -normally by way of sandwiches and a thermos of coffee on a strip in the awesome Marlborough backcountry.
All the airstrips we use are privately owned and are often active topdressing airstrips. We grade them all based on their level of difficulty, and only allow students to fly solo into a strip once they are signed off as proficient by their instructor. After that however, we actively encourage our students and club members to use these airstrips and enjoy what we have right here on our doorstep.
Weather conditions often limit where we can operate on a given day, however we have many strips available so normally there are always strips we can use on most days.
We can tailor these packages to your time commitment, budget and experience. Please contact us to discuss.