Local fliers graduate to Air NZ pilot course
Southern Wings students gain flying spotsHANNAH MCLEOD
Two southern student pilots are the first from Southern Wings Aviation College to be accepted into an Air New Zealand training course after the airline formed a partnership with the college.
Julian Remfry, 21, and Brayden Lawson, 19, will head to Christchurch on September 16 to begin the month-long Air New Zealand Airline Integration Course, where they will learn what it takes to be an Air New Zealand pilot.
Mr Remfry and Mr Lawson said they were excited to have been accepted.
At the end of the course they will be certified as "preferred pilots" for Air New Zealand.
The two have been studying at Southern Wings for 18 months in preparation for the course.
Southern Wings chief pilot Bryan Jones said they had to achieve a 70 per cent pass rate from their 24 exams and three flight tests to be considered for the course. "These two have both had clean sweeps," Mr Jones said.
After the flight tests, the pair underwent an interview process with Air New Zealand, which included a written test, a two-on-one interview with pilots, and a group exercise.
"They've done really well; these two have been top performers," he said.
Completing the course does not guarantee a job.
"First they have to clock 500 flight hours, which is a Civil Aviation Authority requirement for pilots flying planes heavier than 5700 kilograms," Mr Jones said.
Mr Lawson hoped to get a job with a small scenic airline to clock those hours. His ideal job would be flying with Air New Zealand on a domestic route out of somewhere such as Tauranga or Christchurch, he said. He recommended the Southern Wings course to anyone with a good work ethic.
Mr Remfry planned to continue with Southern Wings to learn to be a flight instructor, then find a position with a small airline. His ultimate goal was to fly international long-haul routes.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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