Airman targeting a higher plane
Sharn Davies is taking flight from Timaru, setting co-ordinates for Blenheim.
After five years as chief flying instructor (CFI) at the South Canterbury Aero Club, Mr Davies is taking the next step in his career, becoming CFI for the Marlborough Aero Club.
He joined the South Canterbury club in 2008, as the youngest CFI in the country, at age 22. His appointment at that age took a few people by surprise but his experience made up for it.
Before taking the job in Timaru, Mr Davies worked as an instructor at BayFlight International in Tauranga and spent a season glider-towing in Canada.
He said he first wanted to be a pilot when he was 10 and got his pilot licence when he was 17 - before he had his driving licence.
"I couldn't drive people to the airport but once we got there, I could fly."
Now 27, Mr Davies said his next goal is to get a flight-examiner rating.
"At the moment I can only train students for the test, but I would like to do the testing myself."
As chief flying instructor, Mr Davies looks after the day-to-day activity of the aero club and trains students to get their pilot licence.
The hardest and most exciting part of the job for him is sending students on their first solo flights.
He said it is a big judgment call to step out of the aircraft, but it gives the students a sense of achievement and makes the instructors proud.
The Timaru Herald