Youthtown pilot programme takes off

Published: Wed 28 Aug 2013 12:45 PM
28 August 2013
Youthtown pilot programme takes off
Experiencing the thrill of flying a small Sessna aircraft at North Otago Aero Club, has inspired a talented young kiwi to follow a future in aviation.
15-year-old Tiana Mihaere, of St Kevin’s College, is working towards her dream of joining the New Zealand Air Force after discovering her passion for flying through Youthtown Oamaru’s ‘Flight Path’ programme.
“Since finishing our programme Tiana has gone onto join the Oamaru ‘Young Eagles’ where she was one of five students across New Zealand to receive a $2,000 scholarship from the RNZAC [Royal New Zealand Aero Club]. She is now focused on clocking up enough hours to become an authorized solo flyer,” Youthtown Oamaru branch manager, Mike Mullins, says.
Youthtown Oamaru and Christchurch introduced learn to fly programmes earlier this year to provide young people (13-18 years) with the opportunity to test out a possible career as a pilot, alongside trained and experienced instructors.
“The popularity of these programmes at Youthtown is incredible, and it’s amazing to see young people like Tiana focus this new-found passion of flying into a possible career path,” Mullins adds.
The Youthtown learn to fly programmes comprise a 20-minute trial flight, including opportunities to take off and land the aircraft.
Learn to fly programmes form part of Youthtown’s popular after school programmes, designed to include valuable and educational hands-on experiences to young New Zealanders.
As well as giving confidence and practical skills to future pilots, young drivers in Christchurch are also being encouraged behind the wheel with Youthtown’s five-week learner license course.
“This is a great opportunity for those who are old enough to drive, to learn the road rules and develop practical skills,” Christchurch branch manager, Amanda Murray says.
Throughout the course students study the road code with youth mentors, take practice tests online, attend a Q & A session with a local police officer and finish with a visit to their local AA center to booking a certified test.
As well as the unique learn to fly programmes and learner license programme, other workshops for young people in Christchurch and Oamaru are offered including boxing, mixed media workshops, food for flatters and music production.
For more information about all of Youthtown Oamaru and Christchurch’s after school programmes, and to book a spot visit

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