Testimonials - What Our Students Say About Us

Read below what others say about Nelson Aviation College and do ask any Commercial Pilots working in New Zealand what they think about us.

Mark Whitson - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR Graduate

Choosing where you learn to fly is a fundamental decision in your aviation career. Not only will you spend a year or more of your life there but it will also cost you a small fortune, so be picky. NAC has a fantastic reputation and it's not until you have studied here that you see why. The ground courses are fantastic achieving a 86% pass rate and the flight instruction at a senior level is second to none. If you are thinking of training abroad, New Zealand is a 'no-brainer' due to the cost (especially for Europeans) and in terms of institutions, I know I would have no hesitation in choosing NAC again.

Kelly Barclay - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR, 'C' Cat Instructor Rating Graduate

After completing all of my aviation theory exams in Auckland I relocated down to Motueka to begin my flight training with Nelson Aviation College. It was by far the best decision I have ever made. I was at the college until December 2012 and during that short time I was able to complete my PPL, CPL, MEIR, C-Cat, 5 ATPL exams, and an Aerobatics rating!

The college does everything right. Giles and Katrina have developed an environment which provides students with the best possibility of success. This organisation has earned an outstanding reputation in the aviation industry and goes a long way in helping secure that first job in a very competitive market.

I am extremely proud to say that I trained at NAC and could not speak more highly of it. For those who are considering becoming a pilot; before looking anywhere else I strongly suggest taking the time to meet the team at NAC.

Matt Eastham - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR, 'C' Cat Instructor Rating Graduate

I chose to go to NAC for a couple of reasons. Firstly; they seemed like they really cared about each and every student. Before starting they were really helpful and promptly answered any questions I had. You really get the feeling that they are there for YOU and want to help YOU, even as far as helping me find a job afterwards. And secondly; the area itself is beautiful, there's a lot of really nice flying around Motueka. Good weather and every flight is like a once in a lifetime scenic flight.

Matt Cook - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR, 'C' Cat Instructor Rating Graduate

The Instructors Rating course offered by NAC has provided me with an extensive understanding of what is required to become an effective flight instructor. Both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills were trained to a very high standard, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of having high quality instructional techniques.

Undertaking an Instructors Rating course at NAC will not only help develop the required instructional qualities, but enhance skills required by all pilots including greater safety awareness, threat and error management, critical thinking and decision making skills.

James Cole - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR Graduate

Nelson Aviation College is New Zealand's best-kept aviation training secret! Nelson Aviation College retains the family atmosphere while not sacrificing safety or professionalism. I enjoyed the emphasis on continuous improvement, not only surrounding student progress but also within the college infrastructure and the fleet itself. The proximity to mountainous terrain combined with the complexities surrounding operations from Motueka aerodrome and its varied activities means the training environment is second to none. Down time is easily filled with the vast array of activities the Nelson/Tasman region provides. I loved every second of my time in Motueka and highly recommend Nelson Aviation College.

Dan Martin - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR Graduate

My CPL ground course began in January 2011. The prospect of 16 weeks in a class room was challenging at first however an air conditioned classroom got us through the hottest months of the year and I found the theory course was interesting and very well presented by knowledgeable and approachable instructors. We were encouraged to aim for the highest possible grades and had the support necessary to achieve this. In 2010 I made a decision that it was time for a career change. Aviation was the career of choice; all I needed now was a training provider that would help me to achieve my goal of a commercial pilot licence. Nelson Aviation College (NAC) was recommended by a friend, as flight training organisation which offered a friendly, supportive learning environment, surrounded by user friendly airspace. Following a successful interview and tour of the college facilities with Giles Witney (CEO) I felt confident that I had chosen a great place to learn to fly.

By the middle of May I had achieved great results in all six commercial papers as well as the three IFR papers and was excited to be logging flight training hours in my logbook. Before long I achieved a private pilot license and was working through the commercial pilot syllabus. I found the weather and terrain awareness part of the training particularly beneficial and relevant, especially considering large areas of New Zealand are designated as mountainous.

Following the commercial training I completed the Multi Engine Instrument Rating which involved approximately twelve weeks based at the Nelson airport facility. Here we were introduced to flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions and developed a good understanding of the rules and law applicable to IFR flight. As with my experience throughout training at NAC, the professional approach and dedication shown by the instructors ensured a successful outcome and I am pleased to now have an Instrument rating on my licence.

NAC has always provided a positive and enjoyable learning environment where I have made many new friends. I would highly recommend NAC to any persons considering flight training in New Zealand.

Richard Thomson - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR, 'C' Category Instructor Rating Graduate

There were eight people on my ground course and everyone of us was from a different country. I feel like the skills and habits I have developed from studying at NAC have set me up really well for this job and I am absolutely loving it.

Scott Ryall - Aeroplane CPL, MEIR, 'C' Category Instructor Rating Graduate

Flight training at NAC proved not only to be fun and enjoyable but also provided me the skills required to enable a smooth transition into a flying job. The courses were well structured and the staff professional, with excellent preparation for exams and tests giving me the confidence needed to achieve good results. Of course the Motueka weather helped with very few days missed due to bad weather. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there meeting great people and making many friends.

Enosh S. Lee, Aeroplane CPL, MEIR Graduate

In order to achieve successful flight training, one must choose a right training provider. However, there are a number of things to be considered beforehand. To name a few, a reasonable ratio between instructor and student, good weather, a number of aircraft fleets available, easy access to controlled/uncontrolled airspace, a variety of training area and so on. Unfortunately, you will not realise those crucial things until you commence flight training. As for me, choosing NAC as a training provider was one of the best decisions that I have made in my 35 years of life. NAC has got everything mentioned above. On top of this, in a family-like environment but highly professional as well you will never be lost or left alone. If you have to choose a flight school, then NAC is the best in New Zealand! Go for it!

Joshua Greer, Aeroplane CPL, MEIR Graduate

Where do I start I've been at the college now fifteen months. I was a fresh little man right out of college so I was over sitting in class listening to someone go on about subjects that I had no real interest in. When I found out that I was going to be sitting in class for another four months I found myself concerned that I was going to get bored. But I was rather surprised when class started and I found myself listening and enjoying class. The instructors were excellent and really knew their subjects. If there was an answer that they didn't know they would find it out and tell the class the next day. I have a suspicion that they didn't just do it to answer a class but to expand their own knowledge of a subject. Because as we all know the more you learn in this industry the more you come to know how little you really do know.

After being in class for those first few months I was finally introduced to the Cessna 152's that I would be flying for the rest of the year. I can tell you I was like a kid in a candy shop. I can still see my first briefing effects of controls. What a day it was perfect in saying that it could have been raining cats and dogs and I still wouldn't have noticed. All I saw was a ZGR sitting there waiting to be flown. I'm not going to lie I was just as nervous as I was excited. By the end of the year I had a CPL and man was I proud all that hard work and finally something to show for it. Now just four months on I've got an IFR and a twin engine rating.

So enough about myself and more about the College and people that got me to where I am today. The instructors of NAC must be some of the best calibre they are down to earth and very accommodating as I said earlier they all know what they are teaching. They also have a strong stance on the safety of the students. This will never go amiss in the skies of New Zealand or any other part of the world.

In regards to the running of this institution the management team have been very good to me especially in the last couple of months. So here is a bit of a shout out to say thanks to Giles and Katrina Witney and Jeremy Anderson. The College itself is well set up with a well stocked cafe with the two ladies whom I think that people consider their mothers away from home. This gives the school a homely feeling and it's really just a big family everyone helping the person next to them. All in all I would recommend the College to any person that wants a good quality place to discover the world of aviation."

Karen J Groome, Flying NZ Executive Secretary

Well the Flying NZ Nationals have been and gone for another year and what a great time we all had in Motueka. From the perfect weather to immaculate airfield to the ever welcoming people of Motueka that made this event so enjoyable.

Thank you to you both for allowing Tim Williams the time to be part of the organising Team with Kay Hart and other members of the Motueka Aero Club. Tim was never too far away when we needed to discuss options and ideas- whether by phone before the event or during the competitions.

We were also very appreciative of the use of a Training Room both for our Executive Committee Meeting and also for the Young Eagles Scholarship winners who spent a half day in a training room in preparation for competitions that followed that afternoon.

We wish you well for the future of Nelson aviation College your facilities are impeccable, your Staff very helpful and what a great place to have a flight training school! We look forward to working alongside you both in the future- it was seven years between the last Flying NZ Nationals and this one! I just hope we don't have to wait that long to get back to Motueka.

Travis Mckee, Aeroplane, CPL, MEIR

NAC was the perfect place for me to do my flight training. The environment is friendly and relaxed, and the training curriculum very thorough and professional. The instructors were great at focusing on my weak points always finding time to provide extra help if needed, and the management are very friendly, approachable and on hand to work through any issues. The flying environment is incredible and has a good mix of challenges. I am definitely very happy I chose to train at NAC and I feel their skills and experience helped set me up really well for the commercial environment.

Ben Darling - PPL, CPL, MEIR

Nelson Aviation College is absolutely without a doubt one of the best places for a prospective pilot to start their career. Located in an amazing part of New Zealand, students have access to some of the most stunning scenery every single time they go flying. The training at NAC is incredibly thorough and relevant, and prepared me well for my first job in the industry in GA. It laid solid foundations for my career that have without a doubt helped me to safely build and enjoy my time in GA, as well as transitioning into an airline. The whole environment there is fantastic, both during the training itself, as well as any downtime outside of training - I look back fondly on my time at NAC and would not hesitate to recommend training there to any prospective student. It is absolutely one of the best decisions a pilot can make to start their career and will pay dividends for years to come.

Ben Darling - Cathay Pacific Second Officer (2016)

Laurence Hillyer - CPL, MEIR, Airline Preparation

Choosing the best possible flight school is the most important decision for someone who is wanting to embark on a career in Aviation. The formative steps that a student goes through in the ab-initio stages have a large impact on what sort of pilot they will become. So, needless to say, choosing a reputable flight school that teaches the fundamental basics correctly and creates a solid foundation of excellence to build on over the student's training period, is incredibly important.

Aviation is not an easy industry to build momentum and get ahead in, it is highly competitive and I truly believe that Nelson Aviation College graduates, due to their excellent processes, training and methodology have the upper hand in securing jobs in the industry.

The exposure that a Nelson Aviation College student gets to a variety of flying conditions, is second to none. A considerable amount of time is focussed on the skills involved in low flying, different terrain flying, mountain flying and of course, aerobatics. Students are constantly flying in uncontrolled and controlled airspace environment.. Preparing them for all aspects of operating later in their careers.

These are some of the things that makes for a sound pilot and I am so pleased that I was exposed to all of these aspects of flight training over my time as a student at Nelson Aviation College.

The NAC Management Team of Giles, Katrina and Jeremy are fantastic. I was kept on track the whole of my training and knew exactly what the expectations and the next hurdles were. Jeremy has an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and is more than happy to mentor and assist students. Some of my most memorable flights to date have been sitting next to Jeremy and experiencing this superb instruction, something that, I believe, you just wouldn't get at other institutions.

When I graduated from NAC, I managed to get a job in General Aviation dropping skydivers. I am now employed as a Second Officer with Cathay Pacific Airways. I truly believe that a number of the reasons I have progressed to this position and the timeframe I have achieved it in is due to the excellent training, experience and mentoring that I received as a student at NAC.

Go for it! And, enjoy every second and take each and every opportunity that you get presented with at Nelson Aviation College.

George Hallwright - CPL, MEIR and 'C' Cat Instructor Rating Graduate

I started my training with Nelson Aviation College in 2015 and finished in June 2017 having achieved my PPL, CPL, MEIR and 'C' Cat Instructor Rating.

Choosing to do my training with Nelson Aviation College was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made. The school offers an amazing ground theory course which prepares you beyond the required standard for all your exams due to their excellent team of instructors who are willing to freely share their abundance of knowledge and experience with you both in the plane and in the classroom.

Nelson Aviation College has equipped me with the skills, knowledge and reputation required for a successful career in aviation.

Nelson Aviation College will give you more than just a licence, it gives you friends and experiences that will last a life time, I would happily recommend the school to anyone wanting to venture into a career in the aviation industry.

Josh Collecutt - CPL, MEIR and 'C' Cat Instructor Rating Graduate

Choosing a flight training organisation is one of the biggest decisions any pilot will make. A fundamental aspect of a desirable aviation college is that the quality of education and commitment to excellence is incomparable. After spending a combined two years at Nelson Aviation College it was evident that these traits were emphasised and it allowed me to receive, what I think to be, some of the greatest flight training New Zealand has to offer.

The environment at the college is one that is very sought after. Every student is treated equally and with respect. Learning to fly isn�t easy and has its challenges but the instructors at NAC are all very approachable and willing to go the extra mile to help their students to achieve their dreams.

NAC has set the standards high for flight training in New Zealand and I am extremely proud to say that I have trained at Nelson Aviation College. For anyone looking to begin your flight training or even building more experience, I would highly recommend Nelson Aviation College.

Ying-Hsiu (Hugh) Huang - CPL(A), MEIR and Airline Preparation Strand Graduate

The Airline Integration Course (AIC) is a very beneficial course for students to prepare for the airline interview. All you need to show to an airline is that you are a professional pilot who is good at leadership, teamwork, communication and multi-tasking skills. You cannot just say you are good. You need to provide examples to make them believe in you.

It is my honour to be trained with NAC and I will recommend NAC to my friends because NAC is always training beyond the standard.

Aden Arid - CPL, MEIR, C Category Instructor Rating Graduate

The C-Cat course allowed me to appreciate the deeper details of flying. Having to dig deeper into the books really helped in the long run - I have once been asked by a training Captain to explain a complex aerodynamic scenario, to which I then responded using my principles of flight knowledge gained from C-Cat course. The Instructional Techniques have also helped me develop an appreciative understanding of human learning, crew resource management and teamwork. I truly enjoy continuing to use these techniques in the airlines to establish a shared mental model in the flight deck.

NAC will always hold a very special place in my heart, filled with wonderful memories that I often reminisce. In my quiet downtimes, I still vividly recall the long summer days and chilly winters and the flying in between. The people I have come across in the college were so wonderful, professional and full of character; it made my overall experience with NAC a wholesome chapter.

To the current and future students of NAC, I have this advice, imparted to me by one of my instructors during some of my most challenging moments: If it's easy, everyone would be doing it. Never give up.

Today, I am eternally grateful for having chosen NAC to show and teach me the wonders of aviation. If I had to do it all over again, NAC would still be my choice as a training provider without hesitation.

Sam Whiddett - CPL, MEIR, Airline Preparation

I have no doubt that beginning my flight training in February 2018 with NAC will be one of the defining points in my flying career. Having always wanted to be an Air New Zealand Pilot, the choice of a PFTO was an obvious one and I firmly believe that NAC stands ahead of the pack in providing it's students the very best training the country has to offer.

The instructors were professional, motivated, encouraging and above all, friendly. Students always felt they could approach any staff member for help or even just for a chat from the most junior C Cat. through to the top of senior management. Classes are set at a perfect pace meaning that no one is left behind without being too slow for the top academics and the flying environment is an awesome blend of terrain with fantastic cross country flights in every direction so there's always somewhere new to go.

Thanks to both the quality of the training program and the people I've met at NAC I am sure that the College has set me up for a successful career in flying and was a key factor in me finding my first flying job within two months of finishing my training. The choice of flight school is one of the most important decisions a pilot can make in their career and doing the homework before making such a key decision is vital. I thoroughly recommend Nelson Aviation College for any student who wants to start their career in Aviation.