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Auckland Aero Club

Papakura, New Zealand
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Auckland Aero Club
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Gwyn wrote a review Dec 2019
Auckland, New Zealand15 contributions6 helpful votes
My husband used to do a bit of flying in his university years and would sometimes follow small planes with his eyes once spotted in the sky. So I thought that introductory 1-hour Cessna flight might be a good idea for a birthday gift. And it was indeed! For me, as a passenger, it was an exciting experience, but I can only guess how thrilling it was for my husband in the pilot seat - he did the taking off, the lading and most of the on route piloting (though Gavin was always watching just in case). TIME ARRANGEMENTS At first, I was worried as my husband's work schedule is pretty unpredictable, even for the weekends. But Gavin, our instructor, was most helpful and flexible so we could finally manage that secret booking :) BEFORE THE FLIGHT The Aero Club is situated in cute green area, it was nice driving there, and easy to find. The pre-departure formalities didn't take long but once in the field, Gavin took all necessary precautions and checks before we took off. He is really great with explaining stuff, we did not have any difficulty with understanding the instructions. A briefing was exact and to the point, with key points highlighted. THE FLIGHT I forgot to breathe for a moment when we were taking off - that easy and effortless was the take off. The plane was in spotless condition and we enjoyed the best of the weather, so we just sucked in stunning views: South Auckland, CBD with its Sky Tower, Rangitoto and Waiheke along with very informative comments from Gavin. I will not dwell on this part as it's much better to experience it than to read about it. AFTER FLIGHT Once we landed, Gavin took control for taxing. As we exited the plane, there was a short debrief, and off we went with a flight timing spreadsheet marked for 1 hour. Should my husband decide to get a pilot license (and he is thinking about it now!), that one hour would be counted towards preparation. AFTERTASTE I could proudly say I was a gift genius, never seen my husband so happy, literally beaming. It was definitely worth it, to put it modestly. And HUGE THANKS TO GAVIN, who further brightened our experience in all possible ways! Definitely recommend to those who are in love with the sky, or big dreamers, or just want to experience something totally amazing!
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Jayelmica N wrote a review Aug 2018
21 contributions1 helpful vote
It was definitely one for the books! The one-hour flying session makes me want to go back and actually learn how to fly. I could actually feel that I was a pilot because most of the time I'm all alone with the controls including take off (yeap I did take by myself) and the pilot was just busy taking a video of me haha. However, at first, I was a bit annoyed because the actual session was half an hr later than the scheduled session and the only staff that was there wasn't friendly enough to tell us whats going on. But as soon as we went flying it was all goods.
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Date of experience: August 2018
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Shanna Henson wrote a review Jul 2017
Auckland Central, New Zealand57 contributions14 helpful votes
Well priced, good food & great coffee and a nice view. A little town and country. Hear service and fast despite being very busy
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Date of experience: May 2017
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BWfromIthaca wrote a review Feb 2016
Ithaca, New York102 contributions44 helpful votes
I'm not sure people realize that non-pilots can rent a plane and see the stunning Auckland area from the air. You go with a flight instructor, of course, but for most of the time you'll be at the controls of the plane, flying your own sightseeing tour. The typical scenic tour departs from the Ardmore Aerodrome near Papakura, south of Auckland Int'l. You head out east toward the Coromandel Peninsula, turn north past the west shore of Rangitoto Island, fly up Waitemata Harbour toward the Auckland CBD, make a turn around the Sky Tower, and head back south over Waiheke Island. The flight takes about 45 minutes, and is at about 2,500 feet, which is a great altitude for sightseeing. I should say that I'm a U.S.-licensed pilot, which is what gave me the idea of taking out a plane and instructor for a sightseeing trip. But as I was chatting with my instructor, she told me that heaps of non-pilots come down to Auckland Aero Club for rides. I did the whole flight from takeoff to landing, but my guess is that non-pilots would probably take the controls pretty soon after takeoff, and then probably allow the instructor to do the landing. Maybe it depends on how well you're flying! Anyway, I wanted to let people know that instead of riding along on an aerial tour while someone else does the flying, you can do it yourself. In terms of safety, the planes were extremely well maintained and my instructor was top-notch - very thorough and professional. Ardmore Airport is pretty busy for a non-towered field, but everyone follows standard traffic patterns and it's perfectly safe.It's surprisingly affordable: My plane + instructor was about NZD 400 for 1.1 hrs. of flight time.
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Date of experience: January 2016
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