Located on the Taieri Plains, the Otago Aero Club has been fostering aviation since 1927.

The Otago Aero Club is the oldest aero club in New Zealand dating back to 1927. Taieri airfield has a rich history and was once an active RNZAF base.

The Otago Aero Club is run by its own members who are all very keen aviation enthusiasts. The clubroom facilities provide a great environment for all members to relax and reflect on past experiences and common interests. Many of our members have been flying here for years and can provide a lot of invaluable experience and tips for any pilot.

There are approximately 90 private and commercial aircraft housed and operated from Taieri Airfield, and the friendly club spirit is evident in all our members. We have a monthly ‘fly-away’ to a destination around Otago, Southland, or Canterbury which are well attended and popular with our members and their friends and family.

Instruction at OAC

General Aviation

The Otago Aero Club has been providing GA Flight Instruction to our membership for many years. Our team of highly experienced flight instructors have many thousands of hours local flying experience. Our staff are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals through personalised training that is flexible to suit your needs. The instructors come from a range of backgrounds with different flying experiences giving you more opportunities and skills to take advantage of.

If you wish to book a lesson towards your Private or Commercial Pilots Licence please contact us on:

Phone: 03 489 6158
Email: info@otagoaeroclub.co.nz

John Penno, Chief Flying Instructor (A Category)
027 486 2199

Joe Calder, C-Category Instructor
021 247 3232

Marcus Wills, C-Category Instructor
027 309 2220


If you are looking at flying for a recreational pastime, then a Microlight Certificate maybe a better option for you. The Otago Aero Club has 5 experienced SAC microlight instructors available. Combined they have many thousands of hours behind the controls of light aircraft and have flown the length of New Zealand many times. They will ensure you get the most from your flying experience no matter if you want a single U-Fly experience or a full Advanced Microlight Certificate. Our instructors are rated on a variety of common microlights so if you are after a type-rating or instruction in a new aircraft that you have constructed then give our team a call.

John Penno, Chief Flying Instructor, Microlight Instructor
027 486 2199

Alan Wright, ATO -  Senior Microlight Instructor
027 434 0169

Colin Chalmers, ATO - Microlight Instructor
027 487 3078

Warwick Sims, Microlight Instructor
021 585 675

OAC Executive

Meet the executive behind the Otago Aero Club, the organisation that has been fostering aviation in Otago since 1927:

Colin Chalmers, President, Light Sport Instructor - Email Colin

Pieter van Ammers, Vice President & PPL Pilot - Email Pieter

Alan Wright, Club Captain & Light Sport Instructor - Email Alan

Greg Walsh, PPL Pilot - Email Greg

Warwick Sims, PPL & Light Sport Instructor - Email Warwick

Warwick Reid, Light Sport Pilot - Email Warwick

Ross Price, PPL Pilot - Email Ross

Aircraft and Rates

Our fleet consists of a variety of aircraft that are used for private hire and flight training.

ZK-EKM Cessna 152

ZK-FWS Piper PA-28-181 Archer II

ZK-OAC Vans RV-12 (100hp)

ZK-KPA Micro Aviation Bantam B22J (85hp)



ZK-EKM Cessna 152

ZK-FWS   PA-28-181

ZK-OAC   Vans RV-12

ZK-KPA    Bantam B22J

Solo Member





Dual Member







(03) 489–6158


Stedman Road
North Taieri
Dunedin, NZ, 9092



M–F 9am–12pm, 2pm-5pm

Sa–Su 9am–5pm



The ability to control an aircraft is an exciting and challenging skill to learn. Taking the controls for the first time, completing your first takeoff and piloting your first solo flight are all experiences and memories that will be with you for life.

The Otago Aero Club, located on the Taieri Plains, is a great place to learn to fly. We have an excellent airfield with light traffic volume meaning you will rarely have a delay getting airborne, maximising the amount of flying time for your money. When you are ready to operate in controlled airspace we have the Dunedin control zone just minutes away. The large variety of terrain ranging from beaches, valleys, hills, mountains and plains all within 15 minutes flying time, make the Otago Aero Club the ideal place to learn to fly.

Training is personalised to your requirements in a relaxed club environment. Our professional and friendly instructors will ensure you enjoy your experience at the Otago Aero Club.

We offer training for Private and Commercial Pilots Licences as well as basic to advanced Light Sport Instruction.



1. What are the Medical requirements?

You must obtain a medical certificate before you can fly solo and to apply for a NZ pilots licence. Medical requirements in New Zealand depend on age and the class of licence you wish to obtain. For a Private Licence you require a Class 2 Medical Certificate and a Commercial Licence you require a Class 1. Each Medical certificate has to be renewed periodically. To find out more about Aviation medicals please contact our local aviation doctor. To obtain a SAC Microlight Certificate you must complete the SAC medical certificate, any GP is able to do this for you and the guidelines are based on a Heavy Transport vehicle licence. The form is available on the SAC website.

2. Where do I get a pilots medical?

We have a local aviation medical examiner that can issue you with your pilots medical and can be found at:

Dr Robert Morton
21 Inglis Street
Ph: 489 5135

3. I wear glasses can I still learn to fly?

Yes you can fly with glasses however there are certain requirements you must adhere to like carrying a spare set of glasses with you at all times whilst flying.

4. How do I become a Pilot?

The First step is to Contact us at the Aero Club and get involved and join as a member. Please see our page on becoming a pilot or download how to become a pilot from CAA.

5. What Does it Cost?

The main cost is rental of the aircraft, which can vary a little due to fluctuations in fuel price and other variables. Contact us for up to date prices for our aircraft. Other costs include your Pilots Medical, Theory examinations, study material and Flight Test fees.

6. How long does it take?

Time can vary and is dependant on a number of factors, such as your own availability and weather. On average students at the Otago Aero Club take between six and twelve months to complete their PPL part time. Training is very much tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle. Talk to one of our Instructors or Senior Staff and they will help you structure a training schedule to suits your needs.

7. How long is my licence valid?

Pilot licences are valid for the lifetime of the holder however there are currency requirements and a biennial flight review, to ensure you are still operating the aircraft safely.

8. What do you mean by 'current' or 'currency'?

Before exercising the privileges of their licence all pilots must ensure they hold a current medical, current BFR (biennial flight review) and are current on the aircraft type they intend to fly. Currency on type requires at least 3 take off and landings in the last 90 days.

13. I hold a foreign pilots licence, can I fly in New Zealand?

Yes you can. Please look at our information under visiting pilots

9. What is the best time of year for flying in Dunedin?

You can fly anytime of the year here in Dunedin. There are some seasonal effects to the area yet generally we are able to fly on most days, all year.

10. What is a Biennial Flight Review or BFR?

A BFR is a 2 yearly flight review that covers all flying manoeuvres and pilot decision making for your level of licence. This is to ensure that all pilots are still operating the aircraft safely, making appropriate decisions and is up to speed with the current rules and regulations. Our instructors are qualified to carry out this flight assessment.

11. Who is the CAA?

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is the regulatory body which exists to govern aviation in New Zealand and ensure aviation safety.

12. English is not my first language, could this be a problem?

To fly in New Zealand you must be assessed to have a good ability to speak, read and understand the English Language as English is the dominant language in Aviation worldwide. Our Instructors will assess you as you learn and all pilots must pass a formal test for English Language Proficiency before applying for their licence.


Farewell Sam 

All to soon its time to say farewell to our main GA instructor Sam Hanning. Sam has returned to Mainland Air to advance his flying career by building twin time and instructing in his "spare" time.

Sam has been a real asset and has certainly attracted a lot of new members to the club. We shall miss his smiling face and cheeky grin around the clubrooms. We wish you well for the future Sam.

Sams replacement Marcus Wills has now joined us. Please make yourself known to him and make him welcome at our club.

Wings and Wheels 2018

With all the lovely weather over summer it was a shame that the 11th February 2018 decided to rain on our parade, or more specifically it rained heavily in the city from the early morning discouraging many of the public from coming out to enjoy the much nicer weather on the Taieri. The weather also prevented many aviators from further afield visiting on the day.  Despite that we had reasonable crowd numbers to watch and participate in our Wings and Wheels Spectacular.

This year we had a record number of food vendors and stall holders attending and a great display of vehicles on display. As usual the free kids entertainment proved to be a very popular draw card. 

On the Wings side, the  replica Spitfires of Ivan Campbell and Gary Cotterell were the show stoppers. These beautiful aircraft hail from Loburn in North Canterbury. Ivan's is powered by a 420 horsepower Chevrolet V8 and Gary's by a flat 8 Jabiru engine.


Some of the bigger "kids" even got to sit in the Spitfires as long as they were careful with the controls. Pictured here young Alan Wright of Mosgiel dreams of one day becoming a pilot.

Some of the bigger "kids" even got to sit in the Spitfires as long as they were careful with the controls. Pictured here young Alan Wright of Mosgiel dreams of one day becoming a pilot.

The U-Fly, joy ride and helicopter flights were again very popular and carried on well into the afternoon until the cloud closed in. 

We express a huge thank you to all of our sponsors and volunteers who helped make this day a success. In particular we thank Caroline Walker and Wayne Cunningham for the months that they spent planning the event and bringing everything and everybody together on the day.


ZK-EKM is now on-line (August 2017)

No flying training organisation would be complete without a trusty Cessna 152 in its fleet. Several months have passed since our beloved ZK-EOJ left our skies and we now welcome its replacement ZK-EKM to our ranks. The flying rates are the same as EOJ's were. Our instructors have declared this to be a particularly fine example of a 152. Book yourself a flight and check it out yourself.


Farewell to Nick Reid. Hello Sam Hanning

Since the departure of our previous C-Cat instructor Henry Tilson, Nick Reid has been filling the vacated instructor role. Nick has recently passed his B-Cat instructor rating and is now moving on to greener pastures. He will be re-acquainting himself with ZK-EOJ as it is one of the training aircraft at the establishment where he will be instructing.

Sam Hanning has taken over Nicks role within the club. Sam, like his predecessor, comes to us having completed his training at Mainland Air. Make yourself known to Sam and welcome him to our club.


The end of an era (May 2017)

It's always sad to part company with an old friend, even sadder to part with two old friends. Both of our Cessna aircraft have been sold and have left their Taieri home for other parts of the country. ZK-EOJ  will continue training pilots from its new base at Matamata for The Middle Earth Flying School whilst ZK-DXK has moved to the Rotorua area.

I'm sure that many past and present club members will have many fond memories of learning to fly and flying around in these two wonderful aircraft. 

For the moment ZK-FWS is being used to fill the void left by the departing aircraft. Watch this space for a replacement two seat training aircraft.  

Meet the new ZK-OAC

After many years of faithful service we have reluctantly retired our Rans S6 from active training service. The Rans has been sold to one of our club members and now bears the registration of ZK-TJE.

Its replacement comes in the form of a Vans RV-12

The new ZK-OAC. Vans RV-12

The new ZK-OAC. Vans RV-12

This is an ideal training aircraft for pilots of all abilities. For those GA pilots that have yearned to experience the performance capabilities of an advanced microlight aircraft we now offer the ideal solution for you.

Make a booking with one of our instructors today.


Micro Aviation B22J now on-line and available for hire

ZK-KPA offers an even more affordable way to fly. At only $90 /Hr solo this may be the cheapest flying you ever will do. This beautiful little aircraft will get you up close and personal with nature and help fine tune your flying skills at the same time. You really haven't flown until you have flown a Bantam. Haven't got a rating ... no problem. Contact one of our instructors and they will make it happen. GA pilots, you don't need a microlight certificate to fly this machine, just get a type rating with a GA instructor and you are good to go. Book your flight on the club's Paper Aviator booking system now.



Gore ATC Cadets Visit - December 2014

The annual visit from the 28 SQN Gore Cadets went incredibly well with great weather for the weekends flying. It was truly impressive to see such great attitudes from all attending. With Over 25 combined flying hours achieved by the cadets over the two days, everyone went away with a great sense of achievement. 

 A special thanks to Lindsay Young for organising the event.

We look forward to hosting you all again next year!

AOPA Fly-in Timaru - November 2014

A stunning day made the perfect excuse to head north on Sunday for the Aircraft Owner's & Pilot's Association get-together. A fantastic turnout of over 20 aircraft from around the country made it to Timaru. With lunch provided, an array of interesting aircraft around and the museum open it made for a truly great day. 

A special thanks to the team in Timaru for hosting.

If you are interested in getting involved with our trips away simply contact us today! 

It's Cross Country Season! 

With warmer weather and longer days approaching fast, this summer is the perfect season to get out and explore the back yard. On Saturday we were fortunate enough to venture into Omarama where the experts at Glide Omarama were kind enough to give myself and our student a tour around the facilities.

The gliders onsite are truly a work of art and the size of the bigger, highly efficient designs is always amazing. Our visit also included an interesting insight into reading the weather from the perspective of a glider pilot.

Already inspired, our next visit will have to include a soar around the area.

Special thanks to Toby Read for showing us around.

If you're keen to get out and explore this summer contact one of our instructors today!



Otago Aero Club

Mail To:

PO Box 25

For U-Fly's Call Marcus Wills: 027 309 2220
Office Ph: 03 489 6158
Email: info@otagoaeroclub.co.nz

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