Kuranui College aviation pupils, Olivier Sandall, left, and Amon Terry. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Two Kuranui College pupils have had an opportunity to spread their wings, swapping their usual gliders for powered aircraft.

Amon Terry and Olivier Sandall were two of the eight Kuranui Aviation Club members who attended the New Zealand International Commercial Pilots Academy Secondary Schools Open Day in Whanganui, where they both won half-hour discovery flights.

Amon and Olivier were two of the three pupils from 40 attending schools who were able to experience the day from an entirely new angle.

“It was pretty awesome! It was my first time flying a powered plane which was cool.

“I’ve done gliding with the club before not powered flying,” Amon said.

“They gave us all a special challenge.

“The three people who could make and throw a paper plane the furthest got a flight in a Cessna, so I just knew I had to do it.”

Kuranui was the only school from the Greater Wellington region to be at the day. The group was given a guided tour of the aerodrome and facilities, experiencing what it would be like to go through commercial
pilot training.

For some of the pupils who are exploring the possibility of becoming a commercial pilot, this was a unique opportunity.

“We got to use the simulator they had there, look at the planes in the hangers, and see how they train commercial pilots,” Amon said.

Everyone on the Kuranui course has flown in the college’s glider before, but this was the first time many of the aviation pupils had been able to explore powered aircraft.

The experience will help them with their Level 2 NCEA aviation course, by giving them some more hands-on experience with powered aircraft and the procedures which need to be undertaken in the industry.

Kuranui College is one of only three colleges in New Zealand to teach aviation, and the only one to offer glider flight training at NCEA.

All the members of the Kuranui Aviation Club are aiming for their solo gliding licences this year.