Flight Test NZ, Celebrating 22 years in the aviation industry

Flight Test NZ was established 1998 and is celebrating 22 years in the aviation industry. Owned and managed by Steve Kingsbury, who also is joint shareholder of Drone Trust with Michael Read and Bevan Lewell, FTNZ is a CAA-certified Part 141 aviation training organisation.

The company has four areas of operation:

Flight testing of manned aviation pilots for licence issue and ongoing competency checks. From small beginnings of three flight examiners the company has grown to engage 37 flight examiners throughout New Zealand providing testing services for flying schools, aeroclubs, small and medium sized aircraft and helicopter operators. Thousands of flight assessments have been conducted over the years.

Specialised aviation training courses – instructional techniques which is teaching flight instructors how to instruct. Examiner training- training flight examiners how to examine. These advanced aviation courses are required by CAA for any pilot who wishes to expand their career as an instructor or flight examiner.

Flight simulators. FTNZ operates simulators for flying schools and aeroclubs throughout New Zealand. These simulators are used to train pilots on instrument flying. As technology improvise so have the use of flight simulators to allow pilots to train efficiently and more cost effectively.

Drone training. In 2015 FTNZ expanded into drone training by providing classroom-based theory courses and testing of drone pilots to enable them to gain their RPAS pilot certificates. These activities dovetailed nicely into FTNZ existing services. Using the wide aviation experience and culture in the company FTNZ was able to leverage its knowledge into the drone industry to create robust standards. Four of our six drone examiners fly aircraft as well as drones so were able to incorporate the disciplines of airline and general aviation into the training of drone pilots.

While classroom courses are still provided, the need for online courses became apparent to make the training more efficient and cost effective. When Michael and I joined forces to develop Drone Trust this became a reality in 2018. FTNZ, as the Part 141 aviation training organisation, provides the CAA approved drone courses to DT and authorises the issue of RPAS Pilot Certificates. DT provides the training platform, IT, support and administration services.

In conjunction with DT we have developed and operate various courses to meet the needs of the drone industry.

From its long history FTNZ, and now DT, enjoy a strong relationship with CAA. Its important that the public are confident that both manned aviation and drones are operated safely. FTNZ and DT are committed to this goal.