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Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

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Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

Old 2nd Apr 2015, 15:58
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Northern Australia
Posts: 20
Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

Hi everyone,

I'm heading to NZ from AUS in July this year and providing the weather is clear, I'm looking to private hire a single and conduct a nice little VFR jaunt to Milford Sound. I've never flown in NZ before, but my understanding is that providing I conduct a check flight with the operator, the Trans Tasman agreement allows me to fly privately in NZ?

Can anyone share with me some tips about flying around Queenstown and Milford sound? And possibly any flying procedures that differ from AUS? Thanks guys!
Shoulda_beena_tradie is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2015, 19:46
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UAE
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Unless things have changed from when I learnt to fly in Queenstown back in 2001 no one is going to hire you an aircraft to fly to Milford unless you have completed the 50 hour mountain flying course conducted by Wakatipu Aero Club. You may be able to hire an aircraft with an instructor though for the flight. A beautiful part of the world, enjoy!
Killer Loop is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:19
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Baghdaddy Airport
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Think you will have to apply for a 'Validation Permit' to fly a NZ reg aircraft on your Oz licence plus you would have to complete a BFR once here (CAA requirement as part of the Validation Permit'. Application forms can be found on the NZCAA website somewhere. If you are only going to do the one flight it would probably be cheaper and easier just to hire a dual flight (instructor) where you get to fly and also with someone who knows the area and local conditions. Its not a forgiving part of the country if the weather turns.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:28
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
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I think you'll find that it's a bit more complicated than that, Sbt

The TTMRA is about occupations, not private recreational activities. My recollection is that for non-IFR private pilots you have to apply to the NZ CAA and do a check flight and test with a recognised CAA examiner. There are some differences, such as the NZ version of the hemispherical rule slices the sphere East/West rather than North/South. But it shouldn't be too hard. Have a look at the NZ CAA website - that's where I found the info when I was planning a jolly across 'the dutch'.

As KL notes, finding someone who'll hire you an aircraft to fly into Milford Sound is a very different question. They have real mountains in NZ.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:33
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Baghdaddy Airport
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cream puff

I assume from your location that your operating under FAA licence and therefore the rules would have been different for you as your FAA is non Icao. Validation Permit allows a pilot (PPL CPL or ATPL) whose licence is ICAO recognised, to fly in NZ, a NZ registered aircraft for up to six months. Regards
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:38
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
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"Validation Permit" - that's the gizmo I was trying to recall.

bagdadkiwi has nailed it, Sbt.

(Here in Utah we don't need no commie ICAO crap. )
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:57
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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To get the validation permit you have to do what basically amounts to a New Zealand BFR, so it can be done relatively easily in one flight especially if you are in current practice, but it is a bit more than the usual few circuits that would be required for a "check flight" if you were just looking at hiring an aeroplane from a different operator to who you normally fly with in your home country.

The TTMRA, as far as I understand it, just means that Aussie CPLs don't have to jump through the usual hoops that are involved in converting an overseas CPL to a NZ one (e.g. a requirement to actually do a CPL flight test, have 10 hours of mountain flying training etc.)

I'm not a local to that part of the country but the couple of times I have flown in there really served to emphasise how it could catch you out - two or three hours difference on a day where the conditions at Queenstown are completely stable all day can turn MF from a beautiful calm airfield into a washing machine that has you questioning how tightly the wings are bolted on. Not to mention, if you get a nice day, you can expect to encounter a very large number of GA aeroplanes and helicopters operating in what amounts to a pretty confined space; the mandatory briefing prior to flying in there is to protect against mid air collisions as much as it is to protect against people burying themselves in the side of a mountain.

My advice would be don't bother trying to do it solo - take an instructor and then above all else you can concentrate on enjoying the scenery!
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 20:59
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

Hey guys thanks for the replies, I think I will go with the dual option. I did a little more research since I posted this and it seems that option works best. Cheers!!
Shoulda_beena_tradie is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2015, 01:33
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Melbourne
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The TTMRA does not cover PPLs.

Even if you have a CPL there is quite a lot of bureaucracy involved.

In your situation the only really practical option is to fly dual with a local instructor.

Suggest you contact the Wakatipu Aero Club at Queenstown - [email protected]
On Track is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2015, 02:06
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

Will do! Cheers
Shoulda_beena_tradie is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2015, 03:28
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tarcoola SA
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Flying Queenstown and Milford Sound

I haven't been into Milford but I would recommend flying out of Wanaka via the Matukituki river past Mt aspiring then down the Dart river into the head of lake Wakatipu. That's an amazing flight. Then across to Milford from there.
wicks747 is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2015, 03:45
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cans
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a few years back I went over for warbirds over wanaka and did a flight around the Queenstown area with the Wakatipu Aero Club. Like a few have said it was just easier to go dual rather than deal with the paperwork for just one flight and the guys from the aero club were awesome to deal with
hillbillybob is offline  

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