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Wakatipu aero club - what happened?

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Wakatipu aero club - what happened?

Old 29th Dec 2020, 23:11
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Wakatipu aero club - what happened?

I read they were evicted from ZQN and were going to restart at a new airfield in Kingston? Did this ever happen?
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 05:31
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Try Google.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 11:44
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I've have tried google funnily enough.

Googled "Wakatipu Aero Club" and found from the top 10 results: 6 were clearly out of date (club still at ZQN). 4 were about the supposed move to Kingston.

?????????????????????????? -- Link is an unrelated page all in (I think) Japanese (not sure why it's coming as all ????s - it was the old website link for wakatipuaeroclub.com)

https://aviationvoice.com/ranking-of...ipu-aero-club/ -- Seems to be a bit out of date if the club doesn't exist

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queens...99s-new-flyers -- Suggests they are going to move to Kingston airfield

https://www.stuff.co.nz/otago/100502...fter-two-years -- Suggests they have moved to Kingston airfield

AIP New Zealand -- Can't see any chart listed for Kingston airfield (maybe just not in the aip...)

Google Maps doesn't have "Kingston Airfield" listed -- though it does have a link to Ace Aviation which looks like a private school with a single Piper Pacer

Flight school Queenstown NZ?
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-- These are the only PPRuNe posts on the subject since 2015. One says to try Wanaka, the other says that Wakatipu Aero Club is now at Kingston.

Now I wouldn't normally put so much effort into an enormous reply to make a point. But really, if we are just going to "try google" for everything, why bother with the forum at all?
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:27
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It would seem they are still operating as they are listed on the Flying New Zealand website. See here; https://flyingnz.co.nz/where.html

Ace Aviation from memory is owned by the CFI who is listed for the WAC. There is a Piper Pacer listed among the aircraft available at the club, I'd say it's the same aircraft as you mention.

It's my guess they are operating from Kingston.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:28
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Screwed over internally and by a CEO of QAC. 99% defunct. For all training pilots are sent to Alexandra or Wanaka by the locals.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:41
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Originally Posted by Konev View Post
Screwed over internally and by a CEO of QAC. 99% defunct. For all training pilots are sent to Alexandra or Wanaka by the locals.
Who'd have thunk it? A thriving organisation driven off the airfield that they would have been instrumental in making it into what it was.

If my experience a few years with one of the QAC managers is anything to go by I'm not really surprised. I was given the impression nothing smaller than a bizjet was worthy of landing at NZQN. Light aircraft were just a nuisance.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:44
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That opinion changed with the CEO in question departing. The death of the CFI was the beginning of the end. You didnt bold the 'Internally' part. that has just as much to do with it all as QAC.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:51
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Originally Posted by Konev View Post
That opinion changed with the CEO in question departing. The death of the CFI was the beginning of the end. You didnt bold the 'Internally' part. that has just as much to do with it all as QAC.
I don't know about any of the internal politics and was just commenting on my experience, hence no bolding of the "internally" bit. Looks like said manager may have departed in 2019 which may or may not coincide with the CEO departure. Got the distinct impression he personally thought light aircraft got in their way.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 03:55
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From the tone of this article you'd have thought QAC was out to help the aero club. https://www.stuff.co.nz/otago/100502...fter-two-years
Perhaps not.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 06:15
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27/09, the article you mention refers to Colin Keel, the airport CEO who succeeded the late Scott Paterson, who did all the damage to the club. Keel is far more enlightened than Paterson, but by the time he arrived on the scene the club was almost beyond salvation. Kingston looked promising as the best way to regenerate the club but I think it turned out to be a bridge too far.

As Konev has alluded, there were some internal issues in the club after the accidental death of the CFI in 2012, but it was Paterson's refusal to renew the club's lease that was the death knell. Paterson had no respect for the club even though it ran a reputable flying school and a perfectly viable Part 135 operation.

As for the OP's question, I don't know if the club is still functioning in any form as I haven't lived in Queenstown for almost four years, but if he would like to PM me I could make some inquiries from my contacts in the local industry.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 08:19
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On Track,

Thanks for the clarification. The person I was talking about was neither of the two people you mentioned. Pleased to hear the new guy is much more enlightened.

The club indeed did run a very reputable flying school and a well respected Part 135 operation, particularly so back in C C's day and even after he left.

I could never figure out why the club was being forced out. It's so sad when egos and agendas get in the way of what should happen. It's sadder still when organisations do it to themselves, as in this case apparently, though it would seem they had some external help as well.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 23:56
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27/09, be in no doubt that it was Scott Paterson who killed off the Wakatipu Aero Club. The death of Julianne Kramer in 2012 was a massive blow for the club and led to a period of uncertainty but it was not the cause of the club's demise.

The other guilty party was the Queenstown Lakes District Council which, although being the airport's majority shareholder, was quite content to let Auckland outsiders run the show and let the club wither away.
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