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Helping Young Eagles soar

Developed by Flying NZ as a starting point for Kiwi youth interested in pursuing a career in aviation, the Young Eagles programme helps ensure the lifeblood of many provincial aero clubs remains strong.

Designed to introduce young Kiwis to the experience of flying, the Young Eagles programme has been developed by Flying NZ and is run in conjunction with more than 15 provincial aero clubs throughout the country.

Developed for students between the ages of 12 and 17, the Young Eagles programme is a starting point for anyone interested in flying, whether for fun or as a potential career.

How Flying NZ's Young Eagles programme is creating an aviation industry for the future...

Fostering enthusiasm for flying

“The programme is deliberately designed to expose students to all aspects of aviation,” says Auckland Aero Club President, John Brandon. “They would typically go over to the control tower and spend time there, go to Air New Zealand engineering, and get hands-on experience at our maintenance provider on the airfield here.”

Soon after joining the programme at a club, each Young Eagle participant is paired with an instructor or Flight Leader. They show students how to pre-flight an aircraft, guiding them through the safety procedures, after which the Young Eagles put on their headsets and strap in while the Flight Leader talks them through pre-take-off checks before lining up on the runway for a flight.

Arden Jennings

“Crombie Lockwood co-sponsors the Young Eagles programme because we see it is a way that we can assist young people to get into aviation. It's the Young Eagles who are the future of aviation in New Zealand.”   

 Arden Jennings, Aviation Insurance Specialist

A pathway to the aviation industry

For many aero clubs, the Young Eagles initiative forms a cornerstone of ensuring that the next generation of club members, commercial pilots, and aviation specialists are coming through.

“The aero club movement is very important for the aviation industry because it’s the Young Eagles who are the future of aviation in New Zealand, as far as pilots are concerned,” says Crombie Lockwood Aviation Specialist, Arden Jennings.

Beyond flying itself, Young Eagles participants have the opportunity to meet and speak with aviation professionals – from commercial pilots, to engineers, to Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel – about what they do and how they got there.

“Crombie Lockwood co-sponsors the Young Eagles programme because we see it is a way we can assist young people to get into aviation,” says Arden.

But at its core, the Young Eagles programme is more than just a way to get Kiwi kids up in the air.

“What you have here is a social dimension, it’s a place where people want to be: to chat and exchange stories with friends, rather than go through a high-pressure learning environment,” says John Brandon.

An engaging experience 

Harry Cooper is a young Aucklander taking part in the Young Eagles programme through the Auckland Aero Club. It has helped him distil exactly how he wants to make the most of his enjoyment of aviation.

“A few years ago, I was selected for the Young Eagles and now I’m really embracing the aviation industry and flight training myself and attending events with the Young Eagles,” he says.

“After the Young Eagles programme and school, I am hoping to join the Air Force and be a pilot for the Super Hercules aircraft that they have delivered. I think that would be a really cool job for the future.”

Harry Cooper from the Young Eagles programme

Specialists in aviation insurance

Crombie Lockwood has had a long history of providing specialist insurance advice to the aviation industry. There is a wide breadth of experience across our aviation team, which advises clients in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific in managing risk and offering guidancefor all sorts of businesses.

“Being aviation focused, our clients vary from engineers to airline pilots, but also include a lot of aero clubs, light aircraft, sport aircraft, helicopters, gliders. We service the whole range of aviation,” says Arden.

Most general insurance policies exclude aviation-related activities, but we can offer insurance developed specifically for businesses connected to the industry.

“Crombie Lockwood now have a group of specialised aviation insurance brokers. And the importance of that is, that they know not only just to insure aircraft but all the other covers that are required. That makes the Crombie Lockwood specialist aviation side very important for the peace of mind of our clients in the industry,” concludes Arden.

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Published November 2022