Massey University has shown its commitment to having a world-leading aviation school with the announcement of an agreement to buy 14 new aircraft for its School of Aviation.
The purchase of two high-performance twin-engine Diamond Aircraft 42 (DA42) and 12 DA40 single-engine planes will keep the school at the forefront of pilot training in New Zealand.
Massey is New Zealand's only university with an aviation school and one of just a few worldwide to offer degrees in aviation with professional pilot training incorporated.
Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says he is delighted with the purchase, which reflects a major commitment by the University to the school. “We're looking forward to great things in terms of the programmes we can provide for aviation students both here and around the world,” he says.
The aircraft will operate from the Milson Flight Systems Centre at Palmerston North Airport. It is expected that the first four aircraft will be delivered by the end of May and the entire new fleet will be in place before the end of the year.
School General Manager Ashok Poduval says Massey will now be the first flight training organisation in New Zealand with an entire fleet of training aircraft that have state-of-the-art Garmin 1000 cockpit display systems that will enhance safety and improve training quality.
“By the time our students are ready to join the airlines, most aircraft, including general aviation aircraft, will have glass cockpits with sophisticated automated navigation and flight management systems. We are modifying our training syllabus so that we can introduce the required competencies at an early stage,” he says. “Flying an aircraft today is not merely about 'stick and rudder' skills – it is about managing a technologically-advanced machine. We are investing resources to keep our students ahead of the rest.”
The aircraft will be fitted with Spidertracks, a device developed with the aid of Massey University mechatronics graduate James McCarthy, that enables real-time tracking of the aircraft position from the flight operations centre. Mr. McCarthy, Spidertracks director, says the company is looking forward to furthering its relationship with the school and outfitting the new aircraft.
“Massey School of Aviation is the premier flight training programme in New Zealand. It is showing its commitment to the industry with the purchase of these new aircraft – just as it has shown leadership, and a commitment to safety, by investing in Spidertracks tracking solutions for its fleet,” he says. “The safety of students is enhanced because the trainers can follow the students in real-time and know where they are, wherever they are.”
The acquisition agreement will be signed on behalf of the University by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Manawatu Regional Chief Executive Professor Ian Warrington at a ceremony hosted by Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd, Australia, during the Avalon International Air Show in Geelong on Wednesday.
Hawker Pacific is the regional distributor for the aircraft, which is manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries at its factory in Ontario, Canada. Senior instructors from the school will undergo training at the Diamond Aircraft factory over the next three months.
The new aircraft will replace the school's current fleet of Piper Warrior single engine and Piper Seneca twin-engine aircraft.
Massey University School of Aviation was established in 1990, and is one of the few tertiary education institutions in the world that provides professional training for pilots with university accredited academic qualifications, in the Bachelor of Aviation programme. It is a certified flight training organisation, has ISO 9001-2000 accreditation, and holds an Equivalence Approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, under which students' examination results are accepted in lieu of CAA examinations. Flight examiners from the school are approved for conducting flight tests for issue of licences.
The school is part of the College of Business and also offers Bachelor of Aviation Management, Master of Aviation and Doctoral programmes in aviation. Currently 200 students are taking the Bachelor of Aviation Management programme and 90 are studying the Bachelor of Aviation – Air Transport Pilot degree. There are 28 postgraduate students.
College of Business Pro replica breitling Vice-Chancellor Professor Lawrence Rose says: “Over the years the School of Aviation has shown continuing strength and the College of Business is extremely proud of the job the school has done in educating the next generation of aviators. Purchasing this new fleet of aircraft is a strong indication of our resolve to remain the leaders in this important industry.”
- Diamond DA40
- Diamond DA42