Taupaki student wins top aviation award

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A former Liston College student has been named the top student at Massey University’s School of Aviation. Nathan Manktelow, from Taupaki, was presented with the Outstanding Student Award for overall excellence in the Bachelor of Aviation programme at the university’s recent Wings ceremony.

The event marks a student’s completion of the flight-training component of the Bachelor of Aviation degree.

For many, including Mr Manktelow, getting their commercial pilot’s licence, or ‘Wings’, is more significant than their graduation ceremony.

“The Wings brevet is a really important achievement for any pilot,” Mr Manktelow says. “For me it is validation that, yes, I can actually fly an aeropleane.”

Mr Manktelow, who also won the Air New Zealand Flying Award, says his achievement felt “pretty amazing”.

“The rest of the Massey 61s [Mr Manktelow’s class] are all just as good as me so I was a little surprised when they called out my name.”

He says he went to the Whenuapai Air Show when he was a kid and has wanted to be a pilot ever since.

“I then attended the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School, which only made me more interested in flying for a career.”

See School of Aviation students in action.

Flying is like "holding onto a moving freight train"

Mr Manktelow says he’ll never forget his first flight in one of Massey University’s Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft.

“It’s an experience I would compare to holding onto a moving freight train – but the feeling you get once you figure it all out is great."

With his commercial pilot’s licence now achieved, Mr Manktelow says the next step is achieving his flight instructor rating.

“I get a lot of enjoyment out of passing my knowledge and experiences onto others,” he says. “Eventually I'd like to fly an airliner internationally – but in my spare time I would still want to continue instructing.”

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