Why Choose Westwind Aviation?
I had my first introduction to flying in 1979 and my career as a pilot commenced in 1985 following the study, saving the funds, and then undergoing the training required to complete my Private and Commercial Licences and an Instrument Rating. During these early years tackled a variety of jobs ranging from cleaning hangar floors to assisting engineers maintaining a range of General Aviation single and twin-engine aircraft. Upon completion of flight training, persistence was rewarded with a job as pilot of Cessna single engine aircraft in the Northern Territory of Australia.
My General Aviation career lasted for about 3000 flying hours from singles to large twin engine turbine aircraft before moving to New Zealand. While I have been flying now for about 40 years, I continue to enjoy the engineering side of aviation, particularly building aircraft. Recently I took an early exit option from airline flying to focus on promoting and supporting ICP aircraft throughout New Zealand.
I am a member of the EAA, Cessna Pilots Association and AOPA (US), AOPA (NZ), SAA (NZ), RAA (NZ), NZ 185 Group, Air NZ Flying Club, The Catalina Preservation Society, and the Marlborough Aero Club.
Why my interest in Light Sport Aircraft?
Back in 2015 during a layover on Norfolk Island I chanced to meet a motor mechanic who had built an aircraft on the Island with two friends. The aircraft was the ICP Savannah S. As so often is the case with aviators, an invitation for a flight was offered to me. To say I enjoyed the experience was an understatement and walked away with a lasting impression as to what a fantastic aircraft this was.
I had always harbored a desire to be involved in building an aircraft. Although being a member of the EAA (US) for about 25 years, I had not found an opportunity to do so. Following my introduction to the Savannah, I decided that was about to change and contacted the Australian and New Zealand Agent for ICP to discuss the Savannah and then, to purchase one.
The mechanic on Norfolk Island upon learning that I had purchased a kit, advised he was returning to New Zealand for a time to visit family and offered to take me under his wing with the build in my hangar at Forest Field (NZFF).
When the aircraft was finished, it was registered ZK MYN (mine) and a CAA certification survey was undertaken. The aircraft received a Permit to Fly and the test flying was conducted.
The aircraft would later go on to be awarded the SAANZ prize in 2017 for the best kit-built aircraft at their Biannual event held at Ashburton in the South Island.
Prior to the build, having formed a plan aligned with future goals for Westwind Aviation activity, I was appointed as the sub agent for New Zealand.
In 2018 we were appointed the sole Agent for New Zealand by ICP.
There are numerous Savannah aircraft at various stages of build throughout New Zealand. Another recent addition ZK MRD was issued a Permit to Fly by the CAA earlier this year. Well done Ross Drew.
Other Savannah S builds are expected to be completed and flying throughout 2021.
Customers often comment that the Savannah S model is their ideal selection for an aircraft when considering its good handling characteristics, amazing range, short field capability, sturdy design, quality materials, strength, flight visibility, value for money and local parts availability.
The added attraction to me about an ICP aircraft is that as an aircraft designer and manufacturer, they are constantly innovating and consistently improving the quality and finish of their kits and factory-built models. In particular the new model the Ventura is available as both a kit set and a factory build. It has a single strut and larger interior, powered by a choice of engines to suit the owners preference.
I believe when you finally also take into consideration the value of a kit factory-built aircraft, an ICP aircraft will become your first choice.
If you would like to be put in touch with a builder or owner close to you, please contact us via the link provided.