Mountain Flying






SCAC Mountain flying Course

South Canterbury Aero Club is ideally situated to complete your own or your students mountain flying part 61 requirement, with Mount Cook visible from the front door and Milford Sound within a comfortable 3 hour flight.

Not only do we teach the CPL requirement as per AC61, we go above and beyond and put the techniques into use.

We have designed a 3 day course, building the skills and awareness required to operate an aircraft in the stunning mountainous terrain the South Island has to offer. Operating out of the Queenstown area adds huge costs to the student and we believe we’re able to offer an experience through more varied terrain at a more affordable rate.

The SCAC Mountain Flying Course meets and exceeds the AC61 requirements
for terrain and weather awareness towards a PPL, and the AC61 mountain flying training requirements towards a CPL.

Entry Requirements:


  • Pilot of any skill or hour level may take the course

  • Student Pilot, RPL, PPL, Microlight Certificate.

  • Student pilots must have completed all Low flying & PPL Manoeuvre Training

3 day Course Layout:

Day One:

  •       Ground Course 2-3 hours

  •       Flight: 2 - 2.5 hours flight time

  •       Basic Techniques

  •       Loss of horizon

  •       Attitude flying

  •       Valley Flying

  •       Turning & Ridge Crossing

Day Two:

  •       Tekapo & Mount Cook

  •       Briefing 1 hour

  •       Flight: 2.5 hours flight time     
         (135 Operation visit maybe available
    with prior arrangement)


Day Three:

  •       Wanaka, Aspiring & Milford Sound

  •       Briefing: Milford Brief 1hr

  •       Flight: TU – WF 1.00Hrs

  •       WF aspiring MF 1.25Hrs

  •       MF Caples valley WF 1.50Hrs

  •       WF – TU 1.00Hrs

Students will be introduced to the Milford pilots and Chief pilots where

possible and with prior arrangement a cruise on the Milford boats can be

booked. Students will return with full debrief notes and an itemised Mountain Flying Standards Guide signed off.

Students will be supplied with course notes and the NZCAA Mountain Flying

DVD along with other material.

Our Commitment to safety:
Obviously safety is paramount with any flight, and even more so with mountain flying, we don’t just preach it we actively ensure it. 

All mountain training flights carried out by SCAC adhere to strict policy:


  • GPS Tracking must be carried and confirmed operational. 

  •  Life Jackets are worn at all times.

  •  Checked Mountain survival kit to be in the aircraft.

  •  In house flight following with trained followers.

  •  IFIS flight following when practicable.

  •  Clear non returned aircraft procedures in place.

  •  Aircraft maintained to the highest standards.

Training flights in mountainous terrain are only carried out by AC61 BMF endorsed instructors. The safety and procedures we demonstrate are instilled in students, and we ensure they are part of the process as part of the Mountain Flying Course training.

Our Credentials:


South Canterbury Aero Club has been flying in the Canterbury Plains, McKenzie Country and Southern Alps for over 70 years.

The SCAC also holds a 135 certificate, operating scenic flights in the local area and Mount Cook National Park.

Aaron Pearce and John Desborough are both Mountain flying instructors.

Aaron has come to us from the Queenstown and Wanaka area where he has 100’s of hours teaching and flying in seriously intimidating terrain, flying

with abinitio and foreign pilots, as well as tourists under 115 operations, around Milford Sound, Mount Aspiring, and Fiordland National Park.

From a training college he understands the importance of your schools SOP’s, and strives to have students maintain and adhere to these whilst on our course.