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Our Clubs History

The South Canterbury Aero Club has a rich history in New Zealand’s aviation training and participation. Richard Pearse who our airport's name honors was
a pioneer of powered flight and reportedly completed a powered flight 6months before the Wright brothers just 5 minutes flight from our current airport.  


Aviation training in South Canterbury first began in 1930 at Washdyke, then moved to the Saltwater Creek Airport in 1932.  The Timaru Air Pilots’ Club fostered private flying, training and competitions. 


In November 1946, the South Canterbury Aero Club (SCAC) was officially registered and incorporated as a nonprofit incorporated society.

The club operated two Tiger-moths ZK-ALJ (an ex RNZAF trainer NZ676 purchased by the club) and ZK-ALQ. The Tigers were regularly seen taxiing across state highway 1 from the Saltwater Creek Aerodrome to the petrol station to refuel.


In 1953, the Aero Club moved to its present site at Timaru Airport and throughout the years had its ups and downs battling membership numbers and flying interest.

Over the years the club has operated many aircraft types including Austers, Tigers, Airtours, Cessna 172's, Cherokee 140's, Warriors, Archers,
Piper Cubs and Tomahawks.


Today the South Canterbury Aero Club is still based out at the Levels Raceway in Timaru and operates 7 aircraft and owns 4.


For more, in-detail history about aviation in South Canterbury have a look at the book "Wings Over South Canterbury" by D.E.Drake. 

EBS TU 17-09-77.JPG

Our past and present aircraft:

Type          Registration 

C150        ZK TWT      (current)

PA38         ZK PAD       (current)

PA38         ZK JHO       (current)

PA28         ZK FGH      (current)
PA18         ZK BNM     (current)

C172RG    ZK JCL        (current)

PA38         ZK EQX

PA38         ZK EIY

PA38         ZK EIX

PA28         ZK EBS
PA28         ZK EBN
Airtourer     ZK DBA

Airtourer     ZK DBP

Auster        TBC
C172        TBC
C172        TBC
TIger Moth  ZK ALJ

TIger Moth  ZK ALQ


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