Saturday, 26 September 2020


Royal Aeronautical Society’s visit to ZK-MBB

Members of the Hamilton and Bay of Plenty branches of the Royal Aeronautical Society visited the aeroplane build programme of the Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust (a joint venture between Mercury Bay Area School and the Mercury Bay Aero Club) on Wednesday last week.

The programme’s focus on detail and safety resonated with the visitors. “We’re not rushing,” said George Fletcher, one of the two MBAS staff members responsible for delivery of the programme. “In aviation no one can afford to rush.” Patrick Pfister, the other MBAS staff member, added, “Apart from of the excitement of being involved in the building of something special, the quality of what we’re producing is nothing short of spectacular. It’s quite simple, actually. There is no room for mistakes, if something isn’t right, it has to be fixed. The knowledge and experience of our community mentors are exceptional. It’s a real privilege to work with them.”

Des Underwood, one of the Bay of Plenty members who visited the programme, said there’s an old saying in aviation which will always be true. “It doesn’t matter who and what you are, your best will always be just good enough,” he said.

A nice surprise was when the members of the Hamilton branch donated an amount of $250 to the Student Aviation Trust. The Bay of Plenty branch made a donation to the trust last year.

The aeroplane that is being built at the moment, to be registered ZK-MBB, is close to completion. Since the programme started in 2012, four MBAS students have pursued careers in the aviation industry. This number will grow to six from the beginning of next year with one of the students involved in the building of ZK-MBB embarking on an aviation engineering apprenticeship at Ardmore Airport in Auckland and another enrolling in a Diploma in Aviation in Christchurch.

Pictured: Patrick (behind ZK-MBB on the left) and George (next to Patrick) with the Royal Aeronautical Society visitors on Wednesday. In front of the aeroplane, from the left - Warwick Jones, Gerarda Peeters, Hugh McCarroll, Sal Carta, Des Underwood and Jack Best.


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