The Nelson Aero Club was formed on 28 September 1932 and has had over 80 years of operation.

The Aero Club first operated from what is now Saxton Field and moved to the airport site in the late 1930’s, although activity ceased during the Second World War. Since then the club has occupied different buildings on the airport site until finally moving to the current hangar in February 1996.

The first club aircraft was a Piper Cub. We’ve flown Dragons, Procters, Austers, Tiger Moths, Tecnams, Piper Cubs and Cherokees.

The Club provides training through the Nelson Aviation College, the Air New Zealand Preferred Flight Training Organisation, and the largest Flying School in New Zealand.  The College's Nelson Base is located in our Aero Club Hangar at Nelson Airport.  NAC have a range of aircraft from two-seat single-engine Cessna 152's and 4-seat Cessna 172's to 6-seat twin-engine Piper Seminoles.

The Club has trained private and commercial pilots. Many Club pilots have gone on to successful careers in the aviation industry.   Sadly there are no foundation members left – but names like Sir Jack Newman, Ian Neale and Reg Kingsford are well remembered in the Clubs cups and sponsorships.

Nelson Aero Club provides a suite of services for Members, with regular club trips such as the annual Brass Monkey flight to St Arnaud, barbecues for members and newcomers, club room facilities and flying competitions for both experienced pilots and novices.  Our Bar is open Sunday night 1630 to... well when you are all ready to move on.

Some of the the competitions include- spot landings, aerobatics, formation flying, and games such as streamer cutting where we drop a toilet roll out of the plane at 4,000 feet and follow it down to 2,000ft; trying to cut it as many times as possible on the way down! The club has a strong competition background and has successfully fielded teams in national competitions for many years.
The club has an excellent safety record and our aircraft are
maintained within strict CAA requirements.

We try to cater for families and like to see young and old not only up in the air but also involved at a social level with us.  We have members aged from 17 to over 60. You need to be 17 to hold your private pilot’s licence, but you can start working on it from a younger age.

See what it's like watch the video...