WHO WE ARE
The Walsh Aviation Support Society exists to support the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School.
The Walsh educates young New Zealanders with the life skills of leadership, responsibility, self reliance and confidence. Brought together to achieve the goal of first solo flight, young Kiwi’s are encouraged on a journey of personal growth. For over fifty years, students of the Walsh have gone on to make enormous positive contributions to both the aviation and wider communities.
Applications are open to all New Zealanders aged between 16–19 years old to take part in this unique, non-profit, volunteer driven school. While the school is run by some of New Zealand’s most senior professional aviators, no-one derives any profit from the annual event.
RAISE AND HOLD FUNDS
To buy training aircraft
FIND AND MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT
And associated equipment
GENERAL AND FISCAL SUPPORT
Of aviation and students
WHY IS THE WASSI NECESSARY?
The aircraft currently used at the Walsh are usually 1960’s and 70’s vintage, and while all are required to meet the NZ CAA minimum standards, their condition varies widely. Some are in reasonable condition, and some are problematic, requiring significant effort to keep them at a safe standard. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to source an adequate number of suitable aircraft. This is becoming an issue for the future of the school and is affecting the ability of the school to operate and therefore benefit youth in the wider community.
WHAT’S THE PLAN?
We therefore intend to build up a fleet of modern light aircraft for use by the WMSFS. This will comprise a fleet of fourteen two-seat and one four-seat aircraft, a mix of high and low wing aircraft.
While the first few aircraft purchased by the WASSI will be older aircraft, of the same type currently used at the Walsh, the long term objective is to build up a fleet of modern light sport aircraft (LSA).
The fund to purchase this fleet will take some time to build, so the fleet will be built up progressively over a multi-year period. Over the last five years, the WASSI has purchased and refurbished five training aircraft.
AND THE AIRCRAFT?
Once purchased, WASSI aircraft will progressively undergo a programme of comprehensive refurbishment. The detail of this refurbishment will vary depending on the condition of the aircraft when purchased. However, the objective is to create a fleet of aircraft of high standard and standardised outfitting.
All WASSI aircraft will be fitted with applicable modern avionics and safety equipment, such as top quality instrument systems and radios, ideally airbag fitted seat-belts, GPS tracking devices and possibly ballistic parachutes.
Aircraft are acquired specifically for use at the WMSFS in January each year. However, during the rest of the year some of the aircraft would be leased out to suitable organisations and/or individuals, if suitable lease arrangements can be established. The proceeds of the leasing will assist in covering the costs of running and refurbishing the aircraft and ideally support the purchase and replacement of aircraft in the longer term. Those aircraft not leased out would be hangered at a suitable location. Ideally in the longer term, a purpose-built hangar at Matamata airfield.
We wanted a formal, proper way to do this so it’s well managed, hence a society was formed. We are a registered Incorporated Society with the New Zealand Government and have been granted Income Tax exemption from the Inland Revenue, and we are also a registered charity.