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 is our plan, short and long term, i.e. How many aircraft, when, what type, where from?
We therefore intend to build up a fleet of modern light aircraft for use by WMSFS. This will comprise a fleet of fourteen two-seat and one four-seat aircraft. From discussions with the air traffic controllers from the Airways Corporation, who regularly attend the Walsh, they have asked that for improved control, separation and safety, the two-seat aircraft be 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. It is expected that the fundraising for the first aircraft will be achieved by the end of 2018.
What will we do with these aircraft, I.e., refurbishment?
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.
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.
What will we do with these aircraft between Walsh schools?
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.
Who are on the WASSI Committee?
WASSI is focused on having good governance practices in place and to support this we have formed a Committee consisting of:
a) Chairman and Secretary, Mark Woodhouse;
b) Treasurer, Steven Bodt;
c) Committee member and WMSFS Director, John Hamilton;
d) Committee member and WMSFS Chief Flying Instructor Steve Scott; and,
e) Committee member and WMSFS Executive Officer David Jupp.
Read the biographies of the Committee members. LINK
How much money are we looking to raise? Where from?
Our target audience for attracting donations/funding will include but not be limited to the following:
a) Donations from past students and volunteer staff for which a great deal of goodwill has been built up over the years;
b) High wealth individuals with philanthropic values; and
c) Charitable funding organisations such as the Lion Foundation, Foundation North and New Zealand Lotteries Commission.
Are we registered with IRD?
We pay no tax on income, but not yet with the Charities Commission. We will be applying for this in the new year (2018).
Statement about the current charitable status of the WASSI
A statement that an application for Charitable Status will be made in 2018.
How can you help?
The Walsh is one of those lucky organisations who benefits from excellent support. We have many great cheerleaders in our corner, and if you're reading this; you're one of them!
The WASSI gives our cheerleaders a goal to help achieve, initially the help we're after is financial support so we can begin procuring aircraft.
Joining the WASSI is the first step to help us achieve our goal.
Who are the society members?
Our membership is full of people who are passionate about youth and aviation. That covers a wide range of people from those who attended the school when they were young, past instructors, air traffic controllers, Metservice men and women, RNZAF staff, volunteers, friends and family of the school, suppliers and supporters.
Joining the WASSI
If you'd like to join, it's a simple process:
- Get in touch
- Fill out the application form
- Pay the joining fee
Please note that the Committee has complete discretion over determining whether the applicant is to become a member, and may interview the applicant as part of the joining process. Please refer to the WASSI Rules for other important information.