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The success story of

John Gemmell


Captain on Boeing 777 for Air New Zealand


Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR), C-Category and B-Category Instructor Rating.

My association with the North Shore Aero Club goes back to the 1960’s when I spent time at “Dairy Flat” and went flying with my father Ian who was a foundation member, who later became chief pilot of Air New Zealand. I was brought up on the North Shore, a Westlake old boy, and still a “Shore” boy at heart.

I joined the NSAC in 1979: completing PPL, CPL then C and B category flight instructor ratings. I was very fortunate that the Club always had Cessna Aerobats and prominent aerobatic instructors, Bryan Langley, Rod Smith and Matt Wakelin. A later shifted to Ardmore Flying School where I did a lot of instructor, multi-engine and instrument rating training, obtaining A category flight instructor rating.

I joined Air New Zealand in 1987 on the Fokker Friendship, later flying the B737, B767, A320, B787 and currently captain on the B777. In 2012 I was seconded to Eagle Airways to fly the Beech 1900.

I’ve recently passed 30,000 flying hours and am still current as a flight instructor and examiner, and flying member of NSAC. From time to time I can be seen at the Club assisting with flight training and testing.


John Gemmell's Advice for future students:

John Gemmell's Advice for future students:

“Even though it can be quite challenging at times, as the saying goes, it certainly beats working for a living!”

From Ground to Sky – Elevate Your Ambition at AIPA