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The success story of

Richard Bateman


Second Officer for Air New Zealand, flying the Boeing 787


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

My name is Richard Bateman, and I am currently a Second Officer for Air New Zealand, flying the Boeing 787. I flew at North Shore Aero Club (AIPA’s parent) as a student, and then instructor, for 10 years.

I was hooked on aviation from a young age. My first flight was as a 7-year-old, while on a family holiday. We went on a scenic flight around Rotorua in a 1930’s Dragon Rapide. It was an amazing introduction to the world of aviation, soaring over the lakes in a machine made of wood and fabric.

That first flight kindled my dreams of becoming a pilot. I spent my childhood building and flying model aeroplanes, before taking my first flying lessons as a teenager.

In 2001 I joined the North Shore Aero Club and completed my PPL, CPL and Instructor Rating with Auckland International Pilot Academy. I then instructed at the club for 6 years, having a great time teaching a large number of keen aviators the intricacies of piloting light aircraft. During that time I also completed my MEIR, and trained students in IFR flying.

In 2011 I was employed by Air New Zealand, initially as a First Officer on the DHC-8. I then transferred to the ATR-72, and achieved my first command, being promoted to Captain in 2016. In 2017 I was fortunate enough to join the Jet Fleet, and have been flying the B787 for the past 6 years.

Looking back on my career over the past 22 years, I am very glad I learnt to fly at North Shore. The friendly and knowledgeable instructors who taught me to fly instilled a professional attitude, and helped me achieve high standards throughout my training. The uncongested airspace, varied terrain, and wide range of aircraft types available all helped to provide a great training environment, which prepared me well for a future career in airline flying.

Richard Bateman's Advice for future students:

Richard Bateman's Advice for future students:

“If you have an interest in aviation – learn to fly! It is an exciting and rewarding career, and I feel very fortunate to be able to go to work each day doing something that I have a passion for.”

From Ground to Sky – Elevate Your Ambition at AIPA