Maiden flight for fourth Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust built plane

Maiden flight for fourth Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust built plane

KN Updated
VAN's RV-12 plane

The Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust is proud to announce the maiden flight of it's fourth VAN's RV-12 plane on Saturday 21st November in Whitianga.


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Look to the sky on Saturday afternoon

Feel free to join the team of the Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust at the Aero Club on Saturday afternoon to watch the maiden flight of their recently completed VAN's RV-12 aeroplane. The new aircraft will take off from the Whitianga aerodrome at 2.30pm.

Challenges for this project

The maiden flight signals the end of what has been a challenging project. Students and mentors have shown determination and resilience through out and are looking forward to a celebration.

The 4th plane build commenced in 2018 and has seen a team of students work on the project along with the Trust mentors for 30 months, usually the plane is finished within 15-18 months. This project, has had more challenges than the previous three builds. The sad passing of mentors, Jim Evans, Peter Austin and Roger Beasley during this time deeply affected the team. The delay of three months due to COVID-19 has prevented an earlier completion date this year.

Next VAN's RV-12 ready

The 5th aeroplane is already in planning stages. Mercury Bay Area School staff, George Fletcher and Patrick Pfister, are currently interviewing students for the new team. The Trust has managed to finance the start of the next build. There are four boxes of the empennage (parts fo the plane) that have arrived and the new build should commence in February 2021 once students return to school.

We are always happy to present and share our work with those interested and of course keen to talk to anyone that is able to contribute to the project in some way.

Patrick Pfister, Secretary/Treasurer Mercury Bay Aviation Trust

Get involved in the Whitianga student plane build project

The Trust is always on the lookout for engineers, particularly those with an aviation background to become mentors and work with the students on this and upcoming projects. 

The work carried out each week from a hangar at the airport is documented via a 'project log' and posted on the Mercury Bay Area School website.

Related Links

Mercury Bay Area SchoolMercury Bay Aero Club - Learn to Fly

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