Kapiti Aero Club


Kapiti Aero Club is staffed by a professional and committed team of instructors and administrators. We are available 7 days a week to help you achieve your flying. The club is governed by a diverse executive committee.

Chief Pilot - B-CAT (H) Instructor

Grant Twaddle

Grant has a wide range of experience ranging from strip flying in the Marlborough Sounds through to IFR multi engine offshore (H) operations. His flying has provided him with wonderful opportunities to see many parts of the world and and fly with some very talented and capable pilots. This extensive flying background will ensure any helicopter student receives comprehensive practicable flight training.

Principal Instructor - Fixed Wing - B-CAT (A) Instructor

Scott McPake

Scott has had an interest in aviation ever since his Dad gave him a trial flight voucher with Kapiti Aeroclub as a teenager.

Since then he has done some flying with Air Cadets before completing his CPL/MEIR with Nelson Aviation College. In 2016 he came back to KDAC to complete his C Cat instructor rating and join the instructing team here at the club.

Since starting with the club Scott has gained his B-Cat instructor rating, night instructor endorsement and has been signed off to instruct on the three strips we have available to us.

B-CAT(A) Instructor

Ben Gesterkamp

Ben completed his MEIR & CPL at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand in Christchurch and a further C-Category Instructor Rating at the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy in Whanganui, so he has experience flying all over New Zealand.

C-Cat (A) Instructor

Diego Acevedo

Diego has aviation running deep in his DNA, being the third generation of pilots in his family. Before moving to New Zealand he started his pilot training in 2008, and now holds two licences overseas in Canada and Guatemala. He has most recently completed his C Category Instructor rating at KDAC. Flying has always been more of a dream than a career for him.

When Diego isn’t flying, he is looking after his chickens, curating exotic plants, traveling, and enjoying time with friends. He loves sharing his knowledge, teaching, and watching people’s passion for flying grow alongside his.

B-Cat (A) Instructor

Josh Hay

Josh completed his C-Cat Instructor Course, in 2014, through the Kapiti Districts Aero Club and later that year came onboard as an instructor with the club. He subsequently achieved his B-Cat instructor rating in 2015 and over the years has enjoyed being part of a team which has helped countless pilots achieve their dream in aviation. In 2016 he took a small break to complete an Electrical trade and has since come back online early 2019 primarily as an Instrument Instructor. Although Josh is heavily involved with instrument training, he enjoys strip flying and is also endorsed to teach Terrain and Weather Awareness. Outside of the club Josh is kept very busy with a young family including two boys who do wonders to keep him young at heart. Big hobbies of his are diving, hill climbing and enjoying good food out with friends and family.


Andy Cardno

Since a very young age Andy has had a keen interest in aviation, having grown up next to the Wigram Airforce base in Christchurch.
Andy has a big passion for aviation, completing his Private Pilot’s Licence with the Wellington Aeroclub and Commercial Pilots Licence at Kapiti in 2008, he has his C Cat instructor rating with a Multi IFR. He feels privileged to be part of the Instructing team here at Kapiti and is looking forward to continuing to work with all the great pilots and members that we have come through the doors.

C-CAT(A) Instructor

Nikita Cox

Nikita began her aviation journey at Kapiti Aero Club with a trial flight some years ago. She completed her PPL, CPL and MEIR at Nelson Aviation College, followed by her C-Cat Instructor Rating at Learn to Fly in Wanaka. She spent some time instructing and flying 135 operations in Wanaka, before relocating back up North closer to home. Outside of aviation, she has a keen interest in sport and the outdoors, enjoying getting out on her paddle board and keeping a close eye on the rugby.

C-Cat (A) Instructor

Hasitha Hettiarachchi

Hasitha started his flight training with the Kapiti Aero Club back in 2016, and then moved to Air Hawke’s Bay Flight Academy and gained his CPL, SEIR, C-Cat and MEIR.


Liz Jackson

Liz is our Office Manager / SMS Manager who joined us in early 2012 and is the first point of contact when you come into the office. She thoroughly enjoys working with the club's friendly, enthusiastic and passionate instructors and strives to make club members feel welcome especially those new to flying.

Liz likes joining in club activities and weekends away and in her spare time enjoys walking, biking, backgammon and reading. Liz lives locally and feels that the Kapiti Aero Club is a great asset to the region. She puts in extra effort to promote the club and is proud to see it going from strength to strength.

Recently appointed as the SMS manager, Liz is committed to making the club a safe and enjoyable flying establishment.

A-CAT(A) Instructor / Examiner

Paul Kearney

Paul is a Senior Flight Instructor with an A-Cat Instructor rating and a Bachelor of Aviation. He has had extensive experience in General Aviation, having flown in General Aviation for some years. He has flown charter operations as well as photography, parachute, and low level operations. He was CFI of a flying school before returning to Massey University School of Aviation in 1999.

In 2008 Paul received the Director of New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor Award.

In 2017 he received the Greg Vujcich Memorial Award for Flight Instruction from NZALPA (New Zealand Airline Pilots Association).

Kapiti Aero Club is open 7 days a week, 8am-5pm. Call us on 04 902 6536 or drop into our clubrooms to discuss your aviation requirements.