Paul Kearney & Sean Kim

Paul Kearney, Chief of Standards, Milson Flight Systems Centre, Massey University School of Aviation

Paul currently holds the position of Chief of Standards (COS) at the Massey University School of Aviation, a position which recognises his consistent excellence in general aviation instruction. He is responsible for ensuring the standards and standardisation of both staff and student pilots engaged in the University’s Bachelor of Aviation – Airline Transport Pilot (BAv-ATP) programme.  Paul started with Massey University as a flight instructor in 1999.

The School is an Air New Zealand preferred Flight Training Organisation and adheres to the use of structured flight lessons, airline type cockpit check-lists, SOPs and Route Guides in order to inculcate professional development in the student pilots from the outset of their training. Paul’s performance in ensuring that this regime is maintained to a high standard is exemplary and he has the respect of his peers and all student pilots.

Having gained an ‘A’ category Instructor rating in 2006 Paul was awarded the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation “Flight Instructor of the Year Award” in 2008 in recognition of his high standards and efforts within General Aviation.

In 2017, he received the New Zealand ALPA “Captain Vujcich Memorial Award”, presented to an individual who have made an exceptional contribution to General Aviation flying instruction

Since 2008 Paul has not rested on his laurels and following the introduction of a fleet of ‘technically enhanced’ Diamond training aircraft at Massey in 2009 Paul has been tireless in introducing the digital cockpit (Garmin 1000) to the ab-initio training syllabus. This has required much liaison with CAA NZ and research based evidence to convince the Authority of the efficacy and advantages of technically enhanced cockpits at the ab-initio level. This has included the trials and acceptance of iPad based Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) which are now used by all Massey University pilots.

Paul is also authorised by the CAA to deliver Instructional Technique Courses (ITC) and regularly does so for Massey University, other FTOs and commercial transport operators.

With the advent of New Southern Skies (NSS) and the changes to national airspace Paul has wholeheartedly thrown himself into the project to ensure that GA aircraft, with their lower performance, will also be able to use the PBN promulgated approaches and departures. This took some perseverance as the initial ‘plan’ catered only for air-transport operations. The official recognition of “training” as a necessary component in the aviation rubric and its inclusion within the NSS Concept of Operations was due, in a large measure, to Paul’s persistence.

At Massey University Paul has worked with the maintainers, operators and the CAA to certify all of the University’s training fleet for PBN operations and approval to operate RNP1 & 2. Prior to the introduction of PBN/RNP airspace and procedures into Manawatu airspace in November 2016, Paul was the lead in creating training material and courses to ensure that all Massey University staff pilots and Flight Instructors were trained and met the required competencies to operate with RNP procedures. This has enabled the School to transition seamlessly into the modern era and keep its training procedures and methodologies in harmony with modern air navigation requirements. This is a valuable way of inculcating professional standards and ‘air transport’ type operational procedures into future airline pilots from the commencement of their initial training.

With his professional standards, enquiring mind and effective leadership Paul Kearney exemplifies the type of person that General Aviation needs as it moves forward.


Sean Kim, Team Leader, Milson Flight Systems Centre, Massey University School of Aviation

Sean is a graduate of the Bachelor of Aviation – Air Transport Pilot (BAv-ATP) programme at Massey University completed in 2013 and is currently completing his Masters of Aviation (MAv) at Massey University.Sean holds a B-Cat Flight Instructor rating and is Multi-Engine IFR flight instructor at Massey University School of Aviation based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. His role as a Team Leader involves the supervision and professional development of new instructors at Massey University to ensure high standards are being maintained throughout the instructing team. With the growth of RPAS in New Zealand, Massey School of Aviation provides a 3-day RPAS theory and flight exam course, which Sean is involved in delivering.


Introducing Glass Cockpit to Ab-Initio Pilot Training 

We have developed and implemented an ab-initio training course (UPRT) whereby student pilots are introduced progressively from day 1 to the digital cockpit (technically enhanced). The practicum component of the course involves scenario-based syllabus with competency assessments where the ‘soft skills’ (HF) are as important as the technical skills required for the development of professional pilots from day one of their exposure to initial flight training. FNPT II FTDs are integrated with airborne lessons and the academic theory component up to ATP level is taught concurrently with the students’ flight training to ensure that theory and practice complement each other.