The Kāpiti Aero Club is restarting Young Eagles, a Flying New Zealand programme run at many of the country's aero clubs to introduce young people to aviation.
Running once a month from January next year, the programme is designed to give 15-18-year-olds a taste of jobs in the aviation industry and help them make a knowledgeable decision about their future and careers in aviation.
Club flight leader Diego Acevedo said the programme is not just about being a pilot, but includes all the different components.
The Young Eagle will be given the opportunity to have several flights in light aircraft and visit aviation facilities in and around the Wellington region.
"You might think planes are cool but not necessarily want to be a pilot, there are other things within the aviation industry you can do that are exciting," Acevedo said.
"It's about being an engineer, air traffic controller, flight attendant, weather forecaster - we look at all the different facets of the industry.
"The purpose of the programme is to show what's out there."
The industry is largely dominated by white males, and Acevedo would like Kāpiti Aero Club's programme to have a diverse range of people.
"We focus on 15-18 year olds because that's when you start to think about what you'd like to do in the future, but my main goal is a little more diversity.
"We would like to have people that are not usually the target market applying.
"Flying a plane is just like driving a car.
"In the past society has socialised girls, telling them this is something that is too technical.
"We still socialise boys to be mechanical and girls to be softer and the reality is that anyone can fly a plane.
"Even if this is not something you have considered before, the point of the programme is to come here and check it out, see if it is something that you would enjoy.
"This is about giving it a go, see if it's something you like - then continue, but if it isn't- then at least you tried it and had a really awesome year of doing activities."
The programme starts on January 17, the same day Air Chathams' DC-3 will be in Kāpiti.
The following weeks include a lesson in aircraft technology by Aviation Ltd, a visit to Wings Over Wairarapa, a trip to Wellington with a lesson in flight radio and a talk with a commercial pilot, most likely from Air Chathams.
Also part of the programme is a picnic lunch in Masterton including a lesson in flight planning and navigation, a visit to MetService with a lesson in aviation meteorology, careflight/lifeflight visit, a trip to Blenheim to visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, an airline dispatch/ops talk with Air New Zealand, a RCCNZ Tour and a final big trip to the Royal New Zealand Air Force Base in Ohakea.
The programme is limited to 8-10 young people. An application form and more information is available on the Kāpiti Aero Club website.
Applications close at the end of the year.
"It's just a fun thing for young people to do every four weeks on their weekends.
"There are also opportunities for the Young Eagles to apply for scholarships through Flying New Zealand for future studies and flight training."
The programme is run by the aero club and flight commanders volunteering their time or aircraft.
The goal is for the Young Eagles to fly in different light aircraft each flight so they get to experience all of them.
The total cost, including several flights, is $340 for the year.
"Anyone can apply, the less you know about aviation the better - because that's what it's about, dipping your toes in."