Young Whanganui pilot Jonathan Mauchline collected a $3200 scholarship at the Flying New Zealand National Championships in Timaru.

Six 2018 Ross MacPherson Memorial Scholarships were awarded to pilots who sent in the most impressive special essays to Flying New Zealand.

The essays were about why the pilots felt that they deserved to win a scholarship and the funds they were awarded will be put into continuing their aviation careers.

Jonathan, 17, said he was pleased to be a recipient.


"It will really help me with my career and it was a really good opportunity that Flying New Zealand and the sponsors have given to the Eagles."

Young Eagles range from age 11 to 17 and are based in aero clubs all across New Zealand - Wanganui Aero Club runs events for them fortnightly on a Friday.

Jonathan did not compete at the Flying NZ National Champs, as he is in the process of gaining his commercial pilot licence.

"I'd quite enjoy to be able to get up to that standard and compete in the future," he said.

Whanganui was represented by Wanganui Aero Club members Stuart Ashby, Darren Luff and Mike Punch.

They were eligible to compete having won regional competitions throughout the year and took part in activities such as bomb dropping, formation flying and precision landing.

Jonathan's father, chief flying instructor Nathan Mauchline, said their results were a bit disappointing.

"We didn't do very well and we didn't bring any prizes home," he said.

However, he was pleased with Jonathan's scholarship win.

"We're really happy that Jonathan was able to achieve that and he certainly deserves it because of the effort that he puts in," he said.

"I'm pretty hopeful that he'll be able to achieve his commercial licence by his 18th birthday."