A Royal New Zealand Air Force flight lieutenant has seen his dream come true and proven that it's never too late to chase life-long goals.
The journey for Gareth Evans began in 2001 when he enlisted in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in England, following in the footsteps of his father and older brother.
After completing initial training Evans was posted to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire where he worked on fixed-wing aircrafts.
During his time as an RAF aircraft technician Evans was deployed to Kuwait, Cyprus and Bahrain.
It was in 2007 that Evans and his wife decided they wanted their children to grow up in New Zealand, so he resigned from the RAF and enlisted as an airframes technician with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Evans was born and raised in Auckland but now lives in Bulls.
After working as a technician for 12 years Evans decided to chase his childhood dream of being in the pilot's seat.
After completing initial officer training in 2012, he began pilot training in 2013 and finished his wings course in 2015.
"I've wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid so it's great to finally live my dream."
Evans recently returned from the Solomon Islands, where he was part of a 55-member New Zealand Defence Force contingent that provided support for the country's general election.
"It was my first operational deployment as a pilot and our job was to transport election officials, voting material, and Royal Solomon Islands police force personnel to remote islands,
"What I learnt is that you should never give up on your dreams, no matter how long it takes to realise them."