Our Learning Criteria

 Aviation Studies


You will learn about the theory of aviation and will then get to experience flights in a number of different aircraft, usually while in the pilot’s seat with an instructor beside you. Aviation training shall include:

  • How planes fly
  • Navigation
  • Instruments
  • Gliding
  • Power Flying
  • Helicopter Flying

As ATC members, you will have the chance to attend subsidized national level flying and navigation courses that will allow to eventually fly solo in a powered aircraft or glider. Quite cool considering you can do this before you get your driver’s licence.

Service Knowledge


You learn about the New Zealand Defence Force and the New Zealand Cadet Forces in topics such as:

  • History and Customs
  • Roles and active service areas of the defence force
  • Bases and units
  • RNZAF Aircraft
  • Structure of the NZDF and NZCF

The RNZAF also offers the Air Force Experience course, which allows you to travel to active RNZAF bases, see how they work and explore different careers within the RNZAF.



You will get out into the bush and learn how to keep safe and enjoy the outdoors. You will go on camps and tramps where you will learn key bushcraft skills such as:

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment
  • Food and cooking
  • Search and rescue
  • Use and care of tents
  • River crossings
  • Outdoor first aid

As you progress within the unit, so will your skills. We will develop your survival and navigation skills so you can comfortably navigate and be well prepared for wherever you go. These skills will include:

  • Using maps and compasses
  • Finding bearings and navigating around obstacles
  • Route planning
  • Fire lighting
  • Emergency shelters
  • Reading and interpreting weather maps
  • Risk Management

Senior cadets also have the chance to attend the National Bushcraft Course, which is a 10 day course held in the South Island where they can learn advanced bushcraft and navigation skills.

Activities and Courses


During your time in the ATC, you can do a number of courses and participate in lots of activities that will provide a well rounded learning and development experience. These are:

  • Junior Leaders Course
  • Senior Leaders Course
  • Cadet Bushcraft Course
  • National Aviation Course (Power Flying)
  • National Aviation Course (Navigation)
  • National Gliding Course
  • Shooting Coaches Course
  • International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE)

There are also opportunities in the Squadron for cadets to take part in:

  • Flying Scholarships and Camps
  • Military Base Visits
  • Community Events and parades
  • Services Visits (coastguard, fire service etc
  • Inter-squadron exercises
  • Sports Days and Fitness testing

Instructional Techniques


The best way to learn something is to teach it. You will be taught how to teach others using a variety of techniques and your own personal experiences. This becomes useful as you progress within the unit and gain more responsibility. It also applies to life in general. You will learn skills such as:

  • Lesson planning and preparation
  • Training Aids
  • Public Speaking

Firearms Training and Marksmanship


You will be taught how to handle firearms safely and marksmanship principles which will involve target shooting at a range under supervised environments. There is also a chance to represent the unit at local and national shooting competitions against other units in the country.



The aim of drill is to produce cadets who are proud, self disciplined, alert, obedient and can work as a team. You will learn drill that will allow to participate in routine parade nights, along with formal events in the public such as Anzac Day, other commemorative events and holidays. We also compete against other ATC units in a National Drill Competition which is a great chance to make new friends.



Leadership is a valuable ability in today’s world. You can learn what makes a good leader and develop your leadership skills as you advance within the unit. We offer promotional leadership courses that allow you to learn to lead small teams in a variety of tasks. There also a chance to staff these courses which will really advance your teaching and leadership skills. As you get more and more responsibility within the unit, your skills will improve which will allow you to be a confident, mature young leader in the community.

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