Meet Our Team

Instructors

James Churchward

Chief Flight Instructor
A-Category

James is a A-Category instructor who initially started his flight training with Bay Flight International in Tauranga. James arrived at the Tauranga Aero Club as a C-Category instructor, completing his B-Cat with the club and later becoming the Chief Flying Instructor. He then went on to achieve his A Cat.

Lachlan Farron

Flight Instructor
B-Category

Lachlan started at the club as a Young Eagle. He moved to Hamilton in 2018 and completed his training at L3 Airline Academy before returning to Tauranga in 2020. Lachlan became a regular ferry pilot for the club before completing his instructor renewal in 2022 and joined the team.

Zach Judge

Flight Instructor
B-Category

Zach started flying at the Walsh Memorial Scout flying School then completed his CPL in Christchurch and grew to love mountain flying. He moved back to the North Island and to Tauranga for his B-Cat training with the Aeroclub before joining the instructing team.

Ally Cooper

Flight Instructor
C-Category

Moving up from the south, Ally joined us for her CPL in early 2020. She then continued on to gain her C-Cat in December 2021. Ally has done a lot of her flying in the South Island and brings with her a passion for mountains, wilderness and clouds.

Sean Prentice

Flight Instructor
C-Category

Sean started out at the Tauranga Aero Club as a Young Eagle, going on to do some initial training towards his PPL. He left in 2018 to Massey University where he achieved his PPL, CPL and MEIR under the Bachelor Degree pathway. Returning to the club in 2022 he completed his C-Category instructor rating later joining the team in early 2023.

Jeremy Guernier

Flight Instructor
C-Category

Jeremy completed all his flight training here at the Tauranga Aero Club. From PPL flight training in 2019, to C-Cat instructors rating in 2023.
Jeremy was inspired to become a pilot by his grandad, who was a founding member of the Te Aroha Aero Club. Jeremy enjoys spending time outdoors when he isn’t flying.

Laura Wagstaff

Club Captain
C-Category

Laura started gliding back in 2016 and then started her PPL at Tauranga Aero Club in 2019. She then moved down to Nelson Aviation College where she received her Diploma in General Aviation. She then moved back up to Tauranga to work towards her C-Cat early 2023.

Committee

James Churchward

Chief Flight Instructor
A-Category

James is a A-Category instructor who initially started his flight training with Bay Flight International in Tauranga. James arrived at the Tauranga Aero Club as a C-Category instructor, completing his B-Cat with the club and later becoming the Chief Flying Instructor. He then went on to achieve his A Cat.

Martin Lobb

Club Treasurer

I am a late starter to aviation, having achieved my Microlight pilot’s licence in 2011. I own a RV7 aircraft and I have been a member of the Tauranga Aero Club since 2013. I hold a PPL.

Trish Stephens

Club Secretary

I joined the club in 1994. I started learning at Waihi Beach in 1995 and got my licence in April 1997 at age 50. We purchased the Cardinal in 1993, my RV6A in 2003 and sold our cub purchased in 1998 in 2005. I fly all of these planes and particularly enjoy aerobatics and formation flying. I have represented NZ three times in Australia flying 3 ship formation in Warriors. I regularly compete in the National Aerobatic championships. I joined the TAC committee in 1997.

Daryl Hone

President

Born and educated in Tga, my business “Isuzu Truck Sales” was based in Tga as well as Akl.
Got my PPL in 1994 and flew around NZ for business, trained as a Diesel Engineer, also spent eight years aircraft engineering.
Have owned Cessna C182 R model for 10 years which I flew over to and around Australia with John Brunskill, was acting safety manager for the group that flew over to Aussie, had syndicate ownerships in Trojan T28, B Model Airtrainer, C150 and PA28.
Trish and I ran for 14 years the Aero Club Air Rally, as well as a team member in our competition team, in 3 team formation, life raft and bombing.

Laura Wagstaff

Club Captain
C-Category

Laura started gliding back in 2016 and then started her PPL at Tauranga Aero Club in 2019. She then moved down to Nelson Aviation College where she received her Diploma in General Aviation. She then moved back up to Tauranga to work towards her C-Cat early 2023.

Bruce Johnston

Safety Manager

Just after the war, Bruce’s dad was the Club’s engineer. Bruce has flown over 60 years, starting with RNZAF strike aircraft then instructing new pilots, followed by Hercules C130 tasks to many places far and wide. Flying internationally with Air NZ he flew DC8s and DC10s then 23 years on both types of B747 with plenty of time in the role of checking and training, both inflight and simulating. Our Cessna’s are by far the smallest types in his log books.

Tom Blampied

Committee

Tom has been a passionate member of the Tauranga Aero Club since 2016 where he first started his training to become a private pilot. Today, Tom enjoys the freedom and access TAC and his PPL license gives him and his family across Aotearoa.