Listen to this episode below:
Andrew Underwood was born in the UK but has called New Zealand his home for the past thirteen years, learning to fly at Ardmore airfield in Auckland.
Since gaining his commercial licence, he’s been employed as a skydive drop pilot, international aerial survey pilot, before more recently, moving into scheduled passenger operations.
- Andrew’s fondness for airplanes started in school in the UK, on trips visiting World War Two museums and Air Force bases. His interest eventually grew and even asked his parents to take him to airshows later on.
- His first introductory flight was at Shoreham Airport in Sussex where he found out that he absolutely loved the feeling of being up in the air.
- During his teenage years, he was a flight sim fanatic, and hung about the airfield long enough to meet up with real pilots who invited him to fly in different airplanes.
Initial Training Challenges
- While in flight school, he trained with eight different instructors which caused a lack of consistency with his training.
The Aircraft Types
- Cessna 162 Skycatcher
- Cessna 172
- Cessna 182
- Cessna 310
- Tecnam P2008
- Tecnam p92 Eaglet
- Piper J-3 Cub
- American Champion Citabria
- Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess
- Douglas DC-3 – Andrew is one of the youngest pilots of this iconic aircraft
Best Flying Advice
- “Be respectful of your airplane, of the sky environment, and of other pilots and your seniors. There is no place for arrogance in aviation. If you’re respectful, it’ll get you a long way.”
- After getting his PPL and CPL, his first job was a skydive drop pilot which lasted for two years. Eventually the work became repetitive for Andrew so he decided to look for another challenge.
- He got accepted as an aerial survey pilot and got to fly around New Zealand with an expensive multi-million dollar camera mounted onboard the aircraft. His main job was to fly over certain areas while the camera collected terrain data. He enjoyed the work very much and kept his skills up to par.
- Andrew has recently started a new a job in scheduled passenger operations.
- Andrew has been blogging since 2011. His blog ardmorepilot.com is sort of journal of most of his training & significant flying experiences.
- He is loving the work roster at his current job, only working on Mondays to Fridays, at six until eleven in the morning. He gets to enjoy the rest of the day and weekends for himself.
- In one of his journeys (Auckland to Brisbane), a glitch in the Australian customs system caused them a delay
and had to Fly for three hours in pitch black darkness, 10,000 ft. above the Tasman Sea. He was able to successfully and safely land in Brisbane.
Future Plans & Aspirations
- As long as he’s getting paid to be in the sky, he’s happy. His long term goal is to be happy and flying.
Flying Internet Resource
- Third Level New Zealand: A blog which started off focusing on New Zealand’s smaller, 3rd level airlines, past and present. It now tries to present some record of New Zealand’s domestic airline operations and some of the larger charter operators, as well as interesting New Zealand international airliner movements and photos.
- MRC Aviation: Another blog featuring photos and videos of the New Zealand aviation scene.
Best Aviation Book
Most people who survived an almost unsurviveable plane crash would be tempted to sit back, take a good hard look at life, and take things a little bit easier. Mike Allsop is not most people.
Favourite Cockpit Gadget
Andrew’s Blog: ardmorepilot.com: Stories from the Sky