NZ AOPA Winter Fly-in

Dalrachney Strip Omarama Icey Start Ribbonwood Strip Sue and TRS -10'C preflight Just this past weekend AOPA members AOPA weekend Aircraftdescended upon Omarama, (just 20 nm from Flyinn’s base at Geordie Hill) for the Annual Winter Fly-in.   Despite our proximity, it was only the second time Matt and I had joined this weekend, and we were in for a treat.  As well as the chance to catch up on other kiwi aviators, we had two great days of flying to areas and strips we don’t generally visit.

A stationary high- pressure system on the weather map meant those planning to fly from all corners of New Zealand were able to, and around 75 aircraft and 180 members attended.   Such weather in the central south island caused -10’C frosts, (which meant the first lessons were about cold starting), with the reward being beautiful  still, clear days.

Detailed maps were provided, and after a general briefing it was up to each of us to join a group with an experienced leader, or form our own plans, making sure we keep organisers informed.   The weather briefing for both days was similar – there was no weather!  Groups of aircraft disperced in every direction, with loads of airstrips and airfields being visited within a ….mn radias.  Matt was keen for me to do the flying, so I had my own experienced guide.  What’s more I am now nearly confident enough to follow almost all his instructions!  (and I get the help I need when I don’t).

We joined a group visiting farm strips close to Omarama and the Lindis (yes, in our very back yard there are many places we’d not landed).  We then joined Sue Telford  (whom many guests will know, as a Flyinn Guide pilot),  her husband, Gerald, and daugther Mel. and flew the Flyinn 172’s, WAX and TRS,  further north and into the back country .   This was also a treat, as while we all work together an outing like this is not something we’ve managed before.

From a different perspective: it was interesting to be joining in such fun, and not be the organiser.  Understanding what is involved, we could appreciate this weekend all the more. The flying certainly increased my skills as I practiced precision approaches and landings.  Perhaps this is a glimpse of how it can feel to be a Flyinn guest pilot? It was exhillerating, interesting and great fun.  Also tiring – but in a good way.  Each evening  I was definately ready to relax, enjoy a glass of wine and delicious dinner, and share stories from the day, or of life, or travels or anything else in between.

I came home feeling more aware and with a new level of confidence in my flying.  Also refreshed from the fun, the sights and the warm friendliness of the whole weekend.   I definately want to do it again.   Perhaps this is also an insight into how guests  might feel when they complete their time with Flyinn ?



Flyinn’s 15th Season

It’s been a fabulous ride and we find it hard to believe, but Flyinn is 15!

Thinking back to the time when Flyinn was but an idea, developing on pieces of paper and conversations around the kitchen table,  it is quite something to realize how it – and we – have matured.

We have learned that when guests leave Geordie Hill, it is not goodbye.  Each year past guests visit at Airshows,  email us news, and book return holidays.  The season just past saw us customize four “Fly-Back-Inn” itineraries for past guests.   (This is more like ‘fun with friends’).   Then add past and current Pilots, ground staff at Geordie Hill and support families at Airshows, all of whom guests get to know,  and suddenly it feels like Flyinn has evolved into a real community.  Wow, what a privilege.

As this community was developing, so was Flyinn.  We’ve learned that New Zealand really is beautiful, and there’s no-where that’s very far away.   That guests truly love their ‘stay’ at Geordie Hill and are often intrigued when learning a little about farming.  That non-flying passengers also love this vacation, and that many did not expect to.  We’ve learned so much from evenings spent with guests at the kitchen table, and much of it has little to do with aviation.   We’ve learned that while aviation brings us together, it’s people that keep us together.

It’s a privilege to be able to share our part of the world through Flyinn.  Yes, it’s work –  and it often seems there are not enough hours in a day – but it is so much more than that.  We welcome you to join our community, any time you can.

 Your Pilot team

Your Pilot team

With best wishes

Jo, Matt, and the Flyinn Team.




Lynne’s a Flyinn Passenger

In addition to being a pilot, my husband is a photographer and a botanist.  I enjoy hiking, waking and reading.  Our Fly-Inn adventure gave us an opportunity to enjoy all of our favorite things.  If you’re thinking of taking a Fly-Inn vacation, I thought you might like to know WIIFM (what’s in it for me).  Late night talk show host David Letterman typically has ten reasons for doing things.  It’s obvious that for the pilot, there are a variety of reasons that Fly-Inn is the perfect vacation.


·         20 hours of flying in another country

·         Highly experienced safety pilots who handle the radio in a language that often doesn’t sound like English

·         Safety pilots also have vast knowledge of the local terrain with an ability to point out every mountain, fjord, glacier and valley

·         The opportunity to land on grass strips, beaches and paved runways in amazing places


For the spouse/significant other/flying partner, there are additional reasons that you should schedule a Fly-Inn adventure.  (I thought about calling us s2ofp but FP (for flying partner) was a lot easier.


1.     14 days in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  The mountains are high, the fjords crystal clear, and the spaces vast.

2.     14 days of not having to cook a meal or help prepare the gourmet meals you’ll eat – unless you want to.  You’re free to sit on a stool in the kitchen at dinner time and watch Jo work her magic, enjoy a glass of great New Zealand wine and kibitz.  You can pick up cooking tips if that’s your thing and even help – but that’s not a requirement.

3.     Speaking of wine – New Zealand has wonderful whites and reds and they are in plentiful supply around Geordie Station.

4.     The local cuisine is remarkable.  There were lots of vegetarian choices for me but also delicious lamb and beef which were cooked to perfection.  Just when you think you can’t eat any more, Jo appears with a sumptuous dessert that you simply can’t pass up.

5.     Geordie Station is a working sheep and cattle ranch and guests are welcome to observe, take photographs and watch those amazing dogs work.

6.     Every day as you take your flying adventure, there are stops for “tea”, museums and shopping that will entice anyone.  We learned about the Merino wool which is the Geordie Station main product, the BAA code on each garment to find out where the wool was raised, and how to identify the best quality for these remarkable soft, comfortable and versatile clothes.

7.     The stars at night may be big and bright in Texas but the skies at Geordie Station are unencumbered by any nearby city, town or neighboring station.  The Milky Way is vast and the Southern Cross is easy to find.

8.     Another Geordie Station specialty is the quiet.  Not interested in seeing the dogs work the sheep or taking a relaxing walk, then sit on your porch with a good book until it’s time for dinner.  Enjoy that second cup of coffee or tea in the morning before you head to the air strip for your briefing and flight for the day.

9.     Can’t disconnect from work and family for 10 days?  Never fear, Geordie Station and the overnight hotels during the trip have reliable Wi-Fi.  Want to disconnect?  Remind the family and co-workers that there is no cell service!!

10.  Be ready to start planning your next adventure because you’ll want to come back.  It’s the best vacation you’ll ever take.  You friends may be talking about their safaris in Africa or walking the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, but no one else will have flown up close to Mount Cook, landed at Doubtful Sound, landed on the beach at Back Bay, fished for white cod off Stewart Island and then had it for dinner, hiked in the Abel Tasman National Forest west of Nelson, and been nourished by Jo’s gourmet cooking.


Sywell Success

Aero Expo Sywell Saturday Team

Aero Expo Sywell
Saturday Team

2014 Aero Expo UK was interesting, fun, busy, and a great success.

This Air Show is attracting an increasing number of exhibitors and aircraft displays, and coupled with great weather, it ensured an excellent day out for all.

This year’s Flyinn Booth exuded great energy due to the generous input of Past Guests.   We were humbled by the response to a invite for past guests to help Jo in the booth, when Matt got too busy at home on the farm to make the trip.

Aero Expo's Fly-in Flyinn Party

Aero Expo’s Fly-in
Flyinn Party

Especially excellent was the chance for interested visitors to speak with people who had actually experienced Flyinn first-hand.  Past Guests could easily answer lots of queries, and their genuine enthusiasm was infectious.   An added bonus was the chance for Jo to catch up,  and for past guests to meet one-another and share stories.

From Matt and myself – a huge THANK YOU – to all that helped, and those who wrote and offered support another time.  This turned out to be the most winning formula possible for our Flyinn Booth.   We hope you won’t mind if we keep this invite open.


High Country Life …

Guests and GHS staff woolshed morning tea

Guests and GHS staff woolshed morning tea

Living and working on a high country property in NZ is the life for us. 

It’s wholesome,  peaceful, spacious, challenging, rewarding, busy, requires team work, and a above all  is a true privilege.


Spring and the new season

The lamb.

Hello spring!

Spring brings new life – at Geordie Hill the grass starts to grow again as soil and air temperatures warm, days lengthen, and the cold of winter is forgotten.  It’s busy:  very soon sheep will be shorn, lambs and calves born, fields worked, irrigation begins, gardens are tended and cottages are freshened up in preparation for the arrival of Flyinn guests ….


Flyinn Newsletter 2013

 WELCOME to an update from the Flyinn Team.

In the past 12 months we’ve been toiling tirelessly to enhance guest enjoyment. And this season’s guests consistently agreed we got it right!

Homestead MakeoverNew Deck for Dinner

Geordie Hill Station homestead is well situated in a beautiful valley, and with our Flyinn guests in mind, it received a well-deserved upgrade.


Flyinn Newsletter 2012

Thank you for your continued interest in Flyinn New Zealand –
providing exceptional flying vacations for pilots and their
family or friends.  We are happy to inform you that Flyinn has completed another
successtul season.   Guests have enjoyed settled weather, superb
flying, specatular scenery, new friendships and excellent

Good things take time ….CarolAnn Garrat. Wanaka Airport.

With twelve years of operation, Flyinn has lived long enough to allow dreams to come true.  This season two seperate guest vacations were 9 years in the making.  And another was 7 years.
Read about one such guest – CarolAnn Garrett who travelled around the world in her Mooney, in order to fly with us.  (See article under ‘News’ on Flyinn Website).



Flyinn Newsletter 2011

Dear Friends and Aviators

There are still some things you can be certain about: Flyinn continues to provide unparalleled flying vacations – the holday of a lifetime – for pilots and their partners.

Visit us at the upcoming airshows:

  • AeroExpo Europe at Bitburg Germany. May 27 – 29th – that’s THIS WEEKEND! (Booth 39)
  • AeroExpo UK, at Sywell England. June 17 – 19
  • EAA Airventure, USA. July 25 – 31

Check out this season’s adventures and Join us for one of your own…


Flyinn Newsletter 2010

Dear Friends and Aviators

As New Zealand becomes immersed in winter (and the FIFA world cup), the northern summer is advancing upon most Flyinn supporters. This encourages extending of flying horizons… and why not all the way to New Zealand ?

AeroExpo UK is on this weekend (25-27 June) at Wycombe Air Park. We invite you to visit the Flyinn booth in hangar A6, and talk with Heather our daughter, to find out more about your fantastic flying adventure in New Zealand.

Start planning now. Make it happen!