12 July 2016

Who on earth is FlyStark?

Checking the CAA aircraft register today I noted that a company called Stark Airlines had a Gippsland GA8 Airvan registered to them as ZK-FSR. I had never heard of them and so I did some Google searching and this is what I found...

Turning a love for planes and flying into a business 

When Waikato-based businessman (and Ferry Landing bach owner) Ray Stark obtained his private pilot’s licence three years ago, he thought, “If I want to remain the best pilot I can be, I need to have easy access to an aeroplane to fly.” At the same time the Mercury Bay Aero Club decided to sell its Cessna 172 four-seater aeroplane, registered CWD. “CWD is a relatively new plane and was very well looked after by the aero club,” Ray says. “I made the club an offer, which they accepted.” Ray owns a successful telecommunications company with offices in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, South Africa and the UK. The company also owns a charitable foundation involved in the development of schools and health facilities in poorer countries around the world. Ray decided two years ago to commence the process of withdrawing from the day-today activities of his company in order to focus more on the work of the charitable foundation, something he’s deeply passionate about. He loves spending time in Mercury Bay and thought about something he could also do to contribute to the local economy. “I had CWD,” Ray says. “I thought why not use the plane to start a scenic flight and charter business? I think the area has a need for a locally-based service that can fly people to wherever they want to go when it suits them. I also think there’s a market to bring tourists from outside the area to enjoy all the good things the area has to offer. And, of course, there are people who would love to see what Cathedral Cove and our stunning beaches look like from the sky, but there’s no one around to take them up.” A year ago Ray started the process to obtain what is called Part 135 certification. “It wasn’t easy,” he says. “But the Civil Aviation Authority finally approved us earlier this month and we now are authorised to fly paying passengers in CWD.” Ray has exciting plans for his new business, called FlyStark. “We’ll be available seven days a week at the Whitianga Airport for people to come out and go for scenic flights,” he says. “We have a vehicle available at Ardmore Airport, which passengers going to Auckland can use themselves or they can be dropped off at wherever they have to be. We’ll be happy to fly anywhere our passengers want to go, including the west coast of the North Island. We’ll be targeting cruise ship passengers in Tauranga, bringing them to Whitianga for the day. We’ll also be targeting people living on Great Barrier Island to come to Whitianga for a day or a weekend and we hope to take people from Whitianga to the Barrier for a cup of coffee too. “We’re also talking with local businesses like The Lost Spring about packages we can offer passengers from outside the area. “Our big advantage is that we can fly whenever to wherever people want and we can do so at genuinely competitive rates.” When Ray talks about “we,” he also refers to Wally Pendray and David Terpend, the two commercial pilots who will be flying passengers in CWD. Both of them are resident in Whitianga and will be actively involved in the business. Wally is a retired Qantas pilot with more than 30,000 hours’ flying experience. “We also have a few back-up pilots in Hamilton who may step in if neither Wally nor David is available,” Ray says. “And if we get too busy for CWD to cope, we’ll lease in more aircraft and, who knows, we may end up buying another aeroplane.” Talking about the future and more aeroplanes, Ray’s eyes light up. His love for planes and flying is clear and his passion for building his new business is as deep as his passion for the work his telecommunication company’s The FlyStark team.

Source : The Mercury Informer, 28 October 2015

...and also some pictures of their Cessna 1722 Skyhawk SP photographed at Ardmore on 15 February 2016  

I wonder what the Airvan will be used for???

1 comment:

  1. check out new zealand civil the piece on 172 npj.which mght help explain