Wing your way to the National Aircraft Competition in Wigram

1 February 2022

If you have a fascination with planes, here’s your chance to get an up-close-and-personal view inside jet planes at an easy social distance.

The National Aircraft Maintenance Competition will run at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand Wigram Christchurch from 4-5 March. This event is open to everyone from aviation enthusiasts, school groups, families and sightseers, and entry is free!

Michael Naus, Skill Manager for Aircraft Maintenance at WorldSkills New Zealand promises visitors something to see.

“We have two-days of great skill competition from promising aircraft maintenance engineers working in the aviation industry. These competitions help develop and promote vocational learning within New Zealand and help raise the bar for skill development in Aircraft Maintenance.”

“Competitors will take part in at least three component challenges to test their skill and accuracy, and these will run throughout the day.”

Each aircraft maintenance engineer will build or repair part of an aircraft skin, working with sheet metal to cut, bend and rivet. Under the scrutiny of judges and onlookers, competitors will shape the flat sheets forming the body of an aircraft. A second task involves replacing components such as a generator or fuel pump on helicopter jet engines mounted on workshop stands. Finally, each competitor will complete a before flight inspection, crawling over a jet aircraft to search for and document defects.

Michael Naus has managed numerous national competitions and coached aircraft maintenance engineers who have gone on to attain medals in the WorldSkills International Competitions, the Olympics of trades and vocational training. He has also held prestigious international judging positions.

A race car simulator and career information from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Air New Zealand and the NZ Defence Force will be available to the public during the event.

Schools and community groups are encouraged to register their interest by contacting Sally Gray at