Central Coast Aero Club Staff

The Central Coast Aero Club’s flight instructors are dedicated to the highest standards of safety and airmanship. With average flying hours above industry averages, their experience means your success in the sky. Whether you’re just starting your aviation journey, moving on to a more advanced licence or adding an endorsement to your log book, their intimate knowledge of aviation skills, combined with their friendly and patient style will help you get the most out of your training time and investment.

Andrew Coulthard

Andrew Coulthard

Head of Flying Operations / Chief Flying Instructor

The Central Coast Aero Club‘s Chief Flight Instructor has almost 30 years of flight instruction experience. His style combines the best airmanship values, putting students at ease and building their confidence in the air to ensure they’re on course for success.
Andy is also the company Chief pilot, and is responsible for overseeing the standards of the other company pilots.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

General Manager / CEO / Senior Instructor

Serving as both Central Coast Aero Club manager and senior instructor, Andrew has a heart in the clouds, but a head firmly focused on developing the highest standards of flight instruction at the CCAC and across the Australian aviation industry. Despite qualifying for the Air Transport Pilot’s Licence required for a career in the airlines, Andrew chose to pursue his passion to foster high levels of professionalism and competency among instructors, which he achieves in his CCAC roles and as president of the Australian Association of Flight Instructors.

What was your first aviation memory?
Attending an airshow at Rutherford airfield with my father. Amongst all of the warbirds and other aircraft I witnessed, I saw an Auster hovering over the runway - the Auster is a fixed wing aircraft, not a helicopter! (I later learnt this was due to a strong headwind). My fascination for aerodynamics was ignited.

Why did you join the aviation industry?
My interest in aviation was fostered at a young age and after attending my first airshow, I was hooked. I initially aimed for the airlines and have completed all ATPL exams, but realised fairly early that there was a stark need for experience in the training industry. I decided that a great career path lay in contributing to a stronger, more competent training industry.

What’s your favourite aircraft?
The SR-71 Blackbird has sheer presence and ludicrous speed. A truly staggering aircraft. I recommend reading the book ‘Skunkworks’ detailing the development of the Blackbird. In terms of beauty, I find the Beechcraft Staggerwing aesthetically pleasing, a truly classic looking aircraft. And I have to include the Supermarine Spitfire in my best of list, because there is no better sound than a Rolls Royce Merlin, plus, just look at it.

What do you remember about your own first solo?
I remember my instructor stepping out and informing me that the aircraft would climb much better without him on board, and that I should be careful not to overshoot my circuit height. I promptly did just that. That first solo circuit was a mixture of equal parts terror, excitement and pride. I still say to this day that it was the best landing I ever did.

Daniel Buzalski

Daniel Buzalski

Flying Instructor

Daniel’s aviation skillset is broad. Whilst holding the role of Flying Instructor with the CCAC, he also operates a turbine powered Cessna Caravan for a local skydiving operator and has logged over a thousand hours on turbines, dropping unsuspecting tourists over the scenic Central Coast and Newcastle. He also holds a Multi-Engine Command Instrument rating and ATPL exam credits for airline operations. This varied experience is a boon to the company and a great reservoir for students to draw upon. Daniel is a lively and enthusiastic member of our team and loves organising social fly-outs to varied locations around our great country.

What was your first aviation memory?
When I was younger I lived right under the flight path for runway 16/34 at Sydney airport. The noise normally drives people away and house prices down, for me it was the opposite, I absolutely loved it! This was back before digital cameras so I have stacks and stacks of photos just of aircraft flying over-head. If I was good, my dad would also take me to a viewing point at Sydney airport right next to the taxiway. I could spend hours plane spotting there. There’s nothing like the smell of jet fuel in the morning.

Why did you join the aviation industry?
I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I was very keen to begin flying, so at the age of 13 I had already thoroughly researched all the requirements and options for my training. I was too young to start flight training at this age because I wouldn’t have been able to go solo until 16 (it is now 15), so I joined the Australian Air Force Cadets, which satiated my needs up until I started flying at 15. Now I have been flying commercially for 4 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else; I have the best office in the world!

What’s your favourite aircraft?
See, for an avid aviation enthusiast this is a hard one. I have to break it down in to categories. For air transport type aircraft I would have to say the Boeing 747-400. There’s just something about the ‘Queen of the Skies’ that I love. In close second is the Boeing 737. For general aviation aircraft, the Beechcraft King Air and Pilatus PC12 are fairly tied. I would also love to have a crack at flying the Basler BT-67 (google it!) because to me it’s quite steam punk. For fighter aircraft, I would have to say the F-16 based on looks and the F-22 based on performance.

What do you remember about your own first solo?
Not much! I was drunk with about every emotion you could possibly feel. It was a fantastic experience being entrusted with so much responsibility. The first solo is a simple circuit followed by a full-stop landing, so in all it lasts about 7 minutes. When you’re up there however, it feels like so much more; it feels like freedom!

Dave Tennant

Dave Tennant

Maintenance Manager /Chief Engineer

Dave Tennant runs our Maintenance division. Dave has extensive experience in the General Aviation industry and is qualified to maintain a vast array of aircraft types from old classics to advanced multi engine aircraft. He also has approvals to maintain RAA aircraft, light sport aircraft and experimental types. As a fully licenced Chief Engineer with over 25 years experience, Dave has the experience and passion to keep the Warnervale Air fleet running smoothly and has a growing fleet of outside customers who swear by his workmanship. Dave is also an accomplished Commercial Pilot‘s License holder and has over a thousand hours experience in the air - he can often be seen after a hard day’s work putting his beautiful Vans RV-6 through its paces over the airfield late in the afternoon.
Dave has a wealth of knowledge, and whilst he is an extremely busy man, is more than happy to provide engineering advice to aircraft owners.
Dave is a huge asset to the CCAC operation and keeps us running smoothly and safely.

Jodi Smith

Jodi Smith

Office Manager

Jodi has a strong background in Advertising and Marketing, she worked in senior roles in the hectic Sydney advertising industry for over 15 years before starting with the CCAC in early 2015. Jodi quickly found her feet in a complex niche industry and has been invaluable to our operation ever since.

Her role at the airport is diverse, from helping with the day to day hustle and bustle of a busy Flying School to keeping on top of the accounts. Her role as Company Secretary has Jodi liaising with the two Company Directors and nine CCAC Board members to keep the finances on track and promotional activities on point.

The maintenance division also benefits from Jodi’s expertise, with her streamlining invoicing and stock control.

Jodi has arguably the busiest job on the airfield, but always has a smile on her face and is often on hand in the front office to talk new students and prospective clients through the intricacies of embarking on a flying career whilst our pilots are busy flying.