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.

Benjamin Mink

Benjamin Mink

Flying Instructor

Ben commenced his Private Pilot‘s Licence (PPL) training with the CCAC at the age of 15. Once he achieved his PPL he moved to Canada to complete a Diploma of Aviation at Mount Royal University. Through this course he achieved his Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL), multi-engine, instrument flight rules and night visual flight rules ratings while flying through spectacular mountainous landscapes. Moving back to Australia, Ben completed his instructor’s rating with the CCAC. Now a regular fixture at the aero club, Ben loves exploring the country and organising fly-outs to various locations across Australia for our students and club members alike.

What was your first aviation memory?
My earliest memory of aviation would probably be sitting in the family boat right at the end of Belmont/Aeropelican when the twin otters use to arrive and depart. You could almost touch the wheels they were that close! As I grew older my favourite part of travelling was always going to the airport and watching the aircraft take-off and land.

Why did you join the aviation industry?
From as young as I can remember I wanted to be a pilot; when I was 14 I got given a trial flight for Christmas. After I did that, I began training and the rest is history.

What’s your favourite aircraft?
Large aircraft wise, I‘d have to say the Boeing 747 as it was the first wide-body aircraft I travelled on and it’s always had a place in my heart. Aircraft I’ve flown, it would probably be the Tecnam P2006t which is a fun little light twin aircraft.

What do you remember about your own first solo?
I had no idea that Andy (our CFI) was going to hop out and let me go by myself. I was quite nervous and probably made a mess of the radio call. By the time I was on crosswind, I realised I was somewhat confident in my abilities, and flew around and safely completed my first solo.

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.