Good Aviation Practice (GAP) Booklets

Thumbnail of Flight Instructor Guide opening screen The CAA Flight Instructor Guide is an online resource for instructors and students.
It provides briefings, whiteboard layouts, and diagrams.
In addition, these can all be downloaded so that instructors can customise and create professional presentations.
All these online resources are free. Printed copies can still be obtained - see the Instructions.

The booklets below are available free to New Zealand aviation participants, just contact us.

In, Out and Around Auckland GAP booklet In, Out and Around Auckland (PDF 1.8 MB)

The Auckland GAP gives an overview for any pilot flying in and around Auckland, which has some of the most complex airspace in the country. The revised booklet incorporates the latest airspace changes (effective August 2018).

A user-friendly summary of airspace and landing and arrival procedures for the 10 aerodromes, the Auckland GAP also highlights any potential dangers. It has sections on Ardmore, Drury, Great Barrier Island, Kaipara Flats, Mercer, North Shore, Parakai, Waiheke Island, and Whenuapai, as well as Auckland aerodrome.

It has a large selection of photos of VRPs and 3D airspace views of Ardmore and Auckland to provide visual assistance.

Revised August 2018

In, Out and Around Christchurch GAP bookletIn, Out and Around Christchurch (PDF 1.5 MB)

This Good Aviation Practice booklet introduces itinerant pilots to the busy and complex airspace of the Christchurch district. There’s an international airport, private airstrips (some uncharted), large areas dedicated to training, and many areas of adventure aviation, recreational aviation, and model flying. There’s also some difficult-to-identify visual reporting points, because of the transformation of natural features to farmland. The combination requires pilots to exercise great lookout, great situational awareness, and great radio technique.

This booklet should be read together with AIP New Zealand, especially Visual Navigation Charts D2 and C13, and Vol 4.

Initial Issue Nov 2017

Cover of In, Out, and Around Milford GAP booklet

In, Out and Around Milford (PDF 1.7 MB)

Stunning, awesome, marvellous, are but three terms for the scenery in the Milford Sound area, yet it can be intimidating, even frightening, for pilots on their first visit. The booklet introduces the terrain, routes, and the unique circuit procedures, and also cautions the reader to seek professional advice from local users before venturing into the area. In, Out, and Around Milford should be read in conjunction with In, Out, and Around Queenstown and Mountain Flying.

Revised Sep 2012

Cover of Plane Talking GAP booklet

Plane Talking (PDF 4.4 MB)

Plane Talking is a handy guide to good radio operating practice, and covers the basics of good RTF, equipment, and technique.

Some of the topics the booklet covers are: the international phonetic alphabet and standard phraseology, clearance shorthand, VFR flight plans, SARTIME, operating at unattended aerodromes, troubleshooting, and conditional clearance.

The booklet also has a chapter on the different levels of Air Traffic Control and the information they provide to pilots.

Plane Talking should be read in conjunction with Advisory Circular 91.9 Radiotelephony Manual (PDF 327 KB)

Cover of Bird Hazards booklet Bird Hazards (PDF 1 MB)

Bird strikes tend to happen between 50 and 800 feet during the takeoff and landing phases. A bird strike can have great impact and serious consequences on aircraft. This booklet gives examples of bird incidents, and explains the reasons behind why this problem occurs.

There are also some handy bird control measures that are featured, and also a “how to” section on reporting bird hazards or incidents.

Revised Mar 2013
Cover of Fuel Management booklet Fuel Management (PDF 1.3 MB)

Fuel starvation and fuel exhaustion accidents and incidents continue to occur in New Zealand. The reasons for many of these preventable occurrences often relate to pilots’ poor aircraft fuel system knowledge, lack of pre-flight planning, inadequate pre-flight checks, failure to accurately monitor in-flight fuel consumption, and inability to take decisive action when faced with a low-fuel state.

This booklet examines these factors and others, and contains practical advice intended to make you more proficient at fuel management.

Revised Mar 2016

Related products

Time in Your Tanks Fuel Card (PDF 150 KB)

A5 card

Revised Mar 2017

Fuel Conversion stickers
Jet A-1 (PDF 134 KB)

Revised Nov 2016

Cover of Helicopter Performance booklet Helicopter Performance (PDF 1 MB)

Performance-related helicopter accidents are fairly frequent in New Zealand. This booklet examines the factors affecting performance such as weight, air density, wind, ground effect, slope, and surface. The booklet provides guidance to help pilots ensure a proposed operation can be accomplished safely.

There is a also a section containing worked performance examples, and further examples that pilots can test themselves on.

Revised Oct 2012
  Manawatu GAP booklet cover


In, Out and Around Manawatu (PDF 1.9 MB)

The Manawatu is one of the busiest and most complex pieces of airspace in New Zealand. This GAP booklet is designed to give pilots information, tips and warnings about operating in and around this airspace. The booklet discusses the geography, climatology, airspace, aerodromes and major routes in the area.

Published Jan 2017

Mount_Cook_GAP_cover_small.jpg In, Out and Around Mount Cook (PDF 3.7 MB)

On a clear day with little wind, flying in the Mount Cook area can be a unique and picturesque experience. Pilots need to be aware that they may not be the only ones enjoying the scenery, especially during the summer.

In, Out and Around Mount Cook provides a good overview of the weather conditions and expected flight conditions in the Mount Cook area. It also covers some mountain flying techniques, and airspace and aerodrome procedures in the Southern Alps Mandatory Broadcast Zone (MBZ) surrounding Mount Cook. It is important that all pilots maintain a high level of situational awareness when operating in this MBZ.

If you are unfamiliar with the area, it is recommended that you spend time studying this booklet, in conjunction with a revision of mountain flying techniques.

Revised Oct 2011
In, Out and Around Queenstown GAP cover  In, Out and Around Queenstown (PDF 1 MB)

Queenstown is a popular destination at any time of the year. Flying in and out of Queenstown presents some unique challenges, no matter what type of aircraft you fly. Mountainous terrain, complex airspace, a busy mix of IFR and VFR traffic, and ‘character-building’ weather can all keep visiting pilots on their mettle.

The Queenstown GAP booklet, revised in November 2012 to reflect recent airspace changes, contains useful advice on planning your flight in, out and around this remarkable area

Revised Sep 2017

Mountain Flying GAP Cover

Mountain Flying (PDF 1.3 MB)

No matter where you fly in New Zealand, you are bound to encounter some mountainous terrain sooner or later. Special skills, knowledge and flying techniques are needed to navigate such terrain. This booklet outlines how to prepare for such flights. It includes a section on weather conditions in mountainous terrain.

The booklet also describes flying techniques that can be used.

Reprinted Jun 2012

 New Zealand Airspace GAP booklet New Zealand Airspace (PDF 1.6 MB)

It is crucial to aviation safety that pilots have a sound knowledge of airspace. This booklet explains the different classes of airspace, special use airspace, non mandatory airspace, Visual Navigation Charts, and the Air Traffic Services available to pilots.

Revised Jun 2016
GAP Cover - Night VFR Night VFR (PDF 1.13 MB)

There are more risks and threats flying at night than flying during the day, so it is essential to seek training with a flight instructor specifically for night flying. As an aid to your training and revision, this booklet looks briefly at some underlying principles and practices, including: illusions, planning considerations, and handling emergencies.

This booklet is aimed at the student and private pilot, and briefly examines some of the factors that are different about night flight.

Reprinted Apr 2014
Cover of Secure Your Aircraft GAP Booklet Secure Your Aircraft (PDF 2.1 MB)

Secure your Aircraft provides information on types of tiedowns, tying-down techniques, and suitable tiedown knots that can be used to secure your aircraft.

It also covers tying down of multi-engine aircraft, helicopters, floatplanes and skiplanes.

Revised Nov 2004
Spin Avoidance GAP Cover Spin Avoidance and Recovery (PDF 2.8 MB)

When an aircraft spins, a stall occurs together with yaw, and self-perpetuating rotating forces develop. These forces keep the aircraft in the spin until positive and correct control inputs from the pilot stop them.

This new GAP (Good Aviation Practice) booklet explains the conditions that will encourage an aircraft to spin, and what you can do about them.

Under no circumstances should pilots deliberately enter a stall in the turn, an incipient spin, or a fully developed spin, unless they have received appropriate training from a qualified instructor in a suitable aircraft type, and at a safe height in a suitable location.

There is no universal spin-recovery technique that will work for all aircraft. This booklet outlines one of the most widely-used techniques. The booklet discusses unintentional spins - it is not a substitute for intentional spin training. The best line of defence is to avoid the spin in the first place.

The CAA gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Tiger Moth Club of New Zealand in the production of this booklet.

Reprinted Jun 2014
Survival GAP booklet cover Survival (PDF 1.8 Mb)

Survival covers the power of being prepared - the importance of a positive mental attitude, understanding the priorities of survival, undergoing survival and first aid training, and talking through how to handle a variety of situations. It also explains how to put together a survival kit.

Do you know how long you can survive without: air, shelter and clothing, rest, water, and food?  Appropriate clothing, shelter options, how to deal with hypothermia, hydration tips, and the sort of food you should be carrying are discussed.

Specific advice is also given on surviving in New Zealand’s different environments – the lowlands, the bush, alpine areas, and marine survival.
Takeoff and Landing Performance GAP booklet cover

Takeoff and Landing Performance (PDF 1.8 MB)

A significant number of accidents and incidents occur during takeoff and landing. This booklet explains the responsibilities of the pilot-in-command, and describes the factors that affect takeoff and landing performance such as weight, air density, wind, slope, surface, obstacle clearance, etc.  There are also details of other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

The booklet provides three recognised ways to ensure adequate takeoff and landing performance for private operators.

Revised Jun 2014

VFR Met GAP booklet cover VFR Met (PDF 2.5 MB)

Developed in conjunction with the WX Matters AvKiwi Safety Seminars, this booklet covers why you should get Met, where you can get it, what you should get, and how to interpret it. It encourages you to use a set of tables to help you compare and contrast the weather for your flight, as a means of improving your weather-related decision making.

Revised Feb 2015


Cover of Wake Turbulence GAP Booklet

Wake Turbulence (PDF 1.4 MB)

The Wake Turbulence booklet explains what wake turbulence is and warns pilots about the effects of wake turbulence. It gives advice on avoiding wake turbulence, and recovery techniques should you get caught. The booklet includes sections on helicopters, weight categories, separation, and occurrence reporting.

Revised Apr 2016

Weight_Balance_cover.jpg Weight and Balance (PDF 670 Kb)

Weight and Balance emphasises the importance of calculating weight and balance in preparation for flight and takes the reader through worked examples.

It includes a template readers can reproduce for their own use.

The booklet includes a mention of aerobatic aircraft and how critical weight and balance can be in aerobatic situations. It also has a section for multi-engine aeroplanes.

Reprinted Nov 2014
Winter Flying GAP cover Winter Flying (PDF 407 KB)

Winter means an altered operating environment. This booklet tells you how you can prepare for winter. The booklet also includes sections on ice protection systems, preflight preparations and what to expect during starting, taxiing, takeoff, inflight, landing and parking. 

Reprinted Apr 2014


Aircraft Icing Handbook  Aircraft Icing Handbook (PDF 396 KB)
(New helicopter section added)

This is free on the internet, but if you require printed versions, there is a charge, as it is a large publication.
To order, call free 0800 GET RULES (0800 438 785), or order online,, or email