Our Team

We pride ourselves with experienced and professional instructors, with a passion for aviation – who offer one-on-one training with students.


Chris Howarth


Chris has been a keen aviation enthusiast ever since he graduated from university in 1986. As a former teacher and university lecturer, Chris specialised in teaching aviation theory to nearly 800 students over the years.

He is the pre-flight briefing “guru” and now brings his “classroom” and expertise to the skies. As an instructor, his passion for “all things aviation” is clearly apparent when Chris joins you on board for your flying training in one of our aircraft.


Safety Officer:
Mike Smith


Mike learnt to fly at the Royal Queensland Aero Club in 1974 and over the next 30 years he has flown many different types of aircraft. Mike joined RAAus in 1997, expanding his experience on the range of aircraft.

Mike is a hands on enthusiastic team player and his involvement in aviation is proof of that. Since he joined Qld Ultralight Association (now Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club) he has held every executive position.

Mike was further on the Board of RAAus from 2012 to 2015.

He joined GCSFC (Gold Coast Sports Flying Club) in 1997, and has been President of the club since 2016.


Errol van Rensburg


Errol’s extensive experience in aviation, especially Sling Aircraft, spans over a period of 40 years. Errol’s career started as an aviation technician, which progressed to founding and managing an aviation design and manufacturing company in South Africa. After imigrating to Australia, he established the Sling Aircraft brand as the official distributor for Australia.

Errol qualified as an instructor for Recreational Aviation Australia as well as a L2 technician, servicing his fleet of Sling Aircraft used in flying schools over Queensland. He joined GCSFC in 2012.




Michael Lawrence is a former Air Force fighter/bomber pilot with a military flying instructor qualification and experience of both supersonic flight and four-jet aircraft training as a senior captain. He has a long-standing interest in teaching and learning theory, having a diploma of neuro-linguistic programming.

Michael also has a degree in medicine having considerable experience in both teaching and flying as the “flying anaesthetist” in the outback. He is a currently a senior flying instructor with Recreational Aviation and has flown around and across Australia in light aircraft.


Mariette van Rensburg


Mariette is from an aviation family and a keen aviator.
Her extensive experience in marketing and administration compliments the team.

what They're Saying

Client Testimonials

My son and I both enrolled in our flight training a while ago. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The pre-flight lessons were interesting and easy to grasp. Errol is very passionate, friendly and knowledgeable. 

Getting my Pilot certificate has been one of my greatest achievements.

Michael Fletcher

"Being one of the first students for the GCSFC flight school, I wasn't able to get any feedback on what the instructor was like. I knew Chris Howarth to say hello to but not much more.  Being an instructor for some time, and a teacher, Chris has something vital for training students - great communication skills. A great pilot won't always make a great instructor and students definitely need the latter. Chris delivers instruction patiently and calmly which helped me overcome my nervousness & tension... the guy even reminds me to breathe when I'm taking off and landing, which I keep forgetting to do. In addition to that, Chris readily commends you when you've done well - it helps a lot if you're like me and keep beating yourself up. To those wanting to learn to fly 3-axis aircraft, I highly recommend GCSFC flying school... the instructor, the aircraft, the location, the price - it's terrific."

"Once you have flown you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,

for there you have been,and there you long to return."

Leonardo da Vinci.

Ric Attard

Fireman Ric

What an experience I had! The training was excellent and very professional. 

I will most definitely in the future make use of your training again and would suggest and promote your courses to my friends and colleagues. 

Robinson Clarck

At age 65, I’m finally realizing my dream to fly planes. I looked all over the Gold Coast area for a group that would meet my needs and finally found Chris and Gold Coast Sports Flying Club. I like Chris as a teacher – he is a wealth of information, teaching in a relaxed, low-pressure manner and making technical nuances easily understandable. I expected to be stressed and anxious as I learned high banks and how to deal with stalls. Instead, Chris has me following the curves of the inland waterways with a smile on my face that he says “not even a plastic surgeon would be able to get rid of”!   An added benefit is the experienced fliers I’m meeting at the club between lessons. Fantastic experiences and conversations!

Robert Wall

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Training inquiries: Chris Howarth
0468442732 | info@gcsft.com