Commercial and Aerial Work
Wanaka Helicopters performs a considerable amount of commercial and aerial work. This is work where the pilot and crew work together to perform a specific task.
During summer months Wanaka Helicopters is on standby for aerial fire fighting duties and has a monsoon bucket together with fire retardant chemical dispensing unit at the ready for call outs at a moments notice.
Surveying work involves transporting men and gear to remote sites, mainly in mountainous terrain, for GPS surveying.
River and fish counting surveys are flown on a regular basis as are fish spawning surveys in rivers throughout Otago and Canterbury.
Sling load operations are varied – from lifting huts, concrete, fencing etc. mainly to remote sites. In addition bikes are slung beneath the helicopter on heli- biking operations.
Frost protection work and cherry drying utilizes many hours of flying in the autumn and spring. Frost protection involves hovering over a vineyard or orchard at a height of approx. 20 – 30 meters, moving slowly over the area to force the warm air from above down onto the trees or vines to raise the temperature above critical level to prevent damage to the crop. This task is performed during the night to sunrise.
Cherry drying involves almost the same technique as frost but is perform during daylight hours. Blowing rain off the cherries prevents them splitting and discoloring.
The helicopter is the ideal platform for photography and film work. Wanaka Helicopters pilots perform a lot of varied photography and film work and are very skilled and experienced in this work. Being keen photographers also helps in achieving good results.
Sheep, cattle and deer mustering is performed for numerous local farmers. This requires a high degree of flight experience and is flown mainly with the R22 helicopter. However, the lifting of men and dogs high onto the mountain tops for the start of the muster is usually done in the larger helicopters equipped with pods.
Wanaka Helicopters helicopters are equipped with pods, racks and hooks to cater for all types of jobs. Our Squirrel helicopter can be changed quickly from passenger to cargo configuration should the need arise.