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Our Pilots – Sir Richard Hayes

Sir Richard Hayes is a well known and respected pilot with 30 years experience flying in the mountainous terrain of Fiordland and has in excess of 30,000 helicopter flying hours.

Sir Richard Hayes operates with skill and professionalism and is heavily involved in Search and Rescue operations, often with the use of his Night Vision Equipment. His skill and experience was recognised by being awarded the MNZM (Member of New Zealand Order of Merit) for his services to Search and Rescue.

  • 30 years experience in flying in Fiordland, general charter Air Transport and Scenic flying.
  • Medical evacuations and extensive experience on SAR Missions including night, winch and scoop net operations.
  • Director, CEO & Chief Pilot of Southern Lakes Helicopter, Director of Heliworks, Queenstown.
  • Wild Animal Recovery operations including transmitter tracking, Search & Destroy missions, netting and live animal capture of Deer, Goats, Tahr and Chamois.
  • Helicopter Transmitter tracking for endangered NZ Native bird “Takahe”.
  • Supply drops, Avalanche Control – aerial dropping of explosives from helicopters.
  • Fire fighting and extensive long-line work.
  • Building repeater stations at altitude, which requires skill and precision as helicopter power is depleted at higher altitudes.
  • Sub-Antarctic Island D.O.C support, particularly Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands.
  • Southern Ocean off-shore support.
  • Lifting and Winch operations, concrete, buildings, pylons and wire stringing, tower construction unload supply boats at sea and lifting supplies to shore.
  • Season in Antarctica on AS350 rotor wing support to Italian scientific research.
  • Holds Fire Fighting Unit Standard Personal Safety 3285