New Zealand Helicopter Competition


Held at the Whitianga Airfield in Thames, New Zealand from April 7-8, 2007

The Whitianga Aeroclub is hosting the 2007 New Zealand Helicopter Championships, sponsored by North Shore Helicopter Training. Up to 25 helicopter teams will compete. The event’s rules and regulations will adhere to those sanctioned by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), otherwise known as the Air Sports Federation. The winning helicopter team will accept the BP Challenge Trophy.

The four-stage competition focuses mostly on the helicopter crew’s precision and accuracy skills more so than their speed. The first stage involves navigation and aerial photography. Teams must take photographs of specified locations and are judged on accuracy of target, clarity of image, and total time. Additional tasks include flour bombing a target. The second stage is a test of hovering skills. Pilots will have two chains of different lengths slung beneath the helicopter. As they fly the specified course, one chain must stay on the ground while the other remains airborne. A precision landing is also required. The third stage will also be fun to watch. Helicopter teams will fly a set course with a bucker of water slung beneath the chopper. One team member will be responsible for threading the bucket between pairs of poles before finally landing it on a target. Scoring is based in part on the amount of water spillage. The last stage requires dropping an object through a large drum several times while the helicopter is in motion.

Additional events are planned, including a helicopter aerobatic display. Many sizes, makes, and models of helicopters will be competing in the various events. The New Zealand Helicopter Championships is the third one sponsored by North Shore Helicopter Training, and it promises to be the largest yet.

You can reach North Shore Helicopter Training Limited at the North Shore Airfield in Auckland, New Zealand by phoning +64 9 426 8748. Their e-mail address is info@helitraining.co.nz. If you’d like to compete in the events, give them a call or e-mail them at roy@helitraining.co.nz. You can download an application from their Web site at http://www.helitraining.co.nz/.

Let them know you saw them here at airplanes.com!