During the last 40 years, the Black Hawk has fought its way in and out of countless combat zones to deliver and extract troops, save lives as a MEDEVAC or casualty evacuation platform, provide critical supplies to troops, deliver emergency supplies during natural disasters, and perform as an aerial firefighter and border patroller.
And now there is one in New Zealand.
The Hawk arrived to New Zealand on a container ship from America on Wednesday. The ship docked at Ferguson Container Terminal, from where the chopper was unloaded and taken to Marsden Wharf.
The introduction of the Black Hawk is going to transform the aviation industry in New Zealand and allow heavy lifting work to be carried out by a New Zealand-owned business.
CEO of Kāhu NZ, Mark Law, is extremely excited to see the potential and demand for the Black Hawk in New Zealand and Australasia.
The Black Hawk will open Kāhu NZ to a unique market, including heli-logging, disaster relief, lifting heavy materials for construction, and aerial firefighting.
“The Black Hawk is already got a busy schedule ahead. We already have jobs lined up for our first week in action including building a new gondola, native rimu logging and moving 10 tiny homes."
Mark sees a great future for the Black Hawk in New Zealand and the South Pacific.
“Looking ahead we will be heading to Australia too to help with their fire season.”
The team plan to give the Black Hawk a makeover with the Kāhu NZ branding, once they find a gap in its busy schedule.
“It looks like having the Black Hawk is going to pay off very quickly.”
Mark Law is the CEO and CFI at Kāhu NZ. Being raised in a rural, farming family, Mark and his brothers were surrounded by aviation through hunting and agriculture.
“Growing up in a rural environment in New Zealand I was exposed to the aviation industry and it was a natural shift to become a pilot.”
Mark began his career by recovering feral deer from the NZ Wilderness for export in 1998. This was followed by extensive aerial work throughout the world, including the USA, Mexico, Australia and Africa. Mark now has 8000+ flight hours in experience, inclusive of 4000+ Instruction flying.
Mark and his family then launched Kāhu NZ, based in Whakatane. Kāhu is the Māori word for Harrier Hawk, and the team wanted a distinctly New Zealand brand to represent their business and what they stand for.
Peter Law is shortly returning to New Zealand to work together with brothers Mark and David, with Peter taking up the Chief Pilot role of the Black Hawk type in the company.
Their work crosses from tourism to flight training and into the firefighting and aerial work sectors. Their newest fleet member will open up heavy lifting work to 3.6 tons.
The Black Hawk was configured for commercial operations in the US prior to shipping. Kāhu NZ have 5 pilots rated to fly it as well as a small engineering team supporting the maintenance of the aircraft.