Christchurch Helicopters

Headquartered at Christchurch Airport, Christchurch Helicopters is an impressive aviation operation offering everything from commercial services and scenic tours of the Southern Alps and Kaikoura to agricultural operations and pilot training.

With their team of engineers, flight training managers, marketers, and nine pilots (including owner-director and rugby legend Richie McCaw), Christchurch Helicopters operates a fleet of eight state-of-the-art aircraft for the likes of sightseeing, firefighting, frost control, agricultural spraying, and aerial wild animal management.

 

With such a wide array of services on offer, it’s critical that the team has access to a tracking and communications tool that allows them to locate their aircraft and people anywhere, anytime. We spoke with Flight Training Manager and Pilot Kevin Walsh to understand how TracPlus helps them do just that.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company. What do you do, and how do you use TracPlus on a daily basis? What assets are you tracking?

Christchurch Helicopters is based out of Christchurch International Airport. We operate eight aircraft and offer aerial services including commercial and agricultural operations, aerial mapping and scanning, flight training, and scenic flights.

 

We use TracPlus for a variety of applications, predominantly for the safety factor of knowing exactly where our aircraft are at all times. We also use it to send messages when we’re out of phone service, to pinpoint scenic locations, and to track our students on cross-country flights. TracPlus’ data also comes in handy for debriefs.

 

How did you become aware of TracPlus, and when did you begin using us? What was involved in your decision to become a TracPlus customer?

We’ve known about TracPlus for many years, and when we started Christchurch Helicopters back up in 2015, we decided to stick with TracPlus as the units gave us what we were looking for. We started with one of the original tracking units and moved through to now utilising the RockAir units in all our aircraft. They’re perfect for our operations.

 

What TracPlus features and functionalities are the most important for you, and why?

Being able to obtain speed, height, and location data. These are great features that we use daily to evaluate the progress of jobs. We also use the messaging through TP Connect to report in when we’re in remote locations.

 

What would you say are the biggest strengths of the TracPlus system?

Great customer support.

 

What key issues for you has TracPlus helped with?

TracPlus has become an integral part of our flight-following process, as it allows us to monitor our aircraft in real-time rather than waiting for a scheduled radio call-in.

 

We spend a lot of time in mountainous terrain outside cell coverage, so having a system that allows continual contact is fantastic. It allows our pilots to contact base from anywhere in New Zealand via satellite messaging to update us on their progress and alert us to any change of plans.

 

Have we helped you operate safer and smarter?

Having real-time monitoring of our helicopters gives us the peace of mind of knowing where our helicopters and flight crew are at all times. TracPlus has simplified the flight-following process, and it allows management staff to monitor flight operations from anywhere in the world through the mobile app.

 

Interested in learning more about how TracPlus can help your business or organisation? Get in touch with us at sales@tracplus.com.

 

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