Te Anau pilot made float planes a specialty

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 27/01/2014
Allan Remnant
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ

Allan Remnant has clocked up 11,000 hours flying float planes. His early flying days were spent in Hollyford flying tourists and equipment around for Hollyford Tourist and Travel.

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Allan Remnant has seen parts of New Zealand where few have ventured.

The Te Anau man has been flying since 1985 and recently clocked up 11,000 hours flying float planes.

He played down the milestone, but acknowledged it was not a common feat.

The born and bred Southlander first learnt to fly at the age of 28 while working in Hollyford.

Having finished nine years in the air force as a chef, Mr Remnant had never considered flying before his then employer suggested he give it a go. It sparked his impressive flying career.

Mr Remnant did his basic training in Gore and got a job ferrying tourists and equipment for Hollyford Tourist and Travel.

He then started flying float planes in Te Anau for a company, which he now owns and rebranded Wings and Water.

It was there his love for flying float planes flourished and soon he and his wife were packing their bags and heading to Fiji, where Mr Remnant flew for three years.

Fiji had ideal flying conditions and he clocked up thousands of hours flying tourists across the islands.

"We only had five or six days where you couldn't fly a year."

But along with the spectacular scenery, there were a few hairy moments.

"One or two little situations where in hindsight we shouldn't have been there, but as you get more and more experience, those [situations] don't arise."

After his stint in Fiji, Mr and Mrs Remnant returned to Te Anau, where he swapped planes for stove tops and returned to working as a chef.

But he maintained his pilot licence and did casual flying for his former employer.

When the opportunity arose to purchase Wings and Water in 2001, he jumped at it.

Since then Mr Remnant has clocked up thousands more flying hours and they will keep climbing for the foreseeable future, he said.

"I've always said, when the paperwork outweighs the pleasure of flying then it's time to give it up." 

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- The Southland Times

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