New bird flies with spiritual credentials

Heliview's new six-blade MD 600N helicopter.
Heliview's new six-blade MD 600N helicopter.

Heliview's new helicopter has a somewhat spiritual story behind it.

Its new owners, Jolanda and Richard Foale, imported it from India where it was used to fly pilgrims to a temple in Kashmir.

The six-blade helicopter, an MD 600N, is the quietest in production. "I think people will really appreciate we're being a good neighbour by flying around in one of the quietest helicopters out there," Mr Foale said.

It was one of two MD 600Ns in New Zealand, Mr Foale said.

With more than 800 horsepower it had a cruise speed of about 250kmh.

The MD was built in the United States in 1999 and used in the United Kingdom for a time before being used in India, he said.

Heliview was without a helicopter for about two months after selling the old two-blade helicopter to a buyer in Gore.

It can fit up to seven passengers, features large bubble windows and has no tail rotor.

Other than saying it was a "big investment" Mr Foale could not be drawn on how much the helicopter cost.

"The only way to go forward is to make sure that we do operate this modern technology that is quieter than the old helicopter we were operating before."

Yesterday was the first day of operating the machine commercially after it was given the all clear by the Civil Aviation Authority late last week, he said.

Taranaki Daily News