Helicopter joy rides to give a bird’s eye view of the region

September 10, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.47.18 AMHenty farmers wanting an aerial photograph of their farm can pre book a flight in Wagga Air Centre’s helicopter at this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days.

For about a decade, Chris Cabot, Wagga Air Centre’s chief pilot, has conducted helicopter joy rides for visitors, giving them a bird’s eye view of the field days and surrounding landscape.

The agronomy plots have been sown to canola and, combined with surrounding local crops, are bound to make a breathtaking sight from the air.

Mr Cabot said the six to 10-minute flights in a Robinson R44 helicopter, costing $70 a person, could be pre-booked on-line, with local farmers who want to aerially photograph their property also catered for.

Chris and his wife Jenny originally owned an interstate transport business in Wagga before establishing Cabot Horse Transport.

Chris began flying as a hobby in a Piper Warrior, using it for family holidays.

In 1990, the couple established Cabair Charter Service, using a twin-engine aircraft for mining contracts and Royal Flying Doctor Service charter work in northern Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The business became Wagga Air Centre in 1996 and now runs a fleet of 12 aircraft and one helicopter, providing a night-flight return service to 15 regional ports on the eastern seaboard 250 days a year.

Eight full-time staff, including seven pilots, are employed.

The helicopter is used for motion picture work, including filming for the Crusty Demons, aerial photography, river surveys and power line inspections.

Chris and Jenny are the NSW distributors for Italian aircraft manufacturing company Tecnam and will be at the Henty field days with information on the P2006 Twin.

Wagga Air Centre offers flight training from recreational through to commercial instrument rated pilot licensing.