Helicopters Back, But Chance To Meet The Crews

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 | 10 Comments

The Navy has issued the following statement;

“There will be helicopter training operations conducted in and around the Naval Base and the Navy sports fields at Ngataringa Bay 15 to 17 August 2011.

These helicopter operations are part of the wider government-directed preparations for the Rugby World Cup, for which the NZ Defence Force has a supporting role. This activity has been directed and co-ordinated from the Headquarters Joint Forces NZ, the operational HQ of the NZ Defence Force, and will involve the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as other NZ government agencies. These helicopter operations in and around Devonport are part of a larger exercise activity around the Auckland area. As such we do not have accurate details as to the timings as it is dependent on how other aspects of the exercise progresses.

One of NZ's Iroquois helicopters

One of NZ's Iroquois helicopters

We have been advised that the broad timings are 5:00PM to 9:00PM each day, and we have been assured they will go no later than 9:45 PM.

We are very aware these UH-1H Iroquois helicopter operations do impact on our neighbours in Devonport. We are also aware that many people have not had the opportunity to have a closer look at an Iroquois.

To enable our neighbours to have a closer look it is intended to have an Iroquois open to the public at the Ngataringa Sports fields from 3:00PM to 5:00PM on Monday 15 August. This will be a good chance for you and your family to see an Iroquois up close, and to meet the crew.”


  1. boadicca says:

    I remain unrepentently non-conformist. I think the whole Rugby thing is a dead bore, and worse still, one that valorises male aggression and violence. You only have to look at the spike in domestic violence whenever a match is lost to know who pays the price for that. And the tax dollars (OUR dollars) wasted on a load of balls (well one giant one anyway), an architectural maggot crawling off the waterfront, a big plastic canoe, and now putting noisy boys toys up in the air, would have been better spent helping Christchurch either to rebuild or move. It’s enough to make one want to slaughter a few Romans!

  2. JL says:

    I’m pleased to say the exercise was a lot better this time. It was a weeeee bit inconvenient, but certainly not at the unbearable, and risky, level of last month. Maybe all those complaints brought home that it’s important to actually follow civil aviation safety guidelines when overflying residential areas?
    And to Mark, who suggests all those who objected should move. Dude, I was born here, and am happy to live near a naval base……get it – naval….boats, not planes! I think we can be forgiven for having felt a little out of countenance when flying machines appeared, without warning, at deafening proximity & tried to shake our houses loose at the foundations! Add the PR disaster that followed, and you can understand why there were a few disgruntled locals that time around.

  3. James says:

    Not to burst your bubble but the photo above is not of a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter. It is the new NH 90 helicpoter which is a advanced medium utility helicopter. And certainly not almost 40 years old. I am hoping that a defence member did not provide the errant advice attached to the picture otherwise some remedial recognition training may be required….

    Well spotted young man, we were er, just testing. You have won tonight’s star prize – a blow on the head. – Ed

  4. Boadicca says:

    Something untoward happening in Devo? An exciting prospect indeed! But what does Jo have in mind? There are police helicopters capable of following stolen cars or miscreants on foot. So what are the big Navy choppers going to add to this? Strafing the runaways? Bombing the getaway vehicles? Napalming drunken rugby fans? Well, I guess that WILL keep untoward behaviour to a minimum. But in the meantime perhaps the Speculator’s investigative journos can tell us how many tax dollars it takes to put an Iroquois helicopter into the air, and how much this Naval gazing exercise cost as a whole. Probably only a smidgen compared to the squillions already being wasted on that stupid sporting event.

    Now come on Bozza, the concept of the competitive sport is preferable to the enthusiastic slaughter of Romans; you must get with the times. And in answer to your question regarding the cost of putting an Iroquois helicopter in the air,our initial research suggests it is exactly 1.3 haircuts per blade rotation. – Ed

  5. Jo says:

    If anything untoward happens in Devonport or the greater Auckland area during the RWC (or at any time) we’ll be glad that they know what they’re doing!

  6. mark says:

    None of the above… living local for more than 22 years…Just a thought how about a separate click through just for the Military/Navy news, then that way those who want to whinge or send bricks can do it without taking the gloss off what devonport has to offer? I have been a fan of the spec for a while…keep up the good work

    The Speculator stands humbly corrected. – Ed

  7. mark says:

    If it sounds like & looks like a military base …it probably is? To those who constantly whinge about the navy. Maybe you should relocate to another suburb…Western Springs?

    Mark; that sounds like the view of someone who;

    a) does not live near the location of the helicopter trials;
    b) does not have young children at home
    c) is as deaf as a post
    d) some or all of the above

    Could you confirm? – Ed

  8. Jamie says:

    Bloody hell this is annoying… trying to write an assignment for uni…can’t finish a paragraph without loosing my train of thought.

    Sympathise with you Jamie; we’re some distance away and are finding it intrusive. – Ed

  9. Boadicca says:

    To be fair, I did get a letter from those mariners, warning me about this exercise. But frankly, it didn’t make me feel ANY better about yet more of my tax dollars being wasted on that wretched sporting event. Is there NO expenditure too pointless when it comes to the Rugby World Cup?

  10. JL says:

    Thanks Speculator, for letting us know, especially important for those of us who live on Ngataringa Bay because the navy hasn’t bothered to inform us.
    I know people may think we were being a tad touchy when we complained the last time the choppers were here…but even though we support our guys in uniform & understand the need to practise, it was truly unbearable & I have to say the thought of 3 nights is very, very daunting.
    The problem isn’t the exercise per se, but rather the fact that the helicopters were doing constant circuits and over-flying homes waaaay under the 500 feet civil aviation requirement. We literally got ‘buzzed’ every 5 minutes, with the house shaking & glass rattling in our windows. It was so deafening that, even with all the windows closed, there was no hope of distracting ourselves with the tv or a little music….(even going the Apocolypse now route & blasting forth the Ride of the Vakyries wouldn’t have made for an audible accompaniment).
    I really appreciate the offer to check out an iriquois, but if the open day is a sincere example of goodwill, why hasn’t the navy publicised it other than on this redoubtable site???

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