Meet Dennis Young, the director, CEO and pilot of Heliworx: our preferred helicopter company that flies Greenmantle’s guests to the most beautiful spots New Zealand has got to offer.
What made you want to become a pilot?
At the age of 13 when I spent my school holidays with a friend who’s father was a helicopter pilot. That’s where I got the bug. We have both become pilots and he has remained a good friend.
What do you love so much about your job and why?
It’s a challenge to say the least. It has its quite times, but you know there’s a challenge just around the corner; then it’s all hands to the pumps. It is not a 9 to 5 job. Flying people around for the first time can be areal buzz too – 99% of people love it, and that’s what makes the job so amazing.
‘99% of people love it, and that’s what makes the job so amazing’
So you could say you’re a pilot, social host and guide.
Yes indeed. We kind of have to be all because of the nature of the business; it’s important that we have a personal touch because it helps relax clients. For lots of people flying in a helicopter can be quite scary!
What can people expect when booking a scenic helicopter flight?
The clients are greeted with an introduction. This is very important because it helps relax them. Depending on what excursion they undertake, it can determine the safety brief.
Photo opportunities are a must; we are always happy to carry this out for our clients before boarding. Everyone is allowed to take phones and cameras with them during the flight, so people can always remember their trip by their own snaps.
Our Kapiti Island scenic flight includes an informative commentary and some stories of days gone by. If we are lucky, we sometimes spot (killer) whales and dolphins around Kapiti Island. The back side of the island is really something as well. The Kapiti Island route is my favourite one for sure!
‘We sometimes spot killer whales and dolphins around Kapiti Island’
What experience do you want guests to have?
We offer a wide range of excursions: form scenic flights to winery tours, a Heli-lunch and Guided Hunting trips. We provide a friendly safe professional operation that our clients all just rave about. We want them to leave thinking the Kapiti Coast is a really cool place. We want them to appreciate it so much, so hopefully they visit it again!
Could you please describe the most memorable experience you’ve had as a pilot working for Heliworx?
There are so many. Wedding proposals are always memorable, in that case we offer complimentary bottle of bubble; this makes the experience even more special. Some clients are crying at the end of the flight from joy; probably the best reaction you can get!
Are you interested in booking a scenic flight during your stay at Greenmantle? Here is some information. Feel free to contact us and we are more than happy to arrange a helicopter experience for you during your stay!
You can check out all the different scenic flights from Heliworx here