queenstown helicopter wedding safety risk
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Helicopter Safety

So you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a helicopter!

“But are helicopters really safe for weddings?”

It’s likely that this thought may have crossed your mind at least once.

We only use Helicopter companies in Queenstown/Wanaka with:

  • A Modern fleet of Jet Turbine Helicopters suitable for mountain flying (No Robinsons)
  • Pilots that have Gold/Platinum Safety Recognition
  • Experienced Pilots with up to 30,000 hours of helicopter flying experience

But beyond this, some will also want to know more about statistics.

How do helicopter flights compare to cars for safety?

Fatal Accidents with Helicopters (including riskier “Robinson” helicopters In the US): 0.82 per 100,000 flight hours in 2018

Fatal Accidents with SUV’s (In the US): 453.6 per 100,000 driving hours in 2018

The average flight time for a wedding is 16 mins return, meaning.. the chance of a fatal accident is 0.00000218 per 100,000 flights.

This means it’s 527 times safer to fly the same amount of time, than driving a car. 

Helicopters are in fact much safer than riding in a car – it’s much more likely to come across a crazy tourist driver near the Queenstown Airport roundabouts, than to have any trouble while we’re in the air. Touch wood..

Safety around Helicopters

Before any flight, the pilot will do a safety briefing for: boarding the aircraft, sitting in the aircraft & getting out of the aircraft. This includes your standard seat belt rules, not having loose items such as scarves and veils that can get tangled, details about the first aid kit, what to do while boarding and disembarking the aircraft.. I’ll let the pilot explain this to you on the day.

COVID restrictions

Due to new government restrictions, helicopter companies are now requiring all passengers to show vaccine certificates before boarding the aircraft. This is due to helicopter companies being “close proximity” businesses.

IF this is a problem for you, please let us know as soon as possible.

High Altitude

If any of the passengers have severe fear of heights, please know that the helicopter companies won’t be able to issue any refunds once the helicopter has taken off. There are some good alternatives in Queenstown with great views & gentle slopes we can access by car. 

I feel that helicopter flights are smoother and safer than driving around town with all the crazy overseas tourists, but if you have a fear of heights, this may be a different experience.

A lot of the epic mountain top shots you see in my portfolio, are taken near the edge of a mountain top cliff. Looks great in photos and most couples come very well prepared – In another video I’ve probably sent you, I explain about the right kind of outfits to wear to stay safe and comfortable on the mountains. 

I will never push anyone beyond their comfort zone, and I won’t force you to do things that are life threatening or dangerous. I have plenty of portfolio already and I just want to make sure that you are having a great time. There’s so much opportunity to capture beautiful mountain top photos without going to the edge of the cliff anyway, if it’s not something you’re comfortable with.

Weather Conditions for Flying

When you book a Heli Wedding with us, we include a wet weather backup date for every couple.

Responsible helicopter pilots won’t fly in bad weather with strong winds and low visibility, and even if we get to the mountain top in those conditions, it won’t be comfortable for you at all.

Cloudy weather is still fine, as long as the clouds don’t obstruct the flight.