We Were at the New Zealand Airgames

Getting a ride... I think we had the most fun this day. With 4 helicopters to take us from Glentanner station to the middle of the NZ Alps, the Airsports Live team spared no expense.

We were invited to do a Speed Flying and BASE jumping demo at the Airsports Live event in New Zealand during the last two weeks of December. Without question, the highlight of the trip was flying helicopters into and around the Aoraki Wilderness area, which is where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed almost in its entirety. In fact, we were working with the same pilots that flew the camera crew for the filming of the movies. Well experienced at flying in glacial terrain, the pilots sometimes dragged skids on cornices and on the snow while buzzing through mountain passes, sometimes making contact with the snow hard enough to jolt us in our seats inside the heli. The scenery was ridiculous, nearly impossible to describe. Pristine, remote, wild, savage, and stunning are all adjectives that spring to mind. Sitting in the front of the heli and directing our little armada to the speed flying site of our choice deep in the NZ Alps in the middle of their summer was an experience that filled me with gratitude for the life I'm living.

Some photos of the Speed Flying day (Mike Steen and I):

Mike and I, with Antoine Montant (speed flying master-guru), keeping it low, behind us.

Mattt Mike and Carson, photos by Carson and Alex Behse.

Mathieu Rouanet flying over Diamond Lake. Photo by Carson.