Date: 13th October 2018
The sun hasn’t yet peeped it’s head over the horizon but the phone is ringing. We’d been expecting the call after going on alert yesterday afternoon.
The orchard farmer from Central has been keeping an eye on the temperature and the lights have gone red – it’s freezing !
One of the less glamorous parts of being a pilot is being called in the wee hours of the morning to head to central Otago for a few hours of cruising round in circles imitating wind strong enough to ward of an imminent frost.
“There is a feel good factor though,” according to our pilot “you know that what you’re doing is going to help save a crop – and we’ll all be enjoying the ‘fruits’ of our labour come summer!”
The cost of loss due to frost damage can be excessive, so for the grower sometimes it’s more economical to bear the outlay for a helicopter to save the harvest than to loose part of a crop to the mean old fingers of Jack Frost.
Aspiring Helicopters has been helping fight frost almost since it’s inception and old Charlie has some great stories about the days when he would fly all the way to Blenheim to hover above the vineyards – all in the name of saving the yield of New Zealands’ favourite wines.
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