Award Winning Airmanship
A Te Anau helicopter pilot has been awarded the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) Outstanding Airman Award. Richard “Hannibal” Hayes received the honour for single-handedly putting out a bush fire in Queenstown in November 2005. He was the only pilot in the area with a night-vision rating, and battled 4 knot winds to get the blaze under control. Hayes runs the Te Anau-based company Southern Lakes Helicopters, which he founded in 1982. He is the first pilot to receive the FAI Outstanding Airman Award since 2003.