The Aviation Adventures Team includes
some of the most skilled pilots in the business.
We are dedicated
to giving you an enjoyable experience and providing quality service.
We like meeting people as much as we like flying. Sharing
the joys of a biplane flight is what we do best!
Chief Pilot and Director
Chris has been flying
gliders and powered aircraft since 1984. As a tow pilot flying
"tail dragger aircraft", he has completed over 5000 launches. His
total time in aircraft exceeds 4400 hours. He also holds New Zealand
and Canadian commercial licences for aeroplanes and balloons, and
has flown helicopters. He was the first New Zealander (and one of
only a few people in the world) to log 1000 hours each on aeroplanes,
gliders and balloons. In addition to holding four New Zealand national
aviation records, he has been flying in the area around Aoraki Mt Cook
for 23 years and was the Chief Flying Instructor for the Southern Soaring
gliding company from February 2006 until April 2010. Other achievements
include being the author of two aviation books and visiting Antarctica eight times.
Tarn has had an interest in aviation, Mount Cook and the outdoors for much
of her life. She has worked as cabin crew for Mount Cook Airlines for over
23 years. Prior to that she worked for a season in Antarctica at McMurdo
Station on Ross Island, where she met Chris. She has travelled extensively
in North America, explored the Pacific countries of Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga,
Fiji and the Solomon Islands, and hiked in the Nepalese Himalaya. Other interests
include kayaking, mountain biking, whale watching and helping run a community
garden in Lyttelton.
Quality Assurance Manager
Darren Smith is an experienced pilot
with over 2000 hours fixed-wing time (1100 of this being in tail-dragger
aircraft) and over 1000 hours as a glider pilot. During the off-season
he flies gliders and tow planes in Canada and works in New Zealand
flying a Cresco aircraft on sky diving operations out of Queenstown