Beck Helicopters was the first Taranaki based helicopter operator, and is the longest surviving New Zealand helicopter operator, being continuously operated by the original family, since 1972.
Being established with a single Bell 47 helicopter we now operate three Bell Iroquois and one Bell Jet Ranger helicopter, throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the USA, and have a safety record unparalled by any operator in New Zealand.
While originally established to service the need for spraying operations throughout Taranaki, we quickly saw the need for an accurate topdressing service, remote lifting, air transport, surveys and search and rescue operations. With the purchase of a Bell 206 Jet Ranger in 1977 we quickly established ourselves within the agricultural helicopter scene throughout New Zealand. We were the first helicopter operator in New Zealand to utilise a Jet Ranger on agricultural operations.
The purchase of our first medium lift helicopter, a Restricted Category Garlick “Bell” UH-1B, that was originally in service with the Norwegian Air Force, helped to keep Beck Helicopters at the forefront of helicopter operators within New Zealand. The purchase of the Iroquois helicopter provided numerous challenges for our operation, however it also enabled us to extend our operations throughout the country on a more regular basis.
We were the first operator in the Southern Hemisphere to operate Restricted Category Iroquois for commercial operations, and continue to operate this aircraft today. We have since purchased another two Iroquois helicopters, originally to expand and back up our New Zealand operations, however having three medium lift helicopters has given us the opportunity to expand into international fire fighting and disaster relief operations.