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New Zealand Whisky to Commemorate Air Force Helicopter Fleet

New Zealand Whisky to Commemorate Air Force Helicopter Fleet

Oamaru, New Zealand – May 27, 2015 – For just over 49 years, the UH-1H Iroquois helicopter fleet has served the RNZAF, NZDF and New Zealand. On May 2015, a formal function will mark the retirement of the Iroquois (Huey) and bottles from the New Zealand Whisky Company will be auctioned to commemorate each helicopter.

“ We are thrilled to support the Air Force in support of their Missing Wingman Trust and the retirement of their Iroquois helicopter fleet. We have provided 16 bottles, one for each of their aircraft,” says Operations Manager, Grant Finn.

The UH-1H Irozuois (Huey) currently being operated by No.3 Squadron RNZAF are scheduled to retire this year, following operations in Singapore, East Timor and Antarctica. The fleet also responded to crises throughout the Pacific, SE Asia and on New Zealand soil, the Christchurch earthquake. Many have been saved courtesy of Huey’s search and rescue capability. Operations for counter terrorism and coast guard have also added to Huey’s mark in New Zealand’s history.

Finn will present 16 bottles of New Zealand whisky at the RNZAF Base Ohakea as part of a formal function on May 30. The bottles will be auctioned, each dedicated to a specific RNZAF Iroquois. It is expected bottles will be highly sought by those current and previous serving Commanding Officers of No.3 Squadron.

Proceeds of the auction will be donated in entirety to the Missing Wingman Trust, established to support families of those killed while serving in the RNZAF. The registered charity performs valuable work and it is hoped the auction will generate significant funds.

Each bottle is boxed and labeled with a bespoke design, showcasing the airport and its tail number. In addition, the recipient will find a personalised history of the aircraft enclosed including its introduction to service, hours flown and notable events in its service career.


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