Choppy’s new $5m ride


High-end Queenstown chopper company Over The Top has added one of the world’s quietest and most modern helicopters to its fleet.

The $5 million Airbus H1230 T2 joins the company’s other five Eurocopters - Eurocopter was rebranded Airbus Helicopters last year.

Company owner Louisa ‘Choppy’ Patterson says she’s invested in the European brand since 2007 because its Fenestron enclosed tail rotor system is remarkably quiet.

“The tips are shrouded so you don’t hear that screaming noise that a conventional rotor system makes.”

Paterson says her newest helicopter, with just 45 hours’ flying time on the clock, has huge power, enhanced safety features and a smooth anti-vibration system.

“High-end clients will pay more to go on the latest and greatest type of aircraft.”

The Airbus’ hourly charter rate is $3000 plus GST per person.

Paterson hopes to show off the machine to delegates at next week’s aviation leadership summit in Queenstown which Airbus delegates are attending.

Meanwhile, broadcaster CNN this week rated an Over The Top private helicopter tour one of the eight hottest luxury travel experiences on the planet.