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Townsville Helicopters is a family owned and operated business which has been growing locally here in Townsville, North Queensland since 2008
Owner and Managing Director, Dick Arnold, started his flying career in North West Queensland, mustering, predominantly around Cloncurry and Normanton. He then moved into the world of turbine helicopters flying charters, fire suppression and mining support, gaining significant experience in sling operations which took him to Canada, specifically the Arctic region, for several years. Dick and his family moved back to Townsville with intentions of developing a rotor aviation industry on this small corner of Australia. Shortly after this, in 2010 he opened Townsville’s very first helicopter flight training school and welcomed a small class of three students. From this, the demand for aviation has increased expeditiously and we are now proud to offer flight training and aerial solutions to students, customers and clients Australia wide; and bring world class experiences to the locals with premium helicopter tours.
The company reached a new altitude in 2018 and when the opportunity came up for Dick Arnold to purchase the large Hangar - renamed 'Hangar 85', which provided the stability and the scope to expand. Now under one roof in Hangar 85 we operate as Townsville Helicopters, Townsville Flight Training, ZephAir Australia and Aviatrix Australia.
With space to fill and a track record in pilot training, it made sense to launch Townsville Flight Training and also offer fixed wing flight training. Modern fixed-wing aircraft plus highly trained commercial pilots brought another business, ZephAir Australia - a five star fixed wing charter company. ZephAir operates regular contract work as well holiday experiences all across the country.
Amongst the mix, Aviatrix Australia was created - to support, educate and encourage the study of women in aviation and advocate for their career advancement. Working in the industry this brand was developed after noticing not only a lack of females entering the school and workplace but also after researching further and finding that only 7% of pilots across the globe are female. Together with Aviatrix, all four businesses are able to challenge the status quo and look for a more positive future for female pilots.
The secret to our success and the key to our healthy relationship with the aviation industry comes from a team built with pilots from many different backgrounds. From ex military and police officers, mustering and ferry pilots to the kids who have grown up in the industry, and the partners who are always there for support, all our staff are the backbone of Hangar 85. Bringing bucket loads of experience from all walks of life and corners of Aus, they excel in various fields and come together to work as one by sharing knowledge, skills, tips and tricks. Which makes us your one stop helicopter shop.
Whilst things change, safety as our top priority never will. Students come and go, new faces are always on the horizon, our pilots continue to deliver every lesson, and bring professionalism to charter flights and airwork operations. Here at Townsville Helicopters we pride ourselves on our welcoming, family friendly culture and we hope you feel this reflecting through your experience with us.