John Oakes - Founder of Central South Island Helicopters passed away peacefully last week.
Johnny was a man you could implicitly trust and as as one who regularly put his life in Johnny's hands at the controls, I will miss him greatly. John has worked with me on a number of large wildfires, including the Mt Cook Stn and Ferintosh Stn (Mackenzie Country), Mt Allan (Dunedin), Staircase (Queenstown) and Herbert Forest (Nth Otago) fires. He also undertook a lot of lifting, crew transport and remote wilding tree control work with me in the Mackenzie Country and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park when I was a Dept of Conservation Programme Manager and Chief Ranger. His work on the sub-Antartic Islands undertaking pest control operations for both Australia and New Zealand is well documented and his rescue of a crew of a downed helicopter on a remote part of the antartic continent was rewarded by our Governor General with an humanitarian award medal.
He was a great pilot and an even better man and my love goes to Bru and family.
Kia Kaha Johnny
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