Meet the eradication team…Tony Michelle

Tony Michelle, South Georgia Island 2013. Photo by R.Gockel

Tony Michelle, South Georgia Island 2013. Photo by R.Gockel

Amuri Helicopters Ltd was established in 1989 operating from Hanmer Springs in the Central South Island of New Zealand with a fleet of 1x AS350BA-FX2 and 2 x Robinson R44 Raven II’s specialising in Aquatic Weed Control, Pest Eradication and Project Management.

Tony Michelle, CEO and Chief Pilot, is a founding director of Amuri Helicopters, an ISO 9000 Lead Auditor, actively participates in industry and stakeholder organisations and has been a driving force behind industry implementation of AIRCARE™ – a flight and environmental Safety Management System.

Company pest eradication operations have been conducted since 1994 that include:

  • Mainland possum, rat, mouse and rabbit eradication
  • Off shore island rat and mouse eradication

Tony has undertaken offshore island eradication pilot services in recent years including:

  • South Georgia Island 2013
  • French Polynesia 2015

Aerial management of island eradication programs under the company “Island Aerial Solutions” is undertaken. IASL was formed by Tony & Peter Garden in 2015 to provide “Go to Whoa” advice, planning and resourcing of the aerial component of eradication programs.

Tenarunga, French Polynesia 2015.

Tenarunga, French Polynesia 2015.

South Georgia Island 2013

South Georgia Island 2013

Amuri Helicopters company licencing

  • CAA Part 137 (Agricultural Operations) Client no. 34171
  • CAA Part 135 (Air Operations) Client no. 34171

Tony Michelle

Flight Experience

  • Total time helicopters 10,500 hours
  • Agricultural operations 5,500 hours
  • Pest eradication 850 hours
  • GPS operations 4750 hours
  • Tracmap operations 1500 hours
  • Instructional (Agricultural) 200 hours

Aircraft Ratings

AS350BA, AS350BA/FX2, McDonnell Douglas H500, Hughes 300, Bell B206, Hiller UH12E, Robinson R22, Robinson R44


  • New Zealand CPL(H) no. 15415
  • Grade 1 Agricultural rating
  • Class I Medical
  • ISO 9000 Lead Auditor
  • “D” & “E” Category Instructor Ratings
  • Pilot Agrichemical Rating
  • HSNO Approved Handler
  • Controlled Substance Licence (1080 & Pindone)

Industry Positions

  • Past Chairman New Zealand Agricultural Aviation Association (NZAAA)
  • Past NZAAA Committee member
  • Past Chairman AIRCARE™ Management Committee
  • Aviation Industry Association Council member


2012 & 2015 NZAAA award for “Developing and Setting Industry Standards”

Antipodes Roles

  • August 2014 – contracted as Aerial advisor
  • January 2015 – visited Antipodes Island aboard the “Evohe” to familiarise
  • December 2015 – selected as aircraft supplier and Chief pilot for the project