Unmanned aircraft trials in Canterbury

REMINDER: Wisk Unmanned Aircraft Airspace Integration Trials – Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora – November

AOPA NZ members who were lucky enough to be at EAA Oshkosh in 2023 would have seen a demonstration of the bright yellow Wisk Explore Generation 5 unmanned electric air taxi prototype.

The same company is set to undertake trials of how unmanned aircraft will integrate with IFR aircraft in controlled airspace, off the Canterbury coast, between 17 November and 1 December 2023. Using an Insitu CT-220 Remotely Piloted Aircraft, the trial flights will take off from Tāwhaki on the Kaitorete Spit (on the western edge of Restricted Area R902), which separates Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora from the Pacific Ocean. It will track out to sea at low level and then climb up into controlled airspace for the integration trials.

The team at Wisk wants to assure members that all possible measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all airspace users and the operation will be approved by CAA before launch. The aircraft is equipped with a transponder and ADS-B Out, and all local frequencies including 118.75Mhz and 119.1Mhz will be monitored by ground controllers.