Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff

Hank Sproull – Air Milford CEO

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Hank Sproull – Air Milford CEO

With over 40 years’ experience in aviation, Hank is a flying enthusiast and one of the longest serving to General Aviation (G.A.) in the area. Growing up in nearby Te Anau, Hank moved to Queenstown in the early ’70s to begin an Aircraft Engineering apprenticeship with Mt Cook Airlines (now owned by Air New Zealand). Like many kids, however, the dream was always to pilot the machines he so meticulously cared for. During the ’80s and ’90s Hank flew for the Hollyford Tourist Company and Mt Cook Airlines, sharing his passion for the Fiordland outdoors with the travelling public.

In the year 2000 he and wife, Kerrie, took sole ownership of Air Milford calling on all of their business skills to develop the company into the successful, 5-aircraft operation that it is today. Hank has not lost sight of his goal to offer personalised sightseeing tours, which is reflected when customers are personally shuttled to the airport by Kerrie, and quite often share the privilege of flying with Hank.

 


  Antony Sproull – Air Milford Operations Manager/Chief Pilot

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Youngest son to Hank and Kerrie, Antony joined the business full-time in 2011. He combined his studies in tourism and child born love for aviation to attain a commercial pilot’s licence in 2014.

“Words cannot describe how much I enjoy working in our family business – it’s truly a dream job. From the cockpit of our aircraft, to travelling and marketing the business at trade events, every day presents a unique office environment. This excitement we experience is shared through our customer feedback on Trip Advisor, and we are proud to be rated #1 Scenic Flight Activity in the Queenstown area. I give credit to my parents, who have drawn on 40 years of local aviation experience, to establish a successful business focused on personalised flight seeing tours.”

Outside of the business Antony is still involved in his former Motocross career, actively coaching the younger generation.


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Simon Sproull – Engineer/Rampie

Simon is based in Christchurch with his wife, Kushla, and two kids. He currently works full-time for Pratt & Whitney/Air New Zealand at the Christchurch Engine Centre, maintaining, repairing and overhauling Airbus A-320 V2500 engines. During his summer break he supports Air Milford on engineering and hanger duties. The long-term strategy is to have Simon return to Queenstown and work full-time in the business.


Alex Turnbull  – Pilot/Instructor/Safety Manager

photo credit: road.to.nowhere.blog

Originally from Northumberland in the UK Alex has lived in Queenstown since 2007, moving to New Zealand to pursue a career in general aviation. Alex has had a passion for aviation since he was young and always knew he wanted to fly. “When I was instructing I did a lot of flying around the Queenstown/Milford area with pilots from overseas and it always amazed me that the most frequent comment when we landed was this was the most spectacular flying they had ever done. Often this was from pilots with thousands of hours, flying all over the world”. After instructing, Alex got the opportunity to fly for a local skydive company and his first taste of flying turbine powered aircraft. He did this for three years before joining Air Milford in 2015.

Outside of flying Alex has his hands pretty full with his 6 month old daughter and 2 year old son, but tries to make time for walking in the amazing surroundings we have here in Queenstown


 Thomas Watson – Contract Pilot

A true Queenstown local born and raised, Thomas has been flying with Air Milford since 2013, firstly on a part time basis and progressively, since graduating to flying the Caravans in the summer of 2016, in a more permanent roll.

When he is not showing travelers round his beautiful backyard, Tom is busy going on adventures with his three sons and working with his wife, in the local film industry.


 

James Hill – Line Pilot

Originally from Auckland, Jimmy developed an interest in aviation at an early age – going solo just after his 16th Birthday! After completing this commercial flying training and gaining some initial experience, he secured his first full time job, flying sky diving planes in Rotorua. This quickly led to a transfer to Queenstown  in 2014, where he continued to drop skydives and gained experience flying Cessna Caravans.

This experience in Cessna Caravans led to Jimmy securing his roll at Air Milford in 2016, “I really enjoy flying for Air Milford- it’s a family company with is constantly striving to maintain the highest level of airmanship, safety and customer service. The aircraft are fantastic to operate and flying into Milford must be one of the most scenic routes in the world. It’s a dream come true.”

When he isn’t flying Jimmy enjoys many of the outdoor activities Queenstown has to offer, in particular snowboarding and mountain biking. In the late evening of the Summer months, he can often be found out walking his dog, Bella, along one of Queenstown’s many walking tracks.


Mary Day – Senior Flight Coordinator

Kidnapped from the Swiss Alps by a Kiwi boy with a passion for aviation, Mary originally comes from Worcestershire in the UK. She has been living in Queenstown since 2012 and has been working with Air Milford since 2014.

At Air Milford Mary relishes describing to guests the awe-inspiring and magnificent experiences on offer to them at Air Milford. Mary loves the stunning mountain surroundings and outdoor activities that Queenstown has to offer and when she is not at work, she can be found flying her paraglider off one of the local peaks, riding her mountain bike, or heading up the ski field for some snow action.


Joan Lanuza Nieva – Flight Coordinator

Jo joined Air Milford in 2019. Originally from the busiest city in the Philippines, Manila. It was her dream to study and work overseas, and this dream brought her to the beautiful Queenstown. The first step was when she took up a post graduate course in Tourism and Hospitality Management and graduated in 2018. While studying, she worked part-time in a local Queenstown hotel, to practice her skills. The second part of her dream was reached when she joined Air Milford.

“Getting a chance to work for a leading and local family owned business in the tourism industry here in Queenstown is very precious to me. The opportunity to learn from and experience the team and company’s expertise is mind blowing. I am grateful beyond words and very blessed to have joined the team.”

Jo loves 2 things, coffee which adds sparkle to her day, and food. She has a passion for eating any kind of food and may seem like a bottomless pit, 🙈 specially with spicy and tasty meals!

Outside the office, Jo will be seen participating in yoga activities and exploring Queenstown’s walking tracks by foot. She enjoys the fresh air and the warm hospitality of the town, taking every good learning that she can and pay it forward


Maria Arhanic– Accounts

Maria is a part-time employee, who joined the team in November 2016. She processes company accounts and wages, helps on reception, and during busy times, will be out in the hanger assisting Air Milford passengers. “I love the variety in my job, it’s a great team to work with and our passengers are always so excited about their flight with us. My job is a lot of fun!”

Maria has lived in Arrowtown since 2001 with her daughter, who now attends Wakatipu High School and her partner. Maria is a keen golfer who enjoys the stunning surroundings which make every golf day a great day (regardless of the score!!).

 


 

Jules Coolz – Marketing Representative

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Jules has worked for Air Milford since 2008, as our marketing representative, agent calls, hosting functions and training are all within her remit.

Jules is full of life, which is infectious to all those around her. She is outgoing with a bubbly personality and enjoys keeping fit with her gym instructing work and cannoning company, outside of the tourism industry.

 


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Launch Party April 2016