Up to four Iroquois helicopters of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) No 3 Squadron are taking part in a night flying exercise, PekaPeka 11, being held from 16-27 May 2011.

Exercise PekaPeka 11 is aimed to train Iroquois helicopters aircrew in night vision goggle operations and maintenance personnel in night-time aircraft maintenance.

Detachment commander Squadron Leader Oliver Bint said the exercise would help maintain RNZAF’s rotary wing transport force capability to perform day and night flying operations.

No 3 Squadron conducts tasks including counterterrorism response, search and rescue, and support to any civil defence or disaster relief operations throughout the year.

“Flying at night provides a different set of challenges than flying during the day, and we need to ensure our crews are trained to operate effectively at any hour,” he added.