• Meet SPHWOW02 34

    Keeley Rhynd

    Operations Manager / Senior Pilot

    Keeley's dreams of adventure and escapism from his burger flipping job in Auckland, led him to the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, where he pretended to be a bush pilot for years. Tired of dodging lions, elephants and donkeys, he crept back to Wellington to tangle with high performance aircraft in an environment more hostile than the one he had left. To survive Courtney Place after nightfall, Keeley drew on his experience of not getting eaten in Africa. The opportunity to live in underdeveloped countries with shattered infrastructure, poor sanitation and vibrant culture's was irresistable, and many years were spent in Africa and the middle east flying aircraft in support of aid and mining programs. A decade of flying for an airline ensued, which moulded Keeley into the responsible product that he is today, although the 'hosts' he has collected on his travels mean that weight gains for Keeley's scrawny frame are unlikely. In recent years he has worked as an ambulance officer for St John, helicopter ground crew and pilot before joining the Wings Over Whales team. His pursuits in surfing, climbing and skiing round out his dream of leading an exciting outdoor life with his family, while the whales never cease to amaze him.