Nearly three decades on from breaking his back when his helicopter crashed into wires on a farm, Taranaki pilot Alan Beck still wakes up in sweats, screaming.

From then on, he made it his mission to raise awareness about the dangers of wires, such as electric fences or old TV lines, but it wasn’t until his friend and fellow pilot died in a similar crash that he set up a campaign to make a difference.

Beck is one of this year’s two New Year Honours recipients from Taranaki, and has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his dedication to aviation and agriculture.

He thinks his work on the Down to the Wire program, which reminds farmers and agricultural pilots about the danger of wires above farms, is a big part of the reason he got there.

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