11 September 2018

S8 322 from Nelson to Wellington

My return flight from Nelson to Wellington on 7 September 2018 on ZK-PDM

A glimpse at the new Nelson tower and stage one of the terminal...

A beautiful day in the South Island

Not so flash on the approach to the North Island
Mana Island coming out of the murk...

Wellington city...

Cleared to land 16

Back on the ground at Wellington

10 September 2018

North Shore - Great Barrier Flights Resume

Barrier Air resumed its flights between Great Barrier Island and North Shore today. The first flight were operated in Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SDC which departed Great Barrier Island's Claris airport as flight GB204 at 11.16am and arrived at North Shore at 11:40am. The return flight, GB205, departed North Shore and 12.17pm and arrived at Great Barrier Island (Claris) at 12:41pm.

The North Srore flights operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays as follows

Route  Flight Dep         Arr
GBZ-NOR 204        10.50 11.20
NOR-GBZ 205        12.00 12.30

The Last Month's Spotting

Tecnam P2002 Sierra ZK-TBK at Whakatane on 11 August 2018

Vans RV 12 UL ZK-TFP at Whakatane on 12 August 2018

Stoddard-Hamilton Glastar ZK-CIM at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Cessna 172 ZK-FII at Tauranga on 24 August 2018 - Island Air use FII on their Motiti Island flights

Eurocopter EC120B ZK-IKF at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Cessna 185 ZK-JKL at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Cessna 182 ZK-KHW at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEK at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Beechcraft B300 Super King Air ZK-PWL at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Just Aircraft SuperSTOL ZK-RIM at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Socata TB9 Tampico ZK-TRW at Tauranga on 24 August 2018

Cessna 206 ZK-WWH at Tauranga on 24 August 2018 - Island Air use WWH on their Motiti Island flights

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior ZK-EQZ at Tauranga on 25 August 2018

Cessna 152 ZK-FGD at Tauranga on 25 August 2018

Vans RV4 ZK-RVV Pat Tauranga on 25 August 2018

Cessna 172 ZK-CDS at Whakatane on 1 September 2018

Cessna 172 ZK-TAU at Tauranga on 1 September 2018

Originair's BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH at Nelson on 7 September 2018

A gray day for a gray jet... the RNZAF's Boeing 757 NZ7571 taxiing past my aircraft window at Wellington on 7 September 2018 

Farmer Air's Pacific Aerospace 750XL ZK-SWA at Hamilton on 8 September 2018

09 September 2018

The Dominion Post's Ride to Nelson

Every morning, Monday to Saturday, one of the first departures out of Wellington is Sounds Air flight 321 which carries the Dominion Post newspaper across to Nelson. As part of my reserach into the flying of the Dominion Post I took the opportunity to fly across to Nelson and record the Dominion Post's travels. 

It's 5.30am in the morning and Cessna Caravan ZK-PDM is sitting in the dark waiting for its newspapers and passengers for the 5.55am departure.

Pilot for the day is Chad Scrivners who has been with Sounds Air for 18 months 

And there they are - the Dominion Posts for Nelson... The newspaper is a lot smaller now and a lot less are being flown as the day of the national daily newspapers seem to be fading away in favour of getting news on line. 

 After the newspapers have been stowed and the preflight done the passengers are boarded. The departure is scheduled for 5.55am which allows for takeoff at 6.00am as the airport's curfew ends. While the newspaper traffic is markedly down Sounds Air's new fare structure is attracting passengers and there were 7 passengers and a cat on the early morning departure. Take off from a still dark Wellington was into a howling and freezing southerly. Chad was telling me with a southerly there is no turbulence and he was right... a smooth departure and climb above the cloud before breaking visual crossing the South Island coast near Blenheim.

By 6.30am we were on descent to Nelson as the new day dawned...

...with touchdown at Nelson at 6.37am

Devyn, the local newspaper agent, has been handling the Dominion Post made quick work of unloading and sorting his newspapers before setting out to deliver them.

Meanwhile ZK-PDM waits for her passengers for her 7.00am departure back to Wellington and she will probably have been back in Wellington before most subscribers had opened their Dominion Post for the morning.

My thanks to Chad, Andrew and the Sounds Air team for their help in doing this post.

As I have posted before and stated above, I am working on a post on the history of the Dominion/ Dominion Post being flown across Cook Strait and I am looking for information on the operators that have flown the service...

Thanks to those who have sent information and photos... I am however still looking for more to fill out the post which I will publish on 11 November 2018... 

The service has been operated by a number of operators as follows...

Would anyone happen to have any photos of aircraft on the newspaper run???

If you have can you contact me at westland831@gmail.com

I also have a few specific questions about the air service. But it would be really nice to get some personal experience on any of the operators just to give the history a little flavour... What was the normal routine for the pilot in terms of route, loading/unloading, carrying passengers??? any unusual stories???


JAMES AIR The Dominion newspaper flight was a pure freight flight and didn't appear in their timetable. Can any pilot tell me from their logbook what was routine on the daily freight run? I know the 402 and 404 Titan were used on the service. Was the Aero Commander ever used???

The MARLBOROUGH AERO CLUB operated the service for a matter of a few weeks in 1981 with a Beech Baron. Do you know the registration of the Baron the Club used???

WELLINGTON AERO CLUB used Cessna 320 Skyknight, ZK-EGN on the run for some months in 1981. Can any pilot tell me from their logbook what was routine on the daily freight run?


SKYFERRY were the successors to Air Albatross. The flight was a pure freight flight and didn't appear in their timetable. Can any pilot tell me from their logbook what was routine on the daily freight run?





Thanks in advance for your help