25 September 2018

Farewell to the Mount Cook Islanders

This was taken from the Milford Sound Scenic Flights Facebook page... 

It's the end of an era here at Milford Sound Scenic Flights with the sale of the last of our twin engine Britten Norman Islanders! These aircraft were manufactured between 1970-1975, and were purchased brand new by Mount Cook Airlines to fly the Milford route. They became a beloved part of our fleet in the 1990's where they have continued to operate ever since.

Fun fact: x4 of our 7 Islander fleet were sold in 2013: ZK-ZQN and ZK-MFN went to Australia and ZK-MSF and ZK-TSS went to Germany, and we are now saying farewell to ZK-DBV, ZK-MCE and ZK-MCD who are off on their new adventure to Fiji!

Haere rā and happy travels!

Photo credit: Karl LC & Andy W

You can find photos of DBV, MCD and MCE in Mount Cook colours here...

C of A Day

Due to go through the Certificate of Airworthiness process today is Air Chathams' Saab-Scania SAAB SF340A, ZK-CIY (c/n 340A-135). 

The Saab arrived in New Zealand from Guam as N135GU on 9 January 2018, see

ZK-CIY will then join Saabs KRA and CIZ on its scheduled services from the Kapiti Coast and Whanganui to Auckland.  

ZK-CIY at Auckland on 24 October 2018
Meanwhile getting Metro 23 ZK-POE airborne is not a priority at present. Air Chathams' General Manager Duane Emeny said "POE it is a good ship with comparably low hours so will be put back on line when resources allow."

24 September 2018

Moving on...

Stripped of her Sounds Air livery Sounds Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAW is all white preparing to move on, apparently to a more northern New Zealand airline. It is currently en route to Feilding.

Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAW at Wellington on 24 September 2018

23 September 2018

An interesting development

Noted doing Originair's flights between Nelson and New Plymouth and Nelson and Palmerston North over the last ten days has been Air Wanganui's Beech Super King Air seen below in Hamilton.

The last day Originair's Jetstreams were used seems to be 12 September. The Jetstreams are operated for Originair by air2there. An Air Chathams Metroliner was also noted in Paraparaumu last week and there was some speculation that it was operating an air2there charter...

22 September 2018

Are they still flying???

I'm wanting to keep my histories up to date and am looking to find out if anyone can help me on the status of two airlines, FlyStark and Air Auckland...  Thanks, Steve westland831@gmail.com

FlyStark started off with a hiss and roar with scheduled services from Whitianga to Great Barrier Island and Ardmore... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2016/11/flystark-little-boutique-airline.html

They seemed al lot quiter last summer... If anyone could let me know if they observed much activity??? 

I notice now FlyStark's website is no longer active, though their Facebook page still is. 

I also note the registration of their Airvan FSR was changed to South Pacific Helicopters, Kaikoura in August.

Just for my records, can anyone confirm that FlyStark has ceased operations??? 

FlightHauraki was renamed Air Auckland May 2018, see 

FlightHauraki initially started services from North Shore to Whangarei and Kerikeri with later services to Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island. In October 2014 it moved its base to Waiheke Island and operated services to Ardmore and Great Barrier Island.

Since the renaming of the company to Air Auckland there is no website.

Again, just for my records, can anyone confirm when FlightHauraki/Air Auckland ceased operating the Ardmore-Waiheke Island-Great Barrier services??? 

19 September 2018

Sunderland Flight to the Chathams

Yesterday Will Lawson left me a comment on the blog about flying to the Chatham Islands on an RNZAF Shorts Sunderland in response to my post on the RNZAF's service to the Chatham Islands... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-rnzaf-pioneering-air-services-to.html

Will wrote, I flew on a Sunderland from Evans Bay to the Chathams in January 1964. I was one of a group of surveyors from the Department of Lands and Survey (Brian Wells, Tony Bates, Ian Miles and myself). There was another group of private surveyors led by Ken Wynne. We had a number of attempts at take off, but the trip took less time than usual because of a tail wind. I would appreciate if the exact date could be confirmed together with any information about the particular aircraft and crew. Will Lawson. 

It subsequently sent me another email and photos of the Sunderland at Wellington and the Chathams. The struggle to get airborne was on Wellington Harbour.  We were on forms in the bomb bay if I remember rightly and somehow the propellers were whipping up water that somehow found it’s way into the bomb bay and we got quite wet.  No complaints though – it was one of the more exciting journeys I have undertaken.

Short Sunerland NZ4120 in Wellington in January 1964...

and a little later at Chatham Islands

Will's question about the identity of the aircraft is is easily answered, from the Z on the fuselage, the Sunderland was NZ4120...

The questions about the crew and the exact date (sometime in January 1964) are something beyond my realm of knowledge or research. If anyone has information about the exact date and crew members please either email me (westland 831@gmail.com) or Will (will@foxsurvey.co.nz).

Also, if anyone has any photos of an RNZAF Bristol Freighter on the Chathams operating their post Sunderland service to the Chathams I would really love to get a copy for the blog! Cheers, Steve

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