19 September 2014

New Airbus pics and some others...

Latest in the new Air NZ scheme is Airbus 320 ZK-OJA at Auckland on 16 September 2014
My first shot of Jetstar's Airbus 320 VH-VFH at Auckland on 16 September 2014
Cessna 510 Citation Mustang ZK-LCA on approach to Auckland on 16 September 2014
On departure for Perth on 16 September 2014 was Air New Zealand's first Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZE

18 September 2014

Keith Wakeman's Cessna 180s

Thanks to Allan Wooller who sent these Cessna 180 photos in response to the Air Charter (Chch) post published on Sunday. All three aircraft were operated by Keith Wakeman at one time or another. I was especially wrapped with the photo of ZK-BJC... The post on Air Charter (Chch) has been updated... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/air-charter-christchurch.html 

A great shot of Cessna 180 ZK-BJC at Christchurch when operated by Wakeman Aviation

Wearing Barr Bros tiles Cessna 180 ZK-BJX at Ardmore in July 1974
Cessna 180 ZK-BMP at Invercargill in April 1975

17 September 2014

Kaikoura - Index of Posts

Kaikoura has certainly grown as a tourist destination in the last 25 years. During that time a handful of operators have attempted to operate scheduled and non-scheduled air services into Kaikoura. As I move back to the South Island one of my projects is recording the history of the five operators who flew into Kaikoura. I am still in the process of gathering material and I would be most grateful for any information, photos, stories you might have about air services through Kaikoura and, after they are posted, any corrections or omissions. Thanks, Steve - westland831@gmail.com 

To be researched. Any information gratefully received

To be researched. Any information gratefully received

To be researched. Any information gratefully received

16 September 2014

In the South Island last week...

Over the last few days I have received some pics of visitors to Nelson and Greymouth...

Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger N604AU was captured at Nelson before departed for Blenheim on 11 September 2014
Meanwhile, down at Greymouth, Piper PA42 400LS Cheyenne VH-BUR was captured at Greymouth on 13 September 2014. It was on the Coast checking out the instrument approaches at Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika before heading north to Palmerston North.

Marlborough Services Growing

Growth on Air New Zealand's services between Marlborough and Auckland has justified increasing the size of the planes on the route, the airline says. Air New Zealand "upgauged" the Marlborough-Auckland route in February, replacing the 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 planes with 50-seat Q300s. There are four return flights each day between the two airports. A spokeswoman for the airline said Air New Zealand was pleased with the outcome of its decision to upgauge the Blenheim to Auckland route earlier this year from 19-seat Beech aircraft to 50-seat Q300s. "Passenger volumes are good, but we're keen to work with Marlborough tourism authorities to continue to grow traffic on this route." She said the Blenheim-Auckland route was a mix of business and leisure travellers and the upgauge was a good opportunity for Air New Zealand and the region to work together to grow visitor numbers. "Air New Zealand has also recently upgauged some Blenheim-Wellington services and will continue to review that route." Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnson said the capacity on Air New Zealand's Marlborough-Auckland direct service increased 43 per cent last year, and there were now 1319 seats each way every week on the service. "For the year ending June 2014, passengers on the Marlborough to Auckland service were up by over 12 per cent on a 14 per cent increase in seats." Marlborough Airport's terminal is being expanded to cope. The $4 million development has started, with a new kiosk being built for rental cars, closer to the parking spaces. The three-stage design, by Auckland architectural practice Warren and Mahoney, would push the 19-year-old terminal out to the south and north, and add a new glass front facing north. It would mean a substantial increase in passenger waiting areas. Space for queuing at the ticket counters would increase substantially, and a third arrival and departure gate would be installed. Access to the baggage collection area would be under cover and more public toilets provided. A mezzanine floor has been included to provide a meeting area for the business sector.

15 September 2014

Last Chatham Islands post

Yesterday's post marked the end of my series of posts of operators that have flown to the Chatham Islands. The links to all the posts are as follows... 

As always I would be most grateful for any other information, photos, stories, corrections and omissions. 
Thanks, Steve - westland831@gmail.com 






Cessna 206s and the BN Islander
Beech Queen Air and Beech 99
Metroliners and the DC-3






14 September 2014

Air Charter (Christchurch)

Keith Wakeman’s entry into the aviation industry began in Canterbury as a topdressing pilot for Airwork in April 1950 and Aerial Sowing in May 1951. From late 1953 to mid-1954 he was flying Fox Moth ZK-ASP before in 1955 forming his own topdressing company, later called Wakeman Aviation, using Cessna 180 ZK-BJC.

Wakeman Aviation's Cessna 180 ZK-BJC at Christchurch

In May 1960 he went charter flying using Cessna 180 ZK-BMP and subsequently formed his own company in 1964. Initially this traded as Christchurch Central Flying School using Cessna 150A ZK-BVY. By 1971 the company was called Christchurch Charter Flying Services Ltd using Cessna 150s ZK-CKQ, and ZK-CTF and, for a short time, Cessna 180 ZK-BJX. The company also had Piper Pa18-150 Cub which for many years operated on floats from the Cam River at Kaiapoi. 

Cessna 150 ZK-CKQ at Christchurch on 13 October 1968
Cessna 150 ZK-CTF at Christchurch on 2 June 1974
Fly Floats! Piper Pa18 Cub ZK-BPC not on floats at Christchurch on 26 July 1971
In 1973 Piper Pa23-250 Aztec ZK-DHB was added to the company’s fleet and from about the mid-70s the company became known as Air Charter (Christchurch). By 1976 the Cessna 150s were sold and the training operation ceased as at the same time the company unsuccessfully sought the rights to offer charter and air taxi services to Mount Cook (Birch Hill airstrip), Wanaka, Queenstown and Milford Sound.

Above, Air Charter (Christchurch)'s Piper Aztec ZK-DHB at Christchurch in September 1978. By the end of 1979 it was repainted in the scheme depicted below. Photo taken at Christchurch on 5 February 1986 .

From early August 1978 until early March 1979 Air Charter (Christchurch) operated a Dunedin to Christchurch courier service on behalf of The Package Express using Piper Aztec ZK-EKX and Beech Baron ZK-EJJ. This service connected at Christchurch with The Package Express’ Cessna 404 Titan service to Wellington and Auckland.

In 1979 Piper Pa31-350 Navajo Chieftain ZK-EBT (c/n 31-7552044) was added to Air Charter (Christchurch)’s fleet as the company looked to expand. In April 1981 the company applied to the Air Services Licensing Authority to operate a non-scheduled service between Christchurch and Nelson. The application was declined.  

Air Charter (Chch)'s Piper Chieftain, ZK-EBT at Christchurch on 19 February 1984
In early December 1981 the company applied for a scenic licence to operate Christchurch-Milford Sound–Queenstown-Christchurch tourist flights. Despite Mount Cook Airlines’ objections the licence was granted. The first flight was operated by Piper Aztec ZK-DHB on the 8th of December 1982. The Aztec left Christchurch at 9.00am with three passengers, had a 40 minute stop at Milford Sound and then a 2½ hour stop at Queenstown before arriving back at Christchurch at 4.40pm.

Schedule for Air Charter's scenic flight tours

The company sought to expand this service in October 1982 by applying for a scheduled Christchurch-Queenstown and non-scheduled Christchurch-Milford Sound-Queenstown and Queenstown-Christchurch services. The application was declined given there had been no complaints about Mount Cook Airlines’ service and that in the first seven months of the existing licence only 19 flights had been made carrying 76 passengers. The company’s total flying had amounted to 225 hours of flying with four aircraft permitted to be used on the licence. The company were, however, granted leave to add a Piper Archer to its licence. With little work offering for the Chieftain it was withdrawn from the fleet in July 1984.

For a time during 1988 the company’s only aircraft, Piper Aztec ZK-DHB, was used by Pacifica Air on their services to Central Otago, the Aztec wearing Pacifica Air titles. By Easter 1988, however, the Aztec was wearing its Air Charter (Chch) titles.

ZK-DHB wearing Pacifica Air titles at Christchurch 24 February 1988 and Air Charter (Chch) titles at Wanaka on 2 April 1988.

In 1990 the company was sold to John MacPhail and over the summer of 1990/1991 he commenced Christchurch-Kaikoura flights in association with whale watching tours. The fleet was expanded to three aircraft, Piper Pa23-250 Aztec (c/n 27-3735), Cessna 210L Centurion ZK-NPD (c/n 21060331) and Cessna 172N Skyhawk (c/n 1721937) ZK-EOI. The two Cessnas were used for flight training from mid-1991. 

Cessna 210 Centurion ZK-NPD at the Wanaka Air Show on 14 April 1990
Air Charter (Christchurch)'s first flights to Kaikoura, ca 1990/1991
Air Charter (Chch)'s Cessna 172 ZK-EOI at the Wanaka Air Show on 14 April 1990

At this time the company also offered flights from Christchurch to the Chatham Islands using the Aztec under the name of Chatham Islands Express. The Aztec wore small Chatham Islands Express titles as well as its Air Charter (Chch) Ltd titles.

The Aztec ZK-DHB at Hokitika on 14 December 1991 carrying small Chatham Islands Express titles below the rear window. 

In April 1992 Air Charter (Christchurch) was renamed Southflight. 

A big thanks to Dave Paull for his help in compiling this post

13 September 2014

Down at Ardmore on Tuesday

I had my first trip to Ardmore since 10 May 2014 on Tuesday 9 September 2014 and it was quite a profitable day

Eagle Flight Training's Diamond DA20-C1s ZK-DAB above and ZK-DAV below

It was a Beech 76 Duchess day... ZK-EZX above and ZK-WLS below from Ardmore Flying School...
Add caption
ZK-SMI from the Auckland Aero Club
Here is a reason why you should check a photo carefully before moving on... Bell Jetranger ZK-HQI... Camera over my head, unfortunately didn't discover the branches until I got home
New operator at Ardmore, Southern Wings' Piper Pa28 Archer ZK-MIL
And to finish off some sport aviation aircraft... Above Cirrus Design SR22 ZK-FMN 
A couple of Vans RV-9As, ZK-RVQ and ZK-RVY

and Tecnam P2008 ZK-ZZD.