26 February 2017

Also at Kaikoura were...

On whale-watching duties at Kaikoura on 23 February 2017 were Whale Over Whales' Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-KBZ 
...and Air Kaikoura's Piper PA28 Cherokee 180 ZK-DUQ
Visting were Cessna 172 ZK-DKD 
Maule ZK-DVF
Air Rangitata's Cessna 172 ZK-PAM
and Pelorus Air Cessna 185 ZK-PRM

25 February 2017

Sounds Air 31 to Kaikoura

On the 21st of November Sounds Air reintroduced an air service to Kaikoura following the closure of State Highway one caused by the Kaikoura Earthquake the week before. Blenheim-Kaikoura-Christchurch Monday to Friday return flights were introduced. The Kaikoura to Christchurch service subsequently ceased after the reopening of the highway to the south but the Kaikoura service continues. 

As my meeting in Wellington on Thursday was cancelled after I had booked my flights there I thought I needed a bit of an adventure and as I had never flown into Kaikoura I flew across to Blenheim to catch Sounds Air's Kaikoura service. This is Part 1...

My flight to Blenheim, Kaikoura and back to Blenheim was under the command of Richard Kennard. It seems Sounds Air not only looks for good pilots... they want friendly pilots as well!
Departing Blenheim's enlarged terminal at Woodbourne Airport on 23 February 2017
Rolling 06 at Woodbourne
The lush vineyards compared to the dry Marlborough hills
Blenheim looking towards Big Lagoon at the mouth of the Wairau River
Turning south towards Kaikoura
Despite a heavy rain a week before Marlborough was still very dry

Mount Tapuaenuku shrouded in cloud

Crossing the coast at Needles Point - Climbing to 8,000 on an IFR flight plan to Kaikoura
A couple more of shots of Mount Tapuaenuku - and the reason why we were IFR 

Looking further south along the Kaikoura Range
Back in use... the NDB approach for Kaikoura
The cloud was starting to break up as we approached Kaikoura

Spot the airfield... 
...zoomed in in case you missed it
The road south before we went into the cloud briefly
Breaking off the approach now visual and spectacular views of the peninsula

The colours of the sea
Descent over Kaikoura

Now where is that airfield again???

Wrong setting on the camera so a little blurred... and if you think the runway is short it is... it is only 700 metres long and so Sounds Air takes only a maximum of 10 passengers in or out.

The Kaikoura terminal

Sounds Air's Cessna 208 Caravan ZK-PDM at Kaikoura on 23 February 2017

For bookings on Sounds Air go to : http://www.soundsair.com/

For a history of Sounds Air's services to Kaikoura see :

24 February 2017

Three Air Force Transports

The Royal Air Force's Airbus A400M-180 ZM401 at Wellington on 24 February 2017
The Royal Australian Air Force's Boeing 737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 arrives at Wellington on 24 February 2017
The Royal New Zealand Air Force's Beech Super King Air NZ7124 at Woodbourne on 23 February 2017 

23 February 2017

More Blenheim-Christchurch Flights

From 4 March 2017 Sounds Air will be offering more flights between Christchurch and Blenheim. There will now be a return Saturday morning flight. On Tuesdays and Thursdays a third service will operate with a second service on Sundays. In all there are fifteen flights per week between the two centres.
Bookings can be made at www.soundsair.com 

Sounds Air's latest PC12

I was delighted to capture Sounds Air's newest Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLV arriving into Wellington this morning operating SDA902 from Westport

There was an Air NZ stair in the way hence the cropped nose!