30 September 2010

Another Incident at Blenheim

Soource : http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4184677/Plane-crash-lands-at-Blenheim-airport

Follow the link above to see  photo

A passenger plane has crash landed at Blenheim airport this afternoon and all on board have got off safely. The Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 aircraft's nose wheel has collapsed but there is no other visible damage. Airport manager Dean Heiford said no one was injured. Air New Zealand confirmed that the Q300, operated by subsidiary Air Nelson, experienced a nose wheel failure after landing at Blenheim at 5:05pm. Flight NZ8441, from Wellington to Nelson, had diverted to Blenheim due to poor weather in Nelson. There were 46 passengers and three crew onboard. The aircraft remains on the runway and will be inspected by engineers. Passengers were taken from the plane by bus at 5.30pm and were being looked after in an airport building away from the terminal. A man waiting in the airport terminal for a flight said the plane circled a few times quite low along the runway and then landed in a short distance. Emergency services arrived while the plane was circling, he said. The terminal was full of people waiting for passengers and those waiting to catch flights. All flights are on hold until 6.30pm, when the situation will be reassessed. Emergency services are still at the scene. Lisa-Marie Gibson, barista at a cafĂ© in the airport, said no-one made a fuss in terminal. "I didn't realise it had happened until a policeman came in.”

27 September 2010

Remote Adventures Resume Takaka Paraparaumu Service

Remote Adventures are once again advertising their summer flights between Takaka and Paraparaumu. Two flights are scheduled each week as follows...

Also, check out the new look website http://remoteadventures.co.nz/goldenbayflights/index.php


Depart Takaka: 9:00AM
Depart Paraparaumu: 10:30AM


Depart Takaka: 4:00PM
Depart Paraparaumu: 5:30PM

One way fare: $160.00. Flight time 50mins.
A discount of $10.00 refunded on the day if 6 passengers or more are carried both ways.

Air National Grounds Itself for a Few Days

AN AIRLINE which charters planes to New Zealand rich listers was forced to ground its fleet after its flight operations and training manager quit suddenly. Air New Zealand was also forced to cancel a flight and reschedule others when the Jetstream plane it charters from Air National for its Link regional flights was unavailable due to the grounding. Among its fleet of five, Air National manages and charters private jets owned by travel industry tycoon and rich-lister Andrew Bagnall and the Vela family. The sudden grounding is more bad news for the tiny airline, coming on top of losing a contract to manage the Gulfstream IV luxury jet used by Sir Peter Jackson. The airline's biggest aircraft, an 86-seat BAE1460 200, which was used to fly Australian politicians between states in the run-up to the recent election, is still on the ground. The other small jets in the fleet resumed flying on Thursday after being on the ground since September 16. The aviation company, with bases in Auckland and Wellington, could not use its air operator's certificate to fly planes without Civil Aviation Authority approval for a replacement manager. It took nearly six days for Air National to get CAA approval for its staffer Andrew Cliff to replace Bonner Bylsma before the fleet could take to the air again. The BAE146 is still on the ground because it comes under different CAA rules and Cliff is not qualified to manage under those rules, said CAA spokesman Bill Sommer. Neither Air National chief executive Jason Gray nor Bylsma would comment about what led to Bylsma, who has 35 years' flying experience, quitting without notice. Both men have confirmed legal action is brewing. We are weighing up our legal options," said Gray. Bylsma said his lawyer had advised him not to talk. Gray wrote a letter to his customers addressing "speculation" that flew around the industry at news of the grounding. He gave the letter to the Sunday Star-Times. "Our actions were taken in full consultation with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, who have been very supportive throughout this process," he said in the letter. The five days on the ground had been difficult for the company and had come at great cost to Air National. "We must ensure that passenger safety is paramount and must be put ahead of any commercial considerations," he wrote. He emphasised in his note that the company's actions were voluntary and at no point was Air National's Air Operator's Certificate withdrawn or suspended. Sommer confirmed last week the grounding had been voluntary. He said yesterday there was a lot more to the situation than he could say publicly. Gray said also that he was unsure when Air New Zealand would resume using the Jetstream aircraft but expected it would take at least a couple of weeks for scheduling to be rearranged. Air National lost its contract with Jackson when he upgraded to a top-end Gulfstream G550 jet at a cost of $68 million. He transferred his contract to Australia-based Execujet in April and the plane is now based in Melbourne.

Despite the Stuff heading the grounding was Air National's initiative. Flights between Hokitika and Christchurch have been effected most with some cancellations or Jetstream flights being replaced with Beech 1900s and Q300s.

26 September 2010

ZK-SAA is coming back.

Further to yesterday's post Sounds Air's Grand Caravan ZK-SAA will be in Broome until flying home in November.

ZK-RDT returns

Captured at Auckland on the 25th of September 2010 by Wayne Grant was Great Barrier Airlines Embraer 820 ZK-RDT back from lease to Chathams Pacific in Tonga along with their Piper Navajo ZK-NSN.

ZK-ZIG's new scheme captured...

Phil Craig captured this picture of Golden Bay Air's Saratoga, ZK-ZIG, getting airborne from Wellington on the 25th of September 2010 in its new colour scheme.

Air Express - Calling at Alexandra on Demand

This post was written by Bruce Gavin

In 1988 Mr J. M. Kelly (operating as Air Express) of Arrowtown applied to the Air Services Licensing Authority for an air services licence to operate a twice-daily air service between Queenstown and Dunedin with stops at Wanaka and Alexandra on demand. The service was advertised and got underway in mid-1988. The air service continued to be advertised for some months but presumably traffic was insufficient so was eventually withdrawn.

Have you got any more information of this air service?
Did the aircraft carry titles?
If you any info please email me at westland831@gmail.com  
Thanks, Steve


PEOPLE: Included-
J.M. Kelly owner of Cessna U206G Stationair ZK-JMK

AIRCRAFT: Included-

ZK-JMK Cessna U206G Stationair (c/n: 206-0366) - owned by J.M. Kelly.
Photo taken at Ardmore
ZK-DKL Cessna 177B Cardinal  (c/n: 177-01944) - Leased.
Photo taken at Queenstown on 19 March 1989 

25 September 2010

SAA not coming home to roost???

Sounds Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAA appears in the register as changing ownership to Broome Air Services of Broome, Western Australia.


I have had a computer meltdown this week and our computer guru tells me it looks as of I have lost all my emails and email addresses and all files and photos going back to when I last backed up - three months ago...  So

If you haven't backed up recently - do it now!
If you have sent me an email asking for info or photos - you will need to send it again.
If you have sent me any info or photos recently could you please resend them.
If you are in regular contact me with me could you send me an email so I can save your email address to my address book.

Right now I need a drink



23 September 2010

Salt Air Competition

... no, not competition in the form of another airline but the competition you enter and win a prize...  You will find it on their Facebook site... http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Paihia/Salt-Air/155420518897?v=wall&ref=ts Just click on the Competition tab. You have to be a member of Facebook  or fly on Salt Air to enter ... and the prize, 

The Ultimate Adventure of Sea, Land & Flight Experience the Bay of Islands from all angles with our spectacular Heli Cruise Island Adventure. Depart Paihia for a Hole in the Rock Helicopter flight before landing on our Custom Built Barge in the heart of the Bay of Islands. From here you board our Sea Shuttle, where we boat you to the island of choice for you to partake in either or a combination of hiking, fishing, snorkelling or just relaxing in the tranquillity.And if you live in Auckland, free North Shore-Kerikeri return travel on their Salt Air Xpress service.

Also, the Facebook site is well work a visit... Look under photos for great photos of the Caravan, Airvan and helicopters.... http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Paihia/Salt-Air/155420518897?v=wall&ref=ts

ZK-ZIG has a new look...

Following up yesterday's post ZK-ZIG flew the Takaka Wellington service with a new look... thanks to Phil Craig for sending this info...

At work this afternoon, when ZK-ZIG departed “we” noticed it has a revised livery...wasn’t able to get a great view but appears to be white overall with burgundy-style fuselage stripe leading up over the vertical tail surface with a white sunshine (or something like that...not guaranteed I have got it right having only got a quick glimpse!)

22 September 2010

All Black Air NZ Airbus 320 coming soon to NZ Skies

Air New Zealand today revealed the new livery design for the first aircraft in its new domestic jet fleet. The new all black livery was unveiled in Sydney today by Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe, in recognition of the airline's long time support of the nation's favourite game. "In celebration of Air New Zealand's long running support of rugby in New Zealand, our first new A320 will arrive in January sporting a sleek black livery complete with silver fern motif and Koru on its tail," says Rob Fyfe. Air New Zealand's sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby Football union, including the All Blacks, enters its seventeenth year in 2011. The first aircraft will be the only one in the fleet featuring the new all black livery. "Air New Zealand is crazy about rugby and from February this distinctive new plane will be operating on our main domestic New Zealand routes, says Mr Fyfe. The new domestic fleet of A320 aircraft, combined with Air New Zealand's new long-haul fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft, which begin arriving from the end of this year, will ensure the airline continues to have one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world.

21 September 2010

Palmerston North is the place for 3rd Level spotting today....

Airwork's B737, ZK-NQC, is going AKL-PMR-CHC-PMR
Airwork's Metro, ZK-POF, is going DUD-PMR
Fly My Sky Islanders, ZK-DLA and PIY, are going AKL-KKE-PMR 
Coastair's Cessna 404 Titan, ZK-NDY, is going ASH-PMR
Cessna 402 ZK-VAD is going BHE-PMR
Vincent's Jetstream ZK-JSH is going NSN-WSZ-PMR
Air West Coast's Chieftain, ZK-VIP, is going GMZ-PMR

20 September 2010

Airbridge grounds ATR

The heavy snowfall in Southland has caused problems at Invercargill Airport where an airbridge clipped the wing of an Air New Zealand plane. The incident happened yesterday morning when snow was thick on the ground, Air New Zealand spokesperson Marie Hosking said. "An ATR aircraft was coming in and it was difficult to see the markings so it stopped slightly short of where it would normally be," she told NZPA. An airbridge (a moveable bridge which connects the terminal to the plane) then hit the wing of the small plane. The region has been hit hard by snow over the weekend causing roofs to collapse, while farmers have suffered huge losses at the peak of the lambing season. More snow is forecast over the next few days.

The "small plane" was ATR 72 ZK-MCA and it is apparently out of action for a week!

19 September 2010

Qantas New Zealand took off 10 years ago

Ansett New Zealand       DEPARTED
Qantas New Zealand     DEPARTED
Qantas                             DEPARTED
Pacific Blue                     DEPARTING
Jetstar                              ON SCHEDULE

Jetstar has recently announced a fleet increase for New Zealand operations but the track record of airlines trying to take on Air New Zealand is not great. 10 years ago this month Qantas New Zealand began operations and stayed airborne only seven and a half months. This is a snapshot of their operation.

In March 2000 a consortium of businessmen bought Ansett New Zealand from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The consortium included New Zealand businessmen David Belcher, Sir Clifford Skeggs, Alan Gibbs, Trevor Farmer, Chris Coon, Ian Hendry and Greg Lancaster, and Australians Ken Cowley (through his company RM Williams) and Kerry Stokes.  In late June 2000 the operating company, Tasman Pacific Airlines of New Zealand, announced Ansett New Zealand was to be rebranded as Qantas New Zealand, flying domestic routes as a franchise operation of the Australian carrier. The “new” Qantas New Zealand was officially launched on the 4th of September 2000 even though the franchise had been finalised in late June. While the investors were confident they had the right formula to make the airline fly the NZ Herald was not so confident, reporting that “the real marvel about Ansett New Zealand - which yesterday became Qantas New Zealand - is it's still airborne. Only three of its 13 years have been profitable, and it has lost a variety of owners more than $230 million.” This ominous reporting was quite prophetic. 

 The first timetable, effective 4 September 2000
Qantas New Zealand employed 1100 staff, including about 140 pilots and 180 cabin crew and operated its fleet of eight British Aerospace 146 aircraft, five De Havilland Canada 40-seat Dash 8-102 aircraft and two 50-seater De Havilland Canada Dash 8-311s aircraft to Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, Invercargill, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua and Wellington. 
Early in the new year Qantas New Zealand was in financial trouble due to increases in fuel prices and the decrease of the New Zealand dollar. With losses of over $100,000 a month being incurred flights ceased in the evening of the 20th of April 2001 and the company was placed in receivership the following day leaving stranded passengers around the country. Qantas Australia operated a Boeing 767 and later Boeing 737s to help move these passengers. These 737 operated Qantas services increased ultimately leading to the point where Qantas began operating in New Zealand in its own right.

Of the fleet BAe 146s ZK-NZG, NZJ, NZK, NZL, NZM, Dash 8-311s ZK-NER and NEQ, Dash 8-102s ZK-NES, NET and NEU were painted in Qantas New Zealand colours. 

De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100, ZK-NET, lines up on Runway 29 on Christchurch on 16 October 2000.
Add captionDe Havilland Canada Dash 8-300, ZK-NEQ, landing at Christchurch on 29 September 2000.
British Aerospace 146-300, ZK-NZK, taxis for take off at Wellington on 15 March 2001. 

Tasman Pacific Connection - the Qantas New Zealand Connection

With Tasman Pacific Airline’s purchase of Ansett New Zealand and its rebranding as Qantas New Zealand in September 2000, Ansett’s regional operation, Ansett New Zealand Regional, was rebranded as Tasman Pacific Connection. This regional operation used the three British Aerospace Jetstream 32s which had been operated by Ansett New Zealand, ZK-RES, ZK-REW and ZK-REY (which was re-registered as ZK-TPC) along with two further Jetstreams, ZK-ECN and ZK-ECP which were operated by Air National. All five were repainted in Tasman Pacific Connection colours. These connected Wellington with Blenheim, Nelson, Palmerton North and Rotorua and Auckland with Rotorua. 

When Tasman Pacific Airlines went into receivership in April 2001 ZK-ECN and ZK-ECP returned to Air National who operated additional services for Air Nelson in the wake of the airline’s collapse. The three ex-Ansett NZ Regional Jetstreams eventually went to Origin Pacific, and later to Air National as follows;

ZK-RES became ZK-JSR with Origin and then ZK-ECJ with Air National
ZK-REW become ZK-JSQ with Origin and then ZK-ECR with Air National
ZK-TPC became ZK-JSU with Orign and then ZK-ECI with Air National

The flagship, Jetstream 32 ZK-TPC at Nelson on 21 September 2000
The two Air National Jetstream 32s operated by Tasman Pacific. Above, ZK-ECP at Woodbourne on 22 September 2000 and below ZK-ECN at Wellington on 15 March 2001.

18 September 2010

Jetstar to Invercargill and Dunedin???

Southern cities Dunedin and Invercargill are firmly on Jetstar's radar, as the budget airline launches an aggressive expansion phase in New Zealand following the departure of Pacific Blue.Jetstar group chief executive Bruce Buchanan told the Otago Daily Times yesterday Dunedin, Invercargill, Hamilton, Rotorua, and Nelson were all domestic destinations "on our list".He confirmed the airline had been involved in preliminary discussions with Dunedin International Airport, and for any proposed route it was important "to have the community and airport right behind us".The company was busy expanding its domestic, transtasman and international routes, but it was possible more domestic destinations could be added before the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he said.Yesterday the Qantas-owned airline announced it would boost services between Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland by 39 flights a week."These new services build upon Jetstar's growing competitive proposition on New Zealand's high-traffic routes, providing a platform for future growth and new destinations," Mr Buchanan said.The growth for the airline was underpinned by the positioning of two A320 aircraft in New Zealand by early 2011, which will result in the airline operating 116 weekly return flights.Extra Auckland-Queenstown flights would be available before Christmas. Services are to be increased to 11 flights a week.News of the expansion comes after Pacific Blue announced it was withdrawing from the New Zealand domestic market by October 18, which included the end of its Queenstown and Dunedin services this week.Jetstar also announced sale fares on some main routes. University of Otago Centre for Air Transport Research director Dr David Duval said Jetstar was at present flying main routes, but would look at the domestic withdrawal of Pacific Blue as an opportunity. One advantage for airline companies was that their assets were mobile and they "could move them at will". Dunedin International Airport chief executive John McCall could not be reached for comment yesterday. 

With Dunedin, Invercargill, Hamilton, Rotorua, and Nelson on the radar does this mean turboprops for Jetstar???

16 September 2010

More Jetstars!

Budget airline Jetstar will ramp up its domestic services by 50 per cent from February with the addition of two new Airbus A320 jets.The move follows the departure of fellow budget competitor Pacific Blue which will leaves the domestic market next month.Qantas-owned Jetstar will increase weekly return flights between Auckland and Christchurch from 35 to 49 and between Auckland and Wellington from 21 a week to 35 a week.There will also be additional frequencies between Auckland and Queenstown and Wellington and Christchurch.Air New Zealand has also said it would increase capacity, including gradually replacing its Boeing 737-300 fleet with larger A320s.Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the increases would boost Jetstar’s domestic market share to about 17 per cent."It is getting up to the point where we have got some relevancy in the market place, and that is good for the travelling public and it provides a viable alternative in terms of frequency now," Mr Buchanan said.That would provide a platform for future growth and destinations, he said.Jetstar has previously announced some additional trans-Tasman services from April.It will be the first airline to offer budget long-haul flights out of New Zealand when it begins direct daily services from Auckland to Singapore in March.

15 September 2010

Holiday Plane Spotting 4

On maintenance at Palmerston North at Air Freight was Air Chathams Convair 580, ZK-CIF, on the 9th of September 2010. While on holiday I waded through "the Chatham Islander" at the Napier Library and so will I write a post on Air Chathams' Convairs in the near future. Photo : S Lowe

Over-daying at Palmerston North on the 9th of September 2010 was NZ Post's night flyer, Fokker Friendship, ZK-NAO. Photo : S Lowe

Once a scheduled airline... Taupo Air Service's Cessna 206 ZK-TAM at Taupo on 10 September 2010. Photo : S Lowe

Once an airliner... a rather sad looking photo of ex Air  Chathams Beech Queen Air, ZK-CIA at Hastings on 3 September 2010. Photo : S Lowe 

14 September 2010

A couple more from at Auckland...

Garden City Air Exec's Beech Super King Air, ZK-FDR, at Auckland on 21 June 2010. The charter operation has obviously been around for a while. Photo : W Grant

A nice view of Great Barrier's Red Baron (or have you a more apt name?) Trislander ZK-LGF in Auckland on 13 September 2010. Photo : W Grant

13 September 2010

Further to a previous post

Wayne Grant provides this shot of LGC and LGF at Auckland today.

Great Barrier Airlines News

Great Barrier Airlines "new" Britten Norman Trislander, ZK-LGF, was observed on a flight from Great Barrier to Auckland yesterday... see also http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/07/trislander-zk-lgf-registered.html

Other Great Barrier Airlines news is that the compnay will operate flights between Whangarei and Great Barrier Island at Labour weekend and during December, January and February. The flights operate on Fridays and Sundays.

12 September 2010

Goldfields Air - Alexandra's Airline

In 1980 Goldfields Aviation Ltd (later Goldfields Air Ltd) and its principal Mr A. Cresswell first applied to the Air Services Licensing Authority (ASLA) for an air services licence for air charter, air taxi, scenic flights and joy rides from Alexandra as well as a scheduled air service between Alexandra and Christchurch with one Piper PA-23-250 Aztec F aircraft. At a public hearing on 10 December 1980 the application was declined by the ASLA.

In January 1981 Westland Flying Service’s Cessna 402 ZK-DHW flew into Alexandra for Goldfields Air to evaluate it. Following this visit an application was made to the ASLA for a non scheduled Alexandra-Christchurch service using a Cessna 402. The application,  which was heard on the 17th of March 1981 was unsuccessful. A third application was made in December 1981 for a service using a PA32-300 Lance. Piper PA32R-300 Cherokee Lance ZK-EIB had been registered to Goldfields Air on the 15th of October 1981. This application, too, was unsuccessful and the Lance’s ownership was changed  on the 11th of February 1982. 

Goldfields Air finally gained a licence in 1985 and inaugurated a non-scheduled service between Alexandra and Christchurch in May 1985 using Beech V35B Bonanza, ZK-EDJ (c/n D-9224). The chief shareholder, Murray Cresswell, was the company’s chief pilot. Goldfields Air initially offered a Sunday to Friday service with Saturday flights being available by prior arrangement. The aircraft was based at Alexandra and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays a morning service was flown to Christchurch and back. On Wednesdays and Fridays the Bonanza stayed at Christchurch for the day leaving at 3.30pm, making a days business in Christchurch possible. On Sundays the Bonanza flew an afternoon service to Christchurch and return. On 1 August 1985 the timetable was changed to fly daily. The new timetable also included a “whistle stop” at Wanaka as required. From this point on Wanaka continued to be listed in the company's timetables as as a pick up and set down point on the Alexandra timetable 

Beech V35B Bonanza, ZK-EDJ, taken at Christchurch on 21 January 1985.

 Information Sheet No 1 - Goldfields Air's first timetable, May 1985

The company had always intended to operate an IFR scheduled service and so imported a Piper Pa31-310 Navajo, VH-TRP previously used by the Victorian state premier from Australia. The Navajo, reregistered ZK-JGA (c/n 31-7612102), was introduced to the Alexandra-Wanaka-Christchurch service in October 1985 with Neil Abbott as the pilot.

Piper Pa31 Navajo ZK-JGA shortly after arriving from Australia on 16 October 1985 wearing its Australian registration VH-TRP
Piper Pa31 Navajo ZK-JGA at Christchurch 9 April 1986.

Timetable Effective 1 January 1986

On the 2nd of April 1986 the company moved its base to Christchurch and inaugurated a morning Christchurch-Wellington return service before operating a Christchurch-Alexandra-Queenstown-Christchurch service. Despite Gerald Shirtcliff, the company’s managing director, advocating a fare $ 14 less than Air New Zealand’s normal fare and the aircraft’s leather seats, the reality was the company had to compete against Boeing 737s. Following the flight to Wellington the Navajo flew to Queenstown and Alexandra, again stopping at Wanaka as required. 
The timetable for the Wellington service effective 2 April 1986... Can you spot the typo???
The following month, on the 1st of May 1986, Goldfields Air launched a twice daily Christchurch-Nelson service. The service was short-lived, however, and the company encountered liquidity problems and suddenly ceased its services on the 29th of July 1986. The collapse of Goldfields Air came close on the heels of the failure of air Albatross and the withdrawal of Wairarapa Airlines on the Nelson-Christchurch sector. At that time Goldfields Air’s Nelson agent, Mr Winston Williamson of the Nelson Travel Agency Ltd, told the Nelson Evening Mail, "It is very easy to start an airline and very easy to stop an airline but it is very hard to do the bits in between."
 The final timetable... including the Nelson service. They obviously had need for (and used?) a second aircraft. Any idea what it was???