24 April 2014

Derelict Aircraft on the Chathams

Today I spent an enjoyable couple of hours with Gary and Ginny Downs having a look around the aviation museum that is being developed there... Prime exhibit is the RNZAF's Sunderland NZ4111 which hit a rock in the Te Whanga Lagoon in November 1959 (see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/the-rnzaf-pioneering-air-services-to.html)

There is another relic of the Sunderland outside the ANZ Bank
The Sunderland in the early 1980s while my brother-in-law was out on the Chathams working for the NZ Post Office
Ex NAC/Air New Zealand Fokker Friendship ZK-BXI... I know the Cal Flights have been out to the Chathams... Has anyone got any info on NAC or Air New Zealand operating Friendships to the Chathams?


  1. Pretty Sure NAC did a few charter flights to the Chats with the F50. They were definately not timetabled or scheduled.

  2. It wouldn't have been NAC - the new airport was opened in 1981... so post NAC days. There was talk of Air New Zealand operating into the Chathams with NAN and NAO as they were used on the Norfolk run but I have never heard of Air NZ flying out to the Chats.

  3. And a little more I just found from the Dominion of 11 November 1980... The Dominion understands Air New Zealand's late bid to keep its Friendships out of the Chathams is because the airline cannot spare the only two Friendships it has equipped for long distance flying. The aircraft are needed for the Auckland-Norfolk Island run. Air New Zealand and Safe are also arguing that the Argosys - even if they are obsolete - would offer the Chatham Islanders much more air freight capacity. But the Government is unconvinced.

  4. When Safe Air stopped operating, Mt Cook Airlines took over the Chathams services, primarily with ZK-CWJ and ZK-MCA (until MCA went to Tonga). Given the rapid shut-down of Safeair, Air NZ operated their F27-500 ZK-NAN and NAO on flights roughly up to 3 times a week . . . following the WN-Chathams-CH one day and return the next day etc and the purpose of this (as I recall) was to permit Mt Cook to get everything in order etc. I do recall the F27 being operated under Mt Cook call sign and flight number (albeit flown by Air NZ crew). I also recall that F27 - 100 aircraft may have operated a charter or two with the Chathams, particularly when Safe Air got going when the Argosy repleace the Bristol Freighter. Check out the AHSNZ Aerolog documents of the time if you have them - am sure registrations will be quoted. Cheers Paul D

    1. Thanks Paul... exactly the lead I was looking for! Cheers

    2. Back in Auckland and I found this in the Aerolog for Dec 1990... "Mount Cook Airlines HS748 ZK-MCA to Chatham Islands. Replacement for the discontinued SAFE air services, at this stage on a temporary basis. A number of other services flown in the month." So you think F27s used after this perhaps???