28 February 2017

Air Chathams Chathams' News...

The first two snips are a little glimpse into Air Chathams family from Di from Pitt... one of the great personalities on Pitt!

Was fortunate to have an amazingly clear day with all the Chathams and surroundings so starkly standing out when Mathew flew me to Chats for my conservation meeting just recently. I don’t recall seeing such a sheer unbroken view of the landscape perhaps a photographer’s dream day just magnifique. Am so comfortable and at ease with Mathew’s flying am now dreading the time when we get a change, please not sirs. Mathew for those who don’t know him is the son of the big Air Chathams chief and chieftess and could possibly be an up himself jerk, however, he is the most delightfully, down to earth, casually pleasant unpretentious young man you’d find anywhere, perhaps or a farm or under a bonnet, he’d fit in anywhere. When you’re out there flying those big birds, further down the track please don’t change, you’re a great pilot and a really cool guy just the way you are mate. Thanks for my co-pilot seat, hope I don’t get above my earthly calling in life now that would be scary for everyone and me too.

Source : Chatham Islander, October 2016

Was lucky to get an unexpected trip home after the unfortunate earthquake7.8 which hit round the Kaikoura area and due to that the big Air Chathams plane didn’t fly. Now that was up there with the top brass literally that day. The big chief and chieftess and young chief in waiting all flew to Pitt. Was rather offended when the boss man got into the co-pilot seat but thought it was a bit rude to say ‘hey mate that’s my seat when flying with chief in waiting’ so I was relegated to the middle. Presumably he must have known what he was doing in that seat anyhow, the chieftess and Jess sat behind me, so I guess they were putting age before beauty, very thoughtful. A great flight and very posh to be up there with the elite folk. Thanks Emeny family you’re actually pretty good buggers!

Source : Chatham Islander, December 2016

New Passenger Check In for Air Chathams
As from December Air Chathams passenger check-in at Christchurch and Wellington is changing from Air New Zealand. Auckland check-in is unaffected…
Auckland – Check-in remains the same – Air Chathams check-in counter adjacent to Barrier Air. Boarding gate will remain the same.
Christchurch – Check-in at the Air Chathams check-in counter to the north of Jetstar check-in counters. Boarding gate will remain the same.
Wellington – Check-in at the Air Chathams check-in counter adjacent to Qantas check- in counters at the Northern end of the terminal. Boarding gate will also change to gate 20. Passengers will board a bus at gate 20 and be taken to the aircraft.

Source : Chatham Islander, December 2016

Sounds Air 34 back to Blenheim...

All loaded up to go...
Lining up to roll 05
Climb out along the beach...
And now we can see the height of the cloud VFR back to Blenheim
Goodbye Kaikoura
One chopper on the pad

And the start of the slips...
The big one...

And the second one

The reefs lifted out of the sea

The Clarence River mouth - the road is open north to Blenheim

Waima River Valley
Above and below, Ward


Awatere Valley
Great views of Blenheim's Woodbourne Airport

Marlborough vineyards on approach to Blenheim... they make pretty good wine!
For bookings on Sounds Air go to : http://www.soundsair.com/

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

27 February 2017

Colours of Woodbourne

Arriving into Woodbourne, air2there's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-MYH on its afternoon PPQ-BHE-NSN-PPQ service on 23 February 2017
While waiting for departure on the grass runway Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEG was landing on the seal 
The black and white of Air New Zealand - Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEZ
and ZK-NFI
Arriving into Woodbourne in the morning, Ridge Air's Cessna 402 ZK-VAD and Piper Seneca ZK-BJM and Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12s ZK-PLS and ZK-PLZ
Air New Zealand and Sounds Air tails

Three Sounds Air Caravans, ZK-SAY, ZK-PDM and ZK-SAA
Three Sounds Air Pilatus PC12s... ZK-PLZ, ZK-PLS and ZK-PLT 
Ridge Air's Cessna 402 ZK-VAD

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 :