19 November 2019

Auckland's Air Taxi

Photographed at Whitianga on 15 November 2019 was Air Auckland's Piper Navajo ZK-JGA. It looks its been there for a few days. The company continues to operate an air taxi service from Ardmore to both Whitianga and Great Barrier Island.

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Meanwhile Cessna T206H VH-YDE has been registered ZK-DZH for Air Auckland so that will be one to watch out for over summer. Photos : Air Auckland FB page

18 November 2019

LINK off the air waves - UPDATED

Another little bit of history disappears today with the cessation of the Air Nelson Air Operating Certificate.

As from the 19th of November 2019 the Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 aircraft are operating under the Air NZ Air Operating Certificate. 

Also planned from on the 18th of November was the LINK callsign used by the Air Nelson fleet ceasing and commencing on the 19th the Bombardiers would use “NEW ZEALAND 8xxx” and be filing ATC plans as ANZ8xxx.

However it seems there were issues with this as in the comment below which I have pasted here...

An e-mail from Air NZ to Airways:

We had previously agreed that regional aircraft would adopt the callsign “New Zealand” and utilise the full 4 digit flight number for voice comms with us filing ATC plans accordingly. This would ensure rule compliance.

A subsequent risk workshop with some Airways staff has highlighted concerns with this approach and as we have not had sufficient time to completely understand the risks and available controls to ensure that situational awareness is not reduced and callsign confusion is not increased. As such I have requested an exemption form part 91.249 which will allow for a solution to be developed which provides a Low Risk solution.

I have every belief that this exemption will be granted and the current Status Quo will remain in place beyond 18 Nov when the Q300 fleet is integrated with the Air New Zealand AOC and operates as an Air New Zealand aircraft.

This will mean that we will continue to file RLK and use “Link”.

We are endeavouring to finalise a long term solution utilising alpha/numeric flight numbers which will see the use of ANZ and “New Zealand” deployed with the move of the ATR72 fleet on 10 December but digital limitations may further delay this. Once a solution is determined we will be looking for formal acceptance from Airways and Civil Aviation Authority.

Check out this post that recounts the change from MOTAIR to AIRLINK and LINK callsigns...

17 November 2019

Sixth Pilatus

Sounds Air have added a sixth Pilatus PC12 to its fleet. ZK-PLB (c/n 725) arrived in New Zealand on the 12th of March 2019 as VH-YWO. Sounds Air recently announced the airline would withdraw its Naper-Blenheim service and the aircraft would be used elsewhere, but CEO Andrew Crawford was unable to confirm where. So it looks like there will be something to look forward to in 2020!

Pilatus PC12 VH-YWO flew from Wellington to Omaka as Sounds Air Oscar on 12 March 2019.
Photo taken at Omaka on 19 March 2019.

2019 arrivals

Thanks to Peter Lewis who caught these two aircraft at Ardmore on 9 November 2019. Both were placed on the aircraft register this year

Embraer EMB-820C ZK-DSY was placed on the register in August and is apparently bound for Vanuatu

Hawkes Bay based Cessna T206H ZK-NVC was placed on the register in May

13 November 2019

It must be getting closer

Out flying this week is Originair's BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH... it did a Nelson-Wellington return on Monday and a Nelson-Palmerston North-Wanganui this morning as "Origin 31." The airline's reservation system had been showing flights operating this weekend between Palmerston North and Nelson but these have been moved back a week to the 22nd of November.

Black Sands Fly In

On Saturday 9 February 2019 I got to spend 90 minutes at the Black Sands fly in at Raglan... Unfortunately the weather forecast scared a lot of aircraft away on what turned out to be a beautiful day... Nonetheless a few new ones for me... It was also great to catch up with a few other spotters there...

Auster J5Q ZK-BLW

In a new colour scheme that I hadn't seen, Tecnam P92 Echo ZK-CDL

Piper Cherokee 140 ZK-DOQ

Cessna 172 ZK-EOF

Alpi Aviation Pioneer 200 ZK-LPI

Tecnam P2002 Sierra RG ZK-MEG

Jodel D11 ZK-MMB

Tecnam Astore ZK-MSV

Vans RV-8 ZK-PDN

The first new one for me, Maule MXT-7-180A ZK-RLT

Another new one was Sonex Aircraft LLC Sonex ZK-SXR

Vans RV-12 ZK-TFP

Pazmany PL-2 ZK-TLP

Corby CJ 1 Starlet ZK-TNT

Tecnam  P92 Eaglet ZK-TNZ

Yakovlev Yak-52 ZK-TYS

De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk Mk 22 ZK-UAS

Another new one for me was Aeroprakt A-32 ZK-WCB

Vans RV-8 ZK-WLK

Yakovlev Yak-52 ZK-YAK

Tecnam P2002 Sierra RG ZK-ZZT

12 November 2019

Ramping up Regional Services

Air New Zealand is adding hundreds more regional flights to its schedule at the start of 2020 following the withdrawal of Jetstar's regional services. The airline will operate 586 additional one-way flights from January to March on services it operates between Auckland and Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson and Palmerston North, as well as between Nelson and Wellington. The added capacity comes following an Air New Zealand announcement in late October that it would be adding 253 one-way services on the same routes in December, reflecting an increase of more than 15,500 extra seats. Air New Zealand said the added capacity was in response to rival Jetstar's decision to cease its regional services in New Zealand at the end of November 2019. Air New Zealand acting chief executive Jeff McDowall said the airline had been looking at ways to utilise its turboprop aircraft and crew to support routes impacted by Jetstar's withdrawal. "These additional services reflect an increase of nearly 50,000 extra seats to and from regional New Zealand from December through to the end of March." Air New Zealand is also assisting affected Jetstar customers with a special fare. Eligible customers can email jqsupport@airnz.co.nz with proof of their affected Jetstar ticket. Jetstar began servicing regional centres in December 2015 and offered up to 130 return services a week during the peak season across five routes – Auckland and Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth and Palmerston North and flights between Nelson and Wellington. But on in September the low cost carrier announced it was stopping its regional Q300 turboprop services due to the operation losing money, combined with higher costs and a softening of the regional travel market.

Gisborne last week...

The construction of the new airport terminal at Gisborne has made it a plane spotter's nightmare at present. The only shots I could get were through the window of Sunair's Aztecs

Air Napier's Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-ELK back tracks for departure on the courier run to Napier at Gisborne on 6 November 2019

Farmer's Air's Pacific Aerospace 750XL ZK-JBC had landed on the grass and was crossing the main runway to its base at Gisborne on 6 November 2019

Cessna 206 ZK-MAF taxis in at Gisborne on 7 November 2019

Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 ZK-NER taxis out at Gisborne on 7 November 2019

Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 ZK-NET taxis in at Gisborne on 7 November 2019

11 November 2019

Saab Services for Whakatāne

Air Chathams has announced the introduction of a SAAB 340 for its flights between Auckland and Whakatāne. The regional airline says demand is continuing to grow for air travel to and from the eastern Bay of Plenty town. The new SAAB can carry up to 34 more passengers than the aircraft that is currently being used on the route, which is a Fairchild Metroliner. Air Chathams will also have a flight attendant onboard serving tea, coffee and Tim Tams. "We're really excited to begin bringing the SAAB to Whakatāne," says Duane Emeny, Air Chathams' general manager.  "We know our regular fliers will appreciate the extra comforts provided and this will give us some flexibility across the service, where other flights exceed the Metroliner capacity. We hope to be able to offer the SAAB service more permanently in the future." Whakatāne District Mayor Judy Turner says the SAAB service will help to boost visitor numbers to the Whakatāne District, just in time for the busy summer season. "This is great news for our District, and will be beneficial for locals and visitors alike," says Mayor Turner. "We're grateful that our investment into the airport is being supported by Air Chathams, and the SAAB service is a great example of the airline's commitment to the Whakatāne District." The first flights begin on the November 29.

The Saab will operate the Friday afternoon flights from Auckland to Whakatāne at 3.15pm and 6.35pm and the Whakatāne to Auckland Friday afternoon service at 4.45pm. It will also operate the Saturday morning 8.00am flight from Whakatāne to Auckland. On Sundays the Saab will operate from Auckland to Whakatāne at 11.00am and 6.15pm, and from Whakatāne to Auckland at 4.45pm. On Mondays the Saab will operate the morning flight from Whakatāne to Auckland at 6.45am. 

Sunair 41 and 22

Last week I had my first opportunity to use the Sunair service between Hamilton and Gisborne since it was reinstated. The service is offered twice a day on weekdays... Unfortunately it was a couple of gray dreary days and not for photography until the latter part of the return flight...

SAV 41 from Hamilton to Gisborne

My ride to Gisborne - Piper Aztec ZK-PIW at Hamilton on 6 November 2019

Goodbye Hamilton...

Left turn for Gisborne and goodbye to the sunshine

The sun comes out again, just as we approach Gisborne

On finals at Gisborne...

SAV 22 from Gisborne to Hamilton

The lakes as we approached Rotorua

Coming up on Lake Rotorua

Note to self - when it is hazy weather the views forward aren't necessarily the best - looking behind

Being artistic - Rotorua airport 

The line of the Mamaku and Kaimai ranges

Coming up on Lake Karapiro

The lush Waikato

Karapiro Hydro Power Station... completed in 1947


Hauptapu Dairy factory

Joining right base south of Ohaupo

Back in Hamilton - and a nice shot of Sunair's Piper Aztec ZK-EVP on 7 November 2019
Sunair have recently published their summer schedule with daily flights from Tauranga and Whitianga to Great Barrier Island