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 - Linking Central Otago to Dunedin

In 1988 Mr John 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. At this time Mount Cook Airlines was also operating on this route. Their flight departed Queenstown at 1.35pm and Alexandra at 2.05pm with the return service departing Dunedin at 3.15pm making it unsuitable for anyone wanting to conduct business in Dunedin or Central Otago. Pacifica Air was also operating flights out of Wanaka and Alexandra to Christchurch.

On the 24th of May 1988 the Central Otago News reported that a new freight and passenger air service is being set up to link Queenstown and Dunedin also stopping at Wanaka and Alexandra on demand... The company will operate flying a Cessna 206 six seater (ZK-JMK) and a Cardinal 177 four seater (ZK-DKL). The company also has thoughts of obtaining a Britten Norman Islander in the future if the service prospers. Chief pilot for the service is Mr Denis Thew who has 14 years service on Mount Cook Airlines, recently retiring from the Queenstown Dunedin route. Mr Kelly will act as the other pilot although there is access to back up pilots and planes if business requires it. Mr Kelly said the company was keen to promote the freight side of the business and will offer a door to door delivery within the business area in Dunedin. The company will also be offering a charter service for parties wishing to fly anywhere in the country. He said that the passenger and freight rates the company were proposing would be at least competitive with other air carriers and some services would be cheaper. Gourleys Pharmacy will act as Alexandra agents tor the service. 

Two days later a report on sealing the Alexandra airport's runway indication the Air Express service had started.

Central Otago News, 24 May 1988

The Air Express printed timetable

The service was advertised in the Central Otago News until the 22nd of September 1988 and  presumably traffic was insufficient and so the air service withdrawn sometime after this.

Central Otago News, 22 September 1988

PEOPLE: Included-

John M. Kelly, owner of Cessna U206G Stationair ZK-JMK
Denis Thew, pilot

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  Australian airlines trying to take on Air New Zealand domestically is not great. 

10 years ago this month Qantas New Zealand began operations but only 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, lines up for take off at Christchurch 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