28 February 2013

New Plymouth Flights Announced

A new air service from New Plymouth will link the region with direct flights to Rotorua, Hamilton and Tauranga. Tauranga-based domestic flight operator Sunair Aviation will start the twice-daily flights in the next few weeks. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are the only current destinations from Taranaki. Sunair co-owner Bev Power said the new service would provide Monday to Friday morning and afternoon return flights. Sunair's aircraft fleet includes nine six-seat twin engine Piper Aztec and four four-seat Cessna 172 airplanes. Both aircraft types will be flying in and out of New Plymouth as required, she said. Sunair provided a similar service about four years ago but it didn't take off at the time, she said. A decision to reinstate the service was made after the Taranaki District Health Board requested it include New Plymouth, she said. In a written statement the Taranaki District Health Board said it asked Sunair last year whether a service between New Plymouth and Hamilton was being considered. The DHB said it was supportive of the new air service as it reduced travel times between provincial locations. The DHB service was to transfer patients who needed non-emergency medical treatment as well as medical professionals and support people, Mrs Power said. "It's offering a service for those that are capable of walking and getting into our aircraft, it's not for stretcher patients." The health board service began operating two weeks ago, she said. Sunair would also offer a service targeted at business passengers and government personnel wanting to make day visits to a region, she said. The new flights will cost $390 one-way or $560 return. Within 24 hours of a flight there was also a one-way special where any remaining seats could be picked up for $150. Return trips to the three destinations flying with Air New Zealand costs upwards of $500 if booked one month in advance. Flight times are 45 minutes to Hamilton and one hour to Rotorua and Tauranga. Leisure travellers were not Sunair's target market but they were more than welcome to embrace the service, she said. "Certainly we would welcome them aboard but mostly it's corporate clients and government people. New Plymouth airport manager Kevin Hill said he had not been told of the new service but welcomed its introduction. Mrs Power's husband, Dan, would travel to New Plymouth next week to discuss the service, she said. Sunair, which has been in business for 25 years, also operates services from Auckland, Napier, Great Barrier Island, Whitianga and Gisborne. It employed 28 staff and had 11 pilots, Mrs Power said. Bookings can be made direct through Sunair and through various travel agents in New Plymouth

27 February 2013

Sunair's 172s

A look at Sunair's Cessna 172 fleet...

Cessna 172 ZK-CBZ taken at Tauranga on 20 October 2014

Cessna 172S Skyhawk ZK-COS at Tauranga on 22 April 2017. Ownership passed to the Tauranga Aero Club on 1 October 2017 after CAA grounding.

Cessna 172 ZK-DKK taken at Tauranga on 12 October 2014. The aircraft was blown over by high wind gusts during a downwind taxi at Tauranga on the 15th of May 2015 causing substantial damage to the aircraft which was subsequently written off. The two occupants onboard were not injured.

Cessna 172 ZK-DHN taken at Tauranga on 12 October 2014

Cessna 172 ZK-DPN at Tauranga on  20 March 2015. The aircraft was offered for sale in October 2017 after the CAA grounding.

Sunair's latest Cessna 172 ZK-DXO at Whangarei on 29 September 2022. 

Cessna 172 ZK-ELG at Tauranga on 26 November 1996.

Cessna 172 ZK-SAL at Tauranga on 16 December 1993

Cessna 172 ZK-TAB taken at Tauranga on 17 January 2015. Ownership passed to the Tauranga Aero Club on 1 October 2017 after CAA grounding.

26 February 2013

World War I Wings over Wairarapa

One of the disappointments of Wings over Wairarapa on the Saturday was that the World War I aircraft did not feature as prominently as the might have due to the wind in the afternoon. There was, however, some flying at Masterton on the morning of the 19th of January 2013 featuring the following aircraft...
Royal Aircraft BE2F ZK-BFR
PPS Pfalz DIII Replica ZK-FLZ
A new one for me was De Havilland D.H.5 Replica ZK-JOQ
Nieuport XI Replica ZK-NIM - am I dreaming or did I read this aircraft has since been repainted?
Sopwith Triplane Replica ZK-SOP

25 February 2013

More from Masterton

Some more from Wings over Wairarapa taken at Masterton on the 19th of January 2013...

De Havilland DH60 Moth ZK-ADT

Two sides of a classic Beaver... DHC-2 Beaver ZK-AZB

...and two sides of Curtiss P40 Kittyhawk ZK-CAG

Star of the show... the now departed from these shores De Havilland Mosquito ZK-MOS
The other Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk ZK-RMH
Another classic... the beautiful lines of Avro Anson ZK-RRA...

Corsair FG-1D ZK-COR
Supermarine Spitfire MK IX, ZK-SPI
North American P-51 Mustang ZK-TAF
Another Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, two seater ZK-WDQ 

23 February 2013

Four Cessnas and a Tiger - 25 years ago - February 1988

Cessna 180 ZK-CGJ at Timaru on 6 February 1988... 20 years before this photo was taken it had operated for Midland Air Services on its Palmerston North-Napier-Gisborne service - http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/middle-districts-aero-clubs-airline.html
Cessna 170B ZK-BJT obviouly hadn't moved in a while... Photo taken at Taieri on 8 February 1988 Also on Taieri on the same day was Cessna 152 ZK-EOJ.
Cessna 185 ZK-FNX was at Oamaru on the 10th of February 1988 while De Havilland Tiger Moth ZK-BRB was at Timaru on the same day.

22 February 2013

Hawaiian Upgrade - From B767 to A330

It has been more than ten years since a US carrier served New Zealand, and the imminent arrival of Hawaiian Airlines in Auckland skies looks likely to be the start of a long and successful future in this market if industry and consumer demand are anything to go by. The airline has enjoyed particularly strong support from the trade – way higher than the carrier had been anticipating – and this has resulted in the upgauging from Boeing 767s to the bigger Airbus A330 even before the first of the three-per-week flights arrives on 14 March 2013.

Tourist Operator Establishes Another Base

The Timaru Herald reports that...
Air Safaris has completed a major development of the company's site on Twizel's Pukaki Airport. It has involved construction of a sealed turning bay off the adjacent aircraft taxiway, and a parking area for company aircraft. A large car parking and coach turning area off the airport service road has also been established to provide off-road parking and easy turning for larger vehicles. The reception and office building, formerly on a temporary site arranged on the aerodrome while awaiting subdivision completion, has been relocated to complete the new site for operations.  The company's Grand Traverse from Pukaki Airport climbs north along the Ben Ohau range gaining height to the top of the Dobson Valley and into the Aoraki/Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini/National Parks via the head of the Mueller Glacier.
Air Safaris, which has its main operational base at Tekapo but also operates its scenic flights from Glentanner and Franz Josef. The company is primarily a scenic/tourist operator but it has, in the past, operated a scheduled service for Air Nelson - http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2010/06/air-safaris-sole-schedule.html 
The new Air Safaris base is for scenic flights. However, for a short time in the 1970s Twizel had an air service. In the 1973/1974 financial year Mount Cook Airlines completed major reconstruction work at Twizel's Pukaki airfield. Pukaki, was the alternate airfield for Mount Cook and also served the Upper Waitaki Development town which with all the hydro construction had at that time some 6,000 people living there. The reconstuction included a sealed runway and taxiway providing an all-weather alternate strip for Mount Cook's Hawker Siddeley 748 aircraft.
From July 1974 Twizel was included as a stop on Mount Cook Airlines' Christchurch to Queenstown services on three days a week. These services were withdrawn from the 19th of August 1977 due to poor loadings. In the previous 12 months the airline had carried 403 people into Twizel and 925 out of the town. The airline's general manager, Mr Michael Corner, told WIngs magazine "it cost Mt Cook $100 every time an aircraft landed, and escalating operating costs, coupled with the low patronage, meant the company had no alternative but to shut down the link." 


21 February 2013

New Corporate 25 Years Ago - February 1988

Photographed at Ashburton after its arrival on  3 February 1988 was Hokitika-based Como Holding's Beech 200 Super King Air N14SU. It never went on to the New Zealand register. I caught up with it later in the month at Christchurch on 28 February 1988.

20 February 2013

Ag Aircraft and Helicopters - 25 Years Ago - February 1988

At Ashburton on 3 February 1988 were, above, Hughes 300 ZK-HLQ and, below, Morven Hills Station's Robinson R22 ZK-HTQ. 

Over at Naseby on 7 February 1988 was Central Airspread's Fletcher ZK-CTO while down at Taieri on 8 February 1988 was Cessna 188 Agwagon ZK-CQY.
Still not flying, South Canterbury Aerial Topdressing's repainted Fletcher ZK-DIL at Timaru on 13 February 1988 

Over at Greymouth Chris Cowan's Hughes 500D was at Greymouth on 27 February 1988 on a rather gloomy day...

Meawhile the sun was shining on the other side of the Alps... Bell Jetranger ZK-HPM at Christchurch on 28 February 1988 and Robinson R22 ZK-HRY was at West Melton also on the 28th


19 February 2013

Airliners 25 Years Ago - February 1988

Air New Zealand was leasing Britannia Airways' Boeing 737-204 G-BWHF... it only carried  Air New Zealand titles on the port side. This aircraft later became ZK-NAI. Photos taken at Christchurch on 28 February 1988. 

Pacifica Air were focussing on flights between Christchurch and Alexandra and Wanaka which operated by Piper Pa23 Aztec ZK-DHB, taken on 24 February 1988 and Piper Pa31 Chieftain ZK-FOP taken on 28 February 1988. Both photos were taken in Christchurch.