31 January 2014

Operating cost of a Beech is five times higher than an A320 jet

A perception of the unreliability of flights in and out of Timaru is an issue Air New Zealand wants to tackle. The airline's regional affairs manager, Ian Collier, was in town on Wednesday to talk to Timaru District Mayor Damon Odey and Aoraki Development Business and Tourism chief executive Wendy Smith. Similar themes emerged in both meetings, he said. "The purpose of the visit was to introduce myself and get a flavour of the issues each region has. Reliability was a big issue and also concerns that people will choose to drive (to Christchurch) and fly, and also the price of fares." Weather was the main challenge in both Timaru and Wellington for the service. Of 1024 services operating between Wellington and Timaru in both directions in the six months to December 31, 41 were cancelled as a result of weather conditions. During the same period 11 services were cancelled because of engineering issues. Six of these services were departures from Timaru. Four services into or out of Timaru had to be cancelled because of pilot illness. Mr Collier said an engineering issue impacted on the company's Eagle Beech fleet in August 2012 and caused significant disruption. "The maintenance issues impacted on services and created the perception that services are still not reliable. Perception is people's reality but I want to present the facts and give the data, which speaks for itself." Cost was also an issue raised, he said. The cost per seat of the Beech aircraft that operate between Timaru and Wellington was five times higher than an A320 jet used on major domestic routes. "There is the perception smaller flights should be cheaper to operate. It is the car versus taking 60 people on a bus, the cost per seat is less. One of the ways to bring the fares down is to fly a larger aircraft but the demand would need to meet that." Air New Zealand has said it does not cancel flights because of light passenger loads.

30 January 2014

The Last from Nelson

Not currently on the register Grumman AA-5 Traveler at Nelson  on 20 January 2014
Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-IMN is operated for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Service by Garden City Helicopters. Photo taken 20 January 2014
The rather sharp look Evektor - Aertechnik Sportstar Plus ZK-NPT on approach to Runway 02 on 20 January 2014
The Nelson Aviation College were using a number of aircraft through Nelson... Above, Cessna 152 ZK-JIC and below Cessna 172R ZK-NAE... 

...Cessna 152 ZK-NAI (above) and Cessna 172RG Cutlass ZK-TAH... all photos taken on 20 January 2014

29 January 2014

Nelson Twins

Registered to Tasman Helicopters Above and Beyond Ltd is Beech 200 Super King Air ZK-MAN at Nelson on 20 January 2014
The Nelson Aviation College's Piper Seminole ZK-NAH off on another training mission on 22 January 2014
Ridge Air's Cessna 402 ZK-VAD was at Nelson for maintenance. Photo taken on 22 January 2014
One I was hoping to get Ridge Air's Piper Seneca ZK-BJM arriving at Nelson on 23 January 2014

28 January 2014

Nelson Airliners

Sounds Air is a regular visitor to Nelson. Above Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAA was caught arriving from Wellington on 20 January 2014 while below the smaller Cessna Caravan ZK-PDM was taken as it was about to take off for Wellington on 22 January 2014

Mount Cook Airline's ATR 72... above 600 series ZK-MVA on 20 January 2014 and below 500 series ZK-MCC on 22 January 2014

Of course there were Q300s galore... ZK-NET departs on 20 January 2014
On the morning of 23 January 2014 air2there's Piper Chieftain ZK-MYS was operating their service to Paraparaumu

27 January 2014


Piper Cherokee 140 on the taxi at Greymouth on 18 January 2014 on the way to the West Coast Microlight Club fly in at Hokitika

Gardan GY-20 Minicab ZK-EDX  was also sitting outside in Greymouth  in the morning and I was hoping it would come down to Hokitika but unfortunately it didn't... I managed to get a shot of it back in Greymouth on the afternoon of 18 January 2014

Denney Kitfox III ZK-KNZ (above) and Australian Av Works Karatoo J6 C ZK-KTO  (below) were at Greymouth on the afternoon of 18 January 2014 for a fuel stop

The next day, the 19th of January 2014, Robinson R44 ZK-HDD was also in Greymouth for a fuel stop 

26 January 2014

More from Hokitika

More from the West Coast Microlight Fly In at Hokitika on 18 January 2014...

Anderson EA-1 Kingfisher ZK-DJH 

Cessna 172 ZK-DKH 

Pietenpol Air Camper M/L ZK-JQN 

Air Hawkes Bay's Piper Pa38 Tomahawk ZK-JVC was on a bit of  tour along with stable mates Pa38 ZK-FTQ and C172 ZK-JMR

Solar Wings Ltd Pegasus Quantum 15 ZK-OAE was the only other 

I love Jodels... Jodel D18 ZK-OWL enjoying home town sunshine

Down from Westport was Tecnam P2002 Sierra ZK-TST

The Hokitika Aero Club's Rans S6S Coyote II ZK-VSI

Rans S-7 Courier ZK-XIL

25 January 2014

Hokitika Bantams

More from the West Coast Microlight Club fly in at Hokitika on 18 January 2014... This time, the Bantams

Micro Aviation  B22 Bantams were the most plentiful aircraft at Hokitika on 18 January 2014... ZK-JKC taxis back in...

ZK-JOU waits for its next mission...

...as does ZK-TKM

ZK-TOO about to go start...

while ZK-WHB also sits awaiting its pilot.

24 January 2014

Tornado at Hokitika

On the 18th of January 2014 the West Coast Mircolight Club had a fly in at Hokitika... This is the first of a number of posts on the event... Featured first is locally-based Titan Tornado II ZK-KAA...

23 January 2014

New Service Gets Airborne

Sounds Air flew its first Wanganui to Wellington sector on Tuesday the 21st of January 2014. The flight was flown by Sounds Air’s Chief Pilot Willie Sage in Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SAY with four passengers on board. Sounds Air’s Facebook page reported that “the flight left 2 minutes early and landed in Wellington at 7:20 a.m. All passengers received a bottle of bubbly and a great trip.” 

Willie Sage, Grand Caravan ZK-SAY and the first passengers... photo stolen from Sounds Air's Facebook page...

Hokitika Rotaries

At Hokitika Anderson Helicopters' Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil ZK-HKA was sitting outside on 14 January 2014 

Locally based Robinson R44 ZK-HHI at Hokitika on 18 January 2014

Also taken at Hokitika on 18 January 2014 was Schweizer 269C ZK-HTJ down from Greymouth 

Also taken at Hokitika on 18 January 2014 was Robinson R44 ZK-HVC calling in for a fuel stop 

RAF 2000 GTX SE at Hokitika on 18 January 2014

22 January 2014

Franz Josef and Whataroa

At the Franz Josef airstrip the only aircraft visibile on 14 January 2014 was Glacier Helicopters' Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil ZK-HJQ...
...while down the road at the Franz heliport was stable mate Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil ZK-HFK.
Fox/Franz Heli Services were also using Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuils with ZK-HGE and ZK-HHM being used. 

Also operating from the Franz helipad was Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil ZK-IBQ (above) and Alpine Helicopters' Hughes 369D ZK-HHO  (below)

Further up the road in the Whataroa Valley was Fox/Franz Heli Services' Hughes 369D ZK-HRP