30 June 2016

Britten Norman Islanders and Trislanders cancelled from the register

The following Great Barrier Airlines aircraft appear this week on the CAA aircraft register as cancelled having been exported...

BN Trislander ZK-LOU at Auckland on 14 November 2008

BN Trislander ZK-LGC at North Shore on 12 March 2013

BN Trislander ZK-LGF at North Shore on 29 January 2014

BN Islander ZK-REA at Auckland on 26 July 2011
Also, according to Air Britain magazine BN Islander ZK-KTR, which was never officially registered as such, has been purchased for spares.

Unregistered BN Islander ZK-KTR at North Shore on 26 January 2009
For for more photos of Islanders and Trislanders and a full history of Great Barrier Airlines see : 

Also withdrawn from use is Great Barrier Airlines' Piper Navajo ZK-NSN seen here at Kaitaia on 1 December 2010

28 June 2016

Gloomy Saturday #2

Saturday was a pretty gloomy day across the upper North Island but I had a couple of emails on Saturday night taken...

This is the second post, Sounds Air's Westport plane, Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX...

Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX at a gloomy Taupo on 25 June 2016

27 June 2016

Gloomy Saturday #1

Saturday was a pretty gloomy day across the upper North Island but I had a couple of emails on Saturday night taken... 

I look forward to seeing what Air Chathams do with it...

Rockwell Commander 695 ZK-PVB taken at Auckland on 25 June 2016

26 June 2016

Two Kiwis!

"Regional 14, cleared to land Runway 36 Right"
Kiwi Regional Airlines' Saab 340 ZK-KRA on finals to land at Hamilton today, 26 June 2016

Kiwi Air's Pacific Aerospace 750XL wasn't going anywhere today. Photo taken at Hamilton on 26 June 2016.

The rise and fall of Kiwi Regional

This opinion piece by Max Christoffersen in yesterday's Waikato Times is a good read on the rise and fall of Kiwi Regional Airlines. 

OPINION: And so Kiwi Regional Airlines has crashed and burned. As the story spread of its demise, it seemed many could not hide their glee about the news. The story broke late on a Friday afternoon, confirming for a second and likely final time that Ewan Wilson would run an airline no more. As I backtracked to understand the news, it appears that Kiwi Regional Airlines was caught in a classic grow-or-go scenario. The airline's commercial future required investment in a second plane, but the ticket demand couldn't sustain the passenger numbers required for the new investment. The airline ran out of lift and stalled. The smaller regional routes abandoned by other airlines were not going to be sustainable on a feel-good factor. It had taken Kiwi Regional Airlines management seven months to confirm what was obvious all along to the big boys. The local airline had no future. It was over. Again. The airline's imported Saab 340a airplane met with a spectacular water cannon greeting at Hamilton airport last September is now gone, sold to Air Chathams. The Stuff headline read: Regional routes lost as Kiwi Regional Airlines folds. As the news gathered prominence in the country's media, I spent much of that afternoon reading through the story and the comments posted by those who felt compelled to make their point public. Some were passengers, some were not. Some were out for blood. And many were public about the airline's short-term future they saw coming all along. There is a lot of turbulence still lingering from passengers who were badly let down in the aftermath of Wilson's first nuts-and-cola airline, Kiwi Air. The vitriol was all over some of the comments. Passengers had not forgotten and never will. This was payback time. The lingering anger of those who were left stranded in Australia and New Zealand is ugly when in full view, but it is, nonetheless, understandable. Some opinions were heated, some informed and some were just sad at the closure of what they saw as the small guy up against the big guy coming undone again. Sifting my way through the reader comments was hard work, but some informed commentators, clearly with aviation experience made some compelling points. If the passengers have not been left behind, if Wilson's staff have been placed in new employment with Air Chathams and the only ones to lose money were the airline shareholders, then this is a carefully controlled belly landing with no public casualties. This is actually a company that had a soft landing and should be admired in the way it has been managed into a takeover from a more established player. Where is the harm? More detail will emerge in the future, but if the scenario is correct, then Kiwi Regional Airlines has been managed professionally into Air Chathams. There is no liquidation of assets or receivers making more money than anyone else. There was always something quite compelling about Wilson's story and I was interested to see if Wilson's return to the air was going to work. This was a real life yarn of redemption, a made-for-TV tale of the local boy who loved flying and loved planes. He loved them so much he started his own airline, twice. And the rest, as they say, is history. His pioneering flights of the mid-1990s changed New Zealand aviation and for a short time made us all believers of the possibility of local entrepreneurship. Just like the V8s that would follow, Kiwi Air was bold thinking based in Hamilton and if successful, it would put Hamilton into a big boys league. In an earlier column about the new venture I wrote that "Wilson has got to get this airline right or be damned for good ... don't fool us twice." There was no halfway point on this story. It was always a case of learn from the past and be better. But within hours of the first flight to Dunedin, Queenstown had been dropped from the route. It was a bad start. Regional routes were always a risk and contingencies have to be in place in the event of plane maintenance or breakdown, and when it did, grounding the airline for four days, it looked too much like Amateur Air Ltd. I had hoped we may see a local fairy tale, an Icarus story of the passionate flyer who crashed and burned, but then recovered to fly again. Wilson got close, but this will not be this story. Instead the legacy will be of a passionate flyer who failed passionately. It remains a story of triumph and tragedy that other local entrepreneurs can learn from. It should be retold and understood by those who may be tempted to try again in the future. His turbulent story may be Wilson's great legacy. 

24 June 2016

Kapiti Cuts

Air New Zealand says it is still committed to flying from Kapiti despite reducing flights to Auckland. Three morning flights to Auckland, added this year in an attempt to stimulate demand on the route, will be cut from August. Airline spokeswoman Melody Brass said demand for the services failed to match the additional capacity "and we can no longer sustain these additional flights". She said Air New Zealand was "committed to the Kapiti Coast and will continue to serve the Auckland-Kapiti Coast market". Former airport frequent flyer Tony Froude, of Waikanae, said he used to travel regularly from Kapiti Coast Airport to Christchurch before that service was axed in February, leaving only the Auckland route. Froude said confirmation of rumours that Air New Zealand would cut back on its Auckland flights, dropping 10am flights from Thursday and Fridays, and a morning flight from Sunday, was bad news for the community. "My fear is that it will disappear, because if you cut your services back enough, that's how you kill it. With enough reductions people would start going to Wellington or Palmerston." Froude said increased domestic flights running from Wellington Airport showed the carrier had lost interest in flying from Kapiti. He was worried Kapiti airport majority owner Todd Corporation would be "probably be quite happy" to develop the land, in central Paraparaumu, into houses. The airport is part of the 125-hectare Kapiti Landing business and retail park, being developed by Todd Property, an arm of the Todd Corporation. Todd Property managing director Evan Davies said the company currently had no plans to close the airport and was working on a plan to replace the control tower. He said the airline had informed it about the "small reduction" in return Auckland flights from August. Economic growth in the region was important for the airport's future viability, he said, with Kapiti Landing and the company's investment in the airport contributing to this. The Kapiti Landing development includes Mitre 10 Mega, New World and Smiths City, as tenants and is near the central Paraparaumu interchange for the Kapiti expressway. The expressway replaces the current section of State Highway 1, and will likely to open by the end of this year.

Great Fleet Fotos...

Thanks to MRC Aviation for sending in these superb Air Chathams' fleet photos taken at Auckland yesterday, 22 June 2016... Our intrepid photographer writes... I had to do a u-turn to catch this phenomonen today on my way home from work, and got very wet feet in the process! Well worth the wet feet in my book!

Newest in the fleet is Fairchild Metroliner ZK-CID - yet to fly on service 

A couple of Metroliners CID and CIC with Convair CIE in between

And even more wide angle - in the foreground... Convair CIB, and Metroliners CID and CIC... And obscured, the company's Rockwell Commander 690 ZK-PVB (behind CIB) the top of the DC-3 AWP (behind CID) and the tail of CIE. What a line up!

23 June 2016

Beeches in Hamilton

A quick trip to Hamilton yesterday was rewarded with Air Wanganui's Beech Super King Air ZK-MDC
Also at Hamilton was Eagle Air Beech 1900 ZK-EAN also taken on 22 June 2016

22 June 2016

Sunday Flyers at Tauranga

More from Tauranga on Sunday 19 June 2016... The Auckland Aero Club's Cessna 162 Skycatcher ZK-AAC taxis for departure
CTC Aviation's Cessna 172 ZK-CTT lands
Classic Piper Cherokee 140 ZK-DIW
Sunair's Cessna 172 ZK-DPN was enjoying the sun 
Cessna 172 ZK-EFA was visiting
while Harvard 98, a.k.a ZK-ENJ, returned home... sounded great!

A gusty arrival for Piper Warrior ZK-EQZ
Aerius Helicopters' Robinson R44 ZK-HXY was on scenics
Cessna 172 ZK-JRA arrived in - nice new scheme
Some time at the Club for Maule ZK-MSM before returning to its hangar
Tecnam P92 Echo Super ZK-PFL taxis for departure

21 June 2016

On airline duty at Tauranga

About to depart from Tauranga on  Sunday 19 June 2016 was Air Nelson's Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEF

and arriving was ZK-NEP in the new colour scheme... which scheme do you prefer?

Island Air flights to Motiti Island were being operated by both the Cessna 172 ZK-WGE see landing and Cessna 206 ZK-WWH seen departing. They both made two trips in the time I was there.