30 April 2017


I am one of the nerdy kind of people who keep boarding passes and a record of my flights... I don't know if you have seen but there is a great website called Flightdiary where you can record your flights... Recently they have loaded up a number of smaller NZ airports - still missing the likes of Omaka and Taieri but it is a big improvement... So I am gradually loading a lot of historical flights I have taken. Sadly my old tickets got thrown out years ago and a number of the flights I am trying to figure out roughly when I flew... However it is all interesting and maybe of use to some other nerdy aviation enthusiasts...

Flightdiary has now migrated to my.flightradar24.com   - Steve, 20 May 2017

28 April 2017

No to reinstating Christchurch service

Air New Zealand has been asked to reconsider direct flights between Blenheim and Christchurch, but in a case of 'no means no' the airline is standing by its original decision. Marlborough Mayor John Leggett met with Air New Zealand regional affairs manager Ian Collier two weeks ago when he asked the airline to consider reinstating the route. Air New Zealand ended the direct flights last July, months after they increased capacity by phasing out their 19-seater Beechcraft 1900Ds with 50-seater Bombardier Q300s. Leggett said the decision was made before the earthquake last November took out State Highway 1, which was why he asked Collier to consider re-instating the service. "We believe there's a real need for it. But in saying that we've got to acknowledge the work of Sounds Air who stepped in and got a direct route up and running," he said. The closure of SH1 and re-routing of traffic on the alternative highway between Picton and Christchurch added about 150 kilometres, or three-and-a-half hours, to the journey. Leggett said this bolstered the case for another transport option. Collier was open to discussing the route, however he made it clear Air New Zealand would not be making any commitment, Leggett said. "He wanted us to be aware that they've got a nationwide view and there are all sorts of constraints around plane availability and the availability of staff," he said. An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the airline announced it was suspending the loss-making Blenheim-Christchurch direct route last May as a result of insufficient demand. She said Collier met with mayors and regional stakeholders every week, and his visit to Marlborough was part of the airline's regular programme of engagement. "As we've stated previously, we have no current intention to reinstate services between Blenheim and Christchurch. Sounds Air now operates a service on this route and we wish them every success," she said. "Air New Zealand remains committed to serving regional New Zealand, including Marlborough." The spokeswoman said in the 2017 financial year Air New Zealand had grown capacity between Blenheim and Wellington by 24 per cent, and Auckland and Blenheim by 6 per cent. This represented a total of 41,000 extra seats in and out of Blenheim compared to the previous financial year, she said. Leggett was joined at the meeting by council chief executive Mark Wheeler, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephen Gullery and Marlborough Airport chief executive Dean Heiford. "We were also talking about flights to Wellington, we've got early flights and ones later in the day, but more in the middle would be good for business people to be able to get back earlier," Leggett said.

A busy day at Hobbiton's Airport

A quick stop at Matamata on the way home on the 22nd of April 2017 netted a good haul...

Photo of the day was Titan T51 Mustang ZK-DBG... 

A couple of oldies, local Auster J5Q ZK-BLW...
...and the local Gling Club's Piper PA25 Pawnee ZK-BZA

And a couple of the new generation, Tecnam P92 Echo Super ZK-PFL
and Diamond DA42 Twinstar

27 April 2017

Winter Wednesday Flights

Due to high passenger and freight demand on the Chatham Island schedule driven primarily by the Waitangi Wharf Development project Air Chathams have decided to reinstate the Wednesday Wellington flights from the 17th May 2017. 

During the winter the Chathams' schedule usually drops from three flights a week to two flights a week on Mondays and Fridays and the Auckland flight drops from two flights a week to one on Thursdays. Air Chathams also fly weekly to Christchurch on Tuesdays.

26 April 2017

Exotic Air Ambulance

 Hamilton is no stranger to air ambulances but Tuesday saw an exotic example arrive from Honolulu in the form of Gates Learjet 36-A N31GJ. Photo taken at Hamilton on 26 April 2017

25 April 2017

Over at Tauranga

At Tauranga on 21 April 2017 was the Aero Club's Cessna 152 ZK-FPG. All the other photos were taken the following day.

Two of Sunair's 172s... Abover, the newest on the line ZK-COS on 22 April 2017 with ZK-DPN below on departure for Great Barrier Island

Visiting on 22 April 2017 was Hughes 369E '500E' ZK-HRC 

Another couple of Cessna 172s, local ZK-DEX and visiting ZK-LQA

Gear up on Air Nelson's Bombardier Q300 ZK-NFA on 22 April 2017

Another visiting Cessna 172, Ardmore Flying School's Cessna 172 ZK-TAU on a touch and go on 22 April 2017

Aviat A-1C-180 Husky ZK-TWA departs Tauranga on 22 April on its way home

The last of the 172s, Island Air's Cessna 172 ZK-WGE returns from a Motiti mission

Tecnam P2008 ZK-WOW was back in town

A happy looking punter in the back of Yak 52 ZK-YAC

and a desperation shot of AESL Airtourer T3A ZK-XXI, Airtourer 60

24 April 2017

Sounds Air Ups Frequency

Sounds Air has announced additional Friday flights from Blenheim to both Christchurch and Napier.

The new Christchurch flight will depart Blenheim at 11:15am to arrive at 12:05pm. The return flight will depart Christchurch at 12:35pm to arrive at Blenheim at 1:25pm. The additional flight will mean there are 16 flights a week between the two centres

The new Napier flight will depart Blenheim at 2:15pm to arrive at 3:10pm. The return flight will depart Napier at 3:30pm to arrive at Blenheim at 4:30pm. The additional flight will mean there are 6 flights a week between the two centres

The increased schedule is effective from Friday the 5th of May.

Sun, Moon and Stars

Air Chathams' Whakatane Metroliner with the setting sun shining on its sun at Whakatane on 21 April 2017.

Sporting the moon and stars, the Starship Air Ambulance Beech Super King Air ZK-SSH at Whakatane on 21 April 2017

About to be put to bed, White Island Flights' Cessna 182 ZK-OFC at Whakatane on 21 April 2017

Waiting it's next training mission, Aerohire's Cessna 152 ZK-MDS at Whakatane on 22 April 2017

22 April 2017

Fun Flying at Whakatane

If you are in Whakatane and want to try out some fun flying go and have a chat to Peter Rutledge out at AEROHIRE at Whakatane Airport... He is one of those genuine guys who loves to talk planes and flying... I had the opportunity to go for a fly over Edgecumbe on Friday just as the sun was going down...

My ride was BRM Aero Bristell LSA ZK-LMR...

Where the river breached... you can see the plug in the stopbank...
The area of the town about the river which was flooded...

Look carefully... the silt in the streets and debris out on the road to be cleared away

A very sedate looking Rangitaiki River
Whale Island
The sun goes down on another day
LMR's front seat