31 January 2022

ZQN on the 13th

Thanks to Aaron Murphy for these photos taken at Queenstown on the 13th of January

Milford Sound Flights' Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-MCI

Milford Sound Flights' Gippsland Airvan ZK-MCZ

Milford Sound Flights' Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-MSF

Air New Zealand Airbus 321s ZK-NNA...

and ZK-NNC

Air Milford's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SKA

True South's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SLA

30 January 2022

Whitianga service's successful start...


This from the Barrier Air Facebook page...

Today marks the 1500th passenger to travel on our new Auckland - Whitianga service!!!! We commenced this service last month on the 16th December. We thank our awesome passengers for supporting the new route over the last 6 weeks and are excited to serve Whitianga for many years to come! To mark this occasion we are giving away a free return flight to the 1500 passenger! Congratulations Sophie G!! 

Congratulations to Barrier Air... For those who would like a same flight return or same day air adventure there are plenty of $79 each way fares and it certainly is a scenic flight!

Barrier Air's latest Cessna 208 Grand Caravan, ZK-SDE at Whitianga on 16 December 2021

28 January 2022

GIS on the 22nd

Air Napier's Piper Pa32 Cherokee 6 ZK-ELK staying the weekend in Gisborne... on the 22 January 2022 

Cessna R172K Hawk ZK-FJE at Gisborne on 22 January 2022

 There endeth my plane spotting so far this year...

27 January 2022


In a model that replicates Associated Airlines and Air Nelson's air service from the Kāpiti Coast to Auckland Air Chathams is routing its flights from Paraparaumu to Auckland through Whanganui, the reason this time reduced loadings with the present state of the pandemic. The Kapiti News reports as follows...

Air Chathams is implementing a "bus stop" model to help the company get through the latest Covid-19 Omicron outbreak, reinstating a model similar to what was used in the olden days. The bus stop model means passengers travelling from Kāpiti to Auckland will have an additional stop in Whanganui on their way, with the same stop on the way back. "What this means for Air Chathams in this particular climate, is we can still provide the key services into the regions and Auckland, using the larger 30-seater Saab 340 with cabin crew and the space which business travellers are used to," Air Chathams chief operating officer Duane Emeny said. "One of our concerns as Omicron begins to move throughout the community is that if one of our cabin crew, engineers, pilots or even administration staff get Covid-19, then it's the isolation stand-down that would have a serious effect on flights. "By operating using this model we do not have to double down on resources. We're going back to the old school." Duane said while it was not the most efficient model, it still works well. "Stopping in on the regions on their way up and down the country was a normal service model which worked for airlines in the past, so we are bringing it back for the foreseeable future. A lot of airlines used to do it, even in New Zealand back in the day. It's not the most efficient way to do it, which is why we've gone to a more hub-and-spoke model where the regions connect into a major hub." The good news for Kāpiti is the airline is doing all it can to continue providing its daily commuter flights despite a large reduction in bookings due to the red traffic light setting. "We're already seeing the trend where people for a variety of reasons do not want to travel and a lot of plans are changing with their events, conferences and concerts cancelled. The good news is that to fly from Kāpiti to Auckland you're effectively flying over Whanganui so there's not much of an added time factor - you're not going out of your way with this journey." Flights will depart Kāpiti, when they reach Whanganui the plane will be on the ground for about 15 minutes while more passengers board, and then it will head straight up to Auckland. "The time difference will be minimal. For our morning flight out of Kāpiti, we are looking at getting passengers on board 15 minutes earlier to compensate for the time on the ground in Whanganui. You will make it to Auckland at the same time." Without implementing the bus stop model, Air Chathams would have to look at the current flight schedule and either reduce the frequency of flights heading out of Kāpiti or use a smaller aircraft. Both options are not ideal for the business community, which Duane said makes up the core of their customers. "A smaller aircraft and reduced flight schedule is not the ideal customer product that business travellers who are supporting our service out of Kāpiti are wanting. We don't want to discourage our core market, especially at a time where we need bums on seats." Using the bust stop method is also a safety measure, which the company said will enable them to continue operating should an outbreak hit their staff. "We're trying to be proactive rather than reactive," said Air Chathams marketing and sales manager Rebecca Jones. "Everyone's a bit freaked out with what's happening with Omicron globally, so we're just trying to be a bit proactive. It means we have more flexibility to operate if Omicron gets into the business and we have restrictions on staff. We have over 130 staff to look after and want to make sure Air Chathams survives this outbreak." The bus stop model is planned to start soon after Waitangi Day. With frequent cleaning of the plane after each flight, all staff fully vaccinated and using the Covid Clean Approved assessment through Qualmark to make sure their standards of hygiene and PPE usage are above par and meet all government requirements, Air Chathams will continue to operate in the red traffic light setting. Customers are expected to travel with a physical or digital copy of their Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates (CVCs) or provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure.

Source : https://www.nzherald.co.nz/kapiti-news/news/air-chathams-continues-to-fly-in-red-using-bus-stop-model/KPWA57POBITLC3JA4ZNP5EJT2U/

26 January 2022

WHK on the 22nd and 23rd

Eagle Flight Training had three Diamond DA40 Katanas at Whakatāne on 22 January 2022 - ZK-DAE...
and ZK-DAV

A couple of Aerohire's aircraft... BRM Aero Bristell LSA ZK-LMR...

...and Cessna 152 ZK-MDS

On the way home, Air Chathams' Fairchild Metro 23 ZK-POF at Whakatāne on 23 January 2022

25 January 2022

TRG on the 22nd and 23rd

Here are the rest of the photos I scored at Tauranga on the 22nd of January and one taken the following day on the drive home...

Sunair's Cessna 172 ZK-DPN on 22 January 2022

Maule MXT-7-180 ZK-JQY

AutoGyro Europe MT03 Eagle ZK-MOR

Vans RV-8, ZK-MRM

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle ZK-STV

Tecnam P92 Echo Super ZK-TES

Cessna 182 ZK-WOW

Boeing Stearman, ZK-XAF
Zenair Zenith CH-200 ZK-ZEN
Bell Jetranger ZK-HBG on 23 January 2022

24 January 2022

Titled at last

At last Island Air have company titles on their aircraft after a gap of many years... I caught up with two of their fleet on Saturday 22 January 2022

Cessna 172 ZK-WGE on a very dry Tauranga airport... Unfortunately Cessna 172 ZK-FII was in the hangar

Island Air's meaty Cessna 206 ZK-WWH... I love the first photo of this workhorse 


23 January 2022

Welcome to Invivo Air, where it’s business class in every glass.

There's been much debate about alcohol and flying in the past few years, with some airlines banning booze onboard flights altogether. However, a New Zealand wine company is taking things in a slightly different direction by launching the "world's first winery airline." Invivo will begin operating a route from the North Island of Auckland to Queenstown, in the South Island later this year, with its debut flight taking off within the next few months. Co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Robin Cameron have chartered a 34-seater Swedish-built Saab plane for the maiden journey of Invivo Air, proving "business class in every glass." While the duration of the flight is around two hours, the entire experience will last 24-hours, with a visit to Invivo's Central Otago growers and a stay at The Hilton Queenstown included. "Obviously, there will be some complimentary wines served on board, as well as some non-alcoholic drinks," says Lightbourne. "There'll be a range of Invivo wines available and maybe Rob and I will be serving it to the guests on the flight. It should be a lot of fun." Lightbourne and Cameron decided to launch Invivo Air in a bid to celebrate the reopening of Auckland's borders in December as well as promote domestic tourism in New Zealand. The pair also want to support those working in Auckland's hospitality sector, which was hit badly during the 119-day lockdown put in place after a Covid-19 outbreak in the city. Half of the seats on the maiden flight will be complimentary, with priority given to those hospitality and tourism staff in Auckland who've been impacted by the lockdown, as well as residents who've been unable to visit loved ones located in New Zealand's South Island due to the border closures. "A lot of the restaurants have been shut in Auckland for all that time," explains Lightbourne. "So it's been pretty hard. We'd like to reward some of those hospitality staff with a flight down to Queenstown, which is one of our major tourism destinations." He also hopes the flights will provide a boost to the hugely popular Queenstown, which drew around three million visitors a year pre-pandemic, with over 60% those from abroad. However, the resort town, situated in New Zealand's Otago region, "has been doing it tough" due to the lack of international tourists, according to Lightbourne. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Invivo team have found the process of setting up an airline from scratch rather tricky to say the least. We've had to talk to some people in the industry about the goings on and the challenges and all that sort of stuff," admits Lightbourne. "It's a trial for us. But the feedback has been positive. There have been thousands of people registering. We could have sold out the flight 100 times over." While the debut flight is indeed a "trial," Lightbourne says the team plan to running regular flights on the Auckland to Queenstown route, and hope to add new destinations in the future. "We have vineyards in Marlborough, which is also the South Island, " he adds. "And in the North Island, we have some in the Hawke's Bay region and Gisborne. We'd love to get some flights out that way later on this year, hopefully." Founded in 2008, Invivo produces wine from New Zealand, while also working in partnership with growers around the world to make wine from the top producing regions, including the Prosecco region of Veneto, Italy. The Invivo winery is based in Te Kauwhata, located in the Waikato region, just south of Auckland. Invivo's various shareholders and collaborators include "And Just Like That..." star Sarah Jessica Parker and British TV presenter Graham Norton, and Lightbourne hints that we may see one of the stars onboard an Invivo Air flight at some point. "Both Graham and Sarah Jessica are really keen to get to New Zealand," he adds. "So they could potentially be one of the official guests on a flight in the future for sure." New Zealand has been hugely praised for its response to Covid-19, and cases have remained remarkably low due to its strict border restrictions and quarantine measures -- there have been just over 15,000 recorded infections in the destination to date. However, the country has been effectively closed to the rest of the world for the entire pandemic, aside from a brief quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia that was halted in July 2021. This has proved incredibly challenging for many, particularly businesses that rely on international tourism, as well as those who've been separated from family members. "Everyone knows it's for the greater good," says Lightbourne. "But having said that, we're really keen to get back to normal and open up the borders to international travel. It's been nearly two years." Invivo Air passengers are required to comply with all applicable rules and regulations, including showing a valid vaccine pass before boarding the flight. Although 50% of the seats on the debut flight will be available to purchase, seat prices are yet to be determined. 

Source : https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-first-winery-airline-to-launch-in-new-zealand/index.html, 22 January 2022

GMN on the 15th and 16th

My last spotting on the West Coast was at Greymouth...

Tecnam P92 Echo Classic ZK-RGA at Greymouth on 15 January 2022

Cessna 182 ZK-VNE at Greymouth on 15 January 2022

Cessna 182 ZK-MGB at Greymouth on 16 January 2022

I just missed Sounds Air at Westport the following morning and there was nothing else there. Just before Kawatiri Junction I was overtaking a truck when I suddenly lost all acceleration. The car was still running and I managed to limp to Nelson - Mazda told me the car would have gone into "limp mode" to prevent any or further damage the engine. It turns out it was the fuel pump... and there are none in the country and won't be any till 31 January! So my car is still in Nelson and I had to fly home... $450 one way! So it turned out to be a rather expensive trip and I've still to fly back to Nelson to pick up the car! Turns out there is about to be a big Mazda recall on fuel pumps! Pity I wasn't told when the car went in for its service before Christmas.

22 January 2022

WHO on the 15th

Franz Josef has the IATA code WHO going back to when the community was called Waiho... and presumably when it when it had a regular air service.

I was amazed how quiet Franz and Fox were in terms of helicopter flying and I didn't take a photo of a helicopter... I did however capture Air Safari's Gippsland Airvan ZK-SAE as it was about to leave on a scenic


Air Safaris' Gippsland Airvan ZK-SAE at Franz Joseph on 15 January 2022

In the past Franz Josef had four operators offering scheduled services...




20 January 2022

50 years on - Flying from Fox Glacier in a tandem configuration taildragger

My second ever flight was with my cousin Mike Williams on a Fox Glacier local sometime around 1970 in tandem configuration taildragger Piper Cub  ZK-BOX. Some 50+ years on I again took to the air from Fox Glacier for a local flight in tandem configuration taildragger Rans S-7 Courier ZK-JRB

Piper Cub ZK-BOX which I flew in some 50+ years ago at Te Kowhai on on 14 November 2020

Rans S-7 Courier at Fox Glacier on 15 January 2022

On the taxi 

Like the Cub - watch out for the joystick and cables

The confluence of the Fox River (left) and Cook River (right)

The Cook River heading to the Tasman Sea

Following State Highway 6 south

Saltwater Creek

Saltwater Creek

Karangarua River

Bruce Bay in the distance with the Jacobs River coming up

Jacobs River

Bruce Bay

Bruce Bay

Blackwater Creek

State Highway 6

Paringa River

Paringa River

Lake Paringa

Hall River

Lake Rasselas

Coming up on the coast

Looking north

Abbey Rocks

Abbey Rocks

Looking south

The stunning coastline

Mouth of the Paringa River

Mouth of the Paringa River

Hanata Island

The bay to the south of Bruce Bay

The bay to the south of Bruce Bay

The bay to the south of Bruce Bay

Heretaniwha Point

Heretaniwha Point

Bruce Bay and Flowerpot Rock

Flowerpot Rock - a rope between the shore and Flowerpot Rock allowed timber to be lowered to barges which then went out to load the ship. There is a rope still there

Looking up the Mahitahi River

Mouth of the Mahitahi River

Bruce Bay

Mouth of the Jacobs River

Hunts Bay

Manakaiaua River mouth

Karangarua River mouth

Karangarua River mouth

Saltwater Creek mouth

Saltwater Creek mouth - the mysterious seat belt was found on the beach in front of the huts... https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2022/01/brian-chadwicks-air-charter.html 

Mouth of the Cook River

The high peaks

The Cook River

The Cook River mouth

In the Dominie days the pilots used the colours of the rivers as navigational markers - The Cook River has the glacial water 

Otorokua Point at the south end of the Gillespies Beach

The braided Cook River

It's still called the aerodrome paddock, the site of the original Weheka (Fox Glacier) aerodrome

Clearwater River bridge

The Fox Glacier

Joinging for Fox International - Fox Glacier township on the left

Thanks Maurice for an awesome flight!