31 October 2022

International Wide-Bodies

China Southern Airlines Airbus A350-941 B-30AL at Auckland on 23 October 2022

LATAM Airlines Chile's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner CC-BGG at Auckland on 23 October 2022

 Qantas' Airbus A330-202 VH-EBE at Auckland on 23 October 2022

Qantas' Airbus A330-202 VH-EBS at Auckland on 23 October 2022

 Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A330-223 9M-MTZ at Auckland on 24 October 2022

 Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350-1041 B-LXC at Auckland on 24 October 2022

 Fiji Airways' Airbus A330-343 DQ-FJW at Auckland on 24 October 2022

United Airlines' Boeing 777-222(ER) N792UA at Auckland on 24 October 2022


30 October 2022

Barrier Air Royal Flush

All five Barrier Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravans were flying through Auckland on 24 October 2022...





and ZK-SDG

SDB, SDC and SDD have the standard scheme... SDE and SDG reflect previous ownership, SDE with Milford Sound Flights and SDG with Finistair. 

Which scheme do you prefer???

and PS - We don't want to go back to this

Barrier Air's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SDB at Auckland on 10 September 2017 

29 October 2022

ZK-AWP Again

Thanks to Barry Stern who caught these two photos of Air Chathams' Douglas DC-3 ZK-AWP heading off to Tauranga on the 23rd of October 2022


Auckland's Sunday Freighters

Flying into Auckland on Sunday, 23 October 2022 were...

Fed Ex Boeing 777-FS2 arriving from Honolulu

Tasman Cargo Airlines' Boeing 767-3JHF(ER). VH-EXZ arriving from Sydney


28 October 2022

More DC-3 Magic

And speaking of DC-3s, Matthew Beaven caught DC-3 ZK-AMY at Ashburton on 22 October 2022


The Magic of a Classic DC-3

When I heard CHATHAMS 3 calling Auckland Tower I was wondering what it was... but then mention of direct to Mangere Bridge I had an idea... Then I heard CHATHAMS 803 and thought I had got it wrong...

But, no CHATHAMS 3 was as I thought,,, it brings back memories of watching NAC DC-3 Skyliners landing at Hokitika at the end of the Wellington-Nelson-Westport-Hokitika milk run... 

I hope you will excuse the number of photos but it is classic DC-3... Thanks to Craig and Air Chathams for preserving and continuing to fly this New Zealand classic...

... and an idea for Craig and Grant, given Skyiner ZK-AWP is named "Kaitaia" it would be great to see it flying a Barrier Air service to Kaitaia some time. I have looked at the histories and there are no significant anniversaries are coming up I still think it would be a great idea so see this classic flying into the centres it served so faithfully for so long. The challenge is laid.

Air Chathams Douglas DC-3 ZK-AWP landing at Auckland on 23 October 2022

For a pictorial history of ZK-AWP go to 

27 October 2022

Chatham Islands Airport Development


Downers are continuing their runway work for the Chatham Islands' Tuuta Airport.

In their latest update to the local community at the end of September they reported that 

- Our paving team came back to the Chathams on 12 September bringing project team up to full numbers.

- We started laying asphalt, as planned, from the third week of September.

- Paved area in front of terminal; in front of Air Chathams office; most of hard stand; from access gate, in

front of hangar to fuel storage area starting the apron area.

- We’ve commenced paving the runway extension.

- We continue to crush and cart aggregates from the Waitaha Quarry.

Upcoming Works

Over the next fortnight the key construction activity we will be undertaking:

- Pave the runway extension and Apron

- Carting aggregate from quarry

Planning is now underway for the development of an extended terminal for the Chatham Islands. 

The Chatham Islands Council website reports 

Chatham Islands Airport Company Limited Chair, Allan MacGibbon, presented an update on the project and the plans for the facility. This included the fact that the airport has had a 480m extension to the runway and that, at the completion of the project, the runway will be 1850 metres long, not much less than Wellington and the fifth longest in New Zealand. It will also be the only airport in the country with a full 300m runway and safety area at both ends.

The airport has also been future-proofed with the extension of the apron to cater for two code 4 jets, for example, 737 or A320 planes. Drainage has been undertaken throughout the site with water, power, and waste upgrades also completed.

The construction of the runway is now complete and the asphalt overlay is being installed. The asphalting will be completed in mid to late January, and the terminal is hoped to be completed by the end of next September.

The priority for the funding has been investing in the runway upgrade with just a small budget remaining for the terminal part of the project. The old terminal will be retained and refurbished for arrival and departures and a new FRAEMOHS design building will link to this and be entirely dedicated to security processing for outgoing passenger departures. Allan stresses this is not a completely new build but has to blend the old with the new. Retaining the link between the existing building and Hapupu was important. He also reiterated that the budget for the terminal is extremely limited.

Within the existing building, the baggage claim area will be removed and a new undercover area developed between the freight shed and terminal with interlocking gates. This follows the way most rural airports on the mainland are being developed. The operations room will remain the same. The “Koru lounge” will be retained. Some office space and storage space may be added. Remediation, carparks, and interpretation will be undertaken in the external area.

Included in his considerations for the fit-out, Allan believes acknowledgement of the people of the Island, the Tuuta family who gifted the land, and the history of aviation and its major role in the development of the Island are important.

Proposed extension for departure processing prior to boarding. View from airport runway.

The feedback from those present provided an excellent foundation, highlighting many things not currently being considered. The key points raised included:

  • the need for some form of cafĂ© and food
  • themed photo walls
  • outside seating area for smoking and non-smoking
  • outside access to a toilet
  • an area for repacking bags with privacy
  • lower check-in scales so bags don’t have to be lifted so high
  • a special area for those transporting people who have passed including a comfortable area for those accompanying them
  • a drop-off area at the entry to the terminal for kaumatua so the walk is not far
  • a designated area for visitors to be dropped off ensuring the entry is not crowded while buses and bags are unloaded
  • a new wheelchair and more trolleys are needed
  • plenty of power sources and USB connections
  • working spaces, particularly when planes are delayed
  • a landline for calls back to the mainland
  • biosecurity requirements
  • a kids' corner
  • the ramps at gradients that wheelchairs can be pushed up with ease
  • business advertising boards, use of QR codes that present information in the cloud
  • facilities that are easy to maintain and keep clean.

Featuring the views of the lagoon was also highlighted. Also included is the need to recognise that the airport serves as an entry point to Pitt Island.

Those attending were asked what the Chatham Islands meant to them, sparking feedback about what it feels like to arrive back home, freedom, manaakitanga, nature, culture, the resilience of islanders, fishing, sea, land, bush, eeling, weka hunting, horse riding, and the sounds of the birds.

Making features of the Inia William Tuuta Memorial, the Millennium Basalt Stone, and the albatross also needed to be incorporated into the upgrade.

The need to consider the Crown funding and look holistically at all industries including fishing, farming, and tourism along with job creation was also raised as a requirement.

The planning will continue with further specific consultation before the concept plans are developed.

The meeting was facilitated by Jackie Gurden. Further public feedback is welcomed and can be made by contacting Jackie at jgurden@xtra.co.nz or 027 420 0491.

Existing terminal for arrivals and departures to be refurbished showing proposed extension.

26 October 2022

Waiheke Island on Sunday...

At Waiheke Island aerodrome on Sunday 24 October were...

HeleTranz Robinson R44 ZK-IHE. My interest is more airline/air service operators but on Waiheke helicopters are king... they are everywhere

and Mr G, Cessna 182RG ZK-MRG

25 October 2022

Special Flights

Originair has responded to an initiative by Nelson’s Mayor Nick Smith, and an approach from Nelson Hospital, by scheduling Nelson to Blenheim flights to assist travellers during the forthcoming road closure between the two regions. Initially the flights will be operated twice daily, morning and evening for the first two weeks of the road closure before a flight schedule is finalised for the remaining weeks. 

The special return flights Nelson to Blenheim will commence on the 1st of November, departing Nelson at 7.40am and 4.00pm. The flights from Blenheim will depart at 8.40am and 5.00pm. The flight time will be approximately 20 minutes. The standard one-way fare will be $89 or $99 (for a flexi changeable or refundable fare).  


Flying Back to Waiheke Island


My return flight from Great Barrier Island to Waiheke Island on 22 October 2022.

Cessna 172 Zk-RNX enjoying the Great Barrier Island sun before the flight back to Waiheke Island

Pilot for the day, Jacob Taylor

Back tracking for Runway 10

Rolling Runway 10

Three Caravans on the tarmac

Kaitoke Beach in the foreground with Medlands Beach behind

Medlands Beach

Departing Great Barrier Island

Departing Great Barrier Island - Schooner Bay

Departing Great Barrier Island - Shag Point

Coromandel Peninsula coming up

Port Jackson again

Channel Island

Port Jackson

Cape Colville

Cape Colville

Waiheke Island in the distance, New Zealand's third most populated island

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

Approaching Onetangi Beach

Rangitoto in the distance

The eastern end of Waiheke Island looking to Auckland in the distance

Onetangi Beach

Waiheke Island aerodrome

From front - Putiki Bay, Kennedy Point, Huruhi Bay, Park Point, Motuihe Island and Rangitoto

Waiheke Island aerodrome

Awaawaroa Bay

Tamaki Strait

Looking towards Auckland

Rocky Bay

Turning base on Runway 35

Back tracking to the hangar

Cessna 172 ZK-RNX back on Waiheke Island awaiting its next flight... and then the call came and Jacob and RNX were off to pick up there next load of passengers to Waiheke

A big thanks to Chris Sattler and Jacob Taylor for a great day of flying.
I look forward to seeing the Islander in operation