30 November 2011

Tweaking to Air New Zealand Link Wanaka and Hokitika Flights


Having found this little piece in the Otago Daily Times... Wanaka Airport remained critical to increasing visitor numbers and said it was disappointing Eagle Air had signalled a further reduction in daily services to one a day (http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/wanaka/187747/wanaka-struggling-attract-tourists)... I did a bit of a search on the Air New Zealand website...

Wanaka is indeed moving towards just a single flight each day.
Hokitika remains largely the same, namely, two flights to and from Christchurch on Saturdays, three on Sundays and four on weekdays. The only change is that the Wednesday and Friday morning Q300 flights revert to a Beech 1900, so the Q300s are only doing two flights a week now on Monday mornings and Friday evenings.
There doesn't seem to be any major changes on other routes... and Masterton still only gets one a day!

27 November 2011

Helensville-Great Barrier Island - Parakai Aviation


Parakai Aviation Ltd was established at Parakai airfield, near Helensville, in 1991 by Des Grant and Peter Clulow, two Air New Zealand Boeing 767 captains. In its first four years the company focussed on training, flightseeing, aerobatic joy rides and charter work.

In 1995 the decision was made to offer a regular weekend service to between Parakai and Great Barrier Island. Peter Clulow told the Barrier Bulletin that the company was not trying to compete with other air services to the island but "opening up the north-west Auckland area to Barrier people and promoting the Barrier to the Helensville area. The other air services are some distance from there". Alison Williamson was appointed marketing and sales promotion manager and prior to the service getting airborne she coordinated a group of Helensville business people being taken to Great Barrier Island on a familiarisation and promotion tour.

Nor-West Newsbrief, 30 November 1995

Passengers from the familiarisation flight - Barrier Bulletin, December 1995

Flights started on the 1st of December 1995 with a Friday and Sunday late afternoon Paraki-Great Barrier-Parakai service being flown by either the company’s Partenavia P68B, ZK-PFT (c/n 42) or Cessna 182Q Skylane ZK-PFS (c/n 18265549).

Parakai Aviation's Partenavia, ZK-PFT, taken at Wanaka on 6 April 1996. Photo : M Condon
Cessna 182 Skylane ZK-PFS, taken at Wanaka on 2 April 1994.

The Parakai-Great Barrier service ended in April 1996 with the intention to restart in October for the next summer season. In the meantime the Partenavia continued to operate to the Barrier under charter to Air National's Great Barrier Express. The following summer Parakai Aviation began operating to Great Barrier Island again, this time under a new name, Trans Island Air, with a new aircraft, a Cessna Grand Caravan, and this time on the prime Auckland-Claris air route.

For more on Parakai Aviation see : http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/12/trans-island-air-quietest-quickest-way.html

Barrier Bulletin, April 1996
As for Parakai Aviation itself, on the 20th of April 1997 the flying school closed because a viable agreement could not be reached with landowners, the Parakai Parachute Centre.

25 November 2011

Gisborne the last couple of days...

Sunair's Piper Aztec ZK-EVP taxis on the way to Rotorua... first photo of EVP in this scheme for me. Photo taken at Gisborne on 24 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Gisborne Helicopters' Bell 407 arriving home to Gisborne on 24 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Not moving anywhere was Aerospread's Cresco ZK-LTE. Taken at Gisborne on 24 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Air Gisborne Seneca taxis to its hangar. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
After some training and a refuelling stop Sunair's Aztec ZK-DGS taxis back to its tie-down... I prefer this scheme to tha on EVP. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Sunair's Cessna 172 ZK-DKK was also out flying today. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Another 172, ZK-DXF belongs to Air Gisborne. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
One of the most awkward planes to get a side on photograph of while keeping the titles in... the controls being locked don't help. Air Napier's Piper Cherokee 6, ZK-ELK. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Another of Air Gisborne's fleet, Grumman American AA-5A Traveler. Photo taken at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.
Skyline Aviation's Beech C90A King Air at Gisborne on 25 November 2011 by S Lowe.

Napier Yesterday

A quiet day at Napier, the most exotic being Gulfstream 550 N818LK at Napier on 24 November 2011. Photo : S Lowe
...and of more interest to me Air Napier's Piper Navajo ZK-NPR obligingly using the cross runway. Photo taken at Napier on 24 November 2011 by S Lowe

24 November 2011

A trip on Sunair...

One of projects of my NZ airline madness is to fly into every Air New Zealand destination on Air NZ (WHK, GIS, WKA and MON to go) and to fly on each of the smaller third level airlines.

Last night it was Sunair's turn and I booked on their Napier-Paraparaumu service. This service is mainly a courier flight but also carries passengers on demand. As I awaited for the flight at Napier's terminal I heard a woman telling someone that if she wanted to fly to from Napier to Rotorua she would have to fly via Auckalnd. So much for the Sunair signage not too many metres away.

When the flight arrived from Gisborne my pilot, Dion Currie, told me the flight was going to Hamilton due to the gales lashing the lower North Island. As I was going for the ride I didn't mind where we went.

The courier packs arrive locally by courier van and from the connecting Air Napier flight from Gisborne and Wairoa
 

With a howling westerly at Napier a right turn after take off with nice views of Napier and up the East Coast
 

Pilot for the flight, Dion
Extensive cloud cover was the order of the day...
 


Breaking out into the Waikato and turning finals at Hamilton

Ride for the night, Piper Aztec ZK-PIW at Hamilton on 23 November 2011, as the front moves in. The courier bags unloaded we were quickly under way.
With a flight time off 1 hour 5 coming to Hamilton punching into the westerlies, the flight home was sure to faster... punching along at a ground speed of 210 knots... AZJET!
A glimpse of Lake Taupo above and a fuzzy shot of Napier as we bounced around in the westerly letting down for Napier.
 

What a great trip. Sunair has done a great job of surviving in a difficult market and yet providing a dependable operation with the Aztec being a solid platform for its operations. For more on Sunair see

Thanks to Marion and Dion of Sunair for a great evening.


At Hastings and Napier

The aircraft I was hoping to see the most at Bridge Pa was Air Chathams' Cessna 206 ZK-KAI all ready to fly home... Unfortunately it wasn't. I caught a glimpse of it in a hangar at Hawkes Bay Aviation.

Hughes 269C ZK-IKS at Hastings on 23 November 2011. Photo : S Lowe
Cessna 172 ZK-JKA at Hastings on 23 November 2011. Photo : S Lowe
Meanwhile, over at Napier... 

Piper Malibu ZK-MPG wasn't very considerate in the way he parked.
Photo taken at Napier on 23 November 2011 by S Lowe
The amount of twin activity between Gisborne and Napier is fascinating... Sunair flew their Aztec up and back, Air Napier did their courier runs and then later flew their Navajo up with a full load... and Air Gisborne flew their Senenca ZK-SFC down to Napier for the day. Photo taken at Napier on 23 November 2011 by S Lowe

23 November 2011

At Gisborne

Flying the Sunair service from into Gisborne from western points was Piper Aztec ZK-MTY. Photo taken at Gisborne on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
While flying the courier run to Napier was Piper Seneca ZL-MSL. Photo taken at Gisborne on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
The next day Air Napier had Seneca ZK-WUG and Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-ELK on flying duties. Photo taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe
The Westpac Waikato Air Ambulance Piper Chieftain ZK-NSP was on air ambulance duties. Photo taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe
Air Gisborne were busy with MD 500N ZK-HQP and Robinson R44 ZK-HUM both on spraying work. Photos taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe
 

Robinson R44 ZK-HVC was also out and about today. Photo taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe
Falco 3000XL ZK-XLA is Farmer Air's conversion of the Pacific Aerospace 750 XL. (see http://www.flightstructures.co.nz/assets/Uploads/FALCO3000XL.pdf) Photo taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe

22 November 2011

At Tauranga


Keeping busy yesterday on Island Air's flight to Motiti Island were Adventure Aviations's Cessna TU206A Stationair ZK-PAI and Cessna 172K ZK-WGE. Photos taken at Tauranga on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
 

Meanwhile, down the line Sunair's newest Cessna 172, ZK-TAB, and Piper Aztec ZK-DIR enjoyed the sun. Photos taken at Tauranga on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
 

Eurocopter AS 355 F2 ZK-IHF called in, and Robinson R22 ZK-HJA did a touch and go. Photos taken at Tauranga on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
 

In Tauranga for the Rena recovery is Bell 214B-1 N1073W of McDermott Aviation. Photo taken at Tauranga on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe
My first photo of a Tecnam P2006T, Bay Flight Aviation's ZK-TWN. Photo taken at Tauranga on 21 November 2011 by S Lowe