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Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to write a full blog post, but that doesn't mean it's not covered. Often its covered on the NZ Aviation Notes Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas wishes and last update for 2008

Operating from Woodbourne yesterday 22-Dec-2008 was Cessna 404 Titan ZK-NDY. NDY was noted at Wigram at 1000 and then operating IFR to Woodbourne, before being noted operating in the Nelson circuit at 1600. It is then believed to have returned to Woodbourne, before heading back to Wigram. The CAA register shows it as being registered to Ashburton Air Services Limited, whose titles are carried on the port side. Pics of the Titan at Wigram can be seen on the NZ Civil blog HERE


Pacific Blue have increased their Brisbane-Chirstchurch return flights to 11x weekly up from 10, with the introduction of DJ80/81 0935-1600 /1645-1735. This brings the number of flights back to that previously operated, before the sunday morning flight was dropped to allow more flights from Christchurch to Melbourne. The first of these was operated on Saturday 20-Dec-2008 by ZK-PBK Maiden New Zealand. With the introduction of this service, the fleet of 10 aircraft is now fully utalised at all times, during the weekend. This is for the first time since the introduction of the 10th frame to the fleet at the beginning of November.


Christmas and the New Year are upon us and I will be taking a well deserved break over the holiday period, but will be back in the new year.
So to all the followers of this blog a big Thank you for supporting the blog in 2008, and I hope to see you all again in 2009.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Feliz Natal
Feliz Ano Novo


Friday, December 19, 2008

Further Pacific Blue additions

Pacific Blue have increased their Brisbane-Nadi return flights to 9x weekly, up from daily, with the addition of a Friday and Sunday evening flight.

DJ175 departs Brisbane at 1810 and arrives in Nadi at 2350. The flight overnights before returning to Brisbane as DJ174, departing Nadi at 0705 Saturday and 0630 Monday, arriving into Brisbane at 0915 and 0840 respectively. All times local.

The first of the new DJ175 flights operated tonight Friday 19-Dec-2008 with the honours going to ZK-PBI Lady Rebecca.

Additions, subtractions and movements

Friday 19-Dec-2008
Arriving into Woodbourne from Ohakea was RNZAF B200 King Air NZ1881, after a short stay it departed for Christchurch. Fellow King Air NZ1884 was also heard heading to Christchurch.

Qantas News

The Sydney-Wellington 73H service QF117/48 has concluded, with the service reverting back to the regular Jetconnect 734. It was initially supposed to conclude on Tuesday 16-Dec-2008, but the final service was QF117 on Wednesday 17-Dec-2008. From 8-14 Dec the service was operated by VH-VXA, from 15-17 Dec the service was operated by VH-VXL. VXL then positioned back to Sydney on Thursday 18-Dec-2008 as QF6038.

Air National News

Air National took delivery of BAe 146-200 C-GRNX on Monday 15-Dec-2008, with the aircraft arriving from Anchorage with stops in Adak, Midway Island, Honolulu, Christmas Island, Apia and Tonga.

It is expected that the 146 will take up registration ZK-ECO. With the arrival of ECO the Air National airline fleet is now 6, joining BAe J32EP's ZK-ECI, J, N, P, R.

The J32s operate in the Air New Zealand Link network, although it is expected ECO will not operate for Air New Zealand, but remain as an Air National charter aircraft.

Air Nationals fleet also consits of Piper PA-23-250 ZK-ECM, and they operate the following corporate jets on behalf of their owners, Gulfstream G200 ZK-RGB, Gulfstream GIV ZK-KFB and Westwind II ZK-RML. They also have helicopters available.

Vincent Aviation News

Vincent Aviation's New Zealand fleet currently consists of the following aircraft, Beech 1900D ZK-VAB, Dash 8-100 ZK-VAC, Beech 1900C ZK-VAE and Reims/Cessna F406 ZK-VAF. The 2 1900s and the Dash 8 had been operated in the Air New Zealand Link network, but this contract has now ended, and the F406 was operating for Civil Aviation in an airfield calibration role.

ZK-VAF was noted departing Auckland on 23-Oct-2008 heading to Norfolk Island, before being noted in Noumea, Honiara and Port Vila. I can't find any record of VAF returning form this trip, and it is rumoured that VAF has been sold.
A former Origin Pacific J31 has undergone maintenance and a repaint in preperation to operate for Vincent, believed to be in the airfield calibration role. It is believed to be ZK-JSH, although work has been noted on at least 2 of the 3 J31s.

1900C ZK-VAE departed Auckland for Norfolk Island and Brisbane on 04-Sept-2008 bound for Myanmar on a six month contract. It is not know if VAE will return to NZ or head for Vincent's Darwin base, at the completion of the contract.

1900D ZK-VAB is possibly also heading for the Darwin base, but this is unconfirmed, as it is required at the Wellington base for a few charters in the new year, and may remain in Wellington for charter work.

Dash-8-102 ZK-VAC has been reported as heading for a contract in either Vanuatu or Darwin, but this also needs to be confirmed. It has been noted as missing from the Wellington base for a while, but I have not found any noting of it leaving the country.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

9-12 Decmeber

Tuesday 9-Dec-08
A day of medical transfers with Christchurch based New Zealand Flying Doctors Service C441 ZK-NFD operating CHC-BHE-CHC and Wellington based Life Flight Trust Metroliner III ZK-LFT operating WLG-BHE-WLG.

Wednesday 10-Dec-08
College 47 a training aircraft from Motueka based Nelson Aviation College operated in the Marlbourough region including a touch and go at Woodbourne.

Noted passing overhead Marlborough was Piper PA-31 ZK-MJF of Helicopter Services (BOP) Ltd flying from Christchurch to Taupo.

The rest of the day was dominated by the RNZAF.
Airtrainers were prevelent with NZ1987, NZ1992, and NZ1993 operating in the Marlborough region from Woodbourne. They were noted doing aerobatics just off the coast of Blenheim in Cloudy Bay. NZ1993 was also noted transmitting the following code DFLSPRL.

Arriving into Woodbourne from Ohakea was Iroquoi NZ3806. Also arriving during the afternoon was an unknown C-130 Hercules.

Thursday 11-Dec-08
A mid afternoon movement was a very low high speed pass over Blenheim from an unknown P-3K Orion of the RNZAF

Friday 12-Dec-08
Arriving between 0700 and 0800 was Life Flight Trust Metroiner III ZK-LFT.

The mid afternoon slience was shattered with the low, fast pass over Blenheim of Auckland based Aero L-29 ZK-VAU. VAU had arrived from parts north and was heading for parts South. Photos of the Woodbourne stop can be found on Gavin's blog HERE.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

QF & PB Firsts

Pacific Blue
As mentioned on an earlier enttry, the AKL-MEL and AKL-RAR flights have increased services. The first AKL-MEL friday afternoon flight on 5-December-08 was operated by ZK-PBM Kiwi Ana which also operated the first Saturday afternoon service on 6-December-08. This takes AKL-MEL return to 9x weekly.

The first of the new Sunday afternoon services to Rarotonga on 7-December-08 was operated by ZK-PBG Bewitching Broome. This takes AKL-RAR return to 3x weekly.

The new MEL-WLG-MEL routed, 73H operated, late afternoon arrival, early evening departure, QF37/38, began yesterday. This previously operated as QF38/37 WLG-MEL-WLG with a mix of 733 and 734s and morning and afternoon departures. The first flight was operated yesterday 8-December-08 with Qantas 73H VH-VZC Innisfail, operated by Jetconnect.

Yesterday there was also a change in the double daily QF118/47 and QF48/117 services WLG-SYD-WLG. QF118 was cancelled and QF47/48/117 was operated by VH-VXA Broome. It has been noted that the 73H will continue to operate on the 48/117 service until 16-December-08 with 118/47 remaining as a mix of 733 & 734 aircraft, with the exception of the two weekend services which will also operate with 73H.

It is pleasing to note the aircraft will remain on the ground in WLG between its late night QF117 arrival, and its mid afternoon QF48 departure. This should make for some good photo oportunities of this aircraft and also the 73H operating the MEL flight arriving at a good time (hint, hint Rodney, looking forward to seeing photos of the 73H in Wellington on your blog)

Monday, December 8, 2008

08 December

Monday 8-Dec-2008
A busy day for medical flights today in Marlborough. Rushing to the Seddon scene of a car accident were 2 rescue helicopters. Wellington based Westpac Rescue BK-117 ZK-HLF and Nelson based Summit Rescue AS 350BA ZK-HQT both then transported the seriously injured to Wairau hospital here in Blenheim.

Also operating a medical transfer into Woodbourne was Nelson based Flight Corporation Piper PA-34-200T ZK-TSD. This operated Nelson-Blenheim-Nelson

Noted flying over Marlborough this morning was Glufstream G450 N851GG. This was departing NZ from Christchurch heading to Nadi Fiji. N851GG arrived in the country on 01-Dec-08 into Auckland from Sydney, on 04-Dec-08 it flew from Auckland to Wellington and yesterday 07-Dec-08 it flew to Christchurch. The aircraft carried singers John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crowe on their 3 stop NZ tour.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Out & About 5-6 December

Friday 5-Dec-08
Noted flying in the central New Zealand region today were

Airpost/Sky Link Metoliner III ZK-POE operated by Airwork (NZ) Ltd, flying to Nelson from Palmerston North

National Business Review Cessna 501 Citation N800DT passed over Marlborough on an Ardmore - Christchurch - Ardmore flight.

Arriving into Woodbourne during the morning was RNZAF KingAir NZ1881 from Ohakea.

Flying for the first time in about 2.5years was Pat Donovan's Lockheed 12A Junior Electra NC14999. This is Omaka based and has been undergoing restoration with JEM Aviation here at Omaka. (This can be seen below, second photo down in the Omaka Radials post)

Saturday 6-Dec-08
Lockheed 12A NC14999 was also up and flying this morning - noted doing circuits at Omaka. Photos of its first flight yeasterday can be seen on Gavin Conroys blog here

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jetconnect Domestic reductions

Futher to the post on the domestic reductions by Qantas/Jetconnect.

The first round of reductions occur from this weekend Sunday 07 December 2008 with the reduction of the following services.

Auckland - Wellington -2 services weekdays, -2 services Saturdays
Auckland - Christchurch -3 services weekdays, -1 service Saturdays, -2 services Sundays
Wellington - Auckland -2 services weekdays, -1 service Saturdays
Christchurch - Auckland -1 service weekdays, -1 service Saturdays, -2 services Sundays

The second round of reductions occurs from 17 January 2009 with the following futher reductions

Auckland - Wellington -1 service Saturdays
Wellington - Auckland -1 weekday service
Christchurch - Queenstown return -1 weekday service
Christchurch - Rotorua -1 service Saturday & Sunday

Some points to note are Christchurch - Rotorua return drops from daily to 5x week with the loss of the weekend services.
Christchurch - Queenstown services drop from 14x weekly to 9x weekly with the loss of the morning flight on weekdays.
Auckland to Wellington drops from 7x daily to 5x daily with no flights between 0830 and 1600 in both directions.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Helicopter Crash

This morning 3rd December Marlborough Helicopters Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HWF c/n3612 rolled over upon landing.

The R22 had been undertaking a Possum operation, involving dropping possum bait stations on hilly country in the Awatere Valley. It was attempting to land on uneven ground near the Black Birch stream when the roll over occured.

The two occupants were unhurt and another helicopter returned them to Marlborough Helicopters Omaka base, before the Summit Rescue Helicopter (Aerospatiale AS 350BA ZK-HQT) was called in to retrieve the emergancy beacon from the helicopter.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Omaka Radials

The radial engines were roaring at Omaka today with 6 engines in total out in the sunshine 5 of which roared with life.

Sitting quietly outside the SoundsAero Maintenance hanger during a lull in its maintenance was Red Cat Biplane Adventures Graumman G-164A Ag Cat ZK-CAT

Pat Donovan's Lockheed 12A Junior Electra NC14999 being restored by JEM Aviation spent some time sitting on the field doing engine trials

Also doing some engine run ups was a Boeing Stearman under restoration with Antique Aeroworks

And of course who could forget the guardian of Omaka former Safe Air Bristol Freighter ZK-CPT - also having engine trials to try and solve a dodgy oil temp indication and loss of pressure

More Pacific Blue news

First Services


The first service departed last night Monday 1 December and was operated by ZK-PBF. It was nice to see the Polynesian Blue liveried plane operate the 1st flight of this new Polynesian Blue service.


The first service departed this morning Tuesday 2 December and was operated by ZK-PBG.


The first of the additional summer services to Wellington departed tonight Tuesday 2 December and was operated by ZK-PBK.

Route changes/additions


This route has been increased to daily with the addition of a new Monday service first operated yesterday Monday 1 December by ZK-PBG. The Tuesday service has also changed from a morning to an afternoon departure.

Auckland – Gold Coast Coolangatta

This route has also changed departure time on Tuesday, swapping from afternoon to morning. The first new timed service operated today Tuesday 2 December with ZK-PBA.


This has increased from daily to 9x a week return flights with the addition of afternoon return flights on Friday and Saturdays. The first of these flights will operate this Friday 5 December


This route now operates 3x weekly with the addition of a Sunday service, the first of which will depart on Sunday 7 December.


Brisbane to Auckland increased to 11x weekly with the addition of a Wednesday morning flight which began on the 24th September and was operated by ZK-PBG.


This has increased from 3 to 5x weekly with the addition of Tuesday and Sunday flights. The Tuesday flights began on 7 October with ZK-PBD operating the flight, while the Sunday flight began on 5 December with the flight being operated by ZK-PBA.

The Tuesday addition came about due to the following flight changes CHC-SYD-NAN-SYD-CHC was replaced by AKL-SYD-NAN-SYD-AKL allowing the Christchurch based aircraft to operated CHC-MEL-CHC-SYD-CHC

The Sunday CHC-MEL-CHC flight replaced a CHC-BNE-CHC flight.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Qantas news

Qantas Jetconnect are about to undergo some serious changes.

Domestic Reductions
Jetconnect currently operate 34 flights M, Th, F, 35 Tu, W 28 Sa and 26 on Su

From 6 December they reduce by up to 8 flights a day. They then reduce by another 2-4 flights per day from 17 Jan 09.

International Flights
Jetconnect operate International flights from Wellington and also Auckland.

Auckland - Brisbane/Melbourne
From Nov 11 QF116/115 AKL-BNE-AKL and QF134/133 AKL-MEL-AKL which is normally operated by a QF 738 is now operated by a Jetconnect 734 with ZK-JTP operating QF116/115 and then QF134/133 was operated by ZK-JTR this will return to the Qantas 738 around March.

Wellington - Brisbane
WLG-BNE-WLG flights QF58/57 operate on Saturday and Sundays, currently the Saturday flight is an afternoon/night flight, while the Sunday flight is a morning flight. From this weekend 6/7 December the flight will be in the afternoon both days.

Wellington - Melbourne
WLG-MEL-WLG flights QF38/37 operate daily using a mix of Jetconnect B733/4 aircraft. Tu, F, Sa morning flights and M, W, Th, Su afternoon/evening flights. From this weekend they change. Weekend flights will operate in the morning WLG-MEL-WLG using Jetconnect 733/4s.
Weekday flights from Monday 8 December will now operate during the middle of the day MEL-WLG-MEL using QF738s operated by Jetconnect.

Air New Zealand news

Enough has been written on the tragic loss of Air New Zealand Airbus A320 ZK-OJL (D-AXLA) without me needing to dwell on it. So all I can do is offer my condolences to the familes and colleagues of the 7 who have lost their lives.

Southern Hemisphere Summer Schedule Changes
As usual there have been changes in the Air New Zealand schedule for the summer.

Noted so far are:

Auckland - Adelaide
This route NZ821/822 has resumed daily operation up from 5 x weekly in the winter season.

Auckland-Los Angeles-London Heathrow
This flight NZ1/2 has had a capacity reduction from a daily 744 to a dailly 772.

Auckland - Osaka Kansai
About the same time that NZ1/2 changed to the 772 the AKL-KIX route changed from a 772 to a 763. It remains a 5x weekly service. The return KIX-AKL flights offer several different options. The Wednesday and Thursday flights route via Tokyo Narita, the friday flight is direct and the Saturday and Sunday flights route via Christchurch.
The 4 AKL-NRT flights remain 772, with 3 of the return flights operarting via Christchurch, the fourth being direct.

Pacific Blue news

Pacific Blue have recently upped their fleet numbers from 7 to 10 Boeing 737-8FEs. In addition they have increased their flight numbers and added several new destinations. Brisbane has been a big winner of new services with Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Nadi and Apia also receiving increases, with Adelaide, Perth, Port Moresby, Denpasar and Honiara being added to the list of destinations served.

Fleet additions
ZK-PBK Maiden New Zealand – entered service with Pacific Blue on Saturday 9 August as DJ62 from Melbourne to Christchurch. PBK is new build and was delivered to Melbourne as VH-VUP but did not enter service with Virgin Blue before its Pacific Blue service.

ZK-PBL Canterbury Belle – entered service with Pacific Blue on Tuesday 2nd September as DJ81 Christchurch to Brisbane. PBL is also new build and was allocated VH-VUQ but this was not taken up.

ZK-PBM Kiwi Ana – entered service with Pacific Blue on Sunday 2 November as DJ82 from Brisbane to Christchurch after having positioned to Brisbane from Melbourne. PBM was formerly VH-VUO Blueissima with Virgin Blue before its transfer to Pacific Blue.

Route additions
Wellington – Brisbane
This route has been upgraded from 5 to 8 flights a week for the summer season. Flights now operate daily with a double daily on Friday.

Auckland – Melbourne
This route was launched in September by ZK-PBL and operates daily in the morning.

Auckland – Sydney
This route was launched in October operated by ZK-PBI and operates 9 times a week. Daily morning departures, and a second afternoon flight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Brisbane – Port Moresby
This route started on Monday November 3rd and was operated by ZK-PBA. This is operated 4 times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays.

Brisbane/Adelaide/Perth – Denpasar
The new Bali routes began on Thursday 27 November operated by Virgin Blue aircraft VH-VUN Madelaide, operated in full Pacific Blue livery. These flights offer Live 2 Air TV and Premium Economy service. The route structure is

Brisbane – Honiara
This service is scheduled to begin tomorrow Tuesday 2 December and will operate twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday

Brisbane – Apia
This service is scheduled to begin tonight Monday 1 December and will operate only once a week departing Brisbane Monday evening and arriving back early Tuesday morning.

Sydney – Nadi
This service went daily on the introduction of the AKL-SYD service.

Additional Auckland to the Pacific Island services have been added with the addition of the Melbourne and Sydney flights.

Changes to Blog

The scope of this blog is about to change slightly.

Since I started this blog earlier this year I have focused solely on the Marlborough Aviation scene, and also movements noted in the central New Zealand area.

While this has been great I feel its now time to add some more of what Im interested in, with the introduction of news related to New Zealand based airlines.

November 15-30

It has been a while since any updates here on the blog. Unfortunately I have been busy and haven’t been able to monitor all movements as they occurred. Movements noted around Marlborough since the last post have included:

Saturday 22-Nov-2008

Pionair Aviation Convair VH-PAL on a tourist flight. PAL either originated or departed to Wellington, as it was noticed there during the day. This is believed to be the first visit of PAL to Woodbourne since its shift from the New Zealand register to the Australian register.

Thursday 27-Nov-2008

Cessna Citation Mustang ZK-MUS arrived into Woodbourne around 1730local from Dunedin. It is believed it returned to its Wellington home base VFR.

Sunday 30-Nov-2008

CTC Diamond DA-42 Twin Star ZK-CTI arrived from Wellington before continuing to Nelson. This was part of a cross country flight that routed Hamilton-Wellington-Woodbourne-Nelson-Palmerston North-Hamilton.


There has been steady RNZAF activity in the time frame with several Beech King Air arrival and departures. There have also been several Airtrainer arrival and departures and at least one C130 Hercules arrival and departure.

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