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31 March 2012
Over the past week we enjoyed plenty of sunshine and light
winds - perfect for the 7000 extra visitors in town for the Maadi Cup
rowing regatta. We ran a special flight over Lake Ruataniwha to cater
for those interested in the rowing. On Thursday the Ag-Cat was in Timaru
for its annual check and we flew eight passengers from 6.00pm onwards after
returning to Pukaki - a busy day!
The Ag-Cat at sunrise on Thursday
morning prior to heading off to Timaru for its annual check.
8 x 8 = 64! Eight boats with eight high school students per boat thrash
it out during a finals race on Lake Ruataniwha today.
Wilson, support crew for one of the Christchurch rowing teams, enjoys
the view on the flight to Timaru.
morning light on hills near Fairlie.
24 March 2012
Last week has seen some flights to new locations. Clear
days have also seen an increase in overseas tourists flying. To see our
new You Tube video, please click on the link above.
across to the Main Divide from the Neumann Range on Wednesday with RAAF P3
Orion pilot David Connor up front
Martin Lingenfelder from Germany
after an evening flight
unnamed island on the eastern side of Lake Pukaki - photo taken on a
flight with Richard and Janine Leslie from the UK
Ohau A power station - screenshot
from GoPro video shot on Tuesday with Chris Brueckner aboard
17 March 2012
Nothing but the best weather today with calm conditions
and a temperature of 25'C. Yesterday and today we did five "Three Lakes"
flights - fast becoming our most popular flight option. 80-year old Gordon
Hayman described his experience as "just what the doctor ordered" - good
and Lesley Autridge from Geraldine after their "Three Lakes" flight this
Ohau - as calm as a mill pond.
Gordon Hayman with son-in-law
Douglas Whitelock from Timaru about to head off into the wild blue yonder
8 March 2012
Autumn has arrived and with it some settled weather.
With smooth flying conditions today, we flew eight passengers out to
Lake Ohau or on the Mackenzie Magic option. Our last flight today got
airborne after sunset and we landed with a full moon coming up over the
eastern horizon - what a sight!
Swiss clients Philipp Erisman
and Sibylle Schenkel reflected in the Ag-Cat's propeller spinner after
a flight today.
along the Lake Ohau shoreline this evening with Sydney visitors Gordon
Bartlett and Steve Withnall.
finals" for runway 15 at Pukaki
over moraine from the old Ohau Glacier.
Ag-Cat parked outside the hangar at day's end with the moon rising in
the eastern sky after a flight with German visitors Sybille and Stefan
26 February 2012
This week saw the arrival of much needed rain
- great for the grass on the cross vector. At 7.00 pm this evening
Paul and Diana Fulbrook got to fly over Mount Cook and Mount Tasman
in perfect weather.
ridge of Aoraki Mt Cook at 7.00 pm this evening
UK policeman Paul Fulbrook and his wife Diana after their flight over
Mt Cook this evening.
west side or Aoraki Mt Cook - stunning!
Morishima, who is touring New Zealand on a motorbike he brought from
Japan, tries out the Ag-Cat cockpit for size after a flight.
Ken and Mike Nesbit after their
flight last weekend.
17 February 2012
Flights to Aoraki Mt Cook are proving popular.
With excellent flying conditions yesterday, we were able to fly to
the east side of the Divide and Mount Sefton. Clients for the flight
were David Stein and Caroline Ajootian from Oregon, USA.
up the Hooker Valley to Aoraki Mt Cook. In the distance is the Murchison
summit of Mount Sefton.
east side of Mount Tasman.
The Red Cat awaits the next
10 February 2012
We have had some great flights in recent
days, including to Aoraki Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the Tasman Glacier,
as well as out to Lake Ohau.
Mt Cook at 5.30 pm this evening with Rachel Gentles and Brendan
The view past Mt Tasman to the
Tasman Glacier - cool!
The shadow of the biplane on
a patch of cloud we flew to one side of. The rainbow effect around the aircraft
is from the sun reflecting off water droplets and is sometimes called an
Aerial Glory or Brocken Spectre. Photo: Rachel Gentles.
Australian adventurers Brendan
Gill and Rachel Gentles after their Mt Cook flight.
A spectacular sunrise yesterday.
A screen shot of a movie client
Powel Bis did yesterday of a Mackenzie Magic flight. The camera
was a GoPro Hero.
5 February 2012
Over the last week we have had a lot
of easterly winds. This has meant the Canterbury Plains has often
had cloudy weather with drizzle but the Mackenzie has remained dry
and sunny, particularly in the afternoons - perfect for biplane flying!
and Vivienne Jarrold celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary with
a biplane flight yesterday.
Flying over the pine forrest
on the edge of Lake Pukaki
Robert and Elizabeth Houter,
visitors from The Netherlands, about to head away on a Mackenzie
Magic flight today.
27 January 2012
Summer snow! After strong north-westerlies
yesterday, snow fell down to around 4500 feet on the surrounding
mountains last night. In the past week we have been flying an increasing
number of visitors from China, Korea and Malaysia, who are visiting
New Zealand over the Chinese New Year period.
blankets the St Bathan range this morning
over Lake Ohau with Ralph and Andrea Adam from Germany. It was Andrea's birthday.
Strenber and Peter Gilbert from Australia give Chris the thumbs
after a flight on Wednesday.
18 January 2012
The mercury got to over 30'C today
as the lovely summer weather continues. Yesterday however we went
sub-zero with our first flight to Aoraki Mt Cook from Pukaki Airport.
Trips to Lake Ohau Alpine Village are also proving popular. Best of
all has been the fantastic feedback we have received from clients.
Ellie Travaglia (Oamaru) felt after a flight today that she has "just
Aoraki Mount Cook from the south yesterday
ridge of Aoraki Mount Cook
Rock" from the north
John Challen and Penelope Morris after their flight to Aoraki
Mount Cook. Penelope described the flight as "The best of the
best 10 things to do in the world!"
A piece of paradise - a small bay on the shores
of Lake Ohau
Ross and Hazel Challice about to head away on a flight to the
Lake Ohau Alpine Village this morning.
12 January 2012
Compared to many other places in
New Zealand, we have had excellent weather in Twizel over the
last week. Interest remains strong from people holidaying locally
but we are seeing an increasing number of overseas visitors now.
Yesterday ZK-CAT was reunited with her original New Zealand owner,
Brian Stewart, who called in to see how things were going.
Stewart, the original New Zealand owner of ZK-CAT. After importing
the aircraft from the USA, Brian converted it for scenic flying.
Thanks to Brian's efforts, thousands of people have now shared a
biplane flight in New Zealand!
reflected in the calm waters of Lake Ohau this morning
Pullen from Twizel with his grandson Mack from Nelson after
a flight on Saturday.
Mount Cook and Mount Tasman photographed on a flight to Timaru
with Duncan and Lachlan Woolley.
Weinstein and Bettina Klein-Nau from New York, USA, after
a flight this morning.
5 January 2012
The past week has been very busy with many
people staying in Twizel taking flights. The Mackenzie
Magic option has been popular but we have also done flights to
Lake Ohau, Glenmary Glacier and as far away as Aviemore Dam and
the Clay Cliffs. Yesterday we had our hottest day so far this season
with temperatures hitting 32'C.
Birthday Boys. John Smeehuyzen and Max Kulbicki not only shared
a flight together - they also celebrated their birthdays yesterday.
over the dairy farm south of Lake Ruataniwha with farm workers
Stu and Marie Johns aboard
and Dylan Roberts from Cashmere, Christchurch
28 December 2011
Today was our busiest day
yet this season with nine flights. Yesterday we did six. On
both days temperatures were around 27'C with a light north-west
wind. Perfect biplane weather!
Ag-Cat outside the Pukaki hangar at day's end
Mount Cook from Pukaki Airport this evening
over the Omarama Rodeo today while on a Dambuster flight
with Grant Bentley and Elizabeth Bloomfield
and Brett Williamson. After a flight over Twizel yesterday,
Murray reckons he has the best lawns in town!
over the Glenmary Glacier on a flight with ex-RNZAF pilot
Kevin Simpson and his wife Annette on Christmas Eve.
21 December 2011
The great summer weather
continues with a big anticyclone over New Zealand. The Red
Cat has now gone international as it appears in a television
advertisement for Canon in several Asian countries. It also appears
in a full page newspaper advert in Singapore.
of the full-page Canon ad in The Straits Times, Singapore
Lim and family from Singapore who saw the newspaper ad and
decided to do the Three Lakes flight option.
east of Mt Barth on the Wild Wilderness option
couple Silvia and Werner Berger after their Wild Wilderness
flight experience to Mt Barth
and Perry Kohne, all the way from Yakutat, Alaska
14 December 2001
hitting 27'C yesterday it was nice to fly up Lake Ohau
so Albert Aanensen could take photographs of homesteads for
a book Eileen McMillan is writing.
Aanensen taking photographs of Ohau Lodge in perfect conditions
view back down Lake Ohau from the north
Ohau with cumulus clouds over the Ben Ohaus
Looking up the Dobson Valley - paradise!
A nice shot of the Ag-Cat landing
close to sunset as Darren Smith completes his annual check
flight with Peter Hendriks.
7 December 2001
Lest we forget -
today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl
Harbor. As Japanese aircraft approached, they flew past a
Stearman biplane on a civil training flight. I noted with interest
that someone has recreated the scene using an Ag-Cat - not built
until 1957. Fortunately today we fly in friendlier skies!
Bob, I think that's enough training for today . . .
Speemann and Ulrike Schweikert from Germany outside
the Kahu Cafe in Omarama on Saturday after we dropped in for
coffee and muffins while doing the Dambuster flight option
view of Benmore Dam on Saturday
1 December 2011
Summer has arrived!
The last few days have been hot with the mercury
hitting 26'C so it has been nice to be up flying to cool down
(one of the advantages of open-cockpit flying in summer!). Yesterday
we flew William Kircher, an actor in The Hobbit
who plays one of the dwarves.
character Bifur (right) is played by William Kircher.
At left is James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur. Photo:
James Fisher - New Line Productions, Inc
Kircher after a flight yesterday - taller and more
friendly looking than his on-screen character!
along the Neumann Range this afternoon at 9000 feet
with Alex and Susan Stevens aboard. Alex use to fly Boeing
747's for Air New Zealand.
24 November 2011
We had a busy
day today with five flights and ten passengers. Visitors
were from Uruguay, United Kingdom, Malaysia and The Netherlands.
view from Pukaki this evening with lenticular clouds
that have formed in the lee of the Ben Ohau mountains
Polti, Leticia Umpierre and Luis Grasso, all from
Uruguay and working on dairy farms near Leeston, are joined
by Ian Wilson from the UK for a flight this afternoon.
flowering after recent rain - just the spot to have a
nice picnic with those cucumber sandwiches!
21 November 2011
and family staying over the last few days, it has
been great to get out and explore the Mackenzie Basin when
not flying! Today it rained, so we did a trip up to Mount Cook.
By mid-afternoon the rain had turned to snow but it cleared quickly,
allowing us to walk to Tasman Lake to see the icebergs and fresh
snow on the mountains!
holding a piece of ice from Tasman Lake
Cook Aoraki soaring above the Tasman Valley
Cook Aoraki as seen from the Hooker Valley this
on Tasman Lake
and Dorothy Duffy, well-known identities from Kurow,
were on one of the three flights completed on Saturday.
16 November 2011
numbers have picked up in the last week. International
visitors have come from China, The Netherlands, United
Kingdom, USA, and Japan.
Tao and An Zai Jun, visitors from Beijing, China,
prior to heading off on a flight this morning.
and Ellen Clementson from the UK. After their
flight yesterday, Ellen said she couldn't get the
smile off her face!
stunning colour of Lake Ruataniwha contrasts
with green pastures, blue sky and the red wings of
the Cat on Sunday.
10 November 2011
weather was perfect today for flights - both high
and low! Antje and Gunnar Classen from Germany took the
high option to the Glenmary Glacier and Atsushi Minagawa
and Sarah Taylor went on the Mackenzie Magic option.
view up the Dobson River on the return flight
from the Glenmary Glacier.
down towards Lake Ohau from the Neumann Range
and Antje Classen after their flight to the Glenmary
Glacier this morning - part of their dream trip to
contrasts in the weather over the last week. Sleet
on Friday with snow to low levels and then 25'C today! Winter,
spring, summer? Who knows . . .
view on Saturday morning showing snow down to
low levels on the Ben Ohau mountains.
over the pine forest near Lake Pukaki yesterday
with Steve Rhodes and Aliecha Scott aboard.
lenticular cloud formations over the Mackenzie
Basin this evening.
31 October 2011
days are now starting to warm up and it has been great
to explore the local area and even catch the odd trout
or two when not flying! Both September and October figures
are significantly up on last year so here's hoping that trend
continues for the summer!
light on the Ben Ohau mountains prior to catching
and Malcolm Dixon from Dunedin after a flight today in the
23 October 2011
blue skies returned yesterday after some recent
rain and even snow! Things have been busy with three
flights yesterday and another five today. We even had a
visit from "The Stig"! What a great day - topped off by
the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup!
A visit from "The Stig" (Craig McKay) prior to
flying with his partner Courtney Milne.
Mt Cook mirrored in Lake Pukaki today
Cipri and Elise Galvin from France celebrating
five years of being together by taking a biplane flight!
Ohau - photographed on the Three Lakes option.
Cracker day for flying today. The gallery
section of the website has been changed to allow
everyone to see higher resolution images of the places
we fly - check it out! The new brochure has arrived. More
seed and fertiliser went onto the cross vector on Monday - it's
the Lake Pukaki Spillway on the Mackenzie Magic flight
option. Photo: Tom Geens
Geens from Belgium after a flight this morning.
van der Merwe and Stuart Levings from South
Africa after a flight this afternoon.
new cross vector at Pukaki Airport complete with tyres,
marker boards and two new wind socks.
After a day of rain yesterday (just
the thing needed for the new grass on the cross vector),
it was good to get back in the air again today after the
weather cleared around noon. Frederique Bergniard
and Melvin Gerard, visitors from France, enjoyed the Mackenzie
light at Pukaki Airport - another magic day in the Mackenzie
over Lake Ruataniwha this afternoon and
the High Country Salmon Farm. Below the dam is
the Iron Bridge - a little-known attraction that is
well worth a visit.
Adventurers Lesley Mann and Mike Rowe
became our first passengers to fly over the Glenmary
Glacier today. The weather was excellent! For those
who are in Christchurch, we recommend seeing the "Earth
From Above" photographic exhibition. Of the 80 or so images,
only one was taken in New Zealand and featured the Ohau
A Power Station (see below) - the exact point we fly over
on the Mackenzie Magic flight option!
the Glenmary Glacier on the Neumann Range
and Mike Rowe, our first passengers on the Glenmary Glacier flight
A Power Station. Photo:
21 September 2011
Two days of perfect weather - calm,
clear and mild. Its great to see all the rugby
supporters on the highway! Other good news today is
we are No. 1! Our new home at Pukaki will have the address
of No.1 Harry Wigley Drive. Sounds better than Lot 32.
at Pukaki Airport - what a view!
Morgan and Jarod Webb, on holiday from Australia,
after a flight this morning.
and Federico from Argentina, in New
Zealand to support the Pumas rugby team, after
a flight yesterday.
over the Neumann Range at the weekend
with Mt Brewster visible in the distance
Ag-Cat with Mt Cook behind at days
12 September 2011
The new season got underway today
with Angela Clay being our first passenger. Development
of the Pukaki site is now progressing well with
the Portacabin in position, power and phone cables laid,
a carpark constructed and new signs to be erected soon.
A big "thanks" to the Pukaki Airport Board directors for
their help in getting to this point!
Clay after the first flight of the season
DC3 trailer and Portacabin on the new site
morning looking up runway 33 at Pukaki Airport.
of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman from Pukaki Airport
5 September 2011
Ashburton Aviation Museum's fly-in
was a great success with some 30 or so visiting
aircraft and double that number of pilots. The Ag-Cat
was kept busy over both days and flights were also available
on Saturday in the Southern DC3 Trust's aircraft.
Once again, the weather was perfect!
Ross and Isaac
Williams, aviators from Waimate, about to head
off on a flight on Friday 26 August.
Ag-Cat rests between flights behind
the DC3 on Saturday.
25 August 2011
Yesterday we had a productive day
getting the Portacabin ready for moving from Omarama.
The mountains looked superb and it was nice to
enjoy some time on our new section at Pukaki Airport!
enjoys the view of Mount Cook from our
new section at Pukaki Airport.
Lake Tekapo yesterday evening.
13 August 2011
A good day today with six passengers
and three flights. Forecast for tomorrow is
down the Pacific coast last weekend
on the beach created by cliff shadows
Adventures' section at Pukaki. The western
boundary runs from the peg visible in the right
foreground to the fence in the distance above it. The
Portacabin will be placed close to where this photo was
taken last month.
9 August 2011
Ag-Cat at Pukaki Airport in 2006.
Its new home is just to the left of this picture.
And what a view of Mount Cook!
Big news this week! The
Ag-Cat has a new summer home! Aviation Adventures
has purchased the northern section (Lot 32) at Pukaki
Airport and will be setting up its main operating
base there. The aircraft will be housed in a new hangar
constructed at Pukaki over winter. A new grass vector
has also been established. The flight options from Pukaki
are spectacular! Check out what is now available by clicking
on the "Scenic Flights" button at the left top of this
purchase of Lot 32 secures a permanent
home for Red Cat Biplane Flights in a prime location.
1 August 2011
The days are now getting
longer and spring is not far away. Yesterday
the weather was perfect and the Cat got to go on
a farm tour as well as out to Lake Hood.
Ag-Cat is an excellent way for farmers
and farm workers to see the land they work
on from the air.
and Suzannah Bawden prior to
heading off on a farm tour. James, who is
from Whangarei, has recently started a new job working
on a dairy farm.
and Trish Campbell from Christchurch
after a flight over Ashburton and Lake
17 July 2011
The snow has finally arrived
and, with it, the tourists. Surprisingly,
Canterbury has had excellent weather with lots of fine
days and mild temperatures over the last two weeks.
and Paul Hopwood about to head away
on a flight yesterday. Bruce's brother,
Joe Hopwood, was a long serving member of the Ashburton
Curtis and Boyd Baker, who are working
in Canterbury as part of the earthquake recovery,
after a flight today.
3 July 2011
With the good weather
holding, flights have continued over the weekends.
The skifields are still hanging out for more snow
however. For those interested in buying vouchers,
please note that prices will increase approximately
20% in September so if you wish to beat the price
rise, we recommend booking soon.
Ag-Cat after a flight today. Behind
is a new hangar that has been built to
the north of the Ashburton Aviation Museum's Super
you are wanting a great day out, a
suggested tour would be to visit the RNZAF
Museum at Wigram to see the new Skyhawk (shown above)
in the morning and then driving to Ashburton in the
afternoon for a flight on the Cat followed by a tour
of the Ashburton Aviation Museum.
4 June 2011
Molly, Aviation Adventure's
first dog to fly in the Ag-Cat, enjoyed
a flight over Ashburton yesterday. For the first
part of the flight she popped her head up to enjoy
the view and then, satisfied all was in order, decided
to have a nap. What a life!
with friends she took along for
the ride - Phil Causer and Leigh Pettigrew.
22 May 2011
The fantastic autumn
weather continues! Over the weekend the
Cat did four flights as people took advantage of
the mild weather and still conditions.
Whittet and Robyn Blackie after
their flight on Sunday. Geoff flies a microlight
in Milford, Australia. Robyn, who has MS and lives
in Timaru, was particularly pleased to do the flight
as she thought her decreased mobility might stop her.
She plans to write a story about her experience.
15 May 2011
Autumn has provided
some excellent weather for flying from
Ashburton - smooth air and mild conditions. Its
a pleasure to be back with the team at the Ashburton
Aviation Museum. If you haven't visited the museum
recently, you will be surprised at the new developments
and additions to the collection. A visit is a
Thorpe (left) and Murray Sword
enjoy the Pacific Circuit option along
the Canterbury Coast on Sunday.
over the seaside township of Hakatere.
up the Ashburton River from the
Pacific Ocean. Several jet boats were out
on the river.
Mewes and Graham Croucher after
a Town and Around flight over Ashburton
29 April 2011
The 2010/2011 summer
season has now finished and the Ag-Cat has
flown north for winter. Darren has headed off to
Canada where he is looking at getting a Canadian
Commercial Pilot's Licence and an ag-rating. Rod
is now back in Australia. For those wanting flights,
the Ag-Cat will be operating from the Ashburton Aviation
Museum on Saturdays and Wednesdays over winter, or
other days by prior booking.
across the Mt Bath Glacier looking
towards Mt Brewster during a flight on
12 April with Peter Wyche and Jill Wilson-Wyche
from South Africa.
light on Mt Benmore
Hayman and Helen Griffin.
Chris last saw Helen Griffin in 1978 while at Freyberg
Time to head north for winter!
This is fresh snow on the Grampian mountains
as seen on the end-of-season flight from Omarama
10 April 2011
Autumn has arrived
in the Mackenzie Basin with the leaves
on trees turning yellow. The Ag-Cat recently went
up to Timaru for its annual check. Flights will continue
from Omarama until just after Easter, when the
operation moves to Ashburton for winter.
back to Omarama after annual
maintenance in Timaru
Perfect weather for biplane
flying - the view north towards the Fairlie
Crossing the North Arm
of Lake Benmore
Waiting for the fog to clear
Nieces, nephew and brother from Australia
after a flight. Left to right; Amber, Sarah, Yonah,
Levi and Jeremy.
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