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18 March 2015
Today saw our first frost of autumn. Last Saturday was our
busiest so far this season with back-to -back flights all afternoon.
Approaching the Upper Tasman
Glacier on Saturday evening on a flight with Glenn and Linda Campbell from
Morgan's Island in Lake Pukaki.
Malte Brun, located east of
the Main Divide.
9 March 2015
The last two weeks have been very busy with lots of flying,
the Ag-Cat's annual check in Timaru and a CAA audit. Yesterday and today
we did three flights to Mt Cook National Park and another to Benmore Dam
with a nice lunch stop in Omarama - all in stunning weather after rain on
Friday and Saturday.
Perfect weather conditions
for a flight over Mt Cook National Park today - Mt Cook on the skyline
An early start and engine warm-up prior to flying to Timaru on Monday
Mt Tasman beyond the Grand
American aviators, Stu and
Roni MacPherson after a flight to the Tasman Glacier and a visit to Braemar
Braemar Station on the east
side of Lake Pukaki.
20 February 2015
With day after day of hot weather, a lot of snow and ice
has been melting off the higher mountains and new icebergs have appeared
in the Tasman Lake.
Looking down the Tasman Glacier on the second of three flights today.
Mt Cook is at top.
Approaching De la Beche ridge
with Graham Saddle beyond.
Beautiful colours where the braided Tasman River drains into Lake Pukaki.
Lesley and Roy Smart after a flight to Mt Cook National Park today. Lesley
works as a locum doctor in Twizel and Roy was a surveyor for J K Rowling!
10 February 2015
The great summer continues! Today couldn't have been
better for flying - perfect for flights to Lake Ohau, Mt Cook and
the West Coast glaciers. The cooler temperature of 24'C was a welcome
change to the +30'C days we are often getting.
Approaching Mt Cook at 10,000 feet from the top of the Fox neve this afternoon.
Maxine and Robert Taylor from Taupo after a flight around Mt Cook and the
West Coast glaciers today.
Looking at Mt Tasman, New
Zealand's second highest mountain.
Andy Walsh and Mike Smith about to head away from Omarama after great coffee
at the Kahu Cafe on the 31 January 2015.
27 January 2015
Over the last four days the temperature has exceeded
30'C and it got to 33'C on Saturday. Overseas visitor numbers are increasing
and we have seen clients from Germany, Canada, the USA, Switzerland and
A Chinese-built Nangchang, ZK-MUD, visited Pukaki under blue skies.
It is owned by Grant "Muddy" Murdoch. It was nice to see another radial-engined
aircraft on the field!
and Martin Gulliver from New Plymouth during a stopover at Omarama on the
Graham and Ethne Copp shortly
before heading away on a flight this morning.
The turquoise highway - the
Pukaki Canal and the Ohau A Power Station.
18 January 2015
The highlight of last week was a flight to the Neumann
Range. After the record temperatures in the first week of January, the
temperatures have moderated to the mid to high '20s.
into the beautiful Hopkins River valley.
gives the thumbs up while returning from a flight to the Neumann Range
in perfect conditions.
one point this area of the Ben Ohau Range was under consideration for
a skifield. It currently remains wilderness.
visitors Dave Nesbitt and Rebecca Phillips prior to heading away on
a mountain flight.
9 January 2015
The last week has seen scorching hot days. The maximum
recorded last Sunday was 35.5'C at 5.02 pm. The hot weather has see a
steady stream of customers wanting to fly in an open-cockpit aircraft
to cool down!
down the Tasman Glacier towards Mt Cook on the 6th January - a great
place to escape the heat!
Jean Francis Regnard and Alexandra
Warin, who were on their honeymoon from London, described their flight
to Mt Cook National Park as "definitely the highlight of our holiday!"
The view up Lake Ohau today
on a flight with Christop and Lilli Prietze - our first completely deaf
Tyler Murray, age 12, after
his very first flight - ever! And how cool is it that he can say his
first flight was in a biplane!
2 January 2015
The weather over the Christmas and New Year holiday
period has been fantastic and we have done lots of flying - our best
day being the 28th when we did eight flights. December 2014 was our busiest
December to date - a new company record.
Ruataniwha, New Zealand's most colourful lake, is the clearest it has
been in four years.
and Henk Wapstra, on their honeymoon from the Netherlands, at Omarama for
lunch while on the popular Dambuster option.
A lovely sunset on the 2nd January 2015.
Barry Souter is all smiles
before heading away on a Mackenzie Magic flight in perfect weather.
22 December 2014
December is shaping up to be one of our best yet
with long hot summer days. Last week saw temperatures in the mid to
high twenties. Today we did four flights and went as far afield as the
Glenmary Glacier. We have also done flights to Mt Cook and down to Benmore
Upper Tasman Glacier on a flight in perfect conditions.
Approaching Lake Tasman with
Paula Sinclair and Brian Lucas on 14 December 2014.
Lupins growing on the highway
Mt Cook from Kea Point.
Benmore Dam in the Waitaki
8 December 2014
With the arrival of summer we have been doing
longer flights up to Tasman Saddle in Mt Cook National Park and out
to Mt Barth on our Wild Wilderness option.
up at Mt Cook from the south.
beside Mt Darwin near Tasman Saddle at the head of the Tasman Glacier
with Josef and Elizabeth Schmidhuber from Austria.
view down the Tasman Glacier from Tasman Saddle.
Marie and Trevor Holland from
Cromwell after a flight out to Mt Barth on our Wild Wilderness option
- a great adventure!
30 November 2014
With the first day of summer tomorrow, the weather
still remains cool but despite a windy month we have just completed
the second-busiest November on record. Today we had the pleasure of
meeting W. Stuart Schweizer - the builder of our aircraft!
Schweizer inspects the aircraft his company built back in 1975. Designed
by Grumman, the Ag-Cat was initially built under contract by Schweizer,
who bought the rights in 1981.
Harry and Caroline Lang, who
are currently living in Spain, pose in front of the Ag-Cat after
a flight while on their honeymoon.
of the joys of living in the Mackenzie Country is you can go fishing
after flying. This is a thirteeen and a half pound salmon Chris caught
in one of the canals.
16 November 2014
Over the last ten days we have flown lots of
overseas tourists from Australia, Ireland, Thailand, The Netherlands
and France. We have also done our first flights for the season up to
the Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook, as well as out to Mt Barth on our Wild
at the south side of Mt Barth - there is still lots of snow in the
Thwaite and Leone Campbell after a flight to the upper Tasman Glacier.
upper Ahuriri Conservation Area and the Barrier Range.
5 November 2014
The start of November saw snow falls to as
low as 3000 feet around the Mackenzke Basin after gale force winds
but the sun has been back out the last few days.
next to Ohau Peak looking for thar.
Tietz and Sabine Oestreich after a flight this morning. Sabine works
for a German aerospace manufacturer making Rolls Royce aircraft engines.
snow on the mountains above Lake Ohau.
21 October 2014
Its great to be back in short sleeved shirts
as the days warm up. Over the weekend we flew our first Dambuster
flight option for the season with Siegfried and Julian Kreiger from
Hines and Leigh Dorward from Dunedin about to head off on a flight.
Dodging showers on the way back
to Pukaki Airfield after a flight to Benmore Dam and lunch at Omarama with
Juliane and Siegfried Kreiger on Saturday.
11 October 2014
The start of October has seen unsettled weather
with a lot more wind but plenty of fine days thrown in.
enjoy flying over Lake Ruataniwha at the beginning of the month.
A close up of the lunar eclipse a few nights back - simply
stunning with clear skies over the Mackenzie Basin.
26 September 2014
After a dry start to the seaon, a few showers
over the last week will be great for the spring grass growth.
Blair and seven year old son Angus after experiencing the joys
of open-cockpit flying.
Spring showers produced a stunning
rainbow last week.
17 September 2014
Over the last week we have flown clients
from the North Island, UK and Argentina. Voucher sales and bookings
for summer are picking up.
first flight of the season to Glenmary Glacier. Mt Cook is on the
skyline at extreme left.
Ag-Cat in the evening light at Pukaki Airfield.
start to another beautiful day with plenty of sun and light winds
6 September 2014
The weather for the start of the season
has been unbelievable - sunny, mild and no wind! Conditions are
like autumn and it has been warm enough to sit outside in a short
Lake Ohau on the first flight of the season.
Bassett and Matthew McAlpine from Auckland bask in the sun after
25 July 2014
Only five more weeks to go before we
start the new season at Pukaki! Yesterday saw concrete poured for
the foundations of the first private hangar to be constructed at
on the western side of the Mackenzie Pass.
poured yesterday for the first private aircraft hangar at Pukaki
Airfield. The builders had to work through the following night
to prevent the surface from freezing!
James Leslie about to start
his Rans Coyote before flying with Chris back to Timaru this morning.
20 June 2014
Chris flew the Ag-Cat to Timaru today
for routine maintenance and then enjoyed a return flight to Pukaki
with James Leslie in his Rans Coyote ZK-KOT. The weather was perfect
for a mid-winter flight!
Bandit - open-cockpit flying in winter requires a bit of extra
clothing. Six layers on top included shirt, long sleeved merino
top, vest, down jacket, overalls and leather flight jacket. A balaclava
and leather helmet keep the head warm.
Looking toward the Hakataramea
East of Mackenzie Pass over
3 June 2014
Queen's Birthday Weekend saw some
great weather at Pukaki with clear skies and frosty starts. On
Saturday it got down to -6.6'C at 8.00 am!
frosty start to Saturday morning.
Northland visitors Minty and
Jen after a flight on Saturday afternoon.
clear skies for five days over Queen's Birthday weekend. This
is the view of Lake Ruataniwha.
After five nights of sub-zero
temperatures, the hoar frost on the south side of the hangar
was starting to look like snow!
5 May 2014
Yesterday was our last day of the
2013/14 summer season - our best yet! During winter the aircraft
will remain in Pukaki and be flown over Queen's Birthday Weekend
and the July school holidays before we return full-time on 30
Weir and Adriene Gordon after our last flight of the season
to lake Ohau yesterday. Doug taught Chris to fly gliders from Wigram
Airfield 30 years ago!
snow covers the top of the Ben Ohau range last week.
29 April 2014
Last week we flew our youngest
New Zealander, took two Chinese clients to Mt Cook and saw
snow fall to around 3000 feet yesterday.
Brun near the top of the Tasman Glacier.
Cook in the evening sun..
Lang with his five-year-old daughter Briana, our youngest New
Zealander to fly on the Ag-Cat. Richard also flew on the aircraft
when it was in Rotorua.
view this morning after snow fell yesterday.
22 April 2014
Easter Sunday was very busy after
Thursday and Friday were rained out and we had showers on Saturday.
It was great to see the sun back!
evening sun lights up clouds above the Two Thumb Range on
A full carpark on Easter Sunday with lots
15 April 2014
Last week was probably the cloudiest
we have seen in the Mackenzie Basin with the sun only making
rare appearances but this has meant for smooth autumn flying
The Sun makes a rare appearance
The spectacular sunrise this morning.
The Ag-Cat being used as a backdrop for wedding
photos this afternoon.
5 April 2014
Last month was the best March
we have had since starting operations almost five years ago
and with two consecutive record months, the past financial year
was also our most successful. Over the past week we flew more people
that were down for the Maadi Rowing Regatta as well as completing
several flights to the upper Tasman Glacier.
The view of the upper Tasman Glacier on
The Ag-Cat prior to an evening flight.
Mt Sefton from the north.
crater at Lake Pukaki looks like it could have been formed
by a meteorite but is the result of ice melting at the end of
the last glaciation.
To see what was new from 1 April 2013 to
31 March 2014, please click here.
To see what was new from 1 April
2012 to 31 March 2013, please click
see what was new from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012, please click
To see what was new from 1
April 2010 to 31 March
2011, please click here.
To see what was new
from April 2009 to April
2010, please click