To catch up on the latest developments with Aviation Adventures Limited and our Red Cat Biplane Flights operation, this is the place to come!

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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 Whangaparaoa.

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 2 March.

Mt Tasman beyond the Grand Plateau today.

American aviators, Stu and Roni MacPherson after a flight to the Tasman Glacier and a visit to Braemar Station.

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 the Netherlands.

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!

Brenda and Martin Gulliver from New Plymouth during a stopover at Omarama on the 20th.

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.

Looking into the beautiful Hopkins River valley.

Chris gives the thumbs up while returning from a flight to the Neumann Range in perfect conditions.

At one point this area of the Ben Ohau Range was under consideration for a skifield. It currently remains wilderness.

Australian 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!

Looking 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 clients. Beautiful!

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.

Lake Ruataniwha, New Zealand's most colourful lake, is the clearest it has been in four years.

Patrycja 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 Dam.

The 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 embankment.

Mt Cook from Kea Point.

Benmore Dam in the Waitaki Valley.

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.

Looking up at Mt Cook from the south.

Flying beside Mt Darwin near Tasman Saddle at the head of the Tasman Glacier with Josef and Elizabeth Schmidhuber from Austria.

The 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!

Stuart 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.

One 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 Wilderness option.

Looking at the south side of Mt Barth - there is still lots of snow in the backcountry.

Walter Thwaite and Leone Campbell after a flight to the upper Tasman Glacier.

The 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.

Flying next to Ohau Peak looking for thar.

Bodo Tietz and Sabine Oestreich after a flight this morning. Sabine works for a German aerospace manufacturer making Rolls Royce aircraft engines.

Fresh 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 Germany.

Sandra 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.

Passengers 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.

Richard 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.

Our first flight of the season to Glenmary Glacier. Mt Cook is on the skyline at extreme left.

The Ag-Cat in the evening light at Pukaki Airfield.

The 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 sleeved shirt.

Over Lake Ohau on the first flight of the season.

Nicole Bassett and Matthew McAlpine from Auckland bask in the sun after their flight.

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 Pukaki Airfield.

Snow on the western side of the Mackenzie Pass.

Concrete 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!

Biplane 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 Pass

East of Mackenzie Pass over Waratah Road

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!

A frosty start to Saturday morning.

Northland visitors Minty and Jen after a flight on Saturday afternoon.

Crystal 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 August.

Doug 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!

Fresh 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.

Malte Brun near the top of the Tasman Glacier.

Mount Cook in the evening sun..

Richard 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.

The 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!

The evening sun lights up clouds above the Two Thumb Range on Saturday evening.

A full carpark on Easter Sunday with lots of sunshine.

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 conditions.

The Sun makes a rare appearance on Friday.

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 Wednesday evening.

The Ag-Cat prior to an evening flight.

Mt Sefton from the north.

This 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.

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