Vincent Aviation was a Wellington based charter company that was founded by Peter Vincent in 1992 and operated a variety of services within New Zealand but also in Australia and East Timor. This post focuses on the New Zealand operation which saw some exotic aircraft types being operated including a Douglas DC-3, Bell 212s and de Havilland Herons. Vincent Aviation’s main work in New Zealand was charter or niche specialist operations. At times, as part of their many varied operations, they also offered scheduled services.
In late 1991 the company intended to start services to the Chathams Islands using De Havilland 114 Heron aircraft, ZK-TAJ which the company purchased in June 1991. Delivery was delayed while repair work was carried out on the spar, the aircraft finally arriving in early February 1992. By the end of the month, however, major corrosion had been found in the wings and the aircraft was grounded. A replacement Heron was found in Australia. VH-KAM, of Airlines of Tasmania, was leased by Vincent Aviation, the Heron arriving on the 26th of June 1992. At this time both Mount Cook Airlines and Air Chathams were operating services to and from the Chathams. The Heron went out on the 21st of August 1992 but the scheduled service to the Chathams never eventuated. Instead, a scheduled scenic service Wellington-Christchurch was offered. The information sheet for the service gave a start date of 18 September 1992 with a flight offered each Friday, leaving Wellington at 8.30am and Christchurch at 11.00am. The Heron was operated by Vincent Aviation until August the following year.
|The Australian de Havilland 114 Heron VH-KAM at Dunedin on 17 July 1993 while on a charter to a rugby test.|
In the summer of 1991/92 Vincent Aviation planned a Wellington-Picton passenger service in a joint venture with Helicopters (NZ) Ltd using one of their Bell 212 helicopters which could carry twelve passengers. The timetable showed flights would be initially on Friday and Sunday evenings with a fare of $111. Additional flights were scheduled over the Christmas holiday period. Again, this service did not seem to last long.
On the 8th of April 1994 Douglas DC-3 VH-CAN flew the Tasman to become ZK-AMY on the 24th of August 1994 for Vincent Aviation. The aircraft was used for charter and tourist work based out of Wellington until mid-1998 when it was placed in storage at Palmerston North.
|Douglas DC-3 enjoying the sun at Christchurch on 10 September 1995|
Following the collapse of United Aviation in 1997 Vincent Aviation picked up a number of courier flights that and ran a schedule in the lower and central North Island. Using mainly their Cessna 402s and Piper Pa34 Seneca ZK-DCP they had an early morning service departing Palmerston North for Wairoa and Gisborne at 5.00 a.m. In the later afternoon/early evening the aircraft flew a Gisborne-Wairoa-Napier-Palmerston North service. There was also an afternoon Wellington-Palmerston North-New Plymouth return service. Their timetable noted, “this is a scheduled freight service and the freight takes priority, therefore it is important that you arrive on time or we may leave without you.” They continued these routes until into 1999.
For more on this service see : http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/01/vincent-aviations-east-coast-service.html
|On the 28th of of September 1998 Piper Pa34 Seneca ZK-DCP was spending the day in Gisborne between its early morning and evening courier flights.|
|Sporting the original Vincent Aviation logo Cessna 402C ZK-VAC at Nelson on 6 December 1996. Two years later ZK-VAC ditched in Foveaux Strait on the 19th of August 1998 while flying for Southern Air.|
|Cessna 402C wearing the current logo at Wairoa on 15 September 2000. Photo : Bruce Gavin|
From October 1999 Vincent Aviation flew the Wellington-Takaka route for Takaka Valley Air Services until Takaka Valley Air Services closed down operations in early 2000. Vincent then flew the Wellington-Takaka route in its own right for a very brief time but as it was uneconomic it was closed down.
|Motueka-Golden Bay News, 4 June 2000|
Vincent Aviation also flew the Dominion Post service from Wellington to Blenheim and Nelson for a number of years. The aircraft, usually a Cessna 402 or Reims Cessna 406 Caravan, then flew direct back to Wellington. Soundsair took over this service some years ago. Most of these services flew few passengers and so start and finish dates are hard to come by, the local newspapers not really reporting these services.
|Reims-Cessna 406 Caravan ZK-CII with reflections in the puddles at Queenstown on 23 April 2000. The registration reflects CII's previous operator, Cityjet. It was later re-registered ZK-VAA and before becoming ZK-XLC with Gisborne-based Kiwi Air.|
|Reims-Cessna 406 Caravan ZK-VAF on a charter to Greymouth on 12 September 2008. This aircraft was also used for Airways Corporation calibration work... not the branding at the rear of the fuselage.|
|Beech 1900C, ZK-VAE, rolls on runway 16 at Wellington on 16 November 2007|
|Raytheon 1900D ZK-VAB arrives in Christchurch on 31 August 2006 after flying the morning Eagle Air service from Wellington and Blenheim.|
In September 2009 Vincent have acquired an ex-Origin Pacific British Aerospace Jetstream 31, ZK-JSH, for calibration work for Airways Corporation in New Zealand and the Pacific, though this aircraft also did back up service for Eagle Air. Three further British Aerospace Jetstream 32s were to follow. ZK-LFW arrived in May 2012 and is used for the Life Flight air ambulance while ZK-VAH and ZK-VAI arrived in July and November 2012 respectively and have been used to operate Eagle Air services.
|The Life Flight BAe Jetstream air ambulance arriving back into Wellington on 7 January 2013|
|On an Eagle Air service, BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH at Auckland on 27 July 2012|
|BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-VAI taxiing for departure at Auckland on 24 May 2013|
|First flight in Vincent colours, BAe 146-200 ZK-ECO gets airborne from Wellington on 5 March 2012.|
|Saab 340 VH-VNY at Masterton on 26 February 2014|
BAe Jetstream 31
JSH (Sep 2009-Oct 2014)
BAe Jetstream 32
LFW (May 2012-Oct 2014)
VAH (Jul 2012-Oct 2014)
VAI (Nove 2012-Oct 2014)
ECO (Jan 2009-Oct 2014)
TWB (Mar 2002-Sep 2003)
VAE (Sep 2001-Oct 2010)
JND (Apr 2003-May 2003) became VAB
VAB/2 (May 2003-2010)
Various (Nov 1991-Jan 1992)
STM (Dec 1994-Jul 1997)
MDH (Dec 1999-Jul 2003)
MRH (Jul 2007-Dec 2007)
VAB (Feb 1996-Aug 2001)
VAC (Nov 1996-May 1998)
VAD (Mar 1997-Feb 2008) Registered to Flightcorp for 3 months in 2006/7
Cessna 510 Mustang
MUS (Chartered 2010)
De Havilland 82 Tiger Moth
BRL (Feb 1993-Jul 1997)
De Havilland 114 Heron
TAJ (May 1992-Aug 1993)
VH-KAM (Jun 1992-Sep 1993)
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash
NEZ (Jul 2005-Aug 2005)
VAC/2 (Aug 2005-Dec 2011)
AMY (Aug 1994-Oct 1998)
AWP (1994) leased for a short time
Piper PA23-250 Aztec
FHO (Oct 1999-Apr 2000)
Piper PA34 Seneca
DCP (Nov 1997-Feb 2002)
JAN (Oct 1999-Jun 2000)
Reims/Cessna F406 Caravan
CII (Nov 1999 May 2003) Became ZK-VAA
VAA (May 2003-Jan 2008)
VAF (Dec 2002-Jan 2009)
VAA (Nov 2010-Oct 2012) Operated primarily in Australia
VAB (Mar 2011-Jun 2013) Operated primarily in Australia
Updated November 2014
- Have I left out any of their scheduled services?
- Who took over the courier service up the East Coast - Sunair, Air Freight or Air Napier?
- Do you have any start/finish dates for their scheduled operations?
- Any other information or interesting stories information regarding Vincent Aviation’s operations in New Zealand?