27 June 2011

A Day at Milford - Air Fiordland



I have only ever visited Milford Sound once, on the 14th of September 1997. It was a glorious day and I had a real clean-up of the aircraft flying into Milford that day. While not operating a scheduled service these companies offer regular tourist flights to Milford. This series of posts will look at the aircraft and operators I spied that day! I am also concious that the information I have pulled together for these posts may not be a 100% accurate... If you have any corrections or additions please contact me. Thanks - Steve

Fiordland Experience Group Ltd was registered as a company by Russell Baker and Roy Toms on the 24th of October 1984. Trading as Air Fiordland the company initially operated from Te Anau using Cessna 185B Skywagon ZK-CFI and offered tourists the opportunity to view the scenic wonders of Fiordland and Milford Sound from the air as well as flying trampers, fishermen and hunters to Fiordand’s remote valleys and beaches. By 1986 the company had established a base at Queenstown and joined the competition on the highly competitive Queenstown-Milford Sound tourist route.

Traditionally operators on the Queenstown-Milford Sound tourist route do not operate to a schedule, even though at times Mount Cook Airlines and Milford Sound Scenic Flights have operated a scheduled service. Instead flights are determined on a daily basis as dictated by the number of passengers offering, trampers to picked up after walking the Milford Track and of course the weather. Flights are regular, however, especially given many of the flights are to connect to cruises on Milford Sound.

On the 14th of October 2008 Mark and Jacqualine Quickfall of Queenstown established Air Fiordland Ltd and this company took over Fiordland Experience Groups “Air Fiordland” operation, the aircraft being registered to the new company on the 29th of May 2009.

On the 21st of June 2010, Fly Fiordland Ltd, was established and this has taken over the Air Fiordland operation. Owned by Shaun Ferris, the company’s CEO and Chief Pilot, and Jennie Rolston, the Training and Operations Manager, the aircraft were registered to the new company on the 23rd of March 2011.

Over the years the company has operated a variety of Cessna aircraft. The current fleet is indicated in bold;

Cessna 172N DNS, DXL, EJU, ETK, JFK

Cessna 185 Skywagon CFI, CMS, DOC

Cessna 206 Stationair KPM, KPW, FJH, JCB, JCH, PMM (reregistered TFW) TFW, WWH

Cessna 207 EJD, FPM, FQY, NPA, SEV, UBU


Air Fiordland's original aircraft, Cessna 185, ZK-CFI. Taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997.

Representing the smallest type Air Fiordland operate, Cessna 172 ZK-DXL. Taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997. 

Cessna 207 ZK-EJD was originally used by Greymouth's Coast Air. It has subsequently been exported. Taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997.

Cessna 207 ZK-FQY taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997.

Cessna 206 ZK-KPM was, again, one of the early members of the fleet. Taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997. 

Still in the fleet is Cessna 206 ZK-KPW. Taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997.

Ex Air Safaris and Aspiring Air, Cessna 207 ZK-SEV taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997

Cessna 207 ZK-UBU taken at Milford Sound on 14 September 1997

2 comments:

  1. Have they sold their BN2?

    ReplyDelete
  2. They never operated a BN2A in their own right

    ReplyDelete