Monday, 24 November 2014

Stewart Island Flights South Islander Adventure

Continuing our travels around the South of the South Island, we took a day trip to Stewart Island, flying there and back with Stewart Island Flights.  The weather continued to be an adventure with pleasant conditions in the morning turning to rain and hail as a front swept through in the afternoon.

Our flight from Invercargill was on Britten Norman Islander ZK-FWE of South East Air Ltd, marked up as Stewart Islands Flights.  The above photo was taken at their private Ryan's Creek airstrip near Oban.

One thing that caught my eye in Oban was the numbers of Kakas around.  They sure have a loud call and were into the local rubbish bags much to the chagrin of the locals!

This is a photo from the era of an earlier more romantic air service to Stewart Island.  It is a photo that was hanging inside the South Sea Hotel behind, showing a Mount Cook Airlines Grumman Widgeon which appears to be ZK-AVM on the beach at Oban.  We had a nice lunch in the hotel where there were several other aircraft photos hanging on display.

In contrast to the weather above, here is Britten Norman Islander ZK-FWZ approaching the Ryan's Creek airstrip in a howling Westerly - have a look at the ailerons.  He made a nice landing.  Later we had a very interesting flight back to Invercargill but I was glad I was flying rather than being on the ferry!

Peter - What do you make of the registration?


  1. I don't it is ZK-AVM, which was a G44A with bulbous nose. Looks like either of the G44s BAY or BGQ. The third G44 BPX had been written off in TAT days.

  2. Thanks Peter I have enlarged the registration in the photo and added it to the post. What do you think it might be?

  3. Seems to be Widgeon AVM of Mount Cook, This was hired to Stewart Island Air Services for a time in 1976.
    I think the photo dates from that era.

  4. Bill Bailey (aka Mr. Widgeon)16 February 2017 at 01:23

    It's AVM without a doubt.
    The registration is clear enough and would show it all except for part of the pitot tube sticking up in front of the V.
    Furthermore, the 2nd step is the giveaway, on the G-44 / J4F models the keel / chine angles downward just in front of the step and tailwheel, where on the G-44A the keel / chine are straight to the step.
    A review of 2nd step and pitot tube in other photos of G-44s / G-44As will verify my comment.