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The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter.

New Zealand News

Two Laser strikes on aircrafts NZALPA call for prohibition

NZALPA is now calling for a full ban on the use of hand-held laser devices, reported the New Zealand Herald.

An Air New Zealand aircraft, which was travelling at 1500 feet just after departure, was struck by a green laser at Kerikeri Airport, early in the morning on 12 April. Five days later a person on the ground shone a red laser at a Mount Cook Airline plane that was flying over Rolleston. Both incidents could have resulted in a fatal crash or injury and, even though these incidents received national media attention, NZALPA maintains that at least twice a month New Zealand’s major airports are targeted by misuse of handheld laser devices.

Past figures show that there were 155 reported laser incidents up to the end of November 2017. NZALPA President Tim Robinson declared that the Association has ‘had enough’ of laser attacks on aircrafts and perpetrators, if found, face only up to three years in jail, or a $2000 fine.

For the full story see HERE.

Education on safe drone operations required

Responding to increased concerns and complaints throughout New Zealand about drones, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles New Zealand (UAVNZ) chairman, Andy Grant, said that they too have been appalled by the growing number of stray drones that are endangering aviation operations around New Zealand.

“We are committed to working alongside the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and other sectors of the aviation industry, to secure a safer and brighter future for all aviation participants,” Grant said.

He stated that educating drone users is essential and is a combined responsibility that falls with the CAA, The New Zealand Customs Service, Airways, aviation companies and tourism providers around New Zealand.

“With the number of recent incidents in New Zealand, much more needs to be done to educate tourists and nonprofessional drone operators,” Grant said.

With an increasing number of tourists using drones, and people importing them from overseas, information on safe drone operation is necessary as most don’t know the rules on safe drop operation.

“Unmanned flight is the largest disruptor facing the future of the aviation sector,” Chief Executive of Aviation New Zealand, John Nicholson said. “We need to get information on safe drone operations to these people.”

For the full story, see HERE

Drone evidence yet to be found in Waihi plane crash

Evidence of what caused former broadcaster Rod Vaughan’s rented plane window to shatter in Waihi last month is yet to be established by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported the New Zealand Herald.

On 28 March, 2018, Vaughan was flying with his son when he was forced to make a crash-landing in a field. Vaughan claims that the crash was due to a collision with a drone, however evidence of this is yet to be found.

Philippa Lagan, spokeswoman for the CAA, said they have had the wreckage and crash site examined by a safety investigator and had interviewed Vaughan and witnesses.

“No other aircraft systems were considered compromised or pertinent to the accident,” Lagan said.

The next steps for the investigation will include an area search of the Waihi mine for evidence and a talk with the aircraft manufacturer.

Vaughan doubts that evidence will ever be found, but still believes that it was a drone that caused him to crash. He is pleased to see investigators take this theory seriously.

A spokesman for Waihi mine operators, Oceana Gold, said that the mines are a popular spot for drones, and the company has no issue as long as drone operators follow the aviation rules.

For the full story, visit HERE.

Possible air ambulance removal from Te Anau

Stuff reports the mayor of the Southland district, Gary Tong, has made a promise to fight the removal of their air ambulance service in Te Anau. This is only one of the regions that the government is currently assessing in regard to ongoing air ambulance needs

“I will be fighting for this service to stay in Fiordland as that is the sensible, logical and lifesaving answer. I believe lives will be lost if we lose this service,” Tong said.

The Ministry of Health community and ambulance manager, Andrew Inder, has said there has been no decision made on where services will be based, and until then the services will continue.

Inder also said that no community will be without the air ambulance services.

“Air ambulance helicopter services are a critical part of how we respond to health emergencies in this country, how we get people to the right care at the right time and we know how much our communities rely on them. The challenge is how to keep those services fit for purpose in the future as service complexity grows,” Inder said.

For the full story, see HERE.

Global issue on the Trent 1000 engines

The New Zealand Herald has reported that last month Air New Zealand announced that it had issue with some of their Trent 1000 engines, which power their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, and that this has affected some of their aircrafts. They are working closely with the engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, to fix the issue.

The manufacturer had issued a directive for operators of the Trent 1000 engine to do a maintenance check on a certain part of the engine compressor. It was advised that 380 engines globally will be impacted by this, including nine in the Air New Zealand fleet.

There has already been impact on Air New Zealand’s international scheduling.

For the full statement, visit HERE.



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