Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

New Zealand aviation news

Air New Zealand mourns terrorism victim 

Air New Zealand staff are mourning the death of one of their own in the recent Christchurch terrorism acts. 

Lilik Abdul Hamid, an aircraft maintenance engineer in Christchurch, was in the Masjid Al Noor Deans Avenue Mosque at the time of the attack.

He had been part of the company’s engineering team for 16 years since leaving his engineering job in Indonesia and moving to New Zealand with his family. 

Read more HERE.  


Air New Zealand hits turbulence 

Air New Zealand announced a net profit drop of 34% to $152 million in the first half year to December 2018, but the airline is sticking with its guidance for the full year. 

The net profit was down $80m, from $232m a year earlier. 

The company said operating revenue growth of 7.1% was more than offset by a 28% increase in fuel prices and increased operational costs.

Earnings before taxation were $211m for the six-months to 31 December 2018, compared to $323m in the previous period. The company announced the interim dividend would be unchanged at 11 cents. 

Chief executive Christopher Luxon said that the rate of growth in the New Zealand market was slowing from previous years to be more in line with other developed markets. The airline would respond by reviewing its network, fleet and cost base. 

Air New Zealand has slashed domestic fares on 41 domestic routes - making 750,000 seats a year available for less than $50. 

Read more HERE.  


TAIC investigations 

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) is investigating an incident where separation was not maintained between two Q300 aircraft approaching Wellington Airport. 

The incident occurred on 12 March 2019 and involved aircraft under Air Traffic Control. This resulted in the crew of both aircraft receiving an ‘advisory resolution’, requiring both to take avoiding action – a turn that needs to be done immediately to avoid the loss of approved separation between the two aircraft. There was no collision, and no damage or injury resulting from the incident.

Read more HERE

TAIC is also investigating a non-fatal accident involving a helicopter involved in firefighting operations near Nelson in mid-February. 

The AS350 (Squirrel) helicopter was using a monsoon bucket as part of firefighting efforts in the Pigeon Valley area. 

The pilot made an emergency landing, with the helicopter landing heavily and the pilot receiving moderate injuries. 

Read more HERE

NZALPA Saddened by Pilot and Instructor Deaths 

NZALPA is deeply saddened by the death of two pilots, including a member who was a much respected pilot and instructor. 

Peter Callagher, 27, was one of two experienced pilots flying a Diamond DA-42 Twin Star aircraft when it crashed on 23 March. 

The other instructor on board, Zakir Ali Parkar (Zak), 29, was also killed. 

It was understood that the plane had left Palmerston North destined for Taupō. The last known location of the plane was near the Kaimanawa Ranges, 24km south east of Turangi, near where the wreckage of the plane was eventually found. 

NZALPA’s Medical and Welfare Director, Andy Pender said Peter was also a much respected member of the NZALPA family and the wider aviation community.

“The loss of Pete will be felt particularly keenly through our membership, particularly amongst pilot colleagues, and those students he helped train at the Ardmore Flying School,” Pender said. 

“Although only in his late 20s, Pete came from an aviation family and is the son of Air Traffic Controller Craig Callagher, also an NZALPA member.

“Pete was an active supporter of his peers in the general aviation industry, and showed clear leadership qualities. He was a pilot and colleague destined for great things.” 

With the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) now leading the investigation into the crash, along with a parallel investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Pender could not speculate on the cause of the tragedy. 

“However, a number of NZALPA’s Medical and Welfare team who are specially-trained pilot volunteers, were quickly mobilised and are at Ardmore to support staff and student pilots. 

“All over New Zealand, particularly throughout our close-knit aviation community, our thoughts are with Pete and Zak’s family, friends and colleagues.   It is truly a sad and reflective time for New Zealand aviation,” Pender said.  



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