There haven't been 2 floatplanes based in Fiordland for 30 years. On Monday 28th September Wings & Water's new floatplane will be arriving by container to Te Anau Airport, to be assembled for operations from Te Anau lakefront.
Date 25 Sep 2020
It has been a long time coming with COVID putting a spanner in the works, making it impossible to have the aircraft 'ferry flown' as it normally would have been from Cairns, Australia. The aircraft was purchased on the 26th March 2020, two days before New Zealand closed its borders, followed later by Australia closing its borders.
Floatplanes and flying boats have been a part of the history of Fiordland since the building of the West Arm power station in the late 1960's and have been operating from Te Anau ever since. The 'new' floatplane is the equivalent of the Holden Station wagon of the skies, a 1979 Cessna 206 sought after 'G' model. It took the present owner more than 2 years to find this one. The aircraft is factory corrosion proofed and factory seaplane kitted unlike other models.
Kylie and Ivan Krippner have been operating the seaplane in Fiordland since late 2015, and are thrilled to be able to offer tourists, trampers, hunters and fishermen, flights to remote and exclusive places in Fiordland- unable to reached by helicopter. They are currently operating the only Seaplane operation commercially in the entire South Island. That sounds like a Strategic Asset to me!!
After 8 months of waiting, Wings and Water are still working through operating issues with the Department of Conservation with one of their own staff members having also applied to operate a floatplane on Lake Te Anau. Until this is resolved, there will be one of Wings & Water's floatplanes or the other, flying from Te Anau's lakefront premises.
25 Sep 2020
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