Eagle Air resumes limited operations
Eagle Air is resuming flights after cracks were found in the tails of some of its Beechcraft 1900D aircraft yesterday.
Air New Zealand cancelled all Eagle services, affecting about 1000 travellers.
Today, Eagle Air will put four aircraft back into service after being inspected and cleared for flight.
Other aircraft from Air New Zealand's fleet will be picking up the slack from Eagle's limited fleet today.
In a statement released late last night, the Eagle said it was in contact with the manufacturer to see what other maintenance it could do to its fleet.
Yesterday: Most of the Air New Zealand-owned Eagle Air fleet will remain grounded today while the airline has talks with the manufacturer of its Beechcraft 1900D aircraft about hairline cracks that were found in the tails of some of them.
The Hamilton-based regional airline grounded all of its18 Beechcraft yesterday after the cracks were discovered in one of them during routine maintenance.
Last night it said three out of four aircraft checked so far have been found to be affected.
It plans to operate four aircraft today which have been inspected and cleared for service.
Around a thousand air travellers are likely to be affected by the continued grounding.
It's the second time in five years that Eagle Air has grounded its fleet of Beechcraft.
In 2007 the aircraft were grounded when a defective undercarriage was found during a routine inspection of one of them.
This came just three months after another one of its Beechcraft made an emergency landing at Blenheim when its landing gear failed to lower.
No one was injured and the aircraft suffered only minor damage.
Then in 2008 two pilots flying an Air National Jetstream aircraft being operated on behalf of Eagle Air were stabbed by a deranged woman on a flight from Blenheim to Christchurch in a hijacking attempt.
The pilots survived the attack and landed safely in Christchurch where the woman was arrested.
More recently, Eagle Air has copped some flak for canceling flights and rescheduling services with little prior warning.
According to Wikipedia public opinion believes the Beechcraft is “now considered to be unreliable as a type for the harsher New Zealand weather conditions with frequent cancellations due to maintenance issues”.
Air National had its operators certificate suspended by the CAA last year over alleged training records irregularities.
Following an extensive grounding of its fleet the airline went out of business early this year.