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New wings take more thrill-seekers to the skies

New wings take more thrill-seekers to the skies

A bigger aircraft capable of carrying more passengers means NZONE (pronounced n-zone) can take more thrill-seekers to the skies above Queenstown, improving the experience for customers without increasing effects on neighbours.

The award winning tandem skydive operator has recently introduced a Cessna Grand Caravan, known as a ‘Supervan 900’ to its Queenstown-based operation. The plane can carry up to six tandem jumpers – allowing NZONE to keep groups together during their once-in-a-lifetime experience, and is quietest and most efficient aircraft available for commercial skydiving.

NZONE general manager Robynne Williams said the new addition was an upgrade that would bring many benefits to the company and adventure seekers.

“NZONE is always looking for ways to improve customer value and experience,” she said. “The increased passenger capacity of the Supervan 900 means friends, families, work colleagues and people travelling together can stay together for the experience, it will also reduce waiting times for those in a group.”

“NZONE was the first skydive operator to become benchmarked with Green Globe 21 and we carry a Qualmark Enviro Silver for our efforts in monitoring and improving our carbon emissions.” said Ms Williams. The Cessna Grand Caravan will further improve the company’s environmental efficiency as the single turbo-prop engine and fixed gear short haul airliner, means its fuel consumption is more economical and the per person carbon footprint is significantly reduced.

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“If we can become more fuel efficient, we are taking positive steps towards sustainable practice and environmentally-aware aviation. That’s a huge bonus for us.”

“When we started New Zealand’s first commercial skydiving operation in 1990, we were located several kilometers out of town and certainly no one worried about fuel efficiency. Over the past 20 years Queenstown has grown towards us meaning we need to consider the impact we have on our neighbours and the environment. This has meant looking hard at every part of our operation and finding every possible way to mitigate any effects on those who have joined us in this rural area.”

The $2.5m Cessna Grand Caravan is an expensive choice for the company, but given noise and environmental concerns, it’s the best possible plane for NZONE according to Managing Director Lindsay Williams.

Mr Williams said when buying the plane, the company undertook significant research to invest in the best aircraft for its conditions. This plane is the quietest and most efficient on the market and will significantly lower our emissions while adding no adverse affects to our neighbours. It’s the best fit for our business, our environment and our neighbours.” This plane fits with our own needs for high standards and best practice,” said Mr Williams.

The custom designed Supervan 900 has a single turbo-prop engine and is a fixed gear short haul airliner with a four-blade propeller and flat-rated 900 hp engine that gives it the ability to take off quickly and climb rapidly. It meets stringent ‘green’ standards and easily meets strict European noise standards.

Pilot Richard Purdie flew the new aircraft to Queenstown from the USA and said he was “very impressed” with the aircraft’s 331-12JR engine.

“The 12JR has both ease of use and economy. It climbs to 4500 ft as though there’s no load on board and has an extra power that is quite noticeable compared to the PT6 caravan that was ferried last year,” he said.


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