Plane Launch

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Plane Launch
Plane Launch

What a special time for GCH Aviation, the NZ Flying Doctor Trust, Pilots, Nurses, and VIP guests in the Nelson region, to officially welcome and launch the newest plane in the New Zealand Flying Doctor fleet, NZFDT.

The Nelson sun shone as the plane taxied up the runway and through a dramatic water cannon welcome.

Archdeacon Emeritus Harvey Ruru QSM, supported by Tui Lister, performed a blessing and officially named her KAHURANGI. The name, chosen by Naomi Johnson, was the winner of the “Name the Plane” competition. Its meaning of ‘sky blue’ and ‘precious’ as well as the association with the local National Park, resonated with the service provider GCH Aviation, The NZ Flying Doctor team, and the Trust. We are all proud to have her in the fleet.

The Mayor, Honorable Dr Nick Smith, cut the ribbon and expressed how proud the region is to be an essential hub for the service.

We were privileged to have one of the service recipients attend to share his story with our guests. Rev. Mark Sullivan spoke eloquently about his experience with the New Zealand Flying Doctor Service after he was involved in a serious light plane crash, and how the care and attention of the crew helped him through such a difficult time.

Archdeacon Emeritus Harvey Ruru QSM blesses the plane 

Guests were treated to a behind the scenes look at the plane, enjoyed a celebratory glass of bubbles, shared exquisite canapes, and had the opportunity to talk to the pilots and nurses who are the mainstay of the service.

With more than 650 flights per year from the base, Kahurangi is a vital addition in the Nelson region, enabling us to offer the very best in patient care and health outcomes, not just for Nelson, but New Zealand-wide.

Thanks to