Low flying Herc upsets Tauranga locals

An RNZAF C130 similar to the one flying over Tauranga on Wednesday night. Photo: Facebook

UPDATED: Friday 3.30pm

The RNZAF Hercules flights over Tauranga on Wednesday night were part of training which is conducted to improve the night vision capability of the C-130H Hercules crews, says a statement from Defence Public Affairs.

"These skills were most recently used following Tropical Cyclone Gita in Tonga, where aid flights were conducted in darkness into the damaged airfield at Fua’amotu International Airport," says Acting Commanding Officer of 40 Sqn, SQNLDR Blair Oldershaw.

"We acknowledge that the flights into Tauranga Airport after 9.30pm on Wednesday were not in accordance with the airport’s recommendations, and the squadron will be updating and amending procedures to ensure this won’t happen again."


Complaints about a large aircraft’s flying landing approach to Tauranga Airport at about 11pm on Wednesday night have been tracked to the RNZAF.

The Hercules was doing night training – in spite of a Tauranga airport restriction that they not do so after 9.30pm.

“I’ve spoken to the air force and said that’s not appreciated in a city of our size, that sort of disruption late at night, and that we don’t expect that to happen after 9.30pm which is our regulated time for finishing circuit training,” says Tauranga airport manager Ray Dumble.

“To be fair I think it was a bit of a misunderstanding about that timing thing.”

The Lockheed C130 aircraft is a four engine turbo prop military transport designed in the 1950s.

The RNZAF flies C130H models powered by Allison engines, with a crew of two pilots, one navigator, one flight engineer and two loadmasters.



Posted on 02-03-2018 08:34 | By NZer

Brings back memories of my stint in the Army.. pity it was not a A4....

Get over it people

Posted on 02-03-2018 08:25 | By waiknot

A small blip in the system. Different story if it was a consistent problem. I remember before I moved a yellow biplane that reapeatedly runed my Saturday morning coffee.

Get a life

Posted on 02-03-2018 08:21 | By hapukafin

Someone always complain about the noise around us.They want to shut down Bayparks activities,our airport and will be complaining about the volume of their own TV next..The C130 is quieter than the regular commuter planes flying in and out of here.There is a regular need for the C130 and P3s to calibrate the runway approach regularly for the airport to operate safely..and to be able to do this at a time without inconvenience to other users.There is also a need to have aircrew to be familiar with all operating airfields around the country..I say to the complainer that he/she would be the first to complain if there was a emergency and a C130 wasnt able to land at Tuaranga Airport.The Westpac helicopter coming in at night makes more nois than a C130.Be proud of what we have left of our Airforce.


Posted on 02-03-2018 00:58 | By The Caveman

The same "complainers" will also be yelling after a civil emergency if the Air Force DON’T turn up to assist the local population. The bottom line is that a civil emergency does NOT always happen between 8am and 5pm. If you want assistance in a civil emergency, those providing the assistance need to be well practiced in providing said assistance - INCLUDING flying into and out of, the nearest local airport - 24/7. A once a year night flying operation (airport approach, with touch and go) at 11pm is NOT a problem and in fact most "locals" would be more than happy, give that the "training" may turn into "real life" requirements, the next week.......................

Whine whine

Posted on 01-03-2018 21:35 | By Eddie Munster

How does the RNZAF know they have landed in Tauranga? Because the whining noise doesn’t stop even after the engines have been switched off.


Posted on 01-03-2018 18:42 | By CC8

What the hell? What is wrong with people? Just get over it, one night for a couple of hours at worst.... Mum could hear the loud bass music from the domain at her house in Greerton for hours on end a month or so back... relatively late into the night ... did she complain ... NO at 86 she just gets on with it. She sees the brighter side...that somebody must be enjoying it. It’s time some of these professional moaners found something better to do. They will be moaning when the Herc can’t come to rescue them in an emergency, because the crew hasn’t had the night training and experience!


Posted on 01-03-2018 17:51 | By Regan Selwyn

Really! Was it that horrific to complainGood grief

So nearly a disaster

Posted on 01-03-2018 17:08 | By maildrop

It’s their responsibility to know the rules. I do. Which is why I leave it until after 2130 before taking my Apache Gunship drone out to practice night vision sorties. Luckily for them I was busy or it could have been a code red. Reckless fools.


Posted on 01-03-2018 16:58 | By penguin

That lovely sound of the Herc doing circuits even at night. Why get upset? The demo was free and didn’t last that long and it looked great... stuff happens, you know. Good to know that our aircrew are training in order to help those in need, as they do so often.


Posted on 01-03-2018 16:51 | By dumbkof2

stop complaining. it was only for a short period of time. do you want our air force to operate only in daylight. they were probably doing calibration flights to maintain the airports safety for all aircraft takeoffs and landings at all times. emergency night landings, sorry some people complained so you can’t land here.


Posted on 01-03-2018 16:17 | By The Sage

I heard this and didn’t realise it was just one plane making all the noise. I started to think there was a problem at Auckland and the planes had to come down here. Good to get an explanation.

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