New Zealand RNZAF C 130H 04 credit RNZAF 640Retirement flight of RNZAF C-130H(NZ) draws attention

On Monday 27 November 2023, the second Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Lockheed Martin C-130H(NZ) Hercules to retire received a lot of attention on Flightradar24 when its farewell flight became the most tracked flight on the platform that day.

The aircraft, serial NZ7004 (c/n 382-4312), made a final flight over a part of New Zealand before it landed for the last time on RNZAF Base Woodbourne where it will retire after 55 years of service.

The route started in Auckland and from there it flew via Hamilton, New Plymouth, Ohakea, Masterton and Wellington to Woodbourne. Wellington, in the south of North Island, was the southernmost waypoint before landing at Woodbourne (in the north of South Island) as the official remaining flight hours on the airframe would not allow any further south.

During its service life, that started in 1968, NZ7004 has flown missions in a variety of countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, the Solomon Islands, East Timor and even flights to Antarctica were carried out.

The first aircraft to retire was NZ7003, which was even 3 years older. It retired in February of this year. Starting in 2024, the first of five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules will commence service for the RNZAF as was announced by the Government in June 2020.

Credit photo: RNZAF

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