Captain asks crew to take video of aircraft wings as Air NZ flight diverts to Christchurch

An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown has diverted to Christchurch due to what passengers were reportedly told was a technical issue.

While that isn't very unusual, the actions the crew took were.

Co-editor of Tim Murphy was onboard and tweeted that cabin crew had been asked to record footage the surface of the aircraft's wings through the windows using an iPad.

"Things you don't see much: Air NZ flight from Auckland to Queenstown on a nice, smart A321 and a 'technical issue' leads to flight attendants being asked by the captain while circling above Lake Wanaka to film the wing surfaces with an iPad from inside the cabin," he said.

The aircraft circled north of Queenstown.
The aircraft circled north of Queenstown. Photo credit:

Murphy said passengers had to make way for cabin crew so they could get access to the window seats and film both wings.

Christchurch International Airport - where the flight diverted to - has a longer runway that Queenstown Airport's. A flight tracking website shows the aircraft circled north of Queenstown several times before heading off the Christchurch.

Murphy said the aircraft opted to divert for the longer runway after crew reported "an external view saw something which didn't look quite right".

Air NZ confirmed that NZ619 from Auckland to Queenstown diverted to Christchurch due to an engineering issue.

"The crew conducted a visual inspection of the wing on behalf of the pilots who are unable to leave the flight deck," an airline spokesperson said.

Once on the ground, passengers were told it was likely they would be moved to another aircraft to continue their journey to Queenstown.