|Commercial Helicopters' Hughes 500D a long way from home at Greymouth on 26 August 1987.|
In 1987 the company diversified into fixed wing operations. They leased land to develop an airfield on Taurewa Station which is located near the Chateau on the western side of Mt Ruapehu. Initially scenic flights were offered over the Central North Island’s Volcanic Plateau using Cessna 172M Skyhawk ZK-EKP (c/n 17267279). Two years later, in 1989, Cessna 206 Super Skywagon ZK-DOV (c/n 206-0248) was also added to the fleet.
|No flying today!!! Above Cessna 206 ZK-DOV and below Cessna 172 ZK-EKP taken at the Chateau on 22 November 1996.|
|The two Piper Aztecs, above, ZK-PIW taken at Hamilton on 7 October 1998 and, below, ZK-PIX taken at Ardmore on 17 May 2008.|
|Britten Norman Islander ZK-PIZ, Tongariro, taken at the Chateau on 22 November 1996.|
|Britten Norman Islander ZK-PIY on one of its scenic flights over the Central North Island Volcanic Plateau. Photo : Mountain Air|
|In Hamilton for maintenance on 26 November 1996 was Britten Norman Islander ZK-PIY.|
In mid-June of that year the Civil Aviation Authority grounded Great Barrier Airlines. To maintain its services Great Barrier Airlines chartered aircraft from its competitor, Northern Air, and also two aircraft from Mountain Air.
|Barrier Bulletin - September 1998|
A few months after Mountain Air had started on the Auckland-Great Barrier Island route the third operator, Northern Air, pulled out. Competition between Mountain Air and Great Barrier Airlines was less than amicable. It finally came to a head other Mountain Air labelling their service as Great Barrier Xpress. The Barrier Bulletin of 4 October 2006 carried a letter from a Great Barrier Island resident who noted the Great Barrier Airlines’ Trislanders were sporting the name Great Barrier Express? The correspondent wrote that he had checked with Great Barrier Airlines who tersely told him, "It’s our name."
|The controversial name - Great Barrier Xpress - on Piper Aztec ZK-PIX at Ardmore on 19 January 1999 and on BN Islander ZK-PIZ at Auckland on 11 October 1999.|
The matter was further complicated when in June 2006 Keith McKenzie registered a new company, Great Barrier AIR Ltd. Great Barrier AIRLINES started legal proceedings after Great Barrier Air appeared in the yellow pages above its own entry. The first hearing, which was won by Mountain Air, was taken to appeal. In late December 2007 Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled that Great Barrier Air (Mountain Air) had to stop using the name Great Barrier Air in any advertising or promotional material until the court case was settled. Pending the outcome of the case Mountain Air's telephone lines were independently monitored to ensure that anyone seeking Great Barrier Airlines were directed to the correct business. In the end Great Barrier Airlines won out.
|Sporting its ex-Wings Over Whales colour scheme is Britten Norman Islander at Ardmore on 6 April 2008.|
The Mountain Air story continues as Fly My Sky - http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/11/fly-my-sky.html