10 March 2016

S8 805 from Taupo to Wellington

A meeting in Taupo on yesterday and one in Wellington today gave me the excuse and opportunity to try out Sounds Air's Pilatus PC-12 on their afternoon flight to the capital, S8 805.

Operating the service was Pilatus PC-12 ZK-PLT
I do wish the Taupo Airport Company would park their vehicle back a just metre or two... It is very awkward trying to get a side on shot of the PC-12
Lining up Runway 17
Sitting on the wrong side for the sun as I wanted to be able to get photos of in the cockpit...
so all sorts of reflection as I was shooting into the sun
but nonetheless nice shots of Lake Taupo and the volcanoes to the south
The front office of the PC-12
which was under the command of Captain Peter Vincent, another one of the nice guys of the NZ Aviation Industry
The Whangaehu River, famous for its lahars, glistening in the sun  as it descends from Mount Ruapehu
Lake Moawhango near Waiouru
The summit of Ruapehu hidden by a puff of cloud
In the far distance Mount Egmont/Taranaki
Level at FL 180
The shapes and shades of the Central North Island heading further south
Mount Egmont/Taranaki above the wing and the mouth of the Whanganui River far left
The jewel of the Manawatu... Foxton Beach at the mouth of the Manawatu River
Coming up Kapiti Island with the South Island in the distance

Mana Island and the entrance to Porirua Harbour
Looking towards Wellington Airport

The wind farm at Makara with the South Island in the distance
Wellington on a beautiful calm day - shooting into the light again!

Airbus departs ahead... Cleared to land 16
And my thoughts on the PC-12. I was really impressed by how quiet it is and how spacious it is in terms of leg room... I thought a lot better than a Beech 1900 in legroom and quieter than any turbo prop in the Air NZ fleet. 
Peter Vincent tells me people have been a little apprehensive about the size of the PC-12 but once they've flown on it they are sold on it... We had a full load of 9 passengers
As for me... I'm looking forward to my next trip on Sounds Air!

For a profile on Sounds Air see :


  1. Awesome machine! I love Sounds Air! The little company that can.

  2. Good review. Thanks penning this story.

  3. Awesome stuff!.
    Now where are the hoards of nay-Sayers that left doubtful and down right negative comments on your posts announcing SoundsAir's new routes???
    They seen to have gone quiet? Perhaps Andrew Crawford is not as silly as they thought? .
    Tell us Steve how do find their service and how is it going? Predictions for the future of these "lean" routes?
    Will/are SoundsAir making them work?
    Do you recommend the experience with them Steve?
    Very interesting to see how it is all panning out.
    Cheers for your insights.

    1. I use soundsair fairly often between Wellingtom and or Picton or Blenheim.If i didnt enjoy the ferry ride more i would use soundsair every time i crossed the strait

    2. "Now where are the hoards of nay-Sayers that left doubtful and down right negative comments on your posts announcing SoundsAir's new routes???
      They seen to have gone quiet?"


      Flying around and making a big song and dance is one thing.

      Turning a profit is quite another.

    3. ^^ Your airline is doing well then I assume?

      Good on Sounds Air for giving it a go and doing well, New Zealand needs more 2nd / 3rd level operators like this to keep our industry alive

    4. "Your airline is doing well then I assume?"

      Yes, doing well thanks.

    5. ^^ That's very good to hear! This marginal industry needs more employers like you to ensure our future :)

  4. They're good operators and deserve every success