11 July 2022

Another Aztec for Sunair

Registered to Sunair on the 30th of June 2022 was Piper PA23-250 Aztec C ZK-TCL. Also, on the same day, Piper PA23-250 Aztec E ZK-DIO was cancelled from the register. Earlier this year there was talk that Sunair had bought two Piper Aztecs ZK-TCL and ZK-DIO and that they were going to be trucked to Tauranga.

In the Stu Hobb's photo below ZK-DIO certainly looks worse for wear but ZK-TCL looks quite reasonable and the fact that it has been registered to Sunair indicates it may well take to the air again.

ZK-TCL was previously registered ZK-DUB. It saw service with Bell Air, before it commenced its service from Whakatane to Auckland but was chartered for use on Air North services (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/02/bell-air-remembered.html), with Air Albatross as its first aircraft (https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2018/02/air-albatross-cook-strait-commuter.html) and with Welair on its Paraparaumu-Nelson service (https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2018/03/air-wellington-another-paraparaumu.html).

Piper Pa23 Aztec ZK-TCL taken at Paraparaumu on 24 August 2013

Piper PA23-250 Aztec E ZK-DIO's first airline service was with Air Timaru which flew north to Wellington and south to Invercargill (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2012/08/air-timaru-friendly-line.html), and was later used by NZ Air Charter, the commercial wing of the Auckland Aero Club, which at the time was still operating its Great Barrier Island service,  (https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2012/11/nz-air-charters-northen-air-service_25.html), Air Nelson to provide additional capacity on the Nelson-Wellington flights as well as providing back-up for the Motueka Air Services flights from Motueka to Wellington (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2017/07/air-nelson-part-1-nelson-wellington.html) and finally Welair on its Paraparaumu-Nelson service (https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2018/03/air-wellington-another-paraparaumu.html).


  1. Both TCL and DIO have been purchased by Sunair for spare parts to support its existing fleet of 4 PA23-250E and 5 PA23-250F Aztecs.

  2. Interesting that DIO was cancelled from the register while TCL has been registered to Sunair remaining on the register

    1. There are plans to return TCL to airworthiness and fly it to Tauranga, and then for it to be parted out.