04 November 2022

Flying in ZK-AWP

Last week I posted photos of Air Chathams' DC-3 landing back at Auckland after being down at Tauranga. Liam Fullerton went for a fly and thanks to him for these pics of a scenic flight in ZK-AWP on the 23rd of October.

Air Chathams brought ZK-AWP down to Classic Flyers in Tauranga and did a few 30min Scenic Flights for paying punters over Labour Weekend. At only $99 (plus a 10% fuel tax), it's an excellent chance to experience this glorious bird. 

I had spent a bit of time around AWP years ago, when it was still in its basic Air Chathams livery. But I never had the chance to actually go for a fly in it. 

Craig and the team at Air Chathams have done an amazing job at restoring and keeping AWP in fantastic condition. Upon boarding you could be mistaken for thinking you were in a more modern airliner. 

ZK-AWP at Tauranga Airport, getting ready for the first of it's Scenic Flights for the day

Another shot of ZK-AWP. The historical NAC Livery is very eye catching

The huge Skyliner windows offer an awesome view!

Taxiing Out past a waiting Dash8. You could see the passengers inside, and even the Pilots with phones pressed against the windows taking photos. 

Air Chathams Flight 3C301 Lining up Runway 25, Tauranga Airport 

A gorgeous day for flying

Captain Darren and First Officer Darryl hard at work in the DC3s awesome Cockpit

We headed North-West along the Tauranga Harbour and beside the Kaimai Ranges towards Katikati. Cruising at 500ft gave us awesome views of the many orchards and farms.

ast Katikati, it was up to Waihi Beach and Bowentown, where we did a series of turns and then headed back towards Mount Maunganui

Cruising along the coast of Matakana Island at 500ft

We did a fantastic loop of Mt Maunganui. As low as we were, you could see the people at the summit taking photos as we cruised past.

Pilot Bay and the Mount Main Beach

Back out to Sea, and then start the approach to Runway 25

On Finals for Runway 25. You can see the huge amount of work being done in the creating a new Fly Over for the Bayfair Roundabout. 

An incredibly gentle touchdown

Taxiing back, with the next flights passengers already waiting eagerly.  

Air Chathams Douglas DC3 Safety Card

On the back of the Safety Card is an excellent writeup on the history of ZK-AWP. I was very interested in the mishap that happened at Glentanner Station. As an ex Glentanner local, I had never heard anything about it. If anyone knows anything more, or has any photos, I'd love to hear from you. 

The bright and airy cabin of the DC3

Super grateful for the opportunity to have a flight in such a gorgeous, and well looked after historic airliner. And to have such perfect weather, was an awesome bonus. Air Chathams tend to run DC3 Scenic Flights over the summer months in different spots across the North Island. Have seen them do flights in Tauranga, Whakatane, Whanganui and Paraparaumu. If you see the chance to get on board, do it! 


  1. I went for a ride onboard ZK-AWP for my 21st Birthday

  2. Thanks very much for sharing. It is on my bucket list. I love the NAC livery as well