25 October 2010

Busy Fly My Sky

Fly My Sky Ltd was incorporated as a company on the 11th of April 2007. Owned by Keith and Robyn McKenzie it had previously operated as Mountain Air Ltd, a division of Taurumunui based Commercial Helicopters Ltd. Mountain Air started scenic flights from the Chateau to offer scenic flights over Tongariro National Park. Initially Cessna 172 (ZK-EKP) and Cessna 206 (Zk-DOV) were operated. Over time two Piper Aztecs (ZK-PIW and ZK-PIX) were added to the fleet along with two Britten Norman Islanders (ZK-PIY and ZK-PIZ).

In 1997 the company introduced a scheduled air service between Auckland and the North Island skifields with flights landing at Mt Ruapehu and Turangi. The five day a week service used the Britten-Norman Islanders during the ski season.

In 1998 Civil Aviation grounded Great Barrier Airlines and Mountain Air provided two aircraft to help maintain their service. Subsequent to this Mountain Air entered into the Great Barrier Island market in their own right. The company had various run ins with Great Barrier Airlines, in particular over the use of the names it traded under, Great Barrier Xpress and Great Barrier Air . The courts decided in favour of Great Barrier Airlines.

In addition to the Great Barrier service the company has operated two other scheduled services. Between December 2000 and October 2003 the company operated a scheduled service to Kaitaia, operating as Air Kaitia (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/05/nzs-northern-most-airline-air-kaitaia.html). The company also operated a courier service to Whangarei for NZ Post, which like a lot of NZ Post courier services, a was a casualty of the recession.

Two more Britten-Norman Islander aircraft have been added to the fleet in 2005 (ZK-SFK) and in 2007 (ZK-DLA).

In 2007 the Chateau operation was sold and continues to trade as Mountain Air while the Great Barrier operation was rebranded as Fly My Sky. The Aztecs were both sold to Sunair while the four Islanders remain on the Great Barrier run. Yesterday all four were in use shuttling people back from the Barrier after a stunning Labour weekend.

Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander ZK-DLA (c/n 2131) was previously operated in New Zealand by Sounds Air. At Auckland on 25 October 2010. Photo S Lowe

Britten-Norman BN2A-20 Islander ZK-PIY (c/n 344) was imported from Japan in 1996. At Auckland on 25 October 2010. Photo S Lowe

Mountain Air's first Britten-Norman BN2A-26 Islander ZK-PIZ (c/n 2012) was imported from the US of A in 1995. It still retains its Mountain Air look. At Auckland on 25 October 2010. Photo S Lowe

Britten-Norman BN2A-6 Islander ZK-SFK (c/n 236) was used in New Zealand by Southflight Aviation and Wings over Whales before joing the fleet in 2005. Photo S Lowe

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