24 November 2011

A trip on Sunair...

One of projects of my NZ airline madness is to fly into every Air New Zealand destination on Air NZ (WHK, GIS, WKA and MON to go) and to fly on each of the smaller third level airlines.

Last night it was Sunair's turn and I booked on their Napier-Paraparaumu service. This service is mainly a courier flight but also carries passengers on demand. As I awaited for the flight at Napier's terminal I heard a woman telling someone that if she wanted to fly to from Napier to Rotorua she would have to fly via Auckalnd. So much for the Sunair signage not too many metres away.

When the flight arrived from Gisborne my pilot, Dion Currie, told me the flight was going to Hamilton due to the gales lashing the lower North Island. As I was going for the ride I didn't mind where we went.

The courier packs arrive locally by courier van and from the connecting Air Napier flight from Gisborne and Wairoa

With a howling westerly at Napier a right turn after take off with nice views of Napier and up the East Coast

Pilot for the flight, Dion
Extensive cloud cover was the order of the day...

Breaking out into the Waikato and turning finals at Hamilton

Ride for the night, Piper Aztec ZK-PIW at Hamilton on 23 November 2011, as the front moves in. The courier bags unloaded we were quickly under way.
With a flight time off 1 hour 5 coming to Hamilton punching into the westerlies, the flight home was sure to faster... punching along at a ground speed of 210 knots... AZJET!
A glimpse of Lake Taupo above and a fuzzy shot of Napier as we bounced around in the westerly letting down for Napier.

What a great trip. Sunair has done a great job of surviving in a difficult market and yet providing a dependable operation with the Aztec being a solid platform for its operations. For more on Sunair see

Thanks to Marion and Dion of Sunair for a great evening.

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