31 August 2021



Barrier Air has added a fourth Cessna 208B Grand Caravan to its fleet. The Caravan is a 2008 model initially registered N208AE. In early 2009 it was sold to Air Alliance in Germany and registered as D-FAAJ. Sold to Oklahoma City-based Southern Wings Aircraft sales in 2018 it made its way to New Zealand where it was registered ZK-MCS with Milford Sound Flights Ltd operating the highly popular scenic flights between Queenstown and Milford Sound.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-MCS at Queenstown

With the Covid-19 Pandemic demand fell and the aircraft became the platform for the prototype Merlin Labs New Zealand unmanned freighter aircraft. The New Zealand company is a subsidiary of Boston based Merlin Labs, and the project wants to trial a pilotless freight service between Nelson, Westport and Christchurch... See : https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2020/07/westport-freight-flights.html  and https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2020/08/more-on-pilotless-plane-service.html. Apparently Merlin Labs have decided they want a Caravan with a Legacy cockpit rather than the G1000 cockpit ZK-MCS has.

With its move to Barrier Air ZK-MCS has been registered ZK-SDE joining their fleet of ZK-SDB, SDC and SDD. It is due to fly to Napier to be prepared for service with Barrier Air.

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