30 September 2022

Sunair's New Cessna 172

I was delighted to capture Sunair's latest Cessna 172 ZK-DXO at Whangarei on 29 September 2022. The 172 has had a major renovation at Tauranga after languishing in Hamilton for some years. Congratulations to Dan and the Sunair team... it looks great


Also at Whangarei on 29 September 2022 was Piper PA23 Aztec ZK-EVP arriving back from the Kaitaia medical staff flight. ZK-FVP was also present but had a cover over it so not photographed.

Cessna 172 ZK-CBZ was also present

29 September 2022

Farewell NSP

Departing New Zealand for the Philippines today was Piper PA31-350 Chieftain RP-C8186, or as it was more well known in New Zealand ZK-NSP.  Today it flew from Ardmore to Auckland and then on to Norfolk Island.

Piper PA31-350 Chieftain RP-C8186 at Ardmore on 28 September 2022. Photo : AgAirNZ

The Chieftain was a 1975 model being initially registered as N59980 to West Freedom Mining Corp of Kittanning, Pennsylvania on 22/09/1975. In April 1982 it was sold to Custom Sales Analysis Inc of Chicopee, Massachusetts and then July 1983 to Barr Aviation Inc of Hollis, New Hampshire. In October 1984 it moved to Maui Airlines of Newport Beach, California and operated with them until September 1987 when its US registration was cancelled.

It became ZK-NSP with Motueka Air Ltd of Motueka which traded as Air Nelson on 24/09/1987. It was used on Cook Strait routes to Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim and Palmerston North and in Canterbury connecting Christchurch, Timaru and Oamaru. 

Air Nelson also operated three Piper PA31-350 Chieftains ZK-FQW, ZK-NSO and ZK-NSP... ZK-NSP is seen at Nelson on 5 February 1989

Air Nelson's Piper Chieftain ZK-NSP at Hokitika on 26 November 1989

Air Nelson was the only airline it saw service with. On 22/12/1992 it was registered to Helicopter Leasing NZ Ltd of Taupo, to Helicopter Services (BOP) Ltd, Taupo on 27/02/2001 and Search & Rescue Services Ltd, Taupo on 15/10/2009.

The Westpac Waikato Air Ambulance Piper Chieftain ZK-NSP was on air ambulance duties. Photo taken at Gisborne on 22 November 2011 by S Lowe

On 19/09/2017 it moved to Auckland with AAA Flightshare Limited.

 Piper Chieftain ZK-NSP at Ardmore on 15 December 2019

More at North Shore

It was the Pilatus PC12 VH-JMU that encouraged me to go out to North Shore on 26 September 2022 but there were a few other aircraft to record...

Nanchang CJ-6 ZK-CVI returning home 

Piper PA28RT Arrow ZK-LGR at North Shore on 26 September 2022... another example of the rego too far forward.

Massey University School of Aviation's Diamond DA 40 ZK-MTD awaiting its turn to line up

Barrier Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SDE doing the flight from and to the Barrier

Tauranga Aero Club's Cessna 152 ZK-TAC arrived 

The North Shore Aero Club's Robin R2120 ZK-TZG was heading out on a training flight


28 September 2022

Auckland on Sunday Afternoon

 Sunday afternoon on 25 September 2022 at Auckland International started off quite pleasant until the cloud settled in...

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 A7-BEH heading off for Adelaide and Doha

China Southern Airbus 350-900 B309W arriving from Guangzhou

China Airlines B-18901 arriving from Taipei

Tahiti Nui Boeing 787-9 F-OVAA off to Papeete

A couple of Bombardier Q300s, ZK-NEC...

and ZK-NEG

Air New Zealand Airbus 321 ZK-NNG

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZR arriving from Nadi

Barrier Air's Cessna 208 Grand Caravan ZK-SDB off to Great Barrier Island

Tasman Cargo Airlines Boeing 767-300 VH-EXZ arriving from Sydney

Qantas Airbus 330-300 VH-QPH off to Melbourne

Cessna 525 Citation ZK-XXK


27 September 2022


An interesting visitor to North SHore yesterday was a 2021 m0del Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-JMU. The Pilatus flew from Wellington and then did, what I presume was, a demonstration flight over Northland before returning to North Shore and later Wellington.

Pilatus PC12 VH-JMU returning from its demo flight at North Shore on 26 September 2022

On the taxi for its departure for Wellington

The registration VH-JMU rang a bell with me... and searching the files I found that I had photographed a Pilatus PC12 VH-JMU and this particular aircraft is now a kiwi as ZK-PLZ with Sounds Air. 

Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-JMU at Perth's Jandakot Airport on 3 September 2014

Pilatus PC12 VH-JMU was sold to Sounds Air and placed on the New Zealand register as ZK-PLZ. It is seen here at Taupō on the first day of Sounds Air's service there on 2 June 2015

ZK-PLZ was subsequently repainted and operated initially as a corporate aircraft for Sounds Air's charter clients. It is now in the normal commuter configuration and is often seen around Sounds Air's ports. It is seen here at Taupō on 22 February 2021

26 September 2022

What's your favourite aircraft???

They look the same (often) but we tend to have a favourite aircraft in the fleet... Going way back ZK-BXE was my favourite Freindship with Air New Zealand and ZK-MCF my favourite Hawker Siddeley 748 with Mount Cook Airlines... And this is my favourite Barrier Air Caravan, ZK-SDE... a slightly different colour scheme... it is seen here at North Shore on a gloomy 19 September 2022


Ardmore Last Sunday

A couple of hours of plane spotting at Ardmore on 18 September 2022 gave a rich haul...

De Havilland 82 Tiger Moth ZK-BLI

Vans RV-6 ZK-CAZ - a new one for me

Cessna 172 ZK-DAY

Piper PA28 Cherokee 235 ZK-DGK... I wish the rego was further back

Piper PA28 Cherokee 140 ZK-EFP, another new one

North American Harvard ZK-ENG

Cessna A152 Aerobat ZK-FLH

Piper PA28 Warrior ZK-FRL

Another new one... Eurocopter EC 120B ZK-HHT

Yet another new one - Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-HKZ

Another one - Leonardo AW169 ZK-HLH

Robinson R44 ZK-HSU

Aerospatiale AS355F1 Twin Ecureuil ZK-HYN

Volta Aviation's Sikorsky S-76 ZK-ICG... another new photo

Cessna 172 ZK-JMY

Cessna 172 ZK-JRA

Cessna 172 ZK-JRG

Cessna 172 ZK-KAS

Cessna 182 Skylane RG ZK-LAB

Cessna 172 ZK-LNU

Vans RV-7 ZK-LVA

Air Auckland's Cessna 172 ZK-MDV

Akrotech G202- ZK-NUT

Cirrus Design SR22 ZK-PBR

Two more new ones for me, Vulcan Air P68C ZK-RAT

 ...and Pitts S-1 Special ZK-RMR

The Coastguard Cessna 182 ZK-SAR

de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk ZK-SAX

Cessna 162 Skycatcher ZK-SKC

Cessna 182 Skylane ZK-SLL

North American P-51D Mustang ZK-TAF was out on a couple of flights

Cessna 172 ZK-UAT

Piper PA28 Archer ZK-UPS was another one to the collection

Vans RV-12 ZK-VLF was another new one

Piper PA38 Tomahawk ZK-WAG

Cessna 182 ZK-XLT

And the final new aircraft photographed, Extra EA 300 ZL-XLX

Cessna 172 ZK-XYZ

Cessna 172 ZK-ZAQ