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


  1. Is that the same one that carried the air NZ link colors?

  2. Looking like it is going to the Philippines with that rego

    1. I meant to put it was off to the Philippines... updated