02 October 2012

End of Single-Engined Ops for GBA???

Great Barrier Airlines have ended single engined aircraft operations, though maybe briefly, with their last Piper Pa32 Cherokee 6 ZK-ENZ, up for sale at Dennis Thompson International at Ardmore.
For Sale - Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-ENZ at Ardmore on 1 October 2012. Photo : S Lowe
GBA started operations on the 3rd of December 1983 with Cessna 172M Skyhawk, ZK-DKH and a leased Cessna 206 Super Skywagon, ZK-DOV and the company operated single-engined aircraft services until about 18 months ago.

Over the years the company has operated a number of single engined aircraft

ZK-CNS         Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-686)
ZK-CUV         Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-673)
ZK-DDF         Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-480)
ZK-DFI           Cessna 172L (c/n 17260172)       
ZK-DKH         Cessna 172M (c/n 17261709)
ZK-DOL         Cessna 172M (c/n 17261824)
ZK-DOV         Cessna 206 Super Skywagon (c/n 206-0248)
ZK-DSQ         Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-1012)
ZK-EJU          Cessna 172N (c/n 17269288)
ZK-ELK          Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-7600009)
ZK-ENZ         Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-1117)
ZK-FNA         Piper Pa28-181 Archer (c/n 28-7790053)
ZK-WGO        Piper Pa32-300 Cherokee 6 (c/n 32-7340146)

These single-engined aircraft operated services to Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninusla and Waiheke Island. On the 29th of September 2009 Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-CNS crashed on take-off from Great Barrier Island’s Claris aerodrome. While the other remaining Cherokee 6, ZK-ENZ, continued to operate for some time after this the writing was on the wall for single-engined operations and the Cherokee 6 was not been used by the company for well over a year.

The final Cherokee 6, ZK-ENZ, was no stranger to Great Barrier Island. It had operated services to the island for the Northern Districts Aero Club as ZK-DBP (see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/air-services-of-northland-districts.html) and for New Zealand Air Services as ZK-ENZ  (see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/07/island-hopper-new-zealand-air-services.html).

However, it may well be only a brief respite from single-engined operations for GBA. Last month someone posted an anonymous comment on the blog which indicates they may well be getting a Cessna Caravan this month which will a most interesting development (see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/new-management-at-great-barrier-airlines.html).


A 3 part history of Great Barrier Airlines can be found at

Part 2 : http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2012/01/barrier-connection-great-barrier_29.html
Part 3 : http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/barrier-connection-great-barrier.html



  1. I don't know what I prefer. The cramped noisey Islander, or the cramped Caravan. Both two of my least favourite planes

  2. Haha - GBA is NOT getting a caravan in Oct!!

  3. nothing wrong with the caravan it's a money maker and they fly like a dream and even better with a great avionic set-up - better than a tried old bongo, noisy heaps of junk. but she is a big jump in capital value from island to caravan!!

  4. Great until they lose an engine across Cook Strait. Then you can say goodbye to SEIFR ops in this country.