Saturday, 28 February 2009

A couple of Kiwi bush planes

Lurking in the undergrowth at Awhitu is this Bristol 170 31 NZM. Registered to the Bristol Aeroplane Co as G-AINS with c/n 12833 on 27-01-1947 it did its share of demonstrating before being re-regestered with the Bristol test allocation of G-18-199 on 19-11-1951. It arrived at Whenuapai on 06-12-1951 to become NZ5902 with 41 Squaadron RNZAF on 13-12-1951. It was withdrawn from use on 23-03-1977 and sold to Dwen Airmotive to become ZK-EPA on 17-08-1978. It was cancelled from the NZ civil register on 01-12-1988 as scrapped. The "02" is still faintly visible on the nose.

Down the track at Mercer is the Piper PA-23-250 Aztec C ZK-JEI c/n 27-2638

This aircraft has more history than I have space for. But briefly:-
Built as N5539Y in 1964 it had at least five US owners before arriving in NZ on 15-11-1972 to become ZK-DJG with Bishop Aviation at Gisborne on 27-11-1972. Five operators later it was with Seabee Air Ltd of Auckland in 1986. Cancelled on 30-05-1986 it became DQ-FEG first with Stardust Cruises and then Island Air in Fiji. It returned to NZ via Norfolk Island on 20-06-1987 and was stored at Flight Engineers until restored to Seabee Air as ZK-DJG on 14-03-1989. Great Barier Airlines appear on 18-10-1989. On 02-06-1990 it departed for Norfolk Island on delivery to become YJ-RV3 at Port Villa. Ownership change in 1991 saw Vanair listed. It returned to NZ again on 28-08-1991 to return to its ZK-DJG markings with Great Barrier on 06-09-1991 and departed NZ again on 12-09-91 for Cook Island Fisheries. Back yet again to NZ on 03-08-1993 for cancellation on 15-11-93 to become DQ-FIB for Vanua Air Charters. I then have it as returning to NZ on 24-10-1994, still with Great Barrier but now re-registered as ZK-JEI from 04-09-1995. Some six local operators later it was with JW & E I Lyver from 06-09-1999.
How it got in its present state I know not; but it appears to be badly damaged underneath, as if it had a wheels up or similar.

Random North Island Notes

Arriving at New Plymouth from Australia on 25 February was Diamond DA-42 VH-FGO (c/n 42.199) of Fugro Airborne Surveys. The MAD sensor is certainly an eyecatcher, and the machine is here for some 5 weeks of survey work.

Most recent addition to the New Plymouth Aero Club's fleet is 1980 Cessna 152 ZK-NPK, first registered in August last year, and sporting a locally-applied Cessna 172 colour scheme. It is one of three similar machines which joined the fleet last year. The club is booming, with its Indian students being noticed all over the North Island

Imported from Japan by Rotor Flite in May last year, AS 350B ZK-HZS replaced H369E ZK-HZP with Heli-Ag at New Plymouth. The field of exotic vehicles behind is part of the 'Americarna' festival week in Taranaki!

First registered here in January 2008 is 1951 model Cessna 170A ZK-OCC, on the pickets at Hamilton on 26 February. It brings the number of Cessna 170's in NZ to four, although the other three are C170B's.
Also on the pickets at Waikato was the newest member of the Waikato Aero Club's fleet, Piper PA-28- 181 Archer III ZK-WIT. The 2008-built aircraft joined the club in December last year.

And finally, Jay Bryant's Northland Helicopters has been operating our sole active SA315B Lama ZK-HSK for nigh on seven years in the Far North. It seldom ventures into civilization (probably because of the noise, although it has now been fitted with muffs to try and reduce that a bit - those chequered bits), but it was at Whangarei on 27 February. One of the guys working on it was a retired ex-Helicopters NZ engineer who used to look after that company's fleet of Lamas in the 1970's. Indian Peaks Aeromotive in Palmerston North have a partial Lama, ZK-IPD (plus a number of other airframes), but that seems unlikely now that it will be completed.

Southern Meanderings

First off, some good old-fashioned aerial agricultural action (well, the loader certainly is!). Andy Dourmann in MacKenzie Aviation's flagship, AT502B ZK-MAA, is spreading urea off Gore Airfield on 10 February. This machine crashed at Five Rivers on 8 May 07, and was rebuilt at Timaru by Bruce Robertson over the next year, before returning to duty mid 2008. The company also operate two FU24's, ZK-BOG and ZK- DDW.

On the same day, up at Argyle Station, north of Waikaia, High Country Helicopters B206B ZK-IBM was obligingly pulled out for recording. High Country also operate H369D ZK-HZK and R44 Raven ZK-IBD.

Nokomai Helicopters operate our sole B407 ZK-HNY, and it was 'at home' on Nokomai Station on 11 February, along with the company's other machines, H369E's ZK-HFT and ZK-HTT.

Continuing with the rotary theme, there are two H369FF's in country, Coastwide Helicopters ZK-HUJ (above) at Greymouth and Airwest Helicopters ZK-HRA not far up SH7 at Reefton. This machine was delivered new in April 08. The F models feature uprated turbines, longer blades and extended tail booms.

Illustrating the mobile nature of our rotary-wing activities, Simon Lawn's Ahaura Helicopters, based (not surprisingly) at Ahaura, generally operates two R22's on a variety of tasks. He has a predilection for the registration ZK-HDB, and this is the fifth machine he has operated with that identity. The Robbie was recorded for posterity on 13 February, and crashed on Mt White Station on 17 Feb after mechanical failure.

Final rotary candidate is Bill Hales' Alpine Springs Helicopters H369D ZK-HSD, just returned from a successful deer hunting sortie at Hanmer. There seems to be a mini boom in venison at present, and it is again not unusual to see these machines scooting along with multiple deer on the hook.

And finally another fixed wing - Westland Air Charter's Cessna U206F ZK-PCS is again providing floatplane services at Picton. I first noted this aircraft on wheels in 1997, but it has been on floats for a while now.

Another NZ Sonex

As slight correction to Mike Condon's 26 Feb post from Ardmore about Sonex ZK-JQP, there is another Sonex in New Zealand - Rex Kenny's ZK-RMK seen here at Wings Over Wairarapa in January.
And to fill in the picture a bit more, here is Sonex ZK-WBS at the SAANZ flyin at Ashburton in early February. The total number of these aircraft in New Zealand is 4.

Some Fletcher family shots

Walter powered FU24-950 ZK DUJ c/n 196 on the Krippner strip near Ngahinapouri on 23-02-09.
ZK-EGK FU24-950 c/n 233 at Wanganui 18-02-09. Note the fitting of the fin fillet. This aircraft joined the register with NZAI on 11-05-1977 and has been with Wanganui Aero Work since officially registered to them on 22-06-1977.
Resting in the Taranki rainfall at Stratford on 20-02-09 was the Super Air FU24-950 ZK-EGW c/n 245. It was first listed to NZAI on 23-11-1977 and delivered to James Aviation on 09-02-1978. It moved to Fieldair Holdings on 07-05-1984; to C A Stephenson at Pukekohe on 02-04-1997; to Ross Ag Air on 29-05-01; to Proflight at Whangarei on 30-06-2002 and to Super Air on 01-11-2002.
Big brothers 750XL ZK-JHM c/n 152 as noted at Hamilton on 23-02-09. First registered to Pacific Aerospace Corp on 07-01-2009.
750XL ZK-KAH c/n 149 at Hamilton also on the 23rd having radio equipment installed.
A PAC listing since 19-11-2008.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Busy Day at Ardmore

Today (and tomorrow) Ardmore is hosting the Pilot Expo A brief visit prior to the commencement of trade netted a number of "new" aircraft for this author and they are included below.

First up was the arrival of Wanganui based Piper PA28-140 ZK-EFP which briefly visited the light aircraft park. Also in the light aircraft park were a number of aircraft including (in no particular order), Cessna 172 ZK-TOR, Piper PA38 ZK-WAB, Glasair Sportsman ZK-SPO, Cessna 172A ZK-WPO, Rutan Varieze ZK-PND, Piper PA28 ZK-FRL, Cessna 150 ZK-DOB, Sportscruiser ZK-CSR, Glasair III ZK-MKP, Europa ZK-ZEB, Cessna 172 ZK-SID and Cessna R172K ZK-YAT.
Parked in the main display area for the pilot expo centered around Dennis Thompson International were the following, again in no particular order.

Dyn Aero Micro ZK-WIK, Autogyro Eagle ZK-RSL and Celier Xenon ZK-XJE, Citation 501 N800DT was partly hangered, Beech G58 Baron N146WA, Cessna 421C ZK-STV, Cirrus SR22 ZK-STU, Tecnam Bravo ZK-STT, Nord 1002 ZK-WFI, Cessna 172S ZK-JSD and ZK-JRE, Cessna 182T ZK-JSL, Cessna 210 ZK-ETI, Robinson R22 ZK-HAS and ZK-HEB, Cirrus SR20 ZK-CJW, Sportscruiser ZK-DAR, Flight Design CTLS ZK-FDA and ZK-FDB, Roko Aero NG-4ML ZK-SAY, Europa ZK-OPA, Remos G3NZ ZK-PRH and Zenith 601 ZK-ZXZ.
Also parked on the field was Cessna 182P ZK-CGD, Cessna 180 ZK-MDL, Beech 60 Duke N60TE and Yak 52 ZK-YKA while Ardmore Flying School's most recent addition, Cessna 172R ZK-TAX/2 (ex ZK-JRH) was on their apron.
North Shore based Beech G58 Baron N146WA (parked outside Hawker Pacific)
Waikato based Cirrus SR20 ZK-CJW/4 (ferry flight arrived Auckland 10Feb)
Sportscruiser ZK-DAR. The 2nd of its type at Ardmore today was parked in the light aircraft park.
Piper PA28 ZK-EFP, ex ZK-DUZ

Smart machines! Check out the specs (and cockpit!) at
I first photographed this aircraft back in December 1987 at Hokitika!

Stoddard Hamilton Glasair III ZK-MKP from Whitianga

"Space, the Final Frontier!" Well, that's where it should belong. Waihi Beach based Varieze ZK-PND.

Taupo's Sid Lane has recently flown around the country in this machine. Google his name for newspaper articles on his journey.

Check out those winglets! Aero NG-4ML ZK-SAY.

Is that a "Blue Bus" I see lurking over yonder of Sportsman ZK-SPO? I think it just might be!

Tecnam 2002 ZK-STT, very smart scheme in fitting with the operator's Cirrus ZK-STU (below) and Cessna 421 ZK-STV.

ZK-STU/3 replaced another SR22 that had the same rego and was exported to Australia.
Mighty flingwing, Xenon ZK-XJE.
Looking at the CAA website, it would appear this aircraft underwent a scheme change during the third quarter of last year.
Last but not least, Europa ZK-ZEB.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Dokta Dave's Bandit !

As seen at Palmerston North on the 18th. This fuselage is attached to Doctor Daves hangar/office complex.
Anybody put an id on this airframe please ?

Ardmore Action

On what was a very quick, late afternoon trip to Ardmore proved 26Feb proved to be very worthwhile in my quest to photograph ZK registered aircraft.
First up was Cessna 180A ZK-MDL from Mosgiel parked adjacent to Flightline Aviation. This aircraft came from Paraguay where it was registered CX-ASR and was placed on the NZ register just over two years ago.

Air National's Piper PA23-250 Aztec ZK-ECM was parked behind the Cessna 180A. Its not been at Auckland for sometime now and I've not heard it ply the route from there to the Coromandel where it seems the aircraft only ever ventures. Perhaps it will soon join the for sale queue. Alternatively, it may just be there for parking as Air National's turboprop and jet collection is hogging a great deal of space at their two hangers across at Auckland.

Just being tied down and covered up (unfortunately) was Timaru based Cessna 172S ZK-SID. This airframe took up ZK-SID back in April 2008 and prior to this it was registered ZK-JPJ.

Preparations were well underway for the Pilot Expo starting 27Feb. Dennis Thompson International's facility seems to be the centre of activity and Piper Pa34's ZK-KLW (nee ZK-MDY) and ZK-UPX (for sale) where both parked outside. ZK-KLW has been registered to the Walton Family Trust and changed its registration from ZK-MDY on just over a week ago.

Arriving from points unknown was New Zealand's second Remos G3NZ ZK-PRH registered just over a year ago to chap in Huntly. The first Remos G3NZ, ZK-REM, arrived back in March 2005 and is also based in the Waikato.

The only North Island based Sonex, ZK-JQP, was noted for the time (by me) sitting outside the Taildragger Classics hanger. The other two are ZK-WBS in Ashburton and ZK-SNX in Dunedin.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

More on Ridge Air

Further to the earlier (MRC) blog showing the Ridge Air Cessna 402C ZK-VAD I got these shots at Omaka on 15-02-2009. Above is the Robinson R44 Clipper ZK-HDD4 (c/n 0299) registered to Skyline Trust on 01-09-2007.
The Hughes 369D ZK-HJF2 (c/n 510963D) was in the rear of the hangar. This is the ex Jo Faram import of September 1990. It was listed to the Skyline Trust on 16-01-2009.
Above is the sign on the front of their hangar at Omaka.