Friday, 31 May 2013

ZK-HYR destroyed.

Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HYR3 (c/n 2336) was written off in a first solo take off accident at Rangiora on Thursday 30-05-2013. Pilot received only a few scratches.
Imported from Germany where it had operated as D-HIRO - it became ZK-HYR on 21-10-2008 for Eddie Schenk of Clandyboye near Temuka. Ownership changed to James Lilley of Ashburton on 14-08-2010.
Pic above take on 09-08-2011.
Pic below taken on 03-11-2008 during its NZ certification.
Still wearing its German markings and carrying a German flag on its mast.

Another Commander exported

Hot on the heels of Rockwell Commander 114 ZK-ELL exiting the country under its own steam earlier this month and cancelled as "exported" on 23 May, Rockwell Commander 114 ZK-LMH was cancelled as "exported" on 28 May with the aircraft having sat for sale at Ardmore for many years now. 
It is understood the aircraft is destined for Western Australia but it may well leave via container.

Ardmore September 2009

Robinson 44 ZK-HXC

Spotted at Ardmore 30 May was this Robinson R44 ZK-HXC c/n 0695.  Seems it is a long way from home as records show it is registered to Heliops Southland Ltd of Otautau. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Monnett Sonerai 2s of New Zealand

The next type of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft in New Zealand was the Monnett Sonerai 2. The Sonerai was originally designed in the early 1970s by John Monnett as a single seat Formula V racer with a 1700 cc VW motor, and the Sonerai 2 followed as a 2 seater, with the prototype first flying on 20 July 1971.  It has a tubular steel fuselage and tailgroup, all fabric covered, and all aluminium wings.  It can be built with either a mid wing or a low wing.

The length of the Sonerai 2 is 5.74 metres (18 feet 10 inches) and the wingspan is 5.69 metres (18 feet 8 inches).  The empty weight is  236 Kg (520 pounds) and MAUW is 430 Kg (950 pounds).

The Sonerai 2L which came along in the 1980s has a stretched fuselage, 6 inches longer in the cockpit and 12 inches longer in the rear fuselage, and has a MAUW of 544 Kg.  It can be built with a squared off tail and rudder and has a 2200 cc or larger motor.

John Monnett formed Sonex Aircraft LLC based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and he went on to design many other aircraft such as the Sonex and Waiex of which we have also had examples in New Zealand.

Our first Sonerai 2 was ZK-EEV (c/n AACA/369-257) which was built by KW (Bill) Sample of Auckland, and was first registered on 11/2/81.  It is photo'd above in a rather plain colour scheme at the 1982 AACA flyin at Taupo.  It was sold to J Boyd of Auckland on 24/9/84 then to N Cameron of Coromandel on 4/7/85.

It is photo'd above at the 1986 AACA flyin at Matamata.  It crashed on approach to Thames in March 1987.  It was then sold, presumably in a damaged state, to VJ D'Ath of New Plymouth on 15/2/88, and finally to SJ and JA Osbourne of Manakau City on 31/7/93.  It was noted as being rebuilt in 1997 but it was cancelled on 17/4/97.

The second Sonerai 2 to come along was ZK-EKY (c/n AACA/464) which was built by Ian Sibley of Rangiora, and it was first registered to him on 3/9/81.  It had a Revmaster 2100 cc motor.  It was sold to GAC Dawson of Marton on 22/11/84, and it is in his ownership in the above photo, which was taken at Wanganui in 1985.  It was sold South again, to RG Ward of Ashburton on 27/4/88, and it is still current with him at Christchurch, although it seems to have been inactive in recent years.

And our third Sonerai 2 of the 1980s was ZK-NTA (c/n AACA/664) which was built by John Raven of New Plymouth, and was first registered to him on 3/7/87.  It is photo'd above and below looking very smart at the 1988 AACA flyin at North Shore, where it can be seen that it was a 2L model with the low wing.  It can also be seen that the Sonerai 2 is flown solo from the rear seat.

John Raven moved to Australia and ZK-NTA was took ZK-NTA with him.  It was cancelled on 26/9/95 and was re-registered as VH-NTU on 29/4/97.  It is still current with John Raven in Australia.

Then the New Zealand Sonerai story went cold for 20 years.....

Until 30/10/06, when the first of our next generation Sonerai 2 LS's was registered.  This was ZK-SND (c/n 12/202-0565) which was built by Mark Dean of Palmerston North.  It is powered by a 2200 cc Jabiru motor.  As can be seen it is the 2 LS stretched version with a low wing and the squared off fin and rudder.  The above photo was taken at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, where both ZK-SND and ZK-SNW arrived together in what I thought was an impressive entrance

The above photo was taken at the 2011 RAANZ flyin at Masterton on 12/3/11.  ZK-SND was test flown by Wayne Richmond on 4/11/06.

Wayne Richmond of Stratford is one of the driving forces behind the resurgence of Sonerai's in New Zealand, and his ZK-SNW (c/n 62592365), a model 2 LS, was first registered on 19/11/07.  It is photo'd above alongside ZK-SND at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  ZK-SNW is also powered by a 2200 cc Jabiru motor.

The above photo was also taken at the 2011 RAANZ flyin at Masterton.  ZK-SNW and ZK-SND are often seen together at flyins

The most recent Sonerai 2 LS was also built at Wayne Richmond's facility at Stratford.  ZK-SNJ (c/n 625922265) was first registered on 14/11/12 to the SNJ Syndicate of Hamilton.  It also has the Richmond Racing logo, but this one is powered by a 2.6 litre UL Power motor.  The above photo of ZK-SNJ was taken by Mr Bigsky, Nick Furmage, at Stratford.  Thanks Nick.

I am sure that our 6 Sonerais to date is not the end of the New Zealand Sonerai story.  I understand that a Sonerai 1 is quite close to completion at Stratford, as well as another original version Sonerai 2 that was started by Quentin Hughes at Palmerston North many years ago.  Keep watching this space!


Monday, 27 May 2013

Another export........

New Zealand's one and only Piper PA46-500T Meridian ZK-OLY has departed the country today on export to an owner in New South Wales.  The seldom seen high performance single has lived at Fielding since delivery to NZ in June 2010.  It arrived at Auckland on the 22 June 2010 as N598C and continued to Palmerston North a few days later.  It didn't make it onto the ZK register until 04 February 2011 and remained with the one owner for its time in NZ.  

Pre export maintenance was carried out at Nelson and it flew from there to Auckland on 23 May 2013 and today it has headed to the Gold Coast via Norfolk and Lord Howe Island's.  Sources report the aircraft will be registered VH-WME

Sunday, 26 May 2013

LongEze ZK-LET Jet Pass at 2012 Tauranga Airshow

Grayson has sent the following You Tube link to ZK-LET making an impressively noisy pass at the 2012 Tauranga Airshow:

Impressive!  Thanks Grayson.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

From the Shoe Box : Globemaster II 52-1038

  Douglas C124C Globemaster II 52-1038 (c/n 43947) trundled into Wellington Airport and parked over between the terminal and the crash fire building.
Photographer now unknow, but I have had these pics for over twenty yeasr and just dug them out from the bottom of one of the shoe boxes marked "misc photos".
 I do know that it went down to The Ice during the 1960 ODF season.
But I think the cars in the park post date that year. I'm thinking mid to late 1960's would fit !

 I like the "No Step" stencil on the blades.
52-1038 was eventually parked up at the MASDAC area at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and was declared as Excess on 15-11-1974.

This is a better view of the car park.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Hiller FH1100 ZK-HCI today.

Bargeldo1 captured the Hiller FH-1100 ZK-HCI (c/n 74) outside the Heli Maintenance hangar today at Christchurch.
It is still registered to Winged Hunters Ltd.
An earlier post on this one can be seen at :-

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wittman W8 Tailwind(s) of New Zealand

Our final new type of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft for 1980 was the Wittman Tailwind.  1980 was a watershed year for new homebuilt aircraft, with our first Cavalier, our first KR 2, our first Zenith CH 200, our first VariEze and the Tailwind.

The W8 Tailwind is a high wing braced 2 seater with a welded steel fuselage and wooden wings with no dihedral, all fabric covered.  It was designed by well known air race pilot and homebuilt aircraft pioneer Steve Wittman in 1953, making it one of the older 2 seat homebuilt designs.  Steve Wittman got the design right as performance was outstanding with a maximum speed approaching 200 mph on an 85 HP Continental C-85 engine.  The Tailwind outperformed many factory built aircraft of the time, and it would be many years  before new composite designs were able to achieve similar performance with the same horsepower.  Steve Wittman later developed the W10 model with tapered wingtips.

The Tailwind was 5.87 metres (19 feet 3 inches) long, had a wingspan of 6.38 metres (20 feet 11 inches), but this could be increased with modified wingtips, and had a wing area of 84 square feet.  Its empty weight was 311 Kg (685 pounds) and MAUW was 560 Kg (1,235 pounds).

Our one and only Wittman W8 Tailwind (to date) was ZK-RET (c/n AACA/386) which was built at Blenheim by Ray (E) Thurston, and was first registered to him on 15/12/80.  Its first flight was on 20/12/80.   In this very early photo of ZK-RET scanned form an article in the July 1981 Sport Flying magazine, it can be seen that it has square wingtips.  The aircraft first flew with an O-200 engine.  Ray also mentioned that "there is a longer wing modification which I am currently looking into which is supposed to improve the climb and lower the stall speeds with no change in top speed".

In this photo taken at the 1982 AACA flyin at Taupo it can be seen that the aircraft now has the extended
wingtips previously talked about by Ray.

In the late 1980s Ray Thurston fitted an inverted dry-sump Rover V8 engine to ZK-RET, and it first flew with Rover power in July 1989..  Ray was an engineer and that he managed to get CAA to approve this engine was an achievement.  The Rover engine is fitted in the above photo which was taken at a Warbirds
 Over Wanaka airshow.

ZK-RET was sold to NW (Bill) Izard of Masterton on 6/3/03.  It was then sold to Cliff Bellingham of Pukekohe on 11/9/03, and he re-engined ZK-RET with an upgraded O-320 engine.  Cliff was very active in the aircraft until 21/9/11 when he sold it back to Bill Izard, now of Te Awamutu.  It is still current, as photo'd at the Auckland Chapter SAANZ flyin at Kelly Field, Mercer on 21/4/12.

I think that we might see more Tailwinds in New Zealand, as I am aware of a pair of them being built in the Waikato.  It would be great to see more of them.

Continuing the life of Bryan

 This Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee ZK-CNJ (c/n 25-3865)
 is the one Bryan did his training in; flying for Chris Pask in 1972.
That is Will Slack in this photo; not sure where.
Then Bryan went on to the Cessna A188B Agwagon C ZK-DPP (c/n 188-01524) in late 1975.
 Photo taken at Bridge Pa Aerodrome.
Then on to Cessna A188B ZK-DPW (c/n 188-01515). Photo taken at Kotemaori on the Napier Wairoa road.

This is Ponui Station strip towards the coast from Kotemaori.

The Ponui Station strip once again with quite a dog leg in it.

This is the strip at Putorino. The same one show in an earlier posting with Fletcher ZK-EMK sowing up the strip.
 I think of all the aircraft I flew, the Agwagon I enjoyed most, even though it was a bit under powered.
All three of these aircraft eventually ended up in Australia.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Puma on the Prowl

As mentioned on this blog earlier in the month, Ardmore based Heli Harvest have taken delivery of the country's first AS332 Super Puma with the heavy lift helicopter registered ZK-HHL.

The helicopter was moved from its original spot inside the Rural Aviation hangar to a locally based repaint firm where it has had its Japanese script removed and it was rolled back to its hangar this afternoon, 21 May.

Visiting Helicopters at Ardmore

The following helicopters have been observed visiting Ardmore recently:

Hughes 500E ZK-HCD is seen here arriving at Ardmore 20 May and it hover taxied to Oceania Helicopters.  An extensive review of this helicopter can be found by clicking here.

And parked at Oceania 21 May was this AS350BA Squirrel ZK-HIU.  It has been a South Island resident since import back in August 2008 but in March this year ownership saw it move to Taupo and it now flies on behalf of Heli Sika.
An earlier post on ZK-HIU can be found here.

Another machine with South Island connections was parked at Heliflite 21 May with Robinson R44 Raven ZK-IBD parked next to the hangar.  It has been registered to Western Pacific Helicopters of Wanaka since late 2012.  Western Pacific often have helicopters deployed overseas on fish spotting operations so it will be interesting if ZK-IBD is destined for the same.

Heading off shore...........ZK-ELL

Spotted heading off shore 21 May was Aerocommander AC114 ZK-ELL.  It departed from Kerikeri heading to Norfolk Island and previous blog posts on this aircraft can be found on this site:

Is this aircraft leaving the country for good?

ZK-FRO update.


Roy Blewett has kindly sent in this photograph of the Beechcraft A23-24 Musketeer Super 2 ZK-FRO (c/n MA-181).
Roy said  "I thought you might like this photo of Musketeer ZK-FRO, taken last Sunday. You have some pics of it already on your site, taken in a yard in Porirua, but I think it has moved. It's still in Porirua, but now in a yard called Ingot Metal Recyclers at the junction of Raiha and Makaro Streets."


Below is the original post covering ZK-DAD / ZK-FRO.
Monday, 24 May 2010

Beech A23-24 Musketeer ZK-FRO

I have received some low resolution photos from Peter Layne, taken recently, showing the fuselage of ZK-FRO in the Seaview Wreckers yard at Porirua, two of which I have included at the bottom of this posting.
Beechcraft A23-24 Musketeer Super 3, c/n MA-181 , was I believe a 1967 production aircraft which arrived and was uncrated at Hawker De Havilland at Bankstown on 10-04-1969 and was registered as VH-DYG. The only listed Australian operator I can find was Sunland Aviation Service Pty Ltd of Archerfield.
On 08-11-1969 it was registered as ZK-DAD to the Wellington Aero Club. Colour scheme was from memory - blue lower fuselage with white upper and tail, with red and gold trim lines.
Top pic shows her at Wellington on 06-07-1971 with the Pig ZK-DAI behind.

 After take off from the Picton airstrip on 17-04-1972.

On 03-01-1973 it looked like this at Wellington.

And on 19-07-1973 it was even more naked, being prepared for a repaint outside the Aero Club hangar at Wellington

Ending up like this - In the Club colour scheme of yellow and black trim with stylised WAC on the tail

Same day

It then passed to a series of owners, including Westland Air of Hokitika from 04-03-1974; Hired to the Stratford Aero Club briefly in 1974; To A P Orchard at Greymouth on 12-11-1974. R E J Turner of Ardmore had it from 01-04-1977 followed by T C Williams and K T Lochore at Masterton from 16-07-1977. B W Saunders of Auckland appears on 26-07-1988 and on this same day it was re-registered as ZK-FRO.

This shot shows ZK-FRO at Hokitika on 09-03-1993

Under its new rego it passed through the hands of A R Antonievich of Pukekohe from 05-09-1991; to Allan Aviation of Ardmore in 1994;

A nice view of her at Omarama on 19-01-1995

It went to T R Willigers at Whitianga from 20-05-1997; R J and D J Lees of Thames from 29-09-98. To F P Radisich at Thames on 02-09-99 and the to Abdul Hameed of Auckland on 04-10-2002.
It had fuel problems on take off at Hamilton on 15-01-2004 and force landed at Rukahia. Its registration was revoked on 02-06-2004.

Two recent views (May 2010) from Peter Layne showing ZK-FRO in the wreckers yard.