Wednesday, 31 May 2017

New AutoGyro MTOsport ZK-SWR

May was a very lean month for new aircraft registrations with only three new aircraft registered.

One of these was a new AutoGyro MTOsport ZK-SWR2 (c/n MO 1385) for Solo Wings of Tauranga.  It is photo'd here at Tauranga today by the Hairy Mole Rat.  Thanks HMR.

The first ZK-SWR was the unique DH 89A Dominie that was painted in Swissair colours, that was exported in March 2013.  Here is a link to it:

Monday, 29 May 2017

Best Off and Aeros Ukraine Skyrangers of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to appear on the New Zealand register was the Best Off Skyranger, in November 2003.

The original Skyranger was designed by Philippe Prevot and was manufactured as a kit by his company, Best Off Aircraft of Tolouse.  The prototype Skyranger first flew in 1990 and the aircraft has been developed over the years from the V Max to the Swift and more recently the Nynja (of which we haven't yet had an example in New Zealand).  The aircraft is of standard tube and fabric construction with the standard engine today being the Rotax 912, but a large variety of engines have been installed, several types within our seven examples to date.  The aircraft was licensed for construction in Brazil, the UK, France and in the Ukraine, and around 1500 examples have flown around the world.

The Skyranger is 5.50 metres (18 feet) long.  The wingspan is 9.50 metres (31 feet 2 inches) and the wing area is 152 square feet.  Empty weight is around 250 Kg (551 pounds) and MAUW is around 540 Kg (1190 pounds) depending on the model.  With a Rotax 912 the cruise speed is around 150 km/hr (80 knots) and the stall speed is around 35 knots with flaps down.

ZK-MAI3 (c/n SKR 0308388) was our first Skyranger V Max.  It was built by Graeme Main of Christchurch and was first registered to him on 27/11/03.  It was sold to Stephen Duncan of Christchurch on 12/3/13 and then to Michael Dimmock of Amberly on 2/4/16. It is photo'd above, being piloted by Michael Dimmock at the RAANZ flyin at Rangiora on 1/4/17.

Also out of Christchurch was ZK-SKV (c/n SKR 0308387) a V Max which was built by Wayne Wilson and was registered to him on 28/11/03, one day after ZK-MAI.  It is powered by a 92 HP Simononi liquid cooled engine which drives a 3 bladed Ivoprop.  It was sold to the SKV Syndicate of Rotorua on 17/12/05 under whose ownership it is photo'd above at the Black Sands flyin in 2012.   On 24/11/13 it was sold to JD and GE Menzie of Waihi and then after a short time on 25/4/14 to Richard T Armstrong of Timaru.

ZK-SKE, another V Max (c/n 6511670) was built by Robert J Dryfhout and was first registered to him at Whangarei on 9/1/07.  It is photo'd above at Whangarei.  On 21/4/08 it was sold to the Lusby Family Trust of Tauranga.

Canterbury was a hotbed of Skyranger construction and our fourth Skyranger and first Aeros Ukraine Swift model  ZK-SKS (c/n 816) was built by Mike Kindon at Rangiora and was first registered to him on 18/7/08.  It was originally powered by a 92 HP Simononi engine with a 3 bladed Ivoprop as in the above photo but was re-powered with a Rotax 582 in June 2011.

On 21/2/13 it was sold to Robert J Laskey of Palmerston North and on 23/6/14 it was sold to Arthur J Suttie of Mangakino.  It is photo'd above at Feilding on 21/12/13.

And another one out of Christchurch was Wayne Nesmith's second Skyranger, an Aeros Ukraine Swift model ZK-SRS (c/n 816), that was registered on 8/8/08.  It is powered by an 80 HP Aerovee engine.  It is still Rangiora based, where the above photo was taken at the 2017 RAANZ flyin.

The Skyranger can also be built as a taildragger as in Michael J (Scooter) Morris's ZK-SCT (c/n 796) which is a Best Off Swift model that was first registered to him at Wanaka on 5/3/10.  It is powered by a Rotax 912 and is named "Miss Swift".  It is photo'd above at Wanaka on 14/1/11.

Paul Brydon of Hamilton built his Best Off Skranger Swift ZK-JAY3 (c/n 1007-1012) and registered it on 1/12/11.  It is photo'd above at Te Kowhai on 8/11/14.  On 22/9/16 it was sold to Hamish Pulley of Kaiapoi and it is now based at Rangiora.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Farewell to Michael Dimmock

On Monday the 22nd May we said farewell to Michael Dimmock after his passing on the 17th.
A small fly over was carried out by three aircraft from the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club.
Photo below shows the three aircraft heading off after their fly over with a high flying 'fast mover' also taking part in the top left of the shot.
Michael was the proud owner of the Skyranger ZK-MAI2  which lead the formation.

Three helicopters.

Three recent fling wing sightings.
The Way To Go Heli Services Ltd's Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IEP (c/n 2844) now with the Company logo applied departs Northward from Rangiora on 05-05-2017
 At Rangiora on the 22nd I caught up with the Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HWP4 (c/n 11016) of SCN Helicopters Ltd of Porirua.
Today I captured Christchurch Helicopters 2001 Ltd's recent acquisition - Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HND(c/n 2073) with its new Company signage.
See HERE. for an earlier post on this airframe.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


The NAC reunion at Classic Flyers in Tauranga attracted a number of interesting vintage aircraft including locally based DH89B Dominie ZK-AKU, which unfortunately due to maintenance issues couldnt offer the intended scenic flights,  and from the same hangar Tiger Moth ZK-BSN.  The immaculate non flying Heron ZK-BBM in full NAC colours gave an insight to a long gone era.    Attendees were able to take scenic flights in Air Chathams DC3 ZK-AWP.

Elsewhere on the field were visiting Opotiki Helicopters' Hughes 369HS ZK-HGS and local Tauranga Helicopter Training Guimbal Cabri ZK-IIF.

Spezio DAL-1 Tuholer(s) of New Zealand

The Spezio Tuholer was designed by Tony Spezio in the US and the prototype first flew on May 2nd 1961.  It is of standard construction for its time - welded steel tube fuselage, with wooden wings spars and ribs, all fabric covered.  A folding wing can be incorporated for towing.  Apparently the prototype was constructed for US$287 which gives a glimpse of what homebuilding was like back then - built at home from what could be sourced as cheaply as possible.  Another era!

The Tuholer is 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 metres) long with a wingspan of 24 feet (7.3 metres).  It looks bigger that that.  Empty weight is around 820 pounds (371 Kg) and MAUW is 1,500 pounds (680 Kg).  The engine is typically a Lycoming 125 HP which gives a cruise speed of around 100 knots, and the stall speed is reported as 39 knots.

We have had one Spezio Tuholer in New Zealand and there are reports of another dismantled at Omaka.

The aircraft was constructed by Plez T Nall of Ardmore, Oklahoma and was first registered as N7515 in 1967.  After 4 subsequent owners in Texas and California, its US registration was cancelled on 3/4/02.

Andrew Fairfax of Queenstown imported the aircraft into New Zealand and it was assembled at Taieri in October 2002.  It was registered to him as ZK-JRZ (c/n 227) on 15/9/03.  It has flown in New Zealand.  It is photo'd above at Rangitata Island on 11/1/12 while it was there for maintenance.  Russell Brodie told me that ZK-JRZ was flown in and out of Rangitata Island.  I am not sure where the aircraft is currently based but it could be at Otaki, as it is currently registered to Andrew Fairfax at Plimmerton, near Wellington.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


With the great weather continuing in the Coromandel visitors continued to arrive in Pauanui.  While mainly carrying on Sunday's theme of Cessna 172s,  today they included 172N ZK-DEX from Tauranga with an updated paint scheme since 2016,  and with its gear up privately owned Tecnam Sierra RG ZK-ZZT.

Cub O'Clock at North Shore Yesterday 22-05-2017

The amphibious float equipped Super Cub ZK-CIA3 was not the only Cub in action at North Shore when I arrived there yesterday afternoon.

PA 18A-150 Super Cub ZK-BKH was doing circuits.

And here they are together in one shot.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Super Cub ZK-CIA on Floats at North Shore Today 22-05-2017

Agairnz was correct.  Paul Munro flew his Super Cub ZK-CIA3 on its amphibian floats at North Shore airfield this afternoon.

A nice approach.

Paul said the extra height took a bit of getting used to.

But he managed four smooth touchdowns.

Paul will base ZK-CIA3 at Taupo.

Teaser from North Shore

Seen at North Shore airfield today.

What do you reckon it is?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pauanui Weekend

After Saturday's wild weather preventing any flying,  Sunday presented 11 visitors mostly of the Cessna 172 variety

In for coffee was "Skydive Ballistic Blondes" 172M ZK-JIB from Matamata, and the Airline Flying Club's 172P ZK-MAG,   while CTC Aviation's 172S ZK-XYZ came in from Hamilton to do touch & goes.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Vans RV 8s of New Zealand

Dick Van Grunsven started off by designing his single seat RV 3 in the late 1960s and it was so successful that he was begged to design a two seat version which became the RV 4.  Then as seems to happen with all things American, people wanted a bigger RV 4 which turned out to be the RV 8.  The RV 8 has many improvements over the RV 4 including a bigger cockpit, matched hole kits (and you can get a Quick Build RV 8 kit), extra baggage capacity, and larger engines can be used.  However Vans Aircraft still produces both RV 8 and the RV 4 kits.  The RV 4 is marginally faster on the same horsepower and it is claimed to have slightly sweeter handling.  You can tell and RV 8 from an RV 4 by the sliding canopy and the smoother engine cowls (the RV 4 has a flip over canopy and cowl cheeks).

The RV 8 is 21 feet long (6.40 metres), the wingspan is 24 feet (7.32 metres) and the wing area is 116 square feet.  Empty weight is around 1,120 pounds (508 Kg) and MAUW is 1,800 pounds (816 Kg).  Engines can be from 150 to 200 HP, giving a top speed of over 200 mph.

We have had 7 RV 8s in New Zealand to date as detailed below in order of registration.  There is an RV 8A tri-gear model but we haven't had any in New Zealand to date. 

Our first RV 8 was ZK-KCA (c/n 80988) which was registered to Air Charter Taupo (1995) Ltd (Arthur Whitehead) on 22/1/03.  It is photo'd above at Taupo early on in its life in 2003.  It is still based at Taupo.

Next came Phil(ip J) Higgins' ZK-PJH2 (c.n 80043) which was registered quite some time later, on 12/5/08.  It has a Continental IO 360 engine of 200 HP and a Hartzell CSU.  Phil Higgins also built our first RV 3 (ZK-PMH).  ZK-PJH2 is photo'd above on take off from the 2014 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.

ZK-EYT2 (c/n 8145) was built by Anthony J Clarry of Blenhiem and was registered to him on 25/2/09.  It first flew at Blenheim on 8/5/09.  It has a Superior IO 360 engine and a Hartzell CSU.  It is photo'd above at the 2012 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.

It was sold to Brian WA Beverland of Katikati on 25/1/10 and it is still owned by him.  It is photo'd above after recent work by JEM Aviation.

ZK-SST (c/n 82081) was started by Paul Munro in Dubai and completed in Auckland.  It was registered to the Skamp Trust of North Shore on 12/10/10 and has an IO 360 engine.  It is photo'd above at North Shore airfield on 5/4/15.

ZK-MRM2 (c/n 82435) was at least partly built by Mike Crene at Matamata and was registered to Ross A Dawson of Matamata on 14/8/11.  On 1/11/13 ownership transferred to Kevin B Jane of Hamilton, then on 25/11/15 to Michael Gordon of Tauranga.  It is photo'd above at Tauranga on 11/2/17.

Although the next to be registered ZK-PDN (c/n 83211) is the most recent RV 8 to fly.  It was first registered to Peter D Nunn of Napier on 5/6/13 and ownership transferred to his Vistic Trust on 1/6/15).  It has a plastic wrap coating system applied, and it is photo'd at the 2017 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, on 4/2/17.

ZK-WLK (c/n 83304)  was built by David Wilkinson of Auckland from a Quick Build kit and was first registered to him on 9/10/13.  Its first flight was at North Shore airfield on 13/12/13.  It is photo'd above on an early air to air photo session on 11/1/14 over the Mahurangi area.

It has a Superior IO 360 engine with a longer crankshaft throw effectively making it an IO 375 and it produces well in excess of 200 HP.  David has fitted an inverted oil system and a smoke system which he uses for aerobatics and also when flying in the RV formation display team.  he also has lighter weight composite blades fitted to a Hartzell CSUwhich helps in keeping the CG forward.

Almost exactly one year ago David and his father Don flew across the Tasman in ZK-WLK on the Great Aussie Flying Adventure (along with Bill Luther in RV 7 ZK-WLL and Peter Merton in RV 6 ZK-VRV).  The ZK marks were added to conform with international flight  rules.  The above photo was taken at North Shore airfield on 18/3/17.

We will be seeing more RV 8s on the New Zealand register with at least 2 more well advanced in the Waikato area.  I reckon they are great looking planes.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Ardmore last Saturday 13-05-2017

Magnaman caught these three at Ardmore last Saturday.
 Murphy Rebel ZK-DKZ2 (c/n 724R) was listed to David Horton on 21-08-2008.
See more on this aircraft HERE.
 The Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-IKF (c/n 1204) of Force Aviation Ltd of Coromandel is seen departing.
Some earlier info on this helicopter can be seen HERE.
A full frontal of the Agusta AW119 MkII Koala ZK-ISR (c/n 14710) as listed with Heli Solutions Ltd.
Some of its earlier history is found Here and Here

PAC 750s at Hamilton

A visit to Hamilton Airport today produced no less than 5 PAC 750s including Farmers Air ZK-JBC, the latest off the PAC production line serial 212 ZK-KDP equipped for parachute work,  and returned from Papua New Guinea after 2 years, Central Aviation's P2-OMC.

Also on the field were ZK-KDN and KDO.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Amateur built.

Another link noted on the Kiwi Pilot facebook page published on 14th May 2017. Special thanks to Bruce Cooke

Published on May 14, 2017

This documentary looks at the home built aircraft movement of New Zealand - why do people build their own Interviews with aircraft home builders explain the enjoyment and challenges they have experienced, and what motivates them to build their own wings. 
A promotion for the Sport Aircraft Association of New Zealand. 
See for more information


Grayson Ottaway has kindly forwarded these two shots of aircraft noted at Tauranga.
Mooney M20C Mk21 ZK-CPF (c/n M20C-3240) was cranked out as N6040Q and joined our register on 02-11-1965 with Aero Engine Services Ltd at Hamilton. 
By about mid-1983 it was with Rob Mackley of Mackley Aviation  Ltd and transferred to the Kaipara Aviation Trust in 1999.
It took part in the 2001 London to Sydney Air Race and was relisted to the M20C Mooney Syndicate in early 2005. 
Since then it has undergone a serious rebuild.
It was noted at NZTG on Mothers Day.
Spied on the 15th was the Pelican Club GS ZK-MAL2  (c/n 524) of Wallace Pendray. 
Whitianga based these days I believe.
For more on the NZ Pelicans click HERE.