Friday, 23 February 2018

Two from Christchurch Friday the 23rd.

I had just a very brief pie run today.
At Christchurch International I picked up these two tidy looking machines.
 Above is the Mount Cook Airlines ATR-GIE ATR72-212A ZK-MCP (c/n 630).
This ATR has been with us since January of 2000.
This was my first close up encounter with the Beech 400A Nextant ZK-NXJ(c/n RK-210) of Skyline Aviation Ltd.
This has been well covered on the MRC blog  Here.
Top of the South

It may not be Ardmore, but sometimes there is something of interest in the Nelson/Tasman area.

Added to the local rotary wing inventory back on 9 February was Eurocopter AS 350B3 ZK-HHK, first registered on 22 November 2017 with Brian Comerford. This 2010 machine started out in the US as N971AE before shifting to India some seven months later as VT-GVJ. After some work with Repaircraft in Nelson it has become the second B3 with Reid Helicopters in Wakefield.
Making an appearance at Nelson today was Eurocopter AS 350B2 ZK-HPE of Command Aviation in Wellington. Command Aviation is the operating arm of HeliSolutions in Palmerston North, and currently has two machines in Wellington - this B2 and BK 117 ZK-IFY. Operations began in the latter half of 2017 out of Wellington Airport. ZK-HPE joined The Alpine Group in August 2016 from Australia, moving to HeliSolutions a year later.
And over at Motueka, Argus Aviation has worked its magic on PA-46-310P Malibu VH-JVX to produce ZK-ORZ, whose first flight is imminent. This machine arrived in Queenstown from Hobart on 14 November last, and flew up to Motueka the next day.


This week has brought a few visitors to Pauanui not noted here before including the Paraparaumu based Piper PA18 Super Cub ZK-BQY

Also from the Wellington area was the very smart Grumman American AA5 ZK-DKW, which seems to have kept a low profile and hasnt appeared on this site before

And from Auckland the Mission Aviation Fellowship's Cessna U206G ZK-MAF.

Monday, 19 February 2018

A couple of Cessnas

Present at the Norfolk Rd airstrip in Taranaki on Saturday was 1954 Cessna 180 ZK-BFT of Meringa Farms, Taumaranui.  This has had a busy life since its original registration as BFT becoming ZK-CZW after rebuild,  reverting to ZK-BFT,  reregistered as ZK-FDP,  and then in April 2016 reverting back to ZK-BFT again.

At Matamata today in the rain Cessna 172M ZK-YAH was noted as having been added to the NZ Aviation training fleet line up.

Sunday, 18 February 2018


A visit to Taupo revealed some helicopter activity at the Airport including AS350B-2 ZK-HZJ heading out on a rescue mission

Hangared was local privately owned Bell 206B ZK-IRJ

Operated by Te Awamutu based Helicopter Management Ltd is R44 ZK-ISG

Over at the Gliding Club airfield Pawnee 235 ZK-TPO has now returned to the air after completion of some major work


Life Flight's New Jetstream and Open Day

When I was in Wellington last month I called in to the Life Flight's Air Rescue Centre base at the airport where the nose of their new Jetstream was poking out of the hangar.  I was generously shown around by Sebastien Grodd who is Life Flight's Marketing and Fundraising Manager.

BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-LFT2 (c/n 977) arrived in New Zealand on 1/9/16 and then underwent a major Emergency Medical Services upgrade to accommodate 5 seats and 2 stretchers which can accept neo-natal flight incubators.

Life Flight is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 to help pay off the loan that they took out for the aircraft, culminating in an Open Day from 10 am to 2.30 pm at their Air Rescue Centre at Wellington Airport.

Have a look at  to find out more and get involved.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

RAANZ Stratford Fly In

The RAANZ annual national fly in held in Stratford this weekend attracted some 20 visitors to add to the buoyant local microlight population.

Some of these are featured below starting with the quartet of locally based Sonerais ZK-SND, SNG, SNJ and SNW

All the way from Mossburn was Jodel D11 ZK-DFM

From Waipukurau was the Zlin Savage ZK-KPP

Registered in 2017 was the very smart SPA Panther ZK-PMD from Palmerston North

Locally based Sonerai ZK-SNJ has now acquired some shark's teeth

Also locally based is Titan T-51 ZK-TVG


A visit to the RAANZ National fly in at Stratford  (photos to follow) provided an opportunity to check out some of the area's other aviation activity.

At New Plymouth Airport was Hughes 369D ZK-HMT registered to T T Helicopters of Auckland

    Also at New Plymouth the PA31 Panther ZK-LTD of Avia Air Charter,  Hamilton


Down at the Norfolk Rd airstrip Cessna U206F ZK-DWX,  a long way from its Ashburton home

At the Beck Helicopters base near Eltham was Bell 206B ZK-HKR,  imported from Thailand in 2016.

And hangared at Hawera the R&R Bearhawk ZK-PBH,  which is registered to a Stratford owner

Thursday, 15 February 2018

ZK-HGW at Ardmore 14-2-18

Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-HGW msn 1050 operated by Helilink Ltd of Auckland seen at Ardmore late yesterday afternoon.This is ex ZK-HCB / VH-HRR

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

EAA Acropsort II ZK-FLY at Paraparaumu

Nick Furmage of the Stratford Aero Club Sport Flyers flew down to Paraparaumu on 28 January and while there he photo'd this EAA Acrosport II from the cockpit of the club's Zenair CH 601 ZK-SSF2:

ZK-FLY2 (c/n AACA/635) was previously ZK-VWT and you can see its history HERE  It was sold to J J Flynn of Masterton on 15/4/16 and its registration changed to ZK-FLY2 on 21/6/16.  This is the first time I have seen it with its new registration. It appears to be being operated as a single seater.

Thanks for the photo Nick.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sonex Aircraft Waiex ZK-WYX at Whitianga

I have posted about our Sonexs previously and this post can be seen HERE  This was back in June 2016 and there are several other Sonexs coming along to add to the seven aircraft in that post.

At the end of the post I mentioned that there was also a Waiex registered in New Zealand.  The Waiex is substantially the same as the Sonex but it has a Y tail with a small stub rudder below the fuselage.  Sonex Aircraft markets the aircraft with the slogan: Just Because it Looks Cool!

ZK-WYX (c/n W083) was built by Chris Wade in Auckland but is registered to Bruce Turner of Whitianga.  It was registered way back on 31/1/13 so it has had a long gestation.  It is powered by a 2180cc Aerovee engine from Sonex Aircraft.

ZK-WYX is photo'd in Bruce Turner's hangar attached to his house on Whitianga Airfield, where taxying trials have been carried out.  Thanks to Chris Wade for the photo.

Monday, 12 February 2018

ZK-CEQ update.

Following on from the brief mention a couple of days ago. See HERE
Here are more details on the Piper PA-28-140. ZK-CEQ.

With the c/n of 28-20052 is was the fifty third PA-28-140.
It was just one of a bunch of Piper aircraft that occupied the ZK-CEA to ZK-CEU range 
(minus ZK-CER which was not issued until 2007 to a Rans S-6S).

Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Ardmore registered ZK-CEQ on 19-08-1964 with it going to the Central Hawkes Bay Aero Club at Waipukurau from 21-09-1964.
 Above we have a photo at an unknown field, on an unknown date from a unknown photographer.
 Seen at Waipukurau by Allan Wooller in February of 1968 with 'Club' titles on the engine cowling.
It transferred to the Waitemata Aero Club at Ardmore from 22-12-1969 and we see it below at Ardmore on 27-05-1971 - again with 'Club' titles on the cowling.
Then below we see it at Wanganui on 26-09-1972 thanks to Ray Deerness.
In a different paint scheme of sorts.
I captured this view (below) at the terminal side of Wellington Airport on 07-01-1973
 By 1974 it had another paint scheme as seen (below) at Ardmore by Allan Wooller with 'Club' titles now on the door.
 Jump ahead for a few years to 12-03-1984 I caught it at Invercargill (below) having been through the paint shop yet again, now with a stylised 'W' forward of the door and now calling itself a Piper Cruiser.
It had the usual spate of incidents that training aircraft seem to suffer.
Damaged Ardmore on 03-01-1970.
Damaged Ardmore 13-09-1970 by the Cessna 180 ZK-CGJ.
Damaged Great Barrier Island on 24-10-1974.
Damaged 24-03-1977 at Ardmore following power loss.

 On 31-07-1985 ownership moved to A S Cassin of Auckland, and then to the CEQ Syndicate of Nelson from 27-09-1990.
From 11-02-1994 we see it move to A M and P G C Bailey followed by Justin Johnstone of Aerial                                                  Traffic Inspections Ltd of Papakura from 03-12-1994.
Independent Airways Ltd appear on the scene from 26-10-1999 and we see it below at Christchurch                          International Airport on 18-07-2015 - do I need to mention the paint scheme ?
Current owner Michael McKeown of Woodbury appears on the paper work from 01-09-2016.
I note that it is currently listed on Trade Me with a TTAF of 9300 hours.
 Above as seen on its home strip near Woodbury on 17-02-2017.
Above at Rangiora on 09-02-2018.

Vans RV 7 ZK-SBJ at Wanaka

I have been after a photo of this RV 7 for a long time, and today Steve Bunting has come through from Wanaka:

Vans RV 7 ZK-SBJ2 (c/n 70566) was built by S J Jones of Queenstown and was first registered on 21/10/16.  On 29/1/18 ownership changed to the RV Syndicate of Wanaka.

Thanks for the photo Steve.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Gere Sport Biplanes of New Zealand Updated

Thanks to Stan Smith we now have a good history of the Gere Sport biplane at MOTAT.  However, TravelAdastra was able to add some more details which I have added into the story:

The MOTAT Gere Sport was started as a project at Greenmeadows in Hawkes Bay prior to WW 2, and it was sold in 1948, substantially complete, to an owner at Waipukurau who intended to finish the project, but this never happened.  This would have been our first post WW 2 homebuilt aircraft if it had been completed (not counting the Savage Special and the Lincoln Sport that were pre-WW 2 aircraft).

Stan bought the airframe from a Mr Corban in Waipukurau in the mid 1960s and at that stage it was complete but without an engine or instruments.  He stored it at Wellington with his various other aircraft and when he shifted to Auckland in 1965 he arranged a deal whereby all his aircraft were trucked from Wellington to Auckland (probably in a TEAL truck which did a weekly Auckland-Wellington-Auckland run), on the basis that he donate an aircraft to MOTAT.  This deal involved a Mr Donohue who worked for TEAL and was also involved with MOTAT.  So the Gere Sport was donated to MOTAT by Stan.

The aircraft was restored by MOTAT volunteers who installed a 3 cylinder Szekely radial engine, which was not the original engine (and which had been imported for a Lincoln Sportsplane that was not completed).  Some years later Robbie Gentry discovered a Bristol Cherub aircraft engine at Waipukurau and Stan thinks that this may have been the engine that was to power the Gere.

Thanks very much for the information Stan and TravelAdastra.

But that is not the sum of our Gere Sport biplanes as there is another one flying in rural North Canterbury:

ZK-EFZ2 (c/n BEL-8) was built by Alan Belworthy of Cust, and was first registered to AB and EF Belworthy on 29/11/10.  From the c/n it is the eighth aircraft built by the Belworthys (Alan and Evan).

Alan told me that he was browsing through old American books on homebuilt aircraft and he stumbled across the plans for the Gere sport.  This must have been the 1933 Edition of Modern Mechanix and Inventions magazine which published plans for the Gere (and also for the Pietenpol Aircamper).  ZK-EFZ2 was originally powered by a 2 litre Cortina engine but it has been re-engined with a 2.2 litre Toyota Hilux engine and more recently a new cowling has been added to replace the original ring cowling.  Evan told me that it has successfully flown with the new cowling and it is quietly clocking up hours.  The aircraft is painted in a 1930's US Navy Boeing scheme of the time.

Thanks to Evan Belworthy for the photo, which was taken at Cust.

More from Rangiora on Friday.

Two seldom seen (by me) aircraft were also noted at Rangiora on Friday the 9th.
Piper PA-28-140/160 Cherokee ZK-CEQ (c/n 28-20052).
This has been listed with Michael McKeown of 'Kinnoul' of Woodbury (Inland from Geraldine) since 01-09-2016.
We see it above at Rangiora on Friday.
 Below it is parked on the Kinnoul strip on 17-02-2017.
This is the earliest production PA-28-140 in Country.

Although Rangiora based I don't see the Sam Fry Laser 230 ZK-LZR (c/n 31) out very often.
Owner Fred Zayas had it out dong engine runs on Friday.
This interesting little aircraft was mentioned previously Here.

Friday, 9 February 2018

A fruitful pie run to NZRT today.

I caught up with three strays at Rangiora today 09-02-2018.
 Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee Challenger ZK-DGL (c/n 28-7305206) was also on the tie downs.
As you can see from the c/n this is a 1973 model and first flew using the piper test registration of N11C before being shipped out to NZ aboard the Austral Envoy which pulled into Auckland on 28-03-1973. 
It was registered as ZK-DGL to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 10-04-1973 , gained its NZ CofA on the 13th and then moved up to C L Sandbrook and the Dannevirke Flying School from 10-05-1973. 
An ownership change on 20-07-2006 saw it listed to R Larsen and A Dahya - initially at Palmerston north and from August of 2016 - back at NZDV. 
 It is not every day we get to see a Gippsland GA8 Airvan at Rangiora.
ZK-LOR (c/n GA8-03-034) of Glenorchy Air Services and Tourist Co Ltd was on the tie down.
Cessna A185E ZK-SMS (c/n 18502041) came to NZ from Canada and was sorted out by Advanced Aero Engineering Ltd of Palmerston North and registered to them on 04-02-1997.
Ownership moved to Hayward Leisure Co of Auckland on 01-05-1997.