Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Beaver ZK-SBV

Extract from the Nelson Mail
Sixty-year-old plane ready to roar back to life in Nelson skies
Mark Stagg with the de Havilland Beaver aircraft he is restoring at his business, Argus Helicopters at Motueka Airport.
A classic aircraft with a "very distinctive sound" is being brought back to life to boost tourism in the region.
Argus Helicopters director Mark Stagg is overseeing the "rebirthing" of a 60-year-old De Havilland Beaver aircraft at the company's hangar at Motueka. He is being assisted by several Nelson-based companies.
Stagg sourced and hand-picked the aircraft from Sydney, and organised its importation to New Zealand on behalf of the client, Sam and Wayne Brown of Air Charter Karamea.
Mark Stagg at the controls of the de Havilland Beaver aircraft being restored to transport tourists in the Nelson region.
After the extensive upgrade and refurbishment is completed over the winter months, the plane will spend its new life – among other tasks – flying passengers in and around the Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks.
Included in the long list of work planned is a rebuild of the engine and propeller, a full repaint and a rework of the interior, an extension of the cabin and the updating of radio equipment.
Built in Canada in 1955, the aircraft went to Australia in 1988.
"It's been on skis, its been on floats, it's done everything," Stagg said.
Air Charter Karamea is based at Nelson Airport, focusing on walker and mountain-biker transport to Kahurangi National Park.
The Beaver was a popular plane in the 50s and 60s in New Zealand carrying out tourist and agricultural top dressing work.
Stagg said while his staff were used to working on helicopter projects, working on the classic aircraft was something they looked forward to.
"It was just like a classic car project really, you look underneath the visual stuff to the bones of it and then bring it back to life," Stagg said.
The Beaver would also make appearances at airshows such as Warbirds over Wanaka.
"There are a lot of people who have a special place for the old Beaver, a lot of enthusiasts for whom there's nothing like the sights and sounds of seeing one," he said.
"It does make a very distinctive sound and having one operation commercially around here is going to be a real asset."
Local businesses will play a big hand in the refurbishment, with Creative Colours leading the paintwork, Generation Global doing the interior, and the electronic systems work being carried out by Nelson Avionics.

By the time the aircraft is finished at the end of this year, Stagg said the aircraft would be valued at over $750,000.

This is c/n 783 originally built in Canada in 1955 and registered as CF-HXX with a change to C-FHXX.
It moved to Australia and became VH-SYS in March of 1994.


With thanks to Andy Heap and Lord Nelson for forwarding this item from the NELSON MAIL.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tidco Powerchute ZK-FET at Waihi Beach

I was pleased to see the hangar at Waihi Beach airstrip open as we drove by on 10/2/17.  It had always been locked up when I had called by previously.  Dave Evans kindly stopped his mowing of the strip and showed me what was inside.  And there was an unassuming piece of kit in the corner that I might have otherwise overlooked but it turned out to be the Tidco Powerchute ZK-FET.

ZK-FET (c/n GONDOLA TID 01) flies under a parachute and I would love to see how it gets into the air.  Dave told me that the owner flies it quite regularly at dawn, before any wind gets up.

I cannot find out anything about this craft - can anyone provide any further details?

Monday, 20 February 2017


Cessna 180K c/n 53022 was built as N2641K and became VH-SAA3 on 02-07-1979.
On 30-04-1998 it was re-registered as VH-IMC5 and then on 09-10-2007 it was registered to W R Mailer of Riddells Creek, Victoria and using his initials became VH-WRM4.
It was ferried from Scone to Lord Howe Island on 15-01-2017 and then on to Kerikeri on the 16th.
It was spied crossing down to the Mainland on the 17th bound for Timaru.
Its Australian registration was cancelled on 02-02-2017.
 I caught up with it outside the AVTEK facility at Timaru on February 6th (above) still in full VH markings and carrying the Narromine Aero Club patch on its fin.
It was allocated the ZK-DBAregistration on 08-02-2017 for Skyfarmers Aviation Ltd of Methven.
 I caught up with it again on the 16th and it was still on the same tie downs but now minus its propeller.
 Later the same day it was maneuvered into the AVTEK hangar and work began on removing its Australian civil markings.
 Then below - I caught at lunch time on the 17th with the VH markings partially removed.

Volcanic Air Safaris DHC 3 Otter ZK-VAS at Rotorua

Last Wednesday 15/2/17 at Lake Rotorua was the first time I had seen Volcanic Air's Otter ZK-VAS (c/n 35) flying, and it was quite active during the afternoon.  I guess it is helped by tourists from cruise ships at Tauranga who bus through to Rotorua.  When we were in Tauranga there was a different cruise ship berthed every day.  It has a quite distinctive engine sound that seems like it is clattering along.  Here are some photos from the last flight of the day:

Embarking the 10 passengers...

then a pushback from the jetty by the pilot...

Start up and taxying out...

Beginning its take off run out in the lake...

Slowly getting up on the step...

and airborne.

followed by a gentle turn and slow climb out.

Then half an hour or so later, clattering back over the town for the last landing of the day at 5 39 pm.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Fire fighting fixed wings at NZCH

Below we have a few photographs taken at or near to Christchurch International Airport showing the fixed wing fire fighting aircraft.
Two views of the PAC Cresco ZK-LTB.
Below we have the PAC Cresco ZK-LTS.
Then two views of Otago Airspread Ltd's Cresco ZK-OAS.

Three of the Air Farmers Air Tractor ZK-SKF.

Photographs supplied.