Wednesday, 16 November 2011
The Garden City BK117 ZK-IMN.
Following its early life in Japan as JA9940 from March of 1989 until April 1997 it came to NZ and became ZK-HNE2 on 28-05-1997 with Garden City Helicopters at Christchurch; although it didn't fly until 17-11-1997. It only stayed for about six months before flying out from Kaitaia to Norfolk Island on 15-05-1998; to Lord Howe Island the next day, and then on to Bankstown on the 17th. It took up the Australian VH-RLI registration with Rotor-Lift of Mascot on 10-08-1998 and served with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and then Skyplan Australia Pty Ltd of Hobart who operated it as the Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust "Wespac Rescue Helicopter". It also served as "Firescan 761" during the forest fire season.
It popped up again on the NZ register as ZK-IMN on 04-03-2009 with Heli-Works Queenstown Helicopters but I am uncertain if it actually came to NZ as such - remaining operating in Queensland and points north. It returned to its Australian VH-RLI registration on 01-01-2010, again with Rotor-Lift Pty (but this time of Rosny Park, Tasmania) to be operated by Skyplan Australia (again) and then to Helicorp Pty Ltd of Essendon.
It ferried back into NZ on 22-09-2011. See