Monday 28 September 2015

Another almost forgotten skiplane.

Pilatus PC-6 B1-H2 Porter ZK-FZB c/n 634.

This Porter was built at Stans in Switzerland and registered to Pilatus Flugzeugwerke on 10-03-1967 for delivery to A/S Flytransport of Norway to become LN-VIJ from 06-02-1969.
It was damaged at Hamar on 15-07-1969 and rebuilt by Pilatus.
Next I have it listed as VH-FZB from 14-10-1975 with Forrester Stephen (the Australian agents) for use by the Australian Antarctic Program.
The two photos below show it as VH-FZB.
Above we see it "on the Ice" reasonably well tied down in a bit of a "blow".
Note the lift destroying beams on the upper wing.
The above shot was taken at Essendon in November 1976 and comes from the Mike Madden archive via Tony Arbon. 
Note it still has skis fitted and miscellaneous airborne survey aerial arrays.
On 07-11-1977 ownership transferred to H C Sleight Aviation Ltd of Melbourne.
It arrived in NZ on 27-09-1981 with its Australian registration being cancelled on 01-10-1981 for it to become ZK-FZB for The Mount Cook Group Ltd of Christchurch from the following day.
Below we have two photographs of ZK-FZB, with skis, as seen at Twizel (Now known as Pukaki) on 18-10-1981.
Note the "VH" letters still faintly visible on the fuselage side.
Alas it was blown over at Mount Cook Airfield on 17-07-1982 and was then stored at Queenstown for a few years before being exported to Canada in an "as is" condition.
Its NZ registration was cancelled on 22-06-1989 for it to enter the Canadian system as C-FPZB on the 27th to Air Alps/Glacier Air - still on skis.
The pic below shows it at Squamish British Columbia as C-FPZB on 23-05-1993 . Pic by Damiano Guildoni.
In July of 2007 it departed Canada and popped up on the German register as D-FSCB the following month with FSC Bruchsal. 
During 2000 it was upgraded to a B2-H2 model and was given the name "Phoenix". In early 2003 it appears to have become a B2-H4 model and  in April of 2004 it was fitted with a PT-6A-34 engine with four blade prop.
Below we see it at Malsch-Heidelberg on 13-07-2008 thanks to Harry Kruger.
In February 2012 ownership moved to Skydive Westerwald/Phonix Air GbR and then to Skydive Westerwald/Maurer Meinhard. that July.
If you have managed to read this far  - you may be interested to know that this aircraft is currently for sale.
Check out :-


  1. My "Win lotto" plane... :) Must buy a ticket!

  2. No, No, No:
    Save your money as it is my turn to win.

    I would let you fly it tho.


  3. This plane crashed on a skidiving operation, on June 19th 2016, at Portugal, after ripping open in mid air. A major structural damage seems to be the cause of the accident.

  4. Thanks Anon.
    Sad news indeed.