Saturday, 31 January 2015

Healthy Bastards at Omaka 31-01-2015

Andy Heap was on site today to snap some of the action at the Healthy Bastards
The Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs is a Precision Landing, and STOL Take-off and Landing competition held annually at Omaka Airfield, Blenheim.
Here are some of the rag and tube aircraft participating.
Nigel Griffith's160hp  Piper Super Cub ZK-BOY (c/n 18-6172) with cargo pod and lots of up elevator.
The R E and M E William 95hp Cub ZK-BQX (c/n 18-5764) from Paraparaumu with Chris Hoffman driving.
The 180hp Cub ZK-BTX (c/n 7309) has twice the power it originally had - plus some flaps. It is the Bruce Coulter conversion from Hastings. Is that Jerry Chisum up front !
The Cub Crafters CC11-160 ZK-CSS2 (c/n CC11-00193) is the Bob Gray one from up North.
Piper Cub ZK-ERB (c/n 18-52990) was once ZK-BNS. It is now with the Marlborough Aero Club with Innes Bint pencilled in to fly it.
ZK-JLB2 (c/n 18-4025) was originally a Piper L-21B with the Italian military.
Its registration tells us that it belongs to Jim L Benbow of Nelson.
Another Cub Crafters CC11-160 was ZK-PBC2 (c/n CC11-00194)  which is the Peter and Bruce Clulow one from Wanaka.
Then there was the CMP Syndicates Champion 7ECA Citabria ZK-CMP (c/n 7ECA-318).
Rob McPhail is listed to fly this.
And the Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee B ZK-CIQ (c/n 25-3128) of Peter Anderson.
 Piper PA-20-135 Pacer ZK-PEE (c/n 20-962) belongs to Don Grant of Motueka with the flying being shared with Gaurish Mangal. It has 150hp up front.

Diamond DA20 ZK-DAF

Ardmore based Eagle Flight Training have added a third Diamond DA20-C1 this month with
ZK-DAF entering the registered on the 22nd. It joins fellow DA20's ZK-DAB and ZK-DAV plus DA40 ZK-DAE and a gaggle of PA28's previously operated by Massey.

ZK-DAF c/n C0531 is a 2008 model most recently registered VH-DIU and flying out of Bankstown, Sydney.

This is the second use of the registration ZK-DAF. The first was applied to a Jurca MJ5 Sirocco from January 1976 to July 1978 having crashed in March that year.

We caught up with DAF doing circuit training at Ardmore 30 January

Friday, 30 January 2015

Homegrown Two Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (3) - Dave Locke Minitwins

Continuing with my occasional series on homegrown 2 seat homebuilt aircraft of New Zealand, the next indigenous type to come along was the David Boehm Locke Minitwin of which we have had two examples.  Dave Locke was the builder of our first 2 seater homebuilt aircraft: Minicab ZK-CLS, in 1966.  He is still active in aviation, living adjacent to the Pukekohe East airstrip.

The Minitwin was developed from the TEAM Hi-Max which was a single seater, with the width and wingspan both increased.

ZK-JEB (c/n DBL 3) is officially a David Boehm Locke Hi Max Minitwin, and it was first registered on 13/5/96.  It took 1500 hours to construct over a period of 2 years and was powered by a 45 HP Zenoah engine which gave a cruise of 65 mph.  MAUW is 660 pound (299 Kg).  It was a good aeroplane but not really fast enough for cross country flying so Dave Locke turned his attention to the Minitwin Mk II.  On 15/1/01 ownership transferred to B StC C McKenzie of Auckland, then on 25/6/02 to S A Hyde, also of Auckland.  It then headed to the South Island, to C G L Pennell of Rangiora with whom it had a forced landing following power loss on 8/12/05.  It then went to A C Reid of Fairlie and finally to J D Simpson of Karamea.  The above photo was taken at Rangioa on 24/8/07.

ZK-DBL2 (c/n DBL 4) is officially a D Locke Mintwin II, and it was first registered on 10/5/01.  It took 2500 hours to construct and it is powered by a 63 HP 3 cylinder 657cc DOHC water cooled engine from a Suzuki Cappucino sports car.  Now that's unusual!  It has a 3:1 reduction gearbox that Dave designed and built himself.  Cruise is around 85 to 90mph.  Empty weight is 630 pounds (287 Kg) and MAUW is 1,070 pounds (485 Kg).  It is still owned by Dave Locke.  It is photo'd above at the 2005 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.

Rangiora lunch stop today - Friday 30-01-2015.

I dropped in to Rangiora for a late lunch today.
 A Piper Cub that I haven't seen for many years is ZK-BRO (c/n 18-5530) as listed to Stephanie Eilers of Hastings.
It did its first thirteen years with the Wanganui Aero Club; Wanganui Aero Work and Wanganui Air Services before joining the Southern Districts Aero Club in April of 1971.
 Passing through on delivery to a new owner at Wanaka was the Gardan GY-201 Minicab U/L ZK-DDH (c/n AACA/106). Built by Ralph Leaf and registered in January 1976. It went briefly to K E George at Kaikohe in mid-1987 and then to its current owner Keith Turner at Masterton in mid-1988.
Keith, being an ex ag pilot - has had the Minicab into many strips around NZ during its time with him.
Now for some of the locals.
Graeme Mains commuter aircraft is this First Strike Supercat ZK-JKI (c/n RAANZ/627)
This first flew on 05-06-1998 and was registered to the Canterbury Microlight Aviation Ltd at Christchurch on 10-06-1998. They became Pegasus Aviation later that year and it was apparently used an a engine test bed. Its registration was revoked on 03-05-2001.
Brent Thompson put it back on the register on 26-07-2001 and sold it to Roger Bennett at Alexandra from 20-01-2003. Graeme Main purchased it in late March 2014 and now has it airworthy again.
 Paul Godfrey was caught slipping his Denney Kitfox III, ZK-KNZ (c/n 798 AACA/2013), back to earth.
 Frank Barker's Zenair CH701 STOL now wears its NZ markings of NVY for ZK-NVY. This is ex N98844 and has the c/n of 5770.
It also now sports a Warthog on the tailplane.
 From just a couple of clicks up the road comes Robert Orr and his Dyn'Aero MRC01 ULC ZK-ORR (c/n 224).
This aircraft was originally registered as F-PDAI on 2002 and came to NZ to be assembled at Parakai by Leading Edge Aviation in 2011. It first flew there on 28-02-2011.
 The Pober Pixie Pathfinder ZK-PXI (c/n MFS1) was a project completed by Mike Sheffield and first flew in June of 2009. An earlier post on this can be found at :-

NOTAR ZK-IGA still hanging about !

Almost probably certainly the final final shot of NOTAR ZK-IGA.
Suspended from an overhead beam at Heli Maintenance for skid removal and placement of special rig to secure it in the container (which is just out of shot to the left).

G-SRNE departing NZCH

G-SRNE lifting off from Pacific Helicopters pad this morning at about 1032.
See yesterdays post on this helicopter at :-

Robinson R66 ZK-IXT

Skysales Aviation (NZ) Robinson R66 ZK-IXT has gyrated north to Ardmore arriving Christmas Eve and now hangared with Oceania Helicopters. It was photographed in their compound 29 January.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Todays haul from Blue Bus.

On my journey south to Timaru today I dropped in on Josh Kershaw and Dougal Monk at the Mount Hutt Helicopters base at Alford Forest.
They had just the three helicopters at home.
 Aerospatiale AS 350B2 ZK-IBC3 (c/n 2562) was back at base and washed down following time fighting the Flock Hill Station fire.
Earlier posts on IBC can be found at :-
 Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-IRW (c/n 11696) has been with Mount Hutt Helicopters since 17-01-2014.
It has previously operated under the ZK-ISL and ZK-ISP registrations.
At Timaru I caught up with John Keenan and his Rans S-7S Courier (registered with his initials as)ZK-JWK (c/n 0411556)  on 23-01-2012. As you can see it is now named "Miss Margaret".
It also had its first engine run today - started first attempt.
An interesting fact is that it contains a couple of instruments from an ex Argentinian/Falkland Islands Pucara.
Back in Christchurch this Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH MBB-BK117C-2 G-SRNE (c/n 9283) was siting outside Pacific Helicopters hangar.
It carries EC145 signage and also the name "Nick Baker" on the rear clamshell doors.
It was test flown in 2009 as D-HADM before becoming M-SRNE and was re-registered to G-SRNE on 08-09-2014.
It is based aboard the mega yacht Serene.

Bell 47J-2 ZK-ICN

Bell 47J-2 ZK-ICN was first noted in New Zealand back in July 2009 when it was spied at Ardmore flying as VH-JEY. It then went onto languish in the back of Helicopter Flight Training's Ardmore hangar and was seldom seen. However just over two years ago the helicopter was registered ZK-ICN and yesterday was the first time I had seen it with ZK markings albeit minus some other bits and bobs.
Ardmore 14 July 2009.
On the subject of Helicopter Flight Training - it appears activity at Ardmore for this operator has ceased with the signage for the operation now removed from the building and a for sale/lease sign added. There was talk a year or so back of them looking to move operations to Thames - has this happened or have they closed? Or are they on summer break! 
And whatever happened to the Rangiora operation

The HFT fleet as at 28 January 2015:
Scheweizer 269C-1 ZK-HJU, HMC, HNC
Bell 47G-3B-1 ZK-ICJ
Bell 47J-2 ZK-ICN
Guimbal Cabri G2 ZK-IMS
Ardmore 28 January 2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Menawhile at NZRT

At the CH701 STOL capital of NZ.
 Above we see Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-NVY (c/n 5770) of Frank Barker - still wearing its US N98844 markings. 
 And then the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-ZUB (c/n 7-6634) of Buz Harvey.
Respective ZK marks should be applied tomorrow.
 Both had their weight and measures done today in the CH701 factory at NZRT.
Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-AMC2 (c/n 7-4094) sits on the hoist whilst its fuselage internals are worked on.

The Vintage Aviator - Some Aircraft at Wings Over Wairarapa 2015, plus Radio NZ Soundtrack

Despite the disappontment of not seeing The Vintage Aviator aircraft fly at Wings Over Wairarapa 2015, I did have a really interesting time seeing in their engineering hangar and also photographing several of their aircraft as they were pushed out of and back into hangars after the wind got up and damaged the Sopwith Camel.

I did catch up with most of their new aircraft that I was hoping to see including the new BE 2c and the DH 4 (photos not allowed), a new BE 12, one of the new Sopwith Snipes, the Avro 504K outside, and the Albatros II that has been around for a couple of years.

TVAL Sopwith 7 F1 Snipe ZK-SNI marked as F2367.

And TVAL Albatros D II ZK-JNB3 marked as D.386/16.

The Albatros D VA was developed from the D II and they share similar but different monococque fuselages and the same type of Mercedes engine.  However the rudders were different as were the wings and wing struts (the D II had parallel struts while the D VA had V struts as can be seen in the above photo).

The above three aircraft are examples of aircraft manufactured by The Vintage Aviator as a certified aircraft manufacturer under Part 148 of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Regulations.  They are effectively the same as the aircraft that would have come from the production lines during WW 1, except that modern glues are used and the artilliary is non-firing (although it is exactly the same weight as the originals).

The story of The Vintage Aviator is an amazing one, which has resulted in the greatest collection of flying WW 1 aircraft in the world.  By my reckoning The Vintage Aviator has manufactured or finished 24 new build flying WW 1 reproduction aircraft since 2007 (as well as some non-flying reproductions). And there are a lot more aircraft and different types to come!

You can get an idea of the certified aircraft manufacturing process and some of the new aircraft to come in the next year or so in the Radio New Zealand documentary "Creating Vintage Aircraft" at  which features Gene De Marco taking a tour around The Vintage Aviator's workshops in Kilbinie in Wellington.  It is quite long (1hour 7 minutes) but well worth the listen.

Helicopters at Christchurch 28-01-2015

 A look in at Heli Maintenance at Christchurch found a very full house with the MD NOTAR ZK-HFJ3  (c/n LN027) having some work done on its turbine.
In the line up below we see ZK-HFJ with NOTAR ZK-IGA behind - about to be containered for Australia; and with the Hughes 369HS ZK-HWD3 (c/n 640606S) of Mountain View Helicopters in the distance. The Robbie 44 ZK-IJT lurks between ZK-IGA and the hangar.
 Over next door at Pacific Helicopters we see the two latest Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopters c/n 1081 and 1082 coming together.
 And Robinson R22 Alpha ZK-HUH (c/n 0416) is still in residence. See the post a week ago at :-

Meanwhile at NZTG

The Hairy Mole Rat was active at Tauranga today and came across this new arrival.
 N4862 (c/n L5829) is registered as a Taylorcraft DCO-65.
It was built as one of a batch of 900 Taylorcraft L-2M Grasshopper's for the USAAF for observational duties. The design is based on the earlier DC-65 model (Continental 65hp) but with a cut down rear fuselage.
 Post WWII it was sold to civilian hands.
It has just recently arrived in NZ and is currently for sale.

Ardmore 28-01-2015 by Magnaman

Magnaman did a quick flit around Ardmore today and offers the following three photographs.
 Over at Airwork the Eurocopter EC 145 G-SRNE (c/n 9283) was being pushed into the hangar.
This is from the motor yacht M/Y Serene.
 At Oceania was the Bell 412 ZK-IKA (c/n 36055). This helicopter began as C-FOPX in August of 1992 before becoming N6162C in December 1993. It shifted to Japan where it became JA6710 on 03-03-1993 and was used by the Miyagi Prefectural Police Aviation Unit. It was withdrawn from service in January 2014 and became ZK-IKA with Aerospace Trading Limited, Papakura on 23-12-2014. As can be seen it is undergoing some serious checks.
Reasonably new to the register is the 1954 Piper PA-22-135 (PA-20-180) ZK-PAL3 (c/n 22-2298) as listed to the Tail Dragger Classics Ltd of Ponsonby. It replaced their previous PA-22-150 ZK-PAT2.