Saturday, 23 September 2017


A warm 20deg spring day brought a variety of regional visitors into Pauanui including the newly reregistered (September 11) Tecnam P2002,  ZK-CCV,  a regular visitor in its previous guise as ZK-MEL.

From Ardmore came the Airline Flying Club's Warrior II ZK-KAT,  and Silentium 172 diesel powered 172R ZK-TAQ from the Ardmore Flying School.

Magnaman in Auckland

Three photos from Magnaman taken today 23-092917.
 Above we see the 'earthrounder' Vans RV10 ZU-IHF parked up at Auckland International Airport. Check out MRC's coverage Here.
 Over at Ardmore we have the Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP ZK-CAA2 (c/n 172S10397).
This is one of a batch of ex Royal Queensland Aero Club 172's that have recently arrived in NZ.
Still not officiall on our register - it was ferried over from Archerfield through Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island on 19-08-2017 and then on to Kerikeri and Ardmore on the 20th.
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II ZK-EBQ (c/n 28-7690458) was first registered in NZ to Airwork (NZ) Ltd at Ardmore on 21-10-1976 having been built in the States as N9633N. 
It took up with the Southern Districts Aero Club at Gore on 03-03-1977 until becoming part of the Southland Aviation College Ltd on 01-12-1999.
This in turn became Southern Wings Ltd on 22-02-2001.
Southern Wings set up an Ardmore branch in Auggust of 2014.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Miles Messenger ZK-AKE at North Shore 20-9-2017

At North Shore airfield yesterday Bruce Lynch was working on his Miles M 38 Messenger 2A ZK-AKE2 .

ZK-AKE2 (c/n 6707) is not what you might first assume.  It is in fact ex G-AKEZ which was built in 1947.  It was cancelled from the UK register on 26/1/06 and exported to New Zealand where Bruce Lynch has been restoring it, and as can be seen it is getting pretty close.

The registration ZK-AKE is accurate for the period, as shown in this photo of the original Tiger Moth ZK-AKE (c/n DHNZ 68) taken at Rongotai in May 1947.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Slingsby Firefly ZK-TZX from North Shore Today 20-9-2017

The weather over Auckland was also spring-like today, so a trip up to North Shore Airfield was in order.  When I was there I bumped into Trevor Dance who was just pulling out his Slingsby T 67 Firefly ZK-TZX out of the hangar to go flying, and he had a spare seat.....

ZK-TZX (c/n 2050) on the ramp prior to start-up.

Lined up on Runway 21.

Climbing out over Whangaparaoa with Stillwater in the foreground.

Looking up Bon Accord Harbour on Kawau Island with the Coromandel in the distance.

The Spirit of New Zealand anchored off Snell's Beach and in the lee of Kawau Island.

And on finals for North Shore, it's a pretty narrow sealed strip.

Thanks very much for the flight Trevor.  It was great.


Spring finally arrived in Pauanui today and with it came a variety of visitors,  including a flock of 4 gyrocopters up for coffee from Tauranga.  These comprised 2 frequent visitors, yellowAutogyro MTO's ZK-RJW & UYM,  plus Magni Gyro ZK-PLW and the Delta Trikes J-RO ZK-RAC.

Also flying for coffee was the Storch S ZK-JES from Whangarei

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Report from Kaikoura

If you are into motor vehicles - then the place to have been last weekend was the 'Kaikoura Hop'.
My learned colleague 'CMM' - with Mrs CMM - were there and have forwarded the following photographs.
The 'Hop' is based in the Kaikoura Racecourse and during the weekend Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd operated their Robinson R44 Clipper II ZK-HLE2 (c/n 10466) and their Aerospatiale A 350 BA ZK-HJV3 (c/n 2846) from there offering scenic flights.
A little further North at Hapuku - just where SH1 rejoins the coast - is the depot for the helicopters supporting the road/rail earthquake repairs up the Coast.

 Parked up there were the South Pacific Helicopters (2016) Ltd's Bell 206B JetRanger II ZK-HBO2 (c/n 570).
 The Alpine Group Ltd's Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HRM2 (c/n 2721).
And the Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-IFR2 (c/n 1312) of South Pacific Helicopters (2016) Ltd.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Full Noise is Seventh in the Unlimited Gold Final at Reno

History was made at Reno on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning our time) when Reno rookie Graeme Frew competed in the Unlimited Gold Final Race.  I am not an expert on air racing but I wonder if it is the first time that a rookie flying for a rookie team has qualified for the Unlimited Gold Final?  It certainly is a great achievement for Graeme and the mainly Kiwi team.

The photo is a screenshot from the Fighter Flights Facebook page and shows the eventual winner "Strega" taxying past Full Noise to start the Gold Final Race.  Strega won at an average speed of 481.3 miles per hour and Graeme came seventh out of seven.

Thanks for the ride Graeme!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Full Noise #35 Wins Again at Reno!

Wow!  Graeme Frew flying his Yak 3 Full Noise, race number 35 (ZK-VVS) has just won his Silver heat race at a speed of 345.277 miles per hour!

Update:  And now he is in the Gold final (along with a stellar field consisting of the highly modified racing Mustangs Strega and Voodoo and four Sea Furies).  The Gold final starts at 10.55 am on Monday morning New Zealand time.  Amazing!

In a very close race Graeme beat 4 racing Mustangs.  And he has increased his race speed in every race that he has flown in.

The above image is from Graeme's Fighter Flights Facebook page. It occurs to me that Graeme is doing a Burt Munro! 

Congratulations Graeme  and the whole team.

Saturday, 16 September 2017


Pacific Aerospace Corporation 750XL ZK-KAY (c/n 107) first flew at Hamilton on 05-06-2004 following its registration on 27-05-2004.
It departed Hamilton on 13-06-2004 for an 80 hour, 12 day, ferry flight to Blackpool in the UK. 
After a check out by Pool Aviation it joined the Northwest Parachute Centre at Cark in Cumbria.
It was a static display at the Farnborough Air Show in April 2004 and was later demonstrated to the UK Army.
It was officially registered to the Northwest Parachute Centre on 04-05-2005.
Unfortunately on 16-12-2007 it had a mid air collision with the Luscombe 8E Silveraire G-AKUI over Asmaston Staffordshire with the loss of the Silveraire and the two persons on board.
The 750XL lost its port undercarriage but landed safely at Nottingham, East Midlands
It was repaired by IAE at Cranfield (I think).
It is seen above in a photo by DerekF via Andy Heap flying over the Southport Promenade UK on 15-09-2017.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Full Noise #35 Wins at Reno!

After an all night session to replace the engine a couple of nights ago, Graeme Frew lined up Full Noise #35 in Heat 1C of the Unlimited class at Reno at 12.40pm Reno time (7.40am in New Zealand this morning) and WON the heat!

Thanks to Zac Yates for the image (that was taken from the live stream I guess or else he has a really really big lens!). 

Johnny Kokshoorn Reno Racer.

I have received a note from one of our regular Blog readers mentioning that a New Zealander has previously raced at Reno.

Below is an extract that I have gleaned out of the Otago Daily Times.  


Monday, 21 April 2014

New Zealand has not seen the last of round-the-pylons jet racing, says John ''Johnny Rocket'' Kokshoorn.
He is the only New Zealander to have competed at Reno, Nevada - the home of what is described as the fastest form of motor-racing in the world.
He and five other pilots raced head-to-head in jets at the Wanaka Warbirds International Airshow over the weekend.
''If they want us back, we'll be back.
''And we'll be back bigger and better than ever.
''This is just step one,'' he told the Otago Daily Times.
Born in Christchurch and resident in Australia, Kokshoorn is in the process of building a house near Wanaka Airport, complete with hangar, and plans to bring to New Zealand his Aero L-29, Rolls Royce Viper-powered, jet-racing aircraft.
While the average speed during the three races at Wanaka was 635kmh, his Viper is capable of an average lap speed of 865kmh - probably unrealistic for the tight 11km Wanaka course.
Kokshoorn said the Viper was even too fast to be raced at Reno, where a speed limit of 828kmh for jet-racers had been set by the Reno Air Race Association.
Kokshoorn regards the speed limit as ''very frustrating''.
The issue is how much empty ''scatter radius'' there is around the aerial race course for pieces of aircraft to land in the event of a mid-air collision.
Kokshoorn assured the ODT the prospect of being part of that flying debris was far from his mind as he settled into the cockpit of his jet before each race.
''You put all that stuff to one side of your mind and just focus on the stuff you need to do when you are racing.
''As soon as I close the canopy I'm in my world.''
A one-time water skier at Sea World who left New Zealand 22 years ago, Kokshoorn funds his jet-racing ''addiction'' with his industrial and commercial building business in Queensland.
The pilot first went to ''pylon school'' in Reno in 2009 and initially was not sure he would be capable of the sort of flying required for jet-racing.
Racing at over 800kmh was a ''completely different kettle of fish'', he said.
''Those pylons are really coming at you.''
Kokshoorn has holidayed in Wanaka for many years and it was partly through that connection jet-racing has become part of the Warbirds show.
''It's a long way from Reno, but we'll bring [jet-racing] back here.''
The three-race series between ''Team New Zealand'' and ''Team Reno'' was won by New Zealand, which had use of the three faster planes.

This ODT article (with a photo of John) can be found HERE


The aircraft mentioned is now ZK-WDB of Jetflights Wanaka Ltd.
The first two pics below where taken at Wanaka on 13-11-2015.

 Lower photo at Wanaka on 10-02-2017.
Below is what the NZ Aviation News magazine said about it  following its registration here on 07-03-2016.

"An interesting arrival at Wanaka in late 2014 was an Aero L-29 Delfin. This one originally served as ‘54’ with the Romanian Air Force, who operated at least fifty one such aircraft which were all withdrawn by November 2005. Many made it to the States and this one became N2039S with Aero Enterprise Inc of Townsend Delaware in November 2008 with a change to Endeavir Inc of Dallas Texas in mid-2010. Along the way it has been re-engined with a Rolls Royce Viper engine giving it a heap more thrust and speed. It was named ‘Screamin Eagle’ and carries race number ‘11’. There has been a delay in certification due to an engine matter but it entered the NZ register as ZK-WBD on 07-03-2016 to Jetflights Wanaka Ltd. It was hoped to have it airborne for the jet races during Warbirds Over Wanaka but these were cancelled for other reasons."

Johnny I believe started hang gliding in the 1970's with Terry Delore here in NZ and became a well respected glider pilot.

Type his name in Google search and read about his other aviation adventures.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Cropdusters at Pukekohe East 29-8-2017

On my way back from Ngaruawahia it was a short detour to call in at Pukekohe East airstrip, where it was great to see the Cropduster's hangar open to the late afternoon sun.

 In the hangar were their Gippsland GA 200C ZK-NTO (not a Fatman I am told),

and their 300 HP Continental powered FU 24 ZK-SFL which I was told didn't fly much.  However only a few days later it was at Ardmore.

The road fence at the upper end of the strip still bore the scars where the Wittman Tailwind ZK-XMC recently hit it.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cessna 172M ZK-DXN

Cessna 172M Skyhawk II ZK-DXN (c/n 17263571) came of the production line as N1426V for shipment and registration to Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd on 21-01-1975.
They placed it on line with the Rex Fling School at Ardmore in February before moving it down to the Rex Flying School at Paraparaumu from 10-07-1975.
It was back at Ardmore with the renamed Dalhoff and King Flying School by 01-09-1976.
It is seen below at Ardmore on 05-09-1979.
Below - same day and place but in magic colour.
 It was listed to R I Plowman of Auckland from 15-12-1980,
 and is seen below at Dairy Flat on 27-08-1985.
 Air Logistics (NZ) Ltd of North Shore from had it from 09-08-1989 followed by Aeroplan (NZ) Ltd briefly from 31-07-2005 before relisting with Bruce Ricketts of North Shore on 01-11-2005.
It took up with its current owners, Brewin-Brown Syndicate of Albany from 20-08-2006, with a change to Kaukapakapa from 08-07-2013.
Photo above taken at Maungaturoto where it is now based, by Keith Morris on 26-08-2017.

Yak 3 ZK-VVS at Reno Air Races

The Reno Air Races kick off at the Reno Stead Airport, Nevada today 13 September and run until 16 September (although the action will happen about a day later for us here in New Zealand).

This year there is an exciting New Zealand connection with Graeme Frew competing in the open Class in his Yak 3 ZK-VVS - the first time a New Zealand team has competed at this level.  (Does anyone out there know of previous New Zealand competitors at Reno?).  Graeme's aircraft has been named "Full Noise" and carries the race number "35" as homage to Burt Munro who used the same number for his Fastest Indian world record exploits at Bonneville Salt Flats (which is not too far away from Reno).  There are also a small registration letters under the tailplane no doubt to keep things legal.

The above photo is taken from the Full Noise  Facebook page ( ).

Go Full Noise! and give her the jandal Graeme!

New all terrain undercarriage for ZK-NFS.

How about the new all terrain undercarriage noted under the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca ZK-NFS (c/n 34-50165) at Ashburton on Sunday !

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

"New" Type at Ardmore 29-8-2017

We have had several tailwheel conversions of the venerable Cessna 150/152 in New Zealand which I suppose could be referred to as a 150 TD or a 152 TD.

 However ZK-JBX2 is our first Piper PA 38 tailwheel conversion which I suppose is a PA 38 TD??

Ardmore on 29-8-2017

A trip down to the V Dubbe Shoppe at Ngaruawahia involved a necessary stop at Ardmore on the way through, with a few aircraft that were new to me on view (although all have been posted on the blog before).

Our latest Beech B 300 Kingair ZK-PWL is registered to Tauranga address.

Cessna T182T ZK-ZZR is registered to a Hanmer Springs address.

And over in the Aero Technology hangar were the original Falco ZK-LLG and the newest Falco (and seventh airframe) ZK-PPK, which is being prepared for its first flight.

Monday, 11 September 2017

 The Nolans of Westland

Last Sunday evening, the Country Calendar program on TV1 featured coverage of the annual muster carried out by the South Westland based Nolan family.
Although the program, which you can watch 'on demand at
did feature a brief heli-flight in an R22, it made no mention of the Nolan's long involvement with aviation.

As well as utilizing the services of Air Travel prewar and Southern Scenic postwar, the Nolans owned and operated three light aircraft in the 1940s to the mid-1960s.

First up was Tiger Moth ZK-ANE. This Tiger had been converted to single-seater with cargo hopper by John Neave at Wellington in 1947, and went across to Des Nolan in October 1948. By mid-1951 it had been passed on to the Farmers Aerial Topdressing Company at Invercargill.

 Its replacement was Miles Messenger ZK-AUM, which was imported from the UK where it had flown as G-AKCN. This served the Nolans well, until finally withdrawn from use in 1967 and went as a parts source for another Messenger, ZK-AWE.

In the mid-1950s the Nolans also operated an Auster J-5, ZK-BGT. As NZ1706 it had been  badly damaged when struck a hedge while landing at Papakura Military Camp 5Dec53. Sold 'as is' to Aircraft Supplies Ltd.,. Palmerston North, and rebuilt with major parts from a J1B Aiglet that had been damaged while onboard a ship from England. Acquired from Southern Scenic Air Services in 1957, this aircraft was written off when it crashed at Cascade Point, Westland, 27Feb1961.

Maungaturoto on 26-8-2017

On my way back from Dargaville I was pleased and surprised to find the hangar on the topdressing airstrip North of Maungaturoto open and the resident 400HP Fletcher ZK-DEQ outside.

It has been repainted in a blue scheme over the previous yellow and green (see ).

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Rangitata Island on Saturday 09-09-2017 # 5

 The Beech A36 Bonanza ZK-RNT (c/n E1019) of Russell Taylor departs for home.
 Alpi Aviation Pioneers ruled the day.
The Graham and Margaret Smith Pioneer 300 Hawk iS ZK-TGB (c/n 370) has the Rotax 912iS motor.
Late arrival on Saturday - all the way from Napier - was Gerry Chisum in his Vans RV-3 ZK-WHO (c/n AACA/612)
Another view of 'Yak 83' in the dawn light this morning.
Just before the front arrived.
The large horse float/camper was positioned to provide shelter from the gusts.
The front actually split before reaching Rangitata Island. One section went up the Coast and the other went Inland. 
Another bug tick for Russel's special climate zone for the Island.
And a view of ZK-LGT doing it.