Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Skyfox Gazelle ZK-CRB at Flight Fix Norfolk Road

Norfolk Road airstrip is also the base for Flight Fix NZ Ltd and Gareth Semenoff kindly showed me around and told showed me some of their projects.  They specialise in Cessna refurbishments and some of the planes they have recently completed are a C 180 and C 172 ex Japan for Rob Fry, and   most recent project is a C 206 amphibian that is for an Australian owner.  They also have a C 172 ex Arizona and a C 206 ex Australia currently under refurbishment.

However, for me, a more interesting aircraft in their hangar was the Skycraft CA25N Gazelle ZK-CRB2 that has been imported by Randy Beier of Hawera.  This was first registered in Australia as VH-BGP3 on 14/5/97 and later was transferred to the Australian Recreational register as 24-8643.  It was owned by Randy Beier in Australia and was advertised for sale, but Randy has now bought the aircraft to New Zealand.  This is our second Skycraft Gazelle and it has not flown here yet.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018


Captured today outside Solo Wings Ltd at Tauranga by Hairy Mole Rat was the SOCATA TB20 ZK-SGT.
This was also first registered in NZ today to Aerius Ltd of Te Puke and should park nicely alongside their Robinson R44 ZK-HXY2, AS 350 B ZK-HZU2, and the Guimbal Cabri G2 ZK-IIF.
A 2001 model that began as N181GT followed by N121TR and then time in Australia as VH-KMY from 10-11-2006.

See trans Tasman delivery details on our sister MRC site HERE.

Helicopters at Pauanui

A couple of interesting helicopters called into the Pauanui airfield today being North Shore Helicopters EC130B ZK-HJW

And not noted here before the Hamilton privately owned Bell 206L-1 Longranger ZK-HVF which was imported back in July.

Norfolk Road Airstrip on 9-12-2018

After such an interesting aircraft day on the 8th of December, I continued on to Taranaki on Sunday the 9th.  The weather was great and Mt Egmont was towering.  I really lucked out at Norfolk Road as the North Taranaki Aero Club and the Norfolk Road Aviation Sports Club were having their own Christmas BBQ and flying competitions so all the hangars were open with lots of planes out in the sun.

Grant Wisnewski in his Stinson 108-3 ZK-NCC getting airborne for the spot landing competition.

The Midnight Blowfly aka Cessna 150G ZK-CSW is owned by a Turangi owner.

Piper PA 28-R 200 ZK-DQV is registered to a Hamilton owner.

Piper PA 18 ZK-BKV is owned by the North Taranaki Aero Club.  Are you seeing a theme in these photos? - that mountain is pretty impressive!

Kevin Wisnewski then pulled his Wilga out of its hangar for some local air to air flying.

While Brad Raven fired up his Cessna 170 to act as camera ship.  What a great day for flying!

Monday, 17 December 2018

A few days after Sir Minty's post (below) I was able to capture both of AirNZ's new Airbus A321-271NX on scheduled services into Auckland International.

ZK-NNA arriving today, Monday 17th

ZK-NNB arriving yesterday, Sunday 16th

Air New Zealand Airbus A 321 ZK-NNB at Auckland International 13-12-2018

Another trip to Wellington over the last few days.  On my way down last Thursday I was pleased to see one of Air New Zealand's new Airbus A 321 aircraft outside the Air New Zealand maintenance base.

 At first glance I didn't realise it was one of the new A 321s but a closer look revealed it was ZK-NNB (c/n 8542) which is an A 321-271NX NEO model, which was first registered on the NZ Civil Register on 1/12/18.

And in this shot you can compare an older A 320 with the A 321 NEO (for New Engine Option) and you can see that the new PW 1100G geared engines have a larger diameter with a resultant fatter cowling.  I understand that ZK-NNB entered service later on on the 13/12/18.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

This weeks pickings

The week just gone has been pretty grotty in the Christchurch region.
However I did manage to finally get an outside shot of the Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-ILY (c/n 10968) of Horizon Helicopters Ltd.
 Early in the week I got this desperation shot of Horizon Helicopter Ltd's Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-IOC (c/n 1259) without any markings.
 I have been told emphatically that it is NOT BLACK. 
Thanks to Heli Maintenance at Christchurch for access to get these two pics.

At Rangiora today -Sunday the 16th the Motueka based Cessna A185E Skywagon ZK-CYA (c/n 185-1023 of Pospau Ltd of Mapua on roll out and heading for the fuel pumps.
 Below - at the pumps was the Robinson R22 Beta ZK-IBG3 (c/n 2052) of S J and A L Harrison Partnership from Waikari.
This moved south from Opotiki early in the year. It started its NZ career as ZK-HGD2 after arriving from Japan in about mid-2003. 
A week later it was re-listed to ZK-HLJ3 and moved over to ZK-IBG3 on 05-03-2007.

Taieri Airfield

I've got a large collection of photos of aircraft from Taieri airfield, my home base. In this post I'll have all the microlights and gyrocopters that haven't featured on this blog before, or ones that have moved here or been repainted since last time they were featured.
 A new one for the blog is Bolkow Bo 208 C Junior ZK-CJH (c/n 607). This aircraft is stored in the same hangar as ZK-XAS, but has been sold to a new owner somewhere else in the country apparently. It's currently in Southair getting some maintenance work. 

 Alpi Pioneer 200 ZK-ETC (c/n NZ2002) is now Taieri based, and owned by Geoff Laing. He was kind enough to take me up for a quick flight a couple of weeks ago.

ZK-FDD, a Flight Design CT-LS (c/n F-11-10-01) is now Taieri based. I don't see it flying that much, but a lot more than some others fly at Taieri. 

Pietenpol Air Camper M/L has had a repaint into a new scheme, and has moved along with its owner Glen Morgan to Dunedin. While this aircraft is not currently active, he flies his Jodel D11S ZK-EDG

ZK-LXA has been restored ready to fly by its original builder Alex Armstrong, and is looking great. Alex also built the Sisler SF-2A Cygnet ZK-LXB seen in the background (which is getting engine work) and the Vans RV-4 ZK-LXC which Alex was kind enough to give me a flight in with Ray Bremer. Unfortunately, Alex has decided he is too old to test fly this aircraft, so the job of that will fall to someone else. With any luck it'll be flying in 2019.

ZK-RCW, a RAF 2000 GTX SE (c/n H2-97-8-285) in its hangar at Taieri Airfield. This aircraft has just been sold to a new owner I believe, as its TradeMe listing is no longer up.

Colin Chalmers' own homebuilt gyrocopter, ZK-RDB in its hangar at Taieri airfield. I believe this was all his own design.

Rans S-6S Coyote II ZK-YEP (c/n 06071816-S) is now all finished, and has been checked by the CAA. It should be flown for the first time later this year or early next year. 

Thursday, 13 December 2018


Visitors to the Pauanui airfield of late included the Thames based Cessna 210G ZK-DCA,  showing off its retraction mode..

And the latest addition to the Waikato Aero Club fleet,  Cessna 172S ZK-WKF,  which was ZK-JCG in a former life.

Further South at Te Kowhai 8-12-2018

 Two and a half hours South of North Shore (includes a hold up for an accident on the Northern Motorway and a stop for a coffee and muffin at the BP on the Southern Motorway) you get to Te Kowhai airfield.  It was quiet around 5 on the Saturday afternoon but it was good to see the facilities being used for a works Christmas party with bouncy castles and other rides for the many kids - this sort of thing will make the airfield an established part of the community.

The nice straight tail Cessna 172 ZK-EHA2 was departing as I arrived. It is registered to EHA Ltd of Hamilton.

And so I carried on to my overnight stay with Number 2 grandson (and aircraft enthusiast), at Te Kuiti.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

SAAANZ Christmas BBQ at North Shore 8-12-2018

The Sport Aircraft Association of NZ (Auckland Branch) held their Christmas BBQ at North Shore airfield on Saturday 8 December (at the same time as the NAC event at Kaipara Flats).  As I was needing to head South to Stratford I called in on my way past to see what was there.

SAAANZ member John Eaton's Canadian Home Rotors Safari helicopter ZK-IJE is flying again, the first time I had seen it outside.

While the globe trotting Eurofox G-GBNZ also called in to the event.  I understand that this aircraft will be put in a container this week and shipped back to the UK.

The Northern Aviators Club Christmas BBQ at Kaipara Flats 8-12-2018

I will return back to the NAC Christmas BBQ which was not actually that long ago, but a lot of miles have gone under the wheels since then.  There were 18 sport aircraft and their pilots and crew attending from around the Far North, and around 50 people partook of the BBQ.

Chris Lyle was down from Kerikeri in his lovely Bristell NG 5 ZK-CLA2.

Richard Bell arrived from Whangarei in his ELA 07R autogyro ZK-VBA, one of three gyros from Whangarei.

 the others were Nigel Towler in his Magni M 24 Orion ZK-MWR

 and Dave Morrow in his ex-Solo Wings MTO Sport ZK-SWR2

Rob Fry flew up from North Shore in his Cessna 172P ZK-LEN.  This arrived with the globe trotting Eurofox and was the camera machine for John King to get some nice air-to-air shots of G-GBNZ.

White Island Flights

As referred to below Kahu Helicopters operate helicopter flights out to White Island, but for those who prefer a fixed wing option East Bay Aviation operate Cessna 172N ZK-EJY out of Whakatane to both White Island and Mt Tarawera.   EJY has been repainted in a smart new scheme.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Vans RV 14 ZK-VNX at Ardmore Today 11-12-2018

After meeting up with Richard Currie at Kaipara Flats last Saturday, he has done a trip down the East Coast while I have travelled down the West Coast of the North Island.  I will post from the trip later, but I thought I would first post the newly registered Vans RV 14 ZK-VNX at Aero Technology at Ardmore today.

ZK-VNX has not flown under its New Zealand registration yet but that is likely in the next few days.

Helicopters at Gisborne

With four helicopter operators based at Gisborne Airport plus the Helicopter Rescue service theres the potential for a lot of activity.   Those seen on Monday included Hughes 269C ZK-HGP,  which is actually owned privately in Havelock North.

Country Helicopters operate R44 sprayer ZK-HWP

And one of the Gisborne Helicopters fleet is Hughes 369E ZK-HXU.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Farmers Air Gisborne

A visit today to the Farmers Air base at Gisborne Airport revealed 2 of the company's PAC 750XL aircraft,  being ZK-XLA


Also present was their Cessna A185F ZK-MDY which was flown across the Tasman in early November,  being previously VH-MDY.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Piper Cub ZK-BKA

Piper PA-18A-150 Super Cub ZK-BKA (c/n 18-4638) was the sixth equal Cub to join the NZ register - doing so on 12-12-1955 (along with ZK-BJZ) to Airwork (NZ) Ltd at Christchurch.
It first flew here on 21-12-1955 and was delivered to Harts Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd of Christchurch.
The six following photographs are from the Des White collection thanks to the Aviation Historical Society of NZ. 
(are you a member yet ? ).
These first two shots are from early on - possibly 1956 - showing the small ZK-BKA registration letters on the rudder and the 'PIPER' name on the fuselage forward of the cockpit.

Above and below - basically the same scheme but with larger registration letters spread across the fin and rudder and about half way up. Both at Christchurch.

Above - in the large hangar - which became the Mount Cook hangar - in a different fuselage colour scheme with the registration letters lower on the vertical tail and the 'AERIAL TOPDRESSING LTD' no longer on the fuselage, the 'HARTS' is in a different font and the "PIPER' is missing from the forward fuselage.
Sometime in 1966 it was with Ivan East of East Aviation Ltd of Wellington - who worked out of the Wellington Aero Club hangar.
It is seen below on 04-09-1966 tied down beside the East Aviation/Wellington Aero Club hangar -  now minus all Company markings and hopper, and is now fitted with glider tow hook.
Below we see two views of her at Paraparaumu wearing 'Wellington Gliding Club' script.

Then I caught it back at East Aviation in Wellington on 30-10-70.
During this period it was given a complete new colour scheme - as seen below at Paraparaumu in January 1971 with a small Piper chevron on the rudder and small ' Wellington Gliding Club' text on the engine cowl. It also has a rear vision mirror fitted.

Above and below - A view from both sides when Parked near the Aero Club at Paraparaumu on 15-01-1971.

By 16-09-1971 it had additional tail markings as seen here above and below.
Below - Returning to land at Paraparaumu as seen by Allan Wooller.
No it is not an all yellow scheme - its just the aging process of colour prints from the 1970's.
Below we see it at Masterton in February of 1976 - again the colour print aging - from Allan Wooller.

Above - on December 1978 Allan Wooller caught it again - back at Paraparaumu.
In late January the Club officially took over the Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee ZK-SUG followed by Pawnee ZK-TUG in November.
According to my notes ZK-BKA passed through Associated Aviation at Paraparaumu in late 1995, spent a short time with the Tauranga Gliding Club before joining Cross Wind Holdings Ltd at Tauranga from 16-02-1996.
Cross Wind (if memory serves was David Campbell, Andrew and Joanne Gormlie Bryan Thorn and Neville Dodds).
It then transferred to the Cub Syndicate - Tauranga on 19-07-2000.
Now we can jump forward a few years and find ZK-BKA above at Tauranga on 16-03-2009 with revised tail markings..
Ownership passed solely to David Campbell from 20-01-2017.
The current owners Bidgood Family Trust of Taupo were listed from 04-03-2018 where the Cub replaced the  Cessna 170A ZK-OCC - as seen in the background in the photo below taken at Taupo recently.
Below we see ZK-BKA parked over on the Boyd Strip , Central North Island.
And below the nicely equipped office.