Saturday 2 December 2023

Whangarei Again 1-12-2023

Another trip to Whangarei yesterday, this time in the Rodney Aero Club's Pipistrel Alpha Trainer ZK-JAT saw a new selection of aircraft on the field, all of which have been posted on the blog before:

Another day, another air ambulance flight.  This time it was flown by Skyline Aviation's Beech B200 King Air ZK-MFT2

Parked up was another twin Beechcraft, this being the Beech C90A ZK-FDN2.  This ex air ambulance was registered to a Private Owner on 16/10/23.

Meanwhile the Robin DR 400/500 ZK-VAX took off and headed back to North Shore.  Nice wing!  This has the c/n of 0001.  Does this make it the first of type?

And Peter Garlick was out again in the Pitts S-1 ZK-JFD2 but this time he put on a great aerobatic display over the field.  I see that this is also referred to as a Whittaker Pitts S-1W.

Friday 1 December 2023

Bell 206L-3 LongRanger ZK-HWL.

 Photographed at Nelson Airport this morning by Lord Nelson was this Bell 206L-3 LongRanger ZK-HWL3 c/n 51054.Of 1983 vintage and initially registered as N3178L. It became N64VA from February 2005 until being cancelled on 07-02-2017 for its move to New Zealand. Assembled at Motueka by Argus it became ZK-HWL3 on 15-03-2017 with Helicopter Charter Karamea (2006) Ltd.

The first allocation of this ZK-HWL registration was applied to a Bell 206B JetRanger III in September of 1980. This went offshore in 1989 to the UK, then to Sweden, Switzerland and then to Germany.
The second issue of these marks were to a Robinson R22 Beta in August 1995. It now resides with NMIT at Woodbourne.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Wings Over Wairarapa 2023

It would be remiss of us not to cover a little of the action from the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow that was scheduled to be held over 24 - 27 November.

The Wings Over Wairarapa organisers must be wondering when they will get a break as the airshow, already delayed because of the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle in February, was again affected by the weather with the Saturday airshow being cancelled and only the Sunday airshow going ahead.  Unfortunately the weather on the day prevented any of The Vintage Aviator aircraft flying (I assume).

The headline act was of course the Corsair in RNZAF colours that flew in from Omaka on the Sunday morning, but there were other aircraft being displayed, some of which were as follows:

NZ Aero displayed their new XL 750-II Super Pac/XSTOL ZK-EPO.

John Bargh (I assume) displayed the Air Tractor AT 402B ZK-PCC2.  It looks like it was pretty chilly!

And Farmers Air's Beaver ZK-BVA2 also flew a spirited display.

There were of course many other aircraft that flew displays so well done to all the pilots and crew who made it to Masterton.  I guess one upside is that we won't have to wait two years for the next Wings Over Wairarapa.

JMB Aircraft VL-3TE-915is Evolution ZK-ECO

 Noted taxying at Rangiora back on the 25th was the new JMB Aircraft VL-3TE-915is Evolution LSA, with its 142hp Rotax 915is engine.
 ZK-ECO3 was registered to Warren Matthews of Diamond Harbour, Lyttelton on 09-10-2023.
Check out some of its specs HERE
This is the third JMB aircraft so far - the other two being ZK-VLT and ZK-JMB.
You can click on the image to enlarge it and study the markings.

Warren also owns the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-STE - a very different machine indeed.

Photo thanks to John Wagtendonk.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Avid Flyer ZK-JDF

ZK-JDF (c/n 1459D) is an Avid Mark IV Flyer that was built by John Sinclair of Tahakopa, and was first registered on 19-12-1994 making it the eleventh Avid on the register.  
It had a Rotax 912 engine and an Ivoprop propellor.  It first flew on 19-09-2005 and was later based at Balclutha. 
Photo below from Peter Lewis shows ZK-JDF in its original form at Balclutha on 24-12-2007.
On 11-06-2010 it was re-designated as a Microlight Class 2.
It was sold to Hamish Hamilton of Hokitika on 17-01-2011 but was damaged in an accident on a West Coast riverbed in 17-08-2013.
It was noted , below, in Grant Porters "Landing Spot' hangar at Rangiora on 13-09-2013,

and was then moved to Stu Bufton's hangar, below, where some work was done on the fuselage in early 2014.Some initial work being done by Stu Bufton and is seen above on 01-02-2014.

                                 And above on 27-09-2015 there was little obvious change.

A plan was formulated to modify the aircraft.And by 07-02-2017, with the fuselage frame sorted it underwent the unkindest cut of all.

This was to insert a fuselage extension. As seen below on 02-11-2019.

By 05-03-2021 the fuselage was bagged and painted.

    By 01-04-2023 engine runs were being carried out with a temporary nose wheel fitted to prevent an                                                                     accidental prop strike.

             By 07-07-2023, Above, a new cowling was fitted with the larger rudder more obvious, 
                 and below another view of the fuselage extension, the fin fillet and larger rudder.

   Above by 08-09-2023 ballast weight had been fitted in the tail end of the fuselage and the registration                                                                             has been applied.

                        And on 25-11-2023 it was photographed by John Wagtendonk flying at Rangiora.

Mercer & Ardmore 29 November

Noted at Mercer airfield this morning was the locally owned Cessna 207 ZK-FQY now repainted in a smart new scheme.   This was originally imported from the US in 1988.

Moving onto Ardmore outside International Heliproperties was the former Nakanihon Air Service AS355F2 JA6602.

Nearby on assembly at Oceania were 2 Canadian Helicopters' AS350B2 C-GDWM and C-GHVU presumably being readied for their summer excursion to the Antarctic.    Both were onetime Helicopters NZ Ltd machines.

Calling in briefly was Bell 429 "Police 3" otherwise ZK-HPJ2.


A Sad Anniversary - The Erebus Disaster

Yesterday the 28th of November marked the 44th anniversary of the loss of Air New Zealand's DC 10 ZK-NZP (c/n 46910) along with 257 passengers and crew when it crashed into the lower slopes of Mt Erebus in Antarctica.  This was the worst single tragedy in New Zealand history (one more than the Napier earthquake of 1931) and the circumstances have proved controversial even after so many years.  

I remember that we were living in Hong Kong at the time and we nearly always watched the Air NZ DC 10s arriving and departing on their twice weekly services to Kai Tak, they were a link to home.  We listened to the news reports of the missing plane with disbelief and then the sad news was confirmed.

I cannot find that we have posted about an Air NZ DC 10 on the blog, so here is a photo of ZK-NZP from JetPhotos taken by Daniel Tanner at Mangere on 27/7/77:

Air New Zealand has re-used the ZK-NZ_ series of registrations for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, with ZK-NZC, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M. N, Q and R but they have not re-used ZK-NZP.

Sunday 26 November 2023

My week of Squirrel shooting

 Potted at Nelson was the Eurocopter AS 350 B2 Squirrel ZK-HPE4 c/n 4052.  
This on started as VH-ZRP2 in Australia in April 2006 and came to NZ for the Alpine Group from 10-08-2016.
Now listed to a 'Private Owner".

Below is the Helibras AS 350 B2 Equilo (sub species) ZK-HQN4 c/n 3620 which was once PP-MJG.
It joined the NZ register on 25-10-2016.

Also at Nelson was the Aerospatiale AS 350BA ZK-IOR c/n 1646 which arrived in NZ being ex N5800T and N28TM. It become ZK-HZR from 23-09-1986. 
It moved on to ZK-HST2 on 03-05-1993 and then to ZK-HWF3 on 18-06-2009.
It became ZK-IOR on 03-11-2014.

Over at Omaka I knocked off the following.
ZK-HFA2 c/n 9000 is an Aerospatiale B2 (FX) of Mid West Helicopters (NZ) Ltd of Whanganui.
This was XB-XQR between June of 1998 and its listing in NZ on 14-05-2001 with Helicopters (NZ) Ltd.
It was accompanied (below) by the Mid West Helicopters Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IDN2 c/n 3356 - previously N232LA and N886LP and one of Brian Comerford's many imports, being registered here on 20-09-2021.

Omaka based Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-ITJ2 c/n 3547 was initially I-PAMR from July 2002 in Italy, then to Spain as EC-JPM, HK-4777 in Colombia and C-FLQF in Canada. Reaching the ZK register on 12-12-2017 via Oceania Aviation Ltd and now with Precision Helicopters.

Above we have the Marlborough Helicopters 2021 Ltd's Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-IMJ2 c/n 2115 which is ex XB-XSU and VH-VRW and joined Helicontrax Ltd of Christchurch on 20-02-2014.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Bombardier N721MS departing Christchurch.

 Noted departing Christchurch International on Thursday the 23rd was the Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express N721MS c/n 9695.Built by Bombardier Aerospace Inc and registered as C-FHSX on 16-02-2016 until cancelled on 29-02-2016 to become EC-MKH in early March with Gestair SA of Barajas.
From 29-04-2021 it was listed briefly to Bombardier Aerospace Corporation of Dallas, Texas as N468BH and then to VH-FFI3 on 12-05-2021 with FMG Air Pty Ltd of East Perth and operated for Fortescue Metals GP Ltd until cancelled on 20-03-2023.
It was then returned to the US register as N721MS and listed with TVPX Aircraft Solutions of North Salt Lake, Utah from 21-03-2023.
TVPX is an organisation that allows non US citizens to operated US registered aircraft.
For more details on how this arrangement works check  HERE

Starship Beech King Air at Whangarei 22-11-2023

While I was at Whangarei last Wednesday Skyline Aviation's Beech B 300 King Air ZK-SSH marked in Starship Hospital colours arrived and departed.  Here are some shots of its departure:

Back tracking for Runway 06,

Lining up on the numbers,


And climbing out.  A very colourful sight!