Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Fly Italia MD3 Rider(s) of New Zealand

The next of the many types of sport aircraft to appear in New Zealand in the early 2000s was an example that we have had only one of - the Fly Italia MD 3 Rider.  This aircraft was designed in the Czech Republic by Jaro Drostal and the first prototype flew in 2004.  It was originally built by GRYF Aircraft in the Czech Republic for Fly Italia which was based in Dovera in NW Italy but this arrangement stopped in 2006 and when Fly Italia went into receivership in 2011, the aircraft continued to be built by Next Aircraft of Rivanazzano also in NW Italy (almost next door).  The aircraft was marketed as the Sport Rider in the US.

The MD 3 Rider is a conventional all metal high wing side by side with a steel fuselage frame and rivetted aluminium rear fuselage and tail, tailplane and wings.  The curvy bits are from composites including the cowlings, doors and wingtips.  One difference is the forward swept wings.  the aircraft's length is 5.9 metres (19 feet 4 inches) and the wingspan in 9.0 metres (29 feet 6 inches), with a wing area of 106 square feet.  Empty weight is around 287 Kg (663 pounds) and MAUW in NZ is 472 Kg (1,042 pounds).  With a 100 HP Rotax 912ULS cruise speed is around 115 mph, while the stall speed is 40 mph.

ZK-MDT (c/n 031) was first registered to Aerosport Aviation Ltd of Cambridge on 7/12/06. It was previously registered in Italy as I-8453.  It has spent all of its life in the Waikato - it was sold to Gentle Properties Ltd of Cambridge on 2/4/07 and then to Arnold GP Ltd of Cambridge on 19/2/10 and most recently to the MDT Syndicate of Mercer on 20/3/12, with whom it is still current. It is photo'd above at an air expo at Ardmore on 3/3/07.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

First of type at Ardmore 17-7-18

Dynali H3 EasyFlyer Sport ZK-HHQ msn H3-61-1740 of Karaka Helicopters Ltd, RD 1 Papakura seen at Ardmore early afternoon on 17-7-18. This Belgium made Ultra Light Helicopter was registered here on 28-5-18. I have seen it twice at Ardmore recently on a trailer arriving at and leaving from the airport but today is the first opportunity to photograph it.

Dominie ZK-BCP

This is a follow on from an earlier post by Sir Minty Here which contained a subtle hint that I should do a little history on ZK-BCP.

De Havilland DH89B Dominie c/n 6648.
This airframe was constructed by Brush Coachworks Ltd at their Loughborough, Leicestershire plant under contract No.65/Acft2580/C20a and was taken on charge by the Royal Air Force with the serial of HG649 and listed with 76 Maintenance Unit on 19-05-1943 for crating to ship to NZ.
It was shipped to New Zealand (along with NZ523/ZK-AKS) aboard the SS Sussex on 04-08-1943 reaching Auckland on 05-09-1943.
I would imagine it was barged over to Hobsonville for re-assembly and where it was taken on charge by the Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ524 on 08-09-1943 by Unit 36. 
It was issued to the Central Communication Flight at Rongotai from December 1943 until going up to Fiji from 18-10-1945.
Shipped back to NZ aboard the Sheafe Holme (built 1929 - Broken up May 1965) reaching Auckland 22-08-1947 and barged to Hobsonville again. Late that month it was issued to the General Purpose Flight at Rongotai and shortly there after to 41 Squadron  at Ohakea.
It was sold by GTSB tender to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch who registered it as ZK-BCP on 17-12-1953. A NZ C of A was issued on 01-02-1954 and it served Airwork through until February 1956 under their South Island Airways name to operate alongside their other DH89 ZK-BBP.
Below -  we see ZK-BCP in South island Airways titles at Christchurch, from the Ed Coates Collection.
From 25-05-1956 it was listed to Trans Island Airways Ltd of Oamaru until being delivered up to Auckland on 11-08-1958 to Coastal Airways Ltd of Auckland with whom it was registered on 08-09-1958.
By February 1959 it was down in Christchurch and listed to Brian Chadwick (who traded as Air Charter Ltd) on 16-09-1959.
It struck a fence on landing at Queenstown on either 31-01-1962.
On 12-02-1962 Brian Chadwick and four passenger went missing in the Companies other aircraft De Havilland DH90 Dragonfly ZK-AFB -
- with the Dominie ZK-BCP passing to the Estate of Brian Chadwick and I believe it was hired to the Canterbury Aero Club briefly before being sold to Southern Scenic Air Services Ltd of Queenstown from 07-07-1964.
On 01-05-1965 SSAS became part of New Zealand Tourist Air Travel Co Ltd.
It swung into a stop bank at Milford Sound during a downwind landing on 25-03-1965.
Below we see it in TAT colours. Photo via Bob McKerrow.
Then followed a change to Mount Cook Airlines Ltd from 01-01-1968. 
Below at Milford in 1969.
                                    It ground looped into a fence at Te Anau on 16-11-1969.
I believe it was retired from Airline Service in late 1972 and stored at Te Anau.
Then on 18-07-1973 it became Mount Cook and Southern Lakes Tourist Co Ltd.
It was sold to Bill Waterton of C Tracy and Co Ltd of Melbourne on 31-01-1975.
It was overhauled and noted at Taieri and had long range fueltanks fitted in December of 1974.

Here we see it at Taieri on 06-12-1974 marked up in its full Australian registration of VH-BGP - upper and lower wings as well.
I visited Taieri again on the 11th of December 1974 by which time the 'VH' tail marks had been covered by taped 'ZK' markings. The wing retaining the full VH-BGP marks.

 Above we have the hose line running from the cabin tank to the filler cap.
 Above and below - full VH-BGP markings on upper and lower wings.

  It was ferried from Christchurch to Auckland on 14-01-1975, then on to Kaitaia and Norfolk Island on 19-01-1975 and to Brisbane on the 21st the pilot being Ray Cooney and the navigator was Tedd Allen It was flown to Melbourne the next day by owner Bill Waterton.

It was registered as VH-BGP2 on 31-01-1975 to C Tracey and Co Pty Ltd of Melbourne and then on to Joe G Drage of Wodonga, Victoria and placed in his aircraft museum with an ownership change taking place on 20-05-1975 to Joseph G Drage/Drage Historical Aircraft.
On 03-04-1985 it was listed to Drage's Air World/City of Wangaratta, Victoria
Joes aircraft collection was gradually moved to Wangaratta to the Drage Air World hangar with the Dominie flying there on 21-07-1985.
As seen below by David Tanner on 18-04-1987 in the Drage Airworld museum.
Below - seen on one of its outings at Nowra in 1991 by Arthur Scarf.
It attended a few airshows until its last flight on 20-03-1997.
With the closure of Airworld the Dominie was noted for sale in December of 2002 and sold in 2004 to Bruce Ivers of Perth and registered to Dime Nominees Pty Ltd of Subaico, WA on 26-07-2004.
It was containered over to Croydon Aircraft Company of Mandeville for slow rebuild reportedly with a new scratch built fuselage.
The two photos below taken at Mandeville on 18-11-2014

Along with this note !

Photo below by Terry Fletcher at Mandeville on 17-03-2016.
Not a lot of obvious progress here.
It is still at Mandeville today.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Alpi Pioneer 300 ZK-CJO at North Shore 12-7-2018

I was pleased to be able to photograph  Alpi Pioneer 300 ZK-CJO2 at North Shore airfield last week.  I think it is a relative newcomer to North Shore, still under the ownership of AJ Whitehead who used to be based at Pauanui.

This was the first time I had ever seen ZK-CJO2 (c/n NZ91) and helpfully as I was eating a nice steak and oyster pie on the Aero Club balcony, the aircraft came to me and taxied past,

and took off.

 But it was not the first time I had photo'd this aircraft...

As I had seen it once before way back in February 2004 at the SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  Back then it was ZK-CJN3 with Colin J Nagel of The Grange at Masterton.  Confusingly, Colin Nagel then purchased another Pioneer 300 and registered it as ZK-CJN4 (c/n 224) which was in turn re-registered as ZK-CJZ2 and then Mr Nagel went on to buy a Tecnam P2008 which he registered ZK-CJN5.

ZK-CJN3/CJO2 hasn't changed very much over the years - the colours in my 2004 photo are not so accurate as the more recent photos - but it did used to be badged as a Pioneer 300JS which was the Jabiru engined model,  but now I see that is is just badged Pioneer 300 which leads me to think it may have been re-engined at some stage.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Dunedin based Gliding Club.

                                              Otago Gliding Club Reunion 

All past members and anyone interested in forming a new Dunedin based gliding club welcome. 

Friday 10 August 2018 at 6.30 pm. 
Ironic CafĂ© 
9 Anzac Avenue 
(opposite the Railway Station

RSVP to Garth Cameron : or 03 477 1719. 

Anything you can do to publicise this event would be most appreciated.