Thursday, 15 April 2021

Squirrels in Wanaka

A visit to Wanaka showed there had been a number of changes to the local Squirrel population starting with AS350B2 ZK-HAA3 which moved from Alpine Helicopters to Wanaka Helicopters in December 2020 and in the process acquired a smart new paint scheme.  This was originally imported from the US in 2014.

Also acquiring a new paint scheme is Wanaka Helicopters' AS350B2 ZK-HFF4 which has been with the company since 2017

A new arrival in early 2020 for a local private owner was AS350BA ZK-HDB8, being imported from Australia

Up the Matukituki Valley at the Aspiring Helicopters' base was their latest Squirrel acquisition, AS350B3 ZK-HGR2,  which was imported from Malaysia in 2019.


Mt Hutt Helicopters

Near Pudding Hill just off HWY 72 Mt Hutt Helicopters operate a helicopter maintenance base servicing operators from Canterbury, Otago and the West Coast.   The company no longer has its own fleet of helicopters.   
A visit there yesterday revealed Hughes 369D ZK-HDE3 which has been operated by Precision Helicopters since early 2020.   This was originally imported from the USA in 2011.

And a new import for a Methven private owner is AS350B2 ZK-IFN,  which was registered in February 2021.   This was imported from Germany, although it previously carried a Slovakian registration.

Mt Hutt Helicopters has also imported a 1977 model Cessna A185F N185RL and this was undoing a complete rebuild in the hangar to become ZK-MHA in due course.  It has spent most of its previous life in French Guyana in South America.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Lake Tekapo

A visit to Lake Tekapo Airport today revealed all of Air Safaris' operational fleet of Caravans and Airvans outside in the sun.  Star of the fleet is the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX ZK-SRX which was delivered new to the company in 2016.

Hangared and for sale are the company's 2 GAF N24A Nomads, being ZK-NME which was acquired from Western Samoa in 1987

And ZK-NMD2 which came from Australia in 1987.   Both aircraft are in good condition and have occasional engine runs.

Still hangared also is the fuselage of GAF N22B Nomad ZK-NOL which was withdrawn from use in 1995.

Used occasionally by the company's owners is the immaculate 1961 model Cessna 180D ZK-BZV.  It was acquired by Air Safaris in 2006.

Down the road at the former Tekapo Helicopters base the facility has been taken over by MacKenzie Helicopters and they have recently added the former Helicopter Line AS350B2 ZK-HDL3 to their fleet.  The also operate Hughes 369D ZK-IOB.


Monday, 12 April 2021

400 HP Fletcher FU 24 ZK-MUT at Maungaturoto

It is a pretty rare thing for a new 400 HP Fletcher to be registered here, but Murray Hargreaves of Maungaturoto has imported just such an example from Australia where it was operated as VH-MYW with Yassair Pty Ltd of Yass, NSW.  It was flown across the Tasman in late 2019.

The aircraft was registered ZK-MUT (c/n 267) to M Hargreaves Ltd on 24/12/19.  Thanks to Mark Stout for the use of his photo.

It has been operating here for some time as in this video:  Listen to the sound!

As you would expect, this airframe has a previous history here and it was built by Pacific Aerospace in 1979.  It was registered ZK-EMP as in this photo taken on 3/9/79.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Helicopters from Japan

Oceania Aviation at Ardmore have just imported two AS355F1 helicopters from Aero Asahi in Japan for refurbishment.   One of these is JA9587 which was originally imported new into Japan back in 1982.


Thursday, 8 April 2021

New Resident at Kaipara Flats - ZK-SPN

A new resident at Kaipara Flats is the Robin R2160 ZK-SPN that was registered to the Rodney Aero Club on 1/5/2020:

It still wears its XFlight titles from a few years ago (although XFlight is not now operating).

Its interesting history was chronicled back in 2011 at:

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Thorp S-18T ZK-MBY

A brief visitor to Pauanui today was the Thorp S-18T ZK-MBY which has undergone a conversion to a tail wheel configuration.   This was originally registered in 2005 and changed ownership to the Thorp Syndicate of Auckland in December 2020.


Monday, 5 April 2021

Cessna T206H ZK-NVC at Tauranga

Tauranga was quite busy yesterday with visiting aircraft including the Cessna T206H ZK-NVC that has not been posted on this blog previously, and Mark Pattenden was on hand to photograph it:

ZK-NVC (c/n T20608185) was registered here on 5/3/20 to a Hastings owner.  It was previously VH-NVC.

Thanks for the photo Mark.

Sunday, 4 April 2021


Easter visitors to Pauanui airfield increased today, now that the winds have dropped off, and included SG Aviation Storm 300 ZK-OCW up from Whakatane.   It has been with its original owner since 2006.

One of 6 different black Airbus helicopters that have been delivering holidaying families to Pauanui was Helicopter Me's AS350B-3 ZK-HTS2.    This has been with the company since October 2020 and was originally imported new in 2006.


Cessna 560 Citation Ultra ZK-XGO at Wellington

The newly registered Cessna Citation Ultra ZK-XGO has been out and about and was recently photo'd at Wellington by Tim Gorman:

I thought this photo was interesting as it shows the clam shell reverse thrust doors deployed, and you can also see where the redirected jet exhaust is going.

Thanks for the photo Tim.