Monday 2 June 2008

Question time #7 Answer

You have been looking at a section of the instrument panel of the Travel Air 4000 N688K . c/n 1323 belonging to Des Lines at Swannanoa, North Canterbury.

Its been in country for about five years now and has hopes of becoming ZK-TVL.

There is at least four others in country. Anybody seen them lately ?

I know there is N8192 . c/n 894 , with Hallett Griffin at Kairanga. What about the others ?


  1. I was recently trawling through old issues of Classic Wings and saw this machine in the News section. TVL remains unallocated on the CAA website. Has there been any progress on the project? And, for the matter, of the "at least" four others?

  2. Yo there Handbag.
    688K has been moved into the back workshop and is still well on the back burner.
    N8192 is still with Hallett and I heard recently that he is going to get somebody in to work on it.
    I have not heard anything recent about the Russ Ward quartet of N8134 (which was flying some years ago) and N901, N1591 and N1592.

  3. Handbag and Blue Bus, I happened on this when tracking down the de-registration of N688K from the US aircraft registry and just discovered the nzcivair blogspot. This aircraft belonged to my father, Helge Ragnar ("Rags") Albrektson in the 1930's, and was the pride and joy of his nascent flying business, "Albrektson's Flying Service: See Your City From the Air!" It was based in San Francisco (San Bruno, really, where KSFO is), and he told me of many adventures. A few: Just after rebuilding a lower wing, and right after the inspector signed off, some idiot smoking near the freshly-doped wing set it on fire. He was able to save the wing, and worked 36 hours straight over the weekend to rebuild and recover it. No second inspection! Another "whoops:" There was a fashion for a big built-up headrest behind the second cockpit, and "Rags" did this mod according to his own ideas. It was a disaster; it blanked the rudder and caused huge control issues. It was gone 3 days later. One more: He had to make an emergency landing in an alfalfa field in California's central valley. He repaired the problem, and taxied into the downwind corner of the field. He did the normal run-up and when the tail began flying, the prop cut into the juicy wet alfafa, and his windscreen was whited out. He had to fly all the way back to SFO wig-wagging in order to see. Landing was a challenge--he slipped and kicked it out at the last minute and continued to taxi back to the hanger in a zigzag.

  4. Hello there Ray.
    Great to get your feedback on your fathers old aircraft.
    I have not seen it since October 2014 but now I have the incentive to call in on the owner to see whats happening with it. Then maybe do an up to date blog post of it.
    I don't imagine you have any photographs of it from way back then ?

    My direct email is

    Dave Paull (Bluebus)