Sunday 7 September 2008

Fletcher FU24A-950M ZK-CLO withdrawn.

A brief look at the recently cancelled FU242 ZK-CLO.
This Fletcher was built as c/n 62 and registered as ZK-BOJ to Cable-Price Corporation on 14-8-1957. It first flew on 22-11-1957, was cancelled on 23-04-58 having moved to Australia and become VH-FBQ on 13-03-1958 with Air Land Improvements Ltd at Cootamundra.
It returned to NZ to become ZK-CLO on 01-04-1965 with James Aviation Ltd at Hamilton. A few days later it was working with Sherwood Aviation of Hastings.

These two pics taken at Waipukarau on 02-03-1969 show it in it Sherwood scheme, basically James Aviation scheme with stylised "Sherwood" on tail and engine cowl instead of "James"
On 10-11-1969 it was relisted to the parent Company James Aviation.

Pic above at Palmerston North on 13-12-1972 wearing "James" script.
Pic below also at Palmerston North but on 22-09-1973 and still as sprayer.
It had an engine transplant in June of 1978and became a FU24-950M. (easiest recognition feature from earlier model is the deeper squarer cowl with stub exhausts on each side and three blade prop).
It relisted to King Country Aerial Farmimg Ltd of Te Kuiti on 06-08-1984 and the two pics below show it as such, still with the tired James markings on its tail and pilots name of Murray McFarlane forward of cockpit
By April 1987 John Rika was flying it
under the King Country Air Service name. At about this time it was redesignated as aFU24A-950M (which I think means dual control), and it also took part in the alternative fuel trials - in this case it was the Methanol field test aircraft.
It had a woopsie at Te Akau on 03-08-1988 and was cancelled on 01-09-88.
Pacific Aerospace Corporation then feature in its ownership trail from 27-10-89 following a rebuild.
Central Airspread at Alexandra became the next operator from February 1990, then Beck Aviation in 1992,
Pic below at Taieri on 04-08-1992.
It relisted to Beck Aviation (2000) Ltd on 07-07-2000 and then Southair at Taieri from 25-02-2002. Southair leased it to various operators and to the best of my knowledge it was damaged near Heriot on 24-01-2005 when it veered off the strip.
It has been cancelled as withdrawn.

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