Wednesday 31 December 2008

Splash Down!

When I heard the news on Christmas Day of a newly imported aircraft crashing into the sea while enroute from Ardmore to Whangarei, I instantly thought of Centurion ZK-ZIO. This article and its associated photo confirms my suspicion!

SeaNorth boss Robert Burling, left, with the salvaged Cessna. Picture/Chris Rudsdale

Cessna looks good on surface - article from the Northern Advocate 29.12.2008
By Mike Barrington
A textbook landing by pilot John Sturgess when he ditched his plane in the sea off Ruakaka Beach on Christmas Day paid off when the aircraft was hauled out of the water showing little damage yesterday.
The Cessna Centurion is now in the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club compound, where its wings are to be removed so it can be taken to the Northland Aviation Ltd premises at Whangarei Airport for Civil Aviation Authority inspection later this week.
However, despite its good condition after four days under water, insurance official Graeme Polley said yesterday that salt corrosion of the plane's aluminium fuselage would be rapid and the aircraft was likely to be written off.

Engine failure forced Mr Sturgess to crash-land his plane about noon on Thursday, when he was flying north from Ardmore to visit his mother in Whangarei Hospital.
The 52-year-old Auckland businessman got out unhurt and two Ruakaka lifeguards helped him ashore as the plane sank in 4m of water.
The salvage operation was carried out by Kerikeri-based SeaNorth Ltd, which had Northland Underwater Technical Services Ltd divers attach airbags to strong points on the aircraft to lift it to the surface.
Following instructions from Retro Air engineer Bruce Caulter, of Hastings, the landing gear was manually pumped into the down position, inspection hatches and doors were opened for drainage, and lines attached for the divers' boat to tow the partly submerged plane toward shore.
The tow line was then transferred to the tail and Ruakaka contractor Dave Le Grath used a tractor to tow the aircraft out of the surf backwards to reduce damage.
About 250 litres of fuel was drained from the plane's self-sealing tanks. Mr Caulter recorded the position of instruments to pass the information on to CAA officials.
Mr Polley said early indications were that the plane's engine had failed internally.
Both he and SeaNorth boss Robert Burling attributed the Cessna's relatively intact condition to the pilot's landing skill.
"The guy did an excellent job with his belly landing," Mr Polley said
And looking much happier at Ardmore two days prior to its crash!

Monday 29 December 2008

Kiwi connections at Camden NSW.

'The following three photographs have been supplied by David Eyre from Australia.

A visit to Camden, NSW on 16-12-2008 found the Helipro Kawasaki BK117 B2 ZK-HYX3 , c/n 1006 , on fire duty carrying "New South Wales Rural Fire Service" titles and fleet number.

Another find was that of the Seawind 2500 ZK-SWT , c/n AACA/1093 .
This is the aircraft that crashed on take off at Lake Taupo on 16-01-2005 killing the builder/pilot John Borman from Tauranga. The registration was cancelled on 27-04-2005 as being exported. Shot below shows it at Camden on a rebuild. It still carries "Pure Pleasure" on the fuselage side.

Thanks to David Eyre in Australia.

Question time # 32

Another easy one to finish the year off.
What sort of tin pigeon is this then.

And because it is such an easy one : have a crack at is registration.

Question time # 31 resolved.

First up with an answer was nzompilot - and behold - he is correct with Raytheon (Beech would have been OK) 1900D. It is ZK-EAG at Westport on 26-03-07.

Thinks maybe I included too much of the 1900's forehead - making it far too easy.

Well done all.

Sunday 28 December 2008

Oh no. Not more Rangiora photos !

Four visitors and one local exposed themselves for my camera today (28-12-2008) at Rangiora.
A trio from up North. Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six ZK-DSQ , c/n 32-1012 is listed to A F & T R Hull of Auckland.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II ZK-KAT , c/n 28-7816099 from the North Shore Aero Club.

& Nanchang CJ-6 ZK-FRU2 , c/n 2132048 , starting after refueling.
All three having been parked up at Omarama overnight and Lake Station the previous night.
Planted firmly on terra firma is Cessna A185F ZK-DPF Skywagon , c/n 02421. This has been with the Fechney family since new (via Rex Aviation) in late 1974. This is based near Aylesbury a few clicks west of Christchurch.

The EAA Acro Sport II ZK-VWT , c/n AACA/635 belongs to Andrew Beasley of Hokitika. Currently parked up at NZRT. Built in Dunedin by David Comrie and first registered in February 1982. It moved to New Plymouth for R McLellan in May of 1985. From April 1997 it spent ten years at Motueka with Vince and Alison D'ath until moving to NZHK in April of 2007.

Question time # 31

Something for the wider audience this time.

Manufacturer and model required this time.

Question time # 30 answer.

We have no winner for this QT.

The answer is off course :- Sigma Aircraft Sigma 4. Three have been listed on the NZ Civil Aircraft Register.

ZK-JQF2, c/n 08, pictured above at Rangiora on 14-10-2006. It was exported and cancelled on 21-06-2007 and I believe is now "24-5095" on the Australian Recreational Aircraft Register.

ZK-JRC2 c/n 09 has been hangared at Ashburton for some time. Picture above taken on 21-03-2008.

The third is ZK-JRN c/n 10, which I have not yet sighted.

JRC & JRN are still both registered to the importer Maxim Vassiliev (East Sea Company).

The Sigma is Rotax 912ULS powered onto a Kiev, threee bladed propeller. They also have ballistic recovery parachutes. Pic above shows JQF coming together at Rangiora on 24-02-06 showing part of this system :the red object on rear window: which connects to the chute.

Saturday 27 December 2008

More Rangiora 27-12-2008

Three more noted at Rangiora this morning around 1030am
Laurie Tuff's Tri-R KIS-TR4 Cruiser ZK-TUF c/n 44. First flown 20-04-2000. Don't see it out all that often.

The real tidy Cessna 185B Skywagon ZK-FRW2 c/n 185-0568 listed to the Flying Circus Ltd. Based at Rangiora it is a reasonably recent rebuild from Frank Wright at Mt Maunganui. It has an extensive history from the US, Canada, Zimbabwe and Australia.
A real stranger in town was the Vans RV6A ZK-VIA c/n 23401 of Derek and Christine Edwards of Levin.

Rangiora 27 Dec

A few in the sun at Rangiora today, MGS was over from it's home at Forest Field, while CLT is close to it's first flight.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Couple of new ones (for me at least) parked at Ardmore 23Dec.

Jabiru ZK-CPA has been around since May 2003 and is currently registered to a Mr Boag of Palmerston North.

Cessna T210M Centurion ZK-ZIO came onto the register 11Dec this year and was previously registered N6298B with it arriving into New Plymouth via container and noted Labour Weekend marked as ZIO. Its registered to John Sturgess & Associates of Manukau. The addition of ZIO to the register brings the population to 8.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Question time # 30. Another clue.

The Question time circuit has gone all quiet.
I add the pic below to help stimutate your phagocyte's

Monday 22 December 2008

Cesna 404 Titan Ambassador 111 ZK-NDY

Finally found the Titan outside in the sunshine at Wigram today.
ZK-NDY c/n 404-0693, photographed just after 10am this morning, taxying out for departure.

It still carries these titles on the port side (as seen at Timaru on 21-02-08).

From the shoe box # 1a ZK-BZO

Found another pic of Ceres ZK-BZO c/n 9. Taken at Silverstream on 22-07-1982.

From the shoe box # 1 ZK-BZO

Found an old shoe box among the collection of unsorted junk that has been awaiting sorting since moving into this house. This box offered up many olde photos & slides, including the following moth eaten colour slides. A quick run under the scanner produced the following shots. Not as good as the originals but of sufficient historical interest to blog up.
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA28 Ceres Type C VH-CEL was first registered to the manufacturer on 20-09-1960. It was cancelled on 03-02-1961 for it to join the NZ civil register as ZK-BZO on 07-02-1961 for Aerial Farming of NZ Ltd. I believe it first flew here on 30-01-1961. It quickly joined the Cookson Airspread Ltd fleet at Wairoa and remained with them, through at least three incidents until moving to Manawatu Aerial Top Dressing Co Ltd on 01-12-1969.
Above shot at Feilding 29-10-1970

Above. Working out of Paraparaumu on 08-04-1971.

Near Paraparaumu 08-04-1971.

On 17-01-1972 it was damaged on the Pahiatua Track.

The above two shots give an idea of the damage. Pics at Feilding 20-11-1972. The registration was cancelled on 30-03-1976.

It then spent some time at The Silverstream Museum (between Stokes Valley & Upper Hutt) before going into storage. I believe a Mike Nicholls imported a Wirraway tubular forward fuselage section in about 1990 with the intention of converting BZO back to a RAAF Wirraway.

Can anybody add to this ?

Sunday 21 December 2008


ZK-HWH S/N: LN098 joins HYY & HUA for Garden of Eden Helicopters. Christchruch 19th Dec

Saturday 20 December 2008

Skyfarmers # 3 Correction.

I have been advised that ZK-SAT now has a derated PT6-34AG engine fitted.
The original -15AG is now on the Fletcher FU24-550GT Crusader ZK-DDX.
DDX first flew with this engine on 07-06-06.

Pic of ZK-DDX below taken at Oamaru on 19-10-2008.

Hamilton Alphas

Cessna at Hamilton

Seen Fri 19th.

Recent arrival from "The Coast"

A recent arrival at Rangiora from "The Coast" is this Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-KJR. C/n is 7-3854 and first registered on 02-11-1999 to Keith Ross.
Pic above shows it in the "Isolation hangar" getting all of the sandflies exterminated.

Friday 19 December 2008

One and the same.

Robinson R22 Beta c/n 1789 came to NZ from Japan where it had been listed as JA7853.
It became ZK-HEH3 on 05-11-02 with James Scott at Fox Glacier. It was quickly moved on to Precision Helicopters of Hokitika from 17-02-2003 and then relisted to West Coast Heliwork Ltd on 26-06-2003.
On 05-02-2008 it transferred to Amuri Helicopters of Hanmer Springs and is shown above at the Rangiora base on 14-05-08. It carried a very small note stuck on the side of the port door advising that it was operated by "Amuri Helicopters".
This registration was cancelled on 04-09-2008 and it became ZK-IWK with the same operater.

Pic below on the same pad taken on 18-12-2008.

Oldie but a Goodie

Parked outside Dennis Thompson International at Ardmore on 11Dec was Piper PA24 Comanche ZK-PMC. Registered to Helicopter Services Support of Taupo, this machine ferried into NZ from the USA as N9335P in April of this year. Thanks to Blue Bus we know that 4860 examples of the PA24 were built since the type's first flight in May 1956 but interestingly only 7 have been seen on the ZK register.

Europa ZK-EPA

The second allocation of ZK-EPA is adorned by this example of the mono wheeled Europa XS, completed by Aucklander Gavin Lee and placed on the NZ register this September. The first ZK-EPA was worn by a Bristol Freighter ex NZ5902 between 1978 and 1988. (Thanks to Blue Bus for the insightful information!).

Its takeoff roll was rather, um, interesting (!!) but its touch and goes on the grass vector a great deal more pleasant to watch!

Question time # 30

Flying machine make & model please !

Then throw in a likely registration.

Question time # 29 resolved.

Thomas the cat building up time on Piper PA-38-112 ZK-MAJ with Yak 52 ZK-YRA in the background.
Anonymous Barry answers fully & correctly enough for me.
Like the man said: "It was an easy one"