Monday 22 December 2008

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 ?


  1. Have you got a construction number?

  2. George Hetterscheid[my father] piloted this aircraft for Manawatu Aerial topdressing. I have some pics i will dig up and post on here along with more info on it's history. Great to see these pics

  3. Amazing photos of ZK-BZO. Can anybody tell me how to get in touch with Shoe Box for permission to use these photos in a compilation of all CAC-28 Ceres aircraft please?

    Peter Reardon
    Old (Very) former Ag Beaver Driver.

  4. Evening Peter.
    You have got me.
    Feel free to use those pics.

    My email is

    Sorry: just noticed your request from 22-12-2008.
    ZK-BZO was c/n 28-9.

  5. Were these top dressing planes made from old Harvard's by any chance ?

  6. Hello there Paul
    The CA-28 Ceres was developed by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd, Melbourne as a heavy payload agricultural aircraft based on the CAC Wirraway trainer. These in turn were based on the North American NA-16-2K -check out google at -

    Then check out this Geoff Goodhall site.