Saturday 28 February 2009

Southern Meanderings

First off, some good old-fashioned aerial agricultural action (well, the loader certainly is!). Andy Dourmann in MacKenzie Aviation's flagship, AT502B ZK-MAA, is spreading urea off Gore Airfield on 10 February. This machine crashed at Five Rivers on 8 May 07, and was rebuilt at Timaru by Bruce Robertson over the next year, before returning to duty mid 2008. The company also operate two FU24's, ZK-BOG and ZK- DDW.

On the same day, up at Argyle Station, north of Waikaia, High Country Helicopters B206B ZK-IBM was obligingly pulled out for recording. High Country also operate H369D ZK-HZK and R44 Raven ZK-IBD.

Nokomai Helicopters operate our sole B407 ZK-HNY, and it was 'at home' on Nokomai Station on 11 February, along with the company's other machines, H369E's ZK-HFT and ZK-HTT.

Continuing with the rotary theme, there are two H369FF's in country, Coastwide Helicopters ZK-HUJ (above) at Greymouth and Airwest Helicopters ZK-HRA not far up SH7 at Reefton. This machine was delivered new in April 08. The F models feature uprated turbines, longer blades and extended tail booms.

Illustrating the mobile nature of our rotary-wing activities, Simon Lawn's Ahaura Helicopters, based (not surprisingly) at Ahaura, generally operates two R22's on a variety of tasks. He has a predilection for the registration ZK-HDB, and this is the fifth machine he has operated with that identity. The Robbie was recorded for posterity on 13 February, and crashed on Mt White Station on 17 Feb after mechanical failure.

Final rotary candidate is Bill Hales' Alpine Springs Helicopters H369D ZK-HSD, just returned from a successful deer hunting sortie at Hanmer. There seems to be a mini boom in venison at present, and it is again not unusual to see these machines scooting along with multiple deer on the hook.

And finally another fixed wing - Westland Air Charter's Cessna U206F ZK-PCS is again providing floatplane services at Picton. I first noted this aircraft on wheels in 1997, but it has been on floats for a while now.


  1. Are both of Ahaura Helicopters R22's now destroyed? HBG was crashed in the Murchison area a month ago.

  2. HBG has been replaced by similar type HPY (from Hanmer). Alpine Springs Helicopters have replaced HPY with HOD (from Tauranga). Sounds like a riddle!