Tuesday 30 June 2009
Interesting and historic photographs by or via Murray Kirkus, who lived in the Wellington area at the time of Agricola activity.
Was sent to the NZ Auster agents, Bristol Aeroplane Co. NZ Ltd., Wellington, for a demonstration tour as ZK-BMJ. Sold to Airlift (NZ) Ltd., Kilbirnie and registered to them in October 1956.
At Rongotai, probably with Airlift:
Parked on an airstrip, unknown location:
When this company folded in 1960, Claude Stephenson (their chief pilot) formed a new company, Associated Farmers Aerial Work Ltd. based at Martinborough and BMJ was registered to this new company in August 1960.
ZK-BMJ was hired to Air Contracts Ltd., Masterton later in 1960 until damaged in a crash 8th May 1961 - anyone know the location of this incident?.
Associated Farmers rebuilt the aircraft:
Followed a similar path, being sold through the Agents to Airlift (NZ) Ltd. as ZK-BMK from May 1957. Under their ownership, crashed into Waingawa River, after failed t/off at Hood, Masterton, 11May57.
ZK-BMK at Rongotai May 1957:
Imported through the Agents as ZK-BML, went to Rangitikei Air Services Ltd. of Taihape in April 1957. Fitted out as a sprayer. Crashed & DBF near Taihape 22Jan59.
Note the built-in spray rig:
Imported through the agents as ZK-BMN. Remained unsold, and stored at Blenheim (Woodbourne?) until sold to Air Contracts Ltd. in 1961 (replacement for ZK-BMJ?). Passed on to Associated Farmers and registered to them in October 1963. Crashed 5mls SE of Paraparaumu 11Mar65, out of fuel. Pilot M H Lacey.
Under Air Contracts ownership, location looks to be Masterton airfield:
c/n B.107 (later c/n B.118)
Allotted ZK-BMO, but the slow sales of BMM and BMN meant that this aircraft was retained in the UK and became G-APFZ with Aerial Agriculture Ltd. of Lasham with whom it flew about 300hrs. (ZK-BMO was reallocated to a Beaver). WFU Rearsby after CofA expiry 22Apr60. Rebuilt at Rearsby with a new c/n B118 and sold to Air Contracts Ltd., Masterton. First NZ flight at Masterton 8 October 1962 as ZK-CCV. Operated from Masterton until crashed Pongaroa, Masterton, and partially DBF 19Feb63. Pilot Barry Cook.
Operational on a farm strip, date and place unknown:
As Sir Minty has already said, we are still looking for a photograph of ZK-BMM G-APFZ and also (a long shot) a photograph of Agricola c/n B.108 which was allotted ZK-BMP but also remained unsold in the UK. Completed with c/n B.117 and went to British Guiana as VP-GAZ where it crashed 27 June 1959. The remains of this aircraft were then returned to the Auster factory. (ZK-BMP was reallocated to a Cessna 180).
We can but hope!
The only marks noted being "10841" which may make it Cessna A37B-CE Dragonfly 71-0841.
Can anybody provide more information please.
It is indeed a zoom in on the cockpit of the Percival Provost T Mk1 ZK-SGN, c/n PAC/F/226 .
Top photo shows it at Masterton on 28-02-2008 in its Omani marks.
Delivery to the RAF was on 20-09-1954 with the serial WW397. It was withdrawn from use on 07-11-1969 and became instructional airframe 8060M at Halton UK. It then moved to become a gate guardian at Lyneham in 1979. It was rescued from this site and restored to join the UK civil register as G-BKHP on 26-08-1982 with Flt Lt Mike Crymble and first flew on 28-05-1983. Just over ten years later (12-11-1993) its UK registration was cancelled as it moved to Australia to become VH-OIL with Keith Clarke on 13-09-1994.
It came to NZ and was listed as ZK-SGN for James Slade on 05-11-2002 until re-registered to Owlco Trust on 27-02-2003.
It appeared at Wanaka Warbirds in 2004 in the above temporary Japanese markings.
Below is a view of it during its time as G-BKHP in the UK.
This aircraft is currently for sale.
Sunday 28 June 2009
This particular S-76 has a long and distinguished history. Built by United Technologies Corp., Stratford, CT it was initially registered N4237S before transferring to the Royal Jordanian Air Force in 1979 as ABLE-1. UTC got it back in 1987 and restored it as '37S before a sale to PMA Services Pty.Ltd., Revesby, NSW where it became VH-JQI on 8Nov1989. January 1990 saw it back in the USA with Aircraft Holdings Inc., Miami, FL as N4237S once again until a transfer to Mexico as XB-RXV with Aviorrenta SA de CV in July 1991. This didn't last long as August the same year saw it back as '37S with Air Siesta Inc., McAllen, TX.
Around this time Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith was looking for a helicopter to carry out his first-around-the-world in a westerly direction adventure and he picked up this S-76 for the event, registering it as VH-SHW on 16Oct1991 and named it World Explorer. Dick & Pip Smith successfully carried out the global flight. By August 1995 the registration had been changed to VH-CFH under the ownership of Dick Smith Adventure Pty.Ltd. The Order of St John Auckland Regional Trust Board, Whanagrei bought the helicopter into New Zealand in August 1997 and it became ZK-ISJ on 3Sep1997. I recollect there was some dispute about the wisdom of this purchase at that time, as by then this S-76 was a bit non-standard.
Despite it's age it is still a very impressive machine, and I watched in awe as some complicated manouvering took place presumably to try and demonstrate some fault. If you look closely, you can see that the undercarriage locking pins are still in place during this exercise.
After a shut down and some further discussion, ISJ was preflighted, restarted and taxiied away to depart. (It still seems strange to me to see a helicopter taxiing, but that's what she does). What an amazing machine.
Saturday 27 June 2009
Friday 26 June 2009
ZK-SEY , c/n 00661 , the Air Safari's Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair cleared Kerikeri on Tuesday for Norfolk Island. On Thursday it completed the hop across via Lord Howe Island.
It has been Tekapo based since its arrival in NZ in July of 1985.
I noted it for sale on Trade Me back in August of 2005.
Top pic at Tekapo 20-01-2006 and lower pic also at Tekapo but on 26-09-07.
Thursday 25 June 2009
This Lake LA4-200 c/n 583 and ex DQ-FDO was noted at New Plymouth in May of 1985; I believe for Neil O'Connor (sp ?).
It had obviously arrived some time prior to this date in a container.
I know that this airframe started life as N65644 and then became VH-ETB, VP-PBA, F-OCXH, VP-PBA, H4-AAD and then DQ-FDO, which was cancelled on 20-07-1984.
Next sighting was at Nelson in July of 1994.
The Registration ZK-SUB was reserved in 1994 - possibly for this aircraft.
What has happened to this airframe since 1994 ?
Wednesday 24 June 2009
Apart from a brief tow-out, it has seemingly remained there as a hangar queen ever since.
Am I missing something here? Is it incredibly active during the hours of darkness and returns for a polish each day? Or is there some more serious work being carried out?
I am aware that there was some reworking of the radio systems that was required by CAA, but surely that would not take this long.
The Argosy photo above is ZK-SAE1 C/N 6802 , as seen alongside the highway between Woodbourne Airfield and Renwick on 15-07-2008. The blurb below is attached to the lower fuselage beneath the cockpit (starboard side).
Tuesday 23 June 2009
Ownership moved to B Dillon & C Thompson at Pahiatua on 02-09-2002.
It was damaged at Turangi on landing on 07-03-07 and cancelled on 05-07-07.
About mid August 2008 I came across an all white unmarked airframe at Heli-Maintenance at Christchurch. On the 26th the letters IMO were being attached - as in the above pic.
Three days later the tail boom had been added (pic below) and it came onto the register on 16-09-2008 with M S Hall of Wellington.
Less than a month later (13-10-08) it was listed to Astral Helicopters of Rotorua, however on December the 18th it suffered a dynamic rollover at Rotorua in the hands of a first solo pupil during a hovering exercise.
Its registration was cancelled (again) on June 12th 2009.
Yes it is a photograph of a photograph which hangs on the wall opposite the small cafe near the start of the finger that leads out to the main ANZ gates.
Now - we all know that the aircraft in the right foreground (G-ABCF) is the Southern Cross Junior, what I would like to ask is:-
What flight is this aircraft probably better known for in NZ circles ?
In case of a deluge of correct answers:-
What was the name of the dog ?
To the right of the hangar is what I believe to be an anemometer mast. What is its claim to fame ? !
[Rodney - Do you recognise your club rooms in the background ?]
Saturday 20 June 2009
Pitts Special S-1's ZK-EES , c/n AACA/28/1 , of Max Clear and ZK-EEU , c/n AACA/24/1 of Keith Trillo.
As a matter of interest:- to my knowledge there has been no ZK-EET.
I caught up with EEU again at New Plymouth on New Years Day 1986.
I assume the shoes are part of the ritual.
Thursday 18 June 2009
Another pic from the shoe box.
The remains of an unknown Bristol 170 Freighter on the perimeter of Woodbourne taken on 27-05-1989.
Is it just my imagination - or do airfields these days lack the interesting relics and wrecks of the older days.
Second clue below: not needed.
Third clue below: not needed.
Wednesday 17 June 2009
Tuesday 16 June 2009
Top pic at Ardmore on 18-03-08 & lower at Ardmore on 27-02-09.