Wednesday 14 April 2010

Ownership change ZK-EUF

New Zealand Aerospace Industries Fletcher FU24-954 first flew on 01-10-1980 wearing its construction number "281" and was then shipped of to the USA to Frontier Aviation. However it was not re-assembled in the States and returned to NZ to become ZK-EUF with NZAI at Hamilton on 14-12-1981. It moved south to Airwork Agricultural Aviation of Rangiora and then to Rowley Aviation of Amberley on 16-08-1982. A reorganisation saw ownership listed to Bruce Evans at Karaka Downs on 30-07-1993 (trading as Rowley Aviation). It moved up to Hamilton to be fitted with a Walter601D turboprop and first flew with this on 14-10-1998. More Company reshuffling saw it listed to Aerial Sowing Group of Nelson on 13-05-2002 and then to Aerial Sowing Group back at Hawarden from 28-11-2008.

Latest change sees it join J S & L F Kerr/Skydive NZ Ltd on 16-02-10. So reading between the lines I expect we will see it at Fox Glacier soon in the parachute dropping roll.

Pic below shows it in its -954 mode. Taken at Karaka Downs on 11-09-1997.

And below, also at Karaka Downs, but as a Walter powered 954. Dated 20-10-1999.
Update at 16 2020hrs.
cessna185 has advised that the aircraft is currently with Super Air at Hamilton being converted to skydive configuration, which should be finish about the end of the month.
Also confirmed is that it will be used at Fox Glacier. (Thanks cessna185)


  1. I think it is this aircraft that has crashed and killed nine persons today.

  2. I think you are correct, crashed today around midday killing 9. Very sad. Are these able to carry 9 people?

  3. How do you fit 10 people into this?

  4. Sad loss of Pilot, four Skydiving professionals and four tourist tandems.I've seen youtube videos with six in the back, it looked cramped. Redmondy UK


    here is the link you can see the plane a little better. I guess that in that first picture looks like the plane is some two-seater model plane. Can better understand the dimensions of that link, the FB photo.. But anyway, very sad news..

  6. The aircraft is far bigger than you might expect from the photo designed to lft heavy loads with a fast rate of climb. The design is sound and generic to a Canadian design initiated in the fifties. The NZ-built examples are in service throughout the world where no examples of Ag aircraft of British manufacture have served the role since the DH82 - 1938.

  7. I lost two friends, two good people. This plane was 30 years old! Used as a work horse for the New Zealand Agricultural Industry, where many recent articles have been trying to educate agricultural pilots to adhere to weight limits (Maximum Take-off All up Weight). We all know how these planes get thrown around in such airwork. These are good planes, but metal fatigues. I know people should not speculate at times like these, but that pilot would have done all he could. The investigators will do their job, but on the surface of its history, could this be another ag-plane that has had stressors to its frame leading to an inevitable failure. You cant do much if under load a wing spar gives up. Use these aircraft for parachuting when they are fresh off the production line, too many lives in one aircraft to take chances. No blame should be passed, its an aweful tragedy, hopefully the outcome of the investigation leads to lessons that can be learnt. Sometimes "she'll be alright" isn't worth the risk. CAA will no doubt take actions accordingly. Thoughts and prayers to the other friends and families of the lost love ones.

  8. I suspect that structural failure will not be an issue. THere was a report which spoke of fire before impact; with a turbine this is more likley to be catastrophic turbine overheat or birdstrike. Most aircraft are over 30 years old.