Sunday 31 October 2010

Rockwell 114 ZK-ELL

Newly imported into New Zealand from the US is this Rockwell Commander 114 serial number 14229. Previously registered as N96ET this aircraft arrived at Hastings Aerodrome in a 40 foot shipping container on 27 Aug 2010. It has been reassembled by Hawkes Bay Aviation. The photo above, taken on 28 Oct 2010, shows ZK-ELL about to undergo a engine run. The aircraft is registered to Gwailo Investments of Hasting and it is believed that it will be operated by Air Hawkes Bay/Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club. This particular aircraft is fitted with Garmin GNS430 VHF/VOR/ILS/GPS. Watch this blog for more photos.

VH-AQM Visit

Des Sullivan photo

Melbourne based Piper Saratoga VH-AQM seen here at Hastings Aerodrome on 04 Oct 2010. After a local flight or 2 crew and passengers overnighted in Hastings before departing to places unknown on 05 Oct 2010

Question time # 116

Two Ladies of Flight.
Two aircraft types required.
Two registrations required.
One of the said Ladies carries her name : What is it ?

Friday 29 October 2010

Paddock Landing

Cessna 172N ZK-EKN was the unfortunate casualty of a misplaced landing on 26 October when the pilot touched down in a recently ploughed field instead of the airstrip at Ohakune.
In happier days at Hokitika March 2007, Mike Condon photo

Thursday 28 October 2010

Which Traveller?

On top of a building in a car sales yard located on the main road into the Auckland suburb of New Lynn sits this display item:

It has been there for quite a number if years, and has sported a few different colour schemes during that time (the current colours obviously date from around three years ago).
Now the proportions are such that I do not believe it is a replica or model, but that it is an actual aircraft. A Grumman American AA5 Traveller in fact.

Trawling through the possibilities, I suspect that it could be Traveller ZK-DLA.
This Grumman was registered to NZ Aerospace Industries Ltd. (the agents) in November 1973 and went to the Wellington Aero Club at Rongotai the following year.

ZK-DLA at Rongotai 5Aug1978

In early 1984 it was transferred to the Kapiti District AC at Paraparaumu but within a month was passed on to private owners in the Wellington district.
On the 26th January 1994 ZK-DLA ran off end of the strip on landing at Waiheke Island and was badly damaged. The registration was cancelled 4Mar1994.

The aircraft was certainly returned to the mainland after this adventure, this is how it arrived back at Ardmore:

So - can anyone confirm that the New Lynn 'item' is actually ZK-DLA?

Arrow ZK-RTE

Tauranga based Piper PA28R-200 ZK-RTE was noted at Ardmore today.  This aircraft was imported to NZ during 2008 from Canada where it wore the markings C-GRTE.  It was registered to Carters Aviation of Tauranga on 29Sep08 and in March the following year the ownership was transferred to Air Discovery with whom it is still with.
Mike Condon photo

Alpha R2160 ZK-VCF commits aviation.

Robin ZK-VCF outside the Canterbury Aero Club 26-10-2010.

ZK-VCF in another life time was ZK-CTV2 with CTC at Hamilton.
Photo taken 20-03-2008.
Robin ZK-VCF has now gone on line with the Canterbury Aero Club following maintenance and modifications in the Clubs Engineering workshop.  Eagle eyes will note the different exhaust layout.

ZK-VCD and ZK-VCE are still being worked on by the engineers.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Helicopters (NZ) Machines on the Move

Peter Campbell today reports the departure from Nelson of AS350 Squirrel's ZK-HDB and ZK-HNR for Christchurch where they are to be loaded onto a USAF C17 Globemaster and flown to Antarctica for the Italian's and be based out of Terra Nova Bay.  An additional two Squirrel's will embark south to Lyttelton to join an icebreaker over the weekend.

Our ever vigilant Bargeld01 caught up with the Squirrels on the afternoon of 27Oct.

Making an appearance at Auckland International 27Oct was New Plymouth based Bell 412EP

above and below Wayne Grant photo

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Stillwater Ecureuil ZK-HKA

Spied at Stillwater yesterday was the Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 Ecureuil ZK-HKA3 , c/n 2887 , of Anderson Helicopters of Hokitika. Imported and upgraded by Heliquip International Ltd out of Nelson and first registered here on 03-12-2002 following six years in the French Pacific colonies and the Philippines.
AS 350 B2 ZK-HKA3 photographed at Stillwater by Matt Hayes on 25-10-2010

I remember when.

In fact you probably all remember when  - Cessna 172R ZK-OUI went Splat into those same oxidation ponds at Thames.

It was on 27-10-2008.

The aircraft was recovered and went to Aeromotive at Hamilton and was flushed out to become ZK-JZM on 13-05-2009 - returning to duty with CTC Aviation at Hamilton.
ZK-OUI at Hamilton on 23-02-2009.

VAT goes Splat!

Ardmore Flying School's Cessna 172R ZK-VAT unceremoniously ended up in a sewage pond off the end of the runway at Thames 25Oct while conducting a touch and go.
At Ardmore January 2007, Mike Condon photo

Beaver Quartet

The recent Lawson Field reunion at Gisborne presented the perfect opportunity for the entire NZ based airworthy De Havilland Beaver fleet to be on hand and carrying out a formation flypast.
For more on the recently returned ZK-AZB check out

Thanks to Wayne Grant for providing these images.

Monday 25 October 2010

Falco 3000 ZK-XLA

Another rendition of the popular Pacific Aerospace 750XL utility was on hand at Gisborne.
ZK-XLA has been around since 2001 and is currently registered to Kiwi Air of Gisborne.   As the titles show its being called the Falco 3000 Xtreme Lift Advantage and features a modified engine cowling.

Photos again thanks to Wayne Grant

More on Air Tractor ZK-PCC

Being proudly displayed at Gisborne 24Oct as part of the Lawson Field 61st Reunion ( was Air Tractor 402B ZK-PCC/2 (

Above and below thanks to Wayne Grant

Windhawk Performance Sparrow-Hawk ZK-GAR

The following was nicked from the October 2010 pages of the NZ Aviation News Magazine.

"A new type to appear in New Zealand is the Windward Performance Sparrow-Hawk sailplane. This is a small 11.8m span World Class glider of similar size but even lighter to the more familiar PW5 Smyk.
Designer Greg Cole has an interesting background, having been chief engineer (R&D) for Lancair where he worked on the Columbia 300 and the Legacy 2000. He has also worked with Cirrus and McCauley Propellers.
Greg set up his own operation at Bend, Oregon and using his experience with carbon fibre set to and designed this lightweight glider.
Construction is from pre impregnated carbon fibre which is laid into the molds and then vacuum sealed to press the cloth into the mold and then baked and cured at 300° F.
Apart from its very low weight of approximately 70kg, fixed undercarriage and short wingspan, it has most of the attributes of the “conventional” glider, i.e., it has a c of g tow hook and Schempp-Hirth style air brakes, a VNE of 123kts and a glide ratio reputed to be 32:1. It can also come equipped with water ballast (fuel) tanks, oxygen in a Kevlar bottle and a ballistic recovery system. This glider is currently still in its transport case at Hororata and will be NZ certified by about Christmas as ZK-GAR. This (currently) non powered little aircraft is registered as a Microlight Class 1 and is easily recognized because of its tall narrow fin and rudder and the low mounted horizontal tailplane; rather reminiscent of the old ASW17. "
In actual fact the glider has been stored at Hororata for over two years and was only removed from its shipping crate on Saturday (23-10-2010) and trailered around to the Hororata gliding airfield. Here it was assembled by the owner Alan Ing, Roger Harris, who is the National Airworthiness Officer of Gliding NZ Inc and Tony Hansen, the NZ Civil Aviation Authority Inspector - Sport and Recreation.
As mentioned above; this is an all carbon fibre, microlight class glider with an MCTOW of 188kg. This includes the weight of the pilot - so the empty weight of the glider (including instruments) comes in at under 100kg. Truly an amazing little glider. The glider has a date of manufacture of 31-10-2007 and first flew in the US on 07-11-2007 in these "AI " (Alan Ing) markings. It has a total air time of less than three hours to date. A couple of interesting points about GAR is that the tail wheel is a 75mm inline skate board wheel; the canopy hinges from the "wrong"side", ie it hinges to the left to open and the instrument panel hinges up with it. It does not have the optional oxygen system or BRS fitted - as these only increase the weight.

But wait :- That's not all.
In due course Alan intends to fit two US Micro Jet AT450 units to the fuselage just above and behind the wing trailing edge. These give a thrust of 45lb each and are mounted on an airfoil shaped bar that protrudes through the fuselage. These engines can be found in drones and some of the larger model aircraft.
Alan holding one of the US Micro Jet (ex AMT) units in
the approximate mounted position
I imagine there will be a couple of "fixes" required by "The Firm" before it is allowed to take to the skies.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Ardmore Action 24Oct

Fine weather, a long weekend and a Mustang car club get together meant for plenty to see today.
The Venom was out on an air to air photo shoot (camera ship being a Harvard) and the owners Maule ZK-JQY was on location.
L-R Chipmunk SAX, Trojan JGS, Venom VNM and DC3 DAK.

Zlin ZSO gets airborne while Harvards and DC3 taxi

Two of the four ship formation heading out for practice.

Perfect day for flying this little beauty.

ZK-JQY visiting from Wanganui.

ZK-NUT blasting off runway 03.

PA34 ZK-DCM from Hastings.

ZK-VNM departing (top) and returning to the Dennis Thompson International ramp area.

Zlin Z50SL ZK-ZSO alights from runway 03.

Resident Mooney M20R ZK-VVB departing off runway 03.

Robbie at work

During a road trip to Gisborne 24Oct Wayne Grant came across smartly painted Robinson R44 II ZK-IEZ hard at work around 4km north of Matawai on the main highway.  This machine first arrived in NZ during 2005 and spent the first few years based in Northland before moving to Heartland Helicopters of Gisborne in April this year.

Returning to our skies.............

Based at Ardmore for the last 18 years or so, De Havilland DH112 Venom Mk4 ZK-VNM/2 took to the air again following what I think is roughly a decade parked in the Rural Aviation hanger whom it has been registered to since 1992 through until March this year when it changed to Wanganui Sea and Air Charters (2006) Ltd.  The team working on the aircraft have been waiting on paperwork to clear it for flight following extensive post storage maintenance on this magnificant machine.

Colin Hunter was on hand to capture this beauty getting airborne from Ardmore's Runway 21 23Oct.

ZK-VNM was noted carrying out a photo shoot today, 24Oct.
Does anyone know more accurately the time it has been out of the air?

Friday 22 October 2010

Blast from the past

Allan Churn from Perth has forwarded the above clippings from the March 1957 Air Pictorial magazine.

I can add a few snips of info:-
ZK-BMH was destroyed in a fire at Invercargill on 15-08-1962.
The Rapides were operated by New Zealand National Airways Corporation.
The fate of those Rapide/Dominies:-
ZK-AKS went to Southern Scenic Air Services in September of 1956 and crashed on Mt Soho 15-06-1965.
ZK-AKT to West Coast Airways in November 1956 and crashed in the Shotover River on 15-04-1967.
ZK-AKU went to the Nelson Aero Club. Still current with the NZ Historic Aircraft Trust.
ZK-ALB went to Trans Island Airways in July 1957 and went to Australia & I think is still around.

Of the Fletchers
ZK-BHB went to Aircraft Services (NZ) Ltd in December of 1958 to crash 20-03-1962.
ZK-BHK went to Otago Air Service in August 1960 and is still active.
ZK-BHN went to Barr Bros and crashed 25-01-61.
ZK-BIB was not used by SOAT, but :-
ZK-BIC was, and went to Air Parts in 1960 and crashed 04-11-1964.
ZK-BIG also went to Air Parts and crashed on 09-04-1966.

The Rearwin ZK-AIP served as NZ565 with the RNZAF during WW11.
As ZK-AIP post war it was involved in a fatal crash at Tasman Downs on 28-03-1956.