Wednesday 19 October 2011

Cessna 185A ZK-CMS.

Way back on 20-08-1962 Rural Aviation Ltd of New Plymouth registered the Cessna 180A Skywagon c/n 185A-0482 as ZK-CCC.
Photo above of ZK-CCC was taken at Ardmore on 02-04-1964. Pilots name Alan ? on forward fuselage.
ZK-CCC crashed at Oparue, near Te Kuiti on 30-03-1965 and it was cancelled on 14-04-1965

The aircraft was rebuilt and re-registered as ZK-CMS with the c/n 185-0482R to Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd of New Plymouth on 13-10-1965 and was operated by Rural Aviation.
Below is a pic of ZK-CMS, taken on 07-06-1966, parked about where the present international terminal is at Wellington airport. Note the "NERO" on the fuselage.
Below is a view of her at New Plymouth taken on 13-01-1967. (with Lodestar in background).
It was transferred to Mount Cook Air Services of Timaru on 22-05-1967 and is shown below in her new scheme at Timaru in November of 1967.
Below is another view of CMS at Timaru but on 01-07-1968
And below, at Fairlie on 31-12-1970, minus hopper, but still with outlet beneath fuselage. Now with the Ranunculus lyalli on its fin and Mount Cook Airlines script on the fuselage side.
It was damaged a couple of times; 04-07-1969 near Fairlie and again on 20-11-1972 on the Barrier strip. Post repairs it was listed with the modified c/n of R185-0482.
Above is a poor shot of her at Queenstown on 27-12-1971 minus all ag gear. It then went onto skiplane duties and was damaged at least twice. On 28-12-1978 on the Geciki Plateau and on 27-09-1984 on the Tasman Glacier. Ownership changed to Motor Holdings (Aviation) Ltd of Dunedin on 23-01-1985 (presumably following another rebuild. c/n now 1850482). It then went to C R Deaker of Te Anau (Air Fiordland) on 29-09-1986. Pic below taken at Christchurh on 26-03-1987.
It was relisted to Fiordland Experience Group from 05-08-1993.
It does not appear to have changes much since about 1986. Above as seen at Te Anau on 17-03-1991
Above at Taieri on 10-02-1998
Above. As spied at West Melton on 31-01-2010 with threee bladed prop and mud flaps.
Latest pic above shows it at Avtek Timaru on 10-10-2011


  1. Pilots name Alan ? on forward fuselage.

    Allan Gejdos is my guess.

  2. There's a good story behind what CMS was doing at WLG but I'll check with one of those involved before expanding. "Nero" was the late Don Hartwell who was flying her from Masterton at the time.

  3. With Mt Cook this was Charlie Garrow's mount and was based near Fairlie.

    Remember the 69 damage as I flew the engineer down from Mt Cook to have a look at it tangled with a fence [Charlie wasn't the pilot that day]
    Had photos but long gone with various moves.

    Not 100% certain as my logbooks aren't handy but recall CMS was used as a skiplane when the topdressing season had finished.

    Might have that wrong as can't see ski attachment brackets in the photos but Charlie used to come up and fly the skiplanes at that time also.

  4. Yes it was Allan Gejdos on the forward fuselage. I flew the airplane for Rural Aviation based in Timaru on borh spraying and topdressing. I t was flown by the late Barry Saite before me. I went on to NAC and still have fond memories of that great 185. Have a picture of it handing on my wall. That airplane treated me very well.

  5. Thanks for that Allan.
    & I guess you must of treated CMS well also !