Sunday 29 April 2012

Out of the woodwork VH/ZK-CMV

 Cessna 185 VH-CMV of McArthur River Cattle Co at Tawallah Station, NT in December 1968.
 A shot taken about 1969.
With McArthur River Cattle Co of NT about 1969. Possibly at Mt Isa.

The three photographs above and the note below were sent to me by Lyle Cooke.

Hi Dave,

My name is Lyle Cooke and I am a retired pilot living in Cairns. Graham (sometimes known as Mick) Handy has been in contact with me about early photos of Cessna 185 VH-CMV and gave me the link to the NZCIVAIR website to see ZK-CMV in today's colours in NZ - great to see.

I flew VH-CMV from late 1968 to early 1970 in my first ever flying job for McArthur River Cattle Company based at Bessie Springs airstrip which I recall is about 27 miles SW of present day McArthur River Mine site in the Northern Territory. The Company and McArthur River Station was then owned by Mr Doug Howenstine of Indiana USA, who set up a Meat Works and Meat Packing Plant at Bessie Springs.
VH-CMV, as well as flying Station folk and supplies around the NT and to and from Mt Isa, was also used to carry quartered beef and later frozen packaged beef to Road Contruction Camps and Mining Towns around the NT.

In so far as earlier history of CMV I recall it used to fly for Ansett-MAL in New Guinea and also for the Catholic Mission at Wirui Airstrip near Wewak but not sure in what order, before it ended up with the McArthur River Cattle Company.

Great to see it is still operational after all these years.
Kind Regards,

My records show that it was first listed to Mandated Airlines Ltd of Lae, PNG on 17-01-1963. To S Pedersen of Port Moresby, PNG sometime in 1967; then to T.A.C. Aviation at Archierfield in 1968, but moved on quickly to Mc Arthur River Cattle Co of Mt Isa, also during 1968; remaining with them until sold to D W Howenstine, also of Mt Isaa, on 26-06-1972. Eight more owners followed before its sale to NZ in 1993. 

As mentioned in this link this 185 came to NZ. It was imported by Airflite South of Taieri and ferried across the Ditch from Norfolk Island to Auckland on 26-04-1993, and then down to Taieri via Kaikoura and Christchurch the following day. It was registered as ZK-CMV2 to Airflite South Ltd of Mosgiel on 17-05-1993. In November of 1994 it went up to J G Stewart in Auckland and then to Heli-Flight Wairarapa at Masterton in December of 1999. It was listed privately to Kim Rutherford McKay on 01-10-2004. It joined it current owners; Paul and Kate Macdonald and Tilmac Family Trust in February of 2009
Pic above shows it at Rangiora on 15-12-10.
And below it was at Christchurch on 17-02-2012 with cargo pod.



  2. Yes pretty sad for their families if it is the current owners as listed on CAA site.... Sad times