Saturday 9 June 2012

Fletchers - two from the shoebox

Lord Nelson has been delving into the old shoe box and has provided these two Fletcher shots taken at Rangiora between very late 1981 and March of 1983.
Above we have the Fletcher FU24-950M ZK-CMM (c/n 117) as seen during the period when it was being flown by the late Tim Frederickson. This one has an interesting history. It was an Air Parts import and contracted to James Aviation for assembly (rather than to ANZ). It first flew as a Mk11 on 17-12-1965 for delivery to Central Aviation on 20-01-1966. It was damaged at Mossburn on 05-11-1969 after a partial engine failure.
My next note says that it was rebuilt with a 400 fuselage but retained the 300 wings. It was registered to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 18-10-1978 and then re-designated as a FU24-950M on 17-05-1979.
It was re listed to Airwork Agricultural Aviation Ltd of Rangiora on 31-08-1981. By September of 1983 it was with North Canterbury Aerial Co-op Co Ltd and was duly named "Kotare", had the fleet number "2" and carried the (then) pilots name "Peter Irvine".
It went to Central Airspread (1991) Ltd of Alexandra from 06-08-1992 and then up to Super Air; its last flight with them being on 10-06-1998 when it was flown from Hamilton to Feilding. Its NZ registration was cancelled on 11-07-2000.
It then went over to Tableland Top Dressing Pty Ltd of Armidale, NSW and was registered as VH-CCJ from 19-09-2001 but was never removed from its box. It was sold to Jim Summerfield (Far North Air) with its Australian registration being cancelled on 15-04-2003. Again it remained in its box until being re-sold back to Tablelands Top Dressing on 2009 with the centre section being fitted to VH-TTD (which was previously ZK-DMS).

Above is the Fletcher FU24 Mk11 ZK-CRY (c/n 124): snapped at Rangiora whilst being flown by the late Peter Irvine.
This began life as the fourth NZ built Fletcher thanks to Air Parts (NZ) Ltd and went to fleet number 17 with Robertson Air Service Ltd from 23-12-1966.
In mid March of 1981 it was with NZ Aerospace Industries before moving down to North Canterbury Co-op of Greta Valley from 12-10-1981. A month later (19-11-1981) they re branded as North Canterbury Aerial Co-op Co Ltd of Scargill - in whose scheme it is seen here and carrying fleet  #1 and the name "Kuruwhengi".
It moved to Aerial Work (Mid Northern) Ltd of Pukekohe from September of 1983 and then to Maungaturoto from 07-11-1983. Its last flight was on 19-06-1996 and it was cancelled on 11-12-1998 and was stored dismantled.
It was later sold to Super Air who donated it to Bay of Plenty Air Classic Trust at Tauranga (Classic Flyers) where it is displayed in Super Air colours and marked up as ZK-BDS.

Visible in the left background is the Soloy Hiller UH12 ZK-HCS of Whirlwide Helicopters - being flown by Bryan Petrie.

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