Thursday 12 December 2013

Pawnee ZK-BZF

The Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee ZK-BZF (c/n 25-2227) came onto our register, courtesy of Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch, on 12-02-1963 and had its first flight in NZ on 31-05-1963.
I have a note that it then went up to Reeves Transport (Services) Ltd at Hastings but then went back Airwork.
It was listed to Auster Air Services Ltd of Timaru in December of 1964.
Whilst I was at the Waimate Aero Club's 50th anniversary fly-in the other weekend I spied this photograph on the club house wall showing ZK-BZF at work - I just had to copy it - which in turn led to this blog.
Date of shot unknown but I assume it was very early on as it still carries the standard Piper scheme on its fin and rudder.
It was photographed (below) at Gore on 16-03-1966.
(Any thoughts about that Tiger fuselage in the background ?)
It was withdrawn from use on 17-05-1967 and duly rebuilt to fly again on 10-12-1969.
It was re-listed to Auster Air Services (Airwork) Ltd of Timaru sometime in 1974 and is seem below with the Airwork insignia on its fin.
Pic below comes from the CMM collection and is dates July 1974.
Later in 1974 it moved up to Hawera for Farmers Aviation Ltd and had at least one incident whilst up that way. On 17-05-1974 it had a wire strike in the Waitotara Valley.
It was back in Timaru in late 1974.

These two monochrome views show her at Timaru on 11-01-1975.
Did it wear the Airwork badge just on the port fine ?
And this colour shot was taken the same day.
It was damaged on 01-03-1975 (Where - I know not).
Then again on 02-09-1976 at Maheno.
Last pic (below) was taken at Timaru on 02-10-1977 by which time it was listed back with Auster Air Services Ltd (No Airwork badge).
Last known incident took place on 02-08-1978 - place unknown.
Its registration was cancelled on 18-05-1990.


  1. The 1 March 1975 accident was near Timaru and flown by R A Calder. See Aviation Safety Network Occurrence # 61925.

  2. The 2 Sep 1976 accident was near Maheno, North Otago, Pilot J F Ellis. See Aviation Safety Network Occurrence #61719

  3. Thanks Anon - I hadn't thought of looking in there.
    You didn't manage to crack the 70 year period then !