I start 2014 with a visit down memory lane.
Jean210 recently sent me this fine photograph of the North American P51D Mustang ZK-PLI which gave me cause to reflect on the years gone by.
The date is 13-12-2000 with the Mustang ZK-PLI (c/n 122-39879) in an impromptu formation alongside the Douglas DC-3 ZK-AMS enroute Wanaka to Hokitika. The pilot was an old colleague Tom Middleton.
This aircraft was built for the USAAF and carried the US military serial 44-73420 until joining the US civil register in 1958 as N7722C.
It then had several private owners until being imported into NZ and being registered here as ZK-PLI on 28-03-1994 to the Alpine Deer Group Ltd and Brian L Hore of Wanaka.
The registration letters of PLI being made up from P for Pursuit and LI from the Roman for 51 = P51.
It carried the name "Miss Torque" proudly on its nose.
ZK-PLI was cancelled from the NZ register on 14-06-2004 and returned to the US where it took up its old registration of N7722C and is currently listed to Pamela Marie LLC of North Arlington.
Tom was killed two days later in the crash of the Pitts S-2A ZK-PTO.