Saturday, 28 June 2014

Rotary Trio From Hawkes Bay

Three relatively recent additions to the working helicopters in the Hawkes Bay were rounded up at the end of last week.

Bay Heliwork operate two Robinson R44's, ZK- HLZ and ZK-ICL, the latter delivered to Hastings in October last year. It is a 2002 model, c/n 1249, and flew from new in Australia as VH-VIC with multiple operators before importation by Rotor & Wing Maitenance. The other Raven is based at Waipukurau.
Meanwhile, Joe Faram has imported another MD500N in the shape of ZK-IZO c/n LN076. This machine was built in 1995 as N52319 and exported to Germany as D-HVST the same year. After one careful owner, and less than a 1000 hours, it arrived here in March and is now hard at work out of Bridge Pa. The short skids are noteworthy.
The third machine, AS 350BA ZK-IJG, c/n 1558, has quite a long on and off history here. It first appeared as ZK-HBU in October 1988 with Helicopters (NZ) Ltd in Nelson. In May 2001, it was exported to Australia, where it became VH-WCJ, operated by Helicopters (NZ)'s West Australian branch. It reappeared in New Zealand in November 2009, this time as ZK-HUQ, again with Helicopters (NZ) Ltd, but only stayed some 18 months before again being exported to Australia, this time to become VH-INW. Imported yet again in March this year, it has now become ZK-IJG, and is operated by Helicopters Hawkes Bay 2006 Ltd from their Onga Onga base.
And finally, a pack of dogs - or to be more precise, the remains of the Nigerian Air Force's Scottish Aviation Bulldog trainer fleet! Noted just after the passing of a storm front at Palmerston North on Friday were these fuselages and wings - five of the former and at least 22 sets of wings. It seems likely that more fuselages will appear, as '239' was noted on a trailer shortly afterwards heading towards the compound.

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