Saturday 30 January 2016

Mechanics Bay 30-1-2016

I went down to the Auckland waterfront this afternoon to investigate the superyacht Suri that carries a Searey amphibian on board, but by the time I got there it had sailed.

So off down Quay Street to Mechanics Bay where there was some action among the residents.

The Westpac Rescue Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-HLN3 of the Auckland Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust was scrambled to an emergency on the West Coast.

Then Helilink's Eurocopter EC 120B ZK-HJW4 arrived and departed again.  It has been ZK-HJW4 only since 2/11/15, having previously been ZK-IFE.

An open day at West Melton.

The Canterbury Aero Club held an open day at West Melton on Saturday the 30th.
Below is the Jim Chapman De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk ZK-ARL (c/n 61).
In the background is the Auster ZK-AYU and the pregnant Cub ZK-BNJ.
The De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth ZK-BLM (c/n DHNZ169) has 45 hours since a zero hours rebuild.

Mountain View Farms attended in their Piper PA-18A ZK-BNJ Super Cruiser 150 (c/n 18-5078).
 Graham Bethell dropped in with the Stoddard Hamilton SH-3R Glasair III ZK-PGB (c/n 3381).
 Another local Chipmunk is British built T10 ZK-XUK (c/n C1-0087) of Lou McAllister.
On site but not on public display was our second BEAGLE A.109 Airedale ZK-COA2 (c/n B.525).
Registered to Maximum Ventures Ltd on 23-12-2015 it is still in the process of being readied for its NZ CofA.
Of 1962 vintage in the UK it went out to Australia and became VH-UEP in January of 1963.

Friday 29 January 2016

A visitor from Kiribati at Ardmore 29-1-16

Beech 200 Super King Air T3-JMR msn BB83 of Coral Sun Aviation was parked at Ardmore this evening.

Coming soon !

Coming soon

Rangiora offerings for 29-01-2016

 Parked up in the CRAC number 2 hangar is the Cessna 150A ZK-BPO (c/n 17688) is listed with the BPO Syndicate. It got its NZ CofA back on 12-01-1960.
 Something a little different is this Sport Copter Vortex M912 ZK-RRJ (c/n 178) built in Scappoose, Oregon for Kevin Slattery at Rangiora. 
It parks in Kevin's hangar beside his Aerospool Dynamic WT9 ZK-EWW.
As you can see it is a gyro powered with a green top Rotax 912. 
This 'M' model was specially designed to suit Australian mustering conditions.
These are aerobatic and can (and are) regularly rolled and looped.
There are two earlier models in country.

Question time # 184 resolved.

Anon Glider Watcher has got it spot on.
It is the Johnson Acrolite 1C ZK-EMP with a Hirth 3003E motor.
It has appeared previously on these pages at :-

 Now then Anon Glider Watcher if you want your chocky fish you will need to email your postal address to me at

Tigers and a Bird Dog at Ardmore 23-1-2016

Later in the afternoon at Ardmore, a couple of Tigers emerged from their hangars, while a Bird Dog stayed put in its kennel.

ZK-ALK has been featured on the blog previously, but it now has the name "Joan Mary" on its rudder.

While ZK-BLI emerged from the hangar next door.

In the same hangar as ZK-ALK was this Cessna Bird Dog ZK-DAJ2 which was a new one to me, having been first registered on 18/12/12.  Both aircraft are owned by the Strome Farm Trust of Drury.

Park overs at Christchurch

Three park overs during the last few days at Christchurch.
Tony Delaney's Cessna 185C ZK-CHK (c/n 1850755) on the tie downs near the Aero Club. 
The CTC Aviation Training (NZ) Ltd's Diamond DA42 TwinStar ZK-CTJ2  (c/n 42.102) is now ten years old.
Normally hangared and not often seen out is the Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP ZK-TBN (c/n172S9920) of CHL Investments Ltd of Christchurch.

ZK-CHK is now over fifty years old.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Agusta AW 119 ZK-ISR at Ardmore 23-1-2016

A new helicopter type to me at Ardmore was the Agusta AW119 Mk II ZK-ISR belonging to Heli Solutions Ltd of Tauranga.  The AW 119 is a fixed skid, single engine version of the AW109, and ZK-ISR is the only example of the type currently on the New Zealand Civil Register,

 Lift off and away overhead from the refuelling area.

In fact this helicopter has a somewhat different history, originally being N291SH and then VH-UCL.  It was first registered in New Zealand on 6/11/08 to Heli Solutions Ltd and I understand it operated from various super yachts before being cancelled on 15/9/12 and exported to Australia where it was registered VH-UCL again.  Then it was re-exported to New Zealand and registered as ZK-ISR again, on 4/12/15.  Does that make it ZK-ISR2?

An earlier post on the helicopter in its first life here can be found at

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Vale Ron Killick

It is with sincere sadness I report the passing of a significant member of the New Zealand aviation and amateur radio community, Mr Ron F Killick of Christchurch. 

Ron was a highly respected enthusiast at all levels of aviation both domestically and internationally honing his interest in long range radio communications and making his gleanings available to a wide range of interested parties. The records Ron made date back many, many years with not only overseas flights noted but also first flights etc. His primary interest was always the long range radio and he had great delight in making contact (by mail) with overseas radio stations, ham operators and delivery pilots with special cards for them to fill out.

R F Killick was with the RNZAF from 23 January 1953 until 14 May 1976 and his time was spent at Wigram, Fiji, Singapore, Whenuapai and Wellington, and one of our group still has letters sent to him by Ron with return to sender as W74793F F/Sgt Killick, RF at Sgt's Mess, RNZAF Shelley Bay, Wellington.

Many of us will remember first meeting Ron when he was working at Harewood (Christchurch International) including the jaunts out onto the apron area with a drive to the four corners of the airport to get photos and take notes. Those were the days!

An extensive collection of aircraft photos added to Ron's vast ability to provide historical records to various individuals and organisations over the years, especially to the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand with whom he was a founding member in 1958 and received the membership number seven. He provided the international movements section for many years and these records are an enduring historical record of a bygone era.  It was Ron's generosity that had me become a member of the AHSNZ with him funding my first year of membership. 

Another close contact has a similar history to mine with Ron and it dates back to the mid 80's where we shared an interest in aviation and HF radio monitoring which at the time was the only means of communication for overseas flights. Back then there was no email so movements recorded would be duly logged and sent by post to Ron who would then collate and add as necessary to his records. Ron would then send the logs back with any alterations/amendments etc and this process went on for many years and well after the advent of email when said logs would be faxed. Technology eventually overtook the mail and fax and Ron was wired for sound via the internet, albeit via a dial up modem. 

Ron had a knack of networking with others and this has over time lead to a great number of us now being close friends sharing our collective interest and continuing the legacy Ron has so carefully grown ensuring elements of aviation history are still accurately recorded and shared. 

Ron - Farewell my friend. You have been such a wonderful mentor to so many like minded people and we thank you for sharing your passion and interest so freely.May the inspiration you imparted be continued throughout the generations as we remember with fond memories your quick wit and ever lasting willingness to help others.

Rest in peace my friend.

Monday 25 January 2016

Question time # 184

Question time # 184.
 You know the story.

Tell me the aircraft type.

Tell me the engine type.

Tell me your postal address for the chocolate fish delivery.

And once you have that sorted - tell me the aircrafts ZK registration.

Two DC-3's at Ashburton for the day.

Allan Bowman from Ashburton - a regular contributor - has sent this snip from the Ashburton Courier Newspaper.
I wonder where ZK-JGB will be this day ?

Two Million hits.

Sometime about 10:10pm this evening the two millionth hit on the blog counter will tick over.

But that is not the true number because the counter was added some time after the first post was submitted. 
The true number of hits will in fact be 2,476,020

A big thanks to our regular contributors.
Without you this site would be very much the poorer.

Sunday 24 January 2016

Trojan ZK-TGN is Nearly There! Ardmore 23-1-2016

Brian Hall's North American T 28B Trojan ZK-TGN carried out a compass swing at Ardmore yesterday prior to an engine run.  Brian told me that there is just the CAA paperwork to go now, so it is close to flying.

 On tow back from the compass swing.

 In the sun warming up the engine oil before the engine run.

 Nose and rear fuselage/tail detail.

Brian told me that the aircraft has just 38 hours on it following a 16,000 hour rebuild.  he also told me that the colour scheme is exactly that which the Trojan wore at the end of its US Navy life.

The engine has been modified from the standard Trojan powerplant of a Wright R 1830 with a more powerful Pratt and Whitney R2000 Twin Wasp engine that came from a DC 4, and this has necessitated the modified cowling.

Errol Cavit has sent in a video of the engine running, see:   Thanks Errol.

TAWAKA the Grey Duck.

Pre World War Two there had been six DH89's on the NZ Civil Register - five of these were duly impressed into RNZAF service from late 1939 with only one surviving to become ZK-AHS post war.
Nine additional aircraft were received from Royal Air Force orders.
These nine airframes were "Brush" built. ie they were manufactured by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd at their Falcon Works at Loughborough in Leicestershire. 
Brush built 355 new DH89 Dominie aircraft as well as being a major repairs depot.
    I believe that these aircraft were then towed over to the Loughborough Airfield for final assembly and test flown.
These nine aircraft were delivered to the RAF 76 maintenance Unit at Wroughton  before shipping out to NZ.
Interestingly all nine survived the war to join the NZ register as ZK-AKS, AKT, AKU, AKY, ALB, ALC, BAU, BBP and BCP.
C/n 6662 was noted at 76MU in September of 1943 and was shipped out aboard the Glen Line SS Glenbeg reaching Auckland on 21-11-1943.
It was assembled at No1 Aircraft Depot and bought on RNZAF charge on 22-11-1943 as NZ528 with Unit 36 at Hobsonville and then to 42 Squadron at Rongotai. 
Below is a view of NZ528 outside the Wellington Aero Club in camouflage markings.
Post WWII this airframe became ZK-AKU on 30-08-1946 with the New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NZNAC or just plain NAC) and was named Tawaka  (Grey Duck). 
Below is ZK-AKU at Wellington in 1949 from the Ed Coates collection.
And then again in 1953 - Also from Ed Coates.
It appears to have spent much of its NAC life operating the Auckland - Northland service until being withdrawn in December of 1962.
It was delivered to Nelson on 19-05-1963 and registered to the Nelson Aero Club on 24-05-1963 followed by a move down to Christchurch to Patchett Tours Ltd from 02-11-1965.
On 15-09-1966 it was listed to the Rotorua Aero Club/Rotorua Air Charter 
Two views of ZK-AKU at Rotorua on 10-01-1967.
Below. Later that same year in Rotorua Aerial Charter markings.
Then followed sale to Dave W Gray of Ardmore on 22-07-1968.
It was then readied for a flight to the UK and is seen below at Wanganui in its sponsors markings prior to departure in 1969. Pic by Allan Wooller.
It was flown to the UK to take part in the London to Sydney Air Race - departing Gatwick Airfield on 17-12-1969 as race number 20.
Below seen at Bankstown still in airace markings on 05-01-1970 by Greg Banfield.
Back in NZ it flew in these race marks for a while.
Below two shots of her at Paraparaumu on 07-01-1971
Hard to read but its ports of call are listed on the lower fuselage side.
And below an undated shot at Wellington.
It was rebuilt at Ardmore over the 1972 - 1977 period - 
And is seen below at Ardmore on 11-06-1973.
Work in progress.
It was flying again on 23-01-1977 - still bearing the Tawaka name.
Below CMM captured it in June of 1977.
Then a shot of it at Nelson in 1978 from Allan Wooller.
And one from Russell Woods at the same event in 1978.
Below is ZK-AKU at Wanganui in early 1979 from Allan Wooller.
Damaged on landing at Te Kowhai on 27-01-1980 it underwent another repair job.
Below an undated (early 80's ?) shot of ZK-AKU from CMM.
Now two views of her at Masterton - from the Allan Wooller collection.

Below - It was spied at New Plymouth on 24-03-1985 with its Air Race itinerary details on its fuselage side. 
And then at Taieri on 01-04-1985.
In the three shots below - It was noted at Dargaville in about 1986. 

 Seen below as AKU in Monteiths Brown Beer colour scheme
at Christchurch on 30-03-1987.

It was later repainted in a RNZAF post WWII colour scheme as NZ528.
Below a shot from Ivan Prince via the Ian Coates collection showings its RNZAF repaint with its civil registration below its tail.
Its registration was cancelled on 01-04-1992 as being withdrawn from use and stored at Dairy Flat (North Shore).
Restored to the register still with Dave Gray on 12-10-1994.
It was noted for sale in 2003.

It was listed with its current owner NZ Historic Aircraft Trust of Papakura on 13-08-2004.
Below - As seen at Tauranga on 04-03-2008.
Finally a photograph from Rob Wood taken on 02-06-2013 at Ardmore.