Tuesday 31 October 2017


A break in the ongoing rain and wind has brought a few visitors to Pauanui of late including the recently re-registered Tauranga Aero Club's Cessna A152 ZK-TAY  (formerly ZK-NPL),  and the Whangarei Flying Club's Tecnam P92 ZK-WCF.

Another re-registration by the Tauranga Aero Club is Cessna 152 ZK-TAE,  which was ZK-NPD,  seen at its home base recently.

Monday 30 October 2017

Question Time #200

To mark the milestone of our 200th Question Time I pose the following:

So what is it?  and what aircraft is it on?

I reckon this could challenge all the rivet counters out there.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Pix of the week.

Here are some of the more interesting shots taken this week.
 At Rangiora on my pie run on Friday the 27th I caught the Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-HEM4 (c/n 1073) refueling whilst on its way to Queenstown.
This BK started as JA6660 in March of 1991 and moved on down to Australia to become VH-KHO2 from 27-10-2009. 
Heli Holdings of Auckland took it on from 31-10-2011 and moved it up to PNG where it became P2-HBN the following month with Heli Niugini.
It was registered as ZK-HEM4 on 29-09-2017 to Airwork (NZ) Ltd.

 Taken at Christchurch International on the 25th - from the Canterbury Aero Club balcony - was this Piper PA-31T2 Cheyenne II XL D-INFO (c/n 31T-8166031). This is currently in country along with three other German registered 'World Rounders'. 
Check them out HERE
My shot above is not as good as the Tony McFarlin shot below.

 Another recent addition to the microlight fraternity at Rangiora is the Avid Heavy Hauler UL ZK-OST (c/n 1543-E) for Max Earnshaw of Christchurch. It is seen here receiving attention at STOL Performance NZ.
 Another local is the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-STL (c/n 7-9777) of Greg Van der Hulst from Fernside.
Down at Christchurch International on the 25th I potted the Parcelair (Airwork Flight Operations) Boeing 737-476 ZK-PAQ (c/n 24443) getting some fresh air around its port engine.

Alpine Regional Rally at Motueka 28-10-2017 # 1

The Alpine Regional Rally was hosted by the Motueka Aero Club on 28-10-2017.
Below we have a selection of photographs from Andy Heap.
 The Canterbury Aero Club was well represented.
Above we have their Piper PA-28-161 warrior II ZK-LJJ on the roll.
 The Morrow Engineering Beechcraft 35-C33A Debonair ZK-MEC was up from Fernside Field (near Rangiora).
 Locally based with the Nelson Aviation Collage is this Reims/Cessna FA152 ZK-NAJ2.
 Another local is the Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk ZK-PAF.
 Not often seen far from its home at Takaka is this Zenith CH601-XL ZK-TKA.
 Another Canterbury Aero Club competitor was this Alpha R2160. 
By the look of the lower rudder I would guess it to be ZK-VCC.
And no day at Motueka would not be complete without the Pilatus PC-6 H2-H4 ZK-XIT showing itself.
Note the air conditioning is wide open and the judges score cards are at the ready.

Alpine Regional Rally at Motueka # 2

Some more photographs from the Andy Heap camera at Motueka from Saturday 28-10-2017.
 The Kaikoura Aero Clubs Cessna 150 ZK-DNY was back in its old stamping ground.
 Another Canterbury Aero Club competitor was the Piper PA-28-151 Warrior ZK-EBS.
 Whilst the Piper PA-28-1881 Cherokee Archer II ZK=EBZ was from the Mid Canterbury Aero Club of Ashburton.
 The Canterbury Aero Club's Piper PA-28-181 Archer II ZK-EIP was also on the scene.
 The Nelson Aero Club/Nelson Aviation College's Cessna 172P ZK-ETU has worked in this region since 1990.
 Above and below we have the Canterbury Aero Clubs Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk ZK-EYJ.

Alpine Regional Rally at Motueka # 3

The Alpine Regional Rally was hosted by the Motueka Aero Club on 28-20-2017.
Below we have another selection of photographs from Andy Heap.
 Bob Wagner's Pietenpol Air Camper M/L ZK-ABY2 was admired by many.
Looks a bit tight there Bob !
 The Canterbury Aero Club showed up in force.
Here we see their Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub ZK-BNL with the back seater appearing to show considerable interest in proceedings.

 From Ashburton we see - above - the Ian Begbie Piper Pa-28-140E ZK-DEK
and below - the Mid Canterbury Aero Club's Piper PA-28-140E ZK-DEL.
 Not showing much interest in the proceedings at all was the David Campbell Cessna 180H Skywagon ZK-DKP from Tauranga.

Saturday 28 October 2017

New Old PAC 750XL ZK-XLR at Tauranga

Our correspondent the Hairy Mole Rat was at Tauranga Airport on 26 October to capture the newly registered PAC 750XL ZK-XLR (c/n 105).

ZK-XLR was registered to Northern Southern Holdings Ltd of Otane on 28/8/17.  Although it looks to be still configured for skydiving I understand that it is going to be reconfigured as a utility aircraft (thanks Delticman).

However it is not a new aircraft, having been used by Skydive Nagambie, Victoria in Australia as VH-XLS for many years (Nagambie is North of Melbourne).  It still wears its Australian colours as can be seen in the photo below from the Skydive Nagambie Facebook page.

But it also has a previous New Zealand identity being the fifth PAC 750XL to be built by Pacific Aerospace and being registered as ZK-JPV on 16/3/04.  It was cancelled from the register on 3/5/04 after flying across the Tasman.

Thursday 26 October 2017

Fisher R-80 Tiger Moths of New Zealand

The Fisher R-80 Tiger Moth was the next sport aircraft type to appear in New Zealand in 2005.  It is an 80% scale version of the DH Tiger Moth that is produced by Fisher Flying Products who have now relocated from Edgeley North Dakota to Woodbridge Ontario in Canada.  The New Zealand agents are Campbell Aero Classics of Loburn in North Canterbury, and our first Fisher Tiger Moth was completed by Ivan Campbell as his demonstrator aircraft in November 2005.

The Fisher R-80 Tiger Moth is of all wood construction with fabric covering.  It is 19 feet (5.80 metres) long with a wingspan of 23 feet (7.02 metres) and a total wing area of 170 square feet (it is a biplane).  Empty weight is around 560 pounds (294 Kg) and MAUW is 1,150 pounds(521 Kg).  Power can be between 50 and 100 HP (but 50 HP is probably a bit marginal).  With all those struts and wires and wings it is never going to be fast, with a quoted cruise speed of around 90 mph.

We have had five examples in New Zealand to date, as below:

Ivan Campbell's demonstrator aircraft ZK-LAS (c/n 18) was first registered to him on 29/11/05 and is powered by a Suzuki engine of around 100 HP.  It is marked up with the fictional serial NZ R8018 and is in the colours of a wartime RNZAF trainer.  It is still owned by Ivan and is photo'd at its Loburn Abbey base on 8/2/15.

Next up was Russell Warnock's ZK-NOX (c/n 17) which was first registered to him at Christchurch on 31/3/06.  It also has a Suzuki G 13B engine of 100 HP driving the propellor through a geared reduction unit.  It carries the fictional RNZAF serial of NZ R8017.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 1/4/17, which sadly was the day it suffered an engine failure and was written off in the ensuing forced landing.  It was cancelled from the register on 4/7/17.

Jon Farmer of Auckland chose a different training scheme for his ZK-CCC2 (c/n TM18), and it was first registered to him on 16/10/06.  Its first flight was at Matamata on 23/4/07, where the above photo was taken on 2/10/07.  It was powered by a 50 HP direct drive Walter Mikron engine.  It clipped a fence on take off from Wharepapa in the Central North Island on 23/10/09 and was badly damaged although Jon Farmer was not hurt.

Jon then rebuilt the aircraft with an 85 HP Walter Mikron engine (and a starter motor hence the slight bulge at the front top of the cowling).  The rebuilt aircraft was test flown by Ian Williams at Ardmore on 13/8/17 when the above photo was taken.  In a nice touch it wears the title "Phoenix Moth" on the rudder.

Peter Parkinson built his Fisher Tiger Moth ZK-LIF (c/n TM43) at Rangiora and it was first registered to him on 1/2/07.  It is different in that it has a Rotax 912 engine.  It wears the fictitious serial NZ R8043 as seen in the above photo taken at Rangiora on 27/5/07.

ZK-JAL2 (c/n 22) was built by James R Loughnan of Wanaka and was first registered to him on 26/2/09.  It is powered by a Suzuki engine.  It is photo'd above at a Fisher Tiger Moth gathering at Rangiora on 30/10/11 where it can be seen that it wears the fictitious serial NZ R8022.

 And here are another couple of photos of the four similarly painted aircraft at Rangiora on 30/10/11.

After a several year gap another Fisher Tiger Moth was registered on 13/4/16.  This was ZK-DSW2 (c/n MH 1978).  This was imported from the USA as a partially built project by D S (Steve) Wynne of Kerikeri.  It is powered by a 107 HP UL engine which has the advantage of being direct drive to the propellor.  Steve told me that he covered his aircraft with Oratec cloth that comes in the finished colour and is is glued on, resulting in a much lighter covering.  Steve is very pleased with the finished aircraft and kindly sent the attached photos.  Thanks Steve.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

SPA Panther ZK-PMD at Stratford

Nick Furmage from the Stratford Aerodrome blog caught Mark Dean's new single seat Class 1 microlight SPA Panther ZK-PMD2 (c/n 0044) arriving at Stratford from its base in Feilding last Saturday 21 October.

The Panther arriving at Stratford sans trim.

And a few hours later with nice trim decals added by Gravity Sign and Design Studio of Bell Block in New Plymouth.  Apparently it is fast and climbs like a rocket so the go faster trim will come in handy.

The SPA Panther is a recent design produced by Sport Performance Aviation of Green Cove Springs in Florida.  The prototype first flew on 23 April 2013 and around 16 have flown in the US.  The forward fuselage is constructed from 4130 steel while the rest is from aircraft grade aluminium.  The aircraft can be built from plans or a kit and the undercarriage can be taildragger or tri-gear.  Dimensions are: length 19 feet, wingspan 23 feet 6 inches and a wing area of 93 square feet (with shorter and longer wings available), and the wings are foldable.  Empty weight is around 650 - 750 pounds (295 - 340 Kg) with a MAUW of 1,150 pounds (521 Kg).  The prototype in the US is powered by a 110 HP Corvair conversion but most of the Panthers that have flown have various sizes of Lycoming engines from O-235s to O-320s, with a couple of Jabiru 3300s.  These engines provide pretty spectacular performance with a VNE of 200 mph.

I think we will see more Panthers in New Zealand in the future with at least one other kit in the country that I know of.

Monday 23 October 2017

Ex military - manoeuvres from Omaka, over Woodbourne.

Not to be confused with the current Southern Katipo manoeuvres taking place in the top of the South Island - The North American NA78 Harvard 3* ZK-XSA (c/n 78-6647) was noted at Omaka by Andy Heap before and after a short aerobatic display over Woodbourne.

This Harvard has been mentioned several time on this Blog - check HERE.

ZK-HPQ and the Kakariki

Aerospatiale AS 350 c/n 1420 began as a D model AStar with Aerospatiale Helicopters Corporation at Grand Prairie Texas from November 1981 as N5782G.
In February it was listed with Interstate Coal Co at Lincoln Kentucky until moving to Webster Texas in July 1992 for Statewide Capital Inc.
Aero Air Inc of Hillboro Oregon took it over from December 1993 until it went back to American Eurocopter Inc at Grand Prairie in Texas in May 1994 to prep it for export eventually to NZ
It joined the NZ civil aircraft register on 17-12-1995 as ZK-HYW2 with Rick Lucas Helicopters Ltd of Palmerston North and operated under the Helipro name.
ZK-HYW2 is seen above at the Helipro base at Christchurch International Airport on 17-09-2008.
It was re-designated as a AS 350 BA on 14-11-2000.
Following the collapse of Helipro the helicopter was acquired by Christchurch Helicopters 2001 Ltd from 16-09-2016 and was re-registered as ZK-HPQ3 on 23-09-2016. 
Following a major rework it was rolled out as seen below.
Photo taken 14-12-2016
A few days later (20-12-2016) it was noted below in a slightly revised scheme.
In early October I noted it in the new scheme below.
Christchurch Helicopters have entered into a partnership with the Department of Conservation to assist with the protection of the orange fronted parakeet 'Kakariki'.
This new scheme depicts the orange fronted parakeet. 
There is a small DOC logo on the tail boom.
For more on the Kakariki see  Here.
Above is ZK-HPQ as noted on 04-10-2017.
Above and below as seen on 19-10-2017.
Below is an article noted recently published in the Christchurch Press/Stuff.