Sunday 31 December 2017

The Sport Aircraft Year 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, I thought I would look back on the sport aircraft year briefly (There is a problem with just what is a sport aircraft but I do not include most rag and tube microlights in the following):

By my reckoning there were 31 new sport aircraft registered including first of types the SPA Panther ZK-PMD2, Zlin Shock Cub ZK-EUP2, Morgan 10 Cheyenne ZK-CZJ2, RK Jungster ZK-DDA2 and Techpro Merlin ZK-MEF, Ariane Swift (a potentially foot launched glider) ZK-LAJ and our first Technam P2002 Sierra Mk II ZK-EVE2.

2 new amateur built helicopters were registered.

5 sport aircraft were returned to the register.

6 sport aircraft had their registrations changed.

8 gyrocopters were registered including one new type - the Delta Trikes J-RO ZK-RAC3.

11 sport aircraft were cancelled from the register including sadly 3 in fatal accidents being Titan Mustang ZK-SMF, Rans S 6 ZK-TJE2 and Rans S 19 ZK-MBX.  And 2 gyropcopters were cancelled including Bensen B8M ZK-OOZ which was involved in a fatal accident.

The weather wasn't kind to airshows/flyins with both the Wings Over Wairarapa and Black Sands Flyin being cancelled, and Classic Fighters dodged a bullet with a weather bomb just sliding by.  However I thought that Classic Fighters was great, and so was the RAANZ Flyin at Rangiora which was blessed with settled weather over the whole country for the whole weekend, resulting in a great attendance of visiting aircraft.

I reckon the highlight of the year was Graeme Frew's exploits at Reno.

And another highlight for me was the gathering of 4 Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26's at Loburn Abbey.  ZK-SPT, ZK-MEB, ZK-EFY2 (it was registered G-CENI then) and ZK-CGV2.  I wish I could have been there.

And finally, a mystery - Does anyone know anything about the Zephyr Airworks Mule SPA ZK-UZA, that is ex N302ZX and was registered to Zephyr Airworks LLC of Wellington in October 2017?

Saturday 30 December 2017

Ground EFX

Gulfstream AA5A Cheetah ZK-EFX was c/n AA5A-0679 was among a batch of eight similar aircraft imported by New Zealand Aerospace Industries Ltd in latish 1977.
(the others were two Tigers, another Cheetah and three T Cats).
It was registered to N.Z.A.I. Ltd of Hamilton on 08-02-1979 before moving over to Gisborne for Air Gisborne Ltd from 06-11-1979. It remained there for the best part of twenty years before being sold to Peter Mant of Whakatane.
 It is seen above at Whakatane on 17-03-2009.
Shortly after this photo it passed to Dean Harnett of Shannon whom it was with when its registration was revoked on 07-04-2011.
And above at on Feilding 03-03-2016.
It was noted recently by Ray Deerness in this unusual attitude in a paddock at Te Arakuna.

More Historical Fletcher FU 24 Photos, from Hamilton

Also from Don Gwilliam's photo collection via Steve Gwilliam are these 2 very early Fletchers taken at Rukuhia, Hamilton, probably in 1955:

The original Fletcher FU 24 ZK-BDS (c/n 1) outside its Robertson Air Service base in its original open cockpit configuration.  For the history of this aircraft see HERE

And over on the other side of the airfield in the James Aviation hangar is ZK-BHV (c/n 23) with its original 225 HP Continental engine I think, and with No 2 on the fin.  ZK-BHV was first registered in August 1955 and in this very early James Aviation scheme the red and black trim lines meet along the fuselage .  You can see other Fletchers being assembled in the hangar in the background.


Some stunning Coromandel weather has brought a variety of visitors to the Pauanui airfield starting with the Waikato Aviation Cessna 172M ZK-JGP wearing its new logo

Up from Tauranga, together with the owners' RV6A ZK-RVF,  was the impressive Murphy Super Rebel ZK-MSR,  making its first visit here.

Also from Tauranga was Tecnam P96 ZK-TEK

And for something a bit different,  Airborne Windsports Redback 503 ZK-YOT did a few early morning circuits of the area after launching from Pauanui

Friday 29 December 2017

Historical James Aviation Fletcher Photos from Northland

Steve Gwilliam of Whangarei has sent in scans of some of the photos from his late father, Don Gwilliam's photo collection.  Don was a Fletcher afficianado so here are a couple of photos of historical Fletchers:

An impressive line-up of six James Aviation 300 HP Fletchers plus the Prop Jet Fletcher at Onerahi in the mid 1960's.

And a flying shot of the original James Aviation Prop Jet FU 24 1060 Fletcher ZK-CTZ.

Thanks very much for the photos Steve.


Post Xmas has seen the arrival of many of the usual Summer holiday residents to Pauanui, but included amongst these were some new visitors.

Cessna 172M ZK-DXK is now owned privately in Rotorua but still wears its Air Charter Otago titling on the tail.

Down from North Shore is the 'Helicopter Me' R44 ZK-IAN,  which hasnt appeared on this blog before

And from Ardmore the interesting Thorp S18T ZK-MBY

Thursday 28 December 2017

Cessna 320E ZK-EGN

The Cessna 310 first flew on 03-01-1953 and developed over the years to the 310Q.
The Cessna 320 Skynight was a development of the Cessna 310F and initially designated Cessna 310S with an extended cabin and extra windows and power came from a pair of Continental TSIO-470-B engines. By  the time we get to the Cessna 320E model the engine was the Continental TSIO-520.
By my count we have had eleven Cessna 310's in country - the first being ZK-BSY in mid-July 1957.

We have only had the one Cessna 320 on our register. 
This is the Cessna 320E Skynight ZK-EGN which is c/n 320E0070. 
This was initially pencilled in to become N3470Q in 1967 but in the event was listed as N577G followed by N577GN for it new owner George E Newton of Huntington Park California.
It was ferried out to Australia and became VH-EGN on 06-10-1967 for George E Newton of Ranch X near Esperance in West Australia.
By January 1970 it was with  Boomerang Air Service Pty Ltd in WA and from 16-01-1974 was listed with Flying Associates Pty Ltd of Townsville Queensland.
Then from 20-09-1975 it was with G Stratigos of Surfers Paradise.
Pic above shows VH-EGN at Coolangatta on 06-04-1977.
Colour scheme at this time was white with a dull red and mustardy/gold stripes.
It ferried into NZ on 25-12-1978 with its Australian registration being cancelled on 17-04-79 for it to become ZK-EGN with Dennis Thompson International Ltd.
Westland Flying Services hired the 320 for a short time during 1979. This was their first twin engined aircraft.
See our sister 3rdlevelnz blog post  Here.
The Wellington Aero Club hired it for a time before it went to M T and B Davie of Auckland from 01-07-1983.
Then followed the Skynight Syndicate of Waipukurau from 13-07-1984.
Below - Seen at Ardmore 09-08-1985
 and then D J McGregor Ltd of Auckland from 09-02-1987.
It was transferred to Brett and Jill Emeny of Inglewood on 16-01-1990.
 Above in the late afternoon sun at Wanaka on 30-03-2002
Above and below at Rangiora on 21-11-2007.

Above is a front on view of the wing tip fuel tank.
Above and below at Rangiora, again, on 15-09-2009

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Airtrainer ZK-LJH

Noted parked outside Dennis Thompson International at Ardmore yesterday (26-12-2017) was the New Zealand Aerospace CT/4A Airtrainer ZK-LJH (c/n 042).
 As can be seen from the photograph below from Magnaman it still retains its full Royal Australian Air Force markings with its NZ registration 'LJH' on the fin beneath the RAAF fin flash.
This Airtrainer was one of  fifty one ordered by the RAAF and built at Hamilton by NZAI. 
These were built and delivered in two batches. 
They were all allocated NZ civil registrations and ferried to Bankstown in full RAAF markings with their full dual ZK-*** registration on their fin and fin fillet. 
See an earlier post on these Here.
The first batch were allocated the NZ registrations ZK-DZP through to ZK-EAZ and were c/n 027 to 063; whilst the second batch had the c/n's 064 through to 077 and the ZK-EUM to ZK-EUZ civil marks.
The RAAF serial system allocates each aircraft type their own numerical prefix - in the case of the Airtrainer this was '19' preceded by an "A' for Australia. This was followed by a three digit number which was usually the manufactures construction number (c/n).

So ZK-LJH was built as c/n 042 at Hamilton by NZAI and issued the NZ civil registration of ZK-EAE on 27-05-1975. This airframe has the manufacture date of 21-06-1975 and first flew on 04-07-1975. So this became A19 042. 
It ferried into Bankstown (Sydney) on 11-08-1975 and was 'delivered' to the RAAF on 17-08-1975 
 Two photos of A19 042 at Bankstown on 23-08-1975.
Its NZ registration being cancelled on 22-09-1975. 
It was allocated the RAAF radio call sign of 'VM-YAT'.
It was sold on the Australian civil market and became VH-JDN on 06-08-1993 with A Norman of Toobeah Queensland; then to C Brown of Applecross from 15-12-1994.
 Steve Black of Quarading West Australia listed it from 15-11-1996 until its cancellation on 17-02-1999 for it to take up its NZ markings of ZK-LJH from 19-09-1999 with A J Hogan of Auckland.
 Above - ZK-LJH at Ardmore on 19-03-2000.
Below at Wanaka on 29-03-2002.
It moved to Wanaka with a 'Private Owner' in September of 2008.
I noted it as being listed for sale on Trade Me in March of 2017.
As mentioned above it is now listed for sale with DTI at Ardmore with 5759 airframe hours.
ZK-LJH at Ardmore on 26-12-2017 by Magnaman.

Monday 25 December 2017

Squirrel ZK-HGQ

Spotted at the Helicentre, Christchurch International, yesterday was the Eurocopter AS 350 B2 Squirrel ZK-HGQ5 (c/n 3140).
It was new to the register on 27-10-2017 for Helilink Ltd of Auckland following service in the States as N5206W and N350GR with Omniflight Helicopters Inc and Air Methods Corporation.

Sunday 24 December 2017

The weekly pickings

Some shots from the last few days.
 At Christchurch International we have the Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six ZK-EKS (c/n 32-7300018). 
See more on this beast Here.
 The McDonnell Douglas 500N NOTAR ZK-IGA (c/n LN078) was added to the Christchurch Helicopter fleet in late October.
IGA has feature heaps of times previously Here.
 Cessna 182Q Skylane II ZK-JBT2 (c/n 18265964) has been with Ross Millichamp since transferring over from ZK-DCK in mid 1997.
The Reims/Cessna F406 Caravan II ZK-XLF (c/n F406-0057) just unloading near the Aero Club.
See previous posts here.
And captured at Rangiora the elusive Schweizer 269C-1 ZK-IDL2 (c/n 0250) of Lee Logging Ltd.

ZK-MVO and ATR pentad at NZCH

The Christmas rush is on - Hurry up and wait.

Saturday 23 December 2017


Cloud and drizzle did not deter a number of new visitors to Paunaui including Beech C23 Sundowner ZK-DVC of Abel Tasman Air,  a long way from its Motueka base.  This hasnt appeared on this blog before.

Up from Tauranga was the recent Australian import,  Cessna 182T ZK-KHW.

Friday 22 December 2017

Cessna 180 ZK-BUP and ZK-CDY

The Cessna 180 c/n 32968 was allocated the US registration of N9671B but was shipped new out to 
new and became ZK-BUP with Rural Aviation Ltd at New Plymouth on 20-08-1957.
It  received its NZ CoF on 27-08-1957.
As can be seen from the lovely photo below taken at Wellington (thanks to Traveladastra) it spent a bit of time as a four seater before having a hopper inserted.
I am guessing the date as late 1957 with airfield surface work still being on. Note the dusty truck in the background and the stoney surface below BUP.
Might I suggest that it is a temporary stand in for the Wellington Aero Club's Cessna 180 ZK-BKG which was damaged at Rongotai on 24-08-1957 !
It was visiting Wellington along with the new Cessna 182A ZK-BUK
It went on to agricultural duties and spent a lot of its time as a sprayer.
The photo below comes from Neville Drake and shows it at Christchurch in 1958 in a new paint scheme to cover the bare metal.
 And below at Paraparaumu in 1959.
It was damaged in an incident at Mount Curl, near Hunterville, on 03-12-1962 and its registration was cancelled on 16-01-1963.
Back at Bell Block, New Plymouth it was rebuilt using some parts of Cessna 180's ZK-BSZ and ZK-BUY and emerged as ZK-CDY for Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd on 09-10-1963 with the new construction number of RA/4/63 and first flew on 14-10-1963 and was immediately transferred to Adastra Aviation Ltd at Tauranga.
Above ZK-CDY as seen at Tauranga on 26-09-1972
After a minor incident at Ardmore on 17-08-1968 it passed to G A Ashe of Whangarei and by 26-02-1975 it was with Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch. I suspect there was another owner in between these two. 
Airwork moved it on to D W Stone of Hororata from 18-08-1975 and ten years later it took up the parachute dropping habit with the Christchurch Parachute School ltd of Christchurch from 13-08-1985.
We see it below at Christchurch on 24-10-1986 wearing Christchurch Parachute School script.

Below also at Christchurch but on 29-12-1986
Jock Montgomery of Cheviot listed it from 27-02-1989 (replacing his Auster J5Q ZK-BLW) and based it on his farm strip just south of town.
Snapped at Cheviot on 04-07-1990.
 It was overturned on landing at the Cascade River on 16-02-1994 
Above at West Melton on 03-03-1998
And it then ran off his strip on takeoff at Cheviot on 27-12-1998. 
Above at Wigram on 10-11-2005.
And arriving at Rangiora (below) on 05-02-2007
It was sold on 20-01-2009 and Jock replaced it with the Hornet Stol ZK-JCM3.
The new owner was C G S and R S Gorman of Blenheim.
Below as noted at Omaka on 24-03-2009
Also at Omaka, below, on 09-02-2010

Above it was shot at Motueka on 19-02-2011
On 27-04-2011 it was re-designated with the c/n of 32968 - the original c/n of ZK-BUP.
The current owner Kiwi Avi8tor Ltd of Te Awamutu too it over from 24-12-2015.