Sunday 18 March 2018

An Aviation historians pending headache.

In years to come photographs like these will cause aviation historians something of a headache.
The top two were taken at Timaru Airport on March 1st at the New Zealand National Flying Championships.
Above we have a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C marked as ZK-CUF.
And above we have a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C marked as ZK-CUL.
Below is a photo of the Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C ZK-CUE.
I think you will agree that they all look pretty similar.

They are in fact the very same airframe - but for the purpose of a preflight inspection test for aviators - has had some man made faults created. These can vary from missing a screw in the spinner, a dead light bulb in the nav light, partially deflated tire, knotted seat belt, loose item on the floor, erroneous paper work (for or from a different aircraft) and so the list could go on.
They are in fact all the same aircraft.

Off course we all know that ZK-CUF was a Piper PA-31 Navajo that became ZK-CAM2. and that ZK-CUL is a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee.

Piper PA-28-180 C ZK-CUE c/n 28-4343.
This first flew under Piper's well used test registration of N11C before being assembled in NZ by Airwork (NZ Ltd of Ardmore where it first flew on 21-12-1967 having already been registered with the Wellington Aero Club from 01-12-1967.
It is seen above at Invercargill during the Royal Visit in May of 1968.
They managed to bend it on the Puhekina Beach a few km to the east of Tauranga on 26-09-1969.
Airwork put it all back together again and it was listed with them from 06-01-1970 and on sold to Harold Investments Ltd and E H Rapsey Ltd of Christchurch from 23-09-1970. Capon Construction Ltd of Timaru was added to the two above Company names on 10-05-1972.
Bambury Holdings Ltd of Auckland took it on from 20-08-1973 and we see it below at Greymouth on 19-04-1973.
 Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd listed it from 21-10-1975 (with Bambury Holdings picking up the Cessna U296F ZK-DXB) before passing the Cherokee to Porter Doe Motors Ltd of Feilding from 25-02-1976.
It then moved to Bob Shewry Aviation Ltd at New Plymouth from 07-08-1978 and we see it below at Ardmore on 04-09-1979.
 On 11-08-1982 it was listed to Ash Palmer - and is still with Ash today.
Above we see ZK-CUE at Timaru on 12-07-1984 and below at Christchurch on 31-03-1988.
 At Waimate -  below - on 30-11-2013.


  1. Ah the preflight inspection competition - where eagle-eyed competitors frequently discover a whole raft of defects that weren't intended to be present...