Monday 31 December 2018

The Sport Aircraft Year 2018

As the 2018 year draws to a close, I thought I would look back at 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 33 new sport aircraft registered in 2018, plus 2 new sport helicopters (both registered as Class 2 microlights although I am sure that an Innovator Mosquito XE is a single seater) and 3 aircraft that were re-registered with new registrations plus one Turbulent that was returned to the register.  There were 6 first of types registered:  the Dynali Easy Flyer sport helicopter ZK-HHQ3, Pipistrel Virus ZK-TCB2, Airdrome Aircraft Fokker E III replica ZK-EII2, Just Aircraft Super STOL XL (an extended model with a 180 HP UL engine) ZK-DJG2, Bristol Scout Model D replica ZK-BTL2 and Vans RV 14 ZK-VNX.

2 gyroplanes were re-registered during the year but no new examples were registered.

14 sport aircraft were cancelled from the register including sadly 3 in fatal accidents being Vans RV 7 ZK-DVS, Pipistrel Taurus Electro motor glider ZK-GEL2 (that crashed in 2017), and Alpi Pioneer 300 ZK-TNB.  Another candidate for cancellation is the Vans RV 4 ZK-JRX which tragically crashed in December with the loss of 2 lives.

For me the highlight of the sport aircraft year had to be seeing Frank Parker flying his Le Rhone rotary engined Bristol Scout Model D replica at the NZ Warbirds Armistice Day centenary Open Day at Ardmore on 18 November along with the NZ Warbirds growing fleet of WW 1 replicas (with more to come).  And of course there were a few other interesting aircraft there as well.....

Sunday 30 December 2018

A Great Day for Flying in Northland

The Northern Aviators Club struck it lucky again with the weather for their second flyin of the summer season, held at Martin Farrand's airstrip at Whananaki today 30/12/18.  Whananaki is on the East Coast of Northland, North East of Whangarei and just up from Tutukaka.

 A lot of planes flew up from the Auckland area, and as Whangarei was en route several stopped in for the Whangarei Flying Club's Sunday BBQ (which is on every Sunday lunchtime) for a famous "Penny burger".  Among those was Roger Coleclough from North Shore in his Searey ZK-SRY.

Being an amphibian he was able to land on both Martin's strip and the adjacent Whananaki Inlet.

Another to stop off at Whangarei was Brent Hemple in Northern Aviation Ltd's Bell B 206L-1 Long Ranger ZK-IND, also from North Shore.  Brent then flew Rusty and Penny of "Penny burger" fame up to Whananaki and back.

 Martin Farrand's airstrip from the air.

And a couple of views of some of the aircraft on the ground.  There were around 33 aircraft visiting plus a couple of autogyros. (Click on these photos to enlarge them).

Thanks for the photos Rusty.

Saturday 29 December 2018

Billy T James flying !

The following link   here   will take you to a video showing Billy T James flying the ski equipped Piper PA-18A-180 Super Cub ZK-BFV (c/n 18-4135) from the Canal road between Tekapo and Twizel, over a bit of tiger country then along the Mount Cook ridge line.
I am sure you will excuse the odd bit of Cessna interior along  the way.
 Above and below we see ZK-BFV at Twizel with skis on 18-10-1981.

                    A view below of ZK-BFV with skis at Rangiora in the 1985 air show from Steve Lowe.
Previous posts on ZK-BFV can be seen here HERE

ZK-BFV and Gavin are also well known for his water skiing show at Twizel back on 22-0-2012 on Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.
In this view I would imagine his heart beat was on the rise.
 Below we see her at Alexandra on 14-11-1983 with its 180hp Lycoming, glider tow hook, disc brakes, ski mounts and under wing ski racks.
It actually began its career with Airwork (NZ) Ltd from 21-03-1955 in the agricultural role and after a couple of woopsies in 1957 and 1958 required a major rebuild and flew again in May of 1961.
A photo from its very early Ag days from the Ed Coates collection.
Below we have four photographs from the Des White collection as held by the Aviation Historical Society of NZ.
Above is another early shot showing her at Christchurch with the minuscule rudder registration.
It also has what looks like under wing attachment points and extra wing strut hanging down by the letter 'K' - for the spray bars ?
Interesting background of two DH89's and a Douglas DC-6 variant.
 Above in a new scheme and minus 'Airwork (NZ) Ltd' script.
I'm guessing this is after its rebuild - ie post May 1961.
Below two views of her outside Airwork in its three seat 'pregnant Cub' mode.
I don't have a date for this mod - but it was done pre 1964.
You can make out the wider fuselage stringers in the lower fuselage behind the rear wing strut.

Another interesting background with the PA-23 Apache in hangar and the PA-22-108 Milk Stool ZK-CEG on the right - so late 1963 !


The interesting visitors continued to arrive in Pauanui including Hamilton based EC120B ZK-HEK which only stayed a few minutes after dropping off passengers

And in for lunch from Taupo was the PA24-260 Comanche C  ZK-PMC.

The Little Plane that Could

When I was in Wellington 2 weeks ago I was pleased to capture these 2 black and white aircraft on finals for Runway 16 in a light Southerly:

 I think the Tomahawk is hoping to grow up into an Airbus!

Friday 28 December 2018


Another busy day at the Pauanui airfield saw a variety of new visitors including the Father and 2 Children trio of Corby Starlets ZK-TNT & YGL,  and RV8 ZK-WLK

A surprise from further afield was Christchurch Helicopters AS350BA ZK-HPQ in its stunning Kakariki scheme

Beech C 90A ZK-FDN at Wellington 15-12-2018

On short finals to Wellington on 15/12/18 was GCH Aviation's Christchurch based Beech C 90A ZK-FDN2 :

This aircraft has been posted previously (some time ago) but not with NZ Flying Doctor titles.

Thursday 27 December 2018


A sunny 25deg day brought a steady stream of visitors to the Pauanui airfield, the star being the rarely seen Sequoia Falco F8L ZK-JPG.   This is based at North Shore airfield and was imported from the US back in 2003.

Also of interest was the Parakai based Tecnam P2004 ZK-TNM.

Air New Zealand ATR 72s at Wellington

Another couple from my recent visit to Wellington, showing Air New Zealand's first ATR 72-600 and one of their most recent.  The Koru magazine lists 27 ATR 72s in the fleet with 8 more on order.

ZK-MVA (c/n 1051)

ZK-MVU (c/n 1500).

The ATR 72-600s are registered in the ZK-MV series except for ZK-MVS and ZK-MVT which are/were Tecnam Sierras.  The latest aircraft to be delivered is ZK-MVW.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Wellington Back on 14-12-2018

A couple of weeks ago when I was down in Wellington, I found a new spot (for me) on the Maupuia Peninsula to catch a few aircraft flying into Wellington in a light Southerly.  A couple of weeks delay doesn't really matter much as the 3 aircraft that arrived over 12 minutes could have been from more than 10 years ago.

Teal tailed Air New Zealand Q 300 ZK-NED2 (although it doesn't have the Pacific Wave.).

Followed by Teal tailed ZK-NEJ.  The Air New Zealand fleet guide in their Koru magazine lists that they have 23 Q 300s in their fleet and I saw 5 still with the Teal tails in Wellington.

Then the RNZAF's Boeing 757 NZ 7571 flew past on the glide slope not standing out too much in its low viz scheme.

Very quiet at NZCH 26-12-2018

  Biding their time beside the Canterbury Aero Club are the engine-less Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee ZK-CIJ (c/n 28-20230) of George Giddings, and the two Aero L-29's ZK-SSU (c/n 395100) and ZK-VAU (c/n 094019).
All have been mentioned before in these pages.
A visitor from the north on the tie downs was the Cirrus Design SR22 ZK-LDY (c/n 0895) of Brian Bourdot.


With the start of the summer holiday season aircraft have started to arrive at the Pauanui airfield to take up temporary residence and these have included the Cirrus SR20 ZK-CJW from Hamilton.

Nanchang CJ6 ZK-JQS of the Omaka Real Flying Club arrived in company with Beech C23 ZK-DVC

And from Whakatane the Vans RV7A ZK-RFX

Monday 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas

ZK-VGS - VH-VGS - ZK-VGS? at Auckland International 22-12-2018

Arriving at Auckland International on 22 December was Vans RV 6 VH-VGS, having flown from Southport, Qeensland via Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.

VH-VGS arriving at Auckland International.  Photo thanks to Daniel Talbot via MRC.

This aircraft has a strong New Zealand connection, being built in Auckland by Air NZ Captain Gary Spicer and being registered here on 13/5/99, and it is photo'd above at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at matamata.  Gary retired to Australia and flew ZK-VGS across the Tasman, and its New Zealand registration was cancelled on 25/6/03.  I understand that it might revert to ZK-VGS as the new owner also has the initials GS!

Air Chathams SAABs at Auckland International 13-12-2018

When I was waiting for my flight to Wellington (I usually allow some extra time), I carried on down to the Air Chathams base where their 2 latest SAABs were parked outside:

SAAB 340A ZK-CIY2 (c/n 340A-135) is now painted up in the Air Chathams scheme.  It has not been posted as such on the blog previously.

SAAB 340B ZK-CIZ2 (c/n 340B-357) was also parked up.  Their third SAAB ZK-KRA was up at the terminal awaiting passengers.
And at the adjacent Air Centre One, Wellington based Life Flight Jetstream 32 ZL-LFT2 arrived on a medical flight.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Airacobra ZK-COB Update

My final port of call at Ardmore way back on 11/12 18 was to Pioneer Aero where I found them torquing up the newly installed propeller.

The Airacobra was registered ZK-COB2 on 14/12/18 where it was revealed that it is a P 39F model with the c/n of 15-554.  I have since touched base with Paul McSweeny of Pioneer Aero who has advised that they have done a couple of engine runs but that a small technical problem means that some parts have to come from the US and that the first flight of the rebuilt fighter will not now be until January 2019.  Thanks for the info Paul.

Saturday 22 December 2018

Yak 52 ZK-DSJ at Ardmore 11-12-2018

Heading North from Te Kuiti I aimed for Ardmore by early afternoon, and it did not disappoint with the new Vans RV 14 ZK-VNX that I have already posted.

And our latest Yak 52, ZK-DSJ2 was out in the sun outside the Aero Technology hangar.  We now have 21 Yak 52s registered in New Zealand.

Eurocopter AS 350B ZK-IZP at Te Kuiti 11-12-2018

As Aerowok's Cresco stopped topdressing on a farm just South of the airfield at Te Kuiti, the also locally based Eurocopter AS 350B ZK-IZP  was topdressing on a farm just North of the airfield.

It now wears Western Helicopters titles, having been registered to them on 28/9/17.