Thursday 31 January 2019

Question time # 204

Hello all DC-3 followers.

Here we have a photograph from the Tony Miller collection in Australia.

As you can see we have an ex NZNAC DC-3 Skyliner.

The question is WHICH ONE ?

And WHERE was this photograph taken ?

A chocolate fish awaits !

Pipistrel Virus ZK-TCB at Tauranga

The Hairy Mole Rat captured the recently registered Pipistrel Virus SW ZK-TCB2 outside Solo Wings recently.

ZK-TCB2 (c/n 923 SWN 100iS), was registered to the new Pipistrel agents, Pipistrel NZ Ltd of Whakatane on 10/10/18.  It is our first Virus model.

I have previously posted about our Pipistrel Sinus's at and the Virus is essentially a Sinus with a shorter wing of 10.71 metres span.

TCB is famous as "Taking Care of Business" that I saw in Elvis Presley's Convair 880 and Lockheed Jetstar at Gracelands in Memphis, TN.  They had TCB engraved on their gold seat belt buckles!

More Stratford Aircraft

As the wind died down during last week at Stratford, a few more of the local aircraft were out and about.

On the Thursday afternoon Wayne Richmond relocated Gary Marsh's Zenair CH-601HDS ZK-DBZ2 from his home airstrip to the aerodrome.  This is the speedwing version with tapered outer wings and Wayne has rebuilt the wings with wing tanks which give a total fuel capacity of 140 litres!  It is powered by a Camit 6 cylinder engine which sounds great.

Gary Marsh has owned ZK-DBZ2 since 27/9/16 and he has named it Red Baron as above with the Stratford Flyers logo.

On the Friday Wayne gave lessons to a couple of new students in the Stratford Aero Club's Zenith CH 601-XL ZK-SSF2.  Here Justin who follows the blog, is about to head off.  Nice to meet you Justin.

Wayne had his Sonerai IILS ZK-SNW out in the sun and we went for a flight to get some tailwheel experience (but it happens much faster than in a Jodel!), it goes like a rocket with a 4 cylinder Jabiru of 85 HP.  He keeps his aircraft immaculately maintained.

On the Saturday Kenny Gallacher pushed his Sonerai IILS ZK-SND out for a flight.

On Friday afternoon Gary Marsh flew down from his home strip at Inglewood in his Rotax 912 powered Titan Mustang ZK-TVG, to put some hours on his Zenair CH 601HDS.  The above photo is of Gary heading for home late in the day.  Gary has modified the exhaust system so it sounds rather un-Rotax like but quite good.

Then on Saturday morning the Taranaki gliding club came out to play.  Their tug is the Aeropro Eurofox 3K ZK-TGC.  I did not have time to photograph their gliders as we had to head off for Thames.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Savannah ZK-RKI

 Added to the register on 09-01-2019 was the ICP Savannah S ZK-RKI (c/n 18-08-54-0633) for Bruce and Roisin McGee of Kaiapoi.
Seen today, 30-01-2019, at Rangiora just prior to take off. 

Rotax 915iS Blue Top

I came across this 'Blue Top' Rotax engine at Rangiora recently as being installed in the Foxcon                                 Aviation Terrier 200 ZK-UTC (c/n NZ2005).

 Photos at Rangiora 30-01-2019.
The Rotax-Werk AG  names goes back to Dresden in Germany in 1920 with a take over by Fichel and Sachs in 1930 with production moving to Schweinfurt and then to Wels in Austria in 1943 and then to Gunskirchen in 1947. 1959 saw a take over by Lohner-Werke of Vienna who in turn were purchased by Bombardier Inc of Canada in 1970 with production continuing at Gunskirchen in Austria  under the Bombardier-Rotax GmbH name.
The Bombardier was earlier perhaps best known in NZ for the manufacture of snowmobile engines but their many models have been used in many other fields. The early two stroke models 447, 501 and 503 etc have been used on many of our early microlights but it is four stroke Rotax 912 which we are interested in here. 
Development of the 80hp 912 began in 1984 with certification being achieved in 1989 followed by several variants which tended to have different coloured rocker covers, starting with black followed by green and red then blue.
So the 915iS is a development of the 912iS with four air cooled cylinders and liquid cooled cylinder heads and of the same 1352cc capacity. It has dry sump forced lubrication and full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and uses dual channel Rockwell Collins UCU for the electronic fuel injection and ignition system.
The biggest differences are the new pistons and the reinforced crankshaft and a new design gearbox giving 2300 propeller rpm for 5800 engine revs - also designed to accept constant speed props. Add to this the turbocharger which helps produce 141hp for up to five minutes with a maximum continuous of 135hp. All this makes it only 15kg heavier than the 912iS.

ZK-UTC began life as ZK-MEG and its history can be found Here
ZK-MEG at Stratford on 29-03-2010.
Below is ZK-UTC at Rangiora on 04-05-2018 with new firewall being fitted.

Jodel D9 ZK-KMM at Stratford

My reason for travelling down to Stratford for the third time in five months was to fly my Jodel D9 ZK-KMM which is now back together again after a lot of engine work by Wayne Richmond, and nice new exhausts.  Thanks Wayne.

Wednesday 23 January was test flight day and Wayne Richmond did the honours, returning to report that it flies "Just like a Jodel".

Then on Friday I was able to do three local flights and I found it came back to me just like riding a bicycle.  Now I need to fly it North to Kaipara Flats.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

More Crescos at Stratford

For my third trip down to Stratford in five months, there was a third different Ravensdown Aerowork Cresco based there.

Pilot Mark Tocher was flying ZK-LTK (c/n 030 and ex ZK-TML) on the Tuesday.

Then on Thursday afternoon his regular mount returned, fresh off an overhaul: ZK-LTH (c/n 024 and ex ZK-EFS and VH-END).

And after a regular check flight ZK-LTK was flown back to Wanganui.

Monday 28 January 2019

HNZ ZK-HNZ at New Plymouth 21-1-2019

The flight from Auckland to New Plymouth takes 50 minutes in a Q 300.  Arriving at New Plymouth it seemed quite deserted with just the Catalina and an Australian Cessna 337 survey plane, both all covered up.

But I did manage a long distance shot of HNZ New Zealand's Agusta AW139 ZK-HNZ4 through the heat haze.  It is in a new colour scheme, and there was another AW139 in the hangar, also in a yellow scheme.

Freight Aircraft at Auckland International 21-1-2019

One week ago I headed down to Taranaki to get re-acquainted with my Jodel D9.  Hence I made my way to Auckland Airport for my cheap Jetstar flight JQ365 to New Plymouth.

It seems as if I have been to Auckland Airport a lot over the last year, but this time I thought some air freight aircraft were worth a photo.

Airwork Flight Operations Ltd's Boeing 737-400 ZK-PAQ was pushed back from the Airwork maintenance hangar, wearing Parcelair titling.

While its international relation Atlas Air's Boeing 747-400 N418MC departed...

and Federal Express's MD 11 N612FE was parked on the apron.  This photo was made possible by being bussed out to our Jetstar Q 300 VH-TQL.

Sunday 27 January 2019

Waihi Beach 27-01-2019

Rod Vaughan kindly sent in these two photographs taken at Waihi Beach (NZWV) today.
North American NA88 Harvard ZK-ENJ (c/n 88-17010) ex NZ1098 of the Harvard 98 Syndicate is down from Ardmore.
Tecnam P2002 Sierra ZK-JNG (c/n 0151) from the Hauraki Aero Club is often seen here. 
Today Club instructor Rick Watson was on a "lunch run" to the Surf Shack cafe at the airstrip.
As a matter of interest - Rick formed Watsonair in December last year and it the authorised agent for Skyleader Aircraft. Check out the Skyleader range HERE

Canadian Courier in Country

Parked behind the RAE hangar at Rangiora on Saturday and Sunday was the Helio H-295 Courier C-GZZL (c/n 1263) as listed with Louis Grenier since 14-09-2004.
This had just been boxed in from Australia where it had spent a couple of weeks touring about.
It is intended to do similar here in NZ.
 Like most Couriers it depends on which history you want to believe.
With a c/n of 1263 we know it was built at the Midstates Manufacturing Division of Helio Aircraft Corporation, Pittsburg, Kansas as one of 173 U-10D/H295's and was allocated the US Bureau  number of 66-14361 and issued to the USAF CA ANG 129th Special Operations Group with whom it operated (classified) until November 25th 1974. 
At this time it was placed in storage at Davis-Monthan.
It was released in June of 1976 and placed on the US civil register as N42112 with The US Department of Agriculture (possibly as a sprayer) and then transferred over to N2706J for the Utah Department of Public Safety (read - drug and liquor enforcement).
By 27-11-1994 it was certified to John Pollock and is known to have struck trees in September 1995 and I believe it was rebuilt using a new fuselage from an unfinished H-800 model. It certainly has the square rear fuselage window - as against the U-10D's round version and also the small fin fillet - although this was added to float plane 295's, plus the different undercarriage arrangement.
Its US registration was cancelled on 23-07-2004 for it to become C-GZZL on 14-09-2004 with Louis Grenier.
Nice one !

We have just the single Helio H250 Courier on the NZ civil register.
ZK-TCE (c/n 2503) based at Beckenham Hills Station, North Canterbury.
This has been mentioned several times on this site.  See HERE

Above I have added for interest a U-10D with the smaller round fuselage window, no fin fillet and the spindly undercarriage and the cambered wheels.

More Thames Wings & Wheels 26-1-2019

I was also fortunate to attend the Thames Wings & Wheels event, flying up from Stratford with Alan Warner in his lovely Polaris FK 14 ZK-RFD

The event was very well supported both by aircraft and cars, and there seemed to be a big crowd in attendance.  In this photo from an overhead rejoin you can see 61 of the aircraft on display, as well as some of the cars (you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it once or twice)..

In addition to Richard Currie's photos I offer the following:

Warren Sly had his Titan Mustang ZK-FDLassembled and on display.

It was great to see a real oldie out flying.  Brett Tynan of Morrinsville about to depart in his unique (for New Zealand) Cvjetkovic CA-65 ZK-FNY.  This aircraft was built by Brett's father Eric in Te Aroha in the 1980s.

Ian Belfield was giving his Foxcon Terrier ZK-EEN2 a good wash.

Rusty Russell called in briefly in the brand new Whangarei Flying Club's Aeroprakt A 32 Vixxen ZK-WCV.  Rusty had just picked up from the agent at Mercer and diverted on his delivery flight back to Whangarei on a bit of a mercy mission.

This was the first time I had seen Gary Williams' new high back Vans RV 8 ZK-ZRV.  It looks real nice.

And my transport up from Stratford, Alan Warner's B&F Polaris FK 14 ZK-RFD.  It is a lovely machine to fly in.  Thanks very much for the lift Alan.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Thames Wings & Wheels

The 2nd Wings & Wheels held at Thames airfield today attracting quite a number of visiting aircraft some of which included the Bell 505 ZK-HTI owned by Brookby Quarries of Auckland.

The locally based Rainbow Skyreach Bushcat ZK-PAW

Over from Hamilton was Bantam B22J ZK-PRC

From Wanganui the smart Zenith CH750 ZK-VKG

Another another Bushcat, ZK-ZBR,  registered to a Blenheim owner

Tuesday 22 January 2019


A visit to Taupo on a stunning summer day offered plenty of aviation activity including down at the lake shore Taupo's Floatplane Co's Cessna U206G ZK-EFI taxied into the dock with Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe on show in the background

Over at the Taupo Gliding Club's Centennial Park airfield gliders from around the North Island were active and it was good to see amongst them the 60 year old Schleicher Ka6CR Rhonsegler II ZK-GBU from Auckland.

Also of interest our sole TeST TST 14 Bonus M motorglider ZK-GUL which is Czech built and was registered here in 2006 in the microlight category

At Taupo Airport AS355F1 ZK-HML arrived now wearing Inflite titling

Sunday 20 January 2019

Another Dargaville Lunch Run 19-1-2019

Following the great pancake breakfast at Kaipara Flats, quite a few of the guys headed on up to Dargaville for lunch.

Peter Armstrong came up for breakfast from Ardmore in his Dyn Aero MCR 4S ZK-PSA.  he had a spare seat and so I went along for the ride.

 Lovely vistas over the Kaipara Harbour.

The Dyn Aero is a very slick machine with a Rotax 914, and we cruised at 125 knots while burning 16 litres per hour.  That is VERY economical!  On the way we flew past the Dargaville Aero Club's Fly Synthesis Texan ZK-TXN2

At Dargaville a new plane for me was Allan Jessop's Savannah ZK-SAV, although he has owned it since 2011.

Murray Parkinson has now flown his Corby Starlet ZK-LDI, and he flew it across from Whangarei for lunch.

While Alan Coubray flew his Robinson R 22 ZK-HDT5  up from Whitianga via the Kaipara Flats breakfast.

 Waikato Aviation's Cessna 172M ZK-JGP also flew in for lunch after carrying out DOC surveys of various fauna in the North.  The pilot told me that JGP stood for Jolly Good Pilot! and also that the aircraft will have a repaint in the near future.

 Then back to our steed for the return flight.

The distinctive wingtip with North Head behind and South Head in the front.  (Click the photo to enlarge).

And on take off from Kaipara Flats after dropping me off.  Thanks very much Peter.