Sunday 31 March 2019

Airtourer ZK-CHB and ZK-DLO

The Victa Airtourer 100 ZK-CHB appears to have had an identity crisis before settling on the c/n of 87.
Originally the c/n 76 had been allotted by Victa in Australia to take up the ZK-CHB registration but this became VH-MUP instead.
Then the c/n 91 was mentioned but this became G-ATCI with the Sunderland Flying Club in the UK. During final assembly in the UK an identity plate with the ZK-CHB marks was found.

Anyway ZK-CHB c/n 87 was registered in NZ through Victa (NZ) Ltd on 20-05-1965 and first flew here on the following day and was delivered to the Rotorua Aero Club on 01-07-1965.
This airframe had in fact been initially pencilled in to become VH-MUI1 but this was not taken up.
 Above we see ZK-CHB at Invercargill on 04-07-1968 still in its factory paint scheme.
Next operator was the Auckland Aero Club from sometime in 1967.

It was withdrawn from use for a rework and emerged as an  T3A with the 130hp Rolls Royce O-240- and re-registered as an AESL Airtourer with the new registration of ZK-DLO on 20-03-1973 and re-delivered to the Auckland Aero Club on the 23rd.
 The pic above in magic monochrome shows ZK-DLO at Ardmore on 11-06-1973 in its new scheme.
But don't believe everything that you see !
 The photo above is a copy of an ancient colour slide which has 'gone off' over the years.
Its true colour was not yellow but more like the colour of the spinner.

Below is a copy from a colour print taken at Hamilton on 13-11-1973.
It was damaged on landing at Ardmore on 22-10-1977 and following repairs was sold to C J Summers of Auckland in February of 1978.
It then passed through a multitude of owner/operators which runs something like this:-
Frank Rouse of Wellington in mid-1980.
Ed Bullmore and F Wilkins of Balfour in March 1988.
John Dorricott of Southern Skies of Invercargill from April of 1988.
Then to the Southern AirTourer Syndicate of Invercargill in April 1989.
This syndicate consisted of E Wright, L Day, R Avery, M Muir and W Kennedy.
The Whakatane Syndicate took it on from July 1992 then it went to,
A R McKay of Lower Hutt from February 1994 and it was repainted in the scheme as seen below at Masterton on 17-03-1996.
Next in line was G F and L H Matthews of Masterton from 01-03-1998.
Nev Kennard of Palmerston North from 23-05-1999.
Kevin Jane out of Stratford from 06-07-2000.
Nigel Dee of New Plymouth took it over from 01-08-2002, followed by -
Mike Crene of Kaitaia in September of 2003.
The current listed owner Craig Hanna, now of Waipu, listed it from 02-12-2005.
I believe it is not currently active but comes out for an engine run occasionally as seen below at Whangarei on 21-02-2019 thanks to Rusty Russell

Saturday 30 March 2019

Homegrown Two Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (9) - Cooke Avian Adventurer

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in 2008 was Bruce Cooke's own design Avian Adventurer ZK-CKE2 (c/n AV08-1) which was first registered on 19/11/08, although it did not fly until March 2011.  (The first ZK-CKE was also a homegrown design from the Waikato region, being the second Bennett PL 11 Airtruck from Te Kuiti).

Bruce advises that his aircraft is influenced by the classic taildraggers such as the Piper Cub, Cessna Bird Dog and the Auster series, and it took 10 years to build.  Construction is of rivetted interlocking aluminium extrusions.  This construction method results in a high component count but it avoids the necessity for expensive sheetmetal tooling.  The outward sloping cabin sides reduce the amount of bending required for the bottom longerons while allowing very generous shoulder room for the 2 side by side occupants and giving an almost directly down view through the fully glazed upward opening doors.  Bruce says that the all around visibility is very good.  The airframe is covered with Stits Polyfiber fabric.

The Avian Adventurer specifications are:  length 7.63 metres, wingspan 10.23 metres.  The engine is Subaru EJ 20 "Matariki"  (Subaru and Matariki both refer to the cluster of 6 stars in the Taurus constellation named Pleiades by the ancient Greeks), which produces 140 HP Nominal and drives a 3 bladed electrically variable Ivoprop through a Neil Hintz gearbox.  The cruise is around 90 to 95 knots and the stall speed is 35 knots.  It has flown around 185 hours to date which is a credit to Bruce and his design.

The Avian Adventurer's first adventure - its first flight at Hamilton on 12/3/11 with test pilot Bob Monds.  You can see the outward sloping side windows in this photo.

Bruce taxies his aircraft for take off from Taupo on 6/3/14, en route to the 2014 SAANZ flyin at Hastings.

On display at the SAANZ flyin on 7/3/14.

Friday 29 March 2019

Morgan Aeroworks Aircraft of New Zealand - Cheyenne

There has been another model of Morgan Aero Works aircraft registered in New Zealand - the one off Morgan 10 Cheyenne.  This aircraft was a 15 metre span motor glider powered by an 80 HP Jabiru 2200 engine.  The fibreglass wings were constructed using foam ribs as far as I can make out, and the cockpit/engine mount/undercarriage mounts were connected by a steel frame.

The aircraft was registered VH-NZJ2 in Australia on 22/1/14 and its first flight was in May 2016 with an 18 metre 4 piece wing which was later replaced wit a 15 metre wing.  There is a video of it flying at:  (You have to scroll down a bit to the video).

Garry Morgan returned back to New Zealand in 2017 with the aircraft being cancelled from the Australian Civil Register on 17/2/17.

ZK-CZJ2 (c/n GFA/AB/150) was registered to Garry Morgan of Renwick on 7/8/17 as an Amateur Built Aircraft with a MAUW of 698 Kg.  The above photo was taken at Omaka in August 2017.

Sadly, the aircraft didn't last very long on the New Zealand Register as on 31 December 2017 it suffered a major wing failure when flying over the Blairich Range South of Blenheim.  Remarkably the aircraft spiralled down (a bit like a sycamore seed I guess) and impacted on a steep slope with only minor injuries to the two occupants who walked to the top of the range and called for help by cellphone.  The aircraft was fitted with a ballistic parachute but it could not be fired because the wing had folded over it.  An amazing escape!

It was cancelled from the New Zealand Civil Register on 18/1/18.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Morgan Aero Works Aircraft of New Zealand - Cheetahs

New Zealander Garry Morgan formed Morgan Aero Works in Australia in 2002, having come from a background of model aircraft building.  His first design was the Cheetah and this was further developed into the Cheetah Sierra 100.  Further designs followed including the single seat Diamond, the two seater Cheetah Sierra 200 and the Joey Mk II, and the 4 seater Cougar.  The aircraft are built from kits and are of aluminium tube and sheet construction using pop rivets with a welded steel frame for the cockpit, undercarriage and engine mounts.  The fairings and engine cowling are fibreglass.

Garry Morgan sold Morgan Aero Works in 2016 to Wedgetail Aircraft Pty Ltd which was formed by Ray Tolhurst and which is based at Camden Airport in NSW.  Wedgetail Aircraft offer the Cheetah Sierra 200 and the Cougar, as well as the single seat Vampire (of which we have had one earlier example registered in New Zealand, ZK-VMP, but that will have to wait for Microlights of New Zealand).

The quoted specifications for the Cheetah Sierra 100 are:  length 19 feet wingspan 26 feet. empty weight 313 Kg, MAUW 544 Kg and with a 80 HP Jabiru 2200 engine cruise speed is around 130 knots and the stall speed is around 37 knots.  The wings are easily detachable for trailering and storage.

We have had one Morgan Cheetah and two Cheetah Sierra 100s in New Zealand to date.

Our first Morgan Aero Works aircraft to appear was Cheetah Sierra 100 ZK-LLS (c/n 21-54) which was registered to Flylite NZ Ltd of Gore (Lindsay Ross and Bob & Christine Oliver) on 13/8/08.  It was sold to Robert McA Oliver of Riversdale on 15/6/15 and then to the SDR Syndicate of Rangiora on 4/6/18, for them to obtain a low timed Rotax 912 engine for use in their ICP Savannah ZK-SDR.  I believe it is in a hangar at Rangiora being worked on.  The above photo was taken at Woodbury in South Canterbury on 23/4/11.

Jon Farmer has built several aircraft, one of which was this earlier Morgan Aero Works Cheetah model ZK-CCB2 (c/n MA 17) which was registered to him at Auckland on 11/12/09.  It is photo'd above on 10/12/09.

Ownership changed to Ian Blyth of Christchurch on 9/3/15.  The above photo was taken at Rangiora on 20/12/14.

And our second Cheetah Sierra 100 was ZK-TJD2 (c/n 23-S-5) which was registered to Trevor John Duncan of Wanaka on 6/3/12.  It is photo'd above at the 2014 Warbirds Over Wanaka, on 18/4/14.  It was damaged at an unknown date as I saw it for sale on the net in a damaged condition.  It was sold to Mark W Hammond of Lower Hutt on 1/12/16.  I am not sure if it is active again as I have not seen another photo of it.

We may see more Morgan Aero Works/Wedgetail aircraft in New Zealand in the future as they are still being produced (by Wedgetail Aircraft) and the kits are relatively cheap.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

A Couple of Superair Turbine Fletchers

Stratford is mainly Ravensdown Aerowork country but last Saturday a Superair turbine Fletcher was operating in the area.

Turbine Fletcher FU 24-950 ZK-EMW (c/n 277) lifts off after having called in to fit a spreader.  You can see its history in an earlier post at:

Back on 18 February I managed the best I could do photo of another Superair Turbine Fletcher FU 24-950 ZK-DZO (c/n 212) at their base at Hamilton airport in the current fleet colours.  This aircraft was first registered in January 1976 and then went overseas to fly in Pakistan and Sudan before returning to New Zealand for Superair in July 1993.  It was then rebuilt with the extended fuselage and large hopper and re-powered with a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-34AG turbine engine.  It first flew in this configuration on 4-10-06 and was marked as a Fletcher 2000EX.

It is photo'd above by Lord Nelson in its earlier Superair colours at Masterton on 3/10/13.

Tuesday 26 March 2019


A visit to a moderately busy Hamilton Airport provided a couple more helicopters in for maintenance that havent appeared on this blog 

Firstly up from New Plymouth was Precision Helicopter's AS350BA ZK-IDW which was imported from the USA in October 2018.

And across from Matamata was Helicopter Operations Ltd's  Schweizer 300C sprayer ZK-HFN,  which was acquired by the company back in August 2017.

Monday 25 March 2019

More helicopters

A trip up to Taupo from Wellington offered quite a bit of interest including the following 4 helicopters new to this blog.

Firstly at Paraparaumu was the Kapiti Districts Aero Club's Guimbal Cabri G2 ZK-IMZ acquired back in March 2018.

At Midwest Helicopters' base at Taihape airfield was Hughes 369E ZK-HYK,  acquired in 2018.

At Taupo,  Helicopter Services (BOP) Limited's AS350BA ZK-HZD

Up from New Plymouth receiving some maintenance at Taupo was Ice Aviation's R22 ZK-HIE

BRM Aero Bristells at Taupiri 21-3-2019

On my way South I had arranged to visit Martin Henton of Anderson Aviation NZ Ltd, the agents for Bristell aircraft in New Zealand.  He has an airstrip on his farm at Taupiri that is also the home for the Gordonton Microlight Club.  He kindly drove me down to his hangar and pushed the two BRM Aero Bristell NG 5s outside for a photo.

ZK-NGB2 (c/n 344/2018) is their new demonstrator which was registered on 11/2/19 under the Light Sport Aircraft category.

And sharing the hangar was Martin's own aircraft ZK-NGZ (c/n 306/2018) in a very Kiwi scheme.

Thanks Martin.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Taylor Monoplane ZK-CZH at Stratford Yesterday 23-3-2019

When I arrived in Stratford with my VW engine I was delighted to find the Taylor Monoplane ZK-CZH in the hangar.

It has been rescued from many years of inactivity at Hawera by Wayne Richmond.  I reckon that it is great to see such a neat old aircraft get another lease of life.  It is the first time I have actually seen the aircraft.

Wayne pushed it out of the hangar on Saturday and it starts so easily! (it has one mag and one distributor, both driven by a chain from the crankshaft)

 And several local taildragger pilots took it for a circuit.  Here is Don Boyd on take off.  It flew really well.

ZK-CZH was built by Jack Hintz of Inglewood but I understand he never flew it.  It has only flown a little over 100 hours since first being registered in 1991.  Its short history (and histories of a few other Taylor Monos) can be found at

Wellington Helicopters

Wellington Helicopters,  which is a division of Christchurch based GCH Aviation, operate off
Queens Wharf in downtown Wellington City and noted there today were EC130B-4 ZK-IGF

And BK117B-2 ZK-IVB

A new pair of legs.

 I noticed the Denney Kitfox III ZK-KNZ (c/n 798 AACA/2013) taxing out at Rangiora yesterday and it looked somehow pleasingly different.
 Turns out it has inherited the undercarriage legs from the late Kitfox Lite Squared ZK-ELE2.
See ZK-ELE Here.
It also now lacks the under fuselage pod.
Ownership title passed from Paul Godfrey to the KNZ Syndicate on 27-09-2018.
Below we have an earlier view of ZK-KNZ with its original undercarriage arrangement at Rangiora on 30-01-2015.
And below I caught it at Christchurch International on 31-03-1992 when it was just over a year old.


In fact all three of the 'Godfrey' Kitfox's were out yesterday.
ZK-JFA (c/n C94080051/MAANZ/527) now with the under body pod has been with Paul since 04-12-2015.
 ZK-KIV (c/n 1642) has been with Michael since 28-12-2014.

Saturday 23 March 2019

Another Cessna 185

Further to the Cessna 180/185 blogs below another 185 was added to the NZ register on 18 March with a Drury owner,  being 1977 model A185F ZK-CDM.    Seen at Mercer airfield this was imported from Vanuatu, where it was YJ-CCM, back in December 2018.

Cessna 180/185 Club Makarora weekend # 1

Last weekend Agairnz had the opportunity to attend the Cessna 180/185 Group fly in at Makarora.
He was flown down in Cessna 185B ZK-CMW2 from the owners farm strip at Kaiaua on the Firth of Thames on Friday 15th of March and returned on Sunday the 17th.
Below is a selection of shots from that weekend.
A general view of part of the aircraft parking area at Makaroara with Cessna 180 ZK-BSP in the foreground.
The weekend consisted of social events and fly outs to various back country strips, river beds and beaches.
Darlington Drilling and Piling Ltd Cessna 180 ZK-B JV (c/n 31452) on 'The Beach".
Great to see this 180 re-activated after so long parked up.
The Windwhistle Syndicates 180 ZK-BKG (c/n 30376).
The Martin Aviation Services Ltd Cessna 185 ZK-CAV (c/n 185-0212) had reflown as recently as 10-03-2019 after a seven year lay up.
From Wanaka came the Wildcat Trusts Cessna 185C ZK-CGH (c/n 185-0751).
Agairnz's ride for the weekend was the Cessna 185B ZK-CMW (c/n 1850653) as listed with CMC Investments Ltd.
This 185 initially flew in NZ as ZK-JAO between late 1996 and July of 2002.
Cessna 180B ZK-EEJ (c/n 18050557) is Graeme Prankerd's down from near Stratford.

Cessna 180/185 Club Makarora weekend # 2

Some more shots from the Makarora flyin.
From  Blenheim came the O'Sullivan Family Trusts Cessna A185F ZK-JKH (c/n 18503249).
The registration ZK-MUR tells me that this is the Cessna A185E (c/n 185-1233) of James Murray.
Cessna 180H ZK-PHD (c/n 18051548) has been with George Galpin of Marton since about mid-1983.
The K G MacDonald Trusts Cessna 185A ZK-SIA (c/n 185-0427) was down from near Rangiora.
And Mike Thomas had his Cessna 185A ZK-VKE (c/n 185-0297) down from Arundel.
A general beach view with ZK-DJM nearest.

Aircraft noted during the flyin include :-

On 15-3-18


Cessna 172A      ZK-CKX in and out on Friday.

Cessna 185’s      ZK-CAV, ZK-CGH, ZK-CMW, ZK-SME, ZK-SIA, ZK-VKE

Cessna A185’s    ZK-DJM, ZK-DKJ, ZK-JKH, ZK-JKL, ZK-MUR, ZK-SMS, ZK-WBL and ZK-FMA which is based on field

Robinson R22 ZK-HAI carried two members of the group. Departed Saturday.

On 16-3-19

All the above aircraft still present and joined by,

Cessna A185     ZK-ENW in evening
Cub Crafter        ZK-CUB
Maule                 ZK-TDS

On 17-3-19
All the above aircraft still present apart from ZK-CUB.

Cessna 180    ZK-MDL arrived on Sunday after most aircraft had departed.

In addition to the above present of the field were Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IPG and Hughes369E ZK-IHH both operated by Back Country Helicopters of Makarora

Also in the same hangar as ZK-FMA was deregistered Cessna 207 ZK-FQY.

At the dinner on Saturday night it was announced that this year’s total of attending aircraft was the largest ever.