Friday 31 May 2019

NZCH today 31-05-2019

 A recent addition to the GCH Aviation Ltd's fleet is this Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-IGS2 (c/n 1091).
This had been JA6781 since 22-03-1996 with the Aichi Prefecture Police until being withdrawn from use on 12-07-2017.
It came onto our register on 18-10-2018 with Skyline Aviation Ltd of Napier and was listed to GCH Aviation Ltd of Christchurch on 22-03-2019.
 In late March the Canterbury Aero Club (Inc) listed two more Cessna 172's to their fleet.
Above we see the 172R ZK-JNE3 (c/n 17280899) which is a re-registration of ZK-NAD4 which in turn had been a re-registration of ZK-JLY.
Below is the 172S ZK-ZAN (c/n 172S10101) which is a re-listing of ZK-NAV2. 
Both have come from the Nelson Aviation College at Motueka and now feature a new colour scheme.
 On the western side of the field is the crash fire training area.
This contains the mortal remains of the Fairchild F27 N385BA (c/n 24).
This was built in 1958 as YV-C-EVS and later became N4703S, N2708, N711TW, N78L N444SL before becoming N385BA.
Previous mention of this Friendship can be seen Here

Thursday 30 May 2019


The Bell 206L-1 LongRanger ZK-HVR3 (c/n 45323) spent its formative years in Venezuela as YV-320CP before popping up on the PNG register as P2-HBB in 1988.
On 06-06-2003 it was listed on the Australian register as VH-SHK3 with Sydney Helicopters Pty Ltd and by 2009 was being operated by Gemmell Helicopters Pty Ltd of Ettalong Beach north of Sydney.
It was used as required by the rural Fire Service and carried their fleet number '277' and is seen below in this photo from Tony Arbon at Ayers Rock on 30-05-2009.
 Its Ozzie registration was cancelled on 27-02-2019 for it to be placed on the NZ register as ZK-HVR3 on 21-03-2019 with Ahaura Helicopters Ltd of Ahaura on the West Coast.
 NZ certification was carried out by Heli Maintenance Ltd at Christchurch International Airport with its NZ CofA being issued on 08-05-2019 and its first flight being today - 30-05-2019.
These two photos were taken today outside the Heli Maintenance facility.
In the lower shot the ex PNG registration of P2-HBB is faintly visible just behind its 'VR' letters.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Pics of the week.

A selection of photos taken during the last week or so.
 One I have not seen for many years is the Piper PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV ZK-EZM (c/n 28RT-7931111) which has been with Management Nelson Ltd since April of 2008.
Originally a John Shivas import in 1982. Noted at NZCH on the 24th.
 Both Tecnam's from the Oamaru based New Zealand Airline Academy Ltd were noted at Rangiora.
Above P20008 ZK-MBN2 (c/n 069) which they acquired from John Nicholls mid last year. Seen on the 23rd.
Below is their P2008 ZK-TLT (c/n 123) which they took on from December last year from the NZ agents Tecnam Australasia Ltd. At NZRT also on the 23rd.

 Airbus A320-232 TC-ODE was spied at Christchurch on the 20th.
This is the old Air New Zealand ZK-OJO (c/n 2663) which carried out its final revenue earning flight on 18-03-2019.
And on the 24th the Massey University School of Aviation's Diamond DA 40 ZK-MTH (c/n 40.1012) with an A380 backdrop.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

ZK-IPJ at Ardmore 28-05-2019

Advanced Flight of Pikes Point Auckland has acquired three Bell 429 Global Ranger's to cover their new contract for the Police Air Wing operation.
ZK-IPJ2 (c/n 57049) is the last of the three to be registered.
All three had Canadian registrations followed by US civil registrations and then Australian registrations before being inducted into the Royal Australian Navy.
ZK-IPJ2 began as C-GFNO followed by C-GLIK, N455NB and then to VH-NPR on 20-03-2012 with Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd.
It joined the Australian Navy as A49-049 from 05-06-2012 with 723 squadron.
At the end of its lease it re-entered the Australian civil register on 03-04-2019 as VH-IWT back with Raytheon via the ANZ Banking Group.
 The photo below (thanks to Raytheon Australia) shows it in Australian Navy markings but still wearing its US civil N455NB markings.
It will be interesting to see what marks these helicopters wear on their new Police role.
The previous machines as operated by Airwork wore no civilian registration - just carried 'Police' titles followed by a number.

Edwardian Era Replica Flying Machines of New Zealand - the Mudrovich 1903 Pearse Replica

Around 10 years after the centenary of Richard Pearse's attempts to fly at Waitohi in South Canterbury, Ivan Mudrovich of Auckland completed his re-imagination of Pearse's 1903 flying machine.

Ivan's machine was much larger than the earlier group's efforts. He had done quite a lot of research and claimed that Pearse reworked his flying machine over several years of trying, resulting in a very much bigger wing.  Ivan was a talented engine builder and he also built his version of Pearse's 1903 double acting 2 cylinder engine that he powered his machine with.  A very good article on Ivan's replica and his engine is at:

ZK-RPT (c/n 002) was registered to Mr I A Mudrovcich(spelling?) of Auckland on 16/3/12.

After many trials ZK-RPT was demonstrated at the 2015 Wings Over Wairarapa, helmed by senior ex Air New Zealand Captain Nev Hay.

Nev reported that he got to around 15 to 18 mph in a fast taxy, and he had to "blip" the engine so he didn't go any faster.  At that speed the wing was fully "inflated" and was getting good lift, and the aileron/spoiler were effective.  But it did not achieve flight.

More trials followed, above at Whenuapai (date unknown), and finally the machine was transported to Whitianga where further taxy tests were carried out in April 2016, but the engine did not develop full power and then Ivan Mudrovich was hospitalised. See:

Sadly, Ivan Mudrovich passed away in late 2018, see: and ZK-RPT was cancelled from the register on 11/10/18.

Monday 27 May 2019

Edwardian Era Replica Flying Machines of New Zealand - A Plethora of 1903 Pearse Replicas

Over quite a few years now I have been posting the histories of homebuilt and sport aircraft of New Zealand that have been registered here.  I reckon it has been quite exhaustive, but the other day I found one that I had missed.

I had not remembered that one of the several 1903 Pearse replicas had been registered as the creators attempted to coax it into the air!  And I am not talking about Ivan Mudrovich's machine.  So I did a bit of digging and came up with the following:

This replica is on display at MOTAT.  I understand that it was built by Geoff Rodliffe of Auckland for a 1970s NZBC film.  It is fitted with a replica of Richard Pearse's engine and propellor.

And this replica was built by members of the South Canterbury Aviation Heritage Centre for the centenary of Richard Paearse's possible (uncontrolled?) flight in 2003.  It also has a replica of Pearse's engine and propellor.  I am not sure where this replica is now, but it does not look like the one that is outside the South Canterbury Aviation Heritage Centre (below).

Photo taken at Timaru on 6/9/14.

And this and the photos below (by unknown photographers from the internet) are of ZK-RWP (c/n RWP-1) which was registered on 31/3/03 to the Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland,  I understand that it was built by Geoff Rodliffe and Don Fleming of Auckland and it was fitted with a microlight engine and a wooden propellor.  It was transported to Waitohi in South Canterbury where Richard Pearse made his first attempts to fly in 1903.  The above photo is of Jack Melhopt and ZK-RWP on a very muddy farm airstrip at Waitohi, where it did not fly.

These two photos show the aircraft at the Richard Pearse Centenary airshow held at the Levels airfield at Timaru, which was held between 29 - 31 March 2003.

It made powered runs as in the above photo, again helmed by Jack Melhopt, but alas it still did not leave terra firma.

I understand that it then made its way to the UK, where the above photo was taken at Old Warden on 29/7/03, by this time it had a replica Richard Pearse engine and propellor..  It was cancelled from the New Zealand register on 28/10/04.

Sunday 26 May 2019

NuWaco at Tauranga Yesterday 25-5-2019

Warwick Hamilton was on hand to capture Marty Cantlon's lovely NuWaco T 10 ZK-WTW2 starting up and taxying at Tauranga yesterday:

A smokey start up....

Dang! that's a nice looking aircraft!

Thanks for the photos Warwick.


Among the visitors to Pauanui on what has been a stunning weather week on the Coromandel was the Pipistrel Virus SW ZK-TCB up from Tauranga.   This was imported by the Pipistrel agents in October 2018.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Malibu ZK-MPG

The Piper PA-46 Malibu is a six seat low wing pressurised cabin class aircraft with an air stair door.  The prototype first flew on 30-11-1979 powered with a Continental TSIO-520 engine.
The production PA-46-350P Malibu had the 350hp TSIO-540 engine.
ZK-MPG with the c/n of 46-8508063 was built at the Piper Aircraft Companies Vero Beach Florida facility and registered as N6908W for delivery to the UK distributor C.S.E. Aviation Ltd at Kidlington with whom it became G-BMBE from 26-07-1985.
CSE passed it on to Artix Ltd of Peterlee from 12-12-1985 who in turn moved it to Barfax Distributing Co Ltd of Preston from 18-12-1989. Whilst with then it appears to have been operated for a while under the Glasdon GP label.
It is seen below at Jersey on 03-08-1990 thanks to David Lunn.
Sunseeker Sales (UK) Ltd of Poole appear on the paper work from 20-01-2000 until it was listed with Law 2200 Ltd of London and re-registered as G-HITS on 24-10-2000.
Above we see G-HITS in a new colour scheme as photographed by Ian Haskell.
On 10-11-2006 its UK registration was cancelled and it transferred to Germany and became D-ERJN.
Below a photo from an unknow source showing D-ERJN.
By 20-03-2011 it had accrued some 3055 hours as it was placed on the US register as N957JK with Aerospace Trust LLC out of Wilmington in Delaware.
As such it ferried from Bali to Darwin on 23-05-2011, moving on to Brisbane the next day. It was at Lord Howe Island on the 26th and reached Tauranga via Auckland on 28-05-2011.
It is seen below as N957JK at Auckland on the 28th - thanks to MRC Aviation.
It was registered as ZK-MPG to Fairway Air Ltd of Tauranga on 07-06-2011 and first flew as such on 07-06-2011. Fairway also operated the Cessna U206G ZK-JCS at this time.
Below - It was noted by Henry at Taupo on 02-07-2011.
It transferred briefly to Pauanui Beach Reality Ltd on 18-10-2018 and then on to Funnell Farms Ltd of Taupo from 01-02-2019.
It is seen below at Hokitika on Wednesday. Photo from Ben Patterson.

Friday 24 May 2019

Just Aircraft of New Zealand - Super STOL XL ZK-DJG

In 2015 Just Aircraft introduced the Super STOL XL which has a stretched fuselage to offset the installation of heavier and more powerful engines up to 180 HP.  Whereas the Escapade, Highlander and Super STOL all had a length of 19 feet, the Super STOL XL has a length of 21 feet 6 inches.  However the wing is the same as the regular Super STOL.

We have had only one Super STOL XL registered here to date, being Don Gray's ZK-DJG2.  It is powered by a 180 HP UL 520i engine and Don says it goes really well.

ZK-DJG2 (c/n JA487-02-16) was registered to D J (Don) Gray of Te Awamutu on 14/8/18.  It is photo'd above in its element, on a lovely day in the South Island high country.

Thursday 23 May 2019


Noted in our travels this week were 3 helicopters that havent appeared on this blog before, starting with the Robinson R44 II ZK-HJN sprayer at Tauranga, which is part of the large Rotor Work Te Kuiti fleet that now comprises 23 helicopters.

At Rotorua was the latest addition to the Volcanic Air Safaris fleet,  AS350B-2 ZK-HPB imported from the US in February 2019

And at Taupo the Lakeview Helicopters' Bell UH-1H Iroquois ZK-ILV, which was imported from Australia in March 2019.

Just Aircraft of New Zealand - Super STOLs

Following on from the Highlander, Just Aircraft developed the Super STOL as an even more capable STOL aircraft with the same fuselage but with bigger wings with automatic leading edge slats and Fowler flaps and a very long stroke undercarriage with tundra tyres.  This produced an aircraft with the ability to "drop in" to short remote airstrips, for example the Highlander can land in 1,000 feet over a 50 foot obstacle whereas the Super STOL can do it in 450 feet!

Like the Escapade and the Highlander the Super STOL's fuselage is of a welded 4130 steel fuselage of polygonal cross section and the aircraft is mainly fabric covered.

Specifications for the Super STOL are: length 19 feet (5.69 metres), wingspan 31 feet 3 inches (9.52 metres) and the wing area is much bigger than the Highlander at 147 square feet.  The empty weight is around 737 Kg (334 Kg) and in New Zealand the MAUW is 1,200 pounds (544 Kg).  Engines are usually a Rotax 912 or 914 (100 to 115 HP), and with the Rotax 912 the cruise speed is around 100 mph and the stall speed is low at 32 mph.

We have had eight Just Aircraft Super STOLs in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Super STOL was ZK-RIM (c/n JA-272) which was registered to Roderick (Rod) I Milne of Taupo on 24/12/13.  This was a factory built aircraft with a Rotax 914 engine that was imported by the New Zealand agents Just Aircraft NZ Ltd and arrived in Timaru in early December 2013.  Its first flight here was on 24/1/14 from Rangitata Island, flown by Grant Coldicott.  It was delivered North to Taupo on 10/10/14 when the above photo was taken at Rangiora.  In the photo you can clearly see the leading edge slats and the large flying surfaces.

And another photo, taken at Tauranga, showing the short landing technique that enables the aircraft to get into short strips.

Our second Super STOL was ZK-CVV2 (c/n JAE-297) which was also a factory built example that arrived in Timaru in December 2014.  It was registered to John C Kookshorn of Queensland on 12/12/14 but it is based in Wanaka.  John Kookshorn moved to Christchurch.  The above photo was taken at the 2018 Wings Over Wanaka, on 1/4/18.

Next to be registered was ZK-PSK (c/n JA342-01-14), another factory built aircraft, which was registered to Christopher J (Chris) Pask of Hastings on 3/3/15.  It is photo'd above on delivery through Rangiora on 25/3/15.

Our first kit built Super STOL was ZK-NJC (c/n JA402-08-14) which was built by Craig Miller of Custom Aviation at Taieri for Neville Cunningham of Timaru.  It was first registered on 8/9/15 to Mt Cook Trophy Hunting of Timaru.  It has a Rotax 914 and 29 inch tundra tyres, and is photo'd early on in its life at Taieri.

A more recent photo of it in its element with Mt Cook Trophy Hunting script.

ZK-KAB2 (c/n JA314-08-13) was registered to the KAB Syndicate (Brian Phillips and Grant Goodland) of Rangiora on 30/11/15 and was first flown on 10/4/16 with Evan Belworthy as the test pilot.  It is photo'd above on 1/4/17 at its owners "Eyre Ache" property which is adjacent to Forest Field, West of Christchurch.  On 10/1/19 ownership changed to the KAB Syndicate of Christchurch.

ZK-KTF (c/n JA345-01-14) was registered to Fraser A (Tony) Fullerton-Smith of Turangi on 4/8/16 and it is photo'd above at its Omori base on the South-Western edge of Lake Taupo on delivery in March 2017.

ZK-ZOE (c/n JA411-09-14) was built from a kit by Brian Taylor who is based near Whangarei.  It was registered to the J Finlayson and G Metge Partnership (John Finlayson and Graham Metge) of Auckland on 2/8/17 and its first flight was on 6/10/17 at Whangarei, with Brian Taylor as the test pilot.  It is photo'd above at Dargaville on 25/11/17.  On 8/3/18 ownership changed to the John Finlayson Syndicate of Whangarei.
And the final Super STOL to be registered here is ZK-TUX (c/n JA285-01-13) which was registered on 11/2/19 to Jury Family Farms Ltd of Carterton.  However, it has been in New Zealand for several years.  It was first registered as N400TL to John Levy of Caarlsbad, CA on 10/6/13 and it was soon exported to New Zealand.  It was noted at the 2014 Wings Over Wanaka where the above photo was taken on 18/4/14.  Its US registration was cancelled on 26/12/18.

Monday 20 May 2019

Just Aircraft of New Zealand - Highlanders

Although the Highlander looks quite a bit more chunky, it is a direct development of the Escapade.  So although the first Highlander wasn't registered until January 2011, for this series I will Just keep on going.

The Highlander was introduced in 2004 and was designed for slow flight into rougher strips that the Escapade.  Like the Escapade, construction is of a welded chromoloy steel tube fuselage of a polygonal cross section and the aircraft is mainly fabric covered.  However it has a wing that is 3 feet longer with vortex generators along the upper leading edge and has larger tail surfaces than the Escapade.  The Highlander also has a beefed up undercarriage with larger tyres and enhanced brakes.

Specifications for the Highlander are:  length 19 feet (5.69 metres), wingspan 31 feet 6 inches (9.60 metres) and the wing area is 121 square feet.  The empty weight is around 615 pounds (279 Kg) and MAUW in New Zealand is 1,200 pounds (544 Kg).  With a Rotax 912 engine the cruise speed is around 105 mph and the stall with 40 degrees of flap is quoted as 36 mph.

We have had four Just Aircraft Highlanders in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Highlander was ZK-MLT (c/n JA 212) which was registered on 13/1/11 to Thompson and Hood Ltd of Ashburton.  Its first flight was on 31/5/11, flown by Grant Coldicott.  The aircraft is powered by a Rotax 914 engine and a Kiev prop.  As you can see it is fitted with 29 inch tundra tyres.  The photo was taken during the spot landing competition at the 2012 SAANZ flyout to Whitianga on 28/1/12.

ZK-MLT has made quite a few trips to the North Island to accompany deliveries of Super STOL aircraft to their new owners.  Here it is photo'd at Rangiora on 10/10/14 just before it headed North accompanying the Super STOL ZK-RIM to Taupo.

And here it is again photo'd at Omori on the West side of Lake Taupo at the end of the delivery flight for Super STOL ZK-KTF, with Super STOL ZK-RIM which popped over from Taupo to welcome them.

Our second Highlander was ZK-JKO2 (c/n JA312-08-13) which was registered on 21/8/15 to JH and K Ross of Wanaka.  It is photo'd at Wanaka on 13/11/15, early on in its life.  It is powered by a Rotax 912 with a 75 inch Kiev Prop.
And here it is at the 2016 Wings Over Wanaka airshow, on 23/6/16.  On 10/11/18 it was sold to First Light Retreat at Kaikoura.

Our third Highlander was ZK-MCQ3 (c/n JA221-11-10) which was built by Neil J McHugh of Hamilton and was first registered to him on 6/7/16.  Its first flight was on 10/9/16 at Te Kowhai, flown by Noel Bailey.  It is powered by a Rotax 912 engine and has long range tanks.  It is photo'd above arriving at the 2016 BlackSands flyin at Raglan, on 5/11/16.

And here it is photo'd at the 2019 Thames Wings and Wheels on 26/1/19.

Our fourth Highlander was built in the US and was first registered N419EC (c/n JA183-01-09) to Arnold S Koraikin of Winston Salem, NC on 11/6/10, which makes it our oldest Highlander.  Its US registration was cancelled on 12/1/16 and it was noted at Matamata on 16/1/18 where the above photo was taken.

It was taken to Solo Wings at Tauranga for certification where the above photo was taken on 9/3/18, showing its folding wing capability.

It was registered ZK-JUS on 1/3/18, to Ronald C Donovan of Paeroa.  The above photo was also taken at Tauranga on 22/3/18.

There is another Highlander in New Zealand, being VH-JPU which was imported in October 2018 by Peter Hicks and is now based at Pauanui.

Photo taken at Pauanui on 11/10/18.  It has since been fitted with tundra tyres and is quite active around the Coromandel Peninsula.