Saturday 29 February 2020

Starlets on the Brown Carpet at Kaipara Flats 29-2-2020

It was really neat to welcome a gaggle of Starlets and a motorhome to Kaipara Flats airfield this afternoon.  Don Wilkinson, Scott Montagu and Gordon Lindsay were the pilots and DCM drove up in the motorhome.  The plan was to stay overnight to be on site tomorrow lunchtime when the Tiger Club Vintage Rally arrives for lunch.  Welcome to Kaipara Flats guys!

And there was a gathering of yellow planes as well.

More pics of Police 3.

Police 3 is still active in the Christchurch area as seen here on Thursday afternoon.

 The logo on the tail is thus.

Bristol F2B Fighter at Ardmore

The New Zealand Warbirds Associations Bristol F2B Fighter ZK-PRK (c/n 1) as captured recently at Ardmore by Errol Cavit.
 Pilot for the occasion was Ryan Southam.
 Also on the scene in the background was the Boeing Stearman E75 ZK-BOE2 (c/n 75-5064) from the Stearman Syndicate as flown by Graham Woods.

Dunedin Helicopters

On the ramp at Dunedin Airport today were 2 of the HNZ Offshore fleet being readied for departure back to New Plymouth after completion of their contract off the Otago coast, comprising the AW139 ZK-IHP which returned to NZ from Papua New Guinea in January 2019

And Bell 412EP ZK-HDY3 which was imported from Papua New Guinea in September 2004

Across at Taieri airfield most of the Helicopters Otago BK117 fleet was in residence including the new H145 ZK-IDH imported in July 2019

BK117B-2 ZK-IWG which was imported from Japan in 2015

And BK117B-2 ZK-HEM4 on standby for firefighting duties,  this was imported from Papua New Guinea in 2017

Across the other side of Taieri is the Highland Helicopters and since November 2019 they have operated the former Rotor Force MD900 ZK-IYN

Friday 28 February 2020

Around South Auckland 27-2-2020

After I left Pukekawa yesterday it would have been rude not to have stopped in to Mercer, and the carry on to Pukekohe:

Mercer was very quiet with a couple of L3 CTS Airline Academy Cessna 172s there for maintenance including ZK-FCR2.

But a humungously big hangar is being built for the Catalina.

At the Pukekohe East strip, the privately owned Robinson R 44 ZK-IGK was in for fuel before heading home to Patumahoe.

And just South of the Pukekohe East strip, on a sloping area visible from the main road, was Foxbat ZK-JGT which is registered to S T Growers of Tuakau.

Around Auckland

Arriving at Oceania Aviation at Ardmore today was the Canadian Helicopters AS350B-2 C-GHVU which was formerly our ZK-HVU4 between 2013 and 2018.

Also showing signs of its Canadian heritage was the very smart AS350B-3 ZK-IOX which was registered to Hastings based Rotor Force NZ in January 2020

Over at AKL the Skyline Aviation Beech C90A ZK-ZZA is the "new" Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust aircraft based at New Plymouth.   This replaced their Cessna 421C ZK-TAM which was damaged in a landing accident at Hamilton in May 2019.

Wellington International back on 22-2-2020

Last Saturday I thought I would head on down to the Southern end of the runway to catch Air New Zealand's Airbus A 320 NEO that was flying the Wellington to Sydney route:

A 320 NEO ZK-NHC arrived on schedule at 1440 Hours.

And then we had a bit of an Airbus shuffle as Singapore Airlines A 350-900 was pushed back so the A 320 had to backtrack on the runway.  Fortunately it was a quiet time as there were no other inbound flights at the time.

It was not as intricate as the Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines Boeing pas de deux I witnessed back in June 2019 (See ).

Then Singapore Airlines A 350-900 9V-SML taxied for take off .


Thursday 27 February 2020

Pukekawa Hangar Today 27-2-2020

I travelled down to see Wess Ruijne at Pukekawa today to pick up some aircraft stuff.  He has and airstrip and hangar on the interestingly named Clark and Denize Road, opposite the Meremere Drag strip but on the other side of the Waikato River.

He also has a couple of interesting sport aircraft that I hadn't seen before:

 The grandfather's axe Turbulent ZK-CBN (c/n 21875) without...

and with canopy.
Power is a Jabiru 2200 from a Bantam B 22J.

And the unique Aeroandina MXP-150 ZK-RTZ.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Thruxton Jackaroo ZK-PHZ.

The Thruxton Jackaroo ZK-PHZ (c/n 82151) first flew in NZ at Tauranga yesterday evening (25-02-2020) in the hands of David Phillips.
 These two photos have been kindly provided by Warwick Hamilton.
 Our subject airframe was built for the Royal Air Force and allocated the N6907 serial.
In the mid 1950’s it (along with several others) were sold to Alan Jones, David Hart and Henry T Armstrong and became G-AOIO on the UK civil register on 13 January 1956. 
This was transferred to the Wiltshire School of Flying Ltd of Thruxton, Hants on 14 May 1957. Thruxton airfield was built for the Royal Air Force and also used by the USAAF during World War Two. 
Post WWII civil flight training recommenced in 1947 with ex RAF Tiger Moths being the mainstay of this industry. 
The Thruxton Jackaroo was developed by the Wiltshire School of Flying Ltd at Thruxton Airfield in the UK as a low cost four seat conversion of the de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth. 
It had a wider centre section to seat four. The width of the cockpit was extended to thirty six inches – this was done by cutting the front fuselage in two lengthwise and welding extension sections in the cross members to widen the fuselage to accommodate four persons in side by side slightly staggered pairs. 
The engine was also moved forward some eight inches and the aft fuselage moved back ten inches.. The resulting cockpit had a fully enclosed canopy with two side hinged doors. The wider fuselage increased the undercarriage track and wing centre section which has also increased the wing span. 

The first conversion flew in March 1957 with some nineteen being completed in house.
Jackaroo Aircraft was then formed to undertake this conversion with at least eighteen being converted at Thruxton and another at Croydon. 
Our subject aircraft gained its Jackaroo CofA on 18 July 1958 and was sold to the Blackpool & Fylde Aero Club Ltd at Squires Gate, Blackpool and then on to private ownership at Doncaster, Yorkshire in February 1962. It was with Air Navigation & Trading Co Ltd of Blackpool from May 1964 and then with Peter Harris in Hertfordshire from October 1967. Jane Redvers-Higgins of Bognor Regis in Sussex listed it from 15 November 1971 with the final UK owner Paul Gliddon of Wockingham, Berkshire taking it over on 29 November 1972. 
The aircraft was transferred to Australia in February 1978 but never aspired to the VH register and remained a hangar queen until acquired engineless by John Pheasant in NZ. 
The aircraft has come together nicely at Tauranga using the wing from the owners Tiger Moth ZK-BFF whilst new wings are being constructed and was on static display at Tauranga in mid-January and became ZK-PHZ on the 21 January 2020.

Wellington International back on 21-2-2020

An interesting visitor to Wellington (and unknown points a helicopter ride away) was Jeff Bezos who arrived in his Gulfstream G650 N758PB on Thursday 20/2/20.

Jeff Bezos is described as an American internet and aerospace entrepreneur and investor, and he is the founder of Amazon which has made him "the richest man in modern history".  In fact it was not totally clear where he was visiting or if he was even here at all, but the 2 all black executive helicopters in attendance pointed to someone pretty well heeled being around.

Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-IBK2 has been owned by Southern Lakes Helicopters since 4/6/19, and has had all of its previous Lowes rescue helicopter titling removed.

And Bell 429 ZK-IXW2 is owned by Advanced Flight Ltd of Auckland.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Ah Ha. Piper at Mandeville.

The Piper PA-22-150 Tri Pacer ZK-BLE (c/n 22-4512) came new to the NZ Piper Agents, Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch, and was registered to them on 26-11-1956.
In early 1957 it was listed to Ken Bloomfield of Waitangi Station out of Gisborne.
Ken had previously operated the De Havilland DH89A Rapide 4 ZK-BFK which he had imported from the UK in April of 1954. This was sold to Australia in about October of 1957.
From 18-09-1967 ZK-BLE joined the Tauranga Aero Club and in the two photos below we see it at Tauranga on 13-12-1968.

 It was then listed to Dargaville Finance Ltd on 06-06-1969 and went on hire to the Ohakea Aviation Sports Club.
From 23-04-1971 it was with the Canterbury Skydivers Club Inc of Christchurch and is known to have been overturned at Rangiora by winds on 23-04-1973.
P C Acton Adams of Kaikohe took it over from 26-11-1975 then followed C J and D R Hickman at Mahoenui from 06-10-1988. 
It was just one of many aircraft operated by the Hickman family which include the Piper Cherokee 140 ZK-CNP, Cessna 172M ZK-DXF, Cessna 180 ZK-BEL, the 182 ZK-DCC then ZK-BLE. Post BLE they had the 180 ZK-CWL, the 150M ZK-EFE then the 210 ZK-RJS and they still have the 150H ZK-CTB. 
ZK-BLE went back down to Christchurch from March 1989 to C J, C R and P D MacDonald and can be seen below at Rangiora on 31-05-1989
 Whilst in the MacDonald custody it was rebuilt as a Piper PA-22/20 Pacer and was on sold to Trevor Lynds of Christchurch on 10-06-2019.
It is seen below as such at Rangiora on 02-11-2019.
 And below it was spotted at Mandeville last Sunday the 23rd February 2020 by 'Hairy Mole Rat'.

Aah de Havilland! at Mandeville 23-2-2020

The Hairy Mole Rat sure gets around and over last weekend he was at the Fly in and Steam Festival held at Mandeville on a lovely day on the green green grass of their home.

Here are what I reckon would be a unique in the world pairing of classic flying de Havilland biplane airliners:

DH 90A Dragonfly ZK-AYR (c/n 7508) of the Croydon Aircraft Company looking stunning.

And DH 89B Dominie ZK-AKY (c/n 6653), also of the Croydon Aircraft Company and also looking stunning.

Thanks for the great photos HMR.

Auckland International back on 20-2-2020

I travelled down to Wellington last Thursday, and as usual I allowed enough time for a look see down at the Air New Zealand and Air Chathams maintenance areas:

I don't know how much utilisation Air New Zealand is getting from their Dreamliners but there were a lot of them sitting around at their maintenance base.  There are 5 of the in this shot with another one obscured in the hangar.  ZK-NZD and ZK-NZE were engine-less.

The latest Dreamliner ZK-NZR2 (c/n 65088/919) has been on the register since 22/10/19.

I must have just missed Richard Currie as I took an almost identical photo of the Air Chathams DC 3 ZK-AWP.  However I also caught the Convair 580 ZK-KFL behind the DC 3, and it seemed to have picked up some polystyrene on its bill.

The DC 3 is named "Skyliner Kaitaia" as it was originally with NAC from 1963 to 1972.

And from the domestic terminal carpark, Airwork's latest Boeing B 737-400 freighter ZK-TLM (c/n 24813) which has been on the register since 10/12/19.