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'.

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