Thursday 23 April 2020

Piper Cub ZK-CMQ.

The story about this Super Cub starts with ZK-BPL a PA-18A-150 with the c/n of 18-6379 as first registered to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 19-06-1958.
It gained its NZ CofA on 10-09-1958 and was listed to Reeves Transport (A/S) Ltd of Hastings from 26-09-1958. 
The photo above of ZK-BPL is from the Allan Wooller collection, taken prior to 1964. 
If I am not mistook that is Fletcher ZK-BHA (c/n 2) in the background.

In 1964 it moved to Aerial Farming of NZ Ltd of Palmerston North.
I believe its last flight was on 07-06-1965 with its registration being cancelled on the 21st.
On 25-08-1965 Aerial Farming of NZ Ltd registered a 'new' Piper Cub as ZK-CMQ with the c/n being noted as AF-PA18A-3.
The c/n tells us that it was Aerial Farmers Piper PA-18A rebuild number 3.
Sources tell us that this was built up from parts of ZK-BPL (and possibly ZK-BKP) with a new fuselage built in Aerial Farmers own jig.
It was quickly sold on to Mat Barbour of Wellington from 12-10-1965 (replacing his Piper PA-22 TriPacer ZK-BLF) and it is seen below in the shelter of the Wellington Aero Club/East Aviation hangar.
Mat sold it to the Taupo Flying School and Air Services Ltd from 09-05-1967 where it lead a very interesting life in and around the Kaimanawa Ranges.
Allan Wooller caught below it at Taupo in February 1969.

 Above I caught it at Taupo on 05-12-1970 
And below a photo from Graeme Stratton shows it at work from the Oamaru Strip in the Kaimanawa's early in the 1970's with Peter Matich standing on the back of the Cub loading through the hatch that covered the original hopper inlet.
 It was sold to J S Murdoch of Ohope from 14-03-1973 (who had previously operated the Cessna 180's ZK-BYJ and ZK-BEL in the late 1960's).
 Above and below we see it at Taupo on 10-11-1973 getting the 'finger test' along with a few other jobs taken care of.
 General Finance Acceptance Ltd of Tauranga listed it from 23-09-1977 who sent it off quickly to D J Anderson of Prebbleton as from 14-10-1977. 
Above and below as seen at Christchurch on 01-01-1978.
Just over a year later - on 18-12-1978 it appeared under the Pask Air Service Ltd of Hastings name before transfer to A W Blair of Eskdale from 16-02-1979 (replacing Cessna 180's ZK-BMS and ZK-BVV as used from 1976 until early 1979). 
It then went to shared ownership between A W Blair and A M Fisher from 03-04-1979 until going soley back to A W Blair from 23-01-1985.
Neville and Kathy Smith of Kotemaori listed it from 21-10-1987 - selling it in 1989. 
Neville later had the Cessna 172M ZK-DJU, the several microlights briefly, followed by the Cub ZK-BQV and the Cessna 180's ZK-BVD and ZK-LMW and then tow Robinson R22's ZK-HBK4 and ZK-HBZ2.
Neville Smith photo above in the mid to late 1980's.
And another shot - actually by Kathy Smith - at the Waiau Strip in October 1987.
Photo below taken by Steve Lowe at Hokitika on 17-12-1988.
And on 06-02-1989 Andrew Phillpotts caught it below at Taupo.
It is seen below being flown by Bruce Aitken at Napier. Photo by Allan Wooller.
S M Lowry of Reporoa operated it between 28-03-1989 and 08-08-1990 when it went to the D C and C M Porter and L M Linkwater Syndicate at Pakuranga.
Seen below at Ardmore thanks to Andrew Phillpotts in the 90's.
They sold it to Gene Barnum of Anchorage Alaska on 02-03-2001 with its New Zealand registration being cancelled the same day
It eventually came on the US register as N555GB with Gene Barnum on 24-07-2003 with whom it is still current.
Photo above from P D Brown shows N555GB near Willow Alaska in 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Looking into the origins of ZK-CMQ it has been my understanding that CMQ was largely built up from ZK-BKP, which had crashed at Waipawa on 19 Dec 1964. I could well believe that ZK-BPL was also involved in the emergence of CMQ as there does not seem to be a recorded serious demise for this aircraft. It was simply cancelled on 21 June 1965 "withdrawn from use". Usual sources have not given a reason for the mysterious WFU cancellation of such a young airframe. Does anyone know the background?