Friday 31 July 2020

Back to Ardmore 30-7-2020

Another canopy run to Papakura with some work to be done on the mould before Composites International finished for the day saw me at Ardmore late in the day.  Nothing much was happening apart from a few training planes doing circuits in the gathering gloom.

Southern Wings' Alpha 2160 ZK-SWZ was one of those using Runway 03.

I was sitting in the pull off area beside 03 eating my ciabatta bun, you will know where I mean Mike, when it made its last approach right down the road towards and over the top of me!  It turns out there is another short 03 grass strip 518m X 15m that I had not seen any aircraft operating off before.

Helicopters at NZAR 28-7-2020

As is often the case, there was quite a bit of helicopter activity when I visited Ardmore earlier in the week:

Kawasaki BK 117 B1 ZK-HBK5 (c/n 1046) was registered to Helilink Ltd on 14/4/20.  It has had a long history of being imported and exported, including being ZK-HBK3 back in 1993!

Ownership of Aerospatiale AS 355 F1 ZK-IAV (c/n 5041) was transferred to Heletranz Ltd on 1/2/20.  It now carries small Huka Lodge titles on the rear doors (click to expand to see these).

A future candidate for registration was this Sikorsky S 76 outside Oceania.

I reckon the lines of the Jet Ranger are still classic, as seen in these shots of ZK-IAP3 (c/n 4261) which was registered to Hill Forest Farmers Ltd of Whangamata on 11/5/20.


Thursday 30 July 2020

A couple of strays today.

You never know what you are going to see !
Arriving ito Rangiora today from Queenstown was the Cessna 208 Caravan ZK-MCI (c/n 208B2019) of Milford Sound Flights Ltd. 
Here it is departing for soome air work out to the west - after which it landed at Loburn Abbey for lunch.
It then departed Loburn Abbey back to Rangiora for a couple of circuits before heading back on down home to Queenstown.
Also captured passing through Rangiora was the Skyfarmers Aviation Ltd's Cessna 180K ZK-DBA (c/n 18053022).
Previously mentioned in this link

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Isaacs Fury ZK-DMN at NZAR 28-7-2020

The NZ Warbirds older aircraft hangar was open when I was at Ardmore yesterday, and Trish gave me permission to take a photo of the Isaacs Fury ZK-DMN that was just inside the door.

ZK-DMN/K1790 has been around Auckland since Barry Thompson built it in the 1970s.  It was first registered in February 1976 which almost makes it a classic in its own right - it is 44 years old!

It changed to New Zealand Warbirds ownership on 1/11/16 and I noted some minor changes since I last saw it.  It now has the "Donated by R Field" script in small letters on the fuselage.  And the spinner is now blue (instead of red) - I wonder if this is significant as I know that quite a bit of effort went into the colour scheme which I understand represents the squadron leader's aircraft of 43 Squadron RAF because of the black and white chequers on the fin and elevators.  Can anyone shed any light on why it now has a blue spinner?

A Pair of Sonex

Amongst the visitors to Pauanui today were a couple of Sonex aircraft down from Whitianga, being ZK-JQP2, which was registered back in 2007

And ZK-SXR, registered in mid 2018

More CT 4E Airtrainers at NZAR 28-7-2020

Another visit to Ardmore and another two of the ex RNZAF CT 4E Airtrainers for sale at Dennis Thompson International.  In April 2018 I photo'd ZK-PTA and ZK-PTB and almost exactly a year ago I photo'd ZK-PTG and ZK-PTI.  Yesterday ZK-PTI was still there but it had been joined by a couple of others:


and ZK-PTM

Tuesday 28 July 2020

A Couple of Vans at NZAR Today 28-7-2020

I had to drive down to Composites International at Papakura today to get some advice on my D 9 canopy, so as I was right there a visit to Ardmore was a natural extension.  There were quite a few aircraft of interest to me, the first of which were a couple of Vans:

One that I haven't seen for a long time was the Vans RV 7A ZK-MIS which presumably was visiting from Wellington.  It has been around since 2007.

And in a hangar was the much newer RV 6 of Clive Whittfield, ZK-CAZ2 that was registered on 12/7/19 after a long term build.


A visit to Rotorua Airport today revealed the latest addition to the Volcanic Air Safaris fleet, AS350B2 ZK-IVA2,  busy with monsoon bucket duties on the airport boundary.   This was imported from the US in October 2019.

Outside the Volcanic Air Safaris hangar was the Auckland Seaplanes DHC2 Beaver floatplane ZK-AMA2,  operations on Auckland harbour having ceased earlier this year.

Cessna 172M ZK-LIT

The Cessna 172M Skyhawk II c/n 17265333 came off the Cessna Aircraft Company's production line as N5075H and was shipped out to New Zealand to Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd at Ardmore.
It was registered to them as ZK-DXP on 01-09-1975 for listing to the Taumarunui Aero Club from 24-10-1975.
On 19-09-1976 it was damaged near its home base and was sent down to Dalhoff and King Aviation Ltd of Dunedin who re-registered it on 01-09-1977 and sold it on to R D Fraser of Cromwell from 05-10-1977.
 Above is a pic of it at Christchurch on 24-01-1978.
It was damaged at Makarora in November 1978 and went up to Dalhoff and King Aviation at Ardmore for repair and was listed to them on 06-04-1979. 
By November of 1979 it was with J W Adams out of Otautau and then to Ron Sew Hoy of Waimate from November of 1982.
Ron picked up the Cessna 172P ZK-ETU and left ZK-DXP with Motor Holdings (Aviation) Ltd at Dunedin in July 1984.
Eddie Bullmore and T F Wilkins of Balfour listed it from 09-08-1984 before it was relisted with Waterwings Airways Ltd of Te Anau in 1986.
April 1988 had it move up to F G Rowse of Pukerua Bay where it remained until August of 1998 when it was taken on by Brian Hill out of Palmerston North.
Gulf Island Air of Nelson feature from mid-2006 followed by the Airline Flying Club (Inc) at Ardmore from January of 2008. By May it was with George Richardson of Wakefield until being listed to the Bay of Islands Aero Club (Inc) at Kerikeri from 01-07-2009 and then to Gulf Islands Air from 04-01-2010.
Steve Hampton of Hamilton is on the owners list from 21-05-2011 with a photo of it below at Hamilton on 24-03-2017 from Richard Currie.
next it went down to join the Classic Flights Ltd fleet at Wanaka from 29-01-2018 and was re-registered to ZK-LIT by them on 21-03-2019.
It was then listed briefly with Apex Aviation of Auckland from 15-03-2019 but by 04-06-2019 was with U-Fly (2014) Ltd of Wanaka.
It was noted, above, this morning in the less than clement weather at Christchurch International Airport by Tony McFarlin.

Monday 27 July 2020

Question time # ? resolved.

 Mit got it pretty quick (as usual) [and the fish is in the mail].

It is indeed the North American F-51D-30-NA ZK-TAF (c/n 122-41369).

It is in a special paint scheme as applied by No 3 Sqn RNZAF at Wigram for filming of a Tiger Beer advertisement.
It was reverted back to its NZ2415 scheme again by No 3 Sqn.
Below - this is how we normally see it. 
Taken at Wigram on 23-02-2009.
This Mustang has been boring holes in our skies as ZK-TAF since 24-01-1985 after importation by Tim Wallis/Alpine Helicopters Ltd.
It has no connection with the RNZAF - After service with the USAAF between 1945 and 1951 it went to the Royal Canadian Air Force until May of 1959. 
It then went on the US civil register until sold to 'Sir Tim'.


A visit to Taupo on a stunning mid winter day revealed the usual helicopter activity including Lakeview Helicopters' AS350B2 sprayer ZK-HBW3 which has now been repainted in a grey colour scheme with orange accents

From North Shore came Orbit Helicopters' EC145 ZK-IGL2 which was reregistered from ZK-ILJ in February 2020

And also a reregistration is Taihape based Alabaster Helicopters' R44 ZK-ITW3,  which was formerly ZK-HTW

Long time locally based RV8 ZK-KCA was out flying

And for something different Wellington based Falcon 50EX N37WX was in residence

Hastings Dawn Flyin Yesterday 26-7-2020

The Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club held a dawn flyin yesterday morning.  The great weather resulted in around 60 aircraft attending.  The well travelled Jordan Elvy was there along with Simon Hills and the Hairy Mole Rat.  Here are a few aircraft that they photo'd that caught my attention:

Quad City Challenger II ZK-RDG (c/n CH2-0093-1016) is a recent acquisition for Jean Booysen who has a hangar that accesses onto the airfield at Bridge Pa.  It has not appeared on the blog before.

Masterton based Brantly B-2B ZK-INK (c/n 417) has been registered to a Private Owner since 7/6/19.

The Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club's Vans RV 12 ZK-SMB2 was out and about.

And Peter Steers' locally based Alpi Pioneer 200 ZK-PCB2 looked nice in front of the Aero Club building.

Sunday 26 July 2020

Saturday at Rangiora

Another run out to Rangiora on Saturday the 25th produced the following.
A good mix of locals and out of towners.
 The Rutherford's Cessna 185 ZK-CGC is a regular down from Leslie Hills.
 Robert Paterson's R and B Bearhawk ZK-FHR was up from Taieri.
The GCH Aviation Eurocopter EC 130 B4 ZK-IGF as seen from an unusual angle.
 The Zenair CH701 ZK-JRT as listed to the  local 701 Syndicate.
The V Woman in her pink machine ICP Savannah S ZK-MYN
Graeme Stuart's Piper PA-32-300 ZK-WGO (c/n 32-7340146)  down from the 'Other Island'.
Marked as 'Stuart Aviation, Rangitumau International'. which is a strip not too far out of Masterton.


Sunday at Pauanui airfield brought a wide variety of aircraft, gyrocopters & helicopters from around the North Island starting with the vintage 1951 Cessna 170A ZK-OCC from New Plymouth.    This was imported from the US back in 2008.

Also from New Plymouth was Piper PA32-260 Cherokee Six ZK-DEF.  This was formerly with Air Charter Karamea and was sold to its new private owner in June 2020.

From Feilding came the Alpi Pioneer 300 ZK-LPD,  which was reregistered from ZK-SHL3 back in 2004.

And from Taupo the 1972 model Cessna 172M ZK-ZZC,  which was ZK-DHU until 2012.

Saturday 25 July 2020


Finally a move to more settled weather on the Coromandel peninsula has lead to an increase in flying activity including today the Parakai based Tecnam P96 Golf ZK-ECL2.

Registered to the West Auckland Airport Company in March 2020 this was previously imported in 2002 as ZK-JGH,  but reregistered to reflect the Airport company's owner's granddaughters initials,  Emma C Lockie.

Friday 24 July 2020

Two Texan II's at NZCH today.

The crust on the Pie Run today was to see these two Beechcraft T-6C Texan II's trundle out for departure back home from Christchurch International.
 NZ1407 is c/n PM-45 and was delivered to the RNZAF in November 2014 on the US registration N2478B.

Below we have NZ1411 c/n PM-55 and ex N2786B. 
Delivered to the RNZAF in March 2015.
'A cool backdrop'

Todays Pie Run

Todays Pie Run started at the Canterbury Aero Club where I found the Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk ZK-JHF (c/n 38-79A0194).
It was signed off the Club books on 22-05-2020 with an ownership change to RPM White Ltd of Taupo.
This 1979 model arrived in NZ in late 1996 but didn't join the Canterbury Aero Club until April of 2017.

 At Rangiora the Cessna 172P Skyhawk II ZK-ETT (c/n 17274937) dropped in for lunch. 
It is now on line with Mainland Air at Momona.

 In for fuel after a couple of circuits was the Maule M-5-210C Strata Rocket ZK-FNG (c/n 6033C) as listed with Jon Rutherford of Waiau.

 The Denney Kitfox III ZK-FYM (c/n 1113/AACA/770) climbing out on a test flight.
I believe it has been out of the air for twenty years.
Below - Evan Belworthy taxies back in.

Out of winter hibernation was the Sequoia F.8L Falco ZK-TBD (c/n Design 606) of Michael Spruce.

Never did get my pie - too much activity.