Sunday 30 August 2020


Blustery winds over the weekend kept visitor numbers down at Pauanui airfield but amongst those that did visit was the Sunair 1978 model Piper PA23-250 Aztec ZK-FVP,  which was imported from Australia back in 2011

And registered to a Huntly owner since 2008 the Remos G3NZ ZK-PRH


Saturday 29 August 2020

One Design Prop Balancing at North Shore

I had cause to travel down to North Shore airfield recently to get a couple of washer head screws for my canopy from David Wilkinson.  He was setting up to do a dynamic prop balance reading for his new One Design ZK-EZG2, so I gave him a hand (while socially distancing).  The electronic prop balancing equipment was pretty impressive and it gave a weight to add at to the flywheel the appropriate position in degrees.

CAA inspection has been held up by the Auckland Level 3 Lockdown but it is ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing its test flight.  It will be a great performer.

Friday 28 August 2020

Thames airfield

A visit to Thames airfield this morning offered up the very smart new Vans RV12iS ZK-FGB which is a factory built example registered back in May this year.  It displays a personalised Kittyhawk emblem in front of the cockpit.

Receiving attention in the hangar was the 1980 Jodel D.11 ZK-JON which has been registered to its current Thames owner since November 2019.


Thursday 27 August 2020

First flight of the Pipistrel Alpha ZK-EAL

 The Pipistrel Alpha Eletro ZK-EAL(c/n 942 AE 60) was first registered in NZ on 09-03-2020 to Electric Airline Ltd but Covid 19 and the 'first of type' paperwork delayed its first flight until yesterday 26-08-2020 -

- as captured here by Hairy Mole Rat.

I had the very good fortune to do an abbreviated pie run today (27-08-2020) with Hairy Mole Rat and we caught up with ZK-EAL refueling.

Above - a closer view of the process.

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Fox Moth ZK-APT Arriving at Trentham 25-8-2020

Following up from Flyernzl's post on marking the centenary of the first aerial crossing of Cook Strait, here is a screenshot of Paul Hally in Fox Moth ZK-APT touching down at Trentham Racecourse, 100 years later and almost to the minute as Captain Euan Dickson did at Trentham 100 years earlier.

Tuesday 25 August 2020

100 Years Ago Today

 On 25th August 1920 Capt Euan Dickson flew Avro 504K D6243 from Christchurch to Wellington, with stops at Kaikoura and Blenheim on the way.
The trip took just over 7 hours, with a flying time of 4hrs 40 mins
He thus became the first to fly across Cook Strait, landing at Hutt Park, Trentham.

Dickson was flying for Henry Wigram’s Canterbury Aviation Company and was accompanied by the company’s deputy chairman, C.H. Hewlett, and chief mechanic, J.E. Moore. 

He made the return trip back to Blenheim on the 28th.

D6243  was later used for joyriding in the Marlborough area but was destroyed in a fatal crash after experiencing engine failure at Motunau/Greta Valley, North Canterbury,  on 30Dec21.

Today, the flight was commemorated with reenactment by Paul Hally and Aaron Patchett w
ith Fox Moth  ZK-APT 

Avro D6243

Monday 24 August 2020

Saturday at Cass

Spotted parked up at the end/beginning of the Cass Lagoon Saddles Track on Saturday was the Southern Heli Lift Ltd's Garlick Bell UH-1L ZK-HUE2 c/n 6045.
Built for the U.S Marines in 1965 as Bu151851 it was demobbed onto the US civil market as N9770N in August 1987 and arrived in NZ in July of 1993 and has since had something like ten operators - joining Southern Heli Lift Ltd in May of 2015.

Air New Zealand's Boeing 777-200ER Fleet

After Covid 19 wreaked havoc with international air travel, back in May 2020 Air New Zealand announced that it had grounded its Boeing 777-200ER (and 777-300ER) fleets and that they would be grounded until at least the end of 2020.  However as the pandemic has ground on it is looking more likely that we will never see the 777-200 fleet flying commercially with Air New Zealand again.  The fleet has been parked up in various locations but recently several of the 777-300 fleet have been flown to Southern California Logistics Airport in the desert at Victorville, CA for deep storage. 

So as we  haven't had some of the 777-200 fleet posted on the blog (and/or in their new colours), here is a wrap up post on them:  

ZK-OKA (c/n 29404)

ZK-OKB (c/n 34376)

ZK-OKC (c/n 34377)

ZK-OKD (c/n 29401)

ZK-OKE (c/n 32712)

ZK-OKF (c/n 34378)

ZK-OKG (c/n 29403)

and ZK-OKH (c/n 34379)

You can click on the photos to enlarge them to see the registrations.  Thanks to Westland 831 and MRC for the photos.

More on Skywise Ultraflight Vampire ZK-VMP

I  got as far as thinking the answer to Blue Bus's recent Question Time was a pusher aircraft but that was as far as I got.  When it was revealed that it was the Skywise Ultraflight Vampire ZK-VMP I remembered that I had seen it a couple of times back in the day.

Here it is at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.

and at the 2007 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.

As Blue Bus noted, it was cancelled from the register on 30/6/17.  But that is not the end of the story as it has recently changed ownership and has been moved up to the Hamilton area.  So we may see it in the air again which would be great.

Saturday 22 August 2020

Question Time ------ Skywise Ultraflight Vampire ZK-VMP

The first correct answer to the Question Time on Monday came from Ross Brodie.

We have had just the one Skywise Ultraflight SV-2 Vampire on the New Zealand register.
ZK-VMP was c/n SU026 and first flew on 08-01-1998 pushed along by a Rotax 447 engine and was registered to Kevin Jane out of Stratford on 29-01-1998.
Tony Moss took it over from 21-02-2001 and finally Paul Howarth of Opunake from 01-11-2016.
It was withdrawn and cancelled on 30-06-2017.

Below we have eight photographs from various sources.
Designed by Bill Sadler in the USA in the early 1980's it won the Grand Champion Design at the EAA Oshkosh flyin in August 1982.
The rights were sold to Australia with a small production run off the 22 foot span SV-2 version being built under licence by Skywise Ultraflight.
Garland Aerospace took over the project followed by Wedgetail Aircraft but little more seemed to have eventuated.

Beech B 200 ZK-WPN at Wellington

Tim Gorman was at Wellington International yesterday to catch the recently re-registered Beech B 200 Kingair ZK-WPN:

ZK-WPN (c/n BB-1466) was re-registered from ZK-MYM on 25/2/20 for Skyline Aviation Ltd of Napier.

Thanks for the photo Tim.

Monday 17 August 2020

Question time

 Feast your optics on this picture.

Now tell me what aircraft type do we have ?

And what registration would you expect it to carry ?

Come in Mit.

Vans RV 10 ZK-RMA at Omaka

Our latest (and third) Vans RV 10 was built in the UK as G-CKYK and was quite quickly exported to New Zealand.  It is photo'd below at Blackpool Airport in September 2019. 

It arrived at JEM Aviation at Omaka early in 2020 and it has been worked on before and after the Covid lockdowns.

It was registered as ZK-RMA2 (c/n 41404) was registered here on 12/6/20 to R A Arrowsmith of Wellington and it was recently out for engine runs at Omaka.

Sunday 16 August 2020

Fridays Rangiora run.

The Zenair Mono-Z CH-100 UL ZK-RTI (c/n AACA/609) was caught outside on Friday having engine power checks..
This airframe has been around since 1989 as ZK-FSH1 - see the two links below.

The marks 'DME' were applied but never officially registered.
It was re-registered as ZK-RTI on 16-01-2019 to Peter Collins who has been toiling away converting it to purpose built glider tug.
It has been re-engined with a Honda VTEC (Jaz) engine driving through an Autoflight 3G gearbox.
The cowl is still a work in progress

 A first sighting for me was the ICP Savannah S ZK-LAK (c/n 18-02-54-0592) as built by Tony Den Haan at Cust. 
This is the second Savannah built by Tony and has already found a new owner.


Sunday brought another flow of visitors to Pauanui airfield including the vintage 1956 Auster J/5Q ZK-BLW from Matamata, which is still looking very smart

And registered to a Te Awamutu owner 1973 model Cessna 182P ZK-DNZ, which has been in NZ since new.


Saturday 15 August 2020

Back in the late 70's

Skyjeep has sent in some more of his pics from the late 1970's.
At Christchurch International Airport during November of 1978 was a Lockheed C141 Starlifter.
I don't have a serial number but I do know that there were at least sixty C141's involved in the 1978 'Deepfreeze' season - of which I believe only six did 'the ice' runs.
At a Wanganui air show in 1979 we have what looks like the Cessna 207 ZK-NPA on the left with an unknown Cessna on the right.
Helicopters (NZ) Ltd operated flights out to the Maui A platform and the Blue Whale crane ship tied up alongside.
These three shots were taken in 1977 - which to me narrows the Alouette down to being ZK-HNY.
Landing back at New Plymouth.
Thank you Skyjeep.

A Couple of Vans

Amongst the visitors to Pauanui airfield on Saturday were a couple of Vans aircraft being RV6A ZK-RVC from Matamata

And from Rotorua the new completed RV12 ZK-VGT which was registered back in January this year.


Cessna 172RG Cutlass at Tauranga

 You could be forgiven for thinking that a ZK-TA registered Cessna at Tauranga would be from the Tauranga Aero Club.

But no!  Warwick Hamilton photo'd this C 172RG Cutlass RG II ZK-TAH (c/n 172RG0840) at Tauranga on 10/8/20.  It has been registered to The Retractable Flying Machine Company of Tolaga Bay since 1/2/19 but it has been in New Zealand since June 1992.  It has not featured on the blog previously.

Friday 14 August 2020

Hughes 369D ZK-HNT

 Hughes 369D c/n 590514D came onto our register as ZK-HNT thanks to Dalhoff and King Aviation Ltd of Ardmore on 02-07-1979 and was listed to Helicopters (NZ) Ltd of Nelson by the 24th of that month.

Just over a year later (17-11-1980) it was with Keith McKenzie of Taumarunui and was transferred to the Company name of Commercial Helicopters Ltd on 23-03-2001.

After nearly thirty seven years with Keith McKenzie it was listed to Bill Hales, of Hanmer Springs from 08-02-2017 and went immediately into the Heli Maintenance Ltd facility at Christchurch for a major overhaul.

I caught up with it again today at Heli Maintenance - Christchurch.

By the time you read this post ZK-HNT should be available for purchase.