Thursday 29 October 2020

Titan Mustang ZK-MJD/2 Leaving Tauranga on 17-10-2020

The Mike Dean built Titan Mustang ZK-MJD2 left Tauranga on 17/10/20 for its new base at Mercer, and the Hairy Mole Rat was on hand to capture its departure:

It has undergone an identity change with the name Southern Belle now on the cowling.

But it still carries the tail number 413318 and the code N C5.  I am not sure if this represents an actual WW 2 aircraft.  These numbers and codes were worn by an actual P 51D Mustang of the 357th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, USAAF flown by Lt Col Tommy Hayes.

Tommy Hayes Mustang was named Frenesi and ZK-MJD2 carried this name when it first appeared at Tauranga.  There is a lot of information in the internet about the 357th Fighter Group, for example see:

Later it was painted with the more accurate N C5 codes

Here is an information board about the aircraft when it first appeared, nearly completed, at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

Wednesday 28 October 2020


Visiting Pauanui very briefly today was the AS355F-1 ZK-IAV operated by Auckland based Heletranz.  This was originally imported from the USA in 2007 as ZK-IAV,  moved onto ZK-IGO in 2015 and then back again to IAV in October 2019,  initially with the Inflite group in Taupo.   It was acquired by Heletranz in February 2020.


Other De Havilland Types at the Tiger Club Flyin

While the Tiger Club focusses on the iconic DH 82 Tiger Moth, other De Havilland types are a welcome addition to the visitors to the Tiger Club flyin.  Here are a selection:

DHC 1 Chipmunk ZK-UAS of Neil McHugh was down from Te Kowhai.

DHC 1 Chipmunk N861WP is Bevan Dewes' example, from Masterton.

DHC 2 Beaver ZK-CKH/NZ6001 is the Warbirds example from Ardmore.

And Farmers Air's DHC 2 Beaver ZK-BVA2 came from Gisborne.

Then John Luff flew a routine in his DH 112 Venom ZK-VNM3 having flown from Wanganui.

Thanks for the nice photos Jordan.  Taumarunui sure is a photogenic airfield for aircraft photos!

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Some locals and some overseas visitors

Tripping around today the Kiwi Air Reims F406 Caravan II ZK-XLF was noted at Hamilton now minus the company's titling and logos.    This was formerly with Vincent Aviation as ZK-VAF, becoming XLF in January 2009.

Up at Ardmore the White Star Honey Company's Schweizer 269C-1 ZK-HVO arrived.  This is based on the Coromandel and was imported from the US in 2002.

Receiving attention at Airbus Helicopters was H145 M-PURE which is based on the Superyacht  "Air" currently berthed in Auckland after arrival from Tahiti.

Over at Auckland International was the Airwork Flight Operations/Toll Holdings Boeing 737-351 ZK-TLE which hasnt been blogged here before.   This was imported from the USA in 2011.

Also at Auckland the Aero Logistics survey Cessna 404 Titan VH-WGS which flew in from Norfolk Island on 24 October.


Harvard NZ1037 at the Tiger Club Flyin

The Tiger Club flyin was held at Taumarunui back on 16 - 18 October, and the good weather produced an interesting lot of aircraft, including the Harvard IIA ZK-ENA/NZ1037

This Harvard is registered to ITL Aviation Ltd of Palmerston North and is based at Brendon Deere's Biggin Hill Historic Aircraft Centre at RNZAF Base Ohakea.  It has recently lost its checkerboard marked cowling which has been repainted silver.  

Monday 26 October 2020


Pauanui airfield experienced a  relatively quiet Labour Weekend but amongst those that did visit was the Thorp T18 ZK-EDF still looking very smart after its 40+ years.  This was acquired by an Auckland owner in June 2020.

A regular visitor from Auckland is the Stoddard Hamilton Glastar ZK-MPO which was originally registered back in 2001.

And up from Tauranga the AESL Airtourer T3A ZK-XXI.   Originally built back in 1964 as a Victa Airtourer 100 ZK-CGP this was rebuilt as a Airtourer T3A ZK-DSZ in 1973 and then reregistered XXI in 2009.


Miller M1 Superchamp ZK-MMJ at Feilding 25-10-2020

It is always interesting when a new own design homebuilt aircraft is registered and you don't know what it looks like or anything about it.  This was the case when Mark Miller of Pohangina registered his Miller M1 Superchamp ZK-MMJ (c/n 001) on 12/10/20.  However it didn't take long to find out as Tim Gorman came across it carrying out test flights at Feilding aerodrome yesterday: 

Mark Miller advises that his 3 seater aircraft is a 13 year build and the fuselage is based on the Aeronca 7EC but with many modifications including a heavy duty landing gear, belly pod and a redesigned vertical stabiliser. The wing is 37 feet span with aluminium spars and carbon fibre tips, and the airframe is traditional ceconite covered and doped. 

Power is from an O-320 Lycoming engine which produces 160 HP.

Tim Gorman also has a You Tube channel and has uploaded a video of ZK-MMJ taking off from Feilding showing spritely performance with one up.  The link is:

Thanks very much for the photos Tim!

Sunday 25 October 2020

Fletcher FU 24 ZK-CRY/2 at Waipukurau

Ron Day has sent a photo of Rural Air Work's Fletcher FU 24-954 ZK-CRY2 (c/n 268) taken at Waipukurau recently, in new colours:

This is the second Fletcher FU 24 to wear the ZK-CRY registration.  For its history and also some of the history of the first ZK-CRY have a look HERE

Thanks for the photo Ron - nice to see bent wings at Waipukurau.

Another Aircraft a Long Way from Home - Supervan ZK-ROK/4


The ex Skydive Wanaka Ltd Texas Turbine Supervan conversion of a C 208B ZK-ROK4 was picketed /out at North Shore airfield last Friday 23/10/20.  Its ownership changed to Skydive Queenstown Ltd on 6/7/20.  I guess the skydive industry is doing it hard with Covid.

Saturday 24 October 2020

Cessna T182T ZK-ZZR at Kaipara Flats Today 24-10-2020

A long way from home at Kaipara Flats airfield this afternoon was the nice looking and sounding Cessna T182T ZK-ZZR all the way from Hamner Springs.

Here on a spirited take off for a local flight.  This was an Izard Pacific import in 2014, hence the ZZ registration.

Farmers Air Falco at Tauranga 20-10-20

I spent a very pleasant few days in Tauranga earlier this week including a visit to the airport where I was pleased to meet up with "resident" aircraft photographers extraordinaire Peter and Warwick.  What a nice place to talk aircraft and shoot a few aircraft photos!

I was most fortunate to catch the Farmers Air Falco conversion of the PAL XL 750 ZK-XLC.  It had stayed overnight on its way back to Gisborne from Hamilton and had been delayed by low cloud until just after lunch.  It just started taxying as I drove up!

It was the first time I had seen this type of Falco which is a Farmers Air-led modification of the XL 750 for ag work that is quite a bit lighter.  Note the different shaped nose that I reckon looks nicer that the XL 750.

Friday 23 October 2020

AutoGyro MTO Sport ZK-FTB/2 at Tauranga 23-10-2020

It has been a while since a new autogyro has been registered here.  However a Canadian import AutoGyro MTO Sport c/n M00862 was registered ZK-FTB2 on 28/9/20 to a Tauranga owner.  It was previously C-GMUJ. 

And it was test flown today at Tauranga by Phil Hooker.  

Thanks to HMR who was on hand to take the photos.

A Few More from Ardmore on 22-10-2020

 I only paid a quick trip to Ardmore yesterday, but there were a few aircraft of interest:

Cessna 177B Cardinal ZK-MRL has had a new Auckland owner since 14/2/20.  It has been registered as such since July 2000 but prior to that was ZK-DFZ from November 1972.  In all that time it has not appeared on the blog.

Total Entertainments Consultants Ltd's Cessna 404 Titan ZK-SVI was out doing some engine runs.  Unfortunately its position obscured the registration so here below is a view of it at Wellington recently showing the rego.

And Lloyd Morris's new Vans RV 7 ZK-LDM took off, building up its hours I guess.

And at Avspecs Spitfire LF XVI ZK-NLJ has returned from the paint shop and was being re-assembled.  No photos but watch this space!

Thursday 22 October 2020

North American T28B Trojan ZK-TGN at Ardmore 22-10-2020

 Seen outside the Warbirds old hangar at Ardmore this afternoon was Brian Hall's T28B Trojan ZK-TGN:

It is just over four years since its wheels up landing on an early test flight (on 28/9/16), and it looks as if good progress is being made towards a return to the skies.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Todays pick from NZRT and NZCH.

  Out at Rangiora the Auster J1 Autocrat ZK-ASL c/n 2150 was receiving some attention to its bungee cords. This is currently the oldest aircraft in Lionel Green's collection - but not for much longer !

See my earlier post on this Auster at

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro ZK-EAL4 (c/n 942 AE 60) of Electric Airplane Ltd was having a recharge while the Wednesday pie was being consumed in the Clubhouse.
Meanwhile, below, back at Christchurch International, we see the two B2 Squirrels ZK-HNC3  (c/n 1322) and ZK- HND3 (c/n 2073) plus the Hughes 369E ZK-HSC3 (c/n 0409E) at Christchurch Helicopters.

Hakataramea Valley AOPA Fly-in Sunday 18th.

 On Sunday the 18th AOPA had a 'Lunch and Catch Up' fly-in at Nat Small's Hakataramea Valley airstrip.
As the morning progressed twenty eight visitors flew in on a brilliant flying day.

The photo above from Ross Marfell shows some of the visitors.

Tuesday 20 October 2020

First Scheduled Air Chathams ATR flight to Chatham Islands today.

The first scheduled ATR flight from Christchurch to the Chatham Islands took place today. 20-10-2020.

ZK-MCO 2 (c/n 628) joined Air Chathams Ltd on 04-02-2019 after just over nineteen years with Mount Cook airlines Ltd.
Photo above taken at Christchurch International just prior to noon today.

Monday 19 October 2020

Some helicopters

Travelling around the Bay of Plenty and Taupo areas a couple of helicopters were noted that havent been blogged on this site before being Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HIT3 on a training flight in Whakatane.  This was imported from the US in 1996 and acquired by a Te Puke owner in September 2020.

Caught just before it departed Taupo was Rotor Work's sole Bell 206L-3 LongRanger ZK-HPC3.  This was imported from South Korea in 2019.

An early morning revisit to Taupo revealed Lakeview Helicopters' Bell UH-1H ZK-ILV which arrived from Australia in early 2019.


Sunday 18 October 2020

Tiger Club Flyin at Taumarunui

The annual Tiger Club flyin at Taumarunui is always looked forward to as the first flyin of the flying season.  This year the weather played ball and there was a very good turnout of Tigers and other interesting aircraft:

There was a good turnout of DH biplanes as shown in this photo showing 10 Tigers, a Gipsy Moth and a Thuxton Jackaroo (you can click to enlarge)

Clevedon Aviation's Tiger Moth ZK-BEN was back in action after suffering an engine problem in the North Cape to Bluff rally.

And Robert McNair's Tiger ZK-AUD always looks spectacular

Jan White's DH 60G Gipsy Moth ZK-ADT is a frequent attendee at Tiger Club events.

While attending its first Tiger Club Taumarunui rally was John Pheasant's Thruxton Jackaroo ZK-PHZ.

Thanks for the photos Simon and Jordan.


Saturday 17 October 2020

Airborne Edge X582 ZK-SJR Trike at Kaipara Flats 17-10-2020

I could not make it down to the Tiger Club rally at Taumarunui, but I did make it out to Kaipara Flats for a time this morning, and I heard an inbound radio call from the Airborne Edge Trike ZK-SJR so I moseyed on down to Runway 25 to catch its arrival:

ZK-SJR has recently changed ownership to Erwin Weber of Warkworth, and he is in the back sear with Grant Waugh doing the flying.