Thursday, 15 April 2021

Squirrels in Wanaka

A visit to Wanaka showed there had been a number of changes to the local Squirrel population starting with AS350B2 ZK-HAA3 which moved from Alpine Helicopters to Wanaka Helicopters in December 2020 and in the process acquired a smart new paint scheme.  This was originally imported from the US in 2014.

Also acquiring a new paint scheme is Wanaka Helicopters' AS350B2 ZK-HFF4 which has been with the company since 2017

A new arrival in early 2020 for a local private owner was AS350BA ZK-HDB8, being imported from Australia

Up the Matukituki Valley at the Aspiring Helicopters' base was their latest Squirrel acquisition, AS350B3 ZK-HGR2,  which was imported from Malaysia in 2019.


Mt Hutt Helicopters

Near Pudding Hill just off HWY 72 Mt Hutt Helicopters operate a helicopter maintenance base servicing operators from Canterbury, Otago and the West Coast.   The company no longer has its own fleet of helicopters.   
A visit there yesterday revealed Hughes 369D ZK-HDE3 which has been operated by Precision Helicopters since early 2020.   This was originally imported from the USA in 2011.

And a new import for a Methven private owner is AS350B2 ZK-IFN,  which was registered in February 2021.   This was imported from Germany, although it previously carried a Slovakian registration.

Mt Hutt Helicopters has also imported a 1977 model Cessna A185F N185RL and this was undoing a complete rebuild in the hangar to become ZK-MHA in due course.  It has spent most of its previous life in French Guyana in South America.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Lake Tekapo

A visit to Lake Tekapo Airport today revealed all of Air Safaris' operational fleet of Caravans and Airvans outside in the sun.  Star of the fleet is the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX ZK-SRX which was delivered new to the company in 2016.

Hangared and for sale are the company's 2 GAF N24A Nomads, being ZK-NME which was acquired from Western Samoa in 1987

And ZK-NMD2 which came from Australia in 1987.   Both aircraft are in good condition and have occasional engine runs.

Still hangared also is the fuselage of GAF N22B Nomad ZK-NOL which was withdrawn from use in 1995.

Used occasionally by the company's owners is the immaculate 1961 model Cessna 180D ZK-BZV.  It was acquired by Air Safaris in 2006.

Down the road at the former Tekapo Helicopters base the facility has been taken over by MacKenzie Helicopters and they have recently added the former Helicopter Line AS350B2 ZK-HDL3 to their fleet.  The also operate Hughes 369D ZK-IOB.


Monday, 12 April 2021

400 HP Fletcher FU 24 ZK-MUT at Maungaturoto

It is a pretty rare thing for a new 400 HP Fletcher to be registered here, but Murray Hargreaves of Maungaturoto has imported just such an example from Australia where it was operated as VH-MYW with Yassair Pty Ltd of Yass, NSW.  It was flown across the Tasman in late 2019.

The aircraft was registered ZK-MUT (c/n 267) to M Hargreaves Ltd on 24/12/19.  Thanks to Mark Stout for the use of his photo.

It has been operating here for some time as in this video:  Listen to the sound!

As you would expect, this airframe has a previous history here and it was built by Pacific Aerospace in 1979.  It was registered ZK-EMP as in this photo taken on 3/9/79.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Helicopters from Japan

Oceania Aviation at Ardmore have just imported two AS355F1 helicopters from Aero Asahi in Japan for refurbishment.   One of these is JA9587 which was originally imported new into Japan back in 1982.


Thursday, 8 April 2021

New Resident at Kaipara Flats - ZK-SPN

A new resident at Kaipara Flats is the Robin R2160 ZK-SPN that was registered to the Rodney Aero Club on 1/5/2020:

It still wears its XFlight titles from a few years ago (although XFlight is not now operating).

Its interesting history was chronicled back in 2011 at:

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Thorp S-18T ZK-MBY

A brief visitor to Pauanui today was the Thorp S-18T ZK-MBY which has undergone a conversion to a tail wheel configuration.   This was originally registered in 2005 and changed ownership to the Thorp Syndicate of Auckland in December 2020.


Monday, 5 April 2021

Cessna T206H ZK-NVC at Tauranga

Tauranga was quite busy yesterday with visiting aircraft including the Cessna T206H ZK-NVC that has not been posted on this blog previously, and Mark Pattenden was on hand to photograph it:

ZK-NVC (c/n T20608185) was registered here on 5/3/20 to a Hastings owner.  It was previously VH-NVC.

Thanks for the photo Mark.

Sunday, 4 April 2021


Easter visitors to Pauanui airfield increased today, now that the winds have dropped off, and included SG Aviation Storm 300 ZK-OCW up from Whakatane.   It has been with its original owner since 2006.

One of 6 different black Airbus helicopters that have been delivering holidaying families to Pauanui was Helicopter Me's AS350B-3 ZK-HTS2.    This has been with the company since October 2020 and was originally imported new in 2006.


Cessna 560 Citation Ultra ZK-XGO at Wellington

The newly registered Cessna Citation Ultra ZK-XGO has been out and about and was recently photo'd at Wellington by Tim Gorman:

I thought this photo was interesting as it shows the clam shell reverse thrust doors deployed, and you can also see where the redirected jet exhaust is going.

Thanks for the photo Tim.

Friday, 2 April 2021

PAC CT 4E Airtrainer ZK-PTV at Tauranga

Captured at Tauranga a couple of weeks ago by the Hairy Mole Rat was CT 4E Airtrainer ZK-PTV (c/n 214):

This airframe was constructed by Pacific Aerospace Corporation as ZK-PTE and registered in October 1998 before being leased to the RNZAF as NZ1989 from November 1989.  Along with its fellow fleet members ZK-PTA to ZK-PTM the fleet was restored to their original registrations in March 2015 for BMH Ltd of Napier (except for ZK-PTF which crashed in January 2010).  However this airframe could not be restored to its original registration as ZK-PTE had been allocated to a Yak 52 in the meantime, so it became ZK-PTV.

The fleet of ex RNZAF CT 4E Airtrainers has gradually been sold over the last few years and no doubt ZK-PTV will also be listed for sale in due course.

Thanks for the photo HMR.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

JetRanger ZK-HIX Ruatoria 27-03-2021

Another visitor to Ruatoria on Saturday the 27th was this Bell 206B JetRanger ZK-HIX2 c/n 869 as listed to Heli Resources (2012) Ltd of Rotorua.

ZK-HNP at Ruatoria

 The MBB-BK117 850D2 ZK-HNP c/n 7017 is operated by Search And Rescue Service Ltd in the EMS role and based at Gisborne on behalf of the Tairawhiti Rescue Helicopter Trust covering the area between East Cape and Te Kaha in the north and Mahia and Waikaremoana in the south.
It is seen here thanks to Aaron Murphy at Ruatoria attending the 'Sixty years of Aviation' event on Saturday 27th March.

Check out an earlier post on this airframe at :-

Monday, 29 March 2021

Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club open day at Rangiora 27-03-2021.

 There was a good selection of aircraft parked out for public display at Rangiora on Saturday as part of the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club (CRAC) open day.
Flown in from Loburn Abbey for the day was the Fisher R80 Tiger Moth ZK-LAS (c/n 18) as listed to Ivan Campbell.

Also down from Loburn Abbey was the Ragwing Aero Storch ZK-RWB (c/n RW19) which is a ivan Campbell rework.
It started as a microlight class one as built by Wayne Wilson and Subaru EA81 powered and was first flown from Rangiora on 04-07-2004. 
Ivan purchased it in March 2010 and has spent some years converting it to a two seater class two microlight, adding addition details and re-powering it with a Rotec R2800 radial engine.
See earlier posts on ZK-RWB here

The Rans S-10 Sakota ZK-SIO (c/n 0393157/MAANZ489) was a major rebuild project by Brent Thompson and his mother and friends and was re-flown again on 29-04-2017 by Andrew Love.
It was sold to Iain McPhail of Christchurch from 16-04-2019 and was proudly on display today.

The SOX Syndicate ICP Savannah S ZK-SOX (c/n 18-02-54-0593) was registered on 03-12-2020. It now has a grey upper cowling and spinner.

And WOT you may well ask is this ?
The Tom Cadet Boorabee Mk I ZK-WOT2 (c/n B001-98) is an Australian design which utilised the rear fuselage of a Drifter, with an enclosed tandem cockpit with an HKS700E four stroke pusher engine. 
It entered the Australian microlight register on 18-08-1998 as 10-3037 but was re-listed as 19-3037 in 1999.
It was registered  as ZK-WOT2 on 13-02-2015 with Barry Povey of Otaika.
It has had the rear seat removed. 
Graeme Main of Rolleston picked it up from 30-06-2020 and following some titivating it is now offered for sale.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Open Day at North Shore Airfield Yesterday 27-3-2021

The North Shore Aero Club put on an open day yesterday which was well attended, and quite a lot of aircraft were on display.  Some that caught my eye were:

A couple of A 22LS Foxbats that I had not seen before were David Signal's North Shore based ZK-SGI.

And ZK-FXB2 which is now registered to Foxbat New Zealand Ltd of Huntly.

In the Aero Club's big hangar were fifteen aircraft on display including Roger Coleclough's as yet unregistered Titan Mustang.

As well as the Wingnut Syndicate's Aeronca 100 U/L ZK-AMW.

And also Stan and Gilly Smith's DH 94 Moth Minor ZK-AKM.

While outside was their DH 84 Dragon ZK-AXI.  Stan told me that he is aiming to have the Dragon flying again soon.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Rangitata Island Back on 23-3-2021

Last Tuesday we were driving from Dunedin to Christchurch which gave me an opportunity to call in to see Russell Brodie at his Rangitata Island airfield base.  It was the first time I had been there, and there were some interesting planes, mostly tucked away, and a lot of old microlight airframes that were stored.

Resident Tiger Moth ZK-BRL marked as its RNZAF identity NZ1443 basking in the afternoon sun.

I only was able to have a brief chat with Russell as he was needed in East Canterbury Aviation's Rans S-6ES ZK-RHZ for some microlight instruction.

East Canterbury Aviation's Airdrome Aeroplanes Fokker E III replica ZK-EII3 was in the main hangar and other WW 1 replica aircraft were hangared in another hangar including the Fokker D IV, a Fokker D VII, and a Nieuport 17.

The Brodie's AESL Airtourer 150 ZK-DAC was parked out.

While Russell and his student flew circuits.  A nice place to visit.


An overnight visitor to Pauanui was the very quick Tauranga based Stoddard Hamilton SH3R Glasair III ZK-MKP2.   This was originally registered back in 2008 and has had a scheme revision in the last month with its registration moved to the tail.

With the closure of the L3 operation at Hamilton Airport a number of their Cessna 172s have been sold locally, the latest being 172S ZK-CTQ2 which is now the 6th 172 in the Waikato Aero Club fleet.  It was originally imported from the US in 2013.

Also with the Waikato Aero Club is their last remaining Alpha R2160 ZK-WCD which has been in the club fleet since 2017.


Friday, 26 March 2021

Momona on 23-3-2021

Due to a change in our plans I had to return to Dunedin Airport on 23 March to pick up another rental car to drive to Christchurch.  It is not easy to get photos of aircraft at Mainland Air but I tried:

Beech V 35B Bonanza ZK-EDJ is registered to a Queenstown owner.  It is one of only two V tailed Bonanzas on the register (the other being ZK-DDG).

And the Tecnam P 2006T ZK-MTW while being registered to a Putararu owner, has a Mainland Air logo on the tail (apologies for the heat haze which is surprising as there had been quite thick fog all morning).


Alexandra Back on 22-3-2021

 Not far down the road from Cromwell through spectacular Central Otago scenery we came to Alexandra, where there were also some interesting sport aircraft:

I had never seen the Avid Flyer Mk IV ZK-DBM2 before, and it was briefly out of its hangar in the sunlight.  It was first registered to Don Mahon of Arrowtown on 13/11/96 and I believe it has never been far way from Central Otago since.

Tecnam P 96 Golf ZK-RLS of the Sparks Family Trust was prepared for a flight up to Omarama.

And in another hangar was Craig Reynold's recently New Zealand registered 1958 model Champion 7EC ZK-CXZ2 (c/n 7EC-682) which was imported by Craig as N7597E.  Craig told me that he has taxied it but it has not yet flown in New Zealand.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Cromwell Today 22-3-2021

It was a beautiful day for a drive down through Central Otago today and I happened by Cromwell airfield where there were several sport aircraft out in the sun:

A really colourful surprise was the Rotorway A600 Talon ZK-IAD2 (c/n RWIAQLD 8008) which was registered to D L Ainslie of Arrowtown on 11/2/20.  It was imported from Australia where it was registered VH-LUN.

Detail of the Talon artwork that was probably done by a talonted Australian airbrush artist as it looks like an Aussie flag.

A long way from home was Zenith CH 601XL ZK-MEY which is registered to B & S Meyer of Hamilton.

And John and Trish Crawford's well travelled Bushby Mustang II ZK-CAR was also aprked on the field.