Thursday 22 April 2021

Sikorsky EH-60A Black Hawk ZK-HKU

 Zac Yates was at Masterton on 26-02-2021 to capture these photographs of the Sikorsky EH-60A Black Hawk (Pickering) ZK-HKU3 (c/n 70-1132) as operated by Kahu NZ Ltd of Whakatane.

Below is what the NZ Aviation News Magazine said about it after it was registered in NZ on 13-01-2020.

"In January 1972 the U S Army initiated a request for proposals for the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) as a replacement for the Bell UH-1 Iroquois. At the same time the Army initiated the development of a ‘common turbine’ engine for its helicopters which would become the General Electric T700. One major requirement was that it must be able to be carried in the Lockheed C130 Hercules. Boeing-Vertol submitted their YUH-61A whilst Sikorsky submitted three prototypes of their S-70 design which the Army designated as the YUH-60A in March of 1976. The Sikorsky was selected and the first deliveries of what became the UH-60A Black Hawk were made in October 1978. A large number of variants have been built with over 4000 units produced to date. Kahu NZ Ltd of Whakatane has sourced an EH-60A model from the States for heavy lifting duties. This airframe was allocated the US military serial of 86-24572 and is known to have served from 1987 with the U.S.Army. It was noted at the Corpus Christi Army Depot at Corpus Christi, Texas in May of 1991 following storm damage the previous month at Fort Head in Texas. By August 2000 it was with the U.S. Army Aviation Centre at Fort Rucker, Alabama. It then spent time with their Warfighting Centre and then the Centre of Excellence – still at Fort Rucker. By 11 May 2018 it had just over 7900 airframe hours and was sent to Science & Engineering Service LLC at Huntsville the following month for the removal of military equipment and made ready for civil disposal. Interestingly it still retains much of its military fitments, including the cold exhaust diffusers, which may well be removed to improve performance. It entered the US civil register as N160PA with Pickering aviation Inc of Corinth, Texas on 29 August 2018 for civil conversion. Purchased by Kahu NZ Ltd it was shipped to NZ on the Cap Capricorn ex Long Beach, California and reached the Ports of Auckland and then Ardmore on 12 June 2019. It flew on its US registration until certified as ZK-HKU3 on 13 January. Its first flight as such should take place at Whakatane as we go to press. The first ZK-HKU was a Hiller UH-12E followed by an Aerospatiale AS 350 D as ZK-HKU2."

Check out Kahu NZ Ltd's site 

Thanks Zac

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