Sunday 31 July 2022

The Return of a Beech Staggerwing

Back in 1995 a Beech D 17S Staggerwing was imported into New Zealand and registered ZK-AMU, a suitably period registration that had not been allocated originally having been reserved in the flying boat series of registrations.  It flew in New Zealand until 2009 when it was cancelled from the register and exported to Australia, where it became VH-WEE.  I see that it has not been posted about on the blog, so that is something that we will need to address. 

And when we address its previous history we can add a new chapter!

This is because the aircraft has recently been returned to New Zealand from Australia and re-registered as ZK-AMU (c/n 203) on 18/7/22.  It is photo'd above in a hangar at Wanaka on 22/7/22.  Nice!

Thanks for the photo Steve.

A First of Type in New Zealand - Rans S 21 ZK-DLH/2

The Rans S 21 Outbound is the latest design by Randy Schlitter of Rans Designs (formerly Rans Inc).  It is a departure for Rans as the aircraft is of all aluminium construction.  It was introduced at the EAA Airventure in 2016 but the prototype did not fly until 17 December 2017.

The S 21 is a high wing aircraft that can be built with tri-gear or as a taildragger.  It can be powered by a range of engines from the 100 HP Rotax 912 up to the 180 HP Continental X-340 Titan, which puts it into the Amateur Built Aircraft category in New Zealand.  Its dimensions are:  span 8.5 metres (28 feet) with a wing area of 141 square feet, length 6.82 metres (22 feet 5 inches).  With the Titan engine the empty weigh is around 447 Kg (985 pounds) and the MAUW in NZ is 816 Kg (1800 pounds).  Again with the Titan engine the cruise is around 155 mph (135 knots) and the stall with full flaps is quoted as 40 mph (35 knots).

Our first S 21 was registered in New Zealand back in December 2020 and we will see more of them as there are 5 more kits in the country, and the build time is quoted by Rans as 500 to 700 hours.

ZK-DLH2 (c/n 10190065) was built at Wanaka by long time ag pilot Don (L) Hart of Methven, and it was first registered to him on 22/12/20.  It is photo'd above during its first engine runs at Wanaka on 29/11/21, and has since successfully flown off its test hours  It has the 180 HP Titan engine installed and I reckon it will make a great back country aircraft for New Zealand conditions.

Thanks for the photo Steve.

Friday 29 July 2022

Hamilton and onto Ardmore

A surprise at Hamilton Airport this morning was the PAC 750XL /  Falco 3000XL ZK-KEO in a new paint scheme and wearing "Independent Airspread" titling.     Christened "Karearea"  (Maori name for the NZ Falcon)  this was acquired by Murray Hargreaves Ltd, Maungaturoto back in November 2021.

Up at Ardmore on the CG Aviation ramp was the SA330J Puma N815AR being one of 2 imported into Gisborne back in May 2020 for heli logging work.   Its companion,  N814AR,  has been sharing a hangar at Mercer airfield with the RocketLab Sikorsky S92A ZK-HEV for some months now.

Inside CG Aviation's hangar requiring maintenance was the RNZ Navy Kaman SH2G Seasprite NZ3613.

And outside Heliflite was the wingless former Greymouth based Cessna P210N Centurion ZK-VIR.  This was imported from the US back in 2009 and sold to Motueka based Argus Aviation in December 2021.


Thursday 28 July 2022

A New Zealand Connection to EAA Airventure 2022 at Oshkosh

As the EAA Airventure flying is now underway at Oshkosh, I thought I would post some New Zealand connections.  Of course there are lots of New Zealanders attending the flyin.

One such connection is the Kip Aero stand as shown above.  Kip Aero is a North Texas based company that specialises in building accurate reproductions of WW 1 Sopwith aircraft, and they power their aircraft with Gnome rotary engines that are manufactured by Classic Aero Machining Service at Omaka aerodrome.  You can see an example of the Gnome rotary engine mounted on a test stand behind the sandbags, and they are running it every day between 11 am and midday - I am sure you will be able to hear it from across Wittman Field!

At Omaka, here is another CAMS Gnome rotary engine undergoing test runs in June 2022.

And the Omaka based Sopwith Pup replica ZK-SPH has been repowered with a CAMS rotary engine of 100 HP.  Here, Wayne Tantrum is about to take it for a test flight.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

EAA Tom Poberezny.

EAA Legend Tom Poberezny Dies at 75

 - July 25, 2022, 11:31 AM
Tom Poberezny (Photo: Experimental Aircraft Association)
EAA is giving Tom Poberezny's Red 3 Volkswagen a prominent place during this year's AirVenture in honor of his service to the organization. Poberezny, who died on July 25, frequently was spotted driving the vehicle around the airshow over the years. (Photo: Experimental Aircraft Association)

Tom Poberezny, the long-time president of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) who later became chairman emeritus, died early Monday as the association’s famed AirVenture kicked off in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was 75.

“It is not lost on us that Tom’s passing occurred on the opening day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the event he led into world prominence as its chairman beginning in the 1970s,” said Jack Pelton, EAA's chairman and CEO. “Tom’s legacy is tremendous in the world of aviation with his personal achievements as well as the growth of EAA…He will be greatly missed but more importantly, he will be remembered for all that he did for EAA and aviation. Our deep condolences and prayers go to Tom’s wife, Sharon, and his daughter, Lesley, and the rest of the Poberezny family.”

Born Oct. 3, 1946, Poberezny was a little more than six years old when his father, Paul Poberezny, founded EAA in 1953 with a small group of garage-based homebuilders in the greater Milwaukee area.

While Paul Poberezny led the organization as president from its founding until his retirement in 1989, Tom became an accomplished aviator, according to EAA. He served on the U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Team that won the World Championship in 1972 and the following year he won the U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship.

Tom Poberezny continued flying for 25 years as part of the Eagles Aerobatic Team—once known as the Red Devils and which EAA said was “the most successful civilian precision flying team in history.

At the same time, Poberezny remained involved with EAA, including leading the construction of the EAA Aviation Center headquarters and museum complex at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and chairing the annual fly-in that had grown into one of the world’s largest airshows.

He stepped in as EAA’s second president following the retirement of his father and held that position until 2010. Poberezny had added the role of chairman in February 2009 and then became chairman emeritus in 2011.

While at the helm of EAA, he led the creation of the Young Eagles program that mentors and provides flights to kids between the ages of eight and 17. In a little more than 10 years after the program’s founding in 1992, EAA realized its goal of giving one million kids an airplane flight by the centennial of powered flight on Dec. 17, 2003. That goal was achieved in October of that year and the program now counts more than two million Young Eagles flights, EAA said.

“He will be greatly remembered for all he did for aviation and for EAA,” said Dick Knapinski, the association’s director of communications.

While memorial service plans are pending, EAA is planning different commemorations of Poberezny on the airshow grounds this week during AirVenture 2022 to feature his contributions, including a prominent placement for Red 3, the modified Volkswagen Bug that he was frequently spotted driving during the airshow over the years.

Thanks to AINonline

Tuesday 26 July 2022

A Great Flight to Mesopotamia Station

To encourage flyers around the country who are ground bound by awful weather, here are a couple of photos from as recently as last Sunday 24 July, of a trip that the Rangitata Island guys flew to Mesopotamia Station:

Russell Brodie flew in the rear seat of the Rans S7 ZK-SRB and photo'd this lovely shot of East Canterbury Aviation's Tiger Moth NZ1443/ZK-BRL.  Russell said it was silky smooth.

And the view at Mesopotamia Station with a stunning backdrop.  I wish we had had some nice weather like this in the North over the last few weeks!

Sunday 24 July 2022

A Couple from the Golden Bay Dawn Raid - 23-07-2022

The Golden Bay Dawn Raid was held at Takaka yesterday in good weather conditions from the look of it.  Jordan Elvy flew over in the Kapiti Districts Aero Club's C 182R ZK-NML and counted 37 visiting aircraft.  Among those were these couple that were a bit different.

Hangared was the recently arrived locally owned  Bantam B 22 ZK-JDK (c/n 0127), which has not appeared on the blog previously.

And also across from Kapiti was the Philip Milne Alpi 300 Syndicate's Alpi 300 ZK-PJM2 which was sporting new trim.

Saturday 23 July 2022

A Retrospective of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival 2022 (3)

After seeing the Hairy Mole Rat's Wairarapa Balloon Festival photos I had a look at their Facebook page where there were photos of a few of the other balloons that there were there:

ZK-PJK is a Boland Snakeskin 70-12 from Carterton.

ZK-PNG is a Ultramagic C-77 from Cambridge

ZK-LOP is a Boland 52-12 from Hamilton and ZK-FBA3 is a Kavanagh C77 from Wellington.

Friday 22 July 2022

Not Civil - the RNZAF's New P-8A Poseidon is Revealed

Not a civil aircraft but I am sure it will be of interest to NZ Civair blog readers.  Boeing has rolled out the first of the RNZAF's new P-8A Poseidon aircraft from their paint shop in Renton, Washington today:

NZ4801 is the first of four Poseidons on order for the RNZAF.  It will be delivered later this year.

Hamilton and up to Auckland

Noted test flying at Hamilton Airport this morning was the PAC 750XL-II  (Super-Pac XL) ZK-EPO which was registered to NZ Skydive in June 2022. 

And up the road at AKL International was Airwork's Boeing 737-484 ZK-TLL which although imported from the US back in 2016 has not featured on this blog before.   It carries the Australian company Toll Holdings' logos.


Thursday 21 July 2022

A Retrospective of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival 2022 (2)

The final lot of great Wairarapa Balloon Festival photos from the Hairy Mole Rat:

ZK-ZVE is a Cameron N-133 from Hamilton.

ZK-SEL is a Cameron N-90 registered to a Private Owner.

ZK-RYZ is a Kavanagh C-77 registered to a Private Owner.

ZK-PPI is a Cameron C-70 registered to a Private Owner.

ZK-LAR is a Cameron C-80 from Wellington.

And the previously posted ZK-FAI, a Boland 38-8 from Masterton

And also previously posted, ZK-FTC3, a Lindstrom LBL 77A registered to a Private Owner.

Sadly, these are the last photos I will post from the Hairy Mole Rat.  RIP Peter.

Helicopters Around Auckland Today 21-07-2022

It wasn't much of a day for flying in Auckland today, but I did catch these 2 helicopters on the ground:

Airbus EC 130 T2 ZK-HJW5 was outside in the sun at Mechanics Bay.  It is registered to EagleFlight Technics Ltd of Auckland.  I like the look of the glass curtain wall and roof of the Mikano Restaurant in the back of the shot.

The Mechanics Bay heliport is now the base of Helicopter Me as per the sign on the hangar in behind.

Flash back six and a half years! when I photo'd Airbus EC 120B ZK-HJW4 in the same location with Helilink titles on the hangar, when the Westpac Rescue helicopters were based there.

And at a less sunny North Shore airport was the Bell OH-58A Kiowa ZK-HPW3.  The reason for it being at North Shore is that its ownership changed to Kiowa 1991 Corporate Trustee Company Ltd of North Shore on 31/3/20.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

A Retrospective of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival 2022 (1)

Back over Easter Weekend in April 2022 the Hairy Mole Rat attended the Wairarapa Balloon Festival and here are a look back at some of his photos:

ZK-FAI is a Boland 38-8 from Masterton, and ZK-OAK is a Cameron Z275 from Christchurch.

ZK-FTC3 is a Lindstrand LBL 77A belonging to a Private Owner, ZK-CAF2 is an Amateur Built Strata 73-12 from Hamilton, and ZK-FBA3 is a Kavanagh C77 from Wellington.

and ZK-KKH is a Cameron O-65 from Carterton.  The others' registrations are not showing.

We haven't concentrated much on hot air balloons on the blog but thanks to the late HMR we now can.  I will post more tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Savannah VG ZK-SVG at Feilding

Jordan Elvy visited Feilding airfield last Sunday and photo'd the older model Savannah VG ZK-SVG outside for engine runs:

ZK-SVG (c/n 05-06-51-395) was registered to R G Bailey of Feilding on 14/1/19 and has not appeared on the blog previously.

Monday 18 July 2022

Nelson this morning.

A report from Nelson Airport this morning by Bill Mannix.
The MBB-BK117 B-2 ZK-HGU5 c/n7229 of GCH Aviation poised for action.
Of 1991 vintage it arrived in NZ thanks to Airwork (NZ) Ltd in December of 2014.
In February 2015 it was with Garden City Helicopters Ltd at Christchurch.
It was transferred to the GCH Aviation Ltd name on 01-03-2018.

Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander ZK-EVO c/n 785 parked in the maintenance area.
This was transferred from Fly My Sky to Golden Bay Air on 19-07-2021 and arrived at Nelson on delivery from Ardmore on 16-08-2021.
It has undergone some serious maintenance and a re-paint during the last  year.
Below are two earlier blog post links.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Austers at Omaha Flats Airfield

After a week of wet weather I managed to get out to Omaha Flats airfield this morning to check out what I had seen from the air last Sunday, being 2 Auster aircraft:

Auster J1B Aiglet ZK-AWZ (c/n 2669) has been owned by the JD Syndicate of Wellsford for a long time, but it has not appeared on the blog previously.

And the other Auster was the J5G Autocar ZK-BDK (c'n 3070) that is owned by the Agnus Syndicate of Wellsford.  You can see a previous post that includes this aircraft HERE

The Austers are out in the weather because their plastic hangar has become unserviceable (ie has collapsed) as you can see in this photo I took from Texan ZK-TXN last Sunday.  Note that ZK-BDK is now covered, and the difference between then and today is about 100 mm of rain that has fallen in the last week!

Friday 15 July 2022

New scheme for Savannah S ZK-RDY

 Taken yesterday at Anama near Mayfield, Canterbury is Lionel Green's ICP Savannah S ZK-RDY2 c/n 19-10-54-0694 in its new colour scheme.
Looks familiar.

Something like this then !

Savannah South Island Safari



We are proposing a South Island Safari leading up to the Savannah Fly in at Forest Field on Saturday 20 August.

Obviously it will be subject to weather and interest. 


Tuesday 16 August - Rangiora to Balclutha   204nm 

Wednesday 17 August - Balclutha / Stewart Island / Te Anau    163nm 

Thursday 18 August- Te Anau / Haast    116nm 

Friday 19 August - Haast / Rangiora    147nm

Distances are indicative of straight line only and does not indicate actual route or include strips and airfields enroute.

I am happy to arrange accommodation, 3 nights – Balclutha - Te Anau and Haast, Also will arrange landing permission where required and access to fuel at overnight points.

There are some great locations to visit - and weather permitting Ryans Creek and Masons Bay Stewart Island.

There is an option weather permitting of getting into Milford Sound and some strips on our way into Haast 

If you are interested please register by email or text : 

027 359 5849 

Ideas, questions or any feedback is welcome.

If you are looking for a passenger please let me know and I should be able to hook you up. 

Kind Regards,

Lionel Green

805 Downs Road

Forest Field Aerodrome


Rangiora 7476

Mobile : 027 359 5849

Home / Office +64-3 310 2677

Savannah fly in Forest Field. August 20th


Thursday 14 July 2022


A visit to Whakatane Airport today found the Australian Zenair CH750 Cruzer VH-MHO being readied for registration in NZ.   Built in 2019 this was imported in early 2022 and will join the 3 other CH750s currently registered in NZ.

Returned from its bush fire fighting duties in Australia is Kahu Helicopters' Sikorsky EH60A ZK-HKU which has retained the yellow highlights added while across the Tasman.


Wednesday 13 July 2022

Christchurch after the rains. 13-07-2022

 With a break in the inclement meteorological conditions a quick visit to Christchurch International Airport found  the following.Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 ZK-XXK c/n 525A0411 as listed with Wellington Jet Charters Trust of Wellington was parked on the Western hard after arriving last Wednesday the 6th. 

Note the tail of 'Sofie' N747NA in the background.

 This Citation goes back to 2008 when it was working as YU-BUU with Air Pink of Belgrade, Serbia.
It was back to Cessna/Textron in early 2017 as N411CJ and was then operated by On Time Aviation of Roseland, New Jersey from July 2017.
KXXK Ltd of Wellington listed it, still on the US register on 19-10-2020 with a trasnsfer to Range Flyers Inc for its ferry to NZ from 19-10-2020. 
It arrived in Auckland from Noumea on 10-12-2020 and became ZK-XXK on 21-01-2021.

Over at Heli Maintenance was the Aerospatiale AS 350FX1 ZK-IEV c/n 2040.
First noted in September 1987 as JA9496 it, unusual for Japanese helicopters, had at least nine operators before going to Asia Pacific Aerospace in Brisbane for conversion from its AS 350 BA status to Heli Lynx 350 FX1 standard.
Next stop was Pacific Helicopters Ltd of Goroka in PNG from 28-10-2008 until being purchased, along with several others, by Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Auckland and becoming ZK-IEV on 11-7-2019.
It was initially placed with their Inflite Ski Planes Ltd from 29-11-2019 and then listed to "Private Owner" from 29-07-2020.

Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HTF5 c/n 11990 was a Skysales Aviation (NZ) Ltd import - being registered to them on 13-12-2007.
By March 2008 it was with Reid Heslop Helicopters Ltd of Nelson followed by Amuri Helicopters at Hanmer Springs from 18-02-2010.
It moved on to Sam Contracting 2000 Ltd of Seddon briefly from 04-03-2022 with a change to Amuri Springs Helicopters Agricultural Ltd on 01-06-2022.
It is seen here having blade tracking done - and its going to have a change of colour for its legs/skids.

Search & Rescue Services' Bell 222s

Sharing a hangar at Taupo Airport with the Enstrom's ZK-IAK2 & IAM2 are the 2 Bell 222s still on the CAA register with Search & Rescue Services Ltd, ZK-HZQ2 and HIG3.   Only HZQ actually went into service as the Waikato-King Country rescue helicopter,  having been imported back in 1994 from the USA, and withdrawn from service some 4 years ago.

ZK-HIG3 never went into service having been acquired as a source of spares and is stored dismantled behind HZQ still marked as N226LL with Mercy Air scripting.

In the same hangar is Enstrom 280C ZK-IAM2 which was imported from Sweden in 2020.