Wednesday 31 August 2022

Couple of helicopters at Ardmore

Noted at Ardmore today was the Hughes 369E ZK-HTU3 which is one of two former Newcastle Harbour Pilot 369Es imported earlier this year by International Heliproperties Ltd.  It was assembled and test flown at Tauranga prior to delivery to Ardmore.

And the CG Aviation Sikorsky S-76C ZK-ICG2 now carries its new Volta Aviation script which is also now prominent on its hangar.


Tuesday 30 August 2022

Looking Forward to Classic Fighters 2023!


Greetings from Team Yealands Classic Fighters 2023!

After two false starts in 2021, we are looking forward to bringing back Classic Fighters in 2023 and finally celebrating our 20th Anniversary. Over the next few months, we'll be making aircraft announcements (the latest is a cracker!) and sharing the stories of the people behind the machines and the show. So keep scrolling for news, updates and how you can get involved.

Please invite all your friends and family, near and far, to join the birthday celebrations. They say the third time's a charm, so treat yourself and support the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre's most significant fundraiser while having an incredible amount of fun. So go forth and make plans, we can't wait to see you!

Sunday 28 August 2022

Rangiora this afternoon 28-08-2022

 A mid-afternoon visit into Rangiora today offered the following.The James Christie Piper Pa-32-260 Cherokee six ZK-DSQ c/n 32-1012 was factory new when it arrived in NZ in late 1973.
Until joining James at Timaru it had spent all of its life in the upper North Island.

This Rans S-6S Coyote II ZK-MLD (c/n 09991341) was I believe the seventh aircraft built by Peter Dyer at Taupo about the turn of the Century. His son Chris took it over in July 2017 and in February this year it was passed to the S & B Syndicate.
"B" = Brian who is enjoying the trials of converting from his nose wheel Rans S-6ES to the tail wheel version.

This Zenair CH701 STOL arrive into Rangiora in January 2019 as N73EX for Steven Priest of Waipara with whom it was registered as ZK-STE on 09-10-2019.
It then sat in its hangar for two and a half years until Deane Philip completed the project up to its present state of excellence.

And a surprise was the Super Air Ltd's Air Tractor AT-602 ZK-SXL c/n 602-1147.
This was imported from the US in October 2020.

All have been posted previously.

Oddments at Rangiora


Above we have a near life size plug for the SAA Canterbury Branch on the end of a hangar row.

The view into one of Doug Anderson's hangars.

From top to bottom
ZK-TNG the Air Creation ARV Tanarg 912.
ZK-DGR  the Airborne XTS-912-B with its Arrow wing with Airborne wing tips.
ZK-LOW the Airborne Windsports Redback 503.
ZK-MWN the Solar Wings Pegasus XL-Q.
ZK-TQW the Solar Wings Pegasus XL-R.
With another row of trikes to the right.

Thursday 25 August 2022

Vans RV 12 ZK-OPT First Flight on 16-8-2022

As seen on Sunday on TV 1, the Otago Aero Club's new Vans RV 12 ZK-OPT took to the air for the first time at Taieri recently.  

ZK-OPT (c/n 121045) was built by students of the Otago Polytech and was registered to the Otago Aero Club on 18/7/22.  Its first flight was carried out by Colin Chalmers who is the Aero Club's Chief Microlight Instructor, on Tuesday 16 August 2022.  The image is a screenshot from the TV news item.

It is the seventh student built RV 12 to fly here following the Mercury Bay Area School's ZK-MBA, ZK-ERV, ZK-EAA and ZK-MBB, as well as ZK-TFP which was built by Nelson students and ZK-SMB which was built by students from Hastings and Havelock North.

Wednesday 24 August 2022

McDonnell Douglas 500N ZK-HZG

Added to the Way to Go Helicopter Services fleet in June 2022 was the former Mid West Helicopters MD500N ZK-HZG3.   Originally imported from Australia in 2008 it is seen here at Rangiora recently.


Monday 22 August 2022

JMB VL 3 Aircraft of New Zealand

Back in May 2022 a new type of Class 2 microlight aircraft was registered in New Zealand, being the JMB VL 3 from JMB Aircraft s.r.o of Chochen in the Czech Republic.  The JMB VL 3 was originally manufactured by Aveko in the Czech Republic, but the design was taken over by JMB Aircraft in 2012 who had 6 employees and produced 2 aircraft that year.  Since then the company has grown to have more than 160 employees and produces around 60 aircraft per year.

The VL 3 is a standard low wing tractor retractable tri-gear aircraft made from composites but its main point of difference is how fast it is.  The latest models fitted with the Rotax 915 engine of 142 HP have an incredible cruise speed of 370 km/hr at 18,000 feet which equates to 200 knots! (while the Rotax 912 powered aircraft cruises at 280 km/hr or 150 knots).

The specifications for the VL 3 are:  length 6.24 metres, wingspan 8.44 metres and the wing area is 9.77 square metres.  Its empty weight is 310 Kg with the Rotax 912 and 360 kg with the Rotax 915 and both models have a MAUW of 600 Kg.  The eye popping speed of the VL 3 is detailed above but in addition the 915 engined model can climb at 2,000 feet per minute (while the 912 engined model climbs at 1300 feet per minute).  The stall speed is quoted as 42 knots.

A turbine version of the VL 3 was introduced at Aero Friedrichshafen 2022.

We have had one JMB VL 3 registered in New Zealand to date but more are on the way, with the next one, a Rotax 915 engined example for an Auckland owner.

ZK-JMB2 (c/n 252) is a VL 3E-1 UL model powered by a 100 HP Rotax 912 ULS engine, that was registered to the local agents JMB NZ Ltd of Amberly on 13/5/22.  It is a used example being from Greece where it was registered SX-UBN.

Sunday 21 August 2022

SPA Panther ZK-PWR

Wayne Richmond of Stratford registered his SPA Panther ZK-PWR back on /17/11/21, and after meticulous finishing he test flew it from Stratford aerodrome one week ago, on 14/8/22.  Wayne is a long time aircraft builder having built the Hovey Delta Bird ZK-JAU, the Rans S 10 ZK-SWJ and his Monnett Sonerai 2L ZK-SNW among others.  And he has another Panther in the works.

HERE is what we posted about the SPA Panther when the first one, Mark Dean's ZK-PMD, was registered.

Wayne has sent some photos of his newest aircraft:

Wayne is a fan of air racing and has visited the Reno Air Races, so he has Richmond Racing on the cowling.

And the wings have Red Bull Air Racing decals while the tail has the Stratford Sport Flyers logo and Wayne's air racing number.  It sure looks the part!

Thanks very much for the photos Wayne.

Saturday 20 August 2022

Tomahawk ZK-EQX at Wellington

Piper PA 38-112 Tomahawk ZK-EQX was on the line at Wellington when I was there a couple of weeks ago:

ZK-EQX was registered to the Wellington Aero Club on 11/1/22 and is now without Mainland Air script.

Friday 19 August 2022

Mt Cook

Mt Cook Airport was busy today with a combination of tourist flights and helicopters operating Tasman Glacier heli skiing trips.

The only PC6 Turbo Porter currently based here with Inflite Skiplanes is ZK-MCK which has returned to skis after sometime at Fox Glacier and Pukaki as a skydiving aircraft.

Inflite are currently basing 3 AS350B at Mt Cook being ZK-IEQ, ZK-IEY and ZK-HJZ4.  The last of these was imported from the US in 2016 and has now lost its "Inflite" titling.

Supporting the heli skiing operation The Helicopter Line brought in its 2 Glentanner based AS350B2 ZK-HSM3 and ZK-ICD.   The latter was imported from Switzerland in 2012.


A DH 100 Vampire at North Shore

I have been aware of John Scott's Vampire that he has been assembling at North Shore over the last several years, but I have not had the opportunity to photograph it completed until I spied its hangar open back on 3 August and John was happy for me to take photos:

John's Vampire is a FB 6 model that was imported into New Zealand way back in February 2001 by Sir Kenneth Hayr who was a retired RAF Air Marshall who divided his time between New Zealand and the UK.

DH 100 FB 6 Vampire c/n 658 was built by the Swiss Federal Aircraft Factory for the Swiss Air Force where it became J-1149.  Upon disposal from the SAF it was registered in the UK on 25/1/91 as G-SWIS to Hunter Wing Ltd of Hurn.  It was cancelled from the UK register on 3/4/97 before eventually coming to New Zealand.  Tragically Sir Kenneth Hayr was killed flying a Vampire in June 2001 at an airshow at Biggin Hill.

The Vampire is powered by a DH Ghost Mk 35 jet engine, but this is now installed in another New Zealand Vampire.

You can see in this photo that it still marked as J-1149 and wears the registration G-SWIS, and also that it is hangared along with a lot of other interesting aircraft from the Don Subritsky collection.

Thursday 18 August 2022

ATR 72-212 ZK-MCU at NZAA on 9-8-2022

A desperation shot of Air Chathams' "new" ATR 72-212 ZK-MCU parked out with an eclectic mix of other Air Chathams aircraft at Auckland International last week:

ZK-MCU was registered to Air Chathams of Waitangi in the Chatham Islands on 6/5/22.  Its windows are covered with a blue plastic film.

Wednesday 17 August 2022


A surprise at Cromwell airfield today was the Rans S6S ZK-CDC2 which is now on amphibious floats.  This has been with the same Queenstown owners since 2011.


Christchurch Heli Centre 15 th August 2022

A quick stop over at the Christchurch Heli Centre on Monday found the following.
Robinson R44 Astro ZK-HAR c/n 0735 was imported for Button Logging Ltd in mid-2011 until being taken up by Christchurch Helicopters 2001 Ltd in late July 2021.
McDonnell Douglas 500N NOTAR ZK-HNV3 c/n LN078 of Christchurch Helicopters 2001 Ltd shows the strip of green that really improves the overall colour scheme. This was previously ZK-IGA.
The Bell 206B JetRanger III ZK-HQH3 c/n 3206 was imported via Rotor Flite NZ Ltd in the earlier part of 2013 and went to Cornwall Farms near Ashburton in June of 2013.
Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-IAZ3 c/n 11728 has been with Ahaura Helicopters Ltd since September of 2021.

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Day 3 at Wanaka

Another stunning winter day in Wanaka produced more activity at the Airport including AS350B2 ZK-HVC4 which has not been blogged before.  Originally imported new in 2012 as ZK-IVW it was reregistered ZK-HVC in November 2021 for a local private owner.

Operated until recently by Tekapo based MacKenzie Helicopters the AS350B2 ZK-HDL3 has now been returned to The Helicopter Line.   This was originally imported in 2004 from Malaysia.

Wanaka Helicopters' Hughes 369E ZK-HAC4 has been with the company since September 2020, being originally imported from the US in 2014 as ZK-HGF7.

And stored at Wanaka for several years is Cessna 208 ZK-SKB which came outside for engine runs today.  Its repaint into the Air Milford colours hasnt featured on this blog and it was originally imported in 2005 from Australia.


Monday 15 August 2022

More from Wanaka

Another visit to Wanaka Airport offered a lot of activity including the skydiving Cessna 208B Caravan ZK-ROK4 which as had its "Wanaka" titling restored.  This was imported in 2016 from the US as ZK-RUL, becoming ROK4 in 2020.

Sharing a hangar with the recently imported Lockheed 12A Electra VH-HID  (to become ZK-LHE) is the Stoddard Hamilton SH2 Glasair RG ZK-LHX which was completed by its Wanaka owner in 2015.

Calling in briefly was Fox Franz Heli Services Hughes 369D ZK-HDZ2 which was imported from PNG in 1990 and acquired by the company in 2016.

Also stopping in briefly was AS350B3 ZK-IDQ which has now lost its High Country Helicopters titling.  This was imported new in 1999 as ZK-IPV2, becoming IDQ in 2014.


Sunday 14 August 2022

Piper PA46 Malibu Meridian ZK-THG

The Piper PA46-500TP Malibu Meridian is a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turbo prop version of the piston engine powered PA-46-350P Malibu / Malibu Mirage

 C/n 4697215 was listed to Piper Aircraft Inc of Vero Beach, Florida on August 12, 2005 as N31146 N31145. This was transferred to Osadzinski Management LLC of Atherton, California on September 15. 2005 and then hidden in the book of Wells Fargo Bank Northwest Trustee at Salt Lake City, Utah from April 30, 2009.

Cancelled from the US register on September 16, 2013 it appeared on the German civil register on November 27, 2013 as D-FHEI with IFR Instrumenten Flugschule Reichelsheim, Augsburg.

Next I know is that it ferried from Honiara to Noumea on November 9, 2021 and from Norfolk Island to Auckland the following day.

It was registered as ZK-THG on December 6 2021 to HG Group Ltd of Masterton.

ZK-THG as seen by Jordan Elvy at Masterton on Sunday 14-08-2022.
We have had two other PA-46-500TP's on our register.
ZK-UTEwhich is still current  and ZK-OLY which went to Australia in May of 2013.

Of the piston engined PA-46-310P's we have ZK-MBU, ZK-MPG and the US registered N9099Z.

Masterton Today 14-8-2022

On a fabulous blue sky winters day Jordan Elvy popped over to Masterton today and found lots of aviation activity.  Here is a selection of some of the sport aircraft that were out aviating:

There hasn't been an up close photo of this Tiger Moth posted on the blog previously (its last photo was of it hanging under a helicopter after a forced landing off airfield in 2013).  ZK-BLK (c/n 82812) has been with the Wairarapa Flying Tigers since 18/2/20.

The Jury Family Farms' Just Aircraft SuperSTOL ZK-TUX was outside, and it does not now wear the German cross that it once did (actually I think it has been like this since it arrived in the Wairarapa).

The locally owned reconfigured tri-gear GlaStar ZK-CIM2 was out and about.  You can see it in its taildragger configuration HERE

And it must have been great to see the spectacular Pitts Model 12 ZK-PTS2 out flying.  Although still registered to John Eaton of North Shore, it has been recently out flying with other aerobatic pilots at Omaka and Rangitata Island.  I suspect that Bevan Dewes might have been involved with it being at Masterton.

Thanks very much for the photos Jordan.


Noted at Wanaka Airport was the locally based Arrow Copter AC20 ZK-RBV which was imported from the USA back in 2016.

Visiting from Taieri was Otago Airspread's Piper PA28-181 Archer II ZK-FWS which has now been repainted in the company's fleet colours.  This was imported from the US in 1990 and acquired by the company in 2018.

And calling into the Alpine Helicopters' facility was Southern Lakes Helicopters' AS350B2 ZK-HMD4 which was imported from the US in 2001 and acquired by the company in 2020.


Saturday 13 August 2022

Sunrise Balloon Adventures

Leaving Queenstown early this morning we were rewarded by seeing the launching of 2 Sunshine Balloon Adventures balloons near Arrowtown.

These were the Kavanagh E-260 ZK-FBK3, which was imported new for the company in 2017, and Cameron N-77 ZK-FAL which was imported from the UK in 1999 and acquired by Sunshine in 2010.


Strikemaster NZ6372/ZK-BAC/2 at Wellington on 7-8-2022

In a bit of exquisite timing I drove back from Moa Point and saw that the locally based BAC Strikemaster was outside the Wellington Aero Club hangar:

BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk 88 NZ9372/ZK-BAC2 has been registered to BAC167 Strikemaster Ltd of Wellington since 2/5/19. 

Charles Davis fired it up and taxied out - it was loud!

Lift off from Runway 34.

Followed by a shallow climb out.  Charles then turned and flew South past the Wellington Heads, where he was going to practice his airshow routine off the South Wairarapa coast I guess.  It was fast!

You can see a history of this aircraft HERE