Thursday 29 September 2022

Alf Crowe - Other Flying Machines

As with Ron Hintz who also built a his own helicopter, Alf Crowe also built other flying machines.  The first that I know of was the Bensen B 8M gyrocopter ZK-HBV (c/n PRA /83/2) that was re-registered to A H B (Alf) Crowe of Feilding on 11/5/67.  It crashed at Feilding on 24/3/68.  It was presumably rebuilt and re-registered as ZK-RAC on 5/9/74 and it was cancelled as Withdrawn from Use on 30/4/82.

Next up was the Mead Primary glider ZK-GHE (c/n 86) that was registered to Alf Crowe on 18/12/72.  I photo'd it in action at Feilding in the 1970s with Alf Crowe standing by the near wingtip.  I think it was operated by the local ATC Squadron of which Alf was a leader.  It went to Hastings for a time where it was operated by the Hastings ATC Squadron, but it ended up being vandalised at Paraparaumu later on in the 1970s.  It was cancelled on 29/1/92.

And here is Alf flying ZK-GHE under ground tow.

Then Alf Crowe built this Vancraft Lightning gyrocopter ZK-RAC2 (c/n NZRA/70) which was registered on 1/7/91.  I often saw Alf flying this machine around Feilding when I was living there in the early 1990s.  It was damaged when it hit a hedge near Feilding on 8/5/94 and it was cancelled as Withdrawn from Use on 27/11/02.

Around Auckland

An interesting visitor to AKL International noted today was the Belgium registered Beech 200C Super KingAir OO-ASL.    This is a 1982 model which has spent most of its life in Europe and left there on September 20 for its flight to NZ via Asia and Australia,  arriving on September 27.   It is  here to support the WRC Rally.

Meantime over at Ardmore was Coromandel based Force Aviation's latest EC130T2 ZK-IEC4,  which was imported new in 2021.


Wednesday 28 September 2022

Navajo Chieftain RP-C8186

 Noted today by Scott Cowley departing Hamilton for Ardmore was the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain RP-C8186.

This is ex ZK-NSP c/n 32-7552069 which was cancelled from the NZ register today 28-09-2022.

                                                                                                                            A Scott Cowley photo.

ZK-NSP was previously mentioned here :-

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - the Alf Crowe Helicopter

Alf Crowe was a well known aviation identity around Feilding, and in the late 1980s/early 1990s he built a homebuilt helicopter:

Sadly I do not know anything about this helicopter except that it was unregistered.  I took the photo in the early 1990s and that is Alf Crowe sitting just inside his narrow rotorcraft hangar at Feilding aerodrome.  Although I was right there I never asked Alf anything about his helicopter which I regret.  It looks to be well made. 

Can anyone else shed any light on this helicopter?

More Waikato helicopters

A windy day kept most of the Rotor Work fleet in the Waikato grounded today and visiting 3 of their bases the following were noted starting with R44 ZK-HFV5 at their main Kihikihi base.  This was imported new back in 2004 briefly as ZK-HKV3, then ZK-HKP3 before becoming HFV upon acquisition by Rotor Work in 2014.

Further down the road near Te Kuiti was R44 ZK-IWH which has recently acquired a smart new paint scheme.  This was imported new in 2004 and acquired by Rotor Work in 2017.

And inland at Kopaki was the company's sole AS350B2 sprayer ZK-HAN2.   This was imported from the US in 2013 and acquired by the company in 2014.


Monday 26 September 2022

Superchamp ZK-MMJ with Supersized Tyres!


Also seen at the Hawera Aero Club's flyin yesterday was Mark Miller's Superchamp ZK-MMJ which now is fitted with supersized tyres.  That is a pretty impressive looking machine!

Thanks for the photo Simon

Sunday 25 September 2022

Cessna 170B ZK-JCG/3 at Hawera Today 25-9-2022

The Hawera Aero Club held a lunch flyin today, and around 70 visiting aircraft turned up along with Jordan Elvy and Simon Hills.  Most of the aircraft have been covered on the blog previously but one that stood out for me was Brad Raven's Cessna 170B ZK-JCG3 which is based at the Norfolk Road airstrip near Inglewood:

ZK-JCG3 (c/n 20357) was built as N2205D, then it emigrated to Australia where is was VH-YAR and VH-WRT4.  It arrived at Ardmore in August 2019 for Jim Gemmell of Whitianga and ownership transferred to Brad Raven on 13/1/22.  It has now acquired a period Cessna scheme and really looks the part!  Brad Raven also owns another Cessna 170 - the 170B ZK-OCC.

Thanks for the photo Jordan.

Friday 23 September 2022

More fabulous models for sale in Geraldine.

 Last November I passed through Geraldine and posted some photos of some magnificent metal models noted in the McAtamney Gallery and Design Store in Talbot Street, Geraldine (main street).

On Tuesday last I spotted some more of these detailed metal models in the Gallery window.

I am uncertain what scale these are but, in the photo, above you can see Carolyn's hand holding the tail of the Mustang.

I would guess that the smaller Spitfire and Mustang would be about 1/72nd scale.

A better view of the Mustang with the Spitfire and two different sized Concords beyond.

This DC-3 photo was taken through the Gallery window.

If you want to know more give Carolyn a tingle on 027 3053000.

Ron Hintz - Another Flying Machine

As befitting an early sport helicopter builder, Ron Hintz also built other flying machines including this early gyroglider.  I don't really know much about it or if it ever flew.

Thanks again to Bernice Hintz for the photo.

Douglas DC-3D ZK-APK

After completing its wartime service C-47B-45-DK NZ3556 had been allotted to NAC as ZK-AOK. However, with the airline being busy in set-up mode, the allocation at that time was postponed. In mid-1947  the aircraft took up the registration ZK-APK and was flown to Melbourne for conversion to civilian DC-3D standards.

Named Poaka it was one of the NAC aircraft used on the Pacific regional services.

In the 1950s, ZK-APK was painted up in the classic NAC colour scheme and operated on internal services.

ZK-APK was one of the four DC-3Ds withdrawn from service on 30 June 1962. It returned to service in August 1963 and converted to Skyliner status in August 1964 in replacement for the crashed ZK-AYZ.

ZK-APK was then renamed Kaikohe.

ZK-APK was leased to Fiji Airways from 1965 until 1967 and operated with them as VQ-FAH.

Returning to NAC service in September 1967, ZK-APK was finally retired in October 1968.

Sold to Airland (NZ) Ltd. in November 1968, it was not registered in their name until 7May1969  and not actually used operationally until 13Oct1970.

When Airland dissolved, Fieldair took ownership of ZK-APK from 20Feb1978.

Ownership was transferred to Fieldair Holdings (Central) Ltd. as from 18Nov1980. The final flight of this DC-3 took place on 3Jul1981 and the aircraft was WFU Milson @ 42764hrs. The registration was cancelled on 30Mar1984.

Stored at Milson until sold to Rangitikei River Aventures mid-1985. To Mangaweka for display as ZK-AOK at their base beside the petrol station.

Repainted as the Cookie Time DC3, and latterly as the Mangaweka Skyliner.

Removed from that location in May 2021, it is currently advertise for sale on TradeMe at a starting bid price of $15,000

Thursday 22 September 2022

Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - the Ron Hintz Helicopter

One of the neat things of doing a series like this on the blog, is that interesting stuff pops up from other people.  A classic case of you don't know what you don't know!

One such example was when Peter Layne sent a photo of a homebuilt helicopter that is currently under refurbishment at Classic Flyers Museum in Mt Maunganui, that was built by Ron Hintz in the Te Puke area back in the late 1970s and early 1980s:

Ron Hintz's daughter is Bernice Hintz and she sent this photo of her father's helicopter.  She recalled that it was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s and that he designed and built the airframe and engine himself.  It was hovered while tethered, but it was never registered by the CAA.  The dates would actually make it our first homebuilt helicopter, predating the first Rotorway types.  Thanks for the photo Bernice.

The helicopter was donated to Classic Flyers Museum where it has been stored until recently, when it reached the top of the refurbishment list and is now being worked on by volunteers at the museum, as shown in the above photo.

If any blog readers know of other unregistered homebuilt helicopters in New Zealand we would love to know!

My week of it.

 Here is a selection of what I have seen this week.

Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-HXC c/n 1268 of PLC Holdings noted at Ashburton refueling on 17-09-2022.

Arriving home at Timaru at the end of the day 18-09-2022 was the Bell 206B JetRanger ZK-HKG c/n 4438 of Southern Wide Helicopters Ltd.

The Super Air hangar under construction at Timaru Airport.

Outside AVTEK at Timaru on the 18th was the Enfield Holding Piper PA-31-350 ZK-VIP c/n 31-7405482.

At Ashburton yesterday (21-09-2022) was the Kapiti Districts Aero Club Cessna 152 ZK-EKM c/n 152-80954. It has been Paraparaumu based since mid-June this year.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - Rotorway Scorpion Too ZK-HSM

A huge thank you to blog follower Alistair McLean who, as promised, has sent in a couple of photos of the Rotorway Scorpion Too ZK-HSM that were taken by his father Keith McLean during test flying by John Funnell at West Melton airfield where it had been assembled by Airmec Aviation in 1983:

ZK-HSM (c/n AACA/620) was registered to Daryl Travis and Grant Jeffreys of Kaiapoi on 22/6/83.  I have posted about its history at:

Thanks very much Alistair for these photos of this elusive helicopter.

Monday 19 September 2022

Calling for Photos of Rotorway Scorpion Too ZK-HSM

As I continue on my series on Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand, and the posts on Rotorway helicopters slide into the past.....

Can Anonymous who left a comment on my post about Scorpion Too ZK-HSM that they had photos of it test flying at West Melton, please get in touch with either blogmaster Dave Paull  or myself ?

We would really like to see those photos!

Sunday 18 September 2022

Sling 4 TSi ZK-SLN at Feilding Today 18-9-2022

The roving duo of Jordan Elvy and Simon Hills were at Feilding aerodrome today for the first public showing of the new Sling TSi ZK-SLN and a celebration BBQ put on by Sling New Zealand.

The test pilot was Leroy Johnson of the Wanganui Aero Club.

The Sling returning from a demonstration flight.  ZK-SLN first flew on 14/9/22.

Sunday morning at Pauanui

A busy morning at Pauanui airfield brought a number of interesting visitors including the Ardmore based Vulcanair P68C ZK-RAT3 which displayed a sticker indicating its recent entry in the Australian Outback Air Race.   The race commenced in Darwin on August 29 and finished in Coffs Harbour on September 11 raising $750,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Up from Tauranga was the Zenith CH200 ZK-CCT3 which was registered to its Tauranga owners back in 2019.

From North Shore came the Rans RV9A ZK-VNS registered to its Auckland owner back in 2018.

And from further afield a couple of the Motueka based Nelson Aviation College fleet called in, being Cessna 172S ZK-NAS2 which was imported from Australia in 2018.

And Cessna 152 ZK-NAL3 which was originally imported from the US in 1995 as ZK-UVW, becoming NAL in 2014.


Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - Elisport CH 7 Angel

After the Rotorway helicopters that were first registered in New Zealand in 1982 (Exec) and 1983 (Scorpion Too), the next type of Light Sport helicopter to be registered here (in January 1996) was the Elisport CH 7 Angel.  This was a very light single seat helicopter that had been developed from the Cicare CH 6 which was designed in Argentina by Augusto Cicare and he entered into a relationship with Elisport Helicopters of Turin in Italy to develop and market the machine.  Cicare's CH 6 had an open cockpit so Elisport commissioned Marcello Gandini to style the CH 7 with Italian flair (He was responsible for the styling of the Lamborgini Countach).  The result was a nicely shaped bubble with an unobstructed flexible clear plastic canopy that opened forwards.  The tail boom was an alloy tube and the main airframe was of welded 4130 steel tube that was gas filled and the gas pressure was monitored to give an indication if a crack appeared in the structure.  The rotor blades are of lightweight composite construction with lead weights in the tips, and the Angel is powered by a 65 HP Rotax 582 two stroke engine.

The rotor diameter of the CH 7 Angel is 6.37 metres and the fuselage length is 5.31 metres.  The empty weight is around 203 KG and the MAUW is 357 Kg.  The cruise speed is around 109 km/hr (59 knots).

We have had only one Elisport CH 7 Angel in New Zealand but it did not have a very happy life.  I am not sure if it was built from a kit or imported fully built.

ZK-HOC2 (c/n 034) was registered to R I W Simpson of Takapuna in 19/1/96.  I do not know if it ever flew as such, but it was damaged in a road accident, presumably while being trailered, and it was cancelled on 11/11/97.

It was then rebuilt and re-registered as ZK-HOU3 and registered to Simon P Clark of Auckland on 9/2/00.  Then it was damaged in a rollover accident when its engine failed while hover taxying at Ardmore on 25/7/03 and it was finally cancelled from the register on 7/12/05.  Its reamins are photo'd above at Tim Pike's workshop at Waimauku on 26/3/22.

To give an idea of what the CH 7 Angel would have looked like I will attach a file photo below:

If anyone has a photo of ZK-HOC2 or ZK-HOU3 please send it in so we can share it.

Saturday 17 September 2022

Canadian Home Rotors Safari ZK-IEW at Kaipara Flats Today

Well dang me!  I am doing a series on Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand on the blog, and one turns up today at Kaipara Flats!

Bruce Stevenson has recently purchased the ex Colin Wade Safari ZK-IEW and he trailered it home from Te Awamutu yesterday.  Today I was out at the airfield when he pushed it out and started the fuel injected engine, which sounded pretty grunty.  However Bruce cannot yet fly his new helicopter until all the official stuff is completed.  A nice machine.

A trio of Gisborne PAC 750XL at Hamilton

Noted at Hamilton Aero Maintenance this week were 3 Gisborne PAC 750XL's being Farmers Air ZK-JBC which was built in 2005 and acquired by the company in 2012.

ZK-XLB which was built in 2008 and acquired by Farmers Air in 2015

And the former Skydive Taupo ZK-SDT3 which has lost its pink and white colours upon acquisition by Andy Stevenson Aviation in May 2022.   This was originally built as ZK-KBK in 2011,  becoming SDT in 2015.


Thursday 15 September 2022

Islander ZK-EVO test flying today.

Cody Forward was at Nelson this afternoon and captured the Britten-Norman BN2A-26 Islander ZKEVO c/n 785 doing some 'test flight stuff'.
It was listed to Golden Bay Air Ltd of Takaka back on 19-07-2021 and since then has been at Nelson receiving some serious attention.

This was one over over 630 Islanders built by IRMA in Romania.
Registered as G-BDRS to Britten-Norman Bembridge Ltd of Isle of Wight on 16-02-1976 it first flew on 28-05-1976.
It was delivered to the South East Asian B-N agents Heli-Orient Ltd at Singapore on 20-008-1976 to be registered as 9V-BJG only to spend much of the next year in storage until it was transferred to he Australian agents Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd at Bankstown, NSW from 21-08-1978. It was cancelled on 04-09-1978 as sold to Polynesian Airlines of Apia, Western Samoa and became became 5W-FAQ.

Next I noted it at Feilding on 25-07-1983.
It became ZK-EVO on 18-11-1983 with Cookson Airspread Ltd of Wairoa.
Aspiring Air at Wanaka picked it up from 03-03-1988 until moving it onto Commercial Helicopters Ltd of Taumarunui from 19-12-2014 who traded as 'Fly My Sky'.
It was sold to Golden Bay Air and arrived in Nelson on 16-08-2021.

For some more info on ZK-EVO check out our sister blog at :-

Couple of Waikato helicopters

In for attention at Rotorcraft at Hamilton Airport today was Taupo based Lakeview Helicopters' Bell UH-1H ZK-ILV.  This was imported from Australia by the company in 2019.

Down the road at the Heli A1 base near Otorohanga was their AS350B3 ZK-IUU displaying the company's new logo.   This was originally imported new in 2004 as ZK-HUU2 for Skywork Helicopters,  becoming IUU in 2014.

The company also has a new AS350B3 being prepared for delivery by Rotorcraft at Hamilton, the all black ZK-ISS3 which was imported from Sweden mid year.


Wednesday 14 September 2022

Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - Rotorway A 600 Talons

The Rotorway A 600 Talon was introduced in the early 2000s.  It is a development of the Rotorway Exec 162F but it incorporates a different structure, the tail rotor is shaft driven and it has taller landing gear legs.  It also has an improved engine, the RI 600S which is turbocharged.

We have had 2 Rotorway Talons registered in New Zealand to date:

ZK-IJJ (c/n 8107) was built by Sam Orchard and was registered to Sam Contacting 2000 Ltd of Seddon on 20/7/19.  It is photo'd above at a flyin at Charlie Draper's strip at Darfield on 7/4/18.

And our second Talon is an Aussie import.  It was built by Kevin C Lunn of Beckenham, Western Australia and it was registered to him as VH-LUN on 22/5/08.  On 23/8/10 ownership transferred to Aero Support Group Pty Ltd of Taringa in Queensland and it was cancelled from the Australian register for export to New Zealand on 11/9/18.

It was registered ZK-IAD on 11/2/20 to David L Ainslie of Arrowtown, and it is photo'd above at Cromwell on 22/3/21.

That ends our coverage of Rotorway helicopters in New Zealand to date.  We have done pretty well with photos of them, but could Anonymous who posted that he had photos of our sole Rotorway Scorpion Too please get in touch with Dave Paull on  or me, Keith Morris on  Thanks - we would like to see those photos!


Tuesday 13 September 2022

Skywork Helicopters AS 350 B3 at Warkworth 13-9-2022

Keeping with the helicopter theme, but this time of the variety that works for a living, Skyworks Helicopters Airbus AS 350 B3 ZK-HEE5 was transporting skip loads of gravel from the A&P Showgrounds to an inaccessible site only about a kilometre from their base:

ZK-HEE5 is obviously the fifth use of the registration, and it was registered to Skyworks helicopter Ltd  on 10/12/14.

But it is not the first ZK-HEE to be owned by Skyworks, as ZK-HEE4 was the unique in New Zealand intermeshing rotors Kaman K 1200 K Max.  It was first registered her on 4/12/08 and after some local use it went to Australia and was cancelled from the New Zealand register on 1/7/13.  It is photo'd below at Illawarra on 5/5/13.

But wait!  There is more!  The third use of the registration, ZK-HEE3 was also owned by Skyworks.  It was an Aerospatiale Squirrel AS350B that was re-registered from ZK-HXK in October 2001 and was cancelled in December 2006.