Tuesday, 21 March 2023

My week of it

 I spent all of the last two weeks pottering around East Otago and inland to Alexandra.
Below we have a selection of some of the aircraft I came across.
The Piper PA-28-180 Cheroke C ZK-CUC c/n 28-4257 'Chuc Wunda' is of 1967 vintage and joined the C.U.C Syndicate of Auckland on 12-05-1995.
It is currently based at Alexandra.

An unexpected catch at Alexandra was the Aerospatiale AS 350BB ZK-HOM3 c/n 2951 

Below is what the NZ Aviation News Magazine said about it back in September 2018.
In July of 2017 Brian Comerford sourced two Eurocopter AS 350 Squirrels from the Defence Helicopter Flying School in the UK – These became ZK-IFI and ZK-IDR.
 During September 201 8another one came onto our register as ZK-HOM3 with The Alpine Group of Wanaka. ZK-HOM3 differs in that it was specifically built as an AS 350 BB model, with a derated Arriel 1D1 engine to improve its life cycle, for the UK Ministry of Defence and was not a ten year old ex civilian machine taken on charge. 
It was actually first registered to Eurocopter France of Marignane on 20-12-1996 as G-BXAG to facilitate its move via FBS Ltd, Bristow Helicopters Utility to officially become a UK military model HT-1 and military serial of ZJ255 in April of 1997 with the MoD DHFS and given the fleet number ‘55’. These HT.1’s have been replaced in service with the Eurocopter/Airbus EC135/H135 ‘Juno’s. 
Its UK registration was cancelled on 25-04-2018 and it appeared on the US register briefly as N66SB.

It was registered as ZK-HOM3 to The Alpine Group at Wanaka on 03-09-2018 and then to Nigel Hinton on 22-09-2021.

I still have the infinite capacity of catching the rear end of departing helicopters.
Above we see the Helicopters Otago Eurocopter  MBB-BK 117 C-2 ZK-IWD c/n 9156 departing Taieri.
A 2008 model which was imported for Helicopters Otago in Mid 2017.

Also at Taieri was the Enfield Holdings/Mainland Air Cessna 152 ZK-NSZ2 c/n 15281730 doing circuits. This is Momona based.
Previously N67294 from March 1978 - it became ZK-NSZ on 16-06-2009.

At Balclutha the ex Chris Pask Just SuperSTOL ZK-PSK c/n JA342-01-14 was parked in a dark corner.
First registered on 03-3-2015 it was very recently acquired by Steve Bamford of Balclutha.

The Zlin Savage ZK-OHA c/n 0129 was first listed to Lars Fellman of Helensville on 11-03-2009 and was transferred from his estate to Trevor Alexander of Winton and later of Riverton. 
The current Alexandra owners David King and Pauline Hogue took it over from 03-10-2022.

Eagle 150B ZK-XAB

Noted at North Shore airfield today was our sole remaining example of the Australian built Eagle 150B ZK-XAB.    This was imported back in 2002 and has spent all its NZ life to date with its Waiau owner, although it would now appear to have migrated to Auckland.


Monday, 20 March 2023

Vans RV 3 ZK-XRD at Turangi 19-3-2023

Simon Hills, Jordan Elvy and Mark Pattenden were all at the Bill Bennett Memorial Flyin hosted by the Turangi Aero Club on Sunday 19 March.  Around 20 aircraft flew in for the BBQ and there was an interesting occupant of the hangar:

Vans RV 3 ZK-XRD was registered to A R Turner of Auckland on 27/4/21 but I think it has spent most of its life at Turangi.  It has been repainted in stages but it now seems complete with stars and the inscription Achtung Baby - Even Better Than The Real Thing on the cowling.

I have seen it in the hangar at Turangi when I have passed through, and it has been in this all metal finish with the registration vertically on the tail.  (There are lots of nail holes in the corrugated iron of the hangar that you can see through).  I do not have a record of who took this photo but it is at Turangi.

And this is how it looked when it first arrived in New Zealand, taken by Mike Condon at Ardmore on 17/7/11.  It was built as N33RV by John Harmon of Harmon Rocket fame and was built with many mods (although Dick Van Grunsven discourages his designs from being modified).  It was cancelled from the US register on 20/10/09 and registered in New Zealand to North South Outdoors Ltd of Turangi on 21/10/09.  It was sold to the Alan Turner Family Trust of Auckland on 1/9/10.  


At the Methven A & P Show

 Our roving reporter CMM was at the Methven A & P Show during the weekend and captured these two Heli Rural helicopters.
Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-IOK is c/n 10638 and joined Heli Rural in mid-September of 2021.

      The Hughes 369D ZK-IPW is c/n 1100853D and was previously operated in Canada as C-GLHS.                                                                 It joined Heli Rural mid last year.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

TL Ultralight TL-2000 Sting ZK-PLR

An interesting visitor to Pauanui airfield this morning was the TL-2000 Sting ZK-PLR which was the first of its type imported into NZ back in 2003.   Having kept a relatively low profile since then it was acquired by a Pukekohe owner in August 2022.


Saturday, 18 March 2023

A Maungaturoto Flight Today 18-3-2023

I went out to the airfield this morning for a coffee and to talk flying and found that we must have had a lot of rain overnight because the stream was pretty high and very muddy.  The water was flowing back up the drains onto the field but the runway was useable.

Various aircraft preparing to aviate while Craig and Rob prepare to deal with some willows from the stream.

Bruce Lynch's Tiger Moth ZK-ASM flew off to North Shore where they had a gathering.

Then Neil Wright said he was going to fly up to Maungaturoto in his Fantasy Air Allegro 2000 ZK-DCU to have a look at a property he was interested in that had an old topdressing strip on it.  He asked if anyone wanted to come and I thought it would be rude not to!  So a quick rearrangement by pulling Honey Bebe out of the hangar and driving my car in to the shade for the dog, with a bowl of water.

Then we were off!  Jim was preparing to fly the Aviat Husky up to Dargaville for lunch.

For the second week in a row I was amazed to see how convoluted the route of the Whangarei to Auckland railway was in this area.  That is a bridge across an arm of the Kaipara Harbour down there, about 2 miles South of Maungaturoto.

The Allegro flies very well and you can see its glider like wingspan in this photo.  It is pretty slippery and Neil told me it uses 10 litres per hour in the cruise with its 100 HP Rotax.  That's pretty impressive.

Then we popped over to the Brynderwins to see the slips that have caused so much havoc to SH 1 traffic over the last few weeks.  This is the major slip that has reduced the road to one way North (you can click to enlarge once or twice).

Looking down on what was the old tearooms at the top of the Brynderwins.  You can see the road at the bottom of the hill at the top left with the Atlas Quarry off to the left.  It is amazing how far up the quarry goes and you might well wonder if the quarry could be the basis of a complete bypass of the current winding road up the hill.


Friday, 17 March 2023

Thatcher CX 5 ZK-CXV/2

Back in August 2021 a new type of sport aircraft was registered in New Zealand, being the Thatcher CX 5.  We have had three examples of the Thatcher CX 4 registered here, and the CX 5 is a two seat tandem development of the single seat CX 4 (and in the US there is now a 2 seat side by side CX 7).  All of these aircraft were designed by Dave Thatcher of Pensacola in Florida and they are scratch built from plans which results in low costs.  In fact the promotional material claims a CX 5 can be built for under US$30,000 including the engine, instruments and paint.  Dave Thatcher is a retired A & P Engineer in America and he designed the CX 4 in his early 70s for his own use.  However there was an instant demand for the plane after he flew it to Oshkosh in 2004 and he developed his design into plans that he then sold.  The CX 4 was a very successful design and as often happens with things American Dave was receiving requests for a larger version with two seats.  This resulted in design of the CX 5 commencing in 2010 and the prototype first flew in December 2013.

The CX 5 is an all aluminium design that is built only from plans, and the various fairings are fibreglass.  It is 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 metres) long and its wingspan is 28 feet (8.5 metres).  The wing has a slight outboard dihedral and is tapered (a bit like a Jodel but with less dihedral).  Empty weight is quoted as 721 pounds (327 Kg) and the MAUW is 1,320 pounds (598 Kg).  The aircraft was designed as a tri-gear for the American market but can be built as a taildragger.  The prototype was fitted with a Revmaster 2300 engine of 85HP which gives a cruise speed of around 120 mph (104 knots) while the stall speed is quoted as 42 mph (37 knots).

Our first Thatcher CX 5 is Kevin Reed's ZK-CXV2 (c/n 80) that is also the first taildragger CX 5 to fly in the world.  It was registered to Kevin at Nelson on 21/8/21and it first flew on 15/9/22.  It is powered by a 120 HP Jabiru 3300 engine which gives a lively performance including a climb rate of 1,500 feet per minute with one up and a cruise speed of 120 knots.

Thanks very much to Kevin and his wife Shelley for the above photos.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Couple more from the South Is

Noted at Timaru Airport today was the latest addition to the Southern Wide Helicopters fleet, Bell 206B sprayer ZK-HKG3.  This was imported from Japan in 2022.

Down the road at Oamaru was Tecnam P2008JC ZK-TCT which was added to the NZ Airline Academy fleet in 2022.


Wednesday, 15 March 2023

A few more South Is helicopters

Noted at Queenstown the Heliworks/Heli Glenorchy AS350B3 ZK-ITM exotic colour scheme has been modified with the orange boom and tail now yellow.  This was imported from Chile in 2013.

Over at Wanaka the Fox Franz Heliservices AS350BA ZK-HIY6 was receiving attention.   This was originally imported from the US in 2010 as ZK-HGF5,  becoming ZK-HQN2 in the same year and then HIY in 2014.   It has been with Fox Franz since 2017.

And privately owned in Wanaka is the EC120B ZK-HAM3 which was imported from Australia in 2017 and initially operated by Alpine Helicopters.


Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Te Anau March 14

A visit to Te Anau-Manapouri Airport found Murry Hagen's recently imported EDRA Super Petrel LS ZK-ESS2 amphibian.  Murray has also imported a SeaRey ZK-SSE which has yet to fly.

Nearby was HeliOps Southland R44 II ZK-HLL3 which was imported new in 2012 but hasnt been blogged here before.

Down at the Lake Te Anau lakeshore helipad the Southern Lakes Helicopters' EC120B ZK-IWC was busy with tourist flights.   This was imported new in 2009.


ZK-IGS enters service with GCH Aviation.

 Kawasaki BK117 B2 ZK-IGS2 c/n 1091 entered service as AIR2 with GCH Aviation from Christchurch on Friday the 11th.

Photograph below from Matt Hayes.

Below we have an extract from a post done back on 3-05-2019 on ZK-IGS2.A recent addition to the GCH Aviation Ltd's fleet is this Kawasaki BK117 B-2 ZK-IGS2 (c/n 1091).
This had been JA6781 since 22-03-1996 with the Aichi Prefecture Police until being withdrawn from use on 12-07-2017.
It came onto our register on 18-10-2018 with Skyline Aviation Ltd of Napier and was listed to GCH Aviation Ltd of Christchurch on 22-03-2019.

Monday, 13 March 2023

Two Squirrels and a Cub

Continuing our South Is travels noted at the Franz Josef heliport was the latest Squirrel addition to The Helicopter Line fleet being AS350BA ZK-HCG3.   This was originally imported from the US in 2010 as ZK-HFH4,  becoming HCG in 2014 and was acquired by The Helicopter Line in February 2023.

Over at Queenstown Airport was Over the Top's AS350BA ZK-IGO2.  This was originally imported from Japan in 2002 as ZK-ICU but reregistered to IGO in December 2021 to allow Helicopters Otago to use ZK-ICU on their latest EC145 medevac helicopter.

Based at Queenstown is the Cub Crafters CCX2000 ZK-SFX which was imported from the US in August 2022 for Mountain Aire


Sunday, 12 March 2023

Otago Aero Club's Tecnam ZK-OAC at Taieri today

Tecnam P2008 Light Sport ZK-LMC was delivered new to the Otago Aero Club (Inc) at Taieri in late November of 2022 following assembly at Tauranga earlier in the month.
It was re-registered as ZK-OAC4 to The Club on 06-03-2023.
Captured today at Taieri.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Also a Good Day in the North

Today the Northern Aviators Club held their one-month-delayed BBQ flyin at Leo Johns' airstrip at Mata.  Mata is about the same distance from North Cape as Wanaka is from Bluff.  I was going to drive up through the the heavily damaged road over the Brynderwins and have to detour back through Paparoa but while walking the dog about 10 minutes before I was going to leave, I got a call from Paul Hopper and suddenly I was going to be flying there.  So out to Kaipara Flats with the BBQ supplies to await Paul's arrival: 

My ride to Mata arrives at NZKF - Paul's C 177B Cardinal ZK-DNX.

No struts to impede the view out towards Whangarei Heads with the sun reflecting off the water.

Leo had done a great job of mowing and the strip looked real good.

Pat Seuren flew his RV 12 ZK-EAA2 up from Waihi Beach and it looked great with the green dairying backdrop.  It is much greener in the North (but with slips), than at Wanaka.

Andrew Rossack lifts off in his tri-gear Maule MXT-7-180A ZK-RLT while Simon Lowther starts up his Cessna  120 ZK-BFK2 and the West Auckland Airport's Dyn Aero MCR 01 ZK-WIK waits.

The wind got up a bit and it had a cross wind component but Simon showed good airmanship to handle it.

That's a very un-Cessna profile.  Simon told me that his1947 built 120 is the oldest Cessna in New Zealand.

Somewhere out near Tauhoa on SH 16 was what appeared to be a tent city (click to enlarge)  - does anyone know what it is?

En route to NZKF just North of Kaipara Flats Village we flew over the Whangarei to Auckland rail line - you can see two bridges and a sharp curve before it heads into a tunnel (click twice to enlarge).

Back at NZKF after a couple of time shortening flights, Paul flew off back to North Shore.

Thanks very much for the flights Paul.