Tuesday 31 January 2023

Pitts S-1SS ZK-LOL

Richard Hood has been building his Pitts S-1SS in his Ardmore hangar for quite a few years and has recently registered it.  The Pitts S-1SS has symmetrical airfoils and features 4 ailerons from the Super Stinker model that Curtis Pitts developed for competition aerobatics which give an impressive roll rate and good centering forces without the need for aileron spades.

ZK-LOL (c/n 2068) was registered to R B Hood on 3/11/22.  It's first flight was on 19 December 2022 at Ardmore.  Richard has since relocated his Pitts to Whitianga where Gavin Magill took these photos. 

It looks really nice in its swoopy orange and black scheme that is also applied on the wings.

Thanks for the photos Gavin.

Grumman Widgeon ZK-CFA flashback

 From John Poletti I have received this lovely family photograph taken on Stewart Island.

John writes -
Great to see ZK-CFA looking so good in your recent blog post (link below). 
You may be interested in the attached image of CFA, with the Ranger engines, taken on Stewart Island around 1966. In the photo are my parents, younger siblings and the pilot, Johnny Hasset. 
The location I think was Mason Bay.
Cheers, John Poletti

To save me re-gurgitating the history of ZK-CFA :-

Take a look at these links.

And when you get a couple of minutes to spare have a read of the following link which covers all of the NZ Grumman Boats. :-

Note : there are several more interesting links within this post.

There are also several photos of ZK-CFA available with a GOOGLE search.

Photo above from George Phillips taken in the 70's.

ZK-CFA at Te Anau 1963 or 1964 from Tom Smellie.

Final pic at Oriental Bay, Wellington August 1963.

Monday 30 January 2023

Autogyro Commiserations

The New Zealand Autogyro Association flyin was rained out over the weekend by the tropical rainmaker that has battered areas of the North Island.  However here is a look back at a couple of autogyros at Tauranga in sunnier days:

ZK-RBP was a Wind Rider Gyro that was registered in December 1991 and was cancelled as withdrawn from use in September 1999.

And this Australian Skyhook autogyro was also on the field.  It never appeared on the New Zealand civil register.  

The photos were taken at the 1992 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  Can anyone add any information in these two interesting rotorcraft?

Sunday 29 January 2023

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Dynali H3 EasyFlyer

Continuing on with our series on homebuilt and sport helicopters of New Zealand, we come to the latest type to be registered here to date, the Dynali H3 EasyFlyer, one of which was registered here in May 2018.

The Dynali EasyFlyer (now known as the Sport) is built in Belgium and is available as a kitset or as a fully built up helicopter.  It has a two seat side by side layout with a bubble canopy that tilts forward for access and its main structure is of welded stainless steel tube.  It can be powered by Rotax 912 or 914 engines with the 914 providing a higher MAUW.  Its specifications are:  rotor diameter 7.14 metres (23 feet 5 inches), empty weight around 285 Kg (628 pounds) and with the Rotax 914 the MAUW in New Zealand is 598 Kg (1,318 pounds).  The cruise speed is around 70 knots.

We have so far had only one Dynali EasyFlyer registered here:

ZK-HHQ3 (c/n H3-61-1740) was registered to Karaka Helicopters Ltd of Papakura on 28/5/18.  It is photo'd above at Ardmore on 17/7/18 and it can be seen from the head colour that it is fitted with a Rotax 914.

Thanks for the photo Wayne.

Saturday 28 January 2023

Christchurch this day 28-01-2023

 A very busy day at Christchurch International today with some military visitors and a heap of diversions from Auckland International.
Tucked in behind the big boys was the Southern Districts Health Beech B200 Super King Air ZK-SDH2 c/n BB-1643 from Dunedin as operated by Skyline Aviation.

Heading out for take-off for Auckland was the Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKP c/n 39041. 

Parked outside the ANZES hangar was the Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKO c/n 8407 and the Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZF c/n 34335. 
To the right are the remnants of the ATR ZK-MCB c/n 598 which carried out its last revenue flight on 22-01-2020.

Two from South Pacific Helicopters dropped in briefly to drop off passengers before returning to Kaikoura.
Above is their Eurocopter EC 130 B4 ZK-HBE4 c/n 3541 -
And below is the Aerospatiale AS 350 BA ZK-IOP c/n 1299 now with South Pacific Helicopters titles.

Also on hand a couple of Boeing KC-135R's from the US Air Force.
Above we have 63-8879 c/n 18727 from 6 ARW. 
In the background is the China Airlines Airbus A350-941 B-18910 c/n 151.
Below we have 57-1483 c/n 17554.
Alas I am not in a position to tell you what these two are up to !

Some more helicopters

Noted at Whanganui yesterday was Midwest Helicopters' Hughes 269C ZK-HFD4 now carrying the titling of their NZ Helicopter Training Academy.   This was imported from Belgium in late 2021.

And at the Rotor Work Marton base their 3 R44 sprayers were in residence being ZK-HBP3, ZK-HFV5 and ZK-HRR4.    Seen below, HRR,  was imported new in 2003 and acquired by the company in 2019.


CMM hits Gore on the 27th

 CMM dropped into Gore on the 27th and scored the following :-
The Fletcher FU24-950 c/n 157 was a kit set with Aerosmith modifications and was completed as a utility model with the large side door by Pays Air Service (Pty) Ltd of Scone, NSW and registered as VH-EDP on 09-09-1971. It was converted to ag duties in 1972.
In December of 2011 it was freighted to Hamilton and converted to Walter power and then went to Masterton for conversion to a parachute dropper.
It was registered as ZK-NZS2 on 19-02-2004 to Skydive Tandem Ltd of Christchurch and initially operated out of Wigram. Remaining with the Skydive group its registration was changed to ZK-PDZ3 on 02-12-2011 and then to ZK-LAC2 on 07-11-2017.
Following a period of inactivity it was trucked from Wanaka to Twizel to Skywagonz Ltd for some TLC.

The Pacific Aerospace 750XL ZK-PNX3 c/n 131 began life as ZK-JNH2 in May of 2007 and was ferried to South Africa to become ZS-AIL toward the end of June 2007, followed by a stint in Botswana as A2-POM from 2012.
It popped up back in NZ as ZK-ASA2 on 16-08-2017 with Kiwi Air Ltd at Gisborne until transferred to Phoenix Aviation Ltd at Gore from 25-06-2018 - with a change of registration to ZK-PNX3 on 24-08-2018.
From 03-06-2021 it has been listed with Super Air Ltd but as can be seen it still proudly wears Phoenix titles.

The NZAI FU24 Cresco 08-0600 ZK-LTQ c/n 002 first flew on 09-06-1980 with a Lycoming LTP 101 engine.  During a major rework in 1996 by PAC it was re-engined with a P&W PT-6A engine and had dual main wheels fitted.
After a period in Malaysia from 1999 as 9M-LTQ it went onto the Australian register as VH-LTQ for about two months in mid-2005.
It was back with Super Air Ltd as ZK-LTQ from 20-07-2005.

Another interesting shot shows the Pacific Aerospace Cresco 08-600 ZK-PWT c/n 010 Farmers Air Ltd of Gisborne.
This was originally ZK-TMN with the Taumarunui Aerial Co-Operative Society from 06-11-1992 with a change to Kairanga Aviation Ltd/Griffin Ag Air from 27-08-1998 with a change of registration to ZK-PWT (Pratt & Whitney Turbine) from 01-07-1999.
Aerospread Ltd of Napier took it on from 02-02-2018 and then Farmers Air Ltd from 31-03-2022.

Trevor Dickson's Cessna 172N ZK-SLT c/n 67656 is a 1977 model that served time in Australia as VH-IXK until ferrying to NZ in formation with VH-IGF (later ZK-MRR) in mid-March of 1995.

Balclutha on 26-01-2023

CMM hit Balclutha airfield on Thursday the 26th and found these two Otago Airspread Ltd's agricultural aircraft on site.
Fletcher FU24-950M ZK-CZA c/n 151 started as a FU24 MkII in October 1969 being upgraded to FU24-950M status in 1976. It joined Otago Airspread Ltd in April of 2018.

This Pacific Aerospace Cresco 08-600 c/n 038 was test flown as ZK-JOQ in mid-2003 and ferried to Australia to become VH-WKD2 (WiKeD) from 29-07-2003 and used in the parachute dropping role.
It was ferried back to Napier in November 2018 for conversion to the agricultural role and became ZK-OAN with Des Neill of Mosgiel from 21-11-2018 and was transferred to the Otago Airspread name that December.

A special thank you to James and Morgan for the friendly welcome and chat.

Friday 27 January 2023

A couple from Nelson

 Bill Mannix snapped these two out of towners at Nelson this morning (27-01-2023).

The Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk ZK-JTC c/n 38-79A0909 was initially N2547N with Sid Hall Enterprises Inc of Albany, Georgia in the USA from about May of 1979.
It came onto the NZ register as ZK-JTC on 06-06-2008 with the Manawatu Districts Aero Club at Palmerston North. 
After three more owner/operators it joined Air Hawkes Bay Ltd/HB & EC Aero Club at Hastings from 07-05-2014.
It flew into Nelson from Paraparaumu yesterday.

Aeroprakt A22-LS ZK-LFP c/n 237 was a demonstrator from new with Light Flight Green of Tuakau from July of 2015.
It was transferred to Cardcreek Helicopters Ltd of Greymouth from 27-02-2021.

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Cicare SVH-4 Trainer

The Cicare SVH-4 tethered helicopter trainer was developed from the Cicare 7 two seat tandem helicopter and both are powered by a Rotax 912 engine.  (I think there might be a Cicare 7 helicopter in New Zealand, in Hawkes Bay but it has not been registered).

The concept of the Cicare SVH-4 is of a helicopter that can move on a concrete pad with eight free castoring wheels that allow unrestricted horizontal movement while pneumatic pressure allows the helicopter to rise up to 3 metres on two columns like a pontoon rises with the tide.  This allows student pilots to practice hovering in safety and in theory allows some hours to be credited towards a helicopter license at a cheaper hourly rate.  This is why Tim Pike's Cicare SVH-4 is registered on the New Zealand civil register although it can never fly freely.

However that nice theory has run into bureaucratic problems and Tim has had his helicopter trainer on sale on Trade Me for some time, and it still is.

ZK-HZV(c/n 018) was registered to TC Pike of Waimauku on 20/12/16 and is still current.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Helicopters in New Plymouth

A visit to the PHI International NZ base at New Plymouth Airport found the latest AW139 addition to their fleet, ZK-HNR4, returning from offshore.  This was imported from PHI Australia in September 2022 to replace AW139 ZK-HNZ5 which is currently undergoing major maintenance.  Once HNZ is completed then HNR will leave NZ for another PHI location.

HNR is named Manu Kaka  (Kaka Bird).

On the other side of the airport the Precision Helicopters' operation has been acquired by Skywork Helicopters and included in the acquisition was Precision's AS350B2 ZK-ILN which was then reregistered as ZK-HHH4.      This was originally imported from the US in 2018.

The main Precision Helicopter base is now Hokitika,  with the North Is sub bases at Piopio and Maxwell being retained.


A Scout Troop is Forming at Wanganui

Jonathan Mauchline of the Wanganui Aero Club re-registered his restored Skycraft Scout Mk III ZK-RWW back on 9/5/22.  He made a lovely job of it and has now flown it successfully - I really like the motorbike fuel tank.  Jonathan was obviously impressed with his Scout, so much so that he restored another one and registered it ZK-SLF (c/n PMC 2023) on 19/1/23.  This one was from the Taradale area and after a few brief flights in the early 1990s (without being registered) it was stored in a garage until rescued by Jonathan and Zac Yates.  Zac advises that is actually a Scout Mk 1 that has been converted into a Mk III.

ZK-RWW and ZK-SLF on display in the Aero Club hangar during the Wanganui Aero Club Open Day on 22/1/23.

But the Scout troop hasn't stopped at two, because in early January Jonathan and Zac uplifted another Scout, this time a Mk IV from Ron Day at Waipukurau.  This one was also never registered.  It is photo'd at Wanganui on 6/1/23.

Thanks to Zac Yates for the photos and information.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Around the Bay of Plenty

Parked up today at a very wet Tauranga Airport was the Beck Helicopters' Bell 206B ZK-HKR3 which has been busy in the last month on PowerCo line surveys.   This was imported by the company back in 2016 from Thailand.

The latest addition to Taupo based Lakeview Helicopters' fleet is the AS350B2 ZK-IEA2.   This was imported from the US at the beginning of 2022.

And dropping off some passengers from Rotorua at the Lake Taupo floatplane dock was Volcanic Air Safaris' Cessna U206G ZK-FEO.      This was imported back in 1983.


More from the Wanganui Aero Club Open Day on 22-1-2023

 Zac Yates has sent a few more photos of the Wanganui Aero Club Open Day:

The Biggin Hill Trust's Spitfire Mk IX ZK-SPI was flown over from Ohakea by Sean Perrett and was on static display.

Darren Luff flew an aerobatic display in his Pitts S1 ZK-PEG, as did his father John Luff in his Venom.

Thanks for the photos Zac

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Chipmunk 48 to the Wanganui Aero Club Open Day 22-1-2023

Ron Day and Ross McDonald flew down from Waipukurau on Sunday in Ron's Chipmunk 48 (ZK-ARL) to attend the Wanganui Aero Club's Open Day (which was part of Wanganui's Vintage Weekend).  Ron has sent some photos and commentary as follows:

Ron said it was an early start for him, to get the Chipmunk out of its hangar, fire her up then taxy to the fuel pump fuel up.

Ron managed this shot of Wanganui and the river en route to the airport.

Zac Yates took this shot just after she had taxied in, with Ron in the rear seat.  The aero club wanted to highlight a de Havilland presence so Chipmunk 48 was parked with Fox Moth ZK-APT and Tiger Moth ZK-BEF (and John Luff's Venom was also on display).  Ron said he fielded many questions about his Chippie and lots of photos were taken of it.

There was another British training aircraft on the field, being the locally owned Scottish Aviation Bulldog ZK-WUF marked as XX657.  The Bulldog replaced the Chipmunk as the RAF's primary trainer.

And there were other displays including vehicles from the Wanganui Branch of the New Zealand Military Vehicle Club.

New Evolution ZK-VLT

 Recently arrived and assembled at Rangiora is the latest Evolution ZK-VLT.

JMB Aircraft VL-3TE-915UL Evolution (marked "915is" on the cowling) ZK-VLT c/n 466 joined our aircraft register on 10-01-2023 for John Crone of Matakana and is awaiting CAA inspection.

The two gentlemen in the cockpit are creating Kiwi check lists from the Czech check lists,

Monday 23 January 2023

Back Home at Kaipara Flats on 21-1-2023

As I arrived back at NZKF from the GMC BBQ I noticed that there were a couple of venerable Cessnas parked out, one of which wasn't there when I had left in the morning:

Cessna 172C ZK-CCF has a new colour scheme but it was covered up with a very professional looking cover.  I don't know how much it gets around but it is owned since 3/11/20 by WJ Gaddum at the very remote area of Matawai which is between Whakatane and Gisborne.  You can see the history of ZK-CCF dating from August 1962 HERE

And the other stranger was the ex Mountain Air Cessna 206 ZK-DOV which has been around since August 1973.  It has been owned by the DOV Partnership at Taupo since 31/3/21.

A Few More Visitors at the GMC/NAC Flyin BBQ

I have managed to download my photos from Saturday so here are a few of the visiting aircraft at GMC headquarters at Gordonton:

It was the first time I had seen the Aviat Husky A-1C-180 ZK-TWA2

And it was the first off after lunch, back to Whakatane.

Jabiru UL-T ZK-CJP was taken over by Peter Karl of  Hamilton on 9/4/22.  I think this is our only Jabiru taildragger.

Kevin Mattson hopped over from his base at Ngaruawahia, in his Rainbow Skyreach Bushcat ZK-ZKM, about 5 minutes flight time away.

NAC member Gary Briggs flew down from Ardmore in his Sonex ZK-SXR.

And Wess Ruijne flew down from Pukekawa in his Aeroandina MXP-150 ZK-RTZ

Stu Reid flew up from Ngahinepouri in his Bristell NG 5 ZK-SAM4.  That is him and Martin Henton manning the BBQ in the background.