Tuesday 28 February 2023

Around Auckland 28 Feb

Noted today at North Shore airfield was the EC130T2 ZK-HEA6 which arrived new back in 2020 but hasnt been blogged here before.    Registered to Advanced Flight it is based in a hangar at North Shore.

Down at Mechanics Bay the Heli Me R44 II ZK-IAN3 is currently carrying "Survey" titling.   This was imported from Australia back in 2012.

And departing from Ardmore was Kiwi Air's PAC 750XL ZK-XLE.


Hughes 500 fly in Hanmer 18-02-2023

The MD 500N NOTAR ZK-IET2 c/n LN019 came onto the NZ register on 26-11-2018 following nearly eight years as ZK-HEN3. It was built as N52110 in 1992 and moved up to Canada to become C-FMYX. It arrived in NZ in early 2011. 
 Another of the several NOTAR's on site was ZK-IKE c/n LN067. This was initially N52296 from early 1995 and was sold into Brazil as PT-YAD in 1995 and then to Italy as I-BLAK in late 2005. In April of 2019 it became G-CLEJ but appears to have remained in Italy until becoming N150WF in December 2019 and was UK based.
A was listed to Michael Redgrave of Te Atatu on 20-07-2022.

The Hughes 369E ZK-INM c/n 0528E is currently with The Caterpillar Trust of Kaiapoi having began its life as N5231Y in early 1996. It then became JA6183, N710M and then ZK-HZH2 in December of   2001 until being cancelled in May of 2003. It was then noted as HC-CEK before returning to the NZ             register as ZK-HOT2 in August of 2006. It was re-registered as ZK-INM on 22-11-2007.

          Hughes 369HS ZK-IOZ is of 1974 vintage, being built as N9189F. It moved on to Canada as 
        C-GHQP in 1975 and back to the States as N4676N in 1984. In 1987 it became N2020L before                                        reverting to N4676N in 1991, and then on to N813L in 2003.
It became ZK-IOZ on 28-08-2020 with Stephen Robertson of Oamaru and carries 'L J Hooker Rural' titles.

                       Heli Hire Ltd of Rotorua operate this Hughes 369FF ZK-IWR2 c/n 0213FF.
          Built as N4350K in late 2013 it went to Colombia as HK5175 in 2016. It joined the NZ civil                                                                          aircraft register on 19-05-2021. 

Monday 27 February 2023

Hughes 500 fly in Hanmer 18-02-2023

 Hughes 369E ZK-HNE5 c/n 0085E is currently listed with Te Anau Helicopter Services Ltd of Te Anau. 
A 1984 build as N70309 quickly becoming N121JM with a return to N70309 in 1988. In 1998 it moved to Ecuador to become HC-BYM and I believe was flown by John Oakes on the Galapagos Islands before coming to NZ as ZK-HNE from 21-11-2016.

ZK-HQW2 c/n 180253D is an early 1978 D model and wore the Canadian C-GTNK registration until becoming N4282X in mid-1991. 
It became ZK-HQW on 29-11-1996 with D P Nyhon Holding Ltd of Wanaka being the current operator.

The MDHI 369E ZK-HTN3 c/n 0551E was built as N70286 about mid-2000 and took up the N1726B registration later that year.
It became ZK-HTN on 05-03-2014 and is currently listed with D J and N A Shanks Ltd of Te Anau.

ZK-HTT2 c/n 0498E is a 369E from early 1992 which went to Denmark as OY-HEI and then to SE-JBA in Sweden and then to Norway as LN-OMW2 by mid-1993. It then appeared briefly on the US register as N945M in 2001 before becoming ZK-HTT on 12-10-2001. It is listed to a private owner and carries small Central Heliwork titles.

The Hughes 369D ZK-HUX c/n 1190607D spent its first five years as N9149F in the States before becoming ZK-HUX on 16-05-1985.
Current owner is listed as P K Brown and it carries Enfield Enterprises Ltd titles.

Hughes 500 Fly In Hanmer 18-02-2023

The Great Hughes 500 Fly In was held at Hanmer over the weekend of 18 and 19-02-2023.
Below is a selection as taken on the 18th. 
The Kawasaki Heavy Industries built Hughes 369D ZK-HCM7 c/n 6708 appeared as JA9279 back on 13-04-1981 and was registered in NZ on 17-02-2004.
Current operator is High Country Helicopters of Waikaia, Southland.

ZK-HDZ2 c/n 510959D started in the USA as N1101U in October of 1981 followed by time as ZK-HVZ from 07-10 1985 through until being exported to PNG as P2-IHB in mid-1986. 
It returned to New Zealand to become ZK-HDZ2 from 31-07-1990. 
Current operator is Fox Franz Heliservices Ltd.

This is Hughes 369D ZK-HJO2 c/n 1070204D of Fiordland Helicopters Ltd of Te Anau. 
Initially N8699F from late 1977 becoming VH-AJZ in early 1988. 
It joined the NZ register on 16-02-1996.

Hughes 369D c/n 390480D is a product of 1979 and served as HB-XIR in Switzerland followed by time in Italy as I-DEBO, then to the UK register as G-CIBK (spending time in Italy and Sweeden), then to SE-JPM in Sweden from late 2013. Following a brief listing in the USA as N41VS it became ZK-HMT3 on 06-04-2017.
 It is currently listed with Blackbat Ltd of Auckland.

Sunday 26 February 2023

North Shore on 25-2-2023

Another avgas run to North Shore yesterday and another Island Air Islander:

Another of the ex Fly My Sky Islanders that has been purchased by Auckland Seaplanes Ltd is ZK-SFK and it is operated by Island Aviation, like its sister ship ZK-PIZ (see  HERE ).

Saturday 25 February 2023

A Few More from NZAA on 23-2-2023

It seems like the business jet community is well back in action as there were 6 or so of them parked up near Air Centre One down by the Fieldair Engineering hangars.  Here are a couple of them:

A couple of Gulfstreams:  A7-CGB of Qatar Executive is a G 650 and the all black N907RG is a G 550 from Cirrus Aviation Services out of Las Vegas.

And a couple of locals:  Air Chathams SA227CC Metroliner ZK-POF is painted in their colours.

While further down outside Swissport Executive Aviation was the Westpac Air Ambulance Mitsubishi MU-2B ZK-PSR.

Friday 24 February 2023

Barrier Air C 208B ZK-SDG/2 at NZAA Yesterday 23-2-2023

On my travels towards Ardmore yesterday I called in to Auckland International for a look and I was pleased to see the latest Barrier Air Grand Caravan ZK-SDG2 parked up awaiting its next flight.  It has not appeared on the blog before.

ZK-SDG2 (c/n 208B2041) was registered to Great Barrier Airlines Ltd on 14/10/22.  It is the fifth Grand Caravan  in their fleet and is ex F-HFTR.  It has been painted in the Barrier Air colours of teal and black but it was repainted over the previous scheme so it is different from the other aircraft in the fleet (compare it to the tail of their fourth Grand Caravan ZK-SDE in behind), however all their aircraft carry the same Barrier Air logo.

Thursday 23 February 2023

Another de Havilland Twin from Avspecs! - DH89B ZK-AKU

I don't often get down to Ardmore but every time I do it seems as if something special happens.  That was true again this afternoon as when I was driving down Hamlin Road towards the airfield and a Dragon Rapide took off and climbed out past me!  The Dragon Rapide was followed by the yellow Harvard 78 so I guessed that that was the camera plane for an air to air photo shoot.  I figured that they would be back and sure enough about half an hour later they were back overhead which gave me time to drive down to Avspecs for them to taxy in.

Taxying in was filled with high anticipation as I had not seen the aircraft completed and painted before.  And it didn't disappoint.

Then it was revealed that it was NX663HG but was flying under its taped on New Zealand registration ZK-AKU and it was marked up as New Zealand Airways (fictional I assume).

The pilot was Ryan Southam who is experienced in flying the DH89.

Then many hands pushed it back to the Avspecs hangar.  I understand it will be disassembled for export to the US quite soon.

However one special guest remained on board to celebrate the best of British!

Hanmer Hughes helicopter fly in from John Cosgrove.

 Hanmer hums with helicopters

The biggest gathering of Hughes/MD500 helicopters ever seen in New Zealand landed in a paddock near Hanmer Springs at the weekend.

The Great Kiwi 500 Fly In came about because the owner of  Alpine Springs Helicopters woke one morning with a burning question on his mind.

Bill Hales says he'd been talking with a mate who flies fixed wing aircraft and he had told him about all the fun they had on fly-ins.

‘‘I was laying in bed one morning about 2am and thought I wonder how many MD500s we could get in a paddock? And it snowballed from that."

Mr Hales asked around and talked to a few guys about if it could work, and they said it could. 

So he asked others to help and they soon put the call out.

Sixty-three Hughes/MD500 helicopters turned up from all over New Zealand for the Great Kiwi 500...
Sixty-three Hughes/MD500 helicopters turned up from all over New Zealand for the Great Kiwi 500 Fly at Hanmer Springs. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Over the weekend, 63 machines made the journey to Mr Hales' property, near Hanmer, flying in from all over the country.

Some couldn't come as they were being used to help North Island regions hit hard by the devastating Cyclone Gabrielle last week. 

‘‘We had a few who couldn't come because they were working hard helping others up north, and one of the oldest ones broke down on the way here, but it was great to see them all.

‘‘They are an iconic machine for New Zealand, and part of our aviation history.’’

The Hughes/MD500 has been in operation in New Zealand since the 1970s, working predominantly in the helicopter venison recovery industry, he said. 

The fly-in is a networking event, where owners and operators and those who work with the MD500 in New Zealand met to discuss the continued support of the helicopter with the United States-based manufacturer and industry supporters. 

There was much history sitting there, all neatly arranged in straight lines in his paddock, he said.

‘‘One of the oldest people attending was veteran Hughes 500 pilot Mel Cain from the United States, who bought the first Hughes 500C model into the country. He’s 90 now and he's sitting over there enjoying himself. 

‘‘It’s great to see the old guys sitting here today talking about the old stories and remembering mates who didn’t come home.’’

The MD500 fly-in was made possible due to the support of the helicopter industry. 

Mr Hales said they held a dinner on site, as it was a chance for owners and operators to meet the American MD factory staff, who talked about future developments for the industry.

He loved the iconic MD500 helicopter, an aircraft he had been flying for 45 years.

‘‘These 500s were made for New Zealand mountains, originally they went to Vietnam, but hell, they should have come straight to New Zealand.

"They are an iconic machine as nothing makes a noise like these machines do, some people don’t like them - but a lot of us love them.’’  


- North Canterbury News 

Gulfstream N968FA at Nelson

Arriving into Nelson about midday today from Auckland was this Gulfstream GVI (G650ER) N968FA c/n 6150.
It is listed with TVPX Aircraft Solutions Inc Trustees of North Salt Lacke City, Utah, USA.
This is not its first visit to New Zealand.
Initially registered in late 2015 as N601GA it quickly became M-ABIU until becoming N968FA in April of 2016.

EC145 ZK-IGL 3

Noted today at North Shore airfield was Orbit Helicopters' brand new EC145 / BK117D-3 ZK-IGL3 which was imported at the beginning of this year.   This replaces their previous BK117C-2 ZK-IGL2 which has now been reregistered as ZK-IGN.   The new machine is finished in a smart multi coloured scheme in contrast to the overall black on virtually all the other EC145 and EC130 helicopters in NZ.


Wednesday 22 February 2023

Vans RV 12 ZK-RHO at Parakai

Gerard Kent's Vans RV 12 ZK-RHO made its first flight from Parakai on Saturday 18 February 2023 flown by Dave Campbell-Morrison.  Here is a photo of it taken back in October 2022:

ZK-RHO (c/n 120984) was registered to K G (Gerard) Kent of Whangaparaoa on 14/10/22.  The registration is in remembrance of  Gerard's late wife Rhoda.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Question time. Who is this ?

This photo from CMM was originally posted under "I Remember When" back on 23 July 2011

We know that we have Peter Irvine on the left - but who is that on the right ?

Airwork (NZ) Ltd operated this Beaver ZK-CPE between May of 1974 and September of 1978.

Can anybody help please ?

Monday 20 February 2023

Homebuilt and Sport helicopters of New Zealand - Postscript

In my final post on homebuilt and sport helicopters of New Zealand, I ended by saying we don't know what we don't know.

Anonymous has left an interesting comment on that post as follows:  

I heard a story, unconfirmed, of a kitset one-man helicopter powered by rotor-tip jets built at Opotiki in the late 1970s. I cannot recall the type but it was marketed in the US at that time. Also in the mid 80s an Italian restaurant owner living in Auckland had a helicopter built which I think was his own design. The earliest rotary wing aircraft built in NZ that I'm aware of was one constructed in Auckland in the 1950s and later sold to a Palmerston North car dealer

Because some readers might have missed the comment I thought I would highlight it with a request that if anyone knows anything more about these helicopters can they please get in touch with the blog master (Dave Paull - email in the header), or leave a comment on this post.

Thanks in advance!

Sunday 19 February 2023

WOW Postponed but TVAL Keeps Calm and Carries On

In what is becoming an all too familiar pattern, the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow that was scheduled for next weekend has been postponed with a new date to be confirmed before the end of February.  However The Vintage Aviator carried on with their pilots practice weekend over the last 2 days and they posted this amazing photo on their Facebook page this morning:

Taken from their DH 4 we have (left to right) their Bristol Fighter, RE 8, BE 2c, BE 12 and BE 2f.

That will be an amazing spectacle when WOW finally happens.

Hughes 500 Fly In Hanmer Springs (2)

Further to yesterday's Blog here is another selection of attendees to the Hanmer Springs Hughes 500 Fly In starting with 369HS ZK-HER which was imported from the US in 1986 and completely refurbished for its current Auckland owner in 2022.

Added to the Mid West Helicopters fleet this month is 369D ZK-HRI3 which was imported from Japan back in 2005.

Just repainted in the Christchurch Helicopters' fleet colours is 369E ZK-HSC3 which is another import from Japan back in 2003.

Imported from the US in 2014 369E ZK-HTN3 has been with its current Te Anau owner since 2020.

Operated by Roxburgh based Central Heliwork since 2020 the 369E ZK-HTT2 was imported from the US in 2001.

And imported from South Korea in 2020 the 369D ZK-HZR5 has been with its current Waikanae owner since 2022.


Saturday 18 February 2023

Hughes 500 Fly-In Hanmer Springs (1)

This weekend Bill Hales' property in Hanmer Springs was the venue for a very successful Hughes 500 fly-in with over 60 helicopters in attendance in the stunning weather.

Focusing on whats new to this blog below are some of the attendees with more to follow in the next few days.

MD500N ZK-IFT2 was originally imported from the USA in 2008 as ZK-HCZ4, becoming IFT in 2018 and added to the Action Helicopters Queenstown fleet in October 2022.

Imported from the USA in 1985 369D ZK-HUX was acquired by its current Oamaru owner in 2021.

One of 2 369Es imported from Australia in 2022 by International Heliproperties ZK-HTZ4 is now with a Tauranga private owner.

Imported from Canada in 1984 the Hughes 369HS ZK-HSZ has been with Fox Franz Heliservices since 2016.

Another long term registrant is the Hughes 369HS ZK-HMV which arrived from the US in 1994 and it has been with Cromwell based Suncrest Orchard since 2008.

And lastly the Hughes 369HS ZK-HKI was imported new back in 1977 and has been completely refurbished in recent years for its current owner J P Scott of Fox Glacier.

Fletcher FU-24 ZK-BYC on a Flood Relief Flight


300 HP Fletcher FU-24 ZK-BYC of Killarney Farms near Wairoa arriving at Tauranga this morning to uplift flood relief supplies from the Tauranga Aero Club for Wairoa and Ruatoria.

Friday 17 February 2023

Cropmaster ZK-CTX at Mandeville 16-2-2023

Craig Dowden of Gore has completed the long term restoration of  his Yeoman Cropmaster and it will be on display at Mandeville over the weekend:

Yeoman YA-1 250R Series 2 Cropmaster ZK-CTX (c/n 120) was re-registered to Craig Dowden on 6/7/21.  There has been an earlier post on this aircraft on the blog, way back in 2012 when the restoration was beginning and you can see that HERE

It looks great.  Congratulations Craig!


 Noted flying today at Rangiora was the 2nd JMB VL-3TE 915UL to be imported into NZ,  ZK-VLT,  which is destined for a Matakana owner.    The registration has been changed from the full "ZK-VLT" as shown in an earlier blog to just "VLT".