Wednesday 31 May 2023

I don't remember when !

 Occasionally I post a photo from some years back which I feel may be of some interest
under the heading of "I remember when".

This post however shows a photo - but I do not remember when.

Can you help with a date and a story ?
As you can see it is the Hawker Siddeley 748 ZK-CWJ parked embarrassingly on the grass at Ardmore.

Two comments.

First comment

I vaguely remember it was in the late 90's as I happened to be at Ardmore a couple of days after. We had a Cessna 421 having an interior update at Aerotrim and I believe the 748 was taxing there as well for some interior work when it for some reason taxied off the taxiway onto the grass and over a drain which collapsed. There was a video floating around of it actually happening.

Second comment 01 June at 08:45

Just read the comment posted.  Pretty sure it was the 80's, late 80's, and the visit was fog related.  It definitely happened on a Sunday afternoon.

Fleeting visit by Embraer 505 Phenom VH-NSQ

 The Brazilian built Embraer 505 Phenom 300E VH-NSQ c/n 50500453 was delivered to Australia and listed with Finico Pty Ltd of Melbourne on 21-06-2018 to be operated by Avcair Pty Ltd. 

Ownership passed to Jampair Pty Ltd and from 04-08-2021 was operated by Navair Flight Operation Pty Ltd as the Northern Escape.
Hence the N     E on the tailplane and 'Northern Escape' script along the fuselage.

It flew from Sydney to Christchurch, as seen about thanks to Tony McFarlin, then on to Nelson and Auckland on 29-05-2023. It departed Auckland to Sydney on the 30th.

Cessna 150 Aerobat ZK-BAD/2 at Whangarei

I was able to visit a few hangars while I was at Whangarei yesterday, and one aircraft was wearing different colours:

Cessna 150 Aerobat ZK-BAD2 has been owned by MK Chubb of Whangarei since 8/1/19, and it now wears suitable aerobatic colours.


Noted today at Ardmore was our latest new Airbus EC130T2 import ZK-HIJ5 which was registered to Auckland based EagleFlight Technics earlier this year.


Tuesday 30 May 2023

A Foggy Flight to Whangarei Today

The Rodney Aero Club's Pipistrel Alpha Trainer ZK-JAT needed an Annual Inspection at Whangarei today, and so Brien O'Brien and I took off from Kaipara Flats at 0950 hrs.  The fog was burning off and a call to Whangarei confirmed that the fog was expected to lift there also.  The conditions made for some different air to ground photos:

Pre-flight at Kaipara Flats.  We could see some blue sky up there.

Climb out...

...and turning to head North.

Past Mangawhai.

And follow the coastline of Bream Bay to Marsden Point.  There were still some pretty heavy patches of fog around.

Then up the Whangarei Harbour to find Onerahi just clearing of fog.  The wind was one knot and fog was off the Western end of the runway, so an approach and landing on Runway 24 was in order.  When we got down we heard that Air New Zealand had not long returned to Auckland without being able to land.

Monday 29 May 2023

A Couple of Visitors from Matamata at Feilding

Jordan Elvy was at the Feilding Dawn Raid yesterday 28/5/23, and amongst the many other aircraft he photo'd these 2 visiting Tecnam P 92s from Matamata:

The latest model P 92 Echo Mk II ZK-DKF2 is registered to Piako Flyers Ltd.

While Piako Flyers old aircraft, the 2008 model P 92 Echo Super ZK-PFL is now operated by the Matamata Aero Club and wears their titling. This aircraft was originally ZK-CLH3).

Thanks for the photos Jordan.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Just Aircraft SuperSTOL ZK-SNP at Hastings

Peter Steers of Hastings has been working on his SuperSTOL kit for a couple of years and it first flew at Bridge Pa on 25/4/23:

ZK-SNP (for Snoopy) (c/n JA615-01-21) was first registered to Peter Steers on 5/9/22.  Unfortunately I do not have a record of who took the photo.

Friday 26 May 2023

Great Progress on the ex John Smith Mustang

As most of our readers will know, following his death in August 2019 John Smith's extensive collection of WW 2 aircraft was thoughtfully dispersed to aviation enthusiasts in New Zealand.  His Mosquito, Tiger Moth and the "Gloria Lyons" Kittyhawk have gone to Omaka where they were displayed at the recent Classic Fighters airshow, and another of his Kittyhawks is under restoration to flight at Omaka.

However John's very original Mustang NZ2423 went to The Biggin Hill Aircraft Centre (Brendon Deere) also for restoration to flying status.  This work has been going on at speed at their base at RNZAF Ohakea utilising a new US built wing spar and the original Merlin engine which has been completely overhauled.  And now it is in the paint shop!

As posted by TBHAC here is the last view of the Mustang in green primer.  We look forward with great anticipation to the painted aircraft appearing.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Finally Some Lovely Weather in the North!

What a difference a few fine days make!  Today was a stunner and unsurprisingly a few pilots showed up at Kaipara Flats airfield with the intention of committing aviation:

Including myself!

And Leon Jordaan in his Grif Italia Nano trike ZK-LJY.

A couple of helicopters

Noted today at North Shore airfield was the Ralph Schutz Helicopters' Hughes 369FF ZK-HUJ2 which is based at Maungaturoto in Northland.   This was originally imported from the US back in 2008 and has been with the company since 2016.   It recently acquired a black tail.

And working on a farm near Mercer was the Oceania Helicopters Pukekohe Bell 206L-3 ZK-ILR which has been with the company since import from Japan in 2010.


Fokker E III at Omaka

 As previously referenced the ex TAVAS Fokker E III reproduction painted as 345/16 is now at Omaka:

This is an airframe that was built by Achim Engels in Germany and then shipped to Australia where The Australian Vintage Aircraft Society (TAVAS) finished the aircraft and installed the first CAMS built Gnome rotary engine.  It flew for several years at Caboolture before TAVAS closed down.

TVAL also has two Fokker E IIIs that were built by Achim Engels, one of which ZK-EIN2 has flown at Masterton and the other one seems to be progressing well..

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Hughes 269C ZK-HGP

 The Hughes 269C ZK-HGP c/n 73-0221 was noted at Nelson today by Bill Mannix.

This helicopter came to New Zealand new for the NZ agents Dalhoff & King (NZ) Ltd of Wellington and was registered to them on 14-11-1973 and was onward listed to Farm Helicopters/Marine Helicopters Ltd of Auckland from 01-02-1974.These two photos show ZK-HGP at Ardmore on 11-02-1974.
Note the small ZK-HGP registration on the inner tail boom and the larger last two letters on the fin and the Marine Helicopter titles on one side only.
Note the spray gear.
It struck a fence whilst spraying on 29-12-1977 at Onewhero.
From February 1979 it was listed with H Smith, R Morrison and T Leonard of Hokitika but was damaged on 18-04-1979 at Matiri when it got caught in its own net.
Then Moana Helicopters had it from 20-10-1980 with a move to T Trevor and A Nolan of Greymouth/Kumara from 16-07-1984.
H Clementson of Westport took it on from 01-12-1987, then Rick Lucas Helicopters/Helipro of Palmerston North from 11-08-2000 and it is seen at Palmerston North below on 14-04-2002.
And below - again at Palmerston North - on 28-01-2003.

August 2007 saw it with Greg Tomlinson Fencing Contractor of Matamata.
From 01-08-2008 Peter Law of Stratford had it followed by Patchett Ag-Air Ltd of Omaka from 20-07-2010.
From October 2013 it was Taupo based with HeliHunt 'N' Fish Ltd with a move to Opotiki in September 2015 to Central Helicopters (2014) Ltd.
The photo below from Richard Currie shows it at Gisborne on 11-12-2018 in the care of W R J Frogley/Kimberly Contracting who acquired it back on 06-09-2016.

Hill Country Transport Ltd of Gisborne were listed from 11-03-2021 and the current operator Trap And Trigger Ltd of Upper Hutt appear from 01-12-2022

The two photos below were taken today at Nelson by Bill Mannix.

NZ Hang Gliding Championships 2023

The NZ Hang Gliding Champs for 2023 were held at Mt Murchison (near Murchison) over the period 2 - 11 February 2023.  While these flying machines are not registered on the NZ Civil Register they do qualify as sport aviation and I reckon they would provide pretty exhilarating flying.

Here is a video of a flight on Day 1 which shows the adventurous nature of the flying:

I understand that Mt Murchison is always the location for the championships as it offers launching slopes in any direction, and the scenery is pretty spectacular!

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Cessna 210 VH-ZIK at Nelson

 Noted today at Nelson by Bill Mannix was the Cessna 210N Centurion VH-ZIK2.
With the c/n 21063260 it was initially allocated the US markings of N9974N, becoming VH-ZIK2 from 23-01-2019 with Aviation Assets Pty Ltd of Gymea, NSW and is operated by Handel Aviation Pty Ltd of Gymea.
Note the extended exhaust pipes.

Sunday 21 May 2023

A couple at GCH Christchurch today

Dropping in from Nelson earlier today was the Beech B300i Super King Air ZK-VME c/n FL-1155 of Tasman Aviation Ltd.
Previously mentioned Here

Also previously mentioned several times, HERE, is the Aerospatiale AS 350 BA ZK-IMK c/n 1213 now sporting GCH Aviation titles.


Saturday 20 May 2023

An Old Photo of Harvard ZK-ENE

 While scanning some old photos recently this was part of the scan of the page in my photo album:

It is an early photo of Harvard 3 ZK-ENE taken at the AACA flyin at Taupo in February 1982.  It has the RNZAF serial NZ1066 painted on the rear fuselage but is is a bit hard to see..

Of course we are now more familiar with it as the dark blue "Navy 66" machine that is marked NE on the tail, as seen in the background of this photo I took at Classic Fighters 2023:

Thursday 18 May 2023

Merlin Merlin GT Aircraft of New Zealand - ZK-ROS

When I was posting my never ending  history of homebuilt and sport aircraft on this blog I made an executive decision not to include microlights as they seemed to be a separate category.  However the line between a homebuilt aircraft and a microlight became more blurred over the years so I adopted a rule of thumb that I would include homebuilt and sport aircraft as having a covered fuselage.  (I know there are other types such as Challengers and Bobcats and Z/Hi Maxs that go against this but they feel more like microlights to me).  This worked OK until a type of microlight popped up that I did not know of and that had a covered fuselage.

This was the case at the recent SAANZ flyin at Ashburton when CMM popped into the motorhome I was having a coffee in and said there was a nice Merlin aircraft in a nearby hangar.  At first I thought of the Techpro Merlin ZK-MEF that has recently been sold down South.  But no, it was a different type of Merlin that I had not known about previously.  It was a nice surprise.

The Merlin Merlin GT is a Canadian design from 1990 that was designed by John Burch who was a microlight instructor.  It is a conventional side by side high wing taildragger that looks quite smart.  It has a welded 4130 steel tube fuselage while the wings are constructed using an aluminium D cell with foam ribs.  Covering is using standard aircraft covering material.  Engines could be either a Rotax 582 or 912, both of which give short take off and landing rolls and cruise speeds of 85mph and 93 mph respectively.  With the Rotax 582 the empty weight is around 510 pounds and the MAUW of 1,300 pounds results in a very good payload.

It turns out that we have had only one Merlin Merlin GT registered in New Zealand:

ZK-ROS (c/n M1176) was built by Ross Marfell of Rangiora and was first registered to him on 13/6/96.  It is photo'd above at Wigram on 21/6/98.

Here it is at Omarama on 28/12/99,

And here at a Waitohi flyin on 15/4/02.

Ross sold the Merlin to Stan Hyde of Fielding on 1/7/05 and Stan sold it to John C McGuinness of Flat Point Station (near Masterton) on 10/2/06.  John McGuinness also had Alpi Pioneer 200 ZK-WHC at the time and the Merlin spent the next 16 years in his ownership.  I wonder how much it flew?

On 13/7/22 ownership changed to Stedon Holdings of West Melton and it is in their ownership that I photo'd it at Ashburton on 15/4/23.  It seems to have a new engine under the revised cowling, and a 3 bladed prop.

A couple of Ardmore helicopters

Noted today outside Oceania Aviation at Ardmore was the EC120B ZK-HII5 which was imported from Australia back in 2019 for resale by International Heliproperties.   It has now gained some striping on its previously all white airframe.

Inside Oceania was the recently imported AS350B2 N572AM which despite being registered ZK-HPA3 in April appears to be favouring ZK-IHY2.   It was previously part of the Air Methods EMS fleet which comprises some 450 helicopters and aircraft.


Tuesday 16 May 2023

HZE and IXT at Motueka

Pictured below, are two helicopters seen at Motueka Aerodrome today (16.05.2023) outside of Argus Aviation's Motueka hangar.

Robinson R66 Turbine ZK-IXT (c/n 0331)

ZK-IXT (c/n 0331) seen above, was built in 2013 and delivered new to SCN Helicopters of Porirua, in 2014. ZK-IXT has recently picked up the bright green and white operator markings.

 Bell 206B JetRanger II ZK-HZE (c/n 769)

Pictured here, is Omaka based Marlborough Helicopters' Bell 206B JetRanger II, ZK-HZE (c/n 769) along side ZK-IXT at Motueka. ZK-HZE, imported in 1984 is still wearing the colours of of past operator, Helicopters (NZ).

Waipukurau Fly In Sunday : Cessna TU206A Super Skywagon ZK-JPC.

 The Cessna TU206A (Turbo Utility) was an upgraded model U206A incorporating a Turbocharged Continental TSIO-520-C engine in lieu of the standard 285hp IO-520A engine. Both models being built on the same production run during the 1966 US fiscal year.

The TU206A with the c/n U206-0511 was allocated the US registration of N4811F and sent direct to Australia where it was given the Cessna distributors VH-DFU trade registration. 

This became VH-AAM 2 for Australian Aerial Mapping Ltd out of Bankstown from 24-05-1966. 

Photo below as VH-AAM taken at Bankstown on 27-02-1971 by David Carter.
After two further Australian owners it was ferried into Auckland, via Norfolk Island, on 07-12-1984.
It took up the very apt ZK-MAP1 marks from 14-12-1984 with B A Shrimpton of Tauranga who traded as Air Maps. 
Above we see ZK-MAP at Tauranga in 1985 whilst with Air Maps Ltd.
A Darryn Morgan photo.
By March 1991 it was with Sunair Ltd (Paul Ensor) at 'The Mount' who re-registered it as ZK-SUN2 from 16-12-1993. 
ZK-SUN2 at Tauranga on 31-03-2004.

Title changed between Sunair, the Motiti Residents Club and Island Air, then back to Sunair becoming ZK-PAI2 on 02-07-2004.
ZK-PAI at Tauranga on 16-03-2009.

By December 2009 it was working under the Adventure Aviation name until moving to Napier to Flight Care Ltd from 10-04-2015. They moved it on to The 206 Syndicate of Otane from 14-03-2017 with a change to Rural Air Work Ltd at Otane from 15-08-2022.
It was re-registered to ZK-JPC2 to the same operator on 22-11-2022.
It is seen below at Waipukurau last Sunday by Jordan Elvy.

Monday 15 May 2023

Waipukurau flyin. Cessna 180B ZK-LMW.

Jordan Elvy caught this interesting Cessna's at yesterday's dawn fly in at Waipukurau. 
Cessna 180B ZK-LMW c/n 50543 was a product of 1953 and listed to Cessna Aircraft on 22-05-1959 and a few days later became HI-51 with Grenada Co, Puerto Liberatado, Dominican Republic. It crashed on delivery on Acklin Island in the Bahamas and was returned to the USA for rebuild and became N9306R on 10-10-1960 to Aircraft Ferry Company of Mami, Florida - who had been the listed owner for its initial delivery.
It then had five more owners before its last flight in the US on 04-12-1982. I suspect it arrived in NZ in a damaged state and was re-worked by Aeromotive Overhauls Ltd of Hamilton - to whom it became ZK-LMW on 11-09-1984.
Below we see ZK-LMW at Kairanga on 01-04-2004.
It had at least eight more owner/operators before being acquired by Richard W Coop of Okepuha Station near Mahia on 07-05-2013. 
Richard re-registered it using his initials for it to become ZK-RWC2 from 10-06-2013.
Here we have two photos of it as ZK-RWC2 taken at Omaka on 06-02-2021.
Note the "Skywaka 180" on the lower fin - nice touch.
Richard then re-registered it back to its original ZK-LMW on 16-03-2023.
Does this leave the way clear for a ZK-RWC3 ?

Below as seen at Waipukurau on Sunday last from Jordan Elvy.
With hard to see - revised livery on its fin.