Friday 30 June 2023

Texel Air NZ Boeing 737 - 800BCF Freighter at NZAA Today 30-6-2023

Texel Air is a very new entrant into the New Zealand air freight scene.  It's history has been well covered in our sister blog 3rd Level New Zealand as follows: 

Texel Air's arrival in New Zealand came quite suddenly with a certain level of mystery about it.  Texel Air New Zealand Ltd was established on the 31st of August 2022. 

On the 31st of March 2023 Texel Air's Boeing 737-33A(SF) A9C-APC arrived in Auckland. This particular aircraft was not a stranger to New Zealand skies, previously being operated by Air New Zealand as ZK-NGP. The following day the Air Cargo News website reported, Texel Air Bahrain has deployed a Boeing B737-300 freighter to Auckland, New Zealand to operate charter services for Parceline Express, a subsidiary of Freightways and New Zealand Post. The freighter will fly on a Auckland – Christchurch – Auckland route. Texel Air Bahrain will continue the charter services until Texel Air NZ Ltd, established in February, commences operations with its B737-800BFC in May this year on the same route. Headquartered in Auckland, Texel Air NZ provides ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) and charter services.  

Texel Air's Boeing 737-8B5(BCF) A9C-GWC, Vera, flew into Hamilton on 22/5/23 after its ferry flight from Bahrain via Bangkok and Darwin. The new Boeing 737-800 freighter underwent maintenance and certification checks with Hamilton Aero Maintenance before being placed on the New Zealand register as ZK-TXE on 26/5/23.

I managed this photo of ZK-TXE (c/n 29985) at Auckland International today after a drop off run (on divided motorway all the way from Warkworth to the airport).  It is not the best photo but it was parked in such a way that at least I could get a photo of it.

Thanks for the information on Texel Air Steve.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Bombardier Global 5000 N404NA into Christchurch

 The Bombardier BD-700 Global 5000 N404NA c/n 9356 arrived into Christchurch from Beijing and Adelaide today - And then departed for Ushuaia, Argentina.
Tony McFarlin was in a position to capture this photo.

This Bombardier BD-700 Global 5000 began initially listed as C-FXAY to Bombardier Inc of Toronto, Canada from 21-04-2009.
It moved to the USA to become N404NA from 08-04-2010 under the umbrella of the Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA Trustees of Salt Lake City until being listed with current operator TVPX ARS Inc Trustees.

Cessna A150 Aerobat ZK-DPL at Feilding


Jordan Elvy photo'd Cessna A150 Aerobat ZK-DPL (c/n A1500487) at Feilding recently.  It was imported into New Zealand in June 1974 but hasn't appeared on the blog previously.  Its ownership changed to BB Aviation of Feilding on 15/11/22.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

EC130T2 ZK-IRF (2)

Noted at Ardmore today was EagleFlight Technics' EC130T2 ZK-IRF2.   Despite being imported new back in April 2021 this has remained elusive and this is its first photo on this Blog.


Sunday 25 June 2023

Tiger Moth ZK-BJR at North Shore

Although I have been visiting North Shore airfield since 2000 I have never seen this Tiger Moth.  A few people have told me of "a Tiger Moth" in one of the hangars all covered up but that was all.  That is until Mark Pattenden photo'd it outside at the North Shore Open Hangar day back in January 2023.  It turns out to be a pretty interesting aircraft:

ZK-BJR (c/n DHNZ105) has most recently been on the register owned by DAC Aviation Ltd of Remuera since 19/3/10.  

But its history goes back over 80 years to when it was constructed by the De Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand at Rongotai and taken on charge by the RNZAF as NZ1425 on 10/4/42.  It continued on in the RNZAF post war as a trainer and it was damaged in a crash at Taieri on 19/10/54.  It was struck off charge, presumably in a damaged state, on 13/7/55.  Ownership transferred to the Otago Aero Club who were successful in tendering for the aircraft and they used it for spares.  It was restored in the 1990s by Colin Smith of the Croydon Aircraft Company at Mandeville to be registered ZK-BJR to DAC Aviation Ltd on 4/10/00, and it flew again for the first time in many years on 28/10/00.  I am not sure if this is an RNZAF colour scheme but it looks the part.  The Tiger's registration was revoked on 15/4/05 but was reinstated again on 10/11/06.  I am told that it hasn't flown for about 12 years since relocating from Ardmore to North Shore.

Thanks very much for the photo Mark, very interesting.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Cavalier SA 102.5 ZK-DYC in New Colours

The Squirecraft SA 102.5 Cavalier ZK-DYC was originally built by Ron Longley at Tauranga and first registered on 3/9/80.  It has been mentioned previously on the blog HERE also at Taupo.

On 1/7/22 ownership transferred to a Private Owner and it has now appeared in new colours as in these photos from Bill Izard, taken recently at Taupo.

Bill also mentions that the Cavalier is for sale and if you are interested you can ring him on 021 423853

Friday 23 June 2023

Does size has rite of way ?


Following on from our earlier "Size does matter ?" post.

Here we see the largest jet aircraft in the world - an Emirates Airbus A380  -  but if you look carefully on the far left of the image you will see the BD5-J ZK-XBD arguably the smallest jet aircraft in the world during its test flight on 23-04-2023.

Thanks to an unknown photographer.

Life Flight Beech 200 ZK-LFI at Wellington

Life Flight has now bought their second Beech 200 King Air ZK-LFI on line out of Wellington.  Tim Gorman caught it on finals for Runway 34 at Wellington on 16 June:

ZK-LFI (c/n BB-1813) was registered to Air Freight NZ Ltd of Palmerston North on 12/9/23.  It was imported from Australia where it was VH-MVS.

Thanks for the photo Tim.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Mid Winters Day - Does size matter ?

 On this dull mid-winters day at Christchurch International we have the Big and the Small.
Here we are near the Canterbury Aero Club looking about 1.2km across the Airfield to the Boeing 737-838 VH-XZD c/n 39368 of QANTAS with the Emerates Airbus A380-842 A6-EUW parked beyond.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

More BD 5 Stuff

Following on from my post about Peter Sheehan's BD 5B at Ardmore, I detailed the BD 5 airframes that were registered or had registrations reserved - they amounted to 9 airframes but I understand that at least 38 kits were imported into New Zealand.  I have a couple of other photos of one of these other BD 5s:

I believe this airframe was purchased by a guy at Orewa but he didn't make any progress with it.  Eventually it ended up with Ralph Sanson at Warkworth who built is as a non flying airframe as in the above photo, with a fixed nosewheel and short wings, and no engine.  It was towed on a trailer in the Warkworth Show Day parade in 1991 with a large CO2 fire extinguisher mounted inside the fuselage to give the occasional burst of spectacular jet thrust!  (Ralph later went on the build Zenith CH 701 ZK-ZAR).

Later it was painted in Pepsi colours and entered in other parades, as in this photo which was probably in an Orewa Christmas parade.

Monday 19 June 2023

Another BD 5B On the Way

We have not had any report from the recent NZ Warbirds on Parade airshow at Ardmore on 4/6/23.  The airshow sneaked in with the weather and the usual aircraft were displayed including the Warbirds WW 1 collection and several great aerobatic displays were flown.  However one aircraft that was on display in the restoration hangar caught my eye:

This is the BD 5B that has been being built over many years by Peter Sheehan and it looks to be getting towards being finished.  Back in May 1984 it had the registration ZK-TCH reserved and its c/n was AACA/685.  ZK-TCH was used for John Best's Taylor Titch but obviously Peter Sheehan has kept working on it over the intervening 39 years!

In comments to a post I did on BD 5s in New Zealand back in July 2009, the following information was supplied by Peter Lewis and Dave Paull:

ZK-DVE c/n 3886 15/7/1974 NZ Aerospace Industries Ltd., Hamilton
8/10/1979 J V Hodge, Auckland 13/2/1984 A C Kenworthy, Christchurch (later Auckland) 16/3/1992 Canceled as not completed.
ZK-DYL c/n 3902 NTU Became ZK-RMT.
ZK-DYM c/n 3903 D F C Rose, Auckland 1974. NTU. Became ZK-ZIP.
ZK-DYN c/n 3904 B Weinstein, WN. Then to Neil France NTU.  Became ZK-XBD
ZK-DYO c/n 3913/AACA/240/1 J L Williams, AK 1974. Presume not completed.
ZK-DYP c/n 3882/AACA231/1 G Jones, AK 1974. NTU.
ZK-DYT c/n 3877 K E Yeo, Hobsonville 1974. NTU.
ZK-RMT c/n 3902 (ex ZK-DYL NTU) Registered on 6/11/1997 to Bede Enterprises, Porirua (Barry Ralston)
14/10/2002 Cancelled as Sold.Abroad.
ZK-RWF c.n AACA/629  Registered on 3/7/1987 to R W Foley, Wellington 17/12/1998 Cancelled as WFU
ZK-TCH c/n AACA/685 P J Sheehan, AK 5/1984.
ZK-XBD (ex ZK-DYN NTU).  Completed by C A McMillan of Mosgiel, first registered on 30/6/04.
to G S Nicholls of Tauranga on 30/6/07 Then to Andrew Vincent of Christchurch who flew it for a couple of years, and has since re-engined it with a PBS TJ100B jet engine.  Registered as a BD 5J on  17/3/23.
ZK-ZBD c/n 3898 Built by Dr Ian Griffin at New Plymouth and was first registered on 21/8/01.  Has flown but has been inactive for many years.  Currently owned by the ISJ Griffin Family Trust of New Plymouth
ZK-ZIP Ex ZK-DYN but with the c/n AACA/365/1.  Built by David Rose of Auckland and registered on 19/7/82.  Flew several times, initially way back in 1982.  Cancelled on 2/5/13 as exported. .

 Of interest in the above list is c/n 3902 which was registered on 6/11/97 as ZK-RMT before being being cancelled on 14/10 02 as being sold abroad.  Does anyone have any information on this BD 5?  Was it completed in New Zealand?

Friday 16 June 2023

In memory of Graeme Main

Rangiora visitors today

 My Friday sausage run through Rangiora produced a good collection of visitors and some difficult winter lighting.
The NZICPA Cessna 172R Skyhawk ZK-WUE c/n 17280366 was in from Whanganui.
A 1998 model which spent the best part of twenty years in Australia as VH-EUU2 and VH-NUU before arriving in NZ to initially become ZK-NUU from 10-08-2017. It became ZK-WUE on 05-08-2019.

From Paraparaumu came a happy bunch of aviators in an interesting variety of aircraft.Above is Peter Merwood's Vans RV-6 ZK-VRV c/n 24692

The Kapiti Districts Aero Club Piper PA-28-181 Archer II ZK-MWM c/n 28-7890321 came in from the US in mid-2019.

The Diamond DA 40 Diamond Star c/n 40.373 came in from the States in about late 2008 and received some attention at Drury and became ZK-MTZ from 20-09-2011 and was taken on by Richard Steed of Wellington from January 2016.

This 1978 Grumman American AA-1C Lynx ZK-LFS c/n AA1C-0191 came to NZ in 1994 and has been with Lynx Air Ltd since July of 1999.

And the 2012 Tecnam P2002 Sierra ZK-LSF c/n 486 has been with Simon Ford since new.

Another stranger in town was the Piper PA-44-180T Turbo Seminole ZK-MBO c/n 44-8207004 of James Leslie - Masterton based.

New Colours for Air NZ Q 300 ZK-NEE at Tauranga

 As I alluded to in my recent post about the still teal coloured Q 300 ZK-NEO at Whangarei the remaining Air New Zealand old colour Q 300s are being repainted at Woodbourne, and here is one of them ZK-NEE in its new black and white colours captured by Mark Pattenden at Tauranga:

Wednesday 14 June 2023

North Shore airfield

Noted today on departure from North Shore airfield was the recently completed Whangarei Flying Club ICP Savannah S ZK-JUN.

Departing on a training flight was Orbit Helicopters' Guimbal G2 Cabri ZK-HEK3 which is one of 2 recently imported by the company from Canada where they were part of the Edmonton based Synergy Aviation training fleet.


Monday 12 June 2023

Just Aircraft Super STOL ZK-DKL - Spot the Difference

Mark Pattenden travelled down to the Manawatu area a few days ago, and he came across this Just Aircraft Super STOL at Taupo and then Turangi.  It was travelling with other Masterton based sport aircraft so I guess they were taking advantage of the great weather for a cross country jaunt.

ZK-DKL3 (c/n JA620-03-21) was registered to D B Adgo of Silverstream on 20/2/23.  It is photo'd at Taupo.

And here it is just down the road at Turangi.  It is the first time it has been posted on this blog.

But there another story here.  Below is a photo of ZK-DKL that I took at Masterton on 30/11/19.

This is ZK-DKL2 (c/n JA491-05-16) also registered to D B Adgo.  Can you spot the differences?

Thanks for the photos Mark.

Sunday 11 June 2023


Amongst the weekend visitors to Pauanui airfield was the Mercer based PAC CT/4E Airtrainer ZK-JDZ.   This has now acquired additional striping in Red with the notation  "AEIO/540 300HP" signifying its Lycoming O-540 engine.    JDZ was originally registered to PAC back in December 2008 changing ownership to NZ Skydive in August 2020 following the sale of PAC.

Visiting from Whakatane was the Cessna A185F ZK-DKJ which has acquired a clearview starboard door.   This was originally imported new in 1973 and has been with its current owner since 2020.


Saturday 10 June 2023

A stopover at Kaikoura today

CMM hit Kaikoura late in the afternoon today (Saturday the 10th) and captured this selection of aircraft.

Auster 5D ZK-BMD c/n 1035 Joined the Royal Air Force as NJ635 in 1944, then the UK civil market as G-ALZM in March 1950.
After arrival in NZ and became ZK-BMD from 02-11-1955.
By 2005 after something like fifteen previous owners it was with Bob and Eileen Yates at Christchurch.
Listed for sale on TradeMe in mid-2009 it soon sold to current owners Guy Redfern and Fiona Nimmo of Muzzle Station - tucked away between the Inland and the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges.
Previously mentioned  Here
Pacific Helicopters (2016) Ltd's Eurocopter EC 130 B4 ZK-HBE4 c/n 3541 has been Kaikoura based since 2019.
Below is the GCH Aviation Ltd's Eurocopter EC 130 B4 ZK-IGF c/n 4228
 Previously mentioned  Here  , Here , and  Here

Kaikoura is a bit of a hot spot for Gippsland GA8 Airvans.

 Air Kaikoura Aero Club operate two Gippsland GA8 Airvans
Above we see ZK-EHS2 c/n GA8-11-170 which has been on line since November 2018
Below is ZK-ORC c/n GA8-02-017 which joined them in May 2020. 
This one has previously served as ZK-SAF2 and ZK-FSS2.

Nearby, South Pacific Helicopters operate two Airvans under the Wings Over Whales name.
Above we have ZK-FSR c/n GA8-06-099 which they have had since July of 2018.
Several previous mentions Here
Below is ZK-KBZ c/n GA8-03-024 started with Wings Over Whales back in February of 2003.

Cessna 172R ZK-NAO

 The Cessna 172R Skyhawk N2378E c/n 17280533 was cranked out in 10-1998 by the Cessna Aircraft Company at Independence, Kansas. and was shipped to the New Zealand agents Flightline Aviation Ltd (Papakura) and registered as ZK-JKB on 19-10-1998.
 It first flew here on 29-10-1998 and was taken on by the Massey Aviation School of Aviation at Palmerston North from 12-05-1999.

It is seen below at Ardmore on 19-03-2000.
Interestingly it was cancelled as exported on 16-01-2004.
Only to be re-registered on 22-01-2004 to Premi-Air Aviation Ltd of Auckland.
It then went to a series of operators in quick succession.
Auckland Aero Club (Inc) from 22-01-2004.
Icelandic Holdings Ltd of Auckland from 15-11-2004.
Skylease Ltd, Auckland from 17-06-2005.
Auckland Flight Training Ltd, Ardmore from 17-03-2006.
CTC Aviation Training (NZ) Ltd at Hamilton from 10-10-2006.

Then Tecnam Ltd, Papakura from 27-07-2010.
Todd Agri Ltd out of Murchison from 29-04-2011.

It was sold and re-registered as ZK-NAO2 to the Nelson Aviation College Ltd at Motueka from 27-03-2019

It was spotted today at Christchurch International by Tony McFarlin.
It arrived in from Paraparaumu on Thursday.

The first allocation of the ZK-NAO registration was carried on a Fokker F27 Srs 500 Combi between August 1973 and November 2012.

Friday 9 June 2023

Two New Bristells at Gordonton

A couple of much delayed Bristell NG 5s have arrived in New Zealand and been registered to the New Zealand agents Anderson Aviation NZ Ltd (on 27/4/23).  Thanks to Martin Henton we now have photos of them at Gordonton:

ZK-NGO (c/n 655/2023) is Martin Henton's demonstrator so you will see it around.  Both of the new NG 5s have Rotax 915 power.

A drone view looks great!

And the other new NG 5 is ZK-EAC2 (c/n 656/2023) which is going to a Waihi Beach owner.

Two very nice aircraft!  Thanks for the photos Martin.

Thursday 8 June 2023

Hawker Siddeley 748 ZK-CWJ.

 Following the 1957 Defence White Paper the UK Ministry of Defence terminated almost all manned military aircraft development. This prompted Avro in 1958 to concentrate on the civil market. 

With the Vickers Viscount already in service Avro worked on a design for the regional airline market and came up with another 'Douglas DC-3 replacement'. Also with the Fokker F27 Friendship already in service it was decided to build a more rugged aircraft with short field performance if required. It was a low wing aircraft with a sturdy undercarriage and twin Rolls Royce Dart engines.

This lead to the Avro 748 design being publicly announce on 09-01-1959 with the prototype first flying on 24-06-1960. 

Also around this time there was a Government push to rationalise the aviation industry in the UK with  Avro becoming part of the Hawker Siddeley Group. This changed the designation of the Avro 748 to that of the Hawker Siddeley 748 (later to British Aerospace and BAe Systems).

Mount Cook Airlines first 748 Series 242 was construction number 1647 and first flew on 05-09-1968 from Woodford, Manchester and was allocated the New Zealand registration of ZK-CWJ on 16-09-1968, 

It was on show during the 1968 Farnborough Air Show as seen in the photo below.

Note it has "NEW ZEALANDS" above the MOUNT COOK AIRLINES titles.Above as seen at Farnborough 21-09-1968.

It was ferried out to NZ reaching Christchurch on 05-10-1968 and is seen below taxiing to the terminal.

Below we have Captain Geoff Williams.
In house this aircraft was often referred to as 'Captain William's Jallopy'
Its first day of service was on 25-10-1968 when it flew from Christchurch to Timaru and Oamaru
John Evans, Geoff Williams and Alastair McLeod.
Both photos from the South Canterbury Museum collection.

Above at Invercargill on 11-02-1969
The script " The Mount Cook Lily" is in small letters on the tail below the ranunculus flower.

At Christchurch 11-06-1969 without the 'NEW ZEALANDS" fuselage script

John Mounce captured it at Christchurch on 11-11-1970.

At Palmerston North from Phillip Capper in 1973 with the MCA titles now with a slight lean on.

From 07-02-1978 it became part of the Mount Cook Group Ltd but life continued the same - including a short lease to Polynesian Airlines in mid-1981.

At Mount Cook on 01-07-1978 from Peter Lewis with the letter 'J' on the nosewheel undercarriage door.

ZK-CWJ seems to have had a reasonably uneventful life - apart from a minor wing tip strike on a building at Wellington Airport - and the incident below on 20-03-1988.
Briefly - due to an industrial dispute at Auckland Airport ZK-CWJ dropped a load of passenger at Ardmore and then whilst taxiing over towards Airwork for a fuel top up went off onto the grass with the starboard undercarriage sinking in soft ground and the propeller striking the ground.
Three views, one above and two below, show it in distress at Ardmore on 20-03-1988.

Note the new colour scheme above with the lily being larger and lower on the vertical tail, plus 'WJ' now on the nosewheel door and the AORAKI name lower on the fuselage below the cockpit.

It did good work on the Chatham Islands run and is seen above outside the Tuuta Airport terminal building on 13-10-1992. Its final Chathams run was on 20-01-1996.

It was withdrawn from use and stored at Christchurch for a few months before being sold to Clewer Aviation from 28-05-1997. It ferried out to Norfolk Island on 29-05-1997 and continued on through Brisbane ending up at Southend in the UK on 07-06-1997 with its NZ registration being cancelled on 30-07-1997. 
Its story becomes a little convoluted from here on - but it goes something like this.
It picked up the UK registration of G-ORCP the same day (30-07-1997); then being listed to Aerospace Express Ltd of Durban, South Africa the following day as ZS-OCF. It was converted to a freighter in early 1998 for lease operations by Airwork Pty Ltd on a freight run from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein. Withdrawn from use on 18-10-2002 it was ferried back to Southend and its ZS registration was cancelled on 13-12-2002.
It then took up its old UK registration of G-ORCP from 02-01-2003 with Emerald Airways of Leeds until the Company's AOC was suspended on 04-05-2006.

As G-ORCP at Edinburgh on 01-11-2003.

At Liverpool on 01-05-2004.
On 16-10-2006 it passed to International Air Parts Ltd and was later flown out to Bangladesh on lease to Best Aviation and then leased on to Bismillah Airlines from 24-06-2009 as S2-AEE.

Blackpool on 21-04-2007 before moving to Bangladesh.

S2-AEE finally at rest at Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh on 10-02-2018 from Raihan Ahmep.

There are plans to bring her home !
Mount Cook Airlines eventually acquire eight 748s being ZK-CWJ, ZK-DES, ZK-MCA, ZK-MCB,     ZK-MCF, ZK-MCH, ZK-MCJ and ZK-MCP.
The first to be sold overseas was ZK-MCA in November 1995 and the last was ZK-DES in February of 1998.