Friday 29 September 2023

A foreign visitor to Nelson. Hughes 369D N100AT.

 Hughes 369D N100AT c/n 50-0178D was photographed at Nelson today (29-09-2023).
 A Hughes product from May of 1980 it went to Scandinavia and bounced around the registers of Sweden as SE-HLA, Denmark as OY-HSA and Finland as OH-HLA until moving to Canada to become C-FWNK4 from 28-05-2009 with WH Aviation Inc until cancelled on 31-05-2016 to pop up in the States as N100AT on 06-06-2016 with Eastern Shore Helicopters of Labelle, Florida. It joined Western Pacific Fisheries of Hermosa Beach, California about 28-02-2018 and arrived in Nelson on the 25th aboard the Tuna boat Western Pacific which is in for a refit. N100AT will also receive some attention from Repaircraft.
Above photo from Bill Mannix.

Photo below from Lord Nelson.

More recent strangers at Christchurch

          Tony McFarlin captured these three executive jets at Christchurch International airport in 
                                                                    the last few days.

Gulfstream 650ER VP-CVA c/n 6223 arrived on the 25th of September.
Built in mid 2016 and registered as N623GA with the manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation of Savannah, Georgia. It was cancelled on 19-02-2017 to become VP-CVA on the same day to Star Vision Holdings Inc on the Cayman Islands and is operated by Jet Aviation Business Jets-Hong Kong.

Another Gulfstream N48RT c/n 73022 arrived on the 27th. Initially registered as N622GD to Grumman Aerospace in about October of 2019 for transfer on 09-06-2020 to Raytheon Technologies Corporation of Hartford, Connecticut and then to RTX Corporation of East Granby, Connecticut from August this year.

And a better photo of the Embraer 190 Lineage 1000 VT-PTM VT-PRM which dropped in on the 23rd and was mentioned HERE on the 24th just prior to its departure.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Historic Weihe Sailplane ZK-GAE at Ashburton Aviation Museum

When I was at Ashburton for he SAANZ flyin back in April, I was interested to have a look around the Ashburton Aviation Museum which has some really interesting aircraft.  One of them is the Weihe Sailplane ZK-GAE:

The Weihe sailplane was designed in Germany by Hans Jacobs in 1937-38 and had an 18 metre wingspan which would have been remarkable for the time.  It was the pre-eminent sailplane for its time and for well into the 1950s,  It won the world gliding championships in 1948 and 1950.  Initially it was produced by Deutche Forchangstalt fur Segelflug (DFS) being the German Institute for Soaring Flight, but later models were built by Jacobs-Schweyer and I understand that ZK-GAE (c/n 535) was one of those.  It was rebuilt by Slingsby after WW 2 and flew in England.

It was shipped to New Zealand in 1952 for Dick Georgeson of Christchurch and then went to Philip Wills who flew it to a height of 30,400 feet in wave over the McKenzie Basin in 1958.  You can see more of its history in the above photo by clicking it twice to enlarge.  It is displayed at Ashburton minus its outer wings.

A very interesting example of our gliding history and thanks to the Ashburton Aviation Museum for rescuing it to its display condition.

Do you recognise this propeller ?

 Can you tell us what this propeller was fitted to ?


Monday 25 September 2023

Daher Kodiak 100 N282KQ at NZAA Yesterday 24-9-2023

Peter Dorbeck was at Auckland International yesterday and photo'd the newly delivered Daher Kodiak 100 N282KQ (c/n 100-282).  This aircraft is for Glenorchy Air and it is painted in their colours:

The Kodiak 100 is a direct competitor for the Cessna Grand Caravan that performs a little better because of its more powerful P&W PT 6-34 turboprop engine, but it only seats 10 as against the Grand Caravan's 14 seats.  This aircraft will be the first of its type to be registered in New Zealand although a float equipped Kodiak 100 (N181KQ) has operated here.

Thanks for the photo Peter.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Embraer E190 Lineage VT-PRM

An unexpected visitor into Christchurch yesterday was the Embraer ERJ 190 Lineage VT-PRM c/n 19000571.

Arriving in Auckland and then grounded overnight with a technical problem - it was flown down to Hamilton for a fix and then arrived into Christchurch yesterday afternoon.

Above we see it today refueling at Christchurch prior to departure for Australia.
Built in 2013 by Embraer SA and said to have been PR-TDZ before becoming N28888 on 30-05-2013 for operations by Premiair. Cancelled on 10-06-2015 it then became OE-LUV with International Jet Management before delivery in September 2022 to it current operator as VT-PRM.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Further afield

 A couple of exotics from up in the Pacific Islands.

The Beech Kingair 200 N625BW c/n BB-1090 was snapped at Funafuti International Airport on 09-09-2023 by Andrew Harper.
First noted back in August of 1982 as YV-493CP and then as N54SK back in the States in February 2003. Then as N49SK from February 2004.
It took up its current N625BW registration in August of 2013 and by March of 2018 was listed with TSC Government Services LLC out of Arlington, Virginia. From 15-04-2023 title changed to Technology Service Corporation, Arlington.
As can be seen it carries "Forum Fisheries Agencies" fuselage markings and large "FFA" underwing marks. (Basically a fisheries patrol and transport aircraft for the participating Pacific Island nations).

At Pilolevu Airport, Tuvalu on 28-08-2023 the Saab SF340B+ A3-PUA c/n 340B-408 of Lulutahi Airlines was captured by Andrew Harper.
First flown by SAAB in Sweden as SE-B08 on 06-11-1996 it became N408XJ the following month to be hidden within the US Banking system, but was known to be with Lambert Leasing and operated for some time by Northwest Airline..
It popped up on the Australian register as VH-VNX on 03-08-2012 with Vincent Aviation (Australia) of Winnellie, NT and then to Vee H Aviation Pty Ltd of Fyshwick, ACT from 11-07-2014 - with a registration change to VH-VEF2 on 31-07-2014 and carried "Corporate Air" titles until cancelled on 21-04-2016 for its transfer to A3-PAU with Real Tonga followed by a lease to Lulutai Airlines in September of 2020.

Friday 22 September 2023

Bombardier Challenger D-AFAB at Christchurch on the 17th.

The Bombardier Aerospace Challenger 604 D-AFAB c/n 5378 flew a medevac flight into Christchurch from Kuala Lumpur and Darwin on 15-09-2023.

Photo below from Tony McFarlin showing D-AFAB at Christchurch International 17-09-2023.
It departed on the 17th flying direct to Darwin. 
On the 18th it continued on to Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Trabzon and to Nuremberg.
I believe it was built by Bombardier Aerospace as C-GDBZ, becoming D-ASTS in December 1998 with Bavaria Aircraft Leasing and operated by ACM Air Charter.
It  became D-AFAB in June of 2014 with FAI (Flight Ambulance International).

Motueka Aero Club, Club Day - April 2021

Featured below are a selection of photographs from the archives, April 25th, 2021 at Motueka (NZMK) of the Motueka Aero Club's club day (last sunday of each month).

Above is ZK-TRF (c/n 398-98), an American Champion 8GCBC Scout. Listed with Drake Aviation Ltd of Fernside. Last featured on the NZ Civil Aircraft blog here, where it was noted to be in storage. Parked alongside ZK-TRF is ZK-LPB.

ZK-LPB, an Alpi Pioneer 200 (c/n NZ20013) pictured above, rolling down runway 20 grass. ZK-LPB is a local, registered to Geoffrey M Waring, of Richmond as of 22/03/2021. Previously residing at Timaru, more blog posts of ZK-LPB can be found here

ZK-ROY, a local, was also in attendance after a quick flight from Nelson where it is hangared. ZK-ROY, a Rans S-6ES Coyote II (c/n 1194686) was built for Peter Roy of Queenstown, registered on 20/03/1996. The aircraft was then sold to current owner, R.O.Y Syndicate of Motueka in January of 1999.

ZK-IJR, a Robinson R44 Raven II (c/n 10828) was also at Motueka. Another local, privately owned and hangared in Redwood Valley.

ZK-TCV (c/n 0081), a Titan T51 Mustang had also made the hop from Nelson. Current owner being Alan M Caudwell of Nelson. Previous blog posts featuring ZK-TCV can be found here

ZK-DVE, a Pacific Aerospace 750XL (c/n 159) was also at Motueka, operating for Abel Tasman Skydive on parachute drops. ZK-DVE's history can be found here.


EAA Acrosport II ZK-DJK/2 Re-Visited

We have covered the EAA Acrosport II ZK-DJK2 previously on the blog (you can search for it) but we have not managed a decent photo of it, or chronicled what happened to it.  Peter Dorbeck who has been photographing aircraft at Ardmore for many years has recently shared a nice photo of it taken in 2006:

ZK-DJK2 (c/n 1483) was registered on 17/2/00 and was based at Ardmore.  In a very sad situation it crashed into the sea off Great Barrier Island on 23/5/14 with the loss of the pilot and was not found at the time despite extensive aerial searches.  Its registration was cancelled on 13/6/14.  Later in a one in a million chance it was snagged by a fishing boat on 7/8/14 and the wreckage was recovered.

Helicopters South Canterbury

Based at Waitohi, inland from Temuka, is Helicopters South Canterbury who operate a fleet of 3 Bell 206Bs, 1 Robinson R44 II and 1 AS350BA.

The last of these is ZK-HMG3 which was imported from the USA in 2015 and has been with the company since October 2021.

One of the Jetrangers is ZK-IGT3 which was imported for the company from Australia back in 2016.


Thursday 21 September 2023

The Alpine Helicopters' 500s

Wanaka based Alpine Helicopters currently operate 3 Hughes 500s comprising single examples of the C, D & E models.

The 500C is a Kawasaki built example ZK-HMW4 which was originally imported from the Philippines back in 2002 as ZK-IAC being reregistered HMW in December 2020.

The D model is ZK-HOT8 which was imported from the US back in early 1985 as ZK-HUW being reregistered as HOT in December 2020.

And the E model is ZK-HNW4 which was imported from Australia in October 2018 as ZK-HOT6,  being reregistered HNW in the same month.


Wednesday 20 September 2023

New Tecnams at Oamaru

A visit today to the NZ Airline Academy at Oamaru Airport found most of their fleet active including 3 that havent featured on this Blog before.

Starting with P2008JC ZK-TBT2 which is a brand new example imported in April 2022 with ZK-TCT.

A very recent import in August 2023 is P Mentor ZK-TDT2 which was imported with ZK-TET.

And a P2008 imported from Australia in March 2023 together with ZK-TZT was ZK-TYT.


Cessna 680 Sovereign ZK-ZEK at Ardmore

We now have two Cessna 680 Sovereigns registered in New Zealand.  The C 680 Sovereign was introduced in 1998 and made its first flight in 2002.  It was granted FAA certification in June 2004.

ZK-ZEK (c/n 680-0012) is a very early example and previously was N970RC, N61DF, N690VP and VH-ZEK.  It was registered to Airlift New Zealand Ltd of Auckland on 23/8/23 and was photo'd at Ardmore by Peter Dorbeck on 19/9/23.

Our other Cessna 680 Sovereign is Skyline Aviation's ZK-RXD which is based at Napier which you can find by searching the blog.

Thanks for the photo Peter.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

New helicopters in Queenstown

The latest additions to the fleets of the Queenstown Airport helicopter operators were noted today starting with EC145 / BK117C-2 ZK-IDT2 which has been acquired by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters.   This was purchased from North Shore based Orbit Helicopters where it was ZK-IGL2, and has had a series of ZK registrations since importation back in 2007.

The same company has also added 2 brand new AS350B-3e helicopters ZK-IHO and ZK-IKW,  both seen stacked up here.

And on the other side of the Airport Heliworks has added the EC130T2 ZK-ICH3 which was imported from Australia.


Monday 18 September 2023

NSAC Alpha 2160 ZK-TZM/3 in Club Colours

 The North Shore Aero Club has repainted their Alpha R2160 ZK-TZM3 in their club colours:

As seen at North Shore airfield today.

The Robin Fleet at North Shore Aero Club Today

Another trip to North Shore airfield today for Avgas saw nearly all of the NSAC Robin fleet parked out:

They are ZK-TZG, TZH, TZI2, TZK, TZL2 and TZM3 (TZJ crashed in the South Island in 2007).  I will make this into an unofficial Question Time - what is different in this photo?  No chocolate fish will be awarded.

And what do you think about the way they are parked?  (Have a look at the windsock).

Sunday 17 September 2023

Kitplanes for Africa Explorers of New Zealand

Kitplanes for Africa is a South African company with Stefan Coetzee as the major owner.  Their factory is in Johannesburg and they have been building light kit aircraft since 1993.  Their first aircraft was the Bush Baby and this has been developed into the Explorer which is a 600 Kg LSA aircraft that is certified in Germany.  More recently they have developed the Safari and the Safari XL which are bigger aircraft that come under the GA class.  They build their aircraft as kits or complete aircraft completely in their factory.  KFA also build their own version of turbocharged Rotax engines.  Of the three models we have had 2 KFA Explorers registered to date in New Zealand, both imported as completed aircraft from South Africa.  

The KFA Explorer has a length of 5.9 metres (19 feet 5 inches) and a wingspan of 9.34 metres (30 feet 8 inches) with a wing area of 131.2 square feet.  Its empty weight is around 340 - 356 Kg (750 - 805 pounds) while the MAUW is 600 Kg (1,323 pounds).  Engines can be up to 135 HP and many different types of engines have been fitted by kit builders, but with the Rotax 912 ULS of 100 HP the cruise is around 85 knots, while the stall with full flaps is 35 knots.

Warwick Hamilton caught the Te Puke owned Kitplanes for Africa Explorer ZK-MSC (c/n 159-01-12) flying at Tauranga yesterday.  It was registered to UGO Earthworks Ltd of Te Puke on 1/6/23 and was previously ZU-MSC in South Africa.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Kaipara Flats Today

Finally another nice Saturday morning at Kaipara Flats airfield.  The Rodney Aero Club host a Cuppa and Coffee from around 10 every Saturday morning rain or shine and what a change from one week ago as we looked out at the rain (while the forecast said fine).

Rob Hill popped over from his property on the Mahurangi in his lovely Jet Ranger ZK-IAP3.  Here he is photo'd lifting off for home with the modellers behind.

The modellers have some neat planes such as John Marsden's Spitfire with a 4 stroke engine.

And the conditions just begged me to go for a little aviating - I went for a flight over to the Kaipara Harbour where it was quite hazy but so still!  If you think I am low I was descending into the low flying area around Tapora.

Cessna Citation VH-X8X at Christchurch on Thursday.

 A fleeting visitor through Christchurch International Airport on Thursday was the Cessna 525B Citation CJ3J VH-X8X c/n 525B-0472

A Tony McFarlin photograph.

Note the Alpha / Numeric registration.

Noted as N225TJ from July 2015 in the Bank of Utah books and I believe operated by Sable PT LLC with delivery on 02-07-2015.
Its US registration was cancelled on 18-04-2023 to become VH-X8X on 24-05-2023 with Eagle One Aviation Ltd of Peregian Beach, Queensland, and is operated by Navair Flight Operations Pty Ltd at Bankstown.

It flew into Christchurch from Sydney on Thursday, remaining briefly before returning to Sydney and then on Friday flew to Ballina, Adelaide and back home to Bankstown.

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Bantam B 22 at ZK-FXG at Feilding on 10-9-2023

Jordan Elvy was at Feilding last Sunday and amongst the various aircraft comings and going was the locally owned Bantam B 22 ZK-FXG which has not been posted on the blog previously:

ZK-FXG (c/n 0098) was first registered back in October 1990 and has been owned by Brian Fletcher of Palmerston North since 30/6/00 but it has not been flying much over the last few years.  However it has recently been overhauled and is now flying again.

Thanks for the photo Jordan.

I checked out posts on Bantams on the blog and I reckon we have posted around 47 of them to date.  I see there are 103 still on the register.

Monday 11 September 2023


 This is the third and final post on the aircraft used as instructional airframes by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Aviation Engineering (NMIT) at Woodbourne Airfield, Blenheim.

Special thanks go to NMIT for photograph permission and to Zac Yates for providing same.



The Piper PA-28-140D Cherokee ZK-DEB c/n 28-7125115 was shipped to New Zealand aboard the Austral Patriot, arriving on the 15-03-1971.

It was registered to the NZ Piper agents Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 19-04-1971 and first flew here on 24-04-1971. It was delivered the same day to the Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club at Bridge Pa, Hastings.ZK-DEB at Pukekohe 08-01-1972.

They on sold it to R D and S F Thodey of Hastings from 26-09-1975 and it was in turn sold to D R Fraser of Hawarden, North Canterbury from 11-06-1976.

Next in line were K J and L P Anderson of Clinton from 30-08-1983.

Above. as seen at West Melton 28-03-1987 with the Kittyhawk Club/AOPA sticker on its fin.
As seen at Timaru 21-02-2008.

Then followed Classic Flights Ltd at Wanaka from 18-04-2008.On the tie downs at Omarama 10-12-2009.

And at home base at Wanaka on 16-12-2009.

Above. Taxying out at Wanaka on 13-11-2015 with a new lower engine cowling.

In a new scheme above at Wanaka on 10-02-2017.

Wanaka 21-02-2019.

Wanaka again on 25-02-2019.

It was damaged at Wanaka on 02-11-2019 and was cancelled on 05-10-2020 as destroyed.

It is now part of the NMIT team at Woodbourne.

At NMIT Woodbourne from Zac Yates. August 2023.



The Aerospatiale AS 350 D A-Star ZK-HYP2 c/n 1393 popped up in August of 1981 with Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation of Grand Prairie, Texas as N5774X for delivery to RTS Helicopters Services Corporation of New York, NY the following month. By 1993 it was with Papillon Helicopters Ltd of Kirkland, Washington until cancelled on 23-05-1996 to move to New Zealand.
It became ZK-HYP2 with Skyline Aviation Ltd at Hastings on 31-05-1996.
It was re-designated as an AS 350 B model on 01-05-1998 with an upgrade to an AS 350 BA on 28-08-2008.
A re-listing to Helicopters Hawkes Bay 2006 Ltd of Hastings took effect from 01-04-2019.
Above we see ZK-HYP at Bridge Pa on 15-03-2000 with small "Skyline Aviation" decals.

Above as part of the NMIT tool kit at Woodbourne thanks to Zac Yates.

Above is the Eurocopter conversion date plate for its upgrade to AS 350 BA model dated 25 Aug 2008 thanks to Rotorcraft.



Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HWL2 is c/n 2540 and first appeared listed with Canterbury Helicopters Ltd of Claxby on 04-08-1995.
ZK-HWL as captured at Airmec Aviation, West Melton, Christchurch on 30-01-1997 with Wanaka Helicopters titles.
It was damaged just northeast of Roxburgh on 10-03-1998.

And two shots of ZK-HWL2 at Forest Field on 15-02-2000.
It was re-listed to Wanaka Helicopters - a name change from Canterbury Helicopters  - on 20-11-2002.
David Eason of Crown Rock Farm, Tapanui took it over from 30-03-2009
It was withdrawn and its registration was cancelled on 01-07-2016.
It was replaced at Crown Rock Farm by the R22 ZK-HEV2.

Above. ZK-HWL2 at NMIT, Woodbourne during August this year, thanks to Zac Yates.