Tuesday 31 October 2023

Sir Tim Wallis's Final Flight, Wanaka 28-10-2023


Sir Tim Wallis's plain pine coffin, in the back of Alpine Helicopters Hughes 500D ZK-HOT8, lifts off at Wanaka for the final time following his memorial service, on his way to be cremated.  Accompanying him on his last flight were his widow, Lady Prue and his two sons Toby and Jonathan.  After a flypast the helicopter climbed away vertically into the sky.... 

Piper Seneca ZK-ROC.

 Piper PA-34-200 Seneca ZK-ROC c/n 34-7350084 was actually produced in 1972 and registered as N15668 to the Piper Aircraft Corporation at Vero Beach, Florida and had at least four US owners before it was ferried into Auckland via Pago Pago on 21-10-1987.

It became ZK-ROC on 09-12-1987 to the importers Airwork (NZ) 1984 Ltd of Ardmore and was listed to its new owner R O Christopers (hence the ROC registration) of Kerikeri on 08-07-1988.

It has had a multitude (ie about twenty) of owners/operators over the years.

Above, as seen at Ardmore on 02-12-1993 whilst with the Ardmore Flying School.

At Momona Airport, Dunedin on line with Mainland Air Services Ltd on 10-12-1996.

Also at Dunedin Airport 06-10-1999 with Mainland Air titles.

As noted at Paraparaumu on 26-03-2008 whilst listed with Wanganui Commuter Ltd.

As seen on 18-01-2013 whilst with Helipro Aviation Training Co.

 It has been listed with Landpro Ltd of Cromwell since 12-09-2023. 
It spent much of last week aerial surveying in the Culverden Basin of North Canterbury.It was captured above at Rangiora on Saturday the 28th refueling prior to a run home to its Wanaka base.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Another New Aircraft at Whitianga on 22-10-2023

With all the airshow activity going on at Whitianga last Sunday, some might have overlooked an N registered aircraft that is based there.  However Simon Hills took a photo of it:

The brand new Cessna T206H N63PH Stationair HD (c/n T20609737) is now based at Whitianga after having been flown across the Pacific by its owner.  I understand that the registration reflects the owners age and initials.

Thanks for the photo Simon.

 Errol Cavit captured the Cessna 680 Sovereign ZK-ZEK at Ardmore yesterday.ZK-ZEK c/n 680-0012 was built as N970RC and listed to the Cessna Aircraft Company at Wichita, Kansas before becoming N61DF with Cintas Corporation No2 at Cincinnati, Ohio from 15-02-2005. It then became N680VP back with Cessna Aircraft Company from 11-07-2012.

It then moved to Australia to become VH-ZEK3 from 24-06-2014 with Silver Linings Aviation Pty Ltd of Sydney and was moved on to Flight Options (Australia) Pty Ltd of Sunshine Coast, Queensland from 11-05-2022.
It arrived in NZ about 01-01-2023 and remained on its Australian registration until becoming ZK-ZEK on 23-08-2023 for Airlift New Zealand Ltd,

Check out this facebook link here
Transport for the guest of honour.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Texan sextet. Christchurch today 28-10-2023.

 In and around Christchurch today were six Beechcraft T-6C Texan II aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Above we see NZ1404 c/n PM-42, NZ1405 c/n PM-43 and NZ1408 c/n PM-50.

Below we have NZ1410 c/n PM-55, NZ1406 c/n PM-44 and NZ1403 c/n PM-41.
You might ask what this has to do with a civil aircraft blog ?
All eleven of the RNZAF Texans were delivered from the Beechcraft facility at Wichita, Kansas with US civil aircraft registrations.
NZ1403 was N2841B.
NZ1404 was N2842B.
NZ1405 was N2845B.
NZ1406 was N2846B.
NZ1408 was N2763B.
NZ1410 was N2773B.

Another good reason for having them on this site is that they proceeded down to Wanaka for a tribute fly past at Sir Tim's funeral.
Not bad for a civilian to get an RNZAF send off.

Friday 27 October 2023

Air New Zealand's Leased Boeing 777-300ER ZK-OKU

On arrival at Auckland International last evening around 1830 hrs I spied Air New Zealand's latest leased Boeing 777-300 parked out.  Steve Lowe of our sister blog 3rrd Level New Zealand has sometimes posted desperation shots of aircraft and here is my desperation effort!  Apologies for the quality but is was a quick lunge across Lady Minty who had the window seat!

You will have to take my word that it is ZK-OKU (c/n 36157) a 777-367ER model that was leased to Cathay Pacific Airlines from January 2009 by Air Lease Corporation. 
It is now on a three year lease to Air New Zealand and arrived in Auckland on 15-10-2023.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Cessna 172P VH-ZPG

Noted recently at Ardmore was the Cessna 172P VH-ZPG and today this is revealed to be the former Palmerston North owned ZK-LGE which was cancelled by CAA off the register as exported to Australia.  It will presumably fly in Tasman in due course.


Wednesday 25 October 2023

South East Air Cherokee 6 ZK-RTS at Invercargill

I made a quick trip to Invercargill airport yesterday afternoon.  There were only a couple of local aircraft heading off to Stewart Island, being the Stewart Island Flights Britten Norman Islander ZK-FXE and South East Air Ltd's Cherokee 6 ZK-RTS.  Actually both are owned by South East Air Ltd and ZK-RTS has not been posted on the blog previously.

ZK-RTS (c/n 32-7340070) has been owned by South East Air Ltd since it was registered in New Zealand on 5/2/97.  This photo was the best I could do with the limitations of the terminal's windows.

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Glenorchy Air at Queenstown this Morning 24-10-2023

I find Queenstown a difficult place to get good photos of parked aircraft if you don't have much time, so this morning I had a quick squizz which only resulted in these very average photos of some of the nicely painted Glenorchy Air fleet:

Outside in the sun was their Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-MMZ,

While the main reason for my visit was at the back of their translucent hangar - their new Daher Kodiak 100 ZK-KDK2, and in front was their Gippsland GA 8 Airvan ZK-LOR.  I was told that the Kodiak would be out in the afternoon for publicity shots, so I missed it by "that" much!

Monday 23 October 2023

Aero Day Over the Bay at Whitianga 22-10-2023

Yesterday the Mercury Bay Aero Club put on a free airshow over Mercury Bay to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.  There were great vantage points from the Whitianga beaches and large crowds turned out to watch in the fine weather.  Here are a few photos from David Signal who flew there in his Aeroprakt A 22LS Foxbat ZK-SGI:

A nice tight Yak 52 formation.

Some of the crowds on the beaches.

A selection of visiting and local aircraft.

Pete Walton's Airdrome Aeroplanes full size Fokker Dr 1 Triplane replica ZK-CCO2.

And coming along nicely is Gavin Magill's Airdrome Aeroplanes full sized Sopwith Camel replica.

Thanks for the photos David.

NASA Hercules N436NA

This Lockheed L383 HC-130H Hercules c/n 5104 was built as 86-0420 and then allocated to the US Coast Guard at Clearwater, Florida with serial number 1717 in 1987. 

It transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Centre at the Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. and allocated the US civil registration of N436NA on 26-03-2015.

Below is from one of NASA blurbs.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) Aircraft Office operates a NASA HC-130H Hercules, N436NA c/n 5104, research/cargo aircraft to support airborne scientific research activities and movement of NASA cargo. The HC-130H is used to perform scientific research, provide logistics support on an as-needed basis to other NASA missions, and can be used as a technology test bed for new airborne and satellite instrumentation. The aircraft is also available to support NASA range surveillance and recovery operations as needed. The C-130H is a self-sufficient aircraft that can operate from short field civilian and military airports to remote areas of the world in support of scientific studies and other operations. 

The first two photographs are from Tony McFarlin who caught its arrival into Christchurch International on the 22nd.

Below I captured it today (23rd) awaiting its first research flight.

Sunday 22 October 2023

Passing Makarora Today 22-10-2023

A lovely day for a drive from Wanaka over the Haast Pass to Haast.  And right beside the road at Makarora was Southern Alps Air's Cessna A185F ZK-FMA shining in bright yellow with Siberia Experience titles:

Saturday 21 October 2023

An Exotic Homebuilt at Wanaka Today 21-10-2023

I called in briefly to Wanaka airport this afternoon.  It was very quiet with no movements and only various GA aircraft parked out that have all been posted on the blog previously.

But then I had a look through the rear windows of the large hangar on the corner of Spitfire Lane and saw the newly restored Jurca MJ 8 (3/4 scale Focke Wulf replica) ZK-ZZW parked in a photo friendly position:

ZK-ZZW (c/n 5) was registered to Avserv Ltd of Mt Maunganui on 14/6/23, and I understand that it has recently flown again.

This is of course the same aircraft that was imported by Gilles Kupfer and registered to him as ZK-YKZ in 2009.  It has sat dormant at Wanaka for a long time and its registration was revoked on 13/5/16.  There is a link to its previous life HERE

It will be great to see it flying!

Christchurch on Friday the 20th

 Tony McFarlin also covered the action at Christchurch International on Friday.
Here we have three of his offerings.
This is the first visit to Christchurch of the Texel Air Ltd Boeing 737-8BK BCF ZK-TXA c/n 33013.
Briefly this was built as D-ABBK and first flew on 18-04-2003 for lease to Air Berlin followed by a lease to British Airways for operation by Comair as ZS-ZWU.
 It became N739CE for TPX Aircraft Solutions Inc on 16-02-2023 and was converted to a freighter in China during February to September.
It was delivered into Auckland via Davao City and Port Morseby on 28-09-2023 - moving down to Hamilton the following day for its NZ certification.
It became ZK-TXA on 18-10-2023.

The Gulfstream GVII-G600 N1955M c/n 73087 was travelling under 'cloak mode' within the Bank of Utah books and was looked after by GCH Aviation.

This Bombardier CL-600-2B18 N89 c/n 5815 is from the Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City. It began life in Canada as C-FZLA followed by N605BX with Bombardier Aerospace before delivery to the FAA.
It is likely to do a calibration flight to the Deep South in the next few days.

Fridays pie run

 I started my Friday run at Christchurch International and noted the regular Bombardier BD-700 N77NZ parked up. Previously mentioned Here
Also the Gulfstream GVII-G600 N1955M c/n 73087 at GCH Aviation.

Of more interest to me was the Bell 412EP N473AC c/n 36201 partially hidden in the USARP secure yard. This is listed on the US register with Rainier Heli International Inc of Kirkland, Washington, USA.
As can be seen it carries National Science Foundation titles and insignia and has recently returned from operations in Antarctica.

Out at Rangiora I noted the Schweizer 269C-1 ZK-HMC2 of Waimea Plains Ltd. 

A rather imposing machine is this Cessna U206F Stationair ZK-DXC c/n U20602986.
This has been in NZ since factory new in 1976.
Previous mentions     HERE

Friday 20 October 2023

Sir Tim Wallis RIP

Sir Tim Wallis passed away peacefully at his home in Wanaka on 17 October 2023 aged 85.  Sir Tim was renowned in many different spheres of business and flying, both in New Zealand and worldwide, including aerial deer hunting and pioneering live deer recovery.  He built up one of the world's best collection of WW 2 aircraft and started the Wings Over Wanaka airshow in 1988 to showcase them.  And he was also instrumental in resurrecting the Russian Polikarpov I-16 Rata (six of them) and I-153 Chaika WW 2 fighters (three of them) from wrecks recovered in Russia where they were rebuilt in Novosibirsk and shipped to Wanaka.  He was badly injured in the crash of his Spitfire Mk XIV ZK-XIV2 in January 1996 which left him medically unfit to fly, but he kept up his passion for Warbirds Over Wanaka until his passing.

One of Tim Wallis's early ventures was Luggate Game Packers Ltd who flew venison out to their processing plant at Luggate, just down the road from Wanaka.  Here is their Cessna 180A ZK-BUQ at Invercargill in October 1968. 

Then followed Alpine Helicopters Ltd initially with leased machines.  The Bell 47G ZK-HBB was their first owned machine followed by the Hiller UH12E ZK-HAN and then the Bell 47G ZK-HAX. Their 4th helicopter was the Hiller UH-12E ZK-HBL which is photo'd here at Queenstown in April 1974.

Over the years Sir Tim's companies have owned and operated many helicopters.  Here is Hughes 500D ZK-HOT at Christchurch in April 1988 marked with Alpine Deer Group Ltd script.

Another passion of Sir Tim was his collection of WW 2 aircraft, the first of which was the North American P 51D Mustang ZK-TAF which was first registered in May 1986.  This photo is of it later, in February 2009 at Wigram where it was assembled and first flown on 24-01-1985 on its US registration.  It became the foundation aircraft of Sir Tim's Alpine Fighter Collection.

The Alpine Fighter Collection has owned some different and exotic aircraft over the years such as this Harvard based Mitsubishi Zero replica which arrived in NZ in late 1992 and flew as N15798 until becoming ZK-ZRO from April 1998. It went to Australia as VH-ZRO in 2001. 

One of Sir Tim's six Polikarpov I-16 Rata's that flew at Wanaka was ZK-JIN which is photo'd here in April 1998.

And one of his three Polikarpov I-153 Chaika's was ZK-JJN which is photo'd here in the Alpine Fighter Collection's hangar at Wanaka in September 2005.  You can see Sir Tim's Spitfire Mk XVI ZK-XVI in the background.

And finally here is Sir Tim's Hawker Hurricane 2A ZK-TPK photo'd at Wanaka on April 2006.  It was completed by Air New Zealand at Christchurch and registered here in August 1999 and was sold to a new owner in France in 2013.  

After Sir Tim's 1996 Spitfire crash the Alpine Fighter Collection was gradually sold off  but Warbirds Over Wanaka continues to be one of the most spectacular airshows in the Southern hemisphere.

Rest in Peace Sir Tim.  You wrote several chapters of the history of aviation in New Zealand.

Some helicopters at Ardmore 20 October

Completely refurbished by Heliflite at Ardmore was Volta Aviation's 2nd Sikorsky S-76C ZK-IBI2.  Imported from Malaysia where it was operated on offshore rig support work it received its NZ CofA yesterday and carried out its 1st charter flight this afternoon to the Coromandel.

Also completely refurbished is MD520N ZK-IEK, initially by Oceania Aviation at Ardmore and then 369 Ltd at Mt Maunganui.   Now for sale it was originally imported from Denmark in 2014 as ZK-IDB2, becoming IEK in 2015 and more recently operated by Southland Helicopters.

Being prepared for export to the USA is Advanced Flight's Bell 429 ZK-IXW2 which has been reserved as N52HX with the FAA.   It was originally imported from Canada back in 2011.


Thursday 19 October 2023

Passing Through Auckland International Today 19-10-2023

It was a lovely day to fly out from NZAA today and the weather stayed lovely and clear all the way South to Dunedin.  There were a couple of colourful aircraft from the Pacific that arrived while I was there (as of necessity taken through glass) :

Air Tahiti Nui's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-OVAA taxied in,

I missed Fiji Air's Airbus A 350-900 DQ-FAN taxying but it parked in a photo accessible position.

Then Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZG took off, being photo bombed by an Air Chathams ATR 72.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Yak 52 ZK-BJK 2

Arriving into Pauanui airfield this evening was our latest Yak 52 import,  Rob Fry's ZK-BJK2.  Featuring a stunning "Air Bandits" paint scheme it was imported in 2022 and derives its NZ registration from its previous Lithuanian registration, LY-BJK.  


Sunday 15 October 2023

Texel Air New Zealand's Latest B737-800 at Hamilton

Texel Air New Zealand's second NZ registered Boeing 737-800 BCF freighter was photo'd yesterday at Hamilton by Jordan Elvy.  As N739CE it arrived in Auckland on 29 September before relocating to Hamilton for work to bring it onto the New Zealand civil register.

ZK-TXA is not on the civil register yet although it is not far away.

Thanks for the photo Jordan.

Saturday 14 October 2023

A Follow Up on Pilatus Turbo Porter ZK-JMP/3

Pilatus PC 6 Turbo Porter ZK-JMP3 (c/n 693) was on the New Zealand Civil Register from 2001 until 2011, but it has not been posted on the blog previously:

The aircraft was built in the Pilatus factory at Stans in Switzerland and was delivered as HB-FEE to the RAAF at Amberly on 16/1/69 where it became A14-693.  It flew with the RAAF until it was withdrawn from service in November 1992.  On 11/6/93 it was registered on the Australian Civil Register as VH-REL and it was on the register until it was sold to New Zealand in March 2001.  It became ZK-JMP3 on 2/5/01 with JW and EL Lyver and it operated out of Mercer dropping parachutists.  It spent all of its New Zealand life operating out of Mercer, being owned by Skydive Auckland Ltd from 7/5/04 then by Mercer Skydiving Centre Ltd from 5/10/05.  Along the way it was converted to a PT 6A-34 engine making it a B2-H4 model.

It is photo'd above at Ardmore in 2007 and you can still see its RAAF serial on the rear fuselage (click to enlarge).  It was cancelled from the New Zealand register and exported to France where on 15/11/11 it became F-GTDZ as in the photo below, still dropping parachutists, and it is still current.