Thursday 30 November 2023

Wings Over Wairarapa 2023

It would be remiss of us not to cover a little of the action from the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow that was scheduled to be held over 24 - 27 November.

The Wings Over Wairarapa organisers must be wondering when they will get a break as the airshow, already delayed because of the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle in February, was again affected by the weather with the Saturday airshow being cancelled and only the Sunday airshow going ahead.  Unfortunately the weather on the day prevented any of The Vintage Aviator aircraft flying (I assume).

The headline act was of course the Corsair in RNZAF colours that flew in from Omaka on the Sunday morning, but there were other aircraft being displayed, some of which were as follows:

NZ Aero displayed their new XL 750-II Super Pac/XSTOL ZK-EPO.

John Bargh (I assume) displayed the Air Tractor AT 402B ZK-PCC2.  It looks like it was pretty chilly!

And Farmers Air's Beaver ZK-BVA2 also flew a spirited display.

There were of course many other aircraft that flew displays so well done to all the pilots and crew who made it to Masterton.  I guess one upside is that we won't have to wait two years for the next Wings Over Wairarapa.

JMB Aircraft VL-3TE-915is Evolution ZK-ECO

 Noted taxying at Rangiora back on the 25th was the new JMB Aircraft VL-3TE-915is Evolution LSA, with its 142hp Rotax 915is engine.
 ZK-ECO3 was registered to Warren Matthews of Diamond Harbour, Lyttelton on 09-10-2023.
Check out some of its specs HERE
This is the third JMB aircraft so far - the other two being ZK-VLT and ZK-JMB.
You can click on the image to enlarge it and study the markings.

Warren also owns the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-STE - a very different machine indeed.

Photo thanks to John Wagtendonk.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Avid Flyer ZK-JDF

ZK-JDF (c/n 1459D) is an Avid Mark IV Flyer that was built by John Sinclair of Tahakopa, and was first registered on 19-12-1994 making it the eleventh Avid on the register.  
It had a Rotax 912 engine and an Ivoprop propellor.  It first flew on 19-09-2005 and was later based at Balclutha. 
Photo below from Peter Lewis shows ZK-JDF in its original form at Balclutha on 24-12-2007.
On 11-06-2010 it was re-designated as a Microlight Class 2.
It was sold to Hamish Hamilton of Hokitika on 17-01-2011 but was damaged in an accident on a West Coast riverbed in 17-08-2013.
It was noted , below, in Grant Porters "Landing Spot' hangar at Rangiora on 13-09-2013,

and was then moved to Stu Bufton's hangar, below, where some work was done on the fuselage in early 2014.Some initial work being done by Stu Bufton and is seen above on 01-02-2014.

                                 And above on 27-09-2015 there was little obvious change.

A plan was formulated to modify the aircraft.And by 07-02-2017, with the fuselage frame sorted it underwent the unkindest cut of all.

This was to insert a fuselage extension. As seen below on 02-11-2019.

By 05-03-2021 the fuselage was bagged and painted.

    By 01-04-2023 engine runs were being carried out with a temporary nose wheel fitted to prevent an                                                                     accidental prop strike.

             By 07-07-2023, Above, a new cowling was fitted with the larger rudder more obvious, 
                 and below another view of the fuselage extension, the fin fillet and larger rudder.

   Above by 08-09-2023 ballast weight had been fitted in the tail end of the fuselage and the registration                                                                             has been applied.

                        And on 25-11-2023 it was photographed by John Wagtendonk flying at Rangiora.

Mercer & Ardmore 29 November

Noted at Mercer airfield this morning was the locally owned Cessna 207 ZK-FQY now repainted in a smart new scheme.   This was originally imported from the US in 1988.

Moving onto Ardmore outside International Heliproperties was the former Nakanihon Air Service AS355F2 JA6602.

Nearby on assembly at Oceania were 2 Canadian Helicopters' AS350B2 C-GDWM and C-GHVU presumably being readied for their summer excursion to the Antarctic.    Both were onetime Helicopters NZ Ltd machines.

Calling in briefly was Bell 429 "Police 3" otherwise ZK-HPJ2.


A Sad Anniversary - The Erebus Disaster

Yesterday the 28th of November marked the 44th anniversary of the loss of Air New Zealand's DC 10 ZK-NZP (c/n 46910) along with 257 passengers and crew when it crashed into the lower slopes of Mt Erebus in Antarctica.  This was the worst single tragedy in New Zealand history (one more than the Napier earthquake of 1931) and the circumstances have proved controversial even after so many years.  

I remember that we were living in Hong Kong at the time and we nearly always watched the Air NZ DC 10s arriving and departing on their twice weekly services to Kai Tak, they were a link to home.  We listened to the news reports of the missing plane with disbelief and then the sad news was confirmed.

I cannot find that we have posted about an Air NZ DC 10 on the blog, so here is a photo of ZK-NZP from JetPhotos taken by Daniel Tanner at Mangere on 27/7/77:

Air New Zealand has re-used the ZK-NZ_ series of registrations for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, with ZK-NZC, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M. N, Q and R but they have not re-used ZK-NZP.

Sunday 26 November 2023

My week of Squirrel shooting

 Potted at Nelson was the Eurocopter AS 350 B2 Squirrel ZK-HPE4 c/n 4052.  
This on started as VH-ZRP2 in Australia in April 2006 and came to NZ for the Alpine Group from 10-08-2016.
Now listed to a 'Private Owner".

Below is the Helibras AS 350 B2 Equilo (sub species) ZK-HQN4 c/n 3620 which was once PP-MJG.
It joined the NZ register on 25-10-2016.

Also at Nelson was the Aerospatiale AS 350BA ZK-IOR c/n 1646 which arrived in NZ being ex N5800T and N28TM. It become ZK-HZR from 23-09-1986. 
It moved on to ZK-HST2 on 03-05-1993 and then to ZK-HWF3 on 18-06-2009.
It became ZK-IOR on 03-11-2014.

Over at Omaka I knocked off the following.
ZK-HFA2 c/n 9000 is an Aerospatiale B2 (FX) of Mid West Helicopters (NZ) Ltd of Whanganui.
This was XB-XQR between June of 1998 and its listing in NZ on 14-05-2001 with Helicopters (NZ) Ltd.
It was accompanied (below) by the Mid West Helicopters Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IDN2 c/n 3356 - previously N232LA and N886LP and one of Brian Comerford's many imports, being registered here on 20-09-2021.

Omaka based Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-ITJ2 c/n 3547 was initially I-PAMR from July 2002 in Italy, then to Spain as EC-JPM, HK-4777 in Colombia and C-FLQF in Canada. Reaching the ZK register on 12-12-2017 via Oceania Aviation Ltd and now with Precision Helicopters.

Above we have the Marlborough Helicopters 2021 Ltd's Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-IMJ2 c/n 2115 which is ex XB-XSU and VH-VRW and joined Helicontrax Ltd of Christchurch on 20-02-2014.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Bombardier N721MS departing Christchurch.

 Noted departing Christchurch International on Thursday the 23rd was the Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express N721MS c/n 9695.Built by Bombardier Aerospace Inc and registered as C-FHSX on 16-02-2016 until cancelled on 29-02-2016 to become EC-MKH in early March with Gestair SA of Barajas.
From 29-04-2021 it was listed briefly to Bombardier Aerospace Corporation of Dallas, Texas as N468BH and then to VH-FFI3 on 12-05-2021 with FMG Air Pty Ltd of East Perth and operated for Fortescue Metals GP Ltd until cancelled on 20-03-2023.
It was then returned to the US register as N721MS and listed with TVPX Aircraft Solutions of North Salt Lake, Utah from 21-03-2023.
TVPX is an organisation that allows non US citizens to operated US registered aircraft.
For more details on how this arrangement works check  HERE

Starship Beech King Air at Whangarei 22-11-2023

While I was at Whangarei last Wednesday Skyline Aviation's Beech B 300 King Air ZK-SSH marked in Starship Hospital colours arrived and departed.  Here are some shots of its departure:

Back tracking for Runway 06,

Lining up on the numbers,


And climbing out.  A very colourful sight!

Friday 24 November 2023

Another Pitts in Northland (for now)

The arrival of Pitts S1 ZK-JFD in the North for Don McMillan of Kaikohe has led to a domino effect for Don's other Pitts S1s.  We have posted about the Pitts S1 ZK-MPM which has recently gone to the MPM Syndicate of Drury (David Wilkinson and Andrew Hope) and is flying again.

Now another of Don's Pitts S1, ZK-JNW has been returned to flight and will soon be heading to a new owner in the South Island.  Peter Garlick has been carrying out the work and he has sent this photo:

ZK-JNW at Kaikohe taken in mid November.

Thanks for the photo Peter.

Thursday 23 November 2023

Introduction of the New XL750-II SuperPac/XSTOL

NZ Aero introduced their latest development of the XL750-II at a function in their hangar at Hamilton Airport recently.  The aircraft's registration is ZK-EPO (c/n 501):

Here is a video of the introduction ceremony:  
It is quite long but it has some interesting information on the history of aircraft building at Hamilton and also a video of the aircraft, from which I got the screenshot below.

I understand that the aircraft will be at Wings Over the Wairarapa over the weekend.

Pitts Special ZK-JFD at Whangarei Yesterday 22-11-2023

When I was at Whangarei yesterday Peter Garlick pushed the Pitts Special ZK-JFD out and got it ready for a commuting flight down to Springhill - a pretty short flight.  Peter reckoned it is one of the best performing Pitts in New Zealand and it sure showed impressive take off performance:

Wednesday 22 November 2023

QANTAS Link Embraer ERJ-190 VH-UZK diversion to Christchurch.

 The QANTAS Link Embraer ERJ-190 100IGW VH-UZK3 c/n 19000198 was diverted to Christchurch from Wellington due to fog on Tuesday the 21st.
Built by Embraer SA and registered as PT-SGG, becoming N965UW in August 2008. In 2010 it became N172HQ until returning to N965UW in late 2012.

It became VH-UZK on 30-05-2022 registered to Bravo Airline Pty Ltd of Eagle Farm, Brisbane and is operated by Alliance Airlines Pty Ltd covering QANTAS Link services.

Corsair ZK-COR update

Zac Yates reports from Omaka.

The Corsair flew at Omaka on Monday and Tuesday, and is expected to leave tomorrow for a debut at Masterton this weekend

Some explanation about the paint scheme from owner Mike Jones (pictured below refueling the bird).

Our new scheme celebrates the RNZAF pilots and support crews plus other NZ Servicemen. 
In particular the Port nose art is a copy of the original artwork from NZ5373 from 23 Squadron showing Marie (Earl Thompson’s Girlfriend/wife) modeled off the Vargas Girl.

Thanks to Marty Nicoll and JEM Aviation Ltd for their skill and detailed work providing a period scheme and convincing me to adopt it!

With a 5 year old wing man [Mike's son] It was always a given that we would have a tribute to the Disney Studio contribution to WW2.

Marty Nicoll and JEM Aviation Ltd came up with an original Duck applied by 30 SU Service Unit to at least 4 Corsairs in active service providing a link to the brave allied servicemen and pilots of WW2 in all theatres of war.

We have retained our own NZ5648 Identity but given a no[d] to 30SU.

Cessna 206 VH-XBF at Nelson 21-11-2023.

 Noted ar Nelson on Tuesday the 21st by Bill Mannix was this Cessna 206H VH-XBF c/n 20608311.
Built as N6188L and certified to Weaver Aero International of Moundridge, Kansas on 25-08-2008 for delivery to Australia.
Its US identity was cancelled on 22-09-2008 for it to become VH-XBF with Airflite Pty Ltd of Jandakot, West Australia from 24-09-2008.
Its final Australian owner was Aero Logistics Pty Ltd of Mayfield West, NSW from 16-01-2019  and was operated by Bayswater Road Ltd of Archerfield, Queensland  from 19-07-2021.
It left Brisbane for Gold Coast on 16-11-2023, moving on to Lord Howe Island the next day  and then to Auckland and Ardmore on the 18th.

It became ZK-SPY2 on 22-11-2023 with Landpro Ltd of Cromwell. A very apt registration.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Diamond DA 62 ZK-DIA/2

Sneaking "under the radar" back in March 2023 was a new first of type aircraft for New Zealand - the Diamond DA 62.

The DA 62 is a five seater (in New Zealand) diesel powered twin that was introduced in Europe in 2012.  It is quite a big aircraft with a length of 9.19 metres (30 feet 2 inches) and a wingspan of 14.55 metres (47 feet 9 inches).  It is powered by two Austro AE 330 turbocharged 2 litre diesel engines that produce 180 HP each and which give a cruise speed of around 200 mph at 75% power.

ZK-DIA2 (c/n 62.226) was registered to a Queenstown owner on 21/3/23, and was photod at Cromwell on 4/11/23 by Steve Lowe.  (The first ZK-DIA was a Grumman American AA-5 Traveler that was registered back in 1972 and cancelled in 2007). 

Thanks for the photos Steve.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Air New Zealand's Latest

 AirNZ has leased another Boeing 777 to fill the gap in their capacity shortages.

The aircraft involved is 777-367ER c/n 36157.
Owned by Air Lease Corporation, this went intially to Cathay Pacific in January 2009 as B-KPJ
It was retired from their fleet in June 2020 as Covid hit.
After a couple of years parked up at Alice Springs it headed back to Air Lease in August 2022 and was allocated the registration marks T7-SON for ferry flights.

Arriving in Auckland on 15th October this year it is now operating with Air New Zealand on a dry-lease as ZK-OKU.
The lease is said to be for three years.

ZK-OKU arriving at a heavily overcast Auckland airport late yesterday afternoon.

Friday 17 November 2023

Continuing the Journey of Republic Seabee N6224K

Following on from the post on Republic Seabee amphibian N6224K, David Berger has posted a photo on Facebook taken from the Seabee showing Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook off the starboard wing:  

Nearly home to its new base at Omarama!

Thursday 16 November 2023

Republic RC-3 Seabee N6224K

 Yesterday, November 15th the Republic RC-3 Seabee N6224K c/n 430 departed Motueka for Omaka and Rangiora.
Of 1947 vintage it arrived at Motueka for its NZ certification and is noted below outside the Argus Aviation Ltd's facility in June this year.
Its first flight in New Zealand was on 15-11-2023 retaining its US registration of N6224K still being registered to Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc Trustee in the UK.

Aaron Murphy caught its arrival at Rangiora below.
Note the water ruder just behind the tailwheel.
It continued on from Rangiora this morning to is new home at Omarama.
Below is an earlier photo borrowed from Jetphotos and Jeromy Dando.
More information on this airframe can be found HERE