Sunday 31 December 2023

NZ Aero FBA-2C3 ZK-EPP at Wings Over Wairarapa

 As this is probably the last post for the blog for 2023, it could be considered as an eppilogue!

We have covered ZK-EPP before but back in February 2021 it was test flown by Pacific Aerospace Ltd.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then with PAL going into liquidation and the assets of PAL being "rescued" by investors and aviation enthusiasts Dee Bond and Neil Young of NZSkydive Ltd, and more recently the company has been re-branded as NZ Aero.  I understand that NZ Aero now owns the rights to the XL 750 and the SuperPac, the CT 4 Airtrainer, the Cresco and the FBA-2C3 which is also known as the E-350 Expedition.  

I understand that there are 3 more SuperPac's under construction but I am not sure about the future of the E-350 Explorer.

NZ Aero had both ZK-EPP and the SuperPac ZK-EPO on display at Wings Over Wairarapa in November.  Thanks to Planefil for the photo.

Hawker Sea Fury FB 11 ZK-SFR

When I was looking for photos of the late Sir Tim Wallis's Spitfire Mk XVI for a post after his recent passing, I scanned a couple of photos of it from the 25th anniversary of the Walsh Flying School airshow I attended at Matamata in 1991.  However there were a couple of other warbirds in attendance, so I also scanned my photo of the Hawker FB 11 Sea Fury ZK-SFR:

This Sea Fury was one of 24 FB 11 Furys that were recovered from a wreckers yard in Iraq in the 1980s.  It is not actually a real Sea Fury but rather a FB 11(c/n 37223 but also quoted as 41H643827) that was delivered to the Iraqi Air Force in 1952 and was coded 326.  It arrived in New Zealand on 19 June 1986 (airfreighted by RNZAF Hercules!) with very low hours and was completely overhauled and painted in Fleet Air Arm colours as WJ232, representing the aircraft of  Royal Navy pilot Peter "Hoagy" Carmichael in the Korean conflict.  Carmichael shot down a North Korean MIG 15 in the original Sea Fury on 9 August 1952 while operating off the carrier HMS Ocean.  

ZK-SFR was first registered on 11/2/87 to the Fury Syndicate of Auckland (Rob Booth, John Greenstreet and Steve Taylor) and its first post restoration flight in New Zealand was on 12 March 1988.  Ownership transferred on 18/8/93 to Flightwatch Services of Auckland (Rob Booth and Grant Biel).  It flew the Tasman several times, flown by Grant Biel, to participate in air races in Australia.  On 19/10/00 ownership transferred to Unlimited Aerobaticss Pty Ltd of Auckland (Steve Taylor) and it was cancelled from the NZ register on 24/5/01 and sold to Australia.

ZK-SFR originally lacked the wing folding and arrester hook mechanisms of a Sea Fury, but these parts were obtained from the FAA Historic Flight Sea Fury WG665 which was written off in a accident in the UK in 1990 and retrofitted to ZK-SFR in 1992.

In Australia it was registered VH-SHF3 and was operated by Harts Flying Fighters Pty Ltd of Brisbane, and it returned to New Zealand for Wings Over Wanaka in 2002 as in the photo below with Flying Fighters script on the tail.  

Later it was seized by Australian Federal Police in a case of tax fraud and it was impounded at Archerfield for many years.

It was purchased at an auction in 2018 by an Australian buyer, still registered as VH-SFC3 and in 2019 it was transported to Pays Vintage Fighter Restorations in Scone, NSW.  The intention was to restore the Sea Fury in Australia but it was cancelled from the Australian register on 20/6/20 and I understand that it was exported to the UK.

Friday 29 December 2023

Random Rotorcraft - Barnett J4B ZK-RBM

Dennis Moore commenced building his Barnett J4B gyrocopter in the early 1980s I think.  At the time Dennis and I were both members of the Manawatu Chapter of the AACA and I saw it under construction.

When it was finished he took it down to Foxpine airfield where I took this photo of Dennis about to fire it up in the mid 1980s.  ZK-RBM (c/n NZRA/06/2) was registered in July 1983 and was the first Barnett J4B to be registered here (there has been one more being ZK-RBF that I know nothing of).  The Barnett J4B was an American design and it was more powerful than other gyrocopters of the time, having a 100 HP Continental O-200 engine.  It was withdrawn from use and de-registered in January 1994.

Dennis currently has Jodel D 11 ZK-FHB almost ready to fly again at Feilding aerodrome.

Thursday 28 December 2023

Cessna U206F Stationair ZK-DWX

Cessna U206F Stationair c/n U20602641 was allocated the US registration of N59268 on the production line and for test flying purposes in the USA before it was shipped out to NZ aboard the Austral Ensign reaching here on 04-06-1975.
It was assembled at Ardmore and registered to the NZ Cessna agents Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd on 09-06-1975 and it received its NZ CofA and also first flew on 03-07-1975.
It was re-listed to Air Safaris and Services Ltd of Lake Tekapo on 14-07-1975 where it joined their Cessna A185F ZK-DJM.
It is seen above, thanks to Bob Kerr, at Tekapo on 17-08-1975 prior to receiving Air Safari markings which included a stylised Chamois head on the fin and rudder.

 Six years later it was moved on to Haldon Station Ltd from 11-08-1981 with a change to J L S Innes of Haldon Station on 08-09-1981.
                It is seen below at Christchurch on 04-02-1987 with the Haldon Station tail markings
 And below at Greymouth on 10-03-1987.
 On 22-11-1989 I caught it at Karamea - below.
 An ownership change on 26-09-1990 listed it with Dave E Bunn and Co of Arrow Junction who traded under the Dave Bunn Aviation name.
 It carried the 'Firgrove Farm' 'Arrowtown' titles on its fin and is seen below in new colours at Queenstown on 18-03-1991.
Below we see it at Queenstown on 09-12-1998 with revised tail colours and carries the additional 'Dave Bunn Aviation' titles on its tail and the small '206F' aft of the Stationair script above the main wheel.
 Three years later (below) on 09-12-2001 we see it at Queenstown now with 'Air Milford' titles on its tail.
 Title changed to Air Milford 2000 Ltd on 06-01-2003.
 Above photo is from Henry M Taken at Milford Sound on 22-12-2011.
 Above I caught at Queenstown on 20-11-2014.
Plains Investments Ltd of Ashburton took it over from 15-08-2017 and the 'Firgrove Farm' title is again seen on its fin.
And above at Ashburton on 10-09-2017.
It was on sold from 26-09-2018 to Stokes Logging Ltd of Onerahi and they use it to travel between their logging interests in Northland and Taranaki. 
It was noted below by Keith Morris at Stratford on 23-01-2019 having just flown down from Whangarei.
with "Farm" only now on the fin.
In November 2019 title moved to Eltec Forestry NZ Ltd of Cambridge (which is Shaws Wire Ropes and Steve Stokes).
It was then sold on to The Back Doctor (NZ) Ltd of Porirua from 13-06-2020.
This is Doctor Chris Hoffman who made the headlines when he was involved
in the Flying Vaccination Service promoting and giving Covid inoculations in the East Coast of the North Island in late 2021.


There were six aircraft painted up in Whitiki Ngata Porou murals and the names of Soldiers of C Company of the 28th Māori Battalion who served in WWII.

We have previously posted on three of these - Cessna 180A ZK-CDY, Cessna P206E ZK-FJH and the Cessna 208 Caravan ZK-EAV2.

Below we see ZK-DWX in this modified scheme at Otaki during the AOPA fly in on 10-04-2022.
Photo from Simon Hills.

Pietenpol G-L ZK-LBB For Sale on Trade Me

Tom Grant has listed his damaged Pietenpol G-L on Trade Me, with several photos.  This model has a Piper Cub airfoil.

ZK-LBB (c/n TG02) was registered to J T Grant of Dunedin on 7/7/23 and it is photo'd above taxying at Tom's airfield just South of Dunedin.  It was later transported to Taieri but it was damaged in a forced landing on its first flight on 24/8/23 when it overturned.  It was cancelled on 12/10/23.

Tom says the Pietenpol is rebuildable and it is currently offered for sale on Trade Me.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Canadian Squirrels aboard the Araon at Lyttelton

 A recent posting showed the Squirrel ZK-HWG departing from the Korean icebreaker Araon at Lyttelton. HERE

Yesterday December 26th two more Squirrels helicopter arrived aboard the Araon. Both Canadian registered - and both have very interesting previous New Zealand histories.

Above is a long range phone shot of the Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 C-GDWMc/n 2463 of Canadian Helicopters Ltd which had just landed aboard.
A 1991 production machine listed as HB-XVT in March of 1991. It was damaged on 12-08-1995 and came to NZ to be re-worked by Helicopters (NZ) Ltd at Nelson and became ZK-HNZ3 from 01-12-1997.
It went off to Lao Westcoast Helicopters (a subsidiary of HNZ) for work in Cambodia and Myanmar. 
It was re-registered as ZK-HDO4 on 04-05-2007 and was re-exported and cancelled on 06-10-2011 to become RDPL-34185 with Lao West Coast Helicopters of Vientiane, Laos (to continue its work looking for MIA's from the American War).
On 02-01-2018 it became C-GDWM6 with Canadian Helicopters Ltd, who had in the intervening period taken over Helicopters (NZ).

The second Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 arrived later and is seen above secured on the helipad of the Araon.

This is C-GHVU2 c/n 2132. A 1988 build which became N350MB followed by HS-NMB in February 1990 and HS-HTA from January 1995 in Thailand. On 08-09-1998 it became VH-WCU with Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd of Belmont WA - another subsidiary of Helicopters (NZ) Ltd. It joined the NZ register as ZK-HFH3 on 04-12-2001 and served several summer seasons at Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica before returning to Helicopters (Australia) this time as VH-WDQ from 26-06-2009.
Another return to the NZ register had it listed as ZK-HVU4 from 23-09-2013 with the renamed HNZ New Zealand Ltd of Nelson. It served at least two more trips to Terra Nova Bay until it moved to its parent Company as C-GHVU from 12-07-2018.

Sunday 24 December 2023

ZK-HWG returns from 'The Ice".

 At Lyttelton on Saturday morning (23rd) the Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HWG2, c/n 2816, had its rotor blades refitted aboard the Korean Polar Research Institutes ship Araon on its return from Jang Bogo Station at Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea Region.

Clearing the deck and bound for the Heli Center at Christchurch International Airport.
Previous mentions of ZK-HWG can be seen  HERE
Photos from Matthew Beaven.

Below - as seen at Christchurch Airport today - Sunday the 24th.

Saturday 23 December 2023

Centenarian ex RNZAF Pilot's Birthday Flight 22-12-2023

Yesterday at Kaikohe Peter Garlick took Allan Emett for a flight in Cherokee ZK-CUC to celebrate his 100th birthday:

Allan was an RNZAF pilot during WW 2 flying Kittyhawks and Corsairs for 19 and 26 Squadrons.
During the flight Allan took the controls and reckoned it all came back, just like riding a bike.

Congratulations Allan and thanks for the photos Peter.

Friday 22 December 2023

I remember when.

 Whilst having a rummage in the olde shoe box I came across these photographs of this Grumman G-1159 Gulfstream II N500R c/n 12 as seen at a wet Wellington Airport in late March 1970. 
It went new to Superior Oil sometime in 1968 as N500R until moved on in late 1970.
It became N11UM followed by N154X, N115MR, N160WC. N212TJ, N794SB and finally N622RR in 2001. It was cancelled on 13-08-2013.
My notes mention it being black with a red, white and light brown fuselage stripe and silver engine cowlings.
I just thought you would like to know.

Pauanui 22 December

Making a fleeting visit to the Pauanui airfield from Tauranga was the newly refurbished Cessna U206F Stationair ZK-DWM.   Originally imported new in 1975 this was previously a floatplane which had languished in an open hangar at Invercargill airport for many years.

And included in a group of 7 aircraft down from Whitianga for morning coffee was the Pitts S1SS ZK-LOL.


Global Express VH-VQN at Christchurch

 Arriving into Christchurch yesterday afternoon (21-12-2023) from Brisbane was this Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express 6000 VH-VQN2 c/n 9791.
Initially registered to the manufacturer Bombardier Inc of Montreal, Canada as C-FUFA4 on 03-03-2017 to become the Company demonstrator until becoming VP-CJY on the Caman Island register with Ocean Dazzle Ltd from 01-02-2018.
It transferred briefly to the US register as N791JG with TVPX Aircraft Solutions Inc Trustee of North Salt Lake Cit, Utah (Jetcraft Corporation) from 20-07-2022 until becoming VH-VQN2 on 16-09-2022 with Mineralogy Pty from 16-09-2022.
It departed later in the day to Auckland and then back to Brisbane.

Thursday 21 December 2023

Random Rotorcraft - Bensen B8M ZK-RAL

The Bensen B8M gyrocopoter ZK-RAL (c/n PRA 5253) must be one of the longest life gyros in New Zealand, having been first registered way back in July 1975.  And I think it has been registered to Russell Kappely of Waipukurau for all that time.  It actually goes back further to when it was first registered ZK-HBU to Syd Lane of Taupo back in March 1963 (but in that guise it was damaged at Taupo in March 1968 and then rebuilt and reregistered as above.

I first photo'd it at Feilding in 1986.  We lived quite a distance from the airfield but I heard it arriving (it was loud! - possibly with a McCullough engine?) and went out to see it.  It was named Buzzo.  It was withdrawn from the register in November 1998 but restored in December 1999.

I next photo'd it in its hangar at Waipukurau on 31/12/08 where you can see it is quite different with a different engine, new tail and new front undercarriage.  But still named Buzzo.  A case of grandfathers axe?

It is still registered to Russell Kappely but I do not know if it is still active.

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Hamilton back on 17 December

I was able to make a short visit to Hamilton Airport on the morning of 17 December.  There was not much to see there except for one newly registered aircraft that I completely overlooked!

These XL 750s have been parked up for a while but the photo does show a comparison between the XL750 Falcon 3000 (ZK-XLA) and the standard XL750 (ZK-SDT3).  The Falcon is a modified XL750 with a revised cowling and other lightening features for an increased topdressing payload.

ZK-XLA has been registered to Andy Stevenson Aviation Ltd of Gisborne since 22/10/20, while ZK-SDT3 has been registered to Aero Dynamics Ltd of Mt Hagen in Papua New Guinea since 18/9/23 so I expect we will see it departing soon.

And in the background is the tail of the latest Texel Air Boeing 737-800 Freighter ZK-TXC2 that was registered yesterday on 19/12/23!  I never clicked that it was there!

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Cessna 172A ZK-BPT

 The Cessna 172A's c/n 47082 , 47083 and 47197 were shipped to Rural Aviation at New Plymouth and became ZK-BPQ , ZK-BPS and ZK-BPT respectively on 17-11-1959. Their CofA's were issued on 20-01-1960, 15-01-1960 and 07-02-1960 - making ZK-BPT, by my count, the 8th Cessna 172, and the 3rd A model registered in NZ.
It was built as N7579T by Cessna Aircraft Company at Wichita and after its NZ CofA was delivered to the Otago Aero Club at Taieri on 27-02-1960 and registered to the Club the following day.
Noted at Wellington on 11-12-1963.

And Wellington again in 02-1964.
Above at Taieri on 27-08-1969.
The Club sold it on to Ian Bright of Dunedin from 13-03-1972 - replacing his Cessna 180 ZK-BFU. It was damaged by wind at Christchurch later in 1972 and ultimately sold to A D Bell of Palmerston from May of 1973.
Then Southair Aviation Service at Taieri took it on briefly from 04-03-1975 before passing it to Murray Paterson and G R Somerville of Dunedin from 28-05-1975.
A move to Culverden, North Canterbury, for T M Roberts took effect from 20-07-1976, then to John Hobday, Ken Spencer and John Hockney of Taupo from 24-06-1985.
Above and below at Christchurch on 08-02-1991.
John and S Hobday became to sole owners from 12-12-1997.
At Ardmore on 19-03-2000.

Then it was listed  to Skytrek Aviation Ltd, (Simon Hadlington) still at Taupo from 17-01-2021 and then to Skytrek Aviation (2002) Ltd (Neil France) from 21-05-2002.

Current operator Rotor & Wing Maintenance Ltd (John Hobday) of Taupo were listed from 20-12-2003.At Taupo on 21-12-2013 with an all white rudder.

It then spent some time parked up at Taupo until some TLC and a repaint, as below took place.

 With its registration letters re-applied and spats fitted it was noted above on18-03-2021 by Richard Currie.

It was noted at Nelson yesterday by Bill Mannix after it had flown from Taupo to Paraparaumu and Nelson on the 14th. To Motueka on the 15th and was back to Nelson by the 17th.

Pauanui 19 December

A great summer afternoon brought a couple of new visitors to Pauanui airfield today starting with the brand new Bristell LSA UL ZK-CJW5.     This has replaced its Hamilton owner's Cirrus SR20 ZK-CJW4 which has been reregistered ZK-MPW.

And making its first airfield visit away from Whitianga  following its first flight there on 10 December was the Vans RV12iS UL ZK-LCH.


Sunday 17 December 2023

ICP Savannah S ZK-SGM

 ICP Savannah S ZK-SGMc/n 22-12-54-0928 was a project commenced by Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club members with the guidance from experienced ICP Savannah builders Mike Sheffield, Graeme Main and David Tillman.Above progress as at 31-10-2022.

Then as at 09-12-2022.

Dave Tillman working solo on 03-03-2023.

Low wing mock up for an open day on 01-04-2023.

Like many projects the members interest dropped away and after the death of Graeme Main the project stalled and was ultimately moved to Doug Anderson and Roy Corbett for completion.

Getting close to finish in Doug Anderson's hangar 01-11-2023.
First flight on 30-11-2023 by Stu Bufton. 

Since then it has had the Club vinyl's added and is now on line for Club members.