Wednesday 31 January 2024

ZK-BJK - Now and Then

 While attending the Thames Wings and Wheels event last weekend I was finally able to catch up with the latest Yak-52 arrival, Rob Fry's ZK-BJK/2.

Initially serving with the para-military DOSAAF organization from October 1986 and carrying the serial '113' this Yak then entered the Lithuanian civil register as LY-ALK. Later, when Jurgis Kairys began using the aircraft, it appeared as LY-BJK. As such it appeared in aerobatic events in Europe and also in both Japan and Korea as part of the 'Air Bandits' team.
The Air Bandits came about from Jurgis Kairys' desire to introduce something new and different to Airshows - Group aerobatics by different aircraft. 

Rob Fry was also living in Japan at that time, and became involved with this team.
Thus the current livery of this aircraft reflects those days.

ZK-BJK/2 at Thames 27th January

I then decided to dig around in the shoebox and find a photo of the original ZK-BJK.

This was a Tiger Moth c/n 86475 that was built under contract by Morris Motors and delivered to the RAF in May 1945 as NM155. Too late to see wartime service, it was stored until sold to dealers Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd., Portsmouth, in 1953.
Registered to them as G-ANCP on 4Sep1953 ownership passed to F.R.J. Britten, Bembridge, Isle of Wight on 14th December.
John Britten then sold this Tiger (along with at least three others) into New Zealand in early 1954.

Registered as ZK-BJK on 20Dec1954 under the ownership of the Farmers Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd, Invercargill,  this aircraft then finally had to work for a living.

Some crashes were inevitable for an AgTiger, and BJK hit a fence at Invercargill in May 1955.
Repaired, it flew on and was eventually sold to Hewett Aviation, also of Invercargill, in January 1958.

The end came at Hillend, South Otago, on 5Dec1963 when it stalled while low flying in an attempt to chase errant sheep off the farm landing area.
The pilot at the time, Ian Christophers, was reported unhurt.

Photo at Invercargill airport in the early 1960s, when BJK was working as a sprayer.

Lockheed Electra 10A ZK-AFD/2 First Flight at Ardmore Today

After a very long rebuild Rob Mackley's immaculate Lockheed Electra 10A ZK-AFD2 made its first flight from Ardmore today, in the hands of Ryan Southam.  This aircraft as well as the original ZK-AFD and the pseudo ZK-AFD at MOTAT have previously been covered on the blog  HERE

The photos below show ZK-AFD2 back in October 2023 before some final work was completed and are sourced from the Hawk Aero Facebook page:

Huge congratulations to all involved in this amazing piece of restoration.  I have seen it in the hangar and it is stunning.

Tecnam P2006T ZK-TVT at Paraparaumu

Jordan Elvy was at Paraparaumu airport yesterday afternoon when the recently registered brand new Tecnam P2006T ZK-TVT arrived:

ZK-TVT (c/n 388) was registered to the New Zealand Airline Academy Ltd of Oamaru on 29/11/23.  It previously was VH-DBL4 with the Australian Tecnam agents.

A very spectacular looking aircraft!

Thanks for the photos Jordan.

Tuesday 30 January 2024

A Gathering of Gliders at Kaikohe

To help Peter Layne out, here are a selection of gliders from Kaikohe.  Peter Garlick took the photo on the occasion of his visit to renew their annual Certificates of Airworthiness.

We have Grob G 103 Twin Astir ZK-GTA of the Kaikohe Gliding Club with the club's Schemp-Hirth Janus CM ZK-GVQ and Schemp-Hirth Discus b ZK-GTZ in behind.  The V tailed glider is the Start und Flug H101 Salto ZK-GIZ also belonging to the club and behind that is Maurice Honey's PZL-Swidnik PW5 Smyk ZK-GWW4.  There is one other glider at the rear but I cannot identify it.

Thanks very much for the photo Peter.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Mount Cook on Wednesday the 24th

 Mount Cook Airfield is a serious drey for Squirrels.
Aaron captured this scurry of Ecureuil's on the 24th.
Airbus AS 350 B2 ZK-HDG3 c/n 7863 joined the Inflite Ltd fleet, via Bryan Comerford, in December of 2023.
This was previously with the Hillborough County Sheriff's Office in the Tampa, Florida area as N188FS.

The Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HSM3 c/n 3529 is ex N964SD and ex County of Los Angeles Sherriff Department Squirrel which came to NZ via Heli Support New Zealand of Wanaka and was listed with The Helicopter Line of Queenstown from 07-06-2011.

Eurocopter AS 350 B3 ZK-IDE c/n 4544 was initially registered in NZ as ZK-IDF3 from October of 2008 with Heliworks Queenstown Helicopters until moving over to Southern Lakes Helicopters in May 2010.
It was re-registered as ZK-IDE on 22-06-2010.

Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IEB c/n 4208 worked in the US as N130RU from March 2007 until imported by Brian Comerford about mid 2021. 
It became ZK-IEB on 25-01-2022 and went on line with Precision Helicopters and now based near the Hokitika Gorge.

ZK-IFX c/n 2190 is an Aerospatiale as 350 BA which spent its early years in Japan as JA9807
It came into NZ via Oceania Aviation - and joined Southern Lakes Helicopters Ltd of Te Anau from 15-04-2015.

Meanwhile at Glentanner on the 24th.

 Aaron also did a Squirrel shoot at Glentanner on the 24th.
Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-HSN c/n 3986 was another Heli Support import that went on line with The Helicopter Line from 24-04-2015.
This was previously N134DA from October of 2005.

Another of The Helicopter Lines Eurocopter AS 350 B2's is ZK-IDM c/n 9026.
Initially with Helicopters Queenstown from May 2005 and then with Glacier Southern Lakes until joining The Helicopter Line in September of 2015.

A closer shot of the Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-HWG2 c/n 2816 wearing Helicopter Line markings.
Its convoluted history has been mentioned previously HERE

Friday 26 January 2024

Mount Cook on Wednesday the 24th.

Forty years on the job and still going strong - The Pilatus PC-6 B2-H4 Porter ZK-MCN c/n 824 returns from another scenic flight.

And behold - Another pic of ZK-MCN. Nice.
It has been mentioned previously - HERE

Also parked on site was the Glenorchy Air Services & Tourist Co's Cessna T206H Stationair HD ZK-JTK, the Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-SLQ from Souther Lakes Aviation Ltd and the 
Wellington Jet Charters Trusts Cessna 525A CJ2+ Citation ZK-XXK c/n 525A0411.
The Citation flew in from Queenstown and then departed for Auckland and Kerikeiri,
It has been previously mentioned Here

Thursday 25 January 2024

Random Rotorcraft - Air Command 532 Commander Elite ZK-RBR

The Air Commander series of gyrocopters was manufactured by Air Command International of Caddo Mills in Texas and was available as a kit for amateur construction.  It seemed to have a chequered history and it faded away in the early 2000s, but recently Air Command International has introduced a new model of gyrocopter with an 85 HP Polaris engine.

ZK-RBR (c/n NZRA/R78) was built by R J Martin of Tauranga and it was registered to him on 11/1/90.  It is photo'd above at the Walsh Flying School 25th anniversary airshow at Matamata in 1991.  It was later withdrawn for use and stored at Rotorua and cancelled on 18/2/94.  However it was restored by K B Ayre of Hastings as a Class 1 microlight on 22/10/02.  It was revoked between 11/4/06 but was restored again on 6/6/06 to K B Ayre of Tuatapere.  It then went to M J Morrison of Hawera on 20/5/10 before being finally revoked on 28/3/12.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Random Rotorcraft - Ken Brock KB 2 ZK-RBO

Ken Brock was an early exponent of gyrocopters in the US and his KB 1 and KB 2 models were developed from the Bensen B 8.  In 1971 he was the first to make a coast to coast flight by gyrocopter across the US, from Long Beach California to Kitty Hawk North Carolina.

The Ken Brock KB 2 ZK-RBO (c/n NZRA/R39) was built by B F J Ogilvy of Rotorua and was first registered to him on 27/3/87.  The above photo was taken at a microlight flyin at Feilding in the late 1980s.  It was damaged in a heavy landing at Tauranga on 22/2/92 and was cancelled from the register on 22/7/92.  

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Cirrus SR20 ZK-MPW

Making a very brief visit to Pauanui airfield today was our sole Cirrus SR20 ZK-MPW which was reregistered in July 2023 from ZK-CJW4 to allow the latter registration to be reused on a brand new Bristell.    Registered to a Hamilton owner it was originally imported new back in 2008.


WASSI Tomahawks at the Walsh

The Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School at Matamata wraps up today, 23 January 2024, and from photos I have seen there were a lot of Piper PA 38 Tomahawk trainers there.  However three of them had a commonality:

These three Tomahawks are owned by the Walsh Aviation Support Society Incorporated (WASSI) and are painted in their colour scheme but in different colours.  ZK-JRS3 is the most recently completed being a restoration of the former ZK-ESI and having been registered to WASSI on 30/10/23.

Their previous rebuild is ZK-NJT which was rebuilt from the damaged N24364 by JEM Aviation.  It is operated by Air Hawkes Bay Ltd during the rest of the year.

And the original WASSI Tomahawk is ZK-FML resplendent in yellow.  It is leased to the Wellington Aero Club during the rest of the year.

I understand that WASSI also own Tomahawks ZK-JHF and ZK-MAJ and also the Cessna 152 ZK-MUM (which is currently being worked on at JEM Aviation and wears the same colour scheme with a blue trim).  

The WASSI was started in 2018 and exists to support the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School by providing a fleet of training aircraft of a high standard and with modern equipment.  This is in recognition that the future of GA is in young people and the Walsh provides excellent flying training for young people every year, run by a lot of volunteers in all capacities.  The homepage of WASSI can be found HERE

Thanks for the photos Mark.

Monday 22 January 2024

Texel Air's Latest Boeing 737-800 Freighter at Hamilton

Back in 2016 I referred on the blog to No 2 Grandson as Master Minty, but in the intervening years he has outgrown that moniker so now I reckon he should be referred to as Mister Minty,  And as he lives pretty close to Hamilton Airport he has been keeping an eye out for the latest Texel Air Boeing 737-800(BCF) freighter ZK-TXC2.  His photo (taken across the airport today) is below:

ZK-TXC2 (c/n 33798) was registered to Texel Air Ltd of Auckland on 19/12/23.  It has been undergoing work at Menzies Aviation at Hamilton since that time.  It was previously VP-CJA and VH-VOQ.

Thanks for the photo Ollie.

Sunday 21 January 2024

Nelson Airport walk the runway on Saturday evening.

 Last night Bill and his wife attended the second "Walk The Runway" event run by the Nelson Airport Company at Nelson Airport.  (along with several thousand others!)  
Great Nelson weather!

As you may see a very wide cross section of the community took part.
Before we left around 9.30pm I noted ten ATR/Dash aircraft parked up on the tarmac or in the ANZ hangar plus an Origin Jetstream and a Sounds Air Pilatus PC-12.

The Sounds Air  Pilatus PC-12 proved to be very popular with the walkers.
Below two photos from Lord Nelson.

Prior to the event commencing Air Wanganui's Beech C90A ZK-MKG was on patient transfer duties.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Classic Flyers Open Day and Airshow at Tauranga Today 20-1-2024

Classic Flyers organised an open day with a mini airshow at Tauranga today and the weather co-operated.  Mark Pattenden went along and took the following photos that peaked my interest:

You can see more of Mark's photos on the Tauranga Spotter blog at

The Corsair ZK-COR / NZ5648, temporarily based at Ardmore, has been getting out and about.  It also visited the Walsh Flying School at Matamata today.

Classic Flyers composite P 40.  It carried out an engine run during the day.

The ex RNZAF Vampire fuselage NZ5767 has been on loan at Classic Flyers for many years.  Recently the RNZAF Museum have donated the aircraft and the rest of the airframe to Classic Flyers.  It is in the process of being painted gold and will be mounted on a plinth..

Classic Fighters Avenger ex NZ2539 also carried out an engine run during the day, operated by Bruce Chapman.

And the Noord 1002 (which was derived from the Messerschmitt Bf 108) ZK-WFI was also out on display.

Thanks for the photos Mark.  And to Peter Layne for additional information and corrections that I have included in the post.

Friday 19 January 2024

Random Rotorcraft - Aero Sport Kahu ZK-RCP

The Aero Sport Kahu is a New Zealand designed autogyro that was first registered on 3 October 2000 and first flew on 27 July 2001.  It was built and developed by Chris Wade and it carried high hopes to revolutionise the gyrocopter market.  In fact it was ahead of the later Rotax powered gyrocopters from Europe that have been registered in New Zealand in quite large numbers, and it offered much the same benefits such as carbon fibre construction and an enclosed (side by side) cabin.  Power was from a 1745 HP modified Mazda 13B rotary engine so you could say it is a rotary rotorcraft.

I photo'd ZK-RCP at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata where it has its original tail configuration.  Later development has a tail with three vertical elements.  It is still registered, to Aero Sport International Ltd of Auckland although I don't think it is actively flying.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Random Rotorcraft - North American Rotorworks Pitbull SS ZK-RUN


The North American Rotorworks Pitbull SS ZK-RUN is, I think, the only tractor gyroplane in New Zealand.  It was built from a kit by Brian Taylor of Whangarei and registered in July 2016.  I took the above photo on 6 July 2016 at Dargaville with Brian in the cockpit.  Brian has since carried out some modifications to the rotor head and has added some fins at the ends of the tailplane which have improved the flying behaviour.  ZK-RUN is powered by a Rotax 503 engine.

A trio of Thai Airtrainers.

The Royal Thai Air Force received 24 New Zealand Aerospace Industries Ltd (NZAI) CT-4A Airtrainer aircraft from 1974. 
These were followed by 6 CT-4B's in 1992.
And 16 CT-4E's were obtained in 1999 and 8 more in 2005.
A total of 54 aircraft.

All received New Zealand civil aircraft registrations for test flying at Hamilton and for ferrying to Thailand.

Below we have three Royal Thai Air Force CT-4As as photographed recently by Aaron Murphy in Bangkok.

I am not going to try and explain the Thai designation/serial number system- mainly because I cannot get my head around it - suffice to say that all the surviving CT-4B aircraft went to 604 Squadron around 2005 and were allocated an individual number within that Squadron.

In the photo below aircraft '01' was the first airframe for the Royal Thai Air Force which was officially handed over in a ceremony at Hamilton on 23-10-1973. 
This was initially ZK-DQT c/n CT-4A-003 and first flew on 13-10-1973.
The '60432' tells us it is with 604 Squadron and it is aircraft number 32.

Above is 604 Squadrons aircraft number 40. and airframe '17'.
This was originally ZK-DTW c/n 023.

604 Squadron aircraft number 42 and airframe number 20.
Making it originally ZK-DTT c/n 020.

Plus the Royal Thai Police also received one NZAI T6/24 c/n B577 as '1909' ex ZK-DHH in 1972. And one CT-4 c/n CT/4-002 ex ZK-DIM as '2009' in late 1972.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Nelson AIrport Spotting Location.

Bill Mannix sent in these two photos of the Nelson Airport Companies aid for aircraft spotters.

Looking down runway 02.

Looking down runway 20.

Well done.

The Nelson Airport Company has also installed two plane spotting locations on the seaward side of the runway, featuring a Sounds Air Cessna Caravan and a Pilatus PC-12.

Pelorus Air's Cessna A185F ZK-PRM on Floats

Pelorus Air have put their Cessna A185F ZK-PRM on amphibious floats and on line from 2 January:

No doubt an amphibious floatplane will be a great asset in Pelorus Air's operating area. 

And here it is in its second natural element.  Very nice.

A couple of Cessnas at Pauanui

Amongst the visitors to Pauanui airfield so far this week was the Mercer based Cessna 207 ZK-FQY.  Originally imported from the US in 1988 this is currently for sale.

And the 1980 model Cessna 172N ZK-ETK which was acquired by the Ardmore based Airline Flying Club in November.   This hasnt featured on this Blog site before.


Monday 15 January 2024

Flying Back Up the West Coast Last Saturday 13-1-2024

A nice feature of David Signal's Foxbat ZK-SGI is the large sliding and opening panel in the door that allows you to take photos without having to shoot through perspex.  Here are a few shots taken while flying up the West Coast out of Te Kowhai:

Black sands below the wheel but also spectacular sculpted white cliffs (click to enlarge).

The mighty Waikato River mouth with Port Waikato to the rear of the strut.

Following the breaker line North of Port Waikato.  I was hanging on very tightly to my camera!

Back home at North Shore.  What a fabulous day to go flying and what fabulous flights!

Thanks very much David.