Two of the local area Cessna 185's that I've captured at Rangiora in recent days.
Above is the Cessna A185F ZK-DKJ c/n 02276, which was having a cargo pod fitted on January 6th. This aircraft was built as a Ag Carryall and imported by Rex Aviation for Astro Air of Napier in November 1973.. At the time it had a belly spray tank. A year later it started to move around; first to Aero Surveys (NZ) Ltd in 1975 then to Goodman Earthmovers of Waikanae. I recall it at this time having a very large aerial attached to it. it passed through a couple more owners before being based at Fox Glacier with Glacier Skydive (West Coast Air Services) as a meat bomber. It is now with Sam Bethell of Timpendean Station, in the Weka Pass near Waikari replacing the onsold C180 ZK-TUA.
Yesterday (10-01-09) I caught Cessna 185A Skywagon ZK-SIA c/n 0427 for my first time at Rangiora. This spent its first four years (1962-1966) in PNG as VH-SIL (personalised letters for the Summer Instute of Linguistics) before dropping down to Australia to become VH-SIA. After a bunch of private owners it joined Cracker MacDonald at Charlieville about mid 2001. It was ferried across the ditch from Coffs Harbour, Lord Howe Island and into Auckland on 19-08-2005. It officially had the "VH" removed & "ZK"added on 27-09-05 for Ken MacDonald. It replaced their onsold C180 ZK-PKD.
Both, despite their vintage of some 36 & 47 years respectively being real tidy examples. The 185's and 180's generally seem to be improving with age.