. . . or should it be Agricolae?
Interesting and historic photographs by or via Murray Kirkus, who lived in the Wellington area at the time of Agricola activity.
Was sent to the NZ Auster agents, Bristol Aeroplane Co. NZ Ltd., Wellington, for a demonstration tour as ZK-BMJ. Sold to Airlift (NZ) Ltd., Kilbirnie and registered to them in October 1956.
At Rongotai, probably with Airlift:
Parked on an airstrip, unknown location:
When this company folded in 1960, Claude Stephenson (their chief pilot) formed a new company, Associated Farmers Aerial Work Ltd. based at Martinborough and BMJ was registered to this new company in August 1960.
ZK-BMJ was hired to Air Contracts Ltd., Masterton later in 1960 until damaged in a crash 8th May 1961 - anyone know the location of this incident?.
Associated Farmers rebuilt the aircraft:
Followed a similar path, being sold through the Agents to Airlift (NZ) Ltd. as ZK-BMK from May 1957. Under their ownership, crashed into Waingawa River, after failed t/off at Hood, Masterton, 11May57.
ZK-BMK at Rongotai May 1957:
Imported through the Agents as ZK-BML, went to Rangitikei Air Services Ltd. of Taihape in April 1957. Fitted out as a sprayer. Crashed & DBF near Taihape 22Jan59.
Note the built-in spray rig:
Imported through the agents as ZK-BMN. Remained unsold, and stored at Blenheim (Woodbourne?) until sold to Air Contracts Ltd. in 1961 (replacement for ZK-BMJ?). Passed on to Associated Farmers and registered to them in October 1963. Crashed 5mls SE of Paraparaumu 11Mar65, out of fuel. Pilot M H Lacey.
Under Air Contracts ownership, location looks to be Masterton airfield:
c/n B.107 (later c/n B.118)
Allotted ZK-BMO, but the slow sales of BMM and BMN meant that this aircraft was retained in the UK and became G-APFZ with Aerial Agriculture Ltd. of Lasham with whom it flew about 300hrs. (ZK-BMO was reallocated to a Beaver). WFU Rearsby after CofA expiry 22Apr60. Rebuilt at Rearsby with a new c/n B118 and sold to Air Contracts Ltd., Masterton. First NZ flight at Masterton 8 October 1962 as ZK-CCV. Operated from Masterton until crashed Pongaroa, Masterton, and partially DBF 19Feb63. Pilot Barry Cook.
Operational on a farm strip, date and place unknown:
As Sir Minty has already said, we are still looking for a photograph of ZK-BMM G-APFZ and also (a long shot) a photograph of Agricola c/n B.108 which was allotted ZK-BMP but also remained unsold in the UK. Completed with c/n B.117 and went to British Guiana as VP-GAZ where it crashed 27 June 1959. The remains of this aircraft were then returned to the Auster factory. (ZK-BMP was reallocated to a Cessna 180).
We can but hope!