Sunday, 28 June 2009

Auster Agricolas

Inspired by Flyernzl I looked out some of my old Auster Agricola photos. Most of these were taken by Murray Kirkus and I will leave Flyernzl to post these. He also has posted a history of the Agricola at http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=77959 I often used to see Auster Agricolas from Associated Farmers Aerial Topdresssing in Martinborough flying over Wellington to operate off various topdressing strips around the city in the late 1960's. This photo shows ZK-BXO operating off a strip at Makara. ZK-BXO c/n AIRP - 680 was built up from the remains of ZK-BMN and other crashed Agricola's by Temple Martin at Hastings (Airepair) and was registered on 15 October 1966. It was withdrawn from use in the early 1970's and then restored to airworthy status in the early 1980's after which it was operated by John Stephenson of Whitianga but not used as a topdresser. It was shipped to the UK in 2002 where it is still current and owned by Cliff Parker as G-CBOA.
And this photo shows ZK-CCU operating off a very steep strip at Baring Head on the far side of Wellington Heads. ZK-CCU was built up from parts of ZK-BMK, ZK-BML and ZK-CCV and was registered to Associated Farmers Aerial Topdressing on 11 June 1965. It crashed on take off at Ohariu Valley on 13 February 1977. The colours of both the above aircraft were the same as I recall - dark green lower fuselage, yellow (?) upper fuselage and dayglo wingtips, tailplane tips and rudder tip.
There were a total of 10 Agricolas on the New Zealand register ZK-BMI (which flew in the UK but never came to New Zealand), ZK-BMJ, ZK-BMK, ZK-BML, ZK-BMM, ZK-BMN, ZK-CCV and ZK-DEU plus the above 2 aircraft. We now have photos of all of the except ZK-BMM - does anyone out there have a photo of it?

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