Down the track at Mercer is the Piper PA-23-250 Aztec C ZK-JEI c/n 27-2638
Built as N5539Y in 1964 it had at least five US owners before arriving in NZ on 15-11-1972 to become ZK-DJG with Bishop Aviation at Gisborne on 27-11-1972. Five operators later it was with Seabee Air Ltd of Auckland in 1986. Cancelled on 30-05-1986 it became DQ-FEG first with Stardust Cruises and then Island Air in Fiji. It returned to NZ via Norfolk Island on 20-06-1987 and was stored at Flight Engineers until restored to Seabee Air as ZK-DJG on 14-03-1989. Great Barier Airlines appear on 18-10-1989. On 02-06-1990 it departed for Norfolk Island on delivery to become YJ-RV3 at Port Villa. Ownership change in 1991 saw Vanair listed. It returned to NZ again on 28-08-1991 to return to its ZK-DJG markings with Great Barrier on 06-09-1991 and departed NZ again on 12-09-91 for Cook Island Fisheries. Back yet again to NZ on 03-08-1993 for cancellation on 15-11-93 to become DQ-FIB for Vanua Air Charters. I then have it as returning to NZ on 24-10-1994, still with Great Barrier but now re-registered as ZK-JEI from 04-09-1995. Some six local operators later it was with JW & E I Lyver from 06-09-1999.
How it got in its present state I know not; but it appears to be badly damaged underneath, as if it had a wheels up or similar.