Sunday, 29 April 2012

Out of the woodwork VH/ZK-CMV

 Cessna 185 VH-CMV of McArthur River Cattle Co at Tawallah Station, NT in December 1968.
 A shot taken about 1969.
With McArthur River Cattle Co of NT about 1969. Possibly at Mt Isa.

The three photographs above and the note below were sent to me by Lyle Cooke.

Hi Dave,

My name is Lyle Cooke and I am a retired pilot living in Cairns. Graham (sometimes known as Mick) Handy has been in contact with me about early photos of Cessna 185 VH-CMV and gave me the link to the NZCIVAIR website to see ZK-CMV in today's colours in NZ - great to see.

I flew VH-CMV from late 1968 to early 1970 in my first ever flying job for McArthur River Cattle Company based at Bessie Springs airstrip which I recall is about 27 miles SW of present day McArthur River Mine site in the Northern Territory. The Company and McArthur River Station was then owned by Mr Doug Howenstine of Indiana USA, who set up a Meat Works and Meat Packing Plant at Bessie Springs.
VH-CMV, as well as flying Station folk and supplies around the NT and to and from Mt Isa, was also used to carry quartered beef and later frozen packaged beef to Road Contruction Camps and Mining Towns around the NT.

In so far as earlier history of CMV I recall it used to fly for Ansett-MAL in New Guinea and also for the Catholic Mission at Wirui Airstrip near Wewak but not sure in what order, before it ended up with the McArthur River Cattle Company.

Great to see it is still operational after all these years.
Kind Regards,

My records show that it was first listed to Mandated Airlines Ltd of Lae, PNG on 17-01-1963. To S Pedersen of Port Moresby, PNG sometime in 1967; then to T.A.C. Aviation at Archierfield in 1968, but moved on quickly to Mc Arthur River Cattle Co of Mt Isa, also during 1968; remaining with them until sold to D W Howenstine, also of Mt Isaa, on 26-06-1972. Eight more owners followed before its sale to NZ in 1993. 

As mentioned in this link this 185 came to NZ. It was imported by Airflite South of Taieri and ferried across the Ditch from Norfolk Island to Auckland on 26-04-1993, and then down to Taieri via Kaikoura and Christchurch the following day. It was registered as ZK-CMV2 to Airflite South Ltd of Mosgiel on 17-05-1993. In November of 1994 it went up to J G Stewart in Auckland and then to Heli-Flight Wairarapa at Masterton in December of 1999. It was listed privately to Kim Rutherford McKay on 01-10-2004. It joined it current owners; Paul and Kate Macdonald and Tilmac Family Trust in February of 2009
Pic above shows it at Rangiora on 15-12-10.
And below it was at Christchurch on 17-02-2012 with cargo pod.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Old photographs !

I am currently working my way through a collection of miniature photographs kindly loaned to me by CMM, and thought to have been originally from the late Tim Frederickson.
One of the photographs show the Cessna 185 ZK-CAU (c/n 0211) at Hastings. Poorly exposed and badly stained, with no detail written on the reverse side; seemingly fit only for the rubbish bin.
But - as I have often found in photographs - that the background detail if often much more interesting than the main topic.
In this case a Hiller UH12 can be seen to the left of the photograph. A closer inspection reveals this is marked as G-ASIG. Now G-ASIG was a Hiller UH12E (c/n 2190) and was with Rent A Copter at Luton from May of 1963 until moving to Autair Ltd in May of 1968.
Pic of G-ASIG here :-
This UK registration was cancelled on 11-07-1968 and it was registered as ZK-HCN with Whirlwide Aviation Ltd of Hastings on 30-07-1968.
So that narrows down the date of this photograph somewhat !

The 185 ZK-CAU went new to Aircraft Hire Ltd of Masterton.. It was in ag mode and was hired out to Northern Air Services Ltd until striking a fence in May of 1962. It went back to Rural Aviation (the Cessna agents for NZ) and then to Air Contracts at Masterton followed by Barr Bros (HB) Ltd. About 1968 it was converted to a six seater and ownership listed to General Finance Acceptance on 15-05-1968 and then leased to D Thompson, then to Gyro Steel Production Ltd on 09-12-1968. Its final operator was Insapipe Industries Ltd from 13-02-1969. It was tied down beside a hangar at Bridge Pa overnight on 14/15-09-1971 but was destroyed when the hangar burned down.
Below is a pic of ZK-CAU at Wellington taken on11-09-1969.
ZK-HCN went on to Whirlwide Helicopters of Timaru in November of 1969 and then to Alpine Helicopters of Cromwell on 14-03-1972. It had a rotor strike at take off in the Turnbull River area on 08-07-1975.
Photo taken at Queenstown on 13-04-1974.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Pearse 1903 replica ZK-RPT.

Listed on the NZ Civil Aircraft Register on 16-03-2012 was the Mudrovcich Pearse 1903 Replica.

Have a look at :-

Tiger Moth ZK-BMH

In earlier postings I showed a photograph and a news clipping of Brian Telford and his DH Tiger Moth ZK-BMH (c/n DHNZ157).
See these two links :-
Malcolm, has very kindly sent in the following selection of photographs from his father Brian's records of ZK-BMH, including the results of that fire at Invercargill on 15-08-1962.
On a fishing outing.

Note in the top view that it is in the normal two seat arrangement with standard windscreens.
In the view below the front cockpit is closed over with the screen removed and the rear windscreen is considerably enlarged and extends down to the top of the doors.
Out checking the stock.

"I understand the plane was being re doped when a workman knocked over a lamp which started the fire".
I wonder who the gentleman in the overcoat is ?

Above:- Brian surveying the scene.
My thanks to Brian for recording this photographic record and also to Malcolm and family for permission to place them on this blog. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Question time # 148 resolved.

Told you it was a give away !

Rayner123 has scored the chocky fish. (Flick me your snail mail address to my email address as in header photo).
It is indeed the Aero Commander 500 ZK-CWP (c/n 500-842-98).

The photo was taken on 19-04-2012.
It must have been clean up day in the hangar as most of the aircraft were outside.

Auckland Aero Club Cessna C 162 Skycatcher ZK-AMN

Seen in front of the Auckland Aero Club's clubrooms on 21/4/12 is their second Cessna C 162 Skycatcher ZK-AMN.

It can be seen that it wears the name Merv on the tail.  This is for the club's patron Merv North, and the registration is also in recognition of him. Now in his 80's, Merv was the first pilot to go solo with the club after flying activities re-started after World War 2, on 4 March 1946.

Merv's father was Fred North who was the chief engineer for the club in the 1930's, and who built the Tui Sports ZK-ADV see

Question time # 148. Second - give away clue.

Above is the original photographic clue - We have not yet had a chocky fish winning response.

So now another "give away" clue.
So what aircraft type is it ?
Manufacturer and model please.

What registration would you put on it ?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New blog header photograph

This photograph was sent in by an anonymous viewer and shows the NZ Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Divisions, Calibration Flights Fokker F27 ZK-DCB (c/n 10445) at rest on Huahine on 28-10-1983. It carries the large CIVAIR title on its tail which our photographer thought would make a very good header photo on this blog site. It ended up with the Pakistan Navy in April of 1992.

Well done that man !

Best of British at Ardmore 21/4/12

Heading back from Mercer required a trip to Ardmore (as you do), where a nice surprise was Doug Brookers Spitfire out flying and the Avspecs hangar open.

Spitfire Mark IX ZK-WDQ on roll-out.  Sounds impressive.

At Avspecs was the Mark XIV Spitfire ZK-XIV with that humungous Rolls Royce Griffon engine up front.  It still has the broken canopy, I presume from Sir Tim Wallis's crash on 2/1/96.

And the amazing Mosquito continues to make great progress.  Both engines are installed and as you can see in the foreground the impressive undercarriage is also in place.  In fact the whole aircraft is impressive!

I understand that although no completion date has been stated, there is a special flying display scheduled for September 2012 at Ardmore with aviation people coming from all over the world, and that it will be something that no-one interested in aircraft will want to miss.  Watch this space!

Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum.

The final listing from this Museum shows the Lodestar and the Salis Helicopter
This Lockheed C60A-5-LO - Better known to us in NZ as the civilian Lockheed 18 Lodestar - was flown to NZ as VH-XUS on 19-11-1993. It is c/n 2388 and served with the US military as 42-55951, then onto the civil marked as NC17615, N17615, XA-SAX, N56LH and then to VH-XUS on 02-10-1992. Fuller history at
Looking forward towards the office.
Above are the covering notes on this aircraft.
Below. Getting a little tired; as indeed are all the aircraft on site.

Below is the Salis helicopter that I have never managed to get may head around..
It has been on this blog previously at
It is now marked up as ZK-WAL.


Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum #4

There are several engine on display. Above is a Bristol Hercules (I think). There is a Gypsy Queen sitting off to the left.

Then below we have a Ranger 6-440C-5 courtesy of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation of Farmingdale, New York. It has a date of January 1943 on it. On the front end it has a Univar propeller. These were the engines used on the Grumman G44 Widgeons when they first arrived in NZ.
Below we have the Viper engine - model number not found - built by Armstrong Siddeley/Bristol Siddeley/ and or Rolls Royce and used on the Jet Provost; Strikemaster; Aermacchi 326 and 339 and the HS Dominie.

Wanaka transpost and Toy Museum #3

This TEAM 103R MAX ZK-JDW (c/n 736) was built by the Rangi Ruru Girls High School pupils (under suitable supervision) and was first flown at West Melton on 26-06-1997. It has "Rererangi" across its fin and rudder. Ownership transferred to Gerald Rhodes on 23-12-1998.
 Not much to say about this Mig-21. Just read the blurb below.

Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum #2

Clearly visible from the highway between Luggate and Wanaka is this Government Aircraft Canberra Mk20 A84-207. It was one of 48 built under licence by GAF in Australia. It first flew on 17-08-1954 - was struck off charge on 27-07-1973; sat around on a pole with Channel 7 in Perth and then stored in the West Australian Aviation Museum until sold and shipped out to NZ in March of 1993.There is a Rolls Royce RA-3 Avon Mk109 engine beneath.

Below we have the De Havilland DH104 Dove 1B ZK-RNG (c/n 04323).
This was built to order for the RNZAF and was taken on charge as NZ1807 on 05-03-1953.
It was sold on 06-11-1984 and listed to the A J Nicholson and P Ratford (Northland Districts Aero Club) and registered as ZK-RNG on 09-11-1984 and first flew in these civil markings on 30-11-1984.
It was leased to White Island Airways for a period during 1988; an ownership change to Gerald Rhodes took place on 02-09-1992, and then a lease to Pionair Adventures Ltd took place in 1998. It still wears Pionair markings as well as NZ1807 markings. added since it inclusion in the museum.

A squirrel in them there hills.

On Thursday the young troops went off into the hills around Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes area to do some maintenance on the remote weathers stations. Transport for the day was provided by the Aerospatiale AS 350BA ZK-HWF3 (c/n 1646) of Anatoki Helicopters Ltd from Nelson.
Above is the pre mission briefing at St Arnaud. The hour is not long after sparrow flatulence - the plan being to get in - do the job - and get out before the heat and turbulence builds up.
Two on the site pics. In the above one (if you use your imagination) you can just see a crepuscular ray of light beaming down onto the front screen - surely a good omen.
Just about baulked out - The chilly bin is the fodder supply. The lap tops and sensors are all just secondary items.
ZK-HWF has previously been operated in NZ as ZK-HST2 and ZK-HZR1.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum #1

To escape the heat and the dust at Wanaka on Saturday I waddled into the Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum - cost me all of $10 - which was better than $77 for the airshow.
(Why did they charge $77 when it was advertised for $75? ).
The Museum has an assortment of aeronautical bits and pieces.
Above is the Auster J-1 Autocrat ZK-BJL (c/n 2327). This entered our register in early 1955 and had about nine private owners. The last two being Tom Middleton who had it at Rangitata and then Gerald Rhodes - the Museum founder from 26-05-1992. Its registration was revoked by CAA along with several other of the Museums aircraft on 19-05-1998.
They have two Victa Airtourers. Above is ZK-CLF (c/n 121) in its V115 status. I killed a few bugs with this in its days with the Wellington Aero Club between 1965 and 1968. Gerald Rhodes acquired it on 16-04-91 from the Wigram Aviation Sports Club Inc. It is still currently on the NZ register.
Not so pretty is V115 ZK-COW (c/n 166). This one started out with the Waikato Aero Club in May of 1967. This airframe had reached an advanced stage of construction in Australia before being shipped to NZ and completed by Victa (NZ) Ltd. Anyway, it was eventually purchased by Topflite Aviation of Rangiora but it was found to have major corrosion in its internals. It ended up with Gerald Rhode still with numerous outer panels missing, and now sits out the back more or less out of view.
 The Percival P.40 Prentice T1 ZK-DJC (c/n B/3/1A/PAC/252) was actually built byb Blackburn for the Royal AIr Force with whom it had the serial VS316. It soon entered the UK civil scene as G-AOMF. Its main claim to fame, I guess, is its flight from the Channel Islands to NZ between March and May of 1969. It was stored at Tauranga for a while and was then certified as ZK-DJC for N B Cooper on 29-11-1972. It was later acquired by Gerald Rhodes and now rests here between the AN2 and a Link Trainer.
The AN2 is LY-AKH (c/n 1G16037) which had an interesting ferry flight to NZ some years back by Neville Cameron.