So on arriving home I checked the ever helpful NZCAA website which quickly revealed that the machine photographed was AS350BA c/n 1447 ex VH-DEA and registered to JP Scott of South Westland on 29 January this year replacing ZK-HBI/3 c/n 2257 which was cancelled from the register a week earlier as "destroyed".
Thanks to Bluebus the fate of ZK-HBI/3 has been recorded as follows:
The AS350 suffered a dynamic rollover while landing at the Pioneer Hut, Westland National Park, on 11 November 2012. The four climbers and pilot on board were not injured and were able to walk the 500m to the hut.
ZK-HBI/4 started out as an AS350 Astar N5784X, then N120US, then to Aruba as P4-SEE and about this time it became an AS350RM Allstar with a Soloy conversion to RR C250-C30M engine. Then back to the USA as N120US in 1997 and by then it was an AS350BA (!!). To B-HJP November 1997, N121US in April 2000, and VH-DEA on 24 August 2007....
ZK-HBI/1 was a UH12E and ZK-HBI/2 was yet another AS350, c/n 1228.
|ZK-HBI number 3 at Franz Josef in October 2006.|
|And ZK-HBI number 4 at Ardmore 05 February 2013.|