Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Maule ZS-PLT at Parakai.

Very late last year a container arrived at Parakai (West Auckland) from South Africa containing the Maule MXT-7-180A Comet ZS-PLT (c/n 21025C).
A decode of that model tells us that the =
M is for Maule.
X = small fuselage in the model range.
T= nosewheel "Trigear".
7 = the model range.
180 = horsepower of engine.
A= is for fixed pitch propeller.
This airframe gained its US airworthiness certificate on 23-09-19 as N26ES and was certified to E.G.S. Reports of Wilmington Delaware on 10-12-1997.
Its US registration was cancelled on 01-09-2004 as exported to South Africa.

It entered the South African register as ZS-PLT on 09-03-2005 with Pegma 148 Investment CC before moving on to Andrew Rossaak of Zenzeleni Farming CC.
Above as seen on 11-06-2005.
Below on 24-05-2008. Both by Gary Shephard at Durban-Virginia

Andrew has shifted to New Zealand and will place the Maule on the ZK register as soon as all the formalities are complete.
It is being assembled by Bryn Lockie at Leading Edge Aviation Ltd.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Ecureuil ZK-IFI

The Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-IFI is c/n 1902 and has an interesting past life; and what better way to cover it than to nick what the NZ Aviation News Magazine said about it when it hit our register in July last year.

'ZK-IFI started as HB-XPH with Heli-Linth AG in Switzerland on 21-05-1986 with a change to Heli Bernina AG on 24-06-1987. 
Photo above from Bronu Siegfried. 1989.
Then in November 1990 it joined Oysterman’s in Sweden as SE-JAC followed by a move to Norway to become LN-OBD for Heli-Lift in May of 1991.
 I then suspect it went back to France for a rework as the French registration of F-GHYU appears to have been allocated but not actually take up. 
By 1992 it was back with Osterman Helikopters AB followed by Tundra Air. September 1994 saw it listed as LN-OTA2 then in July 2000 it became F-GMAZ with Fin Air Trade and was converted over to a B2 model and on sold to become G-DOIT with Charles Blakey of Redhill from 10-10-2001. 

It transferred to FBS Ltd at Basingstoke from 10-10-2007 and was issued the dual UK military serial of ZK199 and coded as '99' for operation with the Defence Helicopter Flying School. 
This School was formed in April 1997 as a joint service helicopter training school under the Private Finance Initiative using civil contractors and a fleet of civil owned, military registered aircraft under contract to the MoD. 
Here it was designated as a Squirrel HT-3 being attached to 660 Army Aviation Squadron.
 Above as ZK199.
 This airframe was re-listed to FB Heliservices Ltd from 24-07-2012 who traded as Cobham Helicopters. 
Above as G-DOIT '99' with FBHeliservices and Defence Helicopter Flying School titles
It was withdrawn and placed in storage at Shawbury in December of 2015.
Removed from storage it obtained its export CofA on 10-02-2017 and was cancelled from the UK civil register on 25-03-2017.'

Here it was designated as a Squirrel HT-3 being attached to 660 Army Aviation Squadron.
Photographed above at Rangiora on Sunday awaiting a wash down.

NOTAR ZK-IKG at work.

My brief mention of the Mount Hutt Helicopters 2013 Ltd's MD NOTAR ZK-IKG a couple of days ago,  HERE  ,has prompted Allan Bowman to send these shots of her working in late December at Kowhai Farmlands just above the Rakaia Gorge.

That's Mount Hutt in the background.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Cessna 180K ZK-DBA

I finally caught up with Skyfarmers Aviation Ltd's Cessna 180K Skywagon ZK-DBA2 (c/n 18053022)  in their hangar, about 8 clicks south of Methven, on Thursday.

Below is what NZ Aviation News Magazine said about it.
It is always nice to see another Cessna 180 come ashore. 
A new listing for February 2017 is the 180K which became ZK-DBA2 on 08-02-2017 for Skyfarmers Aviation Ltd of Methven where it will join the Air Tractor AT402B ZK-SAT, the AT504 ZK-SKF and the Fletcher FU24-950M ZK-BII. 
This 180 was built by Cessna Aircraft and listed to them as N2641K before shipping out to Australia where it became VH-SAA3 on 02-07-1979 – I believe with the Salvation Army (Qld) at Longreach, Queensland. 
Other owners include K M Arnott Pty Ltd of Telleraga Station near Moree in NSW; Delmont Dale Pty Ltd with a Singapore address; then Alan Begg of Rushcutters Bay, NSW. 
Allan re-registered it as VH-IMC­5 on 30-04-1998. 
The photo below shows VH-IMC5 as at 22-04-2007.
Not long after this photo it was sold to William R Mailer of Riddells Creek, Victoria, who re-registered it as VH-WRM4 (his initials) from 09-10-2007. 
It was ferried from Scone to Lord Howe Island on 15-01-2017; into Kerikeri on the 16th and down to Timaru on the 17th where it gained its NZ certification with AVTEK. 
The earlier ZK-DBA allocation was to an AESL Airtourer 115.
Its VH registration was canceled on 02-02-2017 
Above we see it at Timaru on 06-02-2017 in full VH-WRM markings
It became ZK-DBA on 08-02-2017.
Below is the insignia as seen on the fin.
Below - by 16-02-2017 it was minus it propeller.
And was pushed (below) into the AVTEK hangar later the same day.
Next day - the 17th - it was almost minus its VH markings.
Below as seen at Methven on Thursday.

Around Auckland

A visit to Auckland Airport offered the Airways Corporation Piper PA42-1000 Cheyenne ZK-FIS which was imported from Australia in November 2017.

Also outside was the Air Chathams Convair CV580 ZK-KFH,  acquired in February 2017,  in front of the 2 SAAB 340Bs just flown down from Guam

Other than Air NZ and corporate helicopters all black aircraft are not that common here but joining this group recently is Auckland based Cessna 152 ZK-JFY.

From the other side of 'the Hill'

 Looking over the snout of the Porter at the western side of Mount Cook yesterday (20-01-2018).
Is that cirrus floccus above ?
Photo by Nathan Graham.

Saturday, 20 January 2018


The local Pauanui Menz Shed organised a fund raising parachute drop via a team of 5 from the RNZAF, and they used Fly My Sky BN2A Islander ZK-PIY for the task,  now fitted with a parachute drop door

To add to the event Venom ZK-VNM did a number of low level passes before heading south to Tauranga

An earlier visitor was the privately owned RAM 160hp Cessna 172M conversion ZK-WTD from New Plymouth.

The pick of my week.

The 'Bluebus' was down South Canterbury way during the last few days.
Below are four photographs taken on this journey.
First sighting was the Micro Aviation Bantam B22J ZK-JQL (c/n 05-265) purring quietly over Caroline Bay at Timaru.
 It has been with Brent Findlay since first being registered on 27-04-2005.
Outside its hangar at Timaru's Richard Pearse Airport was the Bell 206B JetRanger ZK-ISM2 (c/n 3667) of Southern Wide Helicopters Ltd.
Built in July 1982 it served time in Texas and Oregon before going to Japan in February of 1988 to become JA9746.
It entered the NZ register on 04-04-2011 with Helicopters Otago Ltd at Taieri before transfer to Heli South Ltd at Balclutha that October.
It was relisted with Balclutha Helicopters from 13-05-2015 until being taken up by current operator Southern Wide Helicopters Ltd of Timaru from 04-07-2015.
Up at the Mount Hutt Helicopters 2013 Ltd's facility was their all white Eurocopter AS 350 BA ZK-IBC3 (2562). It has been with Mount Hutt since importation in February of 2012.
It has been covered several time previously on this blog Here.
Also out on their pad was the McDonnell Douglas 500N NOTAR ZK-IKG (c/n LN018).
You probably know this one better as being ZK-HBC4 until its re-registration to ZK-IKG on 06-09-2017.  
This change allowed the ZK-HBC letters to go to the North Shore Helicopters Eurocopter EC 120 ex ZK-HJW4.
Earlier posts on ZK-HBC can be found via the 'search' box toward top left of screen.

Friday, 19 January 2018

19-1-18 New Caravan for Barrier Air

A smart looking 2008 built Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N2057 msn 208B2057 arrived into Auckland tonight from Apia on the final leg of its delivery flight to Auckland based Barrier Air.

Unregistered Homegrown Homebuilt Single Seat Aircraft of New Zealand (4) - The Williams Mark 4

Maybe because of the lack of success with his Mark 3 model Geoff Williams still wasn’t finished with building aircraft, and in May 1988 materials arrived from the USA for the start of the Williams Mark 4. The house where he was living at the time had the luxury of a basement so the project didn’t have to occupy his bedroom, although the wings were covered in the kitchen.

This aircraft was more like a conventional high-wing pusher microlight and turned out to be his most successful effort. Another single-seater, it was powered by a Rotax 447 and, like all of his designs, had a fabric-covered all-wood structure. The wing aerofoil, dimensions and construction techniques were copied from a Sisler Cygnet that was being built in Dunedin at the time.

The first engine start up was on the back lawn in December 1990.  That is Geoff tending to the throttle while running the motor in.

The wing assembly is a tight fit!

The Williams Mark 4 was assembled at the Hooper’s Inlet strip in January 1991. It first flew from there on 24 January 1991, and Geoff flew it cross-country around the outskirts of Dunedin on 27 January and on to Lee Stream in Central Otago, a distance of around 40 km.

During the 1990s the aircraft was kept at an airstrip on Monterey Station at Lee Stream, inland from Outram, under the shelter of macrocarpa trees and covered from the elements and birds. Geoff and some friends would go up there in the weekends and fly it,.  The photos above and below were taken at the Monterey Station airstrip.

In flight at Monterey.

Over the 1990s the Williams Mark 4 was flown extensively around the lower South Island for a total of around 250 hours, and Geoff took some nice shots of his travels.  The photo above is returning from a flight to Five Forks which is about 20 km North of Moeraki, on 31 March 1991, and shows some of the detail from the instrument panel.  All the instruments you would expect are there - RPM, ASI, Turn and Slip indicator, Altimeter and CHT and EGT.

At Five Forks on 31 March 1991.

Another flight over the snow covered St Bathans area on 4 July 1991, with the St Bathans Range in the distance.

Flying over the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter on 17 December 1991.  On this trip Geoff ventured across to Stewart Island and flew up Paterson Inlet.

On the beach at Toetoes Bay, East of Invercargill on 17  December 1991, with the aluminium smelter chimney in the background.

Then back home along the Catlins coast.  That is quite a trip in an aeroplane that you designed and built yourself!

There are undoubtably many untold stories about Geoff Williams and his Mark 4 - it is rumoured at some stage to have been fitted with a machine gun and was used for shooting geese! 

Various people have described Geoff Williams’ last flight in his Mark 4. Suffering from cancer, he was very ill in the hospice when he asked a friend to fly the aircraft back to Taieri and for someone to refurbish it. Despite Geoff’s condition, his friend said to him, “Why don’t you fly it back to Taieri yourself?” And that is what they did. They drove to the airstrip at Monterey and his friend strapped Geoff in and started the engine, and Geoff flew it back to Taieri with all his remaining energy. People at Taieri recall that when the strange aircraft landed and nobody emerged, they went out to investigate and had to carry Geoff from his cockpit. He died in May 2002 and his ashes are buried at the airstrip at Monterey Station, under the trees where he used to keep his aircraft. 

I have already posted about how the Williams Mark 4 came to be registered, and the link is HERE

Since my post in July 2012, its owner Mike Nicholson has gifted the Williams Mark 4 to the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre at Mandeville.  The link to this post is HERE

There is a lot of Southern aviation folklore in the Williams Mark 4 and given its builder Geoff Williams' history with "the authorities" in much the same way as some residents of the nearby Hokonui Hills had problems with earlier "authorities", I think that displaying the aircraft at Mandeville is very fitting.

Finally I must thank Geoff's brother Richard Williams and the Williams family for sharing Geoff's amazing aviation journey with us.

ZK-MCK update.

The Pilatus PC-6 B2-H4 Turbo Porter ZK-MCK (c/n 809) has been mentioned on at least three previous occasion - Here.
Nathan Graham has sent in these two recent photographs of  her.
 Above it is seen at Mount Cook having a 100 hourly inspection carried out on 05-12-2017.
And below. Outside the Skydive Franz hangar at Franz Josef on 29-12-2017.
From memory it began its parachute dropping career from about October of 2011 from the Waiho Strip at Franz Josef whilst still with Aoraki Mount Cook Ski Planes and was purchased by Skydive Franz Josef Ltd in April of 2012.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Some changes at Auckland this month.


Saab SF340A N135GU msn 340A-135 arriving at Auckland on the evening of January 9th on delivery to Air Chathams from Guam via Honiara. The aircraft had previously been operated by Skydive Guam Ltd

The second new arrival for Air Chathams Saab SF340B N357GU msn 340B-357 seen on the companies ramp on January 14th having arrived into Auckland on the evening of the 13th via the same route as N135GU. It was also operated by Skydive Guam Ltd

Both aircraft together on the 14th

Title by the entry door to N135GU taken on the 14th

Fokker F-27 Friendship Mk 500 VH-EWH msn 10596 ex ZK-PAX photograped at Auckland on 18-1-18.
This aircraft is due to depart shortly to join the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Wollongong Airport / Albion Park in NSW.  Sad to see her go but at least it is to a great new home.