Thursday, 25 May 2017

Farewll to Michael Dimmock

On Monday the 22nd May we said farewell to Michael Dimmock after his passing on the 17th.
A small fly over was carried out by three aircraft from the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club.
Photo below shows the three aircraft heading off after their fly over with a high flying 'fast mover' also taking part in the top left of the shot.
Michael was the proud owner of the Skyranger ZK-MAI2  which lead the formation.

Three helicopters.

Three recent fling wing sightings.
The Way To Go Heli Services Ltd's Eurocopter AS 350 B2 ZK-IEP (c/n 2844) now with the Company logo applied departs Northward from Rangiora on 05-05-2017
 At Rangiora on the 22nd I caught up with the Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HWP4 (c/n 11016) of SCN Helicopters Ltd of Porirua.
Today I captured Christchurch Helicopters 2001 Ltd's recent acquisition - Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HND(c/n 2073) with its new Company signage.
See HERE. for an earlier post on this airframe.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


The NAC reunion at Classic Flyers in Tauranga attracted a number of interesting vintage aircraft including locally based DH89B Dominie ZK-AKU, which unfortunately due to maintenance issues couldnt offer the intended scenic flights,  and from the same hangar Tiger Moth ZK-BSN.  The immaculate non flying Heron ZK-BBM in full NAC colours gave an insight to a long gone era.    Attendees were able to take scenic flights in Air Chathams DC3 ZK-AWP.

Elsewhere on the field were visiting Opotiki Helicopters' Hughes 369HS ZK-HGS and local Tauranga Helicopter Training Guimbal Cabri ZK-IIF.

Spezio DAL-1 Tuholer(s) of New Zealand

The Spezio Tuholer was designed by Tony Spezio in the US and the prototype first flew on May 2nd 1961.  It is of standard construction for its time - welded steel tube fuselage, with wooden wings spars and ribs, all fabric covered.  A folding wing can be incorporated for towing.  Apparently the prototype was constructed for US$287 which gives a glimpse of what homebuilding was like back then - built at home from what could be sourced as cheaply as possible.  Another era!

The Tuholer is 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 metres) long with a wingspan of 24 feet (7.3 metres).  It looks bigger that that.  Empty weight is around 820 pounds (371 Kg) and MAUW is 1,500 pounds (680 Kg).  The engine is typically a Lycoming 125 HP which gives a cruise speed of around 100 knots, and the stall speed is reported as 39 knots.

We have had one Spezio Tuholer in New Zealand and there are reports of another dismantled at Omaka.

The aircraft was constructed by Plez T Nall of Ardmore, Oklahoma and was first registered as N7515 in 1967.  After 4 subsequent owners in Texas and California, its US registration was cancelled on 3/4/02.

Andrew Fairfax of Queenstown imported the aircraft into New Zealand and it was assembled at Taieri in October 2002.  It was registered to him as ZK-JRZ (c/n 227) on 15/9/03.  It has flown in New Zealand.  It is photo'd above at Rangitata Island on 11/1/12 while it was there for maintenance.  Russell Brodie told me that ZK-JRZ was flown in and out of Rangitata Island.  I am not sure where the aircraft is currently based but it could be at Otaki, as it is currently registered to Andrew Fairfax at Plimmerton, near Wellington.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


With the great weather continuing in the Coromandel visitors continued to arrive in Pauanui.  While mainly carrying on Sunday's theme of Cessna 172s,  today they included 172N ZK-DEX from Tauranga with an updated paint scheme since 2016,  and with its gear up privately owned Tecnam Sierra RG ZK-ZZT.