Saturday, 31 July 2010

Jean Batten clips.

I have had a note from Deb Diaz advising that a documentary about the 1930's aviatrix Jean Batten is now online, to watch for free at :-

Jean Batten broke solo distance flying records and achieved international fame. Directed by her biographer, Ian Mackersey, Garbo of the Skies chronicles Batten's life through archive footage, interviews, narration from her unpublished memoirs and reconstructions of her epic flights. The film also reveals a lonely private world: a domineering mother, romantic tragedy, an itinerant fall into obscurity, and death in a Majorcan hotel (a mystery solved by research for the film).
Please, please spread the word through your membership and networks. It’s legal to use the link on websites, newsletters, social media like Facebook, etc.
Thanks and kind regards,
Deb Diaz
For NZ On Screen

Friday, 30 July 2010

Christchurch pickings 30-07-2010

Registered on 29-06-2010 was the Robinson R44 ZK-HDM3 , c/n 0072 , to Heli Maintenance at Christchurch. This all yellow Astro finally arrived today, in its container, and was quickly unloaded into the Heli Maintenance hangar. This helicopters has served in Greece and the UK. In fact at one time it was flown by Sir David Jason ("Dell Boy" and "Granville" on the small screen).
A couple of visitors parked on the Western grass were the Cessna 182S Skylane ZK-LKM , c/n 18280796 , down from the Wanganui area. This carries the name "Mataitira" which I seem to recall was on a Cessna 180 some years ago.
Dropping off a load of day old chicks was the Piper PA-32-260 ZK-EKS , c/n 32-7300018 , of C E V Ltd from New Plymouth. The nose section of his Cherokee Six was fire damaged at Ashburton in January of 1998 and was repaired using the required sections of ZK-DDF.
In the Canterbury Aero Club maintenance workshop the Alpha R2160 ZK-VCA , c/n 160A-07014, (and ex ZK-CTX) was just having its new Club colour stripes and registration letters added.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Question time # 107 resolved

Mit has correctly identified the Aero L-39 Albatros ZK-TCS wing tip tank.

ZK-TCS2 c/n 131848, was listed to The Copter Shop Ltd (hence TCS) of Nelson on 05-01-07 and was removed from its container at Helicare Servcices at Nelson Airport on 26-02-2007.
It arrived in its full previous operators colour scheme.
These two pics were taken at Nelson 0n 28-03-2007.
It was rolled out in its new metalic Blue scheme on 16-09-2008 and first flew on 27-10-2009.
The above pic was shot by Matt Hayes. The lower shot taken during its first flight in NZ was captured by Peter Campbell on 27-10-2009.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Brave

Away back on 05-12-1969 Piper first flew the low wing agricultural single seater all metal Pawnee replacement - the Piper PA-36-285 Pawnee Brave.
The most interesting thing about the early production aircraft (in my view) was the engine of choice. The Continental Tiara 285. Basically this was a 405 cubic inch turbocharged engine with the propeller driven from the camshaft. I believe the fuel consumption was rather high and that there was no significant advantage over the already well proven other options available.
I don't believe any of these Taira Brave's came to NZ.
Next engine used was the proven Lycoming IO-540 of 300hp in the PA-36 Brave 300.
Only one of these served in NZ and this was ZK-EIA , c/n 36-7760009 . This was imported by, and registered to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Ardmore on 19-05-1977. It was used down south initially, being spied at Rangiora and Timaru soon after arrival. The pic below was taken from the wing of the real Pawnee (PA-25) at Timaru on 02-10-1977.
I lost track of it for a few years, but I believe it went on lease to Pask Air Service and then to M T Herbert of Napier in about August of 1983. It was re-listed to Kairanga Aviation on 05-07-1984 and was ferried across the Ditch from Kaitaia to Norfolk on 08-10-1984. It became VH-FEX and has spent most of the intervening years with Field Air at Ballarat in Victoria.

A further ten Brave aircraft came onto our register, but these were the PA-36-375's with the Lycoming IO-720 engines.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Fatal mid air collision at Feilding

News has been filtering in with regards to a mid air collision between two Cessna 152's at about 3.30pm at Durie Road close to Feilding airfield today.
Sadly two persons lost their lives in the Cessna 152 ZK-TOD whilst the other aircraft  ZK-JGB landed safely back at the Taonui airfield.
Our sympathy goes out to all.

Ecureuil making movies

Noted at Helipro's Christchurch base today was the Aerospatiale AS350B2 Squirrel ZK-IHW c/n 2816.  This has a very interesting history.  First appearing on the French Colonial register on 27-07-1994 as F-ODYX it came to NZ to become ZK-HROfor about a day in July 1997 before becoming ZK-IPV on 08-07-97.  On 08-06-1999 it became ZK-HFV3 until exported to Australia on 26-09-2000.  There it became VH-ECO until returning to NZ to take up the ZK-HXMmarks on 24-01-2002.  Back off to OZ in November 2003 as VH-FRN until being damaged in the Latrobe Valley in January of 2006. Back to NZ for HeliQuip International  to do their magic and creating ZK-IBO on 03-10-2006. They re-registered it as ZK-IHW on 03-10-2006.
It was listed to Heli-Works Queenstown Helicopters from 20-12-2007 and remains with them although, as can be seen by the sign writing, it spends time at Mt Cook for Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes.
It is filming for a new National Bank advert.

Two more Alpha's for the Canterbury Aero Club

Noted earlier this month in the Canterbury Aero Club maintenance hangar were two Alpha R2160's, ZK-CTX , c/n 160A-07014 , and ZK-CTY , c/n 160A-0016. They had been registered to the Club on July 2nd via Alpha Aviation and Hamilton Aero Maintenance. Both off course being ex the CTC Aviation line up at Hamilton and have been in storage since about last October.

The photo above shows ZK-CTY as seen at Hamilton on 20-03-2008. This is now registered as ZK-VCC.
Below is ZK-VCA with temporary tape markings as seen today (26-07-2010). This was previously ZK-CTX.
They will carry the Clubs new scheme, incorporating what I will call the Northwest Wave, similar to that of their Tomahawk ZK-EYJ as seen at

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Question time # 107

I have another chocolate fish sitting wrapped on my table here for somebody !
All you need to do to get your teeth into it is to tell me:-

1.  What is this device ?

2. What aircraft type and model would you expect to find it hanging on ?

3. Would you care to place a NZ Civil registration on that aircraft ?

Another Bristol exposed

Bristol 170 Freighter 31M , c/n 13156 , was listed to the Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd on 22-12-1953 using their manufactures test registration of G-18-148. It went to the Pakistan Air Force and was allocated the S4403 serial and carried the code letter "A".
It was acquired by Straits Air Freight Express Ltd (S.A.F.E.) and arrived in Auckland still in its camouflage paint scheme on 01-06-1966. It then went on to Woodbourne for its NZ certification.
Two views of S4403/ZK-CLU during conversion at Woodbourne. Taken late June of 1966.
It was registered as ZK-CLU to S.A.F.E. on 01-06-1966 and allocated the name Merchant Buccaneer.
On 31-10-1967 the Company was renamed SAFE Air.
Picture above of ZK-CLU in its early S.A.F.E. scheme taken about mid 1967.
The view below shows her at Woodbourne on 27-12-1979 in the Safe Air markings. A close look at the registration letters shows a smaller earlier edition over painted.
A view in the office below and shutting the doors above at Wellington on 29-11-1985.
ZK-CLU was withdrawn from freighter service on 30-09-1986 and its last flight was from Woodbourne to the Whakapuaka Sandflats at Nelson on 20-11-1986 for delivery to the Nelson Founders Museum where it rests to this day. It had a total of 21314 airframe hours and 25,978 landings to its credit.
A view above of her at the Nelson Founder Park taken on 16-02-1990.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Merchant Islander at Hapupu

1969 was a good year to visit the Chatham Islands. The old Hapupu airstrip was still in use and the Bristol Freighter still did the freight/passenger run.
Above is the shed used as the meteorological office/control tower on the day of the flights with Neville Brown on duty.
Bristol Freighter ZK-CRK , c/n 13159 , seemed to be the preferred aircraft for this service. I know that at some stage SAFE Air built a special container like structure with passenger seating etc which was slid into the Freighter fuselage. and I think only two Bristols were equipped to take it. Anyway CRK came from the Pakistan Air Force with whom it had been a VIP aircraft and carried the PAF serial S4406 and individual letter "L". It flew into Whenuapai on 06-07-1966 for registration to S.A.F.E. Ltd the same day and it was named "Merchant Wayfarer". 
S.A.F.E (Straits Air Freight Express) was rebranded to SAFE Air Ltd on 31-10-1967 and CRK was renamed "Merchant Islander" at about this time.
Transport to and from the main township of Waitangi was provided by the "Yellow Submarine" (as seen above) which took the short cut across the lagoon to the airstrip.
In the trees behind the aircraft are the moriori rahau momori/dendroglyphs (tree carvings to you and me).
ZK-CRK was withdrawn from use and stored from 06-02-1984 until being placed back in service a year later on 13-02-1985. It was finally withdrawn on 03-01-1986 with about 18,400 airframe hours. It was dismantled with the nose section going to John Fell of Blenheim. If my memory is correct; this was the nose section that protruded from John's shed. In about 1995 this was moved to the Ferrymead Museum in Christchurch where it is set up as per the pic below.
[Blue comment added 23rd @1530 following an off blog contact].
The second of the Bristol Freighters used on the Chatham Island run was ZK-CLT , c/n 13157 , ex Pakistan Air Force S4404. It was named "Merchant Hauler". This one was withrawn in 1986, going to the RNZAF Museum and was marked up as "NZ5913". It rejoined our register as ZK-CLT on 25-07-1988 for Trans Provincial Airlines out of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. It departed Auckland on 07-10-1989 and became C-FPTA on the Canadian register. An ownership change in August 1994 saw it join Hawker Aviation Services with whon it had an undercarriage collapse at Bronson Creek, BC on 24-04-97.
These two Bristols retained their fuselage windows whilst the others used by SAFE had most of them blanked over.
Photo below shows ZK-CLT at Woodbourne on 27-12-1979.
The photo below is a belated addition showing ZK-CLT as "NZ5913" at Wigram on 04-06-1987.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Off topic

Not to be confused with NZ civil aircraft but of some interest all the same.
Mig 21 as parked at Turners Auction yard in Christchurch.
I believe it was at one stage destined for the Ashburton Aviation Museum.The two upper shots taken yesterday (21-07-2010).
The lower views show it cluttering the Street in Christchurch outside the owners bar on 19-04-2007.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Mentioned twice before on this blog is Airwork/Helilink's BK117 ZK-HKZ which has been fitted with Honeywell engines ( was outside Airwork's Ardmore facility 20Jul in the colours of Westpac Rescue minus any titles and just a temporary "KZ" on the tail. No photos unfortunately due to its proximity to the fence.

Outside the Oceania hanger at Ardmore was the Mechanics Bay based Westpac Rescue BK117 ZK-HLN.

So, is ZK-HKZ a replacement for either ZK-HLN or Wellington's ZK-HLF, or is this an additional airframe to the fleet?

Mystery item !

What can anybody tell us about this item as photographed at the Wanaka Toy Museum  on 18-02-2010 by Sandy Benzies ?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Question time # 106 resolved

QW has scored again with his 110% answer.
Bennett PL-11 Airtruck ZK-BPV , c/n BA-001 , was listed to Bennett Aviation Ltd of Te Kuiti on 26-11-1959 and first flew in August of 1960.
The aircraft was operated by Northern Air Services Ltd from Te Kuiti until it was damaged on take off from Ngapaenga on 08-10-1963 with the pilot being injured. It was cancelled on 21-10-1963
Bennett Aviation became Waitomo Aircraft Ltd and produced one other as ZK-CKE which flew in April of 1965.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Following on from my earlier post about the departure of Cessna 207 ZK-SEX, Simon Brown of Timaru shares this shot of it parked at Milford Sound on May 2nd this year.

And also at Milford on the same (along with numerous other aircraft) was Caravan ZK-SKB. Thanks very much Simon!

Question time # 106 revisited

I offer you this additional pictorial clue to Question time # 106
Original clue below.
All I need to know is the aircraft type and a likely registration.
I have the strawberry choc fish sitting here in front of me - very tempting.

Bristols showing

An undated shot taken from the observation spot on top of the old Wellington airport terminal building.
I would put the date in the late 1960's.
Five Bristol Freighters braving the Wellington weather beyond the finger that extended out to the departure/arrival gates.

Friday, 16 July 2010

I bumped into "mintie" today (not to be confused with Sir Minty) at the Canterbury Aero Club today. In the course of our discussion he mentioned that he has his own blog hidden within the site. This is well worth looking into. Either use the above link, then click on "blogs" then click on "mintie" in the blog list on the right hand side; or go direct to his blog via.
The photograph above was nicked from this site (Thank you mintie).

A good haul at NZCH

The Schweizer 300CBi N20699 , c/n 0151 , came out of its container on the old Skysales (NZ) Ltd pad on 07-07-10 (pic above). [This was the airframe use in Question Time #105]. It was then moved over to the Heli Maintenance hangar for its NZ certification to become ZK-HYC3. This is not yet complete but I spied it today in the Heli Maintenance hangar marked up as HYC. (pic below)It was manufactured in 02-03 and shows 2250 hours on the hobbs meter.

Parked outside their hangar was the Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HZY2 , c/n 2645 , of JDC Helicopters Ltd of Timaru. This was initially registered in NZ as ZK-HKL3 back on 25-11-1996 but exported to Australia in April of 1998 to become VH-RTS. It returned here as ZK-HZY for Karl Burtscher in August of 1999.

Another surprise sighting for the day was the new Tecnam P2006T twin engine demonstrator ZK-TTW , c/n 020.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

No More SEX

Updated with addition of photo - still looking for a more recent image.
Arriving in New Zealand back in 1983 was Cessna T207A ZK-SEX for Air Safaris. It remained with the scenic flights operator at Tekapo until September 2002 when it moved to a similar operation out of Wanaka and later to Queenstown. It departed from Kerikeri for Norfolk Island today and then to Lord Howe Island 11 July with its ownership being changed on 14 July to Horsham Aviation of Victoria on 14 July.

At Wanaka April 1992, Mike Condon photo

Can anyone provide a recent image of this aircraft? Please email, thanks.


Cancelled from the register 14Jul10 was Advanced Flight's Eurocopter EC130 ZK-HSW, the fourth helicopter to have worn the registration HSW and the second EC130 model to bear these marks.

This example was first registered 24Nov06 replacing HSW/3 which was cancelled a week prior.

It is seen in the photo alighting from the Eurocopter facility at Ardmore in May 2007 and it was noted in the same hanger 14Jul10 minus its registration.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Question time # 106

What do you make of this then ?
I am particularly interested in the likely type, model and registration of this aircraft.