Saturday, 31 May 2014

Out of the shoe box comes N940AK

On 29-03-2002 I just happened to be passing through Wanaka airfield and photographed this machine N940AK.
Its US civil registration is based around its RAF serial Number of AK940.
It had no NZ listing.
 This is the Curtiss Hawk 87A-3 with the c/n 1541. It was allocated the RAF serial AK940 and went up to Canada where it later carried the RCAF serial 1058.
- Restoration started, June 2000.
Below is an extract from its history as seen at:-

 - Wings moved to Pioneer Avspecs, New Zealand to start rebuild.
- Remaining parts sent to New Zealand for rebuild, March 2001.
Tony Banta/Banta Aviation Corp, Dover, DE, May 24, 2001-2002.
- First flight (New Zealand), March 24, 2002.
- Flown in USAAC scheme.
- Returned to California; now based Livermore, CA, May 2002. 

See also:- 

Below is a view of it at Chino in May of 2012.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Question time # 169 resolution

The Question time # 169 clue was a section from this photograph.
 We are looking at the Westland Wessex 60 Series 1 9G-DAN (c/n WA739) and the Westland Wessex HC Mk5C ZK-HVK2 (c/n WA178) in the partially open hangar of Metro Air in Christchurch on 08-9-2000.
9G-DAN was one of twenty Wessex Mk 60's built for the civil market by Westland. It was built initially for Bristow Helicopters of Redhill, Surrey and registered as G-AYNC on 30-11-1970.
It was used on their contract in western Australia where it was registered as VH-SJD in April of 1971.
It returned to the UK and became G-AYNC again in June of 1983 and then trundled down to Nigeria and became 9G-DAN in about August of 1993. As can be seen it was in Christchurch NZ by 2000 along with several others.
Some serious work was carried out on it and it is seen below on 27-09-2001, pretty much a bare shell.
 What ever happened to it ??
Its hangar mate ZK-HVK2 was built for the UK military as a Wessex HC Mk5C and carried the Royal Navy serial XS509. On being withdrawn from active service it becoming instructional airframe A2597.
It was sold at auction on 25-02-1998 (along with many others) and turned up in Christchurch with at least four others and several rear fuselages.
It first flew here on 30-11-1998.
Above we see it in its XS509 colour scheme in Christchurch on 11-01-1999 after having been registered to Metro Air Ltd on 11-12-1998. It carried its large "VK" letters under its nose and smaller "VK" letters on its vertical tail.
Below we see it on 10-11-1999 with "Metro Air" signage on its rear fuselage.
Above. By 28-05-2000 it was in this colour scheme with its VK registration letters moved forward.
And by that September it carried the large "MetroAir" script.
 It was sadly lost in an accident on 12-02-2001 in the Little Pokororo Valley, which is just to the southwest of Motueka, whilst on log lifting duties.

I remember when. N1705Z came to town.

 The Cessna 336 Skymaster N1705Z (c/n 336-0005) visited NZ in August of 1963.
Here are two shots of it at Wellington.
This was the first demonstrator of the "push-pull" Cessna in our neck of the woods.
I went up to PNG and initially lacked the performance for the strip and high altitude work.
A trip back down to Bankstown found that it had not been producing full power and were made which improved matters.
Another modification done was to enable the entire rear engine to swivel to one side to ease the loading of bulky items.
For an in depth history of this Squash Master see :-
Below is a shot of it at Queensland Air Museum in 2012 following static restoration.
 Only one Cessna 336 graced our register - ZK-CGF.
The later - retractable gear Cessna 337 was more successful with at least nine being registered in NZ with two still being currently listed..

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Other Aircraft Out and About at North Shore - 28-5-2014

North Shore Airfield seems to be becoming busier, as evidenced by these aircraft movement within about a two hour timespan yesterday, as well as several of the Aero Club's Robins coming and going.  The aircraft are mostly based on the airfield.

ZK-EFB is a Cessna 185F owned by a North Shore owner.

Stan and Gilly Smith's Piper J3C-65 Cub ZK-AIR was doing circuits.

While local Vans RV 7A ZK-POM departed for points North.

Two of North Shore Helicopters Robinson R22s were pounding the circuit - ZK-HZV.

and ZK-HBK.

Zenith CH 601XL ZK-SRF called in from Tauranga and also headed North.

And Rob Fry's Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon ZK-REF was also out and about.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A sunny day at Oceania Ardmore

A fine day in Auckland had Magnaman out at Ardmore where he captured these helicopters in the Oceania compound.
 The MBB BO 105 CBS4 ZK-IBO2 (c/n S-801) was registered to Oceania Aviation Ltd on 17-04-2013. As you can see it still wears its Jordanian Police Air Wing markings and serial P-02.
It is one of three imported from Jordan by Oceania in 2013.
 Above is the Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-IDV (c/n 3700) still in its US markings of N117LN.
It started its career in the States as N488AE in September of 2003.
It is another of Bryan Comerford's imports.
 Above is the Kawasaki built BK117 B-1 ZK-ITE (c/n 1083). It has spent all its life prior to import as JA6662 from late March of 1991. It still bears some Japanese script on its tail end.
 It was listed to Oceania Aviation Ltd on 26-03-2014.
Above is a 369E  - the registration of which eludes me at this time (anybody ? comeback).

Tis in fact the Hughes 369E ZK-IRD (c/n 0328E) ex JA9806.
It first hit our register on 11-03-2003 and was transferred to John Dunn of Auckland on 20-11-2012.
See link below for another angle.

Cherokee ZK-DGH.

Sir Minty sent me this shot of the Piper PA-28-140E Cherokee ZK-DGH (c/n 28-7225405) as captured at North Shore yesterday - 27-05-2014.
As you can see from the construction number - it is a product of 1972 and it first aviated under the Piper test registration of N11C.
It arrived at the Ports of Auckland on-board the Columbus America on 13-08-1972, gained its CofA on 15-09-1972 and was registered to the NZ agents Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 12-10-1972. The Canterbury Aero Club became the registered owners on 01-11-1972.
Pic below shows it outside the old CAC hangar at Christchurch on 30-08-1978.
 The Club flicked it off to A W Dumpleton of Motueka from 08-04-1983 and then it went to T J Lewis at Nelson from 29-09-1988.
Mountain View Orchards at Upper Moutere took it over from 19-06-1991 followed by a move up to Te Awamutu from 30-10-1992 for S G T Kilpatrick. Colin Clare of Hamilton had it from 05-05-1993 and then Peter Morris Trust appeared (for the first time) on the ownership papers from 01-11-2002.
It went on line officially with the North Shore Aero Clun (Inc) on 21-10-2004 and we see it below in their hangar on 09-03-2008.
It passed back to The Peter Morris Trust from 25-08-2010.

Piper Malibu ZK-MPG at North Shore Today - 28-5-2014

Another spectacular day at North Shore, and a pretty spectacular visitor.

Piper PA 46-310P Malibu ZK-MPG is owned by Fairway Air Ltd of Te Puke.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Jodel D 112D ZK-CGL at North Shore Today - 27-5-2014

Due to the spectacularly nice (but cold) weather today, it would have been rude not to pop up to North Shore Airfield.  As I have posted previously, there is always something of interest happening.

Today it was Tim Maynard's Jodel D 112D ZK-CGL arriving and carrying out some circuits before taxying back to its hangar.  This was the first time I have seen it flying and it was great to see.  This aircraft is our oldest Jodel, having been built by ETS Valledeau in France, so it was originally a factory built aircraft.  It first flew on 6 December 1957 and Tim has all of its original logbooks.

I have previously posted the history of this aircraft at

Here is ZK-CGL taking off for another circuit.

And on approach.  Notice anything different?

The difference is that ZK-CGL is flown as an open cockpit aircraft - the only D 11 that I have seen like this.  Here Tim Maynard demonstrates the lack of a canopy back at the hangar.  Tim told me that he really enjoys open cockpit flying and that he found the closed canopy to be a bit tight for him, so he installed a bar from the top of the windscreen back to the top of the turtle-deck.  He also installed a blanking off cover for the baggage compartment.

Tim also told me that ZK-CGL has a 65 HP Continental C 90 engine and that it has only flown around 1,750 hours in its 56 years.  He also rebuilt the aircraft after a crash when it was G-BCGL and this rebuild involved complete replacement from the cockpit forward and a new wing.  So there is a bit of a "grandfathers axe" about the aircraft!  But nevermind, it is great to see it still flying.

Monday, 26 May 2014

End of Season Turangi Aero Club BBQ Flyin 18-5-2014

The Turangi Aero Club holds monthly BBQ flyins during the spring, summer and autumn. The last flyin for the season was held in lovely weather on Sunday 18 May, with a Focus on RVs theme.

The next flyin will be on the third Sunday of October (the 19th), and thereafter on the third Sunday every month.

Wendy Brooks has sent some photos of the flyin which was very successful with around 54 aircraft attending including more than 20 RVs.

RVs were prominent as in this view which shows 3 RV 12s - ZK-YRV and ZK-MBA from Whitianga, and ZK-JRV from Ardmore, plus RV 7 ZK-LVA from Ardmore and RV 6A ZK-rvc from Matamata.  I know a lot of RVs attended.  Also in the photo are the tails of Zenair Zodiac ZK-ZOD from Napier and Zenith 200 ZK-UDY from Feilding.

And there were also aircraft from Stratford and the Waikato as in this view.  Actually, Turangi is quite close to anywhere in the North Island and is an ideal location for aviators to fly into.

Finally, a shot of RV 7 ZK-DES from North Shore in a nice rural setting.  Several other RVs from North Shore also attended.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

New Zealand Nieuport 24 bis Replicas Revisited - The Last Post?

I have posted on our Nieuport 24 replicas previously and had the error of my ways gently pointed out to me. In the post at  and after much on line discussion, the silver Nieuport with the skull and cross bones was identified as ZK-JOZ and the green Nieuport with the cat was identified as ZK-NIE/2.

This was then revisited when David Eyre sent a photo of the silver Nieuport on display at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and I had another go at identifying the aircraft.  See

However, recently I was perusing the book On the Wings of History (Revised 2nd Edition), which details The Vintage Aviator aircraft, and it suggested another version of which aircraft is which that made sense and that I will now post.  I really hope we have nailed it this time!

This is ZK-JOZ (c/n 001), a Nieuport 24 bis replica that was originally built by Roberto P Garcia of Spring Hill, Florida and was first registered to him on 17/4/96 as N1895A.  It had a Warner Scarab radial engine.  It was purchased by the Omaka Collection of Wellington (Peter Jackson) and was first registered in New Zealand on 7/4/03.  It is photo'd above at the 2005 Classic Fighters Airshow at Omaka with the serial number N1895A.

These WW 1 aircraft replicas (and a couple of original WW 1 aircraft) have registered colour schemes on the New Zealand Civil Aircraft Register, so their registrations can be tricky to identify.  ZK-JOZ had a change of colour scheme registered on 12/9/05 to the aircraft below.

So I now reckon that this is ZK-JOZ in its new colour scheme, photo'd at the 2007 Classic Fighters Airshow at Omaka on 6/4/07.  There are several identification points with the above 2 aircraft that tend to confirm it as the same aircraft.  There is a bolted panel on the side of the fuselage behind the engine cowling on both, the bracket at the bottom of the vee-strut looks the same on both, and the propellor tip markings look the same on both.  Ownership of ZK-JOZ transferred to The Vintage Aviator on 1/7/07 and it was cancelled on 7/9/07 and sold back to the USA.

Here is a photo of it back in the USA on 10/6/07, where it was registered N5246.  Tragically it was lost in an accident at Old Rhinebeck, New York on 17 August 2008, and the pilot was killed

Now this Nieuport 24 bis replica, currently on display at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with the serial number N1895, is ZK-NIE/2.  This aircraft was built by Paul Musso of Mt Laurel, New Jersey with a c/n of PM 7668 and was first registered to him as N1893 on 29/11/90.

It was sold to the WW1 Flying Company Ltd of Wellington and first registered in New Zealand on 16/6/05, and ownership transferred to The Vintage Aviator on 1/7/07.  It has flown in New Zealand and it is currently on the Civil Register.  

And now to clear up things a little more, this is ZK-NIE/1 (c/n MAANZ/471) which was a 7/8 scale Nieuport 17 replica built by John Lowther of Timaru, and was first registered to him on 23/3/92.  As you can see it also wore the serial number N1895.  It flew for some time at Timaru before being sold to NR Lopez of Auckland on 11/2/97.  It is photo'd above at Pikes Point Airfield in 1999.  It was cancelled on 2/8/99.  It then was sold by Turners Auctions and fell off the radar, then re-appeared in a car showroom at Kerikeri.  And most recently is has been acquired by aircraft enthusiast Colin Hay of Waimate who is actively restoring it.  

I have contacted Colin Hay and found out some information about this aircraft - it was built by John Lowther from Circa Reproductions (Graham Lee) plans but the plans were only used as a basis for the build.  It is all wooden construction (whereas the Circa plans were for a steel tube fuselage), and was modified from the Nieuport 11 plans to become a Nieuport 17 replica, and it has a VW engine.  It was actually registered as a Circa Reproductions Nieuport 11.

You will notice the all of the above aircraft feature the same serial number N1895 and the same basic colour scheme with a skull and crossbones, funeary candles and a coffin inside a black heart - it is that of the French ace Charles Nungesser who scored 45 victories in WW 1.  Confusingly, he flew several models of Nieuports, all with the same colour scheme and with the same serial N1895.  The tricolour stripes on the top of the wings and on the top of the rear fuselage came about after Nungesser was attacked by mistake by an English pilot who he shot down in self defence.

And I hope that that, is that!

Question time # 169

What do you make of these two flying machines ?
There is a NZ connection for both of them !

What was it ?

What was their eventual fates ?


The three answers to date are not up to chocolate fish standard.

Amuri Helicopters.

 We went for a squirt with Amuri Helicopters out of their Hanmer Springs base the other day using the Aerospatiale AS 350 FX ZK-HJM4 (c/n 1671).
The intention was to get up to Mount Mahanga but the meteorological Gods had other Ideas. Here we sit weather bound at Lake Tennyson.
An earlier post on HJM is at :-
Amuri Helicopters also operate two Robinson R44 Raven II's - ZK-IJT (c/n 10188) [which was originally ZK-IMP]; and ZK-HTF5 (c/n 11990) as seen below in this early morning shot.
Mission successful the following day.

Friday, 23 May 2014


I dropped into Heli Maintenance at Christchurch International today looking for something to try out my camera on and was lucky enough to have Michael Glynn of Mountain Helicopters Fox Glacier Ltd with his MD369E ZK-HCC5 (c/n 0220E) on site doing a series of brief blade tracking flights.
ZK-HCC5 was a product of 1987. It gained its US airworthiness certificate using the US marks of N1622X on 10-03-1987 initially with Evergreen Equity Inc out of McMinnville, Oregon. Next in line being Hartford Holding Corp'n of Wilmington, Delaware. From 15-03-2000 it was with Go Helicopters Inc at Angleton, Texas until returning to Oregon in July of 2004 for John McKee of Central Point. It was cancelled on 28-07-2005 as exported.
It turned up at Heli Maintenance hangar doors on 16-08-2005 and became ZK-HCC5 on 02-09-2005 and gained its NZ CofA on the 20th.

Now to get a little bit historical.
We have a photo of ZK-HCC5 taken at Heli Maintenance on 20-09-2005 : The day of its NZ CofA.
 The previous ZH-HCC (ie ZK-HCC4) was a Hughes 369HS c/n 410318S and is seen below at Garden City Helicopters in Christchurch with its black and white tail piece.
 Below: taken at Lake Ruataniwha on 31-10-1997; now with a red tail piece.
It was also operated by Michael.
Don't be fooled by the apparent colour from these older prints as it also was an overall green.