Friday, 20 April 2018

ZK-NTO in action 15-4-18

Last Sunday (15/4) in variable weather conditions I had the opportunity to spend time with John Ponds of Cropdusters Ltd as he flew Gippsland GA200C Fatman ZK-NTO msn 200C9938 from a strip in the Ness Valley near Clevedon.

From the 70's and 80's.

Four photos from Graeme Stratton
 The Piper PA-18A-150 super Cub ZK-BPA (c/n 18-6175) at Centenial Park Taupo in 1972 whilst with Joe Keeley (Midland Recovery Ltd). 
ZK-BPA is still with us - having been with Blair Hoult of Knights Point Air Ltd since 2011 - now yellow overall.
 Over at Bridge Pa in 1974 or 1975 was the Cessna 185D ZK-CHS (1850793) during its time with Taupo Flying School and Air Services.
More on ZK-CHS HERE.
 Taken at Wanaka we see the Hiller UH-12E ZK-HDM (c/n2107) whilst it was with the Mead's at Dingleburn Station. (late 1980's ?)
Sold in 1994 it eventually succumbed to a heavy landing at Wanstead in 2001.
And near the Rangitikei River in the early 1980 the Hughes 369D ZK-HPW (c/n 870205D) of South West Helicopters Ltd with Pete Masters in command.
It was cancelled in October in 1982 following roll over damage. I believe this is the airframe at the Ferrymead Museum.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Fly Synthesis Storch's of New Zealand

It is time to get back to the series of homebuilt and sports aircraft of New Zealand, with the Fly Synthesis Storch, with the first of type being first registered here in February 2006.

The Fly Synthesis Storch first appeared in 1990 and is produced by Italian company Fly Synthesis S.r.l. of Mortegliano in the North East of Italy.  They also produce a range of other ultralight aircraft including the Wallaby, Synchro, Catalina and the Texan (of which we have had several of the latter registered in New Zealand).  The Storch was quite ground breaking for its time and features a composite forward fuselage with a steel cage and an aluminium tailboom.  The wings and empenage are metal.  It started off with a longer wing and flaperons, but the later S models (that we have in New Zealand) have a shorter wing with flaps and ailerons).  The composite forward fuselage with its large glazed area gives great views from the aircraft.

The Storch S has a length of 5.75 metres (18 feet 10 inches) and a wingspan of 8.70 metres (28 feet 7 inches).  The wing area is 127 square feet.  Empty weight is around 275 Kg (606 pounds) and MAUW is 449 Kg (990 pounds).  With an 80 HP Rotax UL engine the cruise speed is around 115 mph, while the stall speed is 40 mph.

We have had 6 Fly Synthesis Storchs in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Storch S was ZK-FOS2 (c/n 322A-378) which was first registered to the Northern Wairoa Aero Club on 17/2/06.  The above photo was taken at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, the first time I had ever seen a Fly Synthesis Storch.

The Northern Wairoa Aero Club became the Dargaville Aero Club and its long time chief flying instructor is Murray Foster hence the registration.  It is photo'd above at home at Dargaville.  The Dargaville Aero Club has had a policy of keeping their training aircraft for around 1500 hours or so before selling them and replacing them, in their case with another Storch.  In line with this policy it was sold to Rodger L Fortune of Invercargill on 10/4/11.

Our second Storch S was ZK-STK (c/n 411-355A) which was registered to G M McGreggor of Gisborne on 7/3/07.  I understand that this aircraft had folding wings.  It is photo'd above at what must have been the 2007 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.  It was damaged in a heavy landing at Gisborne on 9/11/08 and was written off on 14/10/09.

Next up was ZK-SAQ2 (c/n 420A-364) which was registered to the Sport Aircraft Corporation of Hamilton on 22/8/07 (the SAC is one of our Microlight administration organisations).  It was operated in a training role at Te Kowhai until it was damaged after it stalled on a go around and hit a fence on 17/9/13.  The above photo was taken at Paul Hopper's old strip at Silverdale on 14/4/12, during the Northland Microlight Club's 2012 Poker Run.

It was written off and the damaged airframe sold to Brian Taylor of Whnagarei on 27/6/14.  He rebuilt the aircraft and it flew again on 17/9/14.  It is photo'd above at Dargaville on 25/4/15.  It was sold to the Feilding Flying Club on 1/4/16 and I think it now wears their titles.

Our fourth Storch S was ZK-JES2 (c/n 374A-340) which was registered to Helinorth Agricultural Ltd (Allan Jessop, hence the registration), of Whangarei on 13/12/07.  It is photo'd above at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

On 11/3/11 it was sold to the Dargaville Aero Club and it is photo'd above at their base Dargaville on 31/8/12.  It had an adventurous time on line with damage on 21/8/11, 13/12/12 finally on 2/10/13 when it overturned in a forced landing on a farm near Dargaville.  Following this it was rebuilt by club members and ownership changed to Allan Jessop of Whangarei on on 6/7/14.  He sold it to Theunis van Loggerenberg of Whangarei on 7/5/15 and in turn he sold the aircraft on 30/10/17 to The Storch Syndicate of Whitianga.

After a gap of several years, the Dargaville Aero Club registered another Storch.  This was ZK-DAQ2 (c/n FIBC4980D22DD - I don't know where that came from!) which was first registered on 17/4/14.  It is photo'd above by jean210 very early on in its life at Dargaville, on 24/4/14.

Another photo of the aircraft at its Dargaville base more recently, on 6/5/16.  It is a nice aircraft to fly.

And finally for now, another Storch S was imported from Australia where it had been registered 24-5068 on the Microlight register since 17/5/07.  It was registered here as ZK-KAD2 on 13/4/16 to Aero Australasia Ltd (Charl Marais) of Hamilton.  It is based at Te Kowhai where the above photo was taken on 1/12/16.

Great Aussie Flying Adventurers Heading Home

Following on from my earlier post on Tauranga SAANZ members Trevor Parker and Steve Carr heading off across the Tasman Sea in their aircraft (Pazmany PL 2 ZK-TLP and Vans RV 7A ZK-ECE2) - see , today they have flown their first leg on their return journey from Port Macquarie to Lord Howe Island.

You can keep up with their progress at

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Easter Misc down South.

Some misc shots taken during the WoW weekend.
 The two F16's making their run on 30-03-2018.
 The Campion 7GCAA ZK-CPM (c/n 7GCAA-68) was the towplane for the ASH-25 glider during the weekend. A Phoenix8 photo.
Cessna 206H Staionair ZK-VZM (c/n 20608287) of Miplane Ltd was noted at Omarama by Tony McFarlin on 30-03-2018.
 At Queenstown the Cessna 182T ZK-AFT (c/n 18281517) comes from Auckland and is registered using the owner Antony F Trubuhovich's initials.
The Glenorchy Air Service and Tourist Co Ltd's Cessna 172N ZK-RNX (c/n 17273544) as captured by Phoenix8 at Queenstown on 01-04-2018

Pics from Phoenix8

Just getting to Wanaka by road means passing several airfields along the way.
Phoenix8 has provided the following photographs from his trip South.
 Down at Pukaki (Twizel to me) was the Grumman G-164A AgCat ZK-CAT2 (c/n 1418) above,
 and (below) the Cessna 172N ZK-ELH (c/n 17270955) of Aviation Adventures Ltd.
 Just arriving back was the Rans S-6ES Coyotye II ZK-KOT (c/n 06081887-ES) of James Leslie.
Another Pukaki resident is the PAC Cresco ZK-OAS (c/n 033) of Otago Airspread.
More on OAS here
Tim Donaldson's Rangiora based Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow ZK-ONR (c/n 28R-7435194) was parked over.
At Omarama was the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster ZK-DFT (c/n 337-0176) from the Price Family Syndicate of Dunedin.
Some history on DFT can be found Here

Wanaka pics from Andy Heap

Some belated photos from Wanaka through the lens of Andy Heap.
 Devon NZ1805 (aka ZK-ZKF) returning to the aircraft park.
 Hispano HA1112 'Black 2' (aka G-BWUE) on the move.
 Trojan '563' (aka ZK-JGS).
 Two shots of the Catalina ZK-PBY on/over Lake Wanaka.
 Anson VX.B (ZK-RRA) about to trundle away.

Historic Ag video clip

Below I have a trial run of a video clip as taken by Ted Stratton on his airstrip in the Piper Pawnee days.

ZK-ICO at Tekapo

Another airfield on the way to Wanaka is the private field of Air Safaris and Service (NZ) Ltd.
I managed to get a shot of their Bell 206L-3 LongRanger ZK-ICO2 (c/n 51459) on my way South on the 29th March. It was imported from Canada in February 2017.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Another Great Aussie Flying Adventure

Following in the slipstream of David Wilkinson, Bill Luther and Peter Merwood who flew their RVs across the ditch and back in May/June 2016, a pair of Tauranga SAANZ flyers are now in Australia having flown the Tasman Sea, having left from Kerikeri on 29 March 2018 and flown to Port Macquarie via Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

 Trevor Parker flew across in his Pazmany Pl 2 ZK-TLP,

and Steve Carr flew across in his vans RV 7A ZK-ECE2.

Both aircraft were photo'd by Richard Currie at Pauanui on 18/3/18 with their additional ZK marks as required for international flight.

Once in Australia their original plans to fly to North Queensland had to be amended due to weather systems and they flew West and South over the outback which Trevor reports is green with hundreds of lakes due to the flooding.  And the flooding also resulted in huge numbers of flies which necessitated the purchase of fly nets!  At this moment they are flying in Victoria from Mildura to Bendigo and they can be tracked on Spidertracks at

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Just Aircraft Highlander ZK-JUS at Tauranga

The recently imported Just Aircraft Highlander N419EC was registered as ZK-JUS on 1/3/18, and has been covered HERE

To complete the story, here it is with its New Zealand registration applied at Tauranga on 22 March 2018.  Thanks for the photo Peter.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Wings and Wheels Darfield 07-04-2018 # 2.

 The Maule M-5-235C Lunar Rocket ZK-DWR (c/n 7234C) is from Pegasus Aviation of Rangiora.
 Above - now we know why they have big tires.
 This North American NA88 Harvard (c/n 88-14672) is nicely painted up in 'US Navy' markings with the tail code of NE representing its NZ registration of ZK-ENE and the cowling number of 66 being its ex RNZAF serial of NZ1066. It all belongs to BDH Investments (Brian Hall) and is Ashburton based with Kevin Langford driving.
Kawasaki BK117-B2 Rescue Chopper ZK-HJC (c/n 1061) dropped in for a while but was called away on urgent business about an hour later.
Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HLI (c/n 13075) is locally based with Buttle Properties 05 Ltd.
Sam Contracting 2000 Ltd Rotorway A600 Talon ZK-IJJ (c/n 8107) and an earlier Rotorway Exec 162F ZK-IVR of Graeme Piper of Sheffield made an interesting pair.

Paul Godfrey from Rangiora approaching in his real tidy Skystar Kitfox IV ZK-JFA (c/n C94080051/MAANZ/527). 
In from Aylesbury corner was the Cessna 172P ZK-KTB (c/n 17274847) of Harle Whitehead.
Murray and Wendy Marshall and their Aeroprakt A-22LS ZK-LFK (c/n 256) were in from Heslerton Station.
All photos thanks to Phoenix8