Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Unregistered Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (2) - The Williams Mark 2

Geoff Williams' second aircraft was built between October 1971 and January 1973.  It was then taken to the Hooper's Inlet airstrip where it first flew on 11 April 1973.  It was a high wing strut braced design that may have been based on the Tomboy model aircraft, and it probably used the VW engine from his earlier Mark 1 aircraft.

The Williams Mark 2 undergoing engine runs in early April 1973 outside the hangar that Geoff Williams built - you can see the old Fire Station doors forming the rear wall.
The first flight on 11 April 1973.  

 The aircraft flew well and quite a few flights were made around the Otago Peninsula.

Some of the flights resulted in forced landings with minor damage.  The above photo taken on Allans Beach on 7 June 1973 shows some temporary repairs after a forced landing including the windscreen being held in place by rope!

After further repairs Geoff Williams flew his Mark 2 aircraft further afield in 1974 and it is photo'd above tied down at Jardine's strip under the shadow of the Remakables on 4 January 1974.

And this colour photo of the aircraft was taken at Ruddenclau's airstrip at Five Rivers on 22 March 1974.  It can be seen that it is silver with a red fin and green rudder.  That is Geoff Williams in the brown jersey.

Following these flights the CAD made efforts to track down Geoff Williams and threatened him with prosecution, with the result that he signed a document to the effect that he would no longer fly this aircraft — and he never did. It was in a dismantled state in the hangar at Hooper’s Inlet in 1977, along with his first aircraft, and later both were burnt. In later years the hangar became dilapidated and, stripped of its roof and walls, it eventually collapsed.

So ended the Williams Mark 2, but Geoff Williams was not finished with building aircraft yet!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Unregistered Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (1) - The Williams Mark 1

Back in July 2012 I was posting on the histories of Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand when I got to the Williams Mark 4.  The link to this post is:

In the post I asked if anyone had photos of the earlier Williams aircraft.  Some time later I was contacted by Geoff's brother Richard who said that there were photo albums that Geoff had kept that he would look for, and then some time later again Richard produced scans of the albums which told a fascinating story!

Geoff Williams of Dunedin designed and built three homebuilt aircraft in Dunedin in the 1970s plus a fourth aircraft between 1988 and 1991.  None of these aircraft were registered as it seems that Geoff did not like officialdom much.  However he must have had a very clever aeronautical brain because he designed and built all of his aircraft himself, including the propellers, and flew them all with very little flying experience (at least in the early days).  His father was Rodney Williams who was a WW 2 Lancaster pilot with 90 Squadron RAF and who was awarded the DFC in 1945.  After the war he was very involved with the ATC in Oamaru and was awarded an MBE for this work in 1964.  His son Geoff was an ATC cadet and it may be that he experienced some flying in Harvards with the ATC, but apart from that he had no official flying training.

He started building his first aircraft, the Williams Mark 1 in August 1969 and remarkably had it finished by the following May when he took it to Papanui Inlet on the Otago Peninsula and tried to fly it from the beach.

The Williams Mark 1 was a small biplane with a VW engine.  When a local farmer saw what Geoff was attempting he suggested that he would do better trying to fly his aircraft off a farm airstrip at Hooper's Inlet.

So in June 1970 the aircraft was towed by road to the Hooper's Inlet strip where Geoff built an open hangar from salvaged materials from the old Dunedin Teacher's College which had been burnt down and the doors from the old Dunedin Fire Station that made up the rear wall.
I do not think that the Williams Mark 1 flew successfully, although you can see from the above photo that it was not for the lack of trying!  It is probable that the aircraft was quite heavy (based on construction photos).  There are photos of it in 1971 but then Geoff Williams moved on to his next aircraft.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sunday at Pauanui

Sunday brought a variety of visitors to the Pauanui airfield including the first visit of the recently imported Aeroprakt A22LS Foxbat ZK-CEC from Huntly

Several EC130 called in to drop off and pick up passengers including ZK-IFC from North Shore and ZK-IPV from Hamilton.

Further from home was the Whanganui based SH2 Glasair ZK-JDL which stayed for an hour before departing northwards.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

At Christchurch

Tony McFarlin caught the Cessna 402B Utililiner ZK-SVQ (c/n 402B0601) of Kiwi Air Ltd on the Western grass at Christchurch International Airport today (13-01-2018). 
Yesterday I noted the Aerial Surveys Ltd C402B ZK-PVC also there. It had been working the area northeast of the airport mid the week but the weather put a stop to that.
Previously mentioned several times HERE.
 Yesterday I shot the Cessna U206F Stationair ZK-RPM2 (c/n U20602042) of TAM Flight Ltd from Tauranga on the tie downs. It was also still there today.
Previously mentioned here.

Fletcher ZK-EMW

The N.Z.A.I Fletcher FU24-954 is c/n 277 and was registered to New Zealand Aerospace Industries Ltd of Hamilton on 17-04-1980 and delivered to Rangitikei Air Services Ltd of Taihape on 29-05-1980.
It is seen above in its 400hp mode at Wanganui on 22-07-1986 with the pilots name 'Geoff Rowe' forward of cockpit and 'Whakapuni' on the engine cowling.
It returned to Hamilton to Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd from 30-11-1987 and was moved on to Aerial Work (Mid-Northern) Ltd of Maungaturoto from 03-10-1988.
It survived an engine failure on 23-11-1994 but struck a fence on take off at Mangapai on 26-06-2001.
Next we see it is registered to Super Air Ltd at Hamilton from 26-10-2001.
They stripped it, extended the fuselage, installed a 60 cubic foot hopper and tacked a P and W PT6A-11AG turbine in the nose.
I believe it first flew in this form on 21-01-2003.
As you can see it is still with Super Air and is seen here operating recently out of Omana, a few clicks northeast of Dargaville.
Thanks to Peter Garlick for the photographs.


Despite some good weather its been a quiet week for visitors to Pauanui, but those who did call in included another of the L3 fleet,  Cessna 172S ZK-CTS which hasnt appeared on this blog before.

From Ardmore was the Airline Flying Club's Cessna 182P ZK-DJN

From Hamilton the R44 ZK-HRR,  which visits regularly

And lastly from Ardmore the very smart Cardinal ZK-PKR,  which was imported in 2016

Friday, 12 January 2018

A Few More From Whangarei

To finish off from my visit to Whangarei on 10-1-18, here are a couple of other aircraft I photo'd:

Autogyro Europe Calidus Fern autogyro ZK-MZM arrived from Parakai after a flight up the East Coast.  It is one of eight Calidus tandem gyrocopters on the register.

 And in this era of personalised registrations I was intrigued to see a couple of amateur built aircraft in the Northland Aviation hanger with consecutive registrations, (although they came from very different routes to share the hangar).

Steve Gwilliam's Jodel D 11 ZK-RSB (c/n AACA/314) reflects its builders initials - Russell Scott from Balclutha, and it was first registered in 1982.  You can find more on its history as part of our Jodel D 11s of New Zealand series HERE

While Don McMillan's Steen Skybolt ZK-RSC (c/n AACA/441) reflects a more convoluted building history - ZK-RSC stands for Russell Truman (who commenced building the aircraft but was killed in a topdressing crash in 1979), and helpers Reg Truman (Russell and Chris's father) and Ruth, then for Sue then for Chris Truman (Russell's brother) who completed the aircraft at Hastings in 2001.  And you can see more of its history on our series of Steen Skybolts of New Zealand series HERE

And finally, here is a better photo of the two aircraft, taken outside the Northland Aviation hangar on 11-1-2018 by Peter Garlick.  Thanks for the photo Peter.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

I remember when. Parking outside No 7 Ann Street, Balclutha.

A photo from the depths of the olde shoe box.
The dreaded Sud Soap Machine and two Cherokee's spending a couple of days 'off field' due to airfield flooding.
Was about the mid 70's I think ! 

Flying a Foxbat at Whangarei 10-1-2018

The reason I drove up to Whangarei yesterday was to get some dual time with Rusty Russell of the Whangarei Flying Club in their recently acquired Aeroprakt A 22LS Foxbat ZK-FBT2 which they bought from John Wiessing on 11/12/17.

Ready to go.

Climbing out at 60 knots.  We headed for Leo Johns' strip at Mata where we carried out lots of short and low circuits with engine failure simulations thrown in.  Quite intense.

The view from the Foxbat is spectacular.  Here we are looking down on the Portland Cement Works and wharf.

And looking down the harbour to the port and the heads, with Tarata Island out to sea.

Rusty in his office - thanks for the workout!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Avid Flyer ZK-DDB Out in the Sun at Whangarei Today 10-1-2018

I was very pleased to see Avid Flyer Mark IV ZK-DDB2 out flying in the sunshine at Whangarei today, as I had never seen it outside before.

Craig McNeal taxying in.

The aircraft is registered to Craig's father Andy McNeal and Craig told me that they had both worked on its construction and rebuild over a period of 18 years.

Craig also told me that the Avid is flying well and now has a new sprung aluminium undercarriage which is wider than the original.  You can see the original at:

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


A visit to Ardmore revealed a couple of aircraft that havent appeared on this blog before, comprising locally based Cessna 150H ZK-CTG

And from Te Awamutu the Stockland Trading Co Hughes 269C ZK-ILG,  which was imported from Canada in 2007.


Amongst the weather events of late a few aircraft have visited the Pauanui airfield including Northland based Cessna 172M ZK-DXN

From Albany was the Heletranz Bell 427 ZK-IRP rising above Hamilton based Yak 52 ZK-TYS

Also from North Shore the TL3000 Sirius ZK-SRZ which has stayed on for a few days

Monday, 8 January 2018

John Wegg/Jean 210 RIP

It is with sadness that I advise that John Wegg passed away last week after a short illness.

John was a good friend of the blog, frequently sending excellent photos from the far North as Jean 210.

In fact John was an internationally recognised aviation author and historian, having written 12 aviation book titles and also founded and edited "Airways" magazine for 20 years until 2014.  One of his books was "Caravelle - the Complete Story" and I know that the Caravelle was his favourite aircraft, hence the 210 in Jean210.  He retired to New Zealand in 2014.

John was also an instructor with the Dargaville Aero Club and travelled up from Warkworth every flyable Friday to give his time to flight instruction.  He had also recently been elected joint Club Captain and was in the process of organising two flyins, the first of which will be held at Dargaville on 10 February.

John's photo of the Dargaville Aereo Club's Fly Synthesis Storch ZK-DAQ2, the aircraft in which he did most of his instructing.

Rest in Peace John - you will be missed.

ZK-LEN at AMZ 8-1-18

Seen at Ardmore this morning was Cessna 172P ZK-LEN msn 17274386 ex JA3997 which was added to the ZK register on 9-8-17 

NZ4111 at Chathams.

We mentioned the status of the Fokker Friendship ZK-BXI at the Chatham Islands in a recent post.
Below is a shot of the Short Sunderland NZ4111 now in a fully enclosed building.
Below is another Lloyd Esler photo taken at Kaiangaroa.
Previous mention of NZ4111 can be seen Here

As Anonymous said. 
It is all done on Chatham Islands time.
(which is 45 minutes ahead of us in NZ)
Don't expect to see either aircraft at the Next Wanaka Warbirds.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Very Low Level Fletcher!

Blog follower Steve Gwilliam saw my recent blog header photo of Super Air's PT 6 powered Fletcher on approach to Dargaville, and it reminded him of another Fletcher photo that was taken by his late father Don:

Steve writes:  The photo on the recent Civair blog cover of the Fletcher coming into DA prompted me to look for one of dads more exciting photos, well it was for the small boy standing beside him! The story goes as while out on a family road trip we came across some top dressing on a steep strip over and under wires on the Paparoa/Mangapai Rds intersection. Strip is still there and used. We went out into the paddock across the road from the strip to take some photos and were obviously spotted by the pilot. First time round he descended down a bit and passed low-ish overhead but next trip he followed the contour down into the small valley and came at us at below fence height and hence the photo. The pilot was Don Jenkins who was later killed while topdressing at Pipiwai in James Aviation's Fletcher FU 24 950M ZK-BHY.

Look at the fence post! - that's low!

The main difference between the 2 photos is that I took mine with a very long lens while the Fletcher was a long way out but Don took his photo with only a 200mm lens!  Thanks for sharing the photo Steve. 

Central North Island

Andy Heap has been on the prowl around the Central North Island and offers these pics.
At Taupo the two Cessna U206G's of Taupo Floatplane Ltd are parked outside their office at the waterfront.
ZK-EFI is c/n U206035235
ZK-FPO is c/n U20605772.
Both have featured before. Here.
The Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HSU2 (c/n 10992) Has been listed with Advanced Flight Ltd of Auckland since October of 2015.
Down at Lake Rotorua the Cessna U206G ZK-FEO (C/n U20603797) of Volcanic Air Safaris Ltd has spent much of its time since arriving in 1983 on floats.
 Eurocopter AS 350 B3 ZK-IKJ (c/n 4536) landing on.
A new scheme since last posted.
Below is Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-IRO (c/n 1553) has been with Volcanic Air Safaris Ltd since November 2016.
 Bell 206B JetRanger ZK-IVA is c/n 2407 has been working this patch since November 2014.
 Wearing the Company initials is the De Havilland DHC-3 Otter ZK-VAS (c/n 35) which has been on The Lake since November 2004.
(A veteran of UN operation in the Egyptian desert with the RCAF).