Sunday, 25 February 2018

Gyrocopters at Dargaville 24-2-2018

The Dargaville Aero Club had invited gyrocopter pilots to their open day flyin with an offer of a free lunch.  I don't know if that was solely the reason but 10 gyros were on the field, plus one more on a light truck.  Here are most of them:

Magni M 24 Orion ZK-MWR that I understand has recently been purchased by a Northland owner.

Magni agent Leo Levine flew his M 22 Voyager ZK-MGN up from Parakai.

Tony Unwin and Noel Smith flew up from Tauranga - Tony in his tandem Niki Rotor Aviation Kalathea ZK-KTH

 and Noel in his side by side AutoGyro Cavalon ZK-OHF. 

Rusty Russell flying the Dargaville Aero Club's AutoGyro MTO Sport ZK-RDM was kept very busy giving trial flights.

Brian Taylor's North American Rotorworks Pitbull SS ZK-RUN is based at Dargaville.

as is Mark Biddle's Tandem Dominator ZK-RCE2.

 Tony Marsden's Tandem Dominator ZK-RCV was across from Whangarei.

On the back of a light truck and up from Warkworth was Harvey Carran's recently acquired single seat Dominator ZK-RCH2.

A couple of other gyrocopters were on the field:  Rusty Russell's AutoGyro MT03 Eagle ZK-KIW2 and John Wiessing's Magni M 24 Orion ZK-MGI.

Masterton aerobatics gathering at NZMS.

  Our roving reporter Geoff Lloyd called in on Masterton late yesterday afternoon and snapped these pics of aircraft involved with the aerobatic champs being held there this weekend.
 Up from Rangitata Island is the Brodie's AESL Airtourer 150 ZK-DAC (c/n A545).
This began life as an AESL Airtourer 115 but following an incident at Matamata in January 1976 returned to the air with the 150hp engine in 1981.
 Non competing I presume - but the Canterbury Aero Club's Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II ZK-DUY (c/n 28R-7535019) was on site. 
This had been with the Club since new in late 1974.
 The Pitts S-1 Special ZK-EES (c/n AACA/28) was built up by Max Clear in the mid-1970's.
It was rebuilt in 1994 when a 180hp engine was installed and by the look of it - ailerons where added to all four wings.
The Vans RV-3 ZK-WCO (c/n 11504) was an eight month build project by Chris Schadler of Whakatane. 
It has a modified wing for aerobatics and is powered by an O-320 from a dead Cessna - pulled along behind a Brent Thompson modified Omega 79 inch propeller.
It first flew on 11-02-2015.
The Canterbury Aero Club's Robin R2160 ZK-RBN2 is parked beyond.

Dargaville Warbirds Postscript

OK, I have to own up.  Two of the warbirds from my last post were models.  But really good giant scale models.  Here are a couple of other photos of them:

The modellers were from the Base Auckland Model Flying Club who normally fly at Whenuapai, and  they put on a great show.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Warbirds at Dargaville Today 24-2-2018

The Dargaville Aero Club held their postponed flyin today, welcoming gyrocopters and trikes, of which there were plenty and more of later.

However, I was more taken by the warbirds on display:

North American Harvard NZ1065 carried out some approaches and overshoots.

Republic P 47D Thunderbolt 433240 coded IA-N showed a good climb rate.

While Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX EN520 coded FL-A showed off its classic lines.

This is painted to represent Wing Commander Colin Grey's machine from No 81 Squadron at Tunisia in 1943.


A stunning Coromandel Saturday brought a variety of visitors to the Pauanui airfield including Cessna T210N Centurion II ZK-ETP

Also from the Auckland area the Aeroandina MXP 150 ZK-RTZ

From North Shore the Tecnam P2008 ZK-WIP

And up from Tauranga colourful Stearman E75 ZK-XAF

Antarctic Apron Friday 23rd.

A reasonable gathering on Friday the 23rd February on the Antarctic apron at Christchurch International Airport.
In the above view we have three Lockheed LC130's a C17 Globemaster with a QANTAS tin pidgeon and an Emirates A380 in behind.
Above we have the Lockheed LC130H 92-1095 (c/n 382-5405) which totes the 'City of Cohoes' name and a woolly mammoth above the entry door.
 Outside the NSF hangar was the LC130H 93-1096 which is c/n 382-5410.
LC130H 73-3300 is c/n 382-4508
And the C17A Globemaster III 08-8199 (c/n P-199 with) the LC130H 83-0493 c/n 382-5016 'Pride of Scotia' in behind.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Two from Christchurch Friday the 23rd.

I had just a very brief pie run today.
At Christchurch International I picked up these two tidy looking machines.
 Above is the Mount Cook Airlines ATR-GIE ATR72-212A ZK-MCP (c/n 630).
This ATR has been with us since January of 2000.
This was my first close up encounter with the Beech 400A Nextant ZK-NXJ(c/n RK-210) of Skyline Aviation Ltd.
This has been well covered on the MRC blog  Here.
Top of the South

It may not be Ardmore, but sometimes there is something of interest in the Nelson/Tasman area.

Added to the local rotary wing inventory back on 9 February was Eurocopter AS 350B3 ZK-HHK, first registered on 22 November 2017 with Brian Comerford. This 2010 machine started out in the US as N971AE before shifting to India some seven months later as VT-GVJ. After some work with Repaircraft in Nelson it has become the second B3 with Reid Helicopters in Wakefield.
Making an appearance at Nelson today was Eurocopter AS 350B2 ZK-HPE of Command Aviation in Wellington. Command Aviation is the operating arm of HeliSolutions in Palmerston North, and currently has two machines in Wellington - this B2 and BK 117 ZK-IFY. Operations began in the latter half of 2017 out of Wellington Airport. ZK-HPE joined The Alpine Group in August 2016 from Australia, moving to HeliSolutions a year later.
And over at Motueka, Argus Aviation has worked its magic on PA-46-310P Malibu VH-JVX to produce ZK-ORZ, whose first flight is imminent. This machine arrived in Queenstown from Hobart on 14 November last, and flew up to Motueka the next day.


This week has brought a few visitors to Pauanui not noted here before including the Paraparaumu based Piper PA18 Super Cub ZK-BQY

Also from the Wellington area was the very smart Grumman American AA5 ZK-DKW, which seems to have kept a low profile and hasnt appeared on this site before

And from Auckland the Mission Aviation Fellowship's Cessna U206G ZK-MAF.

Monday, 19 February 2018

A couple of Cessnas

Present at the Norfolk Rd airstrip in Taranaki on Saturday was 1954 Cessna 180 ZK-BFT of Meringa Farms, Taumaranui.  This has had a busy life since its original registration as BFT becoming ZK-CZW after rebuild,  reverting to ZK-BFT,  reregistered as ZK-FDP,  and then in April 2016 reverting back to ZK-BFT again.

At Matamata today in the rain Cessna 172M ZK-YAH was noted as having been added to the NZ Aviation training fleet line up.

Sunday, 18 February 2018


A visit to Taupo revealed some helicopter activity at the Airport including AS350B-2 ZK-HZJ heading out on a rescue mission

Hangared was local privately owned Bell 206B ZK-IRJ

Operated by Te Awamutu based Helicopter Management Ltd is R44 ZK-ISG

Over at the Gliding Club airfield Pawnee 235 ZK-TPO has now returned to the air after completion of some major work


Life Flight's New Jetstream and Open Day

When I was in Wellington last month I called in to the Life Flight's Air Rescue Centre base at the airport where the nose of their new Jetstream was poking out of the hangar.  I was generously shown around by Sebastien Grodd who is Life Flight's Marketing and Fundraising Manager.

BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-LFT2 (c/n 977) arrived in New Zealand on 1/9/16 and then underwent a major Emergency Medical Services upgrade to accommodate 5 seats and 2 stretchers which can accept neo-natal flight incubators.

Life Flight is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 to help pay off the loan that they took out for the aircraft, culminating in an Open Day from 10 am to 2.30 pm at their Air Rescue Centre at Wellington Airport.

Have a look at  to find out more and get involved.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

RAANZ Stratford Fly In

The RAANZ annual national fly in held in Stratford this weekend attracted some 20 visitors to add to the buoyant local microlight population.

Some of these are featured below starting with the quartet of locally based Sonerais ZK-SND, SNG, SNJ and SNW

All the way from Mossburn was Jodel D11 ZK-DFM

From Waipukurau was the Zlin Savage ZK-KPP

Registered in 2017 was the very smart SPA Panther ZK-PMD from Palmerston North

Locally based Sonerai ZK-SNJ has now acquired some shark's teeth

Also locally based is Titan T-51 ZK-TVG