Thanks to Dave Homewood for having me as his guest yesterday on Warbird radio live.
below is a link if any of you wish to listen in. Well I think I have posted the link.
A beautiful Friday morning and all 3 of the containers have just left containing what was half of New Zealand’s servicable Strikemaster fleet.
The tarmac is now clear and ready for the next “stocking filler”
I know you should never say never but I will go out on a limb and say that I don’t think we will ever see 3 serviceable Strikemasters on the same bit of tarmac in New Zealand again. Let alone 3 ex RNZAF ones.
On return from the Tauranga airshow this morning the 70 and 62 which are about to head to the US were parked next to 72 which is staying here, for the final few photos.
It has been a great 6 years with these aircraft and we look forward to maintaining our links with 72 as it continues to fly in New Zealand. In 1992 when the aircraft dis appeared to Australia I don’t think anyone ever thought there would be a flying Strikemaster in New Zealand again but thanks to Brett Nicholls, Brian Hall and Charles Davis we have been fortunate to see them flying at aviation events all around the country.
We will follow the continuing flying on 62 and 70 in the US with interest, a little ironic that another couple of our dated and “clapped out” aircraft are finding a new home in the US being used for defence contracts.
As most of you probably know by now this weekends Airshow at Tauranga will be the last chance you will get to see Strikemasters 62 and 70 flying together in New Zealand. Once they have returned to Ardmore dis-assembly will start and they will be containerised for shipment to the US. One consolation for all you Strikemaster fans out there should be they are returning to their “natural habitat” and will be flying in the close air support role in support of US military training out of Las Vegas.
Thanks to Brett Nicholls for what has been a crazy 6 years.
Strikemaster 72 and also Brian Halls ex Saudi jet will continue to live and fly here in NZ.
Already our hangar is full of engines, and other spare parts ready for packing new week.
Year that is.
Hangar is full and ready for the Staff to arrive next week. On the servicing front, we finished off last year working on Jets with the 3 Strikemasters all servicable and ready for the up coming airshows. We Start this year finishing off the P40 and Mustang annuals.
On the restorations side all of the new wing fittings for the P39 have been drilled with just a couple of them needing to have the spotfacing finished. All of the fuel tanks have been templated so we can get them manufactured (rubber bags) and good progress has been made working through the wings and flight controls.
The P40’s are progressing well with fuselage #3 sitting in a wheel around stand and now ready for some attention.
All said we are looking for a big year.
I met a kiwi tabby cat
He has the name of Curtis
He lives amongst the aeroplanes
and sleeps on any surface.
He has an entire hangar and
the people who work in it,
and if you’d like, he’s happy to
be petted for a minute.
At night he prowls the airplane cowls
and hunts efficiently.
His is a life of leisure and
by Marguerite Lane
After undergoing some repairs and a full strip and repaint Strikemaster 72 (ZK-BAC) is almost ready to return to the air.
The aircraft has been repainted back to the genuine RNZAF colour scheme which hopefully will please the purist’s out there, some additional decals are still to be added but she is looking smart.
A bit late on this one but for those of you that don’t know Brian Halls T28 had a successful first flight yesterday with Dave Brown at the helm. This is 16 years since this aircraft last flew and 67 years to the day that the T28 prototype took to the sky.
The day has come, yesterday Gary Leach from NZCAA issued the C of A so the mighty R2000 powered T28 can begin test flying. Congratulations to Brian Hall and Kevin Langford.
Pioneer Aero was pleased to be associated with this return to flight and provide assistance as and when required.
Now the combination of intrepid aviator and weather gods need to align to start the test flight program.
Since we shifted in to the Hangar in December we have been continuing to develop and improve the facilities. This work has involved the general clean up, painting of floors and areas of the roof (this is still ongoing) additional clear-lite panels, a new front entrance door and additional lighting.
We still have a long way to go but to this point are happy with what has been achieved.
Below are some photos taken from around the hangar, how many airframes or parts there of can you see?
At 1500 hrs today the NZCAA published their report into Eric’s accident, link below.