14 July 2010

Air Central's Rice Rockets

Some month's ago someone sent me an email about Air Central in which he said, "The Rice-rocket is my all time fav, many fond memories of them in Gisborne as a lad!"
Herewith are the extent of my Air Central Mitsubishi Mu2 photos...

Mitsubishi Mu2G N671MA (c/n 519), which went on to become ZK-EKZ at Hokitika in December 1980 while on demonstration to Westland Flying Services (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/04/hokitikas-westland-flying-services.html). Photo : S Lowe

ZK-EKZ at Tauranga on 25 November 1982 in full Air Central colours. Photo : S Lowe

The second Mu2G, N88BC (c/n 513) that became ZK-EON at Christchurch in April 1981 in the basis of what became the Air Central colour scheme. Photo : S Lowe

ZK-EON at Tauranga on 25 November 1982. The timetavle of the time had two Mu2s on the ground at Tauranga at the same time as seen below with both ZK-EKZ and ZK-EON. Photos : S Lowe

Air Central's third Mu2 was ZK-ESM (c/n 528) which I never photographed. Eagle Air purchased Air Central in 1983. The Mitsubishis operated with Eagle for a time but were quickly replaced with a Bandeirante and three Piper Chieftains.

For more on this interesting airline and their Mitsubishis see Bruce Gavin's definitive book on Air Central, Heartland High Flier. Copies are available from Bruce at a good price by emailing fbgavin@actrix.co.nz

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