11 May 2012

Widgeon ZK-AVM to fly again...

A comment on my blog tonight by Garth McGearty advised that Grumman Widgeon ZK-AVM was moved today from a farm at Whitford in Auckland to AVSPECS at Ardmore where it will be restored. This time it moved on the back of a trailer with the wings and props removed. Garth writes, "I am sure that Stewart Islanders will be happy to see it back in the air." So will I! It is one of my regrets that I didn't do a trip on Sea Bee Air in my younger years...

ZK-AVM on a Tourist Air Travel service at Halfmoon Bay on Stewart Island. For more on Tourist Air Travel see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/shower-of-spray-and-were-away-nz.html Photo : S Lowe collection.

Mount Cook Airlines eventually took over Tourist Air Travel... AVM was again in southern skies, here on the other side of Foveaux Strait at Invercargill on 25 April 1974. For more on Mount Cook's amphibian service see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/07/mount-cook-airlines-amphibian-service.html Photo : D Paull

The Stewart Island service was sold to Stewart Island Air Services who used Widgeons AVM and BGQ until the airstrip at Ryans Creek was ready. Here AVM is basking in the sun at Invercargill in 1976. For more on Stewart Island Air Services and Garth's full comment on AVM see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2010/04/nzs-southern-most-airline-pt-1-stewart.html. Photo : D Noble
After the BN Islander service to Stewart Island started AVM moved north and became part of the Sea Bee Air fleet. For more on Sea Bee Air see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/sea-bee-air-last-chapter-of-scheduled.html. Photo taken at Mechanics Bay on 9 May 1978 by B Gavin

ZK-AVM at Ardmore in Aquatic and Vintage Airways colours on 15 September 1996. Photo : B Gavin

AVM was last operated commercially by Salt Air. For more on Salt Air see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2010/04/salt-air-xpress-service-to-northland.html. It is seen here at Ardmore on 11 October 199. Photo : S Lowe

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