NEW ZEALAND & PACIFIC ISLANDS CIVIL AIRCRAFT REGISTERS
Compiled by David Wise
INDEX to ZK- files
PACIFIC ISLAND REGISTERS
This is an attempt at compiling a set of complete historic civil aircraft registers for New Zealand and the independent Pacific Islands nations.
It was started in the late 1980's when I found a lack of published historic information following visits to NZ, and it has been progressively accumulating ever since.
A primary reason for publishing the list is to provoke feedback. I would welcome any additions, corrections or more detailed information, however small. Please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The information given is: registration; issue sequence number for reused registrations; registration date (month); type (using recognised abbreviations for most common types); construction number; previous identities (in reverse chronological order - following Air Britain practice, which I think is logical) and status or fate. Owner/operator details and bases have not been included except for Airliners.
For New Zealand, definitive information including ownership details is now available on the NZ CAA website for currently registered aircraft and historic changes back to 1990. More extensive information on aircraft first registered up to the early 1970's was published in Air Britain Archive.
The lists have been provided as a set of html tables. Updates are provided periodically, usually monthly, as new information comes to light.
This has been compiled from a variety of sources. It has no official status and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. For definitive information, check with the national authorities.
Please contact me if you want to exploit this information commercially or re-publish any of it in any book, magazine, or electronic medium.
Do not copy this information onto other websites. Instead provide a link to this site.
For New Zealand, the early registrations have been summarised from the excellent serialisation of the early NZ register in Air Britain Archive compiled by Janic Geelen - this also included a lot more information than is shown here, including ownership and operational details. This started in the Spring 1981 issue and ran until 2004, covering the period from the beginning up to about 1974/5, to ZK-DZZ and the corresponding glider and helicopter lists.
Other sources of data were New Zealand registers published by Air Britain and LAAS; some issues of the annual White's Directory (more recently Wings Directory); the Aviation Historical Society of NZ book on the Aircraft of the RNZAF, including serial listings and civil impressments and disposals. Helicopters and Gyros have been cross-checked against the listing on the Rotorspot website. I have trawled through early Air Britain magazines from the start, and including a complete set of Air Britain News from its beginning in 1970 up to date.
The official current NZ register, both as a look-up and a complete download, has been published on the NZ CAA website since 1999. This also provides monthly listings of historic changes, including ownership details, back to 1990. The URL was changed in Octoner 2016 and is now http://www.caa.govt.nz/script/air-reg-query/ . NZ Accident reports are on http://www.caa.govt.nz/script/accident-list/
Additional useful information has come from sources in the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand, particularly Ray Deerness, David Paull and Mike Condon, and in Air Britain, particularly Ian Burnett and David Partington, and also from Tony Arbon and Joe Barr in Australia.
There has also been welcome feedback from individuals also reports and discussions on a variety of e-mail groups, particularly Airfields and AB-IX.
Proprietary registration data-bases which have recently become available, have not been checked.
AACA = Amateur Aircraft Constructors
Association of New Zealand (since renamed as SAANZ)
amdd = amended
AUF = Australian Ultralight Federation (recently renamed RAAA)
chgd = changed
c = approximate date
c/n = construction number (plans number or kit number)
CAA = Civil Aviation Authority (in several countries)
CofA = Certificate of Airworthiness (to ICAO standard)
coll = collision
const = constructed by
conv = converted (usually model change, often to match engine change)
cr = crashed
cx = cancelled from official register
dbf = damaged/destroyed by fire
dbflood = damaged/destroyed by flood
dbg = damaged/destroyed by gale
dbh = damaged/destroyed by hurricane
dbhc = damaged/destroyed by hangar collapse
dbhf = damaged/destroyed in hangar fire
dbr = damaged beyond repair (i.e. insurance write-off, though occasionally then rebuilt)
dbs = damaged/destroyed by storm
DCA = Department of Civil Aviation (official body in NZ - since renamed as CAA)
dgd = damaged (probably repairable)
dest = destroyed (though several officially so listed have then been rebuilt)
dism = dismantled
disp = displayed (usually in museum or as 'gate guardian')
ditched = ditched in sea
dnf = damaged/destroyed in non-flying accident
EAA = Experimental Aircraft Association (USA Amateur-builders)
ff = first flight date
f/p = float-plane
INST = Instructional Airframe (RNZAF)
lsd = leased
MAANZ = Microlight Aircraft Association of NZ (renamed RAA-NZ in 1995)
mod = modified
MoTaT = Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland
mus = museum
nc = not completed
ntu = (reserved registration) not taken up
PAC = Pacific Aircraft Corporation, Hamilton NZ
PFA = Popular Flying Association (UK amateur-builders)
PNG = Papua - New Guinea
RAAA = Recreational Aircraft Association of Australia (microlights - formerly AUF)
RAAF = Royal Australian Air Force
RAANZ = Recreational Aircraft Association of NZ (microlights - ex MAANZ in 1995)
RNZAF = Royal New Zealand Air Force
reb = rebuilt
reg = registered
rereg = reregistered
res = resident at or in (other country)
rest = restored (to register)
RSA = Republic of South Africa
SAAA = Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (amateur-builders)
SAANZ = Sport Aircraft Association of New Zealand (amateur-builders, formerly AACA)
scr = scrapped
soc = struck off charge (disposed of by RNZAF or other military)
st = stored
to = re-registered
wfu = withdrawn from use
( ) = around registrations indicate reservations not taken up
The earliest NZ civil aircraft carried no marks, or used unofficial fleet identities, or from 1919 retained ex-military serials. Then from 1922 to 1928 New Zealand aircraft were registered in the G-NZxx series, which was part of the G- block allocated to the British Empire.
These will be covered in the Early Aircraft file, which is in preparation. This is from the listing by Janic Geelen in the Spring and Summer 1981 issues of Air Britain Archive updated with subsequent information from Malcolm Fillmore. It has also taken on board some recent internet discussions of this topic.
Aircraft registrations fulfil the dual role of providing legal identities for the aircraft and of providing radio station callsigns. These prefixes are also used for other types of radio station, including ship radios, broadcasting stations, land mobile and radio amateurs.
From 1st January 1929, the registration and radio callsign prefixes ZK- ZL- and ZM- were allocated to New Zealand by the International Radio Telegraph Conference (now called the International Telecommunications Union - ITU) and by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). So far, only ZK- has been used extensively for aircraft, ZL- not at all, and ZM- for two special applications, see below.
The ZK- registration sequence was started from 1st January 1929 and surviving G-NZxx aircraft were re-registered.
All types of civil aircraft are covered in a standard sequence, including gliders, balloons and microlights. All 26 letters of the alphabet are used.
The in-sequence series for fixed-wing powered aircraft ran from ZK-AAA to FZZ. It skipped the reserved G, H and I blocks, and continued from ZK-JAA. The current prevalence of out-of-sequence and reissued registrations has meant that, for several years recently, new in-sequence registrations have been in a small minority.
Out of sequence registrations were first allocated to a few commercial aircraft from 1958 (The first was ZK-REX C310, followed by the TEAL Electras ZK-TEA/B/C), and were then made available for general use (including balloons but not gliders or helicopters) from about 1977.
Reserved registration blocks are or were:
AMA to AMZ = Originally reserved for maritime aircraft, then made available for general use from 1980's and all originally unused marks have now been allocated.
DCA to DCZ = Aircraft operated by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). This was relinquished for general use after DCA was renamed as Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in about 1993.
FAA to FBZ = Balloons and other aerostats (though out-of-sequence registrations have also been allowed) (FBx series used from 1973 then FAx series from 1990, also with reallocations).
GAA to GZZ = Gliders and some motor-gliders (including those used by the Air Training Corps).
HAA to HZZ = Helicopters (also early Gyros, which were re-registered in 1974 into the Rxx series as below).
IAA to IZZ = initially for out-of-sequence general use, but only a few were allocated and all of these have now been cancelled. Reassigned for helicopters from 1990 as the Hxx block was becoming fully allocated.
QAA to QZZ = not used.
RAA to RBZ = Gyros from 1974 (extended to RDZ from 1996).
From 1946 to 1972, registrations ending in R were not used (ZK-AIR to DYR, GAR to GJR and HAR to HHR). Several of these have been newly allocated since 1980. Also registrations in some reserved blocks noted above were not issued at the time but have been issued more recently. By way of confirmation, sequence number 0 has been included to indicate an in-sequence or contiguous-block registration which was initially not issued at the normal time.
Since 1987, the ZK-AAA to BZZ, HAA to HAZ and GAA to GAZ blocks have generally been reserved (since 1987) on reallocation for historic aircraft, though some exceptions have been allowed.
Those reservations which apply currently are listed on: https://www.caa.govt.nz/aircraft/Allocation_Registration_Marks.htm
Registrations are made available for re-use immediately they are cancelled, and many cases of same-day reallocation have occurred, also several cases of aircraft directly swapping identities. Issue sequence numbers are shown throughout, including 1 to avoid ambiguity. Note that these sequence numbers are entirely unofficial and include not-taken-up reservations where known, but many more reservations have occurred and not been traced, particularly recently.
There have been three cases of aircraft being de-registered and then restored to the same marks sometime later, while something else has used those marks and been cancelled while they were away! Several registrations have now flown on six different aircraft, while some aircraft have carried seven different ZK- registrations.
Definitive information on the current register is on the http://www.caa.govt.nz/script/air-reg-query/ website.
The official registration date, when an aircraft is added to the full register, is often a few weeks, occasionally a few months, before the first flight in NZ marks. For amateur-built aircraft it is normal practice for it to be the date of the first flight.
It is necessary that registrations can be reserved. Sometimes, particularly for amateur-built projects and for blocks for airline or club fleets, these reservations can be held for several years. It was standard practice with amateur-built aircraft for the plans to be submitted to the DCA for approval to start building. When this was given, a registration was reserved for it.
The CAA used to provide a list of reserved marks on their website but without any details about what they are for - over 500 of them at any time. In about 2009 they changed to providing a list of marks available for issue. since then, many reservations have been accepted and then cancelled without being taken up and it is impossible to trace them. So, as a matter of practicality, they have been removed from the listings.
More so than in most other countries, it is widespread practice in NZ, when an aircraft is temporarily withdrawn from use for a prolonged major rebuild, for it to be cancelled from the register; it is then re-registered, usually with the same marks if still available, when completed. Beware that the monthly register change summaries on the CAA website lists all aircraft previously cancelled and now restored to the register as restorations, but this doe not necessarily mean restored to the previously allocated registration - often they are assigned new registrations.
Because of the physical impossibility for most aircraft of flying to another country, many do not carry the ZK- nationality prefix. This even applies to some third-level airliners. This is taken further with many aircraft in the reserved blocks of ZK-F balloons, ZK-G gliders and ZK-H (but not ZK-I) helicopters, which have official exemptions to display only the last two letters of the registration. Some warbirds have exemptions to operate in military markings without showing their civil registrations, also some Police-operated helicopters and aircraft do not display their registrations and use Police <number> as radio callsigns.
The detailed requirements for aircraft registrations in NZ are in: http://www.caa.govt.nz/assets/legacy/Advisory_Circulars/AC047_1.pdf
The NZ CAA website has a list of three-letter codes and radio callsigns for commercial operators approved to use flight numbers for flight plans and radio callsigns. This site also lists aircraft with exemptions to use radio callsigns related to their paint-schemes, such as warbirds and other display aircraft.
I have compiled a list of aircraft known to be operating with special paint schemes or call-signs.
INDEX of ZK- files
In order to keep page loading times down to a reasonable level, the register has been split up so that each html file is less than 70K file size.
The earlier fully-subscribed registration blocks have been split into three files for each initial letter. For helicopters, extensive re-allocation necessitated a six-file split. The later blocks, mainly just used for out-of-sequence registrations, have one or two pages for each initial letter.
|ZK-AAA to AHZ||ZK-AIA to AQZ||ZK-ARA to AZZ|
|ZK-BAA to BHZ||ZK-BIA to BQZ||ZK-BRA to BZZ|
|ZK-CAA to CHZ||ZK-CIA to CQZ||ZK-CRA to CZZ|
|ZK-DAA to DHZ||ZK-DIA to DQZ||ZK-DRA to DZZ|
|ZK-EAA to EHZ||ZK-EIA to EQZ||ZK-ERA to EZZ|
|ZK-FAA to FHZ||ZK-FIA to FQZ||ZK-FRA to FZZ|
|ZK-GAA to GHZ||ZK-GIA to GQZ||ZK-GRA to GZZ|
|ZK-HAA to HDZ||ZK-HEA to HHZ||ZK-HIA to HLZ|
|ZK-HMA to HPZ||ZK-HQA to HUZ||ZK-HVA to HZZ|
|ZK-IAA to IHZ||ZK-IIA to IZZ|
|ZK-JAA to JHZ||ZK-JIA to JQZ||ZK-JRA to JZZ|
|ZK-KAA to KZZ|
|ZK-LAA to LZZ|
|ZK-MAA to MHZ||ZK-MIA to MZZ|
|ZK-NAA to NHZ||ZK-NIA to NZZ|
|ZK-OAA to OZZ|
|ZK-PAA to PZZ|
|ZK-Q not used|
|ZK-RAA to RHZ||ZK-RIA to RZZ|
|ZK-SAA to SZZ|
|ZK-TAA to THZ||ZK-TIA to TZZ|
|ZK-UAA to UZZ|
|ZK-VAA to VZZ|
|ZK-WAA to WZZ|
|ZK-XAA to XZZ|
|ZK-YAA to YZZ|
|ZK-ZAA to ZZZ|
|Special paint schemes|
The ZM- register has been used for two purposes:-
ZM-Axx was used in the late 1930's for Mignet Flying Fleas.
ZMZxx (without hyphen) was used from about 1953 to about 1969 as radio callsigns for Royal New Zealand Air Force military aircraft.
ZM-AAA to ZZZ
PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES REGISTERS
Several minor Pacific Island territories have become independent countries and have their own aircraft registers. Also some had operated aircraft before independence with British colonial registers in the VQ-F (Fiji) and VP-P (British Pacific) registers. Listings of these are provided as below. Note that several other Pacific territories are still dependencies of France and USA; these use aircraft registered in their parent countries and have not been covered here.
These registers were compiled by working through the register update reports in a complete set of Air Britain News, plus inputs from several books and websites and from correspondents in the Region, particularly Joe Barr and Tony Arbon. The Fiji, Samoa and Cook Islands registers were added in May 2008, the others in Jan 2013.
These registers are based on a variety of sources of varying reliability and in some cases are unofficial best guess deductions. They are published on a "work-in-progress" basis. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can add any new information or corrections. Please e-mail: email@example.com
|VP-Pxx||British Pacific High Commission|
|MI-<year><number>||Marshall Islands (old)|
|T2-xxx||Tuvalu (alloc 1978 but still unused -
became member of ICAO in 2017)
|V6-<3 letter> & V6-<number>FM||Fed States of Micronesia|
|V7-<year><number>||Marshall Islands (new)|
|YJ-xx<number> & YJ-xxx||Vanuatu|
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