A migratory SeaRey amphibian aircraft has been based at North Shore airfield over the holiday period. N415RK is normally hangared aboard the 235ft super yacht SuRi that has been cruising the waters around Auckland and the Bay of Islands, and it has taken the opportunity for a bit of land-based time.
Pilot Dan Nickens explains that the SeaRey has folding wings and travels in a hangar aboard the SuRi until it reaches the holiday destination, when it is unfolded and hoisted into the water. He flies the amphibian for the yacht’s owner.
At the end of the day at North Shore airfield, Dan was washing the SeaRey down after a day spent around the Hen and Chicken Islands. The following day’s plan was to fly to Paihia, where the SuRi was moored, for some air time around the Bay of Islands with the yacht’s owner. The waters around northern New Zealand are renowned for their great yachting, and having an amphibian aircraft adds another dimension to the pleasure!
N415RK is an early model SeaRey from the Progressive Aerodyne factory in Florida that was used for early testing. In 1998 Dan Nickens built his own SeaRey, N220WT, and recently used it for taking the photographs for Richard Bach’s latest book Travels With Puff — A Gentle Game of Life and Death, the story of Richard and his own SeaRey flying from Florida to Washington across the USA. A YouTube clip can be watched by Googling “Travels With Puff”.
SuRi’s owner is developing an international golf course at Mangawhai and has ordered another SeaRey from the factory, to be based at the golf course.
- Report and photographs by Keith Morris
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