Van's RV-3

Registration: ZK-BRO

This Super Cub was built as an agricultural version in 1952 and spent a fair portion of its life on these duties, with a long list of repairs and partial rebuilds in her logbooks. Eventually retired to spend her days as a pleasure machine, BRO suffered a complete engine failure high over the Southern Alps in early 2009. Although a successful forced landing was completed onto a backcountry riverbed near Hamner Springs , it was full of sizeable boulders and damage to various areas of the airframe ensued.

Following the crews rescue the aircraft was airlifted out and ended up in Timaru. The 'wreck' was purchased from the insurance company and the new owners approached JEM Aviation to rebuild the aircraft. After a survey visit to Timaru BRO was road transported to Omaka in July 2009.

The survey had shown that while the wings were virtually undamaged, the fuselage would require some significant repairs with the undercarriage having been completely wiped out along with some areas of the surrounding fuselage steel tube-work. Aside from that, the engine and prop were the only other areas requiring significant repair.

From the outset the owners decided on a 'do it once, and do it right' philosophy. With this in mind, the fuselage was completely stripped down, repaired and repainted in preparation for fitting out with all new hardware and numerous STC'ed modifications. The more significant of these included:

Inertia reel shoulder harnesses with revised pilots lapbelt attach points.

Cub Crafters Inc revised fuel system and fuel cock.

Improved crash-worthiness in the form of additional tubes throughout cabin area

The engine was bulk stripped and repaired by Aeromotive in Timaru and the original propeller was refitted, the new one involved in the crash having only been fitted for 20 hours! The only damage to the wings was where one wing tip had been crumpled at the end of the landing run. A new tip bow, 1 new rib and some fabric soon fixed this.

After fit out of the fuselage it was covered with Ceconite fabric and after much research the fabric was finished in "Superflite System VI", this system being chosen for its increased resistance to fire, ease of application and resistance to fuel staining. Initial fears of the paint finish being "too glossy for a NZ Cub" were unfounded and the finished aircraft looks resplendent in its period 1950's Piper scheme in 'Insignia White' and 'Maule Blue' colours.

The aircraft was delivered to its Hawke Bay based owners in July 2010 where it has been very active since. On delivery, one of the owners commenced her flight training in BRO, culminating in the issue of her PPL in April 2011. Congratulations Stephanie!

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