Republic Seabees in South Africa

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ZS-ORX (Photo: Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX Shaya Manzi (s/n 261) 
12 December 2002
Photo: Mark Becker

The first Seabee imported to South Africa was ZS-BEE, s/n 132, imported directly from Republic Aviation Corporation in 1946/47 by South African distributor Pretoria Light Aircraft Co. ZS-BEE was flying for several years, but sadly crashed in Zimbabwe in 1986. Owner Mark French and all three passengers were killed, including Mark Hunter, owner of the Hunter One collection of jets.

 

 

More than five decades after ZS-BEE was imported to South Africa, a second Republic Seabee, s/n 261 (ex N6081K), was imported from the USA by Mr. Brenton De LaHarpe and Mr. Mark Becker to be restored for commercial use in Cape Town area.  In South Africa she was registered ZS-ORX and named Shaya Manzi.

The restoration crew replaced everything except the serial number tag and the seat frames. Along the way they replaced approximately 35,000 rivets and added some modern creature comforts in the form of a 340 hp  Simuflight Lycoming GO-480 engine conversion, a new three bladed reversible propeller, six bilge pumps and a set of sexy carbon fibre droop tips.   After a complete restoration, ZS-ORX was ready to fly in December 2002.

ZS-ORX was operated by Southern Right Air Charter for sightseeing flights, special flights, for film production, etc. until December 2003 when the engine gear case failed and put the Seabee out of service for some months.

By summer 2004 ZS-ORX was flying again with a new engine.  Meantime Mr. Mark Becker had sold the company Southern Right Air Charter and started a new business called "Marketing Media", which is specializing in making commercial movies, photography and offering services for the marketing and movie making industry.  ZS-ORX is available for movie appearances, for fashion shoots, commercials etc.  There are also plans for African expeditions using the Seabee. 

ZS-ORX, Mark Becker and Brenton de LaHarpe
19 August 2004
Photo: John Miller - SA Flyer Magazine
S Photo: Reg: S/N: Date: Remarks:
C ZS-BEE ZS-BEE 132 1947-??-?? Pretoria Light Aircraft Co.; Pretoria, South Africa.
1985-08-14 Mr. Mark H. C. French; PO Box 78122, Sandton 2146, South Africa.
1986-08-31 Crashed in Zimbabwe.  Mr. French killed together with all 3 passengers.
1997-11-17 Cancelled from RSA Register.
F ZS-ORX (Photo: John Miller) ZS-ORX 261 2000-09-06 Ex N6081K.
ORYX Charter CC; 10 A Coral Road, Bloubergrand 7441, South Africa.  Tel: 021-5572864
Named "Shaya Manzi".
  Crashed (C) / Scrapped/Destroyed (D)
  Confirmed flying (F)
  Unknown (U)/ Restoration (R) / Stored (S) / Exported (E).

Thank you very much, Mark Becker and John Miller for your kind help!

      

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

South Africa
2005
Photo: via Mark Becker

South Africa
2005
Photo: via Mark Becker

South Africa
2005-04-19
Photo: via Mark Becker

ZS-ORX (Photo: John Miller)

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: Mark Becker)

South Africa
2004-08-19
Photo: John Miller

South Africa
2002-12-11
Photo: Mark Becker

South Africa
2003-11-30
Photo: Mark Becker

ZS-ORX (Photo: Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: Mark Becker)

South Africa
2003-11-30
Photo: John Miller

South Africa
2003-11-30
Photo: Mark Becker

South Africa
2003-11-30
Photo: Mark Becker

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

ZS-ORX (Photo: via Mark Becker)

South Africa
2002-02-18
Photo: Mark Becker

South Africa
2001-09-21
Photo: Mark Becker

South Africa
2001-09-21
Photo: vMark Becker

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Updated 2010-10-14

2004-2010 Steinar Saevdal