I can still laugh at it i was told i had Dyslexia when at Intermediate i really Thought i had some kind of terrible sickness. These days i know it just means i can't spell for crap but it s worse for my wife as I'm always asking her how to spell the most easy words. Still it could be worse i had a friend who used to be Schizophrenic...... but they are OK now. ;D
Just a bit of an update for ya. Gavin and i had a very insightful meeting with John Tacons loverly sister yesterday as she is interested in how we are getting on with the case of ZK-AJV. Pamela who was only ten years old when her brother John went missing spoke of her memories of the time leading up to the mystery of her brothers dissapearance. She spoke of the good times people were enjoying after the end of WW2 and the general feeling that a bright future lay ahead for all. She obviously loved and looked up to her brother. Her memory was very clear and she talked about the weather on that day 7th june 47 as her family travelled through to Taupo from Napier on a Bus to meet with John and others for lunch. She talked of the rain on the day and how none of the family had believed that John would attempt the flight in those conditions. so they were not alarmed at first when they got to taupo to find John had not arrived as they simply thought well he's just not coming the weather is to bad. I feel this puts the sighting of a Tiger moth thought to be ZK-AJV near lake Tawarera later that day in some doubt as for this to be correct it would mean John made it all the way over the Urewera's in appauling conditions of low cloud and drizzle. The mystery remains?? Can i ask if any of you have any old Photos of ZK-AJV or NZ895 as it was in RNZAF service PLEASE post them here on proboards as the only photo I've ever seen of it was in the Chris Rudge book MISSING ? Great book by the way.....cheers.
WE'VE STRUCK GOLD ;D Well not quite but maybe silver. After 65 years who would have thought that hidden away in a dark corner of the Auditors office for Hawkes Bay and East coast Aero Club. Gavin found a dusty old Box containing over 200 pages of files on ZK-AJV. Fantastic..... Police files, Search reports, witness statements and even the original copy of the flight plan filed for the flight possibly the last thing John Tacon ever wrote.. It will take us weeks to make sense of it all. as far as we can work out no one has looked at these files since 1949. Stay tuned
OK Chaps John Tacons loverly sister Pamela has lent us this photo its rare, as far as we know this has not been seen in the cyber world ever so enjoy. John is seen sitting in Tiger ZK-AIX at the Bridge Pa aero drome Hastings, not sure on the date but obviously before 7 June 47 what we really would love to know is can any of you out there identify the tall guy holding the wheel chocks? we think it maybe club instructor MR M. Vanderpump. but we just are not sure so any help would be great. cheers Gazza
Yes you're on to it DragonflyDH60 John was only 4ft 11 tall we have talked about how being that short and flying a blind forward aircraft like a Tiger moth may have been difficult for john to see where he was heading.
what we really would love to know is can any of you out there identify the tall guy holding the wheel chocks? we think it maybe club instructor MR M. Vanderpump. but we just are not sure so any help would be great. cheers Gazza
Mort Vanderpump later went topdressing and was killed. His company, Vanair, survived for many years under several different owners.
If it is really important to identify this chap, I have a suggestion - I can remember reading a Leo White interview with Mort in a really early Whites Aviation magazine, probably one from the late 1940s. If you could track that down (I know that MoTAT have a set) there may be a photo included that could help.
Even if no one else knows, I know. And its awesome.
Post by baronbeeza on Jun 20, 2012 15:05:17 GMT 12
The other topdresser that lost a prop blade was a C180, BGN, at Putorino, Apr 55. The pilot was Mort Vanderpump, he was killed. Goose Erceg was certainly a lucky fellow to walk away from the incident when he lost a prop blade, and the engine.
Post by The Red Baron on Jun 20, 2012 20:14:40 GMT 12
ZK-BST was the other Cessna 180 the blade came off,crashed 22 Nov 1961 near Te Kuiti,killing the pilot,Northern Air Services were the operator. Does anyone know the US website someone put up a while ago that has most of the NZ accident reports in full on it?.
Post by baronbeeza on Jun 20, 2012 21:05:53 GMT 12
In the vicinity of New Plymouth, New Zealand, in March 1958 a Cessna C-180, ZK-BQJ engaged in aerial topdressing suffered a propeller failure which threw one blade
It seems they had a few of them in a short timeframe then.
I have actually heard Goose relate his story, in an aeroclub bar, but I did not realise it was 20 years after the event.
Given it was a Sunday nighter, 20 years afterwards, and now over 30 years since the drinks I could not hope to give an accurate account. My version of events has Goose hearing a bang and instinctively going for the throttle. He got his hand to it just as the knob departed through the panel, the broken finger being the only injury he sustained when he stepped out of the wreckage a few minutes later.
The Engine is Missing!
In the vicinity of New Plymouth, New Zealand, in March 1958 a Cessna C-180, ZK-BQJ engaged in aerial topdressing suffered a propeller failure which threw one blade. The resultant imbalance then threw the engine completely out of the airframe almost instantly. As it departed the engine forced the top cowling over the windscreen, and also impacted the starboard main-wheel, cutting the tyre.
The moment the engine came off the Cessna was thrown into a vertical snap roll, so rapidly that the pilot’s crash helmet was cracked when hitting the windscreen pillar! Then followed a flat spin, from which normal spin recovery was successful.
To counter the pitch-up resulting from the rearward c of g change, the pilot applied full forward elevator, and lowered the flaps. The ensuing flight path was controllable sufficiently to affect a successful force landing, with no further damage to the aircraft.
The free flying engine impacted in the farmer’s wood pile with no other damage to any person or property, but gave the farmer’s wife a severe fright as she hung out washing.
After a calming cup of tea, the pilot checked in with his operating company and reported that he needed a replacement aircraft, and when asked why, responded that the engine was missing. “Have you checked the plugs?” “No point, I can’t even find the engine!” They took him at his word and duly arrived in a replacement aircraft, complete with engineer ready to replace plugs etc!
The pilot became a legend in New Zealand agricultural aviation circles and managed to successfully complete in excess of 25,000 hours topdressing time.
Sadly he passed away a few years ago in retirement. Vale, Don “Goose” Ercerg.