Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 30, 2017 10:25:24 GMT 12
From the AUCKLAND STAR, 31 MARCH 1932
A great achievement for a young man. I wonder if he continued flying.
The culmination of a boyhood desire to make and fly his own aeroplane, and the successful conclusion of many months of patient work, was reached on Monday last, when Mr. Robin Chrystall, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Chrystall, of Lady's Mile, Foxton, flew his home-made machine for the first time. The flight was a short one, from Foxton to Manawatu Heads, and no great altitude was reached, but it was sufficient to demonstrate the airworthiness of the 'plane to the young designer.
Mr. Chrystall, who is 21 years of age, is of a mechanical turn of mind, and for the past two years has interested himself in motor cycle racing, in which he showed great promise. A serious accident on the Foxton course last season did not serve to dampen his enthusiasm in this direction, but his greatest ambition, ever since he was a mere lad, has been to build a machine which would fly.
Robin Chrystall's aircraft was a modified Heath Parasol powered with a twin-cylinder 28hp Laurence engine. The aircraft was built in a farm shed near Foxton beach, much of it at night time by lamp light!
Post by errolmartyn on Dec 30, 2017 14:22:29 GMT 12
John and Anna Chrystall had at least six sons, at least five of whom have aviation connections:
Bernard McGregor Chrystall born 1909 John Bruce Chrystall born 1910 Robin Spencer Chrystall born 1911 Donald Chrystall born 1913 James Alfred Chrystall born 1915 Colin Chrystall born 1917
Bernard and Colin's air force service is recorded in Colin Hanson's By Such Deeds and Donald's in my For Your Tomorrow.
John was granted his Pilot's 'A' Licence through the Middle Districts Aero Club in Septebmer 1939.
Robin, as mentioned earlier, built and flew his own aeroplane.
Neither John nor Robin appear to have served with the air force during WWII.
I've not found any aviation connection for James.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 30, 2017 14:58:49 GMT 12
From the AUCKLAND STAR, 1 APRIL 1932
PILOT GRAVELY INJURED.
BRIEF FLYING EXPERIENCE.
(By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) PALMERSTON NORTH, this day. A young pilot, Mr. Robert Chrystall, aged 21, son of Mr. John Chrystall, of Foxton, was gravely injured when a home-made aeroplane crashed on the way from Foxton Beach to Foxton. Mr. Chrystall made a successful first-flight to the beach on Monday, and reached a height of 250 ft to-day, but the machine nose dived when banking and crashed on the foreshore. The pilot was extricated from the wreckage by a fisherman. He was saturated with petrol but fortunately the machine did not catch fire. Mr. Chrystall had both his legs fractured and suffered facial injuries. He was taken to the Palmerston North Hospital in a serious condition. Mr. Chrystall has only five hours flying experience, and until Monday had never flown solo.
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 30, 2017 15:04:35 GMT 12
HOROWHENUA CHRONICLE, 1 APRIL 1932
HOME-MADE PLANE CRASHES AT FOXTON HEADS.
As a result of his home-constructed plane crashing during a flight at Manawatu Heads yesterday afternoon, Mr. Robin Chrystall now lies in Palmerston North hospital with two broken legs, a severe gash under the chin and abrasions. It is considered by those who witnessed the mishap that the pilot was lucky to escape with his life. From an account of an eye-witness of the accident, it is learned that the youthful aviator made a perfect takeoff in the face of a light westerly breeze from the river beach at a point about 200 yards from the Post Office store, the machine gradually gaining altitude until a height of 250 to 300 feet was reached. When over the Harbour Board's signal station the pilot turned the machine as though intending to fly back again, when suddenly the plane banked steeply and nose-dived to earth, where it crashed on the river beach at a point just south of the signal station.
A number of people who were on the beach at the time quickly rushed to the rescue and with considerable difficulty extricated the unfortunate young man.
It was evident that Mr. Chrystall was seriously hurt, and although conscious, was in a very dazed condition. Both legs were found to be badly broken at the ankles, and there was also a severe gash under his chin in addition to numerous bruises and abrasions. The injured man was promptly removed to Foxton where he received medical attention from Dr. E. M. Wyllie, who ordered his immediate removal to the Palmerston North hospital.
When extricated from the wreckage, Mr. Chrystali's clothes were literally saturated with petrol and it is indeed most fortunate that the plane did not take fire. The machine itself was so badly smashed that it will probably be found to be beyond repair. Although suffering badly from shock, it is hoped that the plucky young man will quickly recover from his severe ordeal. The successful initial flight was made on Easter Monday.
Description of the Plane The plane, a home-made one constructed by Mr. Chrystall, was a single-seater monoplane with a wing span of 25ft. and an overall length of 17ft. It was powered with a special Lawrence two-cylinder aero engine of 28 horsepower. The weight of the plane was 300lb., and it was said to be capable of climbing to an altitude of 5000 ft. The wing and tail units were of the Heath-Parasol design and constructed of regulation material. The undercarriage and fuselage—designed by the Foxton man —were both constructed of wood.
Condition Regarded as Serious Inquiry at the Palmerston North Public Hospital at midnight revealed that Mr. Chrystall's condition is regarded as serious. It was stated that the unfortunate young man was suffering from fractures to the left leg and right ankle in addition to facial abrasions. The patient was in the operating theatre last evening.