Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 11, 2018 14:46:44 GMT 12
If you can, tune in to TV1's news because inspirational Kiwi pilot Bryan Cox is to be featured. He has regained his flying licence recently after a lapse of 24 years, and has gone solo. He turns 93 next week! He's now New Zealand's oldest pilot. He has over 22,000 hours in his logbooks!!
Post by planewriting on Jan 11, 2018 16:19:52 GMT 12
This morning I had the pleasure of watching Bryan Cox doing solo circuits at Tauranga in Cessna 150 ZK-TAC for the benefit of TV1 news. All going well the news item should be on about 6.30pm tonight (Thursday). He had me along to help provide supporting information in need. Watching those landings would fool the unaware into thinking he flies every day. That Cessna seemingly walked on to the grass.
In 1993 he stopped flying, recording in his log book that the aircraft involved was Auckland Gliding Club Pawnee ZK-CEB at Drury. On one page in his logbook is a reference to his flying Glasflugel Libelle ZK-GIC. He had just renewed Frank Gatland's PPL and concluded the testing with some dead stick aerobatics and landing. Frank, a senior gliding instructor with the gliding club, then beckoned Bryan to come over and get into his Libelle. After a quick briefing the glider was hooked behind the Pawnee which took off with Frank flying it as tow pilot. Bryan had never been in a glider before but faultlessly flew it for 25 minutes before making a glider landing. In his log book under 2nd pilot is recorded "God"
Bryan is very excited about flying again. A lot has happened since the episode on his 20th birthday on 15th January 1945. We saw quite a bit of him when he was bases at Ardmore during the war. One of his good mates, Andy Slater, who was a client of mine from South Kaipara Heads used to visit us as well. Andy went flying again several years before he died. Go well cousin Bryan. Enjoy your flying.
Post by planewriting on Jan 12, 2018 6:54:02 GMT 12
My memories of Bryan go back to the mid 1960s. A friend of mine from Intermediate and College days started flying lessons with Bryan in the Manukau Flying School Colt ZK-CEG. Obviously I was to meet Bryan several times back then. He came across as an astute business man who set very high standards as he watched his young aviation business grow. Wind the clock forward 50 years to when I retired to Tauranga and began attending Tauranga branch Aviation Historical Society meetings where I made myself known to him once more. Stemming from that has been a very good friendship. He may have added a few more years to his life, and he no longer had the responsibility for a running a business, but believe me, he is as sharp as ever and always good for a yarn.