Post by fletcherfu24 on Mar 26, 2009 20:39:39 GMT 12
It went to a private island in Fiji to be used for spraying mosquitos if my memory serves me correctly.I dont think it went to a Aerial work company more private ownership. It was sold by Fieldair at auction under a mechanic lien for unpaid repairs and was sold to Fiji for around $28,000ish. Theres a photo of BHO under arrest outside the Feildair hangar at the start of the 1990 Topdressers on the page with all the Aerial Work.......companies.
It was a bit confusing the use of Aerial Work across a lot of companies. My copy of the topdressers is back in NZ, but I think you have to flick over a few pages before you get to Barr Brothers! However we were guilty of it as well, using Aerial Work (King Country) for the co-op and later changing this to Mike Stokes Aerial Work when a license was issued...
I suppose it is a common phrase that takes into account more than just Aerial Topdressing
The statement of under arrest is hardly fair, the Fletcher was an accessory to a poorly run opertaion it seems and therefore was operating under duress... a bond of 28K seems reasonable. ;D
Can't be to many strips in Fiji, maybe someone has seen it or the hulk somewhere?
Post by fletcherfu24 on Mar 26, 2009 21:42:33 GMT 12
DAU TEITEI = Farmer according to the Fiji/English online dictionary.
Peter your photos are amazing,did you hang out at Fijian airfeilds too?.. ;D
a few pages before you get to Barr Brothers!
Did Aerial Work(King Country) start on a Barr Bros license too?.. ..and what happened with Aerial Work (South Waikato)?...they obviously had a Fletcher...but appears they never spread any super in anger.
Did Aerial Work(King Country) start on a Barr Bros license too?..
Aerial Work (king Country) started as a pure co-op with the loader, aircraft, loader driver and dad being paid for on seperate invoices. It was a bit hard to break into the region, but there was an opportunity for someone to snaffle a bit of business in the South Waikato and Northern King Country.
The big competitors at the time were Rural, James Aviation and Robertson, I remember there used to be quite a little regional rivalry and that dad got refused a few times to use 'Robertson' strips around Pio Pio and the like.
Fortunately we had some relatives that way and also got the clientele of a lot of young farmers so once we broke into the industry we were quite ok as the big operations wound down. At the time we operated from the old airstrip in Mangawhero road and we had the house next to the 'runway'.
I remember a few times mum muttering 'where was dad' as the sun went down, only for us to hear the sound of BOF heading our way an hour later in the dark and then touching down. I asked dad once how he managed to find the airstrip in the dark (no lighting) and he said he used to fly over the lime works and then time himself for 19 sec before banking left 30 degrees, he would then stay on this heading for 8 sec until he saw the 2 milking sheds in line on which he would bank left again 110 degrees and throttle down into a decent pattern until he saw the milk shed lights (at the right of the airstrip) onto which he would kick the rudder and 'put her down over the spare loader' which was always pointed towards the end of the strip.
Apparently it was real aircraft carrier stuff... ;D . When I was last back I took our plane up and flew the old route and managed to pretty much come over the top of the field again, although now it is paddocks I did not try to land, save catching a two or three wire ;D
Now he has passed and free from CAA prosecution I can probably mention that he picked me up from the Te Kawa school a few times... in the fletcher. He used to land in the big field, grab me and then do a lap of the oval before jumping the hedge and into the air.
Then we got our license... and a name change, probably for the reasons above
Great stuff Mike! I just love stories like this! They need to be written down for future generations to marvel at!
In case anyone sees WAW Fletcher EGK flying around the South Island with its new, modified tail, I thought I'd let you know where her original tail has ended up: DSC_0030 by Zac Yates, on Flickr And yes, I did cop a lot of flak from the guys at work for buying a Fletcher tail....."its only scrap"...."its just a rotting old Fletcher"....etc etc
Last Edit: Jan 29, 2020 8:01:42 GMT 12 by ZacYates: fixed photo link
Nothing wrong with investing in something that will bring you some joy. I would do the same...
I have a lot of stories about Aerial Work King Coutry and Mike Stokes Aerial Work, I do aim to pen them down some time. Probably the story that get's the most mention is the day the Beaver we were using at one point flew through pine trees... and came out the other side. There was also the time dad used to drop the local copies of the Waikato Times (or such papers) out to some isolated farmers in the Kawhia region, and how he once threw one through the kitchen bay window and bent a sink after receiving comments he didn't drop them close enough ;D
The stories of him flying Ag Cats to the Sudan are also brilliant, arrested in Brindisi for landing at an Italian airforce base, having to sneak out of Luxor after buzzing the pyramids and hence attracting the local authorities, and then the fun of spraying cotton and sunflowers in Sudan, only to have SPLA and Government forces basically lined up on each sides of the field shooting at each other and having a few pot shots at him as well.
I am sure some are embellished, but the party after his funeral should have been tape recorded, the stories that came out were hillarious!
Found some more images of our Fletchers this evening and have done a quick scan so they can be shared. Most of these are of CBD (our 400hp model fletcher) actually doing aerial spraying rather than topdressing. These pictures were taken on a close friends farm in the Whawharua region of the Northern King Country, basically near the Rangitoto ranges to the North of Te Kuiti.
Liquid fertiliser is what I think is being sprayed. Dad made his own spray booms and was apparently the local operator who was happy to spend the time to change over the spreader equipment, pump and so forth.
Returning to the strip, which is over the left shoulder from where the photo has been taken
Beating up the farm house
Copied from a slide this one, but a nice portrait of CBD taxiing up to the pad
My favourite shot, my 1/20 scale fletchers (courtesy of Alan's brilliant model) will be made in this scheme
CBD had a troubled end to her operational career after a good start. Acquired from James with a new engine, we lost a cylinder on her at the worst time in the mid eighties during the downturn, and to keep above water the operation was sold to Fieldair with CBD. We got a Beaver in return. CBD apparently was chopped up for parts at Palmerston North in 1998.
And for the record, a nice front on shot of the beloved BOF taxiing up a long looking strip (luxury in the King Country!). Hopefully Dave Chambers has her flying again one day, otherwise I would be more than happy to pay a stupid amount for her and ensure she is preserved.
I found some pictures of CML tonight from Dad's memorial service. Now I certainly don't wish to put a plug out there for anyone, but I must thank Mike Keen and the guys at Super Air who provided a 400hp Fletcher for half a day to help us commemorate. Given dad was in competition with a lot of the guys in Super Air in the 80's when they were all owner operators and things weren't always friendly, it was very good of them to support us with this in the middle of a busy season. Hopefully if any Super Air guys read this forum, we really appreciated the effort. There was an impromptu air display at the end which was also very decent of them and quite tastefully done by a local Otorohanga pilot. CML is now a turbine I saw last time I was in Hamiltron...
Before the service, we had a lot of locals turn up and everyone grabbed a bucket and a rag and gave CML a clean. She had about 10 people on her at one stage and there was even a supply chain of cow poo remover, then scrubber, then washer, then polisher, meaning that mr pilot came back to an exceptionally clean fletcher. I heard later on in the farmers club a follow on story that could be made up, that the cockie who got the Fletcher that afternoon thought she was 'exceptionally tidy'
Legend has it that mr pilot explained to the farmer that 'a late summer squall had cleaned the plane off'.
When cockie asked 'what about the stuff under the wings?'
'Oh easy, I transit half the way inverted, helps find the strips as well' ;D
I was excited as I got to move the Fletcher... the one and only time I have got to start one and release the brakes... but I must say no more on that Technically I am not certified but the plane did not know that ;D
Two more, I have found the gold mine at the moment!
Fieldair later relocated our Te Awamutu based unit back to Otorohanga to our original strip on Magawhero road. This unit was later closed with the sale of the strip by the owners who were the Harcourt family. That is me as a young tyke wearing the oversize and cringe worthy 'top gun' aviators. Bruce Baynes was the pilot
Away from NZ, dad also flew fletchers in Tasmania for a bit. Funnily enough, he spread fert from the airtruk and sprayed in the Fletcher...? Sounds backwards to me!
Anyway, he was spraying Lavender and funnily enough, the strip was one of the paddocks he was to spray. obviously losing 20% of a crop in one paddock to spray the rest is viable!
Fletcher on the prowl in the wild savannah like a lion ;D