Was it Gerry Kluck that got two speeding tickets in a day (within the hour I think), one between Blenheim and Woodbourne followed by one from Paraparaumu Airport to the Railway Station. (so engineer could catch train to Palmy)? Magistrate through it out of court as it was thought impossible to get two tickets within three hours in two islands in the same car.
I flew with Mike Cronin on an "operational mission" from Woodbourne very many years (25 - 30?) ago, just him in LH seat and me. The flight probably lasted about 20 mins, and from memory, although you would think this type would be a muscular handful to fly at low altitudes around hills, etc, most of the flying was actually akin to straight and level, only sharp turn was when he tried to scare me by flying straight at a hill top, then swerving around it. I also remember his vacuum tube (from an external venturi) used to clear out the ashtray (riveted to his window sill) periodically. There were several of us waiting for these rides, but he only carried one passenger at a time, so presume this was to conform with prevailing regulations. David D
In the mid 1970's I spent a most enjoyable morning with Les Marshall in ZK-AZA at Rotorua doing trips over the back country. I noticed on take-off the first time he was pulling 52" manifold pressure instead of the normal 48", "we are a bit overweight and it is hot" was the response to my question. There were a series of new power pylons in the area that we were working and at they time they had not got the lines up. "Reminds me of Reno plyon racing" said Les as he cranked in full left aileron and skidding around one of them. On another trip he told me that the hopper doors weren't completely closed after the dump and to prove it he found a convenient hillside and placed the aircraft between the sun and the hill and said look over my left shoulder and you can see the trail of super coming out which I did. The fix back on the ground was some quick work with the fire axe to remove the offending build up on the inner side of the hopper doors. Ah! such memories
In reply to davidd's comment regarding regulations, no passengers were supposed to be carried at any time. It was the crews good nature which allowed such trips. If some of the things that went on in those early days happened today, you would probably get locked up. I enjoyed my days loading the DC3 and also flying it for a short period. Any time I hear one flying over, I get quite emotional.
I had a couple of impressionable events that that would not have occurred had those involved stuck to the regs.
The first was when my dad took me out to watch family friend Gary Toulson (Adastra) topdressing in his new FU24. I was unaware of the surprize that was to come. When the job was finished Gary said I had better fly back to Tauranga with him. I hopped in the cockpit beside Gary and sat on what could only be described as a small square of plywood. (Don’t think CAA would approve of that today!). The take-off down the steep strip really had me and then a fly round our house on the way to Tauranga. Unforgettable.
The second was during the school holidays when the Hi-Land Duster came to Tauranga. I would go over on the ferry to Aerodrome wharf and walk up to the aerodrome and spend happy hours watching the operation. I remember the Thornycroft with the large concrete balance weights and the hopper with the dial on to showing the 5 ton load. If my memory serves me correctly Dave, I think you were loader driver and Jack Humpries and Jack Priest the pilots. My perseverance of sticking around paid off and I was invited to go for a fly. Climbed up the tall aluminium ladder and through the front hatch and into the flight deck. A young boy’s dreams come true! We flew up Tauranga Harbour and did some sowing in the high country inland from Waihi. There must have been some pre arrangement as I remember “borrowing” a couple of 26oz bottles of my father’s Waitemata Pale Ale and giving to the group in appreciation of the great experience they had given me.
I was hooked by these events and learnt to fly at Tauranga Aero Club went solo just after my 16th birthday.
Dave – I am glad I came across your post. I have had a great aviation career and with the passage of time it is easy to forget how you became interested in aviation in the first place. Thanks for the memories.
B747-419 My first visit to Tauranga was in 1962. Jack Humphries and Jerry Oman were the pilots then. I loaded for Jack Priest for a while at Ardmore part time. He left for Teal in 1960. Jerry went on to BYF for a while. Jack H went to Air New Zealand (TEAL)in 1964 when Bill Peterson took over. I loaded for Bill until 1969 as well as a few times for Gerry Kluck. A driver for Adastra in 62, Merv Thornton, shifted to Robertsons and was based in Te Kuiti. He left when Robertsons sold to Superair and went to Australia. He worked for Col Pay, then came back to Snells Beach where he ran a motel for a while. He drove for me for my last 9 years in business. He is still in the area.