Great thought J. I did ask them so I hope so. I'm not sure how it works when they're on tour. But I wondered if they might be able to as their guests are out doing cool things most of the day. Betsy is just sitting there waiting to fly : )
Hawt Harvard 66 will be flying into Gisborne Sunday 28th March as part of the amazing Poppy Flight NZ. This is a fantastic cause fundraising for the RSA, NZ Warbirds and the Starship Foundation <3<3<3 All flights are sponsored by pilots and local businesses. Please donate & support : )
Sunday 28th March Harvard 66 ~ Tauranga to Gisborne Flown by Andrew Gormlie & Roger van der Zanden Sponsored by Classic Flyers Museum Mt Maunganui & GAPS 66 to arrive in Gisborne around midday : ) Welcome event at Kiri Te Kanawa Retirement Village 1:30pm - 3:30pm www.facebook.com/events/469821724063898
Monday 29th March Auster ZK-AXJ ~ Gisborne to Hastings Flown by Roger van der Zanden Sponsored by GAPS
......annnnnnd speak of the hot beautiful devil Harvard 66 flew over on Thursday 11th Feb H is for HOTTTTTT!!! I had an inkling we might get a visit before March oh yassssssssss <3<3<3 We had two amazing flyovers today just out of Gisborne, one air raid style over where I am. They appear over the hill out of nowhere then swoop down it's unreal. The turn was magnificent, like something out of Star Wars (the whole thing was magnificent but just sayin’) Run outside and here's 66 flying right at you – the stuff fans can only dream of!!! Serious wow. We are truly lucky to have this beautiful warbird co owned and visiting here now. Massive thanks again to Roger & GAPS <3<3<3 Wow wow and more serious wow.
I'm not sure how long 66 is here for this time but if anyone sees this in time, head out to the Tairawhiti Aviation Museum at Gisborne Airport tomorrow (Sunday) morning from 9am in case there's more amazing flying action. What better way to spend your Valentine's Day than drooling over a classic aircraft that's sexier than any of us will ever be
<3<3<3<3 Very sad news <3<3<3<3 We have lost the loveliest man in Gisborne aviation
JONES, Granville Colin. On 12th March 2021 passed away peacefully, in his 82nd year. At Gisborne NZ. Dearly loved husband of Marion. Loved and respected father of Kathryn, Barbara and Shirley. Loved grandad of Callum, Natalie and Belinda; Sarah and Megan; Teah and Chloe. Granville’s funeral service will be held at Evans Chapel, Ormond Road, Gisborne at 11am on Friday, 19th March.
Granville was a truly lovely man and a significant figure in Gisborne aviation for decades. He started the Gisborne Flying School in 1970 with his brother Roger, and encouraged and supported many people into aviation. He was a long standing key member of the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society, and life member of the Gisborne Aero Club and AOPA NZ. Granville's passing is a huge loss for the aviation community in Gisborne
He was so kind, warm and inclusive, and made everyone feel welcome. One of the loveliest souls you could ever meet <3<3<3 He had the most wonderful commentary voice and style at the GAPS airshows, he was always a joy to listen to. So warm, kind and funny. He was a wonderful mix of classic vintage radio personality and down to earth dagg on the mic : ) And made everyone in the crowd feel so welcome, like one big family He was always so ageless, I had no idea he was the age he actually was.
'In appreciation of the work you put into leading the Eastland team in promoting the area to other members and organising accomodation, entertainment and bus travel on many visits to the area. You awakened many members to the assets of the East coast and East cape area. We thank you both and your team.'
Truly saddened Granville is no longer with us <3<3<3 As he was so significant in our community I hope there will be an obituary for him in the Gisborne Herald. I will update if that is published.
Thanks so much guys <3<3<3<3 I didn't know him well personally but I saw him often at GAPS and their airshows and always loved and appreciated every conversation I had with him. He was like the centre of GAPS for me. He was such a wonderful, radiant, special soul. As a woman and a non-expert aviation fan he always talked to me as an equal and was so inclusive, which meant alot to me and really helped me to feel validated and part of things. Many people knew him better than I did, I feel a bit underqualified to make a post about him but I can share what I knew of him and let people know about his passing. Thanks so much for caring <3<3<3<3
To share a memory - albeit one that is only small in comparison to his contribution to aviation in Gisborne - at the last GAPS airshow in Jan 2019 Granville hit new commentary heights giving us all verbal gunfire over the PA during a dogfight I've only been to one airshow outside of Gis so I don't know how common that is but I thought it was fantastic he had the playfulness and the confidence to do that over a PA to a large crowd He was brilliant. "Get 'em Frank!! DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA!!!!' Then him cracking up on the mic. While sounding like he was delivering the whole commentary from a Lazy-Boy chair, he was so laid back. If he was never in radio, he should have been. Relaxation radio He had so much enjoyment and playfulness with it, he was one of those amazing souls who never lost that even after decades in it. He sparked that in people <3<3<3<3
There was an amazing flyover for Granville's funeral this morning with Harvard 66, Snafu the Tiger Moth, a number of small planes and a helicopter all flying in a line <3<3<3<3 I didn't get to see it sadly but a friend did, it was an amazing sight apparently which I'm sure it would have been. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul xxxxxxxx Hopefully the Gisborne Herald will have photos, or if anyone does please post them <3<3<3<3
Some awesome pics of 66 (not from March but very worthy of sharing) <3<3<3
66 at the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society August 2020 where it's now co owned and operated between Classic Flyers Tauranga & GAPS 3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2020/08/also-at-gisborne.html Click the photo for full size goodness. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr <3<3<3 Photo by Steve at 3rd Level NZ blog
Oh thanks so much J!! I really appreciate your appreciation : ) And the likes and comments from everyone who is so kindly acknowledging me banging away over here by my lelf haha. I'm always a bit nervous posting, not being a pilot etc. I really appreciate the kindness and inclusivity of some of the WONZ community : ) It's inspiring being able to read from and interact with such amazing people who have lived and breathed aviation most or all of their lives. It's a hella treat for a fan like me. Love you guys!! <3<3<3<3
Unidentified photos of RNZAF personnel & families ~ can you help?
'Was an ancestor of yours based at Darton Field, Gisborne in the Second World War? Can you help us put names to faces of 183 photographs of unidentified RNZAF personnel and their families? See the photo set on our new online collection database - use the comments function if you have any information to share or contact us directly!'
Tairawhiti Museum has released 148 images of unknown men, women and children apparently linked to Darton Field and is asking if anyone can help to identify any of the people. Many Kiwis of the World War 2 generation came to Gisborne with Darton Field (now Gisborne Airport) serving as a RNZAF airfield and training airbase.
Museum photography curator Dudley Meadows said the museum has held plate negatives of the images since the 1990s after they were found by a contractor preparing the Gladstone Road-Cobden Street intersection for the new KFC fast food restaurant. The site, 315 Gladstone Road, was once the location of Harold J Dunstan's photographic business and it is assumed the air force personnel were from Darton Field. Nearly 1000 RNZAF personnel were stationed at Darton Field at the time of its peak use in 1943.'
Legendary Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith and the Southern Cross at Waikanae Beach, Gisborne 18th January 1933 Famously landing and taking off from the beach as the airfield at the time was too short <3<3<3
These amazing photos don't seem to be in the online collection but are part of the museum's collection. This is a link to an article I'll post below, that has the photos at the top. Charles Kingsford Smith & Southern Cross, Charles Ulm & Faith In Australia, and men working at Darton Field: www.gisborneherald.co.nz/lifestyle/profile/20190217/airfield-unearthed/
Legendary Australian aviator Charles Ulm and Faith In Australia at Waikanae Beach, Gisborne 3rd January 1934 Also flying from the beach : )
Never before published photographs of Depression era men working on Darton Field led to the Gisborne Herald’s Wynsley Wrigley looking into the history of what became known as Gisborne Airport. Newly discovered photographs of Darton Field — now known as Gisborne Airport — dating back to 1931 highlight the prominent role this district has played in New Zealand’s early aviation history. Mrs Pam Peach has found among the possessions of her late father, Alec Denham, photographs of workmen further developing the airfield a year after it began operating in 1930.
The history of Darton Field is all- encompassing, with links to pioneering aviators like Jean Batten, the development of New Zealand’s aviation industry, the reluctance of governments to fully support Depression-era work schemes, and, according to the Poverty Bay Herald, the ‘‘value of air transport in an emergency’’ in the immediate aftermath of the 1931 Napier earthquake. The area that was to become the airport was bought and developed by Gisborne Borough, Cook County Council and Waikohu County Council with the support of the Gisborne Aero Club and a group of visionary aviation enthusiasts who had been looking for a suitably large plot of land. The airfield was named Darton Field after the Gisborne Borough Council engineer of the time, George Darton.
Mrs Peach recognised her father’s handwriting on the back of the photographs she found. He worked for the council. He has noted that the land being cleared was purchased from the Machell estate. It is known that the first 100 acres of the airfield was purchased from the estate of the late Mr J. Machell and was called Machell’s Paddock. The airfield began operating in 1930 with Gisborne Borough Council making plans for hangars and other buildings to be erected in 1931 at a cost of £700. On January 17, 1930 The Poverty Herald reported Gisborne Borough Council would pay four-sevenths of the cost of purchasing and levelling the site. Cook County Council would pay two-sevenths and Waikohu County Council one-seventh. The Local Government Loans Board would lend £5000, £3100 for the land and £1900 for employment funding.
In April, Cook County Council described Machell’s Paddock as needing extensive filling, but recommended the purchase go ahead. The land was well drained and not subject to flooding. There was land to the west and south, which would not be required by the town and was suitable for airport expansion. But the Poverty Bay Herald also reported on what was to become a recurring theme. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance George Forbes “could not give an understanding that subsidies would resume for the relief of unemployment’’. In September, the Gisborne Herald published several reports on negotiations with the Government over unemployment subsidies. Mr Forbes practised financial orthodoxy in a time before the pump-priming policies of the New Deal and New Zealand’s first Labour Government.
On September 1, MP Douglas Lynsar, formerly the mayor of Gisborne, said the Government would not grant a subsidy “in view of the maintenance of the economy campaign initiated by Prime Minister George Forbes”. Only days later the Herald reported that Gisborne Borough Council had exhausted its funds and 75 men working at the airport would be dismissed. The 75 men, working since August 4, were responsible for 350 dependants. The end of work would mean “a return to the verge of destitution’’ for the families. Only when mayor Billy Coleman, soon to be Gisborne’s MP, travelled to Wellington, did the government agree to the unemployment subsidy. The Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Aero Club would also make a grant as would the RSA, as some of the unemployed men were returned servicemen.
On December 19, 1930, only seven weeks before the Napier earthquake, one of the country’s most famous aviators, Oscar Garden, landed at Darton Field during a celebratory tour of his homeland. Garden, now largely forgotten, proved to be a star attraction after flying from England to Australia in 19 days during October. He had only gained his pilot’s licence in July and attempted the fourth solo England-Australia flight to accumulate flying hours to gain his commercial licence. Garden was unknown to the public and the media, who referred to him as “the mystery flyer’’ during the long flight. “No one was there to greet him when he landed at Wyndham (Australia) and his aeroplane was mistaken for the mail,’’ reported The Poverty Herald when he flew into Gisborne. No such fate awaited Garden at Darton Field. He was officially welcomed upon his landing by members of the Gisborne Aero Club. More than 70 cars were parked at Darton Field and the Municipal Bus Department ran a service from the Chief Post Office to greet “the debonair young New Zealander”, as the Poverty Bay Herald described him. Within 90 minutes of his arrival, Garden was attending a civic reception. The following day he continued his tour flying on to Hastings in his second-hand de Havilland DH 60 Gipsy Moth named Kia Ora — the same aircraft he had flown from England to Australia.
In its early days, the airfield was too short for some aircraft. New Zealander George Bolt and Australian legends Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm were among pilots who landed on Waikanae beach, attracting vast crowds. Kingsford-Smith and co-pilot Ulm made the first US to Australia trip in 1928, and the first trans-Tasman flight the same year. On January 18, 1933 Kingsford-Smith flew into Poverty Bay in Southern Cross, the aircraft he used on his historic 1928 flights. Large crowds gathered on Kaiti Hill and on the beach to watch him arrive, and when he left two days later. During his stay he gave lucky residents the thrill of a lifetime with flights taking off from near the Beach Society building. His departure ‘‘was a rousing one’’ with many among the large crowd calling out ‘‘goodbye Smithy’’.
Twelve months later, on January 3 1934, large crowds returned to Waikanae Beach to watch Ulm land. “The crowds of people, restrained by common sense for the most part, and by the police in isolated instances, had left the lower portion of the beach clear for the monoplane (an Avro Ten called Faith in Australia), but once the plane was on the sand and halted, there was a breaking of the ranks,’’ said the Poverty Bay Herald. “Mr Ulm’s machine was surrounded by a dense mass of people and as the famous pilot stepped on to the sand he was greeted with hand claps and cheery calls.” Flights with Ulm proved popular with queues forming of enthusiastic ticket buyers. A ticket-selling agent had arrived in Gisborne ahead of the celebrity pilot. The Poverty Bay Herald said Ulm’s monoplane with its improved seating and spacious windows gave a better view of the district compared to Kingford-Smith’s Southern Cross. Both Australians were shortly to pay for their pioneering spirit with their lives. Ulm went down in the sea between California and Hawaii in December 1934 and was never found. Kingsford-Smith disappeared a year later while attempting to fly from India to Singapore, in December 1935.
New Zealand’s other internationally known aviator, Jean Batten, landed at Darton Field at 11am on August 6, 1934. Her visit was also part of a celebratory national tour after Ms Batten had broke Amy Johnson’s England to Australia record. Her de Havilland Moth — the same plane used on her historic flight — like Ulm before her, was immediately surrounded upon landing by hundreds of people. Ms Batten was welcomed by Mayor John Jackson and J.A. Nolan and George Nicholls of Gisborne Aero Club. She later attended popular receptions at the Regent in the afternoon and at night on consecutive days. Ms Batten stopped at Wairoa for 30 minutes after she left Gisborne bound for Napier.
George Bolt had been the first star aviator to fly into Gisborne — in 1930. Bolt flew a Dominion Airlines’ (he was a company director) Desoutter 11 on a regular passenger service between Gisborne and Hastings. The service proved invaluable after the Napier earthquake. Bolt’s aviation career started as an apprentice mechanic at the Walsh brothers’ New Zealand Flying School in Auckland during World War 1. By 1919 he was the school’s chief pilot. Bolt took New Zealand’s first aerial photographs in 1912 and delivered the country’s first official airmail in 1919. He achieved a number of early aviation milestones, including long-distance and altitude records before working in commercial aviation. Bolt served as an engineer with the RNZAF during World War 2 and later became chief engineer of Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), the forerunner of Air New Zealand. The long road leading to Auckland Airport is name George Bolt Memorial Drive.
Dominion Airlines collapsed in 1931 when prominent Gisborne businessman Walter Findlay, another passenger called W.C Strand and the pilot were killed over Wairoa during a Gisborne to Hastings flight. It was reported that the plane crashed at “terrific speed” into the railway yards at North Clyde as pilot Ivan Knight attempted to drop a bag of letters. It was the first fatal accident on a scheduled air service in New Zealand.
George Nicholls, A.B. Williams and E.R. Black established Gisborne Air Transport Ltd in place of Dominion Airlines with Harry Lett as their pilot. Mr Nicholls, a bomber pilot in World War 1, had already played a leading part in the search for an aerodrome site. With a DH 60 Cabin Moth and a Soutter monoplane, the company established the district’s first locally-based air service. Most of the Gisborne Air Transport shareholders went on to form East Coast Airways in 1934, which operated a daily service between Gisborne and Napier. The company, which used twin engined Dragon 10-seater machines, was absorbed into Union Airways in 1936.
During World War 2, Darton Field became larger as the Royal New Zealand Air force operated there with 8 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron operating Vickers Vincents and Vildebeeste bi-planes for coastal patrol work. Later 30 Squadron, formed from 8 Squadron, operated Grumman Avengers. One aircraft failed to return from an operation, possibly falling victim to a Japanese submarine. Most of the airmen went on to serve overseas.
In 1947, Union Airways, like many other private airlines, became part of National Airways Corporation (NAC). NAC merged with Air New Zealand in 1979.
Post by Peter Lewis on Apr 4, 2021 10:29:18 GMT 12
The 'early biplane circa 1915' is the Walsh Bros Airco DH6, date would be 1920 as is the following one.
This aircraft was imported by Stan Hatten, of Ormond, Gisborne and then almost immediately sold to Walsh Bros for £400. From Gisborne it moved down the coast, reaching Wellington in August 1920 where it was badly damaged in an overnight gale and never flew again.
Thanks so much, that's fantastic to know : ) I grew up at Ormond just down the road from a Mike Hatten who lived in one of the oldest if not the oldest remaining house there. Wonder if he was a relative! Must find out : ) Do you have any other info about Stan? (or if there is already some here on WONZ somewhere) Very sad about the DH6 Is it still alive somewhere static? I can look it up of course but if anyone is happy to share info. If anyone has any Gisborne-East Coast related info please feel free to post here anytime : )