Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 7, 2005 21:55:59 GMT 12
There was a very rare (one of a kind in NZ at the time) aircraft at Motat which I think was called a Monospar. I recall reading about how prior to being donated to the museum it had been flying and was in great condition. But then when they got it, they hung up from the ceiling and sadly it fell down, crashing to the floor. I think it was one of very few of its type left anywhere.
This accident was the 1980's or early 1990's.
Does anyone remember the details of the plane and the incident? I know NZ Wings were scathing at the time, criticising management for their carelessness.
Also what happened after the accident? Is it being repaired? Is it in storage? I didn't see it there last time I visited.
Hi Dave as far as I know the only Monospar to go onto the NZ register was Piet Van Ashes of ZK-AFF (see below) used for aerial mapping/photography untill replaced by the AT-11. During the 1980s Piet displayed it at various airshows around NZ, unfortunately it was destroyed in a hangar fire at Bridge Pa near Hastings in the late '80s/early '90s (going by memory here), Piet was devestated. He then tried to get the AT-11 back off MOTAT to put back into the air to replace his beloved Monospar as he had only loaned it to them for display, MOTAT felt differently and as Piets health had started to deteriorate he did not battle them further.
The Aircraft, as I understand it, that was dropped was the Miles Gemini which was repaired and is on display, the drop happened as it was being lowered for the move from Western Springs to Meola Rd.
The Gemini at Western Springs
Unfortunately during the early '80s Motat management basically didn't care or want to know about the aircraft collection, but now it is a different storey with the new hangar not too far off (touch wood).
..................................................Horses racing a Hudson along the runway at Norfolk Island, April 1943...................................................
There was one other Monospar in NZ, ZK-AET which was impressed into the RNZAF during WW2 and eventually broken up - its engines (Pobjoy Niagaras) were used in a scale Airspeed Oxford (still trying to find details of this) before one found its way to the MoTaT collection. what Hairy has said about the AT-11 and Gemini is pretty well correct - back in the 1980s and early 1990s MoTaT was not a good place to gift aircraft to, and the ill feeling from this era still exists - I have to be careful who I mention MoTaT to. The good news is that is in the past, and my last few visits there have shown things are certainly looking up, and the current MoTat crew are really great.
I recall seeing inside the AT-11 at an airshow at Hamilton approx 1981ish. I was only really young at the time, but I do remember climbing up to the nose compartment and looking through the camera sighting tube. Shortly after, it would have been given to MoTaT.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 8, 2005 13:52:03 GMT 12
Ah, sorry. Mixed up completely. So it was Arthur Baker's Gemini that was dropped. Wow.
At least it has been repaired, it looks pretty good these days.
Sorry for my confusion, must have been mising two stories.
I know there was huge criticism of Motat in the 1980's and 1990's. But these days it genuinely seems to have turned itself around and i will freely commend the current team for their excellent museum. The future plans look bright to. Only a few years ago there was talk of the museum closing and the aircraft being moved to Mangere, but no with Government funding as well as the five big councils, things are happening that are good there.