I am currently working jointly with Andrew Mackie from Nelson in researching this missing Harvard from Woodbourne, cicra 1942. There is good historical background on this aircraft in Chris Rudges' book Missing and also on the Findlostaircraft website hosted by Gavin Grimmer, as well as Andrew's site Project 964. We are interested to hear from anyone regarding rumours, stories etc about this aircraft or its pilot but in particular I am trying to establish truth to the "apparent" burnt wreckage in the vicinity of North Bank (Wairau River). It is believed that locals visited the site and found no pilot. Anyone know more about this? were you related to one of the locals that did this? did you or relatives grow up in this area and know of an old wreckage played in by children etc. We would also like to hear from anyone who has extensively tramped around the Mt Riley/ Mt Richmond area and either heard of or found old pieces of metal that shouldn't be there. Obviously we are well aware of the Johnson Peak crash and the Auster on Mt Duppa Any information will be gladly accepted either added to this thread or PM me but please do not post your own wild theories here as we have enough of our own to deal with!
I recall seeing some corroded bits of Harvard tail wheel structure at the Air Force Museum back in the early 80s. It was apparently washed up but I can't recall where? Possibly Birdlings Flat related. What was story with the Auster Crewdog?
The Auster should be recognised for what it is: a gentleman's aerial touring carriage and a nice aeroplane.
Hey - can anyone put me in contact with someone from the RNZAF Museum to help with this request. We are hoping to find flight authorisation books or the time keepers logs from Woodbourne and Omaka 1942 - if they even still exist.This could help eliminate some sighting reports from the day NZ964 went missing if we knew who was flying at the same time and their flight details. Thanks.
Crewdog, Time keeper's logs (probably called watchkeepers in those days?) from that time almost certainly no longer exist, nor do the Flight Authorisation Books (Form 1575), and you will be disappointed to hear that the first three or so YEARS of Woodbourne's official history are contained in about 2 or 3 PAGES! You may be on a hiding to nowhere on this one, at least so far as surviving official records are concerned. Sorry to be a bit of a wet blanket on this, but the paucity of hard information about a training unit in 1942 will remain a major problem. David D
Crewdog, I presume you have made a study of the full accident report for this missing aircraft, as these often have fairly detailed accounts of the searches flown seeking the lost aircraft, as well as discussions on questionable sightings of it. Sometimes they even include lists of aircraft in the air at the time of the aircraft going missing, to attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff. You never know what may be there till you look (that is, if you have not looked at the report already). David D
Yes David I have read it a 100 times pretty much, and there are good sighting reports, however obviously there was more than 1 Harvard in the sky around the same time period. NZ964 could not be in Landsdowne and Ward at the same time for example but we were hoping to identify how many and their intended fligh. We have put in a great deal of research from the official file, and yes it does state the areas searched during the following week. One area in particular was glossed over a bit and a subsequent "witness" report 2 days later gives us clues to identify a smaller area to search which the searching aircraft flew over. In the very near future Andrew and I will be visiting the crash site of NZ936 in Golden Downs for additional research of an aircraft left in bush over a similar time period. It will also give us impact size, distance of spread wreckage, visible distance to be seen in the bush and of course good photos! Appreciate anyone helping with any ideas. Thanks Crewdog
Does anyone have access to a pilots log book who would have flown Harvards with 2 SFTS Woodbourne around 1942/43. I'm interested in the 6 navigation exercises they completed as part of their training and where they went. Hopefully this can add to my theory of this aircrafts disappearance.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 21, 2020 15:33:38 GMT 12
I have numerous logbooks that should cover that period, but the pilots usually wrote in something like "Nav Ex 1" rather than the route as it was in the syllabus. I'll see if I can find anything more though.
The National Archive may have the No. 2 SFTS syllabus perhaps, I got the Fighter OTU syllabus from there.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 21, 2020 17:30:01 GMT 12
From pilot Eric Smart's logbook at 2EFTS between May and October 1942, he undertook the following exercises.
The following was all at the Initial Training Squadron, 2EFTS 1 - Air Experience 1a - Familiarity with Cockpit Layout 2 - Effects of Controls 3 - Taxying 4 - Straight and Level Flight 5 - Climbing, Gliding & Stalling 6 - Medium Turns 7 - Taking Off Into Wind 8 - Powered Approach and Landing 9 - Gliding Approach and Landing 10 - Spinning 11 - First Solo 13 - Precautionary Landings 14 - Low Flying 15 - Steep Turns 16 - Climbing Turns 18 - Action in the Event of a Fire 18a- Abandoning an Aircraft 19 - Instrument 20A - Night Flying & Landings 20B - Formation Flying 22 - Aerobatics (Loops, Barrel Rolls, Slow Rolls)
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY on June 9th - Woodbourne-Murchison-Pepin Is-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on June 11th - Woodbourne-The Brothers-Nelson-Stephen Is-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on June 13th - Woodbourne-Levin
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on June 13th - Levin-Woodbourne
NIGHT CROSS COUNTRY on June 25th - Woodbourne-White Bluffs-Cape Campbell-Woodbourne
The following was all at the Advanced Training Squadron, 2EFTS
7 - Taking Off Into Wind 8 - Powered Approach and Landing 9 - Gliding Approach and Landing 13 - Precautionary Landings 15 - Steep Turns 16 - Climbing Turns 22 - Aerobatics (Loops, Barrel Rolls, Slow Rolls) 19 - Instrument 20A - Night Flying & Landings, Landing Light S.F.P. 20B - Formation Flying 22 - Aerobatics War Load Climb 15,000 ft F.X.G.T. Camera Gun F.X.G.T. with Rounds at Lake Grassmere
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 1 on 30th July 42 Route 1 - Woodbourne-Roto-Iti
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 2 on 30th July 42 Route 2 - Woodbourne-Tophouse Accommodation House-Tapawera-Ward-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 3 on 4th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Ward-Kaikoura-Hanmer-Conway River Mouth-Clarence River Mouth-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 4 on 5th Aug 42 - Route 20 (no details)
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on 17th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Wigram, returned via Kaikoura
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Route 13 on 20th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Ward-Kaikoura-Hanmer-Wigram
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Route 14 on 20th Aug 42 - Wigram=Hawarden-Kaikoura-Woodbourne
(note: Ex. 12 never appeared, perhaps it was dropped from syllabus)
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 21, 2020 18:10:51 GMT 12
Keith Dockery's logbook reveals the following Cross-Country flights (it seems X-country was Ex. 23) which are all similar but different from Eric's the course before. I guess routes probably varied based on weather and the instructor's whims?
The following was all at the Initial Training Squadron, 2EFTS 23 DUAL CROSS COUNTRY on 3rd Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Murchison-Tapawera-Woodbourne
23 SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on 11th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Clarence River Mouth-Waiau-Kaikpoura-Seddon-Woodbourne
23 SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on 17th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-Cape Sousis-Motueka-Lake Rotoroa-Woodbourne
23 SOLO CROSS COUNTRY on 17th Aug 42 - Woodbourne-The Brothers-Cape Sousis-Stephen Island-Woodbourne
The following was all at the Advanced Training Squadron, 2EFTS
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 1 on 11th Sept 42 Route 1 - Woodbourne-Cape Sousis-X-Woodbourne
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 2 on 16th Sept 42 Route 2 - Woodbourne-Cape Sousis-Stephens Is-Hillesden-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 3 on 16th Sept 42 - Woodbourne-Ward-Parnassas-Kekerangi-Woodbourne
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Ex. 4 on 28th Sept 42 - Mystery Hill
SOLO CROSS COUNTRY Ex 5 on 29th Sep 42 - Woodbourne-Wigram, returned to Woodbourne
DUAL NIGHT FLYING CROSS COUNTRY on 16th Oct 42
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY on 16th Nov 42 - Woodbourne-Wellington Head-Woodbourne
DUAL CROSS COUNTRY on 20th Nov 42 - Woodbourne-Masterton. Masterton-Cape Turnagain-Napier-Woodville- Masterton. Masterton-Woodbourne
Thanks for the information.I guessed as much that the log books may well just an exercise number or similar. My logbook has things like T/L 213 WP-WB- WP, no record of what the actual tasking was or Steel Talon EX for example. This information will help in some way and is really just to support my theory of what I believe the pilot may have done on the day.