Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 10, 2016 21:36:45 GMT 12
Hi guys and girls,
In recording interviews the past few years for my Wings Over New Zealand Show series I have managed to capture the memories of a few of New Zealand's legendary topdressing veterans of the past - Dave Starr, Les Marshall, the late Doug McElwain, and recently but not yet released also Dave Cohu.
But with a new year ahead and planning being put in place for the WONZ Show I reckon I should try and get a few more of these older seat-of-their-pants, hard case, awesome pilots' stories recorded for posterity.
Can you recommend who you think are the must-be-interviewed topdressing pilots that are still around, and either not too far from here so I can get to them, or perhaps have access to Skype?
In recent years I was lining up a couple of other legendary WWII/topdressing pilots for an interview who I sadly missed out on because they died before I got to meet them. So who can I try to get recorded in the near future while they're still around? Are there any of the originals, the ex-WWII guys who started the whole industry, still around? The same goes for loader/drivers and others in the industry if they have interesting tales to tell.
Post by Peter Lewis on Jan 11, 2016 9:31:38 GMT 12
Some time ago I was at one of the Tiger Club events at Taumaranui, and had a chat with John Pheasant (of Tiger AIA fame).
Although not exactly a topdressing pilot, he was an engineer with Rural Aviation during their heyday, and seems to have a fund of interesting anecdotes about life in the aerial work industry during those years.
He is currently living in one of the apartments-above-the-hangar at Tauranga airfield.
Post by The Red Baron on Jan 11, 2016 10:18:09 GMT 12
Probably the only original operator still going is John Barr from Barr Brothers. There may still be some older James/Robertson pilots around Cambridge/Hamilton area.Mike Feeney,who was an old ag pilot himself would be a good interview/source to contact some older pilots. Looking forward to the Dave Cohu interview,he was one of the original Tiger Moth pilots. The other day when it was raining I scrolled through all the ag pilot podcasts on your list.Most enjoyable.
Alan Rose from Tauranga, a long time driver for Dave Cohu and Derek Williams. also Ron Henneker from Hamilton, long time driver for Robertsons and James. Merv Thornton from Algies Bay, long time driver for Ken Fenwick, Adastra, Robertsons, Pays air Service and Warkworth Air Services.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 11, 2016 14:29:44 GMT 12
Thanks chaps, that gives me a list to goon with. Some great suggestions there. I have interviewed Snow Barr about his RNZAF days and we touched a little on his Tiger Moth flying, maybe I should go back and delve into that further.
Bruce Aitken would be another good one. I believe he currently resides in Taupo. He started in Tiger Moths with Wanganui Aero Work in 1953, then Piper Cubs, Pawnees and Air Truks. He was well known for his airshow barnstorming acts in Piper Cubs.