Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 28, 2007 12:26:30 GMT 12
A nice chap called Tony Climo contacted me as he'd very recently been to the Chatham Islands and he has kindly supplied the following photos of the wreckage of the Sunderland that was wrecked there. He was happy for me to share them with you here:
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 28, 2007 12:53:34 GMT 12
I guess I should add that this is the last remains of RNZAF Sunderland NZ4111 which was badly damaged in an accident in the Chatham Islands. It struck rocks in Te Whanga Lagoon while taxying and sank in shallow water. This was on the 4th of November 1959.
The RNZAF considered it not feasable to repair so they stripped the aircraft of any usable parts and wrote it off the books.
There is a surprising amount left, but its all totally poked.... There doesnt seem to be a lot of wing structure left - the first pic in the last batch has some wing skin - Note the section of the under wing NZ serial and the outline of the nacelle! There are bits of the extreme nose, including the turret fairing, the cockpit section and the rear fuselage, including the lower planing section. I can aslo identify some control surfaces and nacelle fairings, but the poor ol girl isnt in a happy shape
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Peter Lewis on Apr 28, 2007 17:57:18 GMT 12
That's rot-your-socks-off fascinating Dave. One of the last great wrecks still in situ. Just a query - how old are these pics? I have a note that the Wigram museum guys reclaimed the wreckage in 1994. Did they just take bits, and this is what is still there, or are these pics pre-1994?
Anyway, NZ4111 in happier times overhead Lauthala Bay:
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Post by agalbraith on Apr 28, 2007 20:45:10 GMT 12
Wow, they are fantastic photos. Tony if you read this, I would like to say thanks for taking the time to contact Dave with them.
Poor ol girl, I wonder if Kermit Weeks is still looking for the military bits (turret fairings etc) for his flying ex RNZAF one. It would be nice to see some of her put into a project somewhere before she corrodes away to nothing.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 28, 2007 21:43:13 GMT 12
Tony has read your post and emailed me another photo and the following
"I see A Galbraith would like to see some of NZ4111 put into a project - well, in a small way, a part already has been, as one of her propellers is mounted in the footpath outside the ANZ Bank in Waitangi, the main town on Chatham Island. I had forgotten to send you the photo of it, as I took its picture at a different time (Monday of last week, 16 April)."
Post by agalbraith on Apr 28, 2007 22:00:27 GMT 12
Great stuff, thanks again.
Its been great to see such recent photos of her, and so many! At least part of her is on display, thats great. I seem to remember seeing a few bits at Wigram a while back from her on display up on the mezzanine floor.
Post by Richard Wesley on Feb 2, 2008 6:27:03 GMT 12
I'm amazed! What an incredible collection of photographs. I had always thought that the remains were submerged wreckage.
Seems to me there is the best part of a Sunderland fuselage there. Surely at least the cockpit section should be salvaged for display at the RNZAF Museum? At least put into undercover storage for a later date.
There are plenty of spare floats, engine cowling's and turrets in storage at Motat to complete a great display.