Was a wonderful day by all accounts : ) : ) : ) It was postponed to Sat 27th March 2021 due to the lockdown last year. One commenter said there were 31 planes and 2 helicopters. Harvard 66 and Farmers Air Beaver ZK-BVA were there : ) Photos and videos can be found on the Ruatoria Aero Club's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ruatoriaaeroclub Fantastic work from everyone involved <3<3<3
So sorry to hear that Peter Wishing you all the best for your recovery too <3<3<3 There are photos and videos at the club's Facebook page above, they can be viewed if you're not on Facebook. I found this article and photo set from the Gisborne Herald
A love of aeroplanes drew about 100 people from around the motu (land) to the Ruatoria aerodrome on Saturday. About 40 light aircraft of all shapes and sizes flew in from across New Zealand for the world's first te reo Maori fly-in aviation event as part of Ruatoria Aero Club's 60th commemorations. The aircraft parked up at the aerodrome for everyone to look at, and if lucky, sit in and imagine being a pilot flying over the East Coast. A celebration was held at Reporua Marae for Andy Stevenson, Hughie Hughes and Dennis Hartley to acknowledge their contribution to the East Coast over the last 60 years. Police representatives and the New Zealand Defence Force were among those at the airfield.
Barry and Sandra Payne, who flew around the world in 2019, came to the event in their ZK-BAZ single-engine airplane to join the festivities and get a taste of the Coast. “I felt so welcomed here and not threatened to speak in te reo Maori as we flew in,” Sandra said. “I wrote the words (Hikurangi, Waiapu and Ruatoria) down on a piece of paper and took my time to say the words. I think I did well. It was so nice.” The te reo Maori fly-in required crew to pronounce Maori place names correctly when making their radio calls. Landing fees would be waived for those who did. Like the te reo fly-in, the Paynes' flight around the globe was a world-first. “The first flight around the world was in 1924. It took 175 days so we thought let's do our 50 flights in 175 days. “We were the first people from New Zealand to fly around the world in a single-engine aeroplane.” The couple are from “just over the hill” flight-wise — Taupo. It took about 50 minutes to get to Ruatoria. “We saw this event mentioned on the news and decided to join in',” Mr Payne said.
Kohatu Brooking, a Massey University School of Aviation student who is from the East Coast, flew from Palmerston North in a DA40 for the event. “I wanted to be a part of something cool like this. It's a good opportunity to be back here on the Coast to share my knowledge with people.” Mr Brooking said the one of the cool things about the DA40 was that it had a digital screen instead of dials and could glide for ages. It took him about an hour to get to Gisborne from Palmerston North and then 30 minutes from Gisborne to Ruatoria. “It beats the six-hour drive I normally do.”
Commercial flights in and out of Ruatoria and Te Araroa are on the horizon, with aerodromes to be developed in both isolated East Coast communities. Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund's Whenua Maori allocation for the two aerodrome projects was announced earlier this month. However, following inquiries by The Gisborne Herald, one of those projects, which is not on Maori-owned land, will no longer receive funding through the Whenua Maori allocation. But the Ruatoria aerodrome project still qualified for and would receive a Provincial Growth Fund grant, a Provincial Development Unit (PDU) spokesperson said.
The aim for both projects is to develop grass airstrips to a state where they can be registered on the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) used by pilots, the spokesperson said. The AIP registration would generate “opportunities for tourism and economic activity by private aviation visitors”. In Ruatoria, the airstrip is owned and operated by Ruatoria Papa Rererangi Charitable Trust, which has been granted $100,000. The airstrip, off Thatcher Road, is home to the local aero club, which is set to celebrate its 60th anniversary next month. The trustees are Dan Russell of Puketiti Station, near Te Puia Springs, and Mahanga Maru. Mr Maru referred all questions on the project to the Provincial Development Unit, noting that the trust was still negotiating its funding contract with the unit, which administers the Provincial Growth Fund. In an interview on Radio Ngati Porou last year, Mr Maru said the trust was thinking about the next 25 years and working on a master plan for the aerodrome. The PDU spokesperson said the trust had signalled that in the future it intended to submit another funding application for the runway to be sealed.
Meanwhile, the aerodrome in Te Araroa will be a joint venture between Te Rimu Trust and Eastland Group, which have been granted $99,775. The aerodrome is being developed on a block of the trust's coastal land beside East Cape Manuka Cafe, which is on State Highway 35, with Eastland Group managing the project. In addition to tourism and business activities, the trust and Eastland Group are highlighting the aerodrome's potential to improve access for medical flights and during civil defence emergencies, when roads may be blocked. In a statement, Eastland Group business development manager Alice Pettigrew said the aerodrome would be developed at no charge to the community. The company, which operates Gisborne Airport, was donating time and management expertise, the trust was providing free labour, and the grant would be used to cover costs. The aerodrome is expected to open within six months. Te Rimu Trust also received a grant of $871,495 to convert up to 25 hectares of farmland into a citrus orchard. Chairman Richard Clarke said the orchard was part of the trust's programme to phase out stock on its 240ha estate at the top of the East Coast, with close to 100ha to be planted in natives.
Farmers, contractors, police, fire service staff, educators and Ngati Porou representatives attended a public meeting last week in support of the Ruatoria aerodrome. Held at Radio Ngati Porou the aim of the public meeting was to gauge the depth of community support for upgrade, maintenance and ideas for the future of the aerodrome. The facility is a community icon, a vital resource for search and rescue operations, firefighters, police operations, forestry and for the delivery of machine parts, said Ruatoria Papa Rererangi Trust chairman Dan Russell. An Eagle Flight Training representative said the Ruatoria aerodrome would provide more opportunities for trainee pilots. Keeping the aerodrome in operation was a challenge but he welcomed the community’s ideas and support.
“The aerodrome has been kept afloat by private trusts since I became involved in 1995.” The Ruatoria Papa Rererangi Trust has applied for a Provincial Growth Fund contribution to the cost of upgrading the aerodrome. The trust plans to register the Ruatoria aerodrome with AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) New Zealand so the site becomes more widely known, said Mr Russell. Among those attending the meeting was long-standing Ruatoria Aero Club member, Hughie Hughes. The 85-year-old recalled local shop owner Theo Meredith used a bulldozer to level a paddock for the aerodrome and later dragged the club-house across the river. Mr Hughes paid special tribute to the late Desmond Williams who bought the aerodrome and put it into a trust for the community. Trained in flying Tiger Moths, Mr Hughes said his interest in aviation was as strong as ever. He fully endorsed the trustees’ strategy, he said. “It was a great turn-out and we received positive support for our aerodrome plan,” said Mr Russell. Trustees plan to hold an open day and “Fly-In” next March to celebrate more than 60 years of operations at Ruatoria aerodrome.
Plans to upgrade an aerodrome that was built in Ruatoria in the 1960s will be outlined at a public meeting tomorrow. Ruatoria aerodrome trustees invite input on the plan that includes a proposal to seal the runway and to install lights that will help fixed wing and helicopter operations to carry out medivac and flight training operations. The aerodrome is a crucial transportation resource for the coast, says trustee Mahanga Maru. “There was an aeroclub there in the ‘60s and local farmers use it to fly to and from Ruatoria. It’s like any asset — it needs upgrading to bring it up to standard. It’s a critical piece of infrastructure for the coast. Itinerant top-dressers use the facility but it needs work and a plan.”
Brought up in Ruatoria, Mr Maru fell in love with flying at an early age because of people involved and the aero club activities at the Ruatoria aerodrome, he says. He now holds a commercial pilot’s licence. The public meeting will be held at Radio Ngati Porou tomorrow at 3pm. The trust invites people to attend to discuss the Ruatoria aerodrome development plan.
Post by Peter Lewis on Apr 4, 2021 10:55:42 GMT 12
I have six fixed-wing aircraft listed with Ruatoria-based owners as follows:
Auster J-1B Aiglet ZK-ATO - K A Thiasen Dec1962 to Nov1963 Auster J-5Q Alpine ZK-BLW - Theo J Meredith Jul1959 to Dec1970 Piper PA22 Colt ZK-CEG - Air Ruatoria Feb1973 to Sep1974, Air Services Ruatoria Ltd. Sep1974 to May1976 Cessna 150H ZK-CTE - H S Hughes Nov1979 to Nov 1984 Piper PA28 Cherokee 235 - Air Services Ruatoria Ltd. Apr1976 to Feb1984 Cessna 180B ZK-LMW - L G & J M Cotterill, Oct1984 to Apr1993
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
AN East Cape cafe is used to motorists stopping off for a cuppa and a bite to eat but soon airplane passengers will be popping in there as well. Work is under way on Te Araroa’s new aerodrome as part of a project being carried out by Eastland Group in partnership with Te Rimu Trust. The project received funding from the Provincial Growth Fund’s Whenua Maori allocation of $99,775 to develop the aerodrome. That followed an initial contribution from Eastland Group and Trust Tairawhiti, which each provided $23,000 to fund the initial preparation works for the airstrip at the site. The aerodrome is being developed on a block of the trust’s coastal land beside East Cape Manuka Café, on State Highway 35. It means Te Araroa and the East Cape will soon be opened up to recreational and light commercial aircraft.
The new aerodrome will support business and recreational activities and improve transport resilience, and is part of wider plans for a major regional hub. A key part of the project is to upgrade the airstrip to an aerodrome of a standard where it can be placed in Aviation Information Publications — the documents and maps that pilots use to locate and use an aerodrome or airport. That will include liaising with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airways NZ. “The aerodrome is an integral part of a wider commercial, cultural, social and recreational hub that is being developed by Te Rimu Trust in conjunction with regional organisations and the community at large,” Te Rimu Trust trustee/chairman Richard Clarke said. Te Rimu Trust has committed the land for the project and Eastland Group is managing the project, both providing their own labour at no charge. “Eastland Group are regional infrastructure specialists. “We operate Gisborne Airport and understand how to comply with aviation regulations, so we were the logical partner for Te Rimu Trust,” Eastland Group business development general manager Alice Pettigrew said. “Together with our shareholder, Trust Tairawhiti, we have a focus on regional economic development and wellbeing. “We’re pleased to be delivering this important initiative with Te Rimu Trust at no charge to the community. “We’re donating our time and management expertise, while the Provincial Growth Fund grant will be used to cover costs.”
The aerodrome is expected to have significant ongoing benefits for Te Araroa and the East Coast community. It will —
■ Provide fixed-wing air access to help develop and support tourism-related activities in and around the East Cape.
■ Allow quicker access to and from main centres to the East Cape, supporting business activities.
■ Provide emergency fixed-wing aircraft access in a civil emergency when road transport options may be unusable.
■ Improve accessibility for medical emergency flights.
■ Provide support air training activities out of Gisborne.
Eastland Group said fencing work should be completed by the end of April. After that, work will start on airstrip levelling and signage, with the hope of completing the project by the end of May.