Post by errolmartyn on Feb 18, 2021 21:55:53 GMT 12
From my 'Toll of the Air' (a work in progress)
SATURDAY 3 MARCH 1951 Canterbury Aero Club de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth ZK-AIM Whilst engaged on a navigation exercise in connection with the Bledisloe Cup competition at the Royal New Zealand Aero Club’s annual air pageant, at Harewood, at 2.15 pm the biplane was seen by Raymund D. Catherwood flying low at about 80-100 feet when it suddenly dived into a grass paddock on his farm at Swannanoa, 22 miles from Christchurch. The solo pilot was seriously injured on being thrown about 40 feet clear upon impact and died the following day. Catherwood later stated that he thought the Tiger Moth’s engine had cut out as it went into the dive. † Michael Vincent PHILLIPS, aged 19 (Karori Cemetery, Wellington) Phillips had begun flying with the Wellington Aero Club as an ATC cadet in January 1950 and later joined the club as a flying member. He obtained his Pilot’s ‘A’ Licence (3952) in August. An obituary note by the club remarked that as a very keen pilot he combined a natural flying ability with an earnest desire to learn the intricacies of airmanship with the result that he was chosen as our Bledisloe Cup representative.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 18, 2021 22:06:49 GMT 12
Thanks very much Errol. I am curious about it because John Hansen recalls that when he was a kid his uncle was talking about a crash on his farm at Swannanoa. His uncle was the chap that had three Avro Ansons in his paddock and John says that they reckoned a lot of pilots flew low over the Ansons on cross country nav exercises.
John thought it was Harvards and that they'd collided and one had crashed. But he was going from long memory of a conversation. I could not find any Harvards that crashed there, but did come across this Tiger Moth and wondered if it was the accident. But no mention there of a mid-air collision.
The one the Air Force Museum restored (NZ 415) came from Charlies brother Walter whose farm was on the other side of the road. He also had NZ 422. Charlie had NZ 412 and one other (NZ 416?). Photos were posted in my "Stash" thread
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 23, 2021 19:42:09 GMT 12
The Ansons were not connected to the collision. I spoke with John today and he said his uncle Wilber Dodge reckoned the Harvards used to regularly make mock bombing runs on the Ansons. And he heard his uncle speaking with his brother about the collision, and assuming he was still talking about the Harvards, but he admits now it has to have been the Tiger Moth collision much earlier that was being discussed.