Saturday, 28 November 2009

From the shoe box. Canterbury Wanderer. Auster J5F Aiglet Trainer ZK-BCQ

I was talking to a very elderly gentleman recently and he mentioned the "Canterbury Wanderer" that he flew in the 60's. From the clues he could recall I deduced it to be the Auster J5F Aiglet Trainer ZK-BCQ.
The J5F (as I am sure you all know) was basically a J5 fuselage slightly widened and stressed to become the first fully aerobatic Auster. It had an entirely new wing some 4 foot shorter and supported by equal sized wing struts. It also had a larger, horn balanced rudder. The prototype, using the Auster test registration of G-25-1 first flew in 1951 (I think) followed by a further 89 airframes; eight of which reach NZ.
ZK-BCQ (c/n 3111) was imported new by the NZ agents & obtained its CofA on 26-02-1954 and delivered to the Canterbury Aero Club. The above photograph was taken in March of 1954.
I believe it went briefly to a K F Sutherland in 1964 but was returned to the Canterbury Aero Club fairly soon after. About this time it seemed to have gained the "Canterbury Wanderer" name.
The above pic taken on 28-06-1969 shows it in the rear half of the old Club hangar at Christchurch. Note the Turbulent in behind. At about this time ownership moved to C R Dann & S M Marker of Christchurch. (Mr Marker previously operated the Tiger Moth ZK-BFS and the Fox Moth ZK-ASP in the early 60's). Annual ownership changes then took place with W G Bradshaw from 07-04-1970; R T Lloyd from 25-03-1971 (pic below taken at Wellington on 17-10-1971 - with "The Pig" in the background);
Ray Thurston of Blenheim from 01-03-1973 then a quick move to Auckland for J W Bushell & G M Ritchie on 14-04-1973. J W Black of Huntly is listed from 08-05-1978. On 02-07-1978 during a precautionary landing on the beach near Port Waikato its undercarriage collapsed. It was then submerged by the incoming tide.
Pic above is at North Shore on 05-01-1986 (looking rather bent & twisted - and is that fire damage up front ?)
It was then stored with ownership moving to the Confederate Air Force NZ Wing on 17-01-1986. Its registration was cancelled on 23-01-1991.
I believe it is currently under restoration at Omaka with Shane Glassey and Graham Orphan.
I would appreciated any additional details on this aircraft.


  1. Sadly the airframe ws to damed to restore, sea water had corroded most of the lower tubes from the inside out.
    Remaining items parted out.

  2. Now Stored with Bob Yates at Rolleston near Christchurch. Some parts will fly on in my Auster J5F ZK-BBZ :-)

  3. Thanks for the update Bazbbz.
    It will be nice to see BBZ back in the air again.