Sunday, 15 April 2012

Springfield (Russell Flat) hangar opening 14-04-2012

In meteorological conditions less than ideal for gliding; the recently completed hangar at the Canterbury Gliding Clubs new airfield at Russell Flat (near Springfield) was officially opened today (14-04-2012). This hangar is roughly 100m long and easily holds twelve fully rigged gliders.

The Canterbury Gliding Club was formed in 1950 and began gliding out of Harewood, but commercial activity forced a move to new site at Burnt Hill (near Ocford). This site was less than ideal being exposed to the Northwesterly winds from the Waimakariri Gorge. Arrangements were then made to be able to operated out of Wigram, but this came to an end with the closure of Wigram, however the Club had established an away base at Hororata and this was used until they were once again forced to move recently.
With the foresight and generosity of Jerry O'Neil, Dick Georgeson and the late Jon Hamilton, land for a new site was acquired and has become what is now the Russell Flat Airfield.
Because of conditions most of the proceeding were held in the hangar, however the cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque took place externally at the southern end of the hangar.
The Club's fleet was lined up outside the hangar, with private gliders near the side of the airstrip.
Towplane with the CGC since August 1974 has been this Piper PA25 Pawnee ZK-CNG (c/n 25-3624). This was previously a dung duster with Airwork and Aerial Sowing (Canterbury) Ltd's.
Now the gliders - in no particular order - are:-
Above:-  the Club's single seater Rolladen-Schneider LS4-b ZK-GCC2 (c/n 41043) was acquired in August of 2006.
This Slingsby T43 Skylark 3F ZK-GCF (c/n 1222) was the glider used by Dick Georgeson for his world record height gain of 34,300 feet on 16-12-1960. It is now in the hands of the Vintage and Classic Glider Club of NZ (Vintage Kiwi) Inc.
Another of Dick Georgeson's gliders was this Slingsby T59D Kestrel 19 ZK-GHQ (c/n 1745). In this Dick did NZ's first 1000km distance flight. It later went to other well known Club members like John Goddard, Craig Keenan and the late Harman Halliday. It is now syndicate owned.
The Grob G102 Club AStir 111B ZK-GMQ (c/n 5545cb) is part of the very active Youth Glide Canterbury movement.
All the way from Auckland came the Grob G109 ZK-GOC (c/n 6145) of the 109 Syndicate. This motor glider came onto the register in late 1982 registered as ZK-BDR for the Otago Gliding Club. It was re-registered into the gliders allocated "G##" listings as ZK-GOC on 13-07-1983.
The Club's two training gliders are The Grob G103A Twin 11 Acro ZK-GOR (c/n 33922-K-157) acquired from the US in late 1988; and the Grob G103 Twin 11 ZK-GPR (c/n 3788) came from Germany in late 1996.
For more serious cross country flying they purchased the Schempp-Hirth Janus Ce ZK-GPB c/n 304) in November of 1994.


  1. Morning Dave,

    GCC was on the books when I joined CGC in 2003 - I remember flying it then - not sure where you get 2006 from?

  2. Yo there Andy.
    GCC was first registered to Drake Aviation on 03-12-2001, I assume as a stock/demo glider. It didn't 'officially' join the Club until the paper work was completed. The effective date of change was 29-08-2006 with an action date of 19-04-2007.
    I first spied her at Bruce's Fernside workshop on 01-11-2001 and at Wigram on 15-12-2001 on a demo along with the Duo Discus ZK-GRZ/5 (which later became ZK-GYY).

  3. Fair enough. I think it was quite new when I joined. The Libelle had not gone that long before but I never saw it.