Friday 7 January 2011

Historic Gliders at Taupo

The gliding club airstrip at Taupo on 2 January produced several interesting old gliders.

SZD 24-4A Foka 4 ZK-GHS (c/n W 312) was originally registered as BGA 1378 in the UK and it was first registered there on 3/67. It was exported to New Zealand and registered to the Valkyrie Syndicate of Upper Hutt on 4/8/72. It has had a relatively trouble free history with owners in Trentham, Masterton, Auckland and Whangarei before being owned by C R Deeker in Taupo. It is of all wood construction and still has amazing lines.
Slingsby T 41B Skylark 2B ZK-GBX (c/n 1199) was first registered to the Canterbury Gliding Club on 10/1/60 and ownership moved to the Hauraki Aero Club on 24/2/69. As with most of these old gliders it has had an adventurous life, including ditching in the sea off Thames, undershooting at Thames, and a wire strike at Walton. However it is still looking good. It has had owners at Rotorua and a succession of owners at Taupo, currently being owned by C J McGrath.

Schliecher ASK 13 ZK-GGS (c/n 13273) was first registered to the Auckland Gliding Club on 23/12/70. It suffered an undershoot at Ardmore and also a heavy landing at Drury. It has been owned by the Taupo Gliding Club since 22/7/92.


  1. My father, Stan Dil, was the pilot that ditched the Skylark. He was being towed behind a clipped-wing Piper when the two rope parted at 50 feet just passed the threshold. He had time for a gradual left-turn to avoid going out to sea. When the Skylark was rebuilt they added a Plimsoll line.

  2. Thank you Rob.
    That adds a nice touch to the history of this glider.