Sunday 28 September 2014

Foley's strip, Taihape

Graeme Stratton also sent in three photographs taken by his father at the Bill Foley airstrip south of Taihape alongside the main road.
First pic is of Gordon Reader taxying, with wingtip assistants (or should that be assistance) in his De Havilland DH60M Special ZK-AEJ (c/n 1542).
This historic aircraft was exported in 2009 back to the UK to be restored to its original registration of G-AAXG to Simon Kidston (with a Swiss address) who was related to one of the earlier owners.
Check out:-
Below is a reasonably decent recent shot ZK-AEJ as G-AAXG thanks to
G-AAXG, 1930 De Havilland DH-60M Moth C/N 1542, De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth II at The De Havilland Moth Club's 28th International Moth Rally at Woburn Abbey. August 2013.

Below is the Piper PA-18-135A Super Cub ZK-BFQ (c/n 18-3713). This was an Airwork (NZ) Ltd import - being registered to them on 30-09-1954.
 (I have a pencilled note that it was re-engine to 150hp !). (Ignore this).
Robertson Air Service Ltd picked it up from 01-07-1959 and moved it on to Jack Ashworth a couple of months later, who in turn released it to the Rotorua Aero Club on 04-04-1960.
Next in line was R Insole and the Glen Murray Flying Club in 1961.
It was returned to Airwork (NZ) Ltd on 22-05-1962 who moved it on to the Taihape Aero Club in October of 1962 with whom it is seen below.
I then have the Cub listed to Distributing Co Ltd of Taihape and that it crashed at Karioi on 30-05-1965.
The two lower photos show the Champion 7GCBC Citabria ZK-COF (c/n 7GCBC-9) also on the Folley strip but I suspect on a different date.
The Middle Districts Aero Club registered ZK-COF on 20-06-1966 (which is after ZK-BFQ had been crashed). It was in use by the Taihape Flying Club for a while - no doubt a stand in for BFQ.

ZK-COF went on to be damaged at Ngamatea Station on 28-02-1970 with its registration being cancelled some nine months later. It was rebuilt for Mort Saunders Ltd of Mt Maunganui from 23-05-1973 but was crashed on 02-09-1976 at Pongakawa.


  1. According to the Accident Report, BFQ was still Lycoming 0-290 powered.

  2. Thank you Thomarse. That is what I thought.

  3. The mystery deepens though... her sister BFV (again according to the Accident Report) was registered in March '55 and re-engined with an 0-320 in April after just 122 hours. Why then would Airwork operate BFQ for 5 years as a 135hp??

  4. My first flight ever was in ZK BTY and the second in BFQ.....both out of the old Rotorua aerodrome. The pilots, sadly now deceased were Russ McCulloch and Kevin O'Connell. Have always wondered what happened to those planes and thanks to this site I now know. Happy memories....