Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Vale Ron Killick

It is with sincere sadness I report the passing of a significant member of the New Zealand aviation and amateur radio community, Mr Ron F Killick of Christchurch. 

Ron was a highly respected enthusiast at all levels of aviation both domestically and internationally honing his interest in long range radio communications and making his gleanings available to a wide range of interested parties. The records Ron made date back many, many years with not only overseas flights noted but also first flights etc. His primary interest was always the long range radio and he had great delight in making contact (by mail) with overseas radio stations, ham operators and delivery pilots with special cards for them to fill out.

R F Killick was with the RNZAF from 23 January 1953 until 14 May 1976 and his time was spent at Wigram, Fiji, Singapore, Whenuapai and Wellington, and one of our group still has letters sent to him by Ron with return to sender as W74793F F/Sgt Killick, RF at Sgt's Mess, RNZAF Shelley Bay, Wellington.

Many of us will remember first meeting Ron when he was working at Harewood (Christchurch International) including the jaunts out onto the apron area with a drive to the four corners of the airport to get photos and take notes. Those were the days!

An extensive collection of aircraft photos added to Ron's vast ability to provide historical records to various individuals and organisations over the years, especially to the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand with whom he was a founding member in 1958 and received the membership number seven. He provided the international movements section for many years and these records are an enduring historical record of a bygone era.  It was Ron's generosity that had me become a member of the AHSNZ with him funding my first year of membership. 

Another close contact has a similar history to mine with Ron and it dates back to the mid 80's where we shared an interest in aviation and HF radio monitoring which at the time was the only means of communication for overseas flights. Back then there was no email so movements recorded would be duly logged and sent by post to Ron who would then collate and add as necessary to his records. Ron would then send the logs back with any alterations/amendments etc and this process went on for many years and well after the advent of email when said logs would be faxed. Technology eventually overtook the mail and fax and Ron was wired for sound via the internet, albeit via a dial up modem. 

Ron had a knack of networking with others and this has over time lead to a great number of us now being close friends sharing our collective interest and continuing the legacy Ron has so carefully grown ensuring elements of aviation history are still accurately recorded and shared. 

Ron - Farewell my friend. You have been such a wonderful mentor to so many like minded people and we thank you for sharing your passion and interest so freely.May the inspiration you imparted be continued throughout the generations as we remember with fond memories your quick wit and ever lasting willingness to help others.

Rest in peace my friend.


  1. An excellent tribute. Thank you.

  2. A fitting tribute, here here.

    I forwarded this onto my uncle who was a fellow DX Radio Association newsletter editor, now living in the States. Ron literally had worldwide coverage with his enthusiasm and knowledge in aviation and communications. I too even use to go to the airport and ask if Ron was on duty with the Aviation Security just for a chat,and too once was taken to the "other side" to look at a gleaming Gulfstream.
    Thanks Ron.