Wednesday 10 February 2016

Sad Remains of Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing at North Shore

Recently at North Shore Airfield I had the opportunity to have a look inside one of the older hangars and photograph these two aircraft.  They both used to be owned by the New Zealand wing of the Confederate Air Force but are now owned by Black Sheep Wing Inc of North Shore.

As you can see, both aircraft are engineless and there is a story around why.

ZK-USM is ex NZ 1082.  It was originally registered ZK-ENL on 14/7/83 but at that time its restoration wasn't completed and it was cancelled on 27/3/ 91.  It was registered as ZK-USM on 28/2/97 and it was airworthy by 2000.  However it has since fallen on hard times.

ZK-TEX is a Beech D18S and was first registered in New Zealand on 8/12/89.  It still wears Confederate Air Force titles although that is not PC these days.

I guess we shouldn't look forward to these aircraft flying again any time soon.


  1. It certainly is a great pity these two are grounded. It would be awesome to have them both in the air again. There were some moves by interested parties to get them going but doesn't look like that's made any progress.

  2. I never got to see the Beech fly which saddens me, ever since the 1996 Wanaka video it's been a favourite - Dad and I even made a model of it when I was 10 or so. I hope both fly again.
    Re the Harvard - would the rego possibly have been ENL, a la the other surplus Harvards of that time which had ENx marks?

  3. Yes it would Handbag! Changed now. Thanks.

  4. Not going to say much but give it time and you will have the chance to see the beech flying.

  5. These aircraft are NOT owned by the Black Sheep Wing but the Historical Military Aircraft Trust which owns the CAF assets which presently is administered by the Public Trust and has been since June 2005, even though Black Sheep Wing are presently shown on these aircraft on the CAA register.

    There is a long story relating to this whole sorry saga and state of affairs. Those aircraft were well underway being put back in the air back in June 2005 by the CAF membership where they belong when the CAF membership were banned access to CAF assets by the Public Trust which gained control of this CAF Charitable Educational Trust. Thus the CAF membership have been banned access to their own facilities - workshops and hangars, the CAF membership had built and the CAF aircraft they acquired over the years from when the CAF was established here in New Zealand in 1977.

    Two US domiciled CAF NZ Wing members flew the CAF Heritage Flight Flagship - the Beech 18 ZK-TEX out from Wichita, Kansas in the United States in 1986. The SNJ-5/T-6 Harvard ZK-USM was fully overhauled again (originally fully restored back in the late 1990's from the ground up by CAF members) and ready at the time in March 2005 for its post overhaul test flight, only waiting for its C of A to be signed off within days by its CAA Registered engineer.

    The Beech engines were removed early 2005 and transferred to an Ardmore engine shop. They being well advanced in their full overhaul at March 2005 to enable the Beech to be flying again late 2005/ early 2006. The props were also about to be sent to a registered prop overhaul facility.

    The Public Trust demanded that the engine overhaul stop and the engines be returned (then in pieces) back to the CAF Base at Dairy Flat where they remain in pieces to this very day.

    A then recently retired licensed aircraft engineer back in March 2005 was about to lead a CAF restoration team including youth in this restoration team under a CAF Youth Mentoring program to fully restore the dual control CAF Piper Cub ZK-BTQ so she would be put back in the air again to give CAF members and youth experience flying tail draggers and participate in the CAF Commemorative WWII Educational programs as part of the CAF Heritage Flight.

    Those aviation heritage programs were brought fully to a halt because of this whole sorry sage. The CAF NZ Wing still continues its WWII Commemorative educational programs in a limited way without its CAF Heritage Flight Fleet.

  6. the reality is that behindthescenes are a group of very motivated people who WILL NOT STOP until these aircraft are returned to the right full people who didn't start and didn't want the drama that has occurred . The main guys are the reason these aircraft exist and the way the aircraft are now literally brings them to there knees its disgusting the state these aircraft are sitting in now due to certain people of the blacksheep wing. I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THESE AIRCRAFT ARE RETURNED AND RESTORED. TO THE BLACKSHEEP WING IF YOU SEE THIS GUESS WHAT I HAVE NOTHING BUT TIME ON MY HANDS.

  7. Sociopaths ruin everything for the enjoyment of ruining others fun. Good luck getting rid of the rats in the henhouse...

  8. Brian Clay has left a new comment on your post "Sad Remains of Confederate Air Force New Zealand W...":

    I stumbled across this site recently and because of the nonsense posted by Anonymous, who appears to be at least two different people, have decided that it is time to make the aviation fraternity aware of the tragedy that was forced on the Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing Incorporated.

    I was involved with the Wing in 1988/89 and rejoined in 2000 after being told that a group of people was attempting to steal the Wing's assets. I rejoined because I wanted to stop that from happening. So far, I have been successful.

    In 1999 four members were expelled from the Wing. In collusion with the Confederate Air Force Incorporated in the USA the four expelled members, as well as a small number of dissident members, plotted a coup against the Wing's executive committee. The coup, which was initially successful, involved considerable dishonesty and deception and would not have been possible without the illegal assistance and support of the CAFUSA.

    Having commandeered the Wing's documents, records, keys and bank accounts the plotters changed the locks on the Wing's premises locking the members out. They then illegally wound up the Wing which was removed from the Register of Incorporated Societies.

    In 1985 the Wing had established the Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing Trust and the Wing's members were encouraged to believe that the assets owned by the Wing at the time had been gifted to the trust. However, there are no records showing the assets were ever gifted to the trust. In fact, there is no evidence that the trust ever owned assets of any description. I firmly believe the trust to be a scam.

    Before launching the coup, the plotters had secretly registered a new society which eventually became the Commemorative Air Force South Pacific Wing Incorporated. The CAFSPW was then aligned to the trust and the false impression that the trust was legally connected to CAFSPW was created.

    In 2003, I and fourteen other members of the Wing successfully appealed to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies to have the Wing reinstated.

    The chief plotter then brought an action in the High Court against me and the Wing in an attempt to have the Wing liquidated. His attempt failed. During the hearing it was revealed that the plotters had sold the Wing's three aircraft and spares to CAFUSA for a dollar each.

    The above is a brief description of what happened. However, the reality is that the Wing has been subjected to a concerted, well planned attack by a few expelled members and an American organisation in an effort to destroy the Wing and steal its assets.

    What has happened to the Wing has to be the most despicable event I have ever had the misfortune to come across.

    More will be revealed during the next few days when I address Anonymous' claims.

    If anyone is interested, I have comprehensive chronologies available. I can assure you that when you see the treachery that was perpetrated by the Anonymous' of the world, you will be shocked.

    Posted by Brian Clay to NZ Civil Aircraft at 26 October 2016 at 20:15

    1. My wife's uncle ian gillies spent countless hours working as a member of the Confederate airforce as engineer even donated funds to build workshop building when opened it was named after him plaqe was taken down by dicks who commandeered the worthwhile organisation and stuffed it up for future generations funny what bumpshis arrogant people will do for selfworth plaque was never given to family


  9. In his article, with reference to Harvard ZK-USM and Beech D18S ZK-TEX, Sir Minty says, "They both used to be owned by the New Zealand wing of the Confederate Air Force but are now owned by Black Sheep Wing Inc of North Shore." While Sir Minty is correct, the use of the word "but" suggests that the two organisations are different entities.

    Black Sheep Wing Incorporated is the current name of the Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing Incorporated. The two organisations are one and the same.

    Apart from the very short period that the Commemorative (formerly Confederate) Air Force Incorporated (CAFUSA) claimed ownership of the aircraft following their illegal sale by the coup plotters, all the assets including the aircraft, the hangar and facilities at North Shore Airfield have been continuously owned by the original organisation.

    At the hearing in the High Court the chief plotter told the judge that his reason for wanting the Wing liquidated was that he was concerned that the Wing would continue to portray itself as being a wing of CAFUSA.

    As mentioned above, the coup plotters had established another society which became the Commemorative Air Force South Pacific Wing Incorporated (CAFSPW). CAFUSA had decreed CAFSPW to be its official representative in New Zealand.

    The judge asked if the Wing would be prepared to remove all references to the CAF from its rules. Because of the treachery CAFUSA had exhibited in being actively involved in the attempted destruction of the Wing, the Wing's members had no desire to be involved with CAFUSA and readily agreed.

    And so the Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing Incorporated became Black Sheep Wing Incorporated.

    In his blog of 8 May 2016 Anonymous declares emphatically that the assets are owned by the Historic Military Aircraft Trust which is administered by Public Trust.

    Historic Military Aircraft Trust is the current name of the Confederate Air Force New Zealand Wing Trust established by the Wing in 1985. There was significant skulduggery involved with this entity including misleading the Wing's membership of the need to establish the trust, falsification of the trust deed and the non-keeping of records.

    Interestingly, two of the people responsible for the establishment of the trust were also the driving force behind the coup.

    For ten and a half years I have requested Public Trust to provide proof that the assets are owned by the trust. Not only has Public Trust failed to provide any proof of ownership, Public Trust has admitted that it has no documentary evidence of the trust ever owning any assets.

    In my next entry I will cover the, in my opinion, criminal destruction of the Beech D18S engines. Mr Anonymous has been somewhat economical with the truth regarding this very sad event.

    Posted by Brian Clay to NZ Civil Aircraft at 28 October 2016 at 17:42

  10. Brian Clay has left a new comment on your post Sad Remains of Confederate Air Force New Zealand W...:

    The Beech D18S last flew in 1999. In the latter half of the year the left engine began to use excessive oil. The problem was diagnosed as a failed supercharger bearing and the engine was removed for repair. Mike O'Neill, a member of the Wing, had sourced the required parts in the USA and was about to order them when he received a phone call warning him of impending trouble with the committee and, as a result, did not order the parts.

    When the plotter's conducted their coup, the the Wing's pilots, engineers and philanthropists like Mr O'Neill refused to have anything to do with them. As a result, because the plotters were not qualified to work on the aircraft and did not have a clue what they were doing, the Beech D18S engines were simply left to rot.

    Anonymous states, "The Beech engines were removed early 2005 and transferred to an Ardmore engine shop. They being well advanced in their full overhaul at March 2005 . . . . ."

    The plotters removed the right engine and took it, with the left engine, to the engine shop early in 2004. The engines were disassembled but, as far as I am aware, overhauls were never commenced. While I have no documentary evidence I was told that, when the appalling state of the engines was discovered, the plotters requested the engines be simply reassembled as is. I understand that the engineer refused saying that there was no point.
    To be continued…

  11. In a letter dated 31 July 2006 Mr O'Neill wrote:

    Even though the engine was performing well, I had become concerned that excessive oil was letting down thru cylinder #6 when the engine was stopped after a flight. The condition seemed to worsen during the return leg of a Napier-North Shore trip I was on. After consultation with Mr Cossgrove, we advised our licensed engineers we wished to ground the aircraft and remove the engine to investigate the problem. This grounding was urgent because the aircraft was due to fly to the Wanaka Air Show.

    After discussion with Mr Peter Boyle, who is a very experienced radial engine man, we basically knew the problem with the engine before I commenced to strip the rear off the engine.

    I compiled a list of all the new parts for the supercharger/slinger and bearings area. At the same time I stripped the rear section of the engine and confirmed the problem. At this stage the engine was in an overhaul stand in the engine shop and all the removed parts were in plastic bags on the engine shop work benches.

    I returned to Upper Hutt at this stage with the intention of ordering the parts required from California. A return fax from the USA stated that all parts were available and the cost of delivery to Upper Hutt was approximately $NZ4,000.

    Only hours before I was to fax the order to the USA a phone call from Mr Cossgrove in Auckland warned me of impending trouble with the committee and advised me to delay the order. Subsequent to that phone call I basically walked away from the CAF.

    I assumed that the remaining members who were not involved with the day to day maintenance of the aircraft, anyway would somehow organise to do the engine repair and get the Beech 18 flying again.

    I offered to give the remaining members a list of the parts required but I was basically told I didn't know what I was talking about. It appears that nothing was done to the semi-stripped engine in the engine shop and neither was the right engine on the Beech 18 given a regular run.

    Unfortunately, I now know that nothing was done to protect any of the three engines, not even the regular hand pump oil pressure injection we normally did on each engine with pull thru.

    I personally find the whole affair tragic. We had two nice aircraft flying, we had an infrastructure to support and maintain the two aircraft and we were seriously looking at a rebuild for the Cub aircraft for which I had purchased a low time engine from the USA.

    Please excuse me if I feel very bitter about the whole fiasco.

    Posted by Brian Clay to NZ Civil Aircraft

  12. What a joke honestly its just he said she said bla bla bla. The aircraft deserve a better home than sitting in the corner of a hangar they should be flying. do the right thing and just let it go and let the people who know what there doing take over and rebuild theses iconic aircraft. As it seems the care takers at the moment cant work out how to maintain them while stored.

    1. Hi all, I would be interested in talking to any interested parties to get these aircraft back in the air. No mean feat I am sure. Im based at Omaka my contact # 021 212 3131
      Cheers Ronan Harvey

  13. I remember good times as a member of the New Zealand Wing of the CAF back in the late 80's.

  14. My great-uncle, Palmer Vanarsdale of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, USA, owned ZK-TEX from 1964 to 1965. It was then registered N1182F. My father got a pretty good chunk of his pre-airline muliengine time in it.

    Looong way from south Florida to New Zealand!