Sunday 21 November 2021

Nelson and Motueka 100th anniversary of this aeronautical.

Grant Newman reports

Fox Moth ZK-APT and Dominie ZK-AKY were providing VIP flights on the 10th, as well as taking bookings for pax flights, ZK-APT on the afternoon of the 10th, with both on the 12th in Motueka.       

On the 11th at Nelson was a brief display of the two de Havillands ZK-APT and ZK-AKY, joined by Stan Smith’s Dragon ZK-AXI that morning.
The Dragon having left North Shore the day before and overnighting in Kapiti with Bill Reid’s Anson ZK-RRA in support outside of the terminal at Nelson for the benefit of the plaque unveiling attendees. None of the aircraft flew during the unveilings on the 11th owing to inclement weather.
On the 12th, the aircraft transited to Motueka, which happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of aviation in Motueka and there was a plaque unveiling and with aircraft in attendance, aside from the Dragon, the Dominie and the Fox Moth. 
The Weather was too windy for the Nelson based attendees to return to Nelson so they overnighted in Motueka  
On the 13th was planned an open day for the public to get close to the aircraft at the airport, but until late afternoon, only the Anson and Air New Zealand Dash 8 ZK-NEM were in attendance. 
Once the weather cleared, the Fox Moth Dragon and Dominie returned from Motueka. and by 4pm all had been pushed into the hangar, having made a brief appearance in the static area outside the Nelson maintenance hangars.

Below we have three photos showing the Fox Moth ZK-APT.  


Above is the DH89B Dominie ZK-AKY .
Below ZK-AKY flying near Saxton Field. The scene of the original landing is now the Greenmeadow Centre.

Above is the DH84 Dragon ZK-AXI with the Avro Anson ZK-RRA beyond.
The Avro Anson ZK-RRA

          Stan Smith and the Dragon left for North Shore on the 18th, the passengers being Stan’s mechanic and John, editor of NZAvNews.


  1. Hi Dave, just a minor point, following the landing at what is now Green Meadows, the passengers, Thomas Newman and Ted Ranish (the mechanic) were sent to Saxton's Farm to await Shorty Fowler in the Avro because he realised that where he had landed was not long enough for the Avro to take off fully loaded. He flew to Saxton's Farm to pick the other two up then took off for Spring Grove, their final destination. Of course, Saxton's Farm became the site of Nelson's first airport, where Cook Strait Airways DH.89s were based.

    The Green Meadows Centre was at the time of the landing the property of the Marsden's, their house Isel House is a museum open for display and the landing is mentioned on a display board outside the house, along with the quote that Marsden requested his butler tell Fowler to "get that thing off my land!"

  2. Hi Dave, Just a minor point, on the 11th November 1921, shorty Fowler landed the Avro at Saxton’s Farm following his first landing at the Marsden’s land, now the Green Meadows Centre. Because the strip was too short, Fowler sent his passengers Thomas Newman and Ted Ranish, his mechanic to Saxton’s Farm, and he flew there to pick them up before flying to their final destination at Spring Grove. Of course, the site became Nelson’s first airport, where Cook Strait Airways flew its DH.89s from, hence the photo I took from the DH.89.