Monday 4 December 2023

Austers in clover.

Zac Yates photographed these two Whanganui based Austers
 on Saturday the 2nd.

 Auster J/1B Aiglet ZK-BAQ c/n 2663 gained its UK CofA on 01-09-1950 with the Auster Aircraft Ltd at Rearsby registered as G-AJYW and became a Company demonstrator.
It was then sold through W S Shakleton Ltd to New Zealand where it became ZK-BAQ with the Waikato Aero Club at Hamilton on 10-04-1952 and had its first NZ flight on the 25th.
Some sixteen owner/operators later it came into the new century with Graeme Eason of Taradale until being sold on to Ken Obrien of Nelson in October of 2016.
Mike Punch of Whanganui acquired it from 24-08-2022.

Auster J1 Autocrat c/n 2157 was built at the Britania Works at Thermaston in the UK and became G-AIBV to the Auster Aircraft Ltd on 02-09-1946 and sold to James Banks of London from 05-10-1946.
It was cancelled as sold abroad on 09-08-1949 and turned up in New Zealand to become ZK-ATS on 20-09-1949 with the Nelson Aero Club and first flew here on 03-11-1949.
About 1960 it moved to Arthur Ransby and then to Brian Telford at Waiwera in Southland followed by Peter Plew of Balclutha from 25-09-1968.
At about this time it was upgraded to a J/1N model by replacing the 100hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor engine with a 120hp Gipsy Major engine. This lengthened the nose by about 100mm so a larger horn balanced rudder was incorporated.
Alex (Mick) Brannigan of Roxburgh took it on from 08-09-1969 and named it 'Thumper'.
Jump ahead four more owners to 03-08-1989 when the first of several Auster ATS Syndicates of Auckland took it over.
It has just had a recent change of ownership to Ross McKitterick of Wellington.
Ross gained his PPL at Whanganui and bases the Auster there.


  1. Thanks Dave, really appreciate that. !! Its McKitterick (need a small "i" after the K) Ive spent my whole life spelling my name :) Cheers Ross and thanks to Zac as well!!

    1. Oops. Sorry about that.
      I had the correct spelling supplied but !!

  2. I first encountered both these delightful aeroplanes on Rongotai aerodrome almost 70 years ago. BAQ was at the time owned by National Air Photos and ATS owned by Nelson A/C was a regular visitor. It's magnificent that both these delightful old girls are still flying

  3. According to the CAA Aircraft Register amendments it is registered to Mr R A McKitterick of Wellington, not of Whanganui. Comments Ross?

    1. Ross lives in Wellington however spends his time aviating as a member of Wanganui Aeroclub