Part Two of Nelson's Aviation Heritage
Aircraft hardware around the town:
One of the main undercarriage legs of Lockheed Hudson NZ2029 sits airside beside the fire station next to Air Nelson's Hangar 2 at the airport. It snagged the net of a fishing boat in 1982 and was subsequently recovered, along with an engine and a propeller, which are held by a local diving club. ADF Serials records the fate of NZ2029:
Hudson Mk.III NZ2029 S/n 3852, previously AE497 from British Purchasing Mission contracts. Shipped to New Zealand on Donerail, BOC Unit 1 Hobsonville on 20 October 1941 and assembled at No.1 Aircraft Depot Hobsonville. To No.2 GR Squadron Nelson. Crashed after hitting sea while low flying [during air gunnery exercise] over Tasman Bay 30 September 1942. The propellers struck the water before the aircraft climbed to about 200 feet and then crashed into the sea. Flying Officer Dean Horrocks, Sergeant Vincent Hill, Sergeant Jack Bryson, Sergeant Victor Chapple, Sergeant Gordon Stevens and AC1 John Davis killed. Warrant Officer J. Colway injured. Written off books at Nelson 16 October 1942. Although ADF Serials records the date in which NZ2029 struck the water as 30 September 1942, Errol Martyn in his excellent book For Your Tomorrow Volume One; Fates 1915 - 1942 records the incident occuring the day before, "...at about 1555 some 5 miles off Motueka".
Of slightly more recent vintage, slowly corroding away at the northern end of the general aviation hangars are these two Jetstreams that formerly flew with failed domestic carrier Origin Pacific.
Also without a roof over its head is former Safe Air (formerly Straits Air Freight Express) Bristol Freighter ZK-CLU Merchant Buccaneer. The aircraft landed at the Whakapuaka sand flats on the Nelson foreshore on 20 November 1986 and was dismantled and taken by road to its current location at the Founders Historic Park on Atawhai Drive. It serves as a walk through museum, with displays inside it detailing the use of the type by Safe Air.
Two very different memorials to RNZAF personnel:
The decorative stone commemmorating Nelson's most famous aviator son, Grp Capt Leonard Trent VC, DFC. This is located on Trent Road opposite the Air Nelson Technical complex on the way to the airport terminal.
A virtually unknown soul lost on a routine training flight on 15 June 1940. Francis M. (Peter) McFarlane's headstone is at Stoke Cemetery on Seaview Road. This from For Your Tomorrow Volume One: Fates 1915 - 1942:
Air to ground live firing exercise; 1 Service Flying Training School (ATS), RNZAF (Wigram) Oxford I NZ279 - stalled during a steep left hand turn while low flying over Akaroa township at 11:30. NZ279 spun into buildings in the main street and burst into flames, causing extensive property damage, in addition to injuring two civilians.
Pilot: A391840 LAC Francis Maurice McFarlane, RNZAF age 24. 182 hrs (115 solo - 38 on Oxford), 2nd Pilot: A391839 LAC John Lindsay McFadyen, RNZAF - age 22.
Finally for tonight, these were taken on New Years Eve this year.
My work environment. All the fun stuff happens after dark!
I hope you've enjoyed this aviation tour of my local city.