1910's

1920's

1930's

1940's

1950's

1960's

1970's

1980's

1990's

2000's

2010's

_

 

This Timeline mainly covers historic public displays prewar and later airshows containing military, warbird and classic aircraft presence. Other general aviation fly-ins and gatherings of limited public interest such as microlights, homebuilds, aerobatic meets and hang gliding are not necessarily included

 

 

1930

Canterbury Aero Club Air Pageant
Wigram Aerodrome, 15th of February 1930
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______

DH60 Moth (?) of Wellington Aero Club

ZK-A??
Captain Gerry Stedman with Mr D.M. Marriott

DH60 Moth of Hawkes Bay

ZK-
Hamish Armstrong

DH60 Moth of Auckland Aero Club

ZK-
Captain William Bloomfield

Simmonds Spartan of Hawkes Bay Aero Club

ZK-
Captain Trevor White
DH60 Coupe Moth
ZK-
Mr F. Douglas Mill

DH60 Moth of Hamilton Airways

ZK-AAV
Captain Malcolm McGregor

DH60 Moth (G-AAKK) - got weathered in at Blenheim on way, and failed to arrive

ZK-AKK
Mr Francis Chichester and Mr G.D.M. Goodwin

 

This was the Canterbury Aero Club's first ever Air Pageant, and 30 aeroplanes were present at Wigram, plus a crowd of more than 10,000 people. Low cloud hanging around delayed the start of events.

The Pageant's programme included:

The Wigram Derby - an air race for light aeroplanes with a distance of five miles. Resultes were thus:
Heat One
First Place - Douglas Mill - Coupe Moth, Auckland (3 mins 55 sec)
Second place - William S.R. Bloomfield - Moth, Auckland
Third Place - N.C. Chandler - Moth, Marlborough
Fourth Place - Trevor "Tiny" White - Spartan, Hawkes Bay

Heat Two
First Place - Captain Malcolm "Mac" McGregor - Moth, Hamilton
Second place - Jim Buckeridge - Spartan, Dunedin
Third Place - Gerry Stedman - Spartan, Wellington
Fourth Place - R.W. Norman - Avian, Canterbury

Mac McGregor damaged his own aeroplane whilst getting into position for this heat and so borrowed a Canterbury Aero Club Moth. His time was 3 mins 42 sec.

Heat Three
First Place - George Bolt - Moth, Wellington (3 mins 43 sec)
Second place - Capt. N.H. Barlow - Moth, Canterbury
Third Place - W.S. Parke - Monocoupe, Wellington

Final
First Place - George Bolt - Moth, Wellington (3 mins 43 sec)
Second place - Captain Malcolm "Mac" McGregor - Moth, Hamilton
Third Place - Miss Aroha Clifford - Spartan, Wellington
Fourth Place - Douglas Mill - Coupe Moth, Auckland


The All Vehicle Race In this race where pilots competed three at a time, they had to run fifty yards, cycle the next fifty yards, oard their planes and fly around a predetermined mark, land and taxi to their bikes, bike back the 50 yards and end the race pushing a wheelbarrow fifty yards.

Resultes were thus:
Heat One
First Place - Trevor "Tiny" White
Second place - Jim Buckeridge
Third Place - N.C. Chandler
Douglas Mill - Coupe Moth, Auckland (3 mins 55 sec)

Heat Two
First Place - William Bloomfield

Heat Three
First Place - Malcolm "Mac" McGregor
Second place - George Bolt
Third Place - Gerry Stedman

Final
First Place - Trevor "Tiny" White
Second place - William Bloomfield
Third Place - Captain Malcolm "Mac" McGregor

Aerobatics - despite low misty cloud down to 400 feet the aerobatics display went ahead, with several aircraft. most thrilling was Hamish Armstrong looping from 300 feet.

Landing Competition - Won by George Bolt, second was Mac MCGregor

Slow Race (One Mile) - won by George Bolt

Bombing Competition - won by N.H. Barlow


 

 

Blenheim Air Pageant
Woodbourne Aerodrome, 27th of February 1930
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
DH60 Moth (?) of Wellington Aero Club
ZK-A??
Captain Gerry Stedman
DH60 Moth of Auckland Aero Club
ZK-
Capt William Bloomfield
?? of Canterbury Aero Club
ZK-
Capt. Bert Mercer
Simmonds Spartan of Hawkes Bay Aero Club
ZK-
Captain Trevor White
DH60 Coupe Moth
ZK-
Mr Douglas Mill
DH60 Moth of Hamilton Airways
ZK-AAV
Captain Mac McGregor
DH60 Moth (G-AAKK)
ZK-AKK
Mr Francis Chichester
and Mr G.D.M. Goodwin
Velie Monocoupe M-5 (later registered ZK-ABD)
ZK-
Mr O.B. Cottrell
Three Bristol Fighters from the NZPAF
Various
Three DH60 Moths from the NZPAF
Various
Gloster Grebe single-seat fighter from the NZPAF
NZ50_
Flt Lt Maurice Buckley

 

The night before the show a national conference was held by representatives of aero clubs, including Messers. N. McArthur (secretary) and Weinstein for Wellington Aero Club; Mr Neilson for the New Plymouth Aero Club; Messers T.A.R. Dunderdale (secretary) and Free (president) for the Wairarapa Aero Club); Captain William Bloomfield for the Auckland Aero Club and Captain Trevor White for the Hawkes bay Aero Club.

Perfect weather attracted 25 aeroplanes from across the country, including a number of Bristol Fighters and Moths plus a Grebe from the New Zealand Permanent Air Force at Wigram, Christchurch.

The crowd that gathered for the air pageant at Woodbourne was reported as the largest ever in the history of the town of Blenheim, till that point, estimated at well over 10,000 people. This caused huge traffic problems but otherwise it was reported as the best air pageant yet for New Zealand.

Mac McGregor flew a hair raising "crazy flying" display in his Hamilton Airways Gypsy Moth. he apparently "zoomed, looped, spun and rolled in an ecstacy of enjoyment before treating the spectators to a demonstration in upside-down flying and dizzy turns right over the heads of the crowd," according to the Evening Post the next day.

Flight Lieutenant Maurice Buckley of the NZPAF flew a dazzling aerobatic display in the Gloster Grebe, then the fastest aeroplane in New Zealand. He concluded this display with several low high speed runs along the crowdline, reported to be "well over 200 miles per hour."

The NZPAF put on a formation display with three Bristol Fighters at 4000 feet whilst their three Moths were formating at the same time at 3000 feet.

Then Flight Lieutenants Maurice Buckley and Sam Burrell performed a dogfight in Gypsy Moths. The Evening Post reported that they performed this "in a most realistic way, rolling and scrapping round one another till at last Buckley got a theoretical bullet home and his opponent fell in a shuddering spin, apparently out of control. The crowd gasped with relief when, a few feet off the ground, the machine was righted, making a perfect landing. it was very well done and the airmen were warmly congratulated on an excellent piece of spectacular work."

Several competitions were held. The most important was the New Zealand Air Cup, which was a trophy valued at 70 Guineas, presented by Mrs Renwick in memory of her late husband Thomas Renwick. The pilots competed for this racing over a seven mile course, in three hets. The winner was Captain Barrow of Christchurch after a neck and neck finish, just holding off Bert Mercer for second place and Tiny White for third.

Mac Mcgregor was presented the Furness Rose Bowl, valued at 25 Guineas, and also a cup of similar value presented by the Marlborough Licenced Victuallers.

George Bolt won the Slow Race, with Francis Chichester coming second, and Frank Dix of Blenheimgaining third place. Chichester got a huge welcome form the spectators who recognised his famous DH60 Moth that he'd flown from Britain to Australia.

The place winners of the Jackson Cup for the 'A' Pilots' Landing Competition were Miss Aroha Clifford of Christchurch in first place, followed by Miss Pauline Bennett of Blenheim in second. and Don Grigg of Christchurch in third place. the girls beat around a dozen males in this competition.

Aroha Clifford also won the Zero Hour competition, whilst Pauline Bennett scored a third place in the All Transport Race.

Humour was introduced to the proceedings with an odd looking character whom the programme stated was Count Rendered, who was supposed to take off at 2.40pm in his "famous monoplane Nunsuch" for a non-stop trip to Guam. This aircraft was reported as "made up of all sorts of aerodrome odds and ends, but marvel of marvels, it went after a fashion. The "count", with much aplomb, made his adieus to the crowd, climbed aboard, and opened up the engine, but after running for a hundred yards or so at quite a respectable speed the machine broke down. Thenceforward," the Evening Post said, "Whenever a dull moment appeared imminent, the nobleman and his nondescript crew made further valiant efforts to get off to the accompaniment of detonating of fireworks in the innards of the machine. Finally towards the end of the afternoon she went up in smoke."

The trophies were all presented at an evening cabaret function after the air pageant concluded.


 

 

Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club Pageant
Hastings, 5th of April 1930
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
Avro Avian
ZK-
Miss Aroha Clifford
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Miss Pauline Bennett
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Mr F. Douglas Mill
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Frank Dix
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
R.S. Taylor
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
B.W. Boys
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Flt Lt Dave Allen
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Captain Bert Mercer
DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF (?)
915
F/O Tony Firth
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Captain John Seabrook
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Capt. William Bloomfield
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
?
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
?
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
?

 

Seventeen aeroplanes attended this airshow, as did the Right Hon. Joseph Coates MP, who was Patron of the Aero Club and Leader of the Opposition, and the Hon. John Cobbe, Minister of Defence. Also in attendance were Major General Robert Young, and Wing Commander R. Grant-Dalton. A crowd of around 3000 spectators turned out to see the action.

Twelve pilots took part in an 'A' Pilot's Landing Competition with results thus:
First Place - Frank Dix (Marlborough Aero Club)
Second place - R.S. Taylor (Canterbury Aero Club)
Third Place - B.W. Boys (Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club)

In the Best Landing by a Lady Pilot competition, Aroha Clifford won and Pauline Bennett came second.

A competition for the best 'Taxi past, Fly past and Landing' had these results from ten competitors:
First Place - Flt Lt Dave Allen (Auckland Aero Club)
Second place - G.M. 'Tony' Firth (Auckland Aero Club)
Third Place - Pauline Bennett (Marlborough Aero Club)

In the All Transport Race the results were:
Heat One
First Place - Captain Bert Mercer (Canterbury Aero Club)
Second place - Captain John Seabrook (Auckland Aero Club)
Third Place - Captain William Bloomfield (Auckland Aero Club)
Also Started: Frank Dix (Marlborough Aero Club)

Heat Two
First Place - Flt Lt Dave Allen (Auckland Aero Club)
Second place - F/O Ian Keith (New Plymouth)
Third Place - Captain Jim Hewett (Falcon Airways Ltd, Auckland)
Also Started: - Captain Saunders (Auckland)

Heat Three
First Place - Hamish Armstrong (Akitio)
Second place - G.M. 'Tony' Firth (Auckland Aero Club)
Third Place - Pauline Bennett (Marlborough Aero Club)

Final
The winners were
First Place - Hamish Armstrong (Akitio)
Second place - Captain Bert Mercer (Canterbury Aero Club)
Third Place - Flt Lt Dave Allen (Auckland Aero Club)

Another event was a car bombing competition , with results from ten competitors:
First Place - Flt Lt Dave Allen (Auckland Aero Club)
Second place - Captain William Bloomfield (Auckland Aero Club)
Third Place - Captain John Seabrook (Auckland Aero Club

The winner of the slow race, from five starters, was Flyng officer Ian Keith of New Plymouth.

And the fast race, competing in the New Zealand Aeroplane Blue Ribbon for the Newbigin Cup, around a ten mile course, had these results.

The number '915' for the DH60 Moth flown by Tony Firth comes from his Flying Logbook for that day, but this number doesn't seem to correspond to actual NZPAF serials. It is possibly from a maker's number?


 

 

Hawera Coast Aero Club Pageant
Hawera Racecourse, 9th of April 1930
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
Avro Avian
ZK-
Miss Aroha Clifford
DH50A of the NZPAF
C/N 135
Jim Buckeridge
DH60 Gypsy Moth of Hamilton Airways
ZK-AA?
Captain Mac McGregor
DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF
Flt Lt Maurice Buckley
DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF
Capt Sidney Wallingford
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Frank Dix
DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF
ZK-
F/O Jim Buckeridge
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Captain Bert Mercer
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Miss Pauline Bennett
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Gerry Stedman
DH60 Gypsy Moth
F/O Ian Keith
Did not fly, but was the Judge
nil
Flt Lt Sam Burrell

 

Ten aeroplanes from across New Zealand attended this pageant, the first ever held in the Taranaki provence. It was estimated that between 6000 and 7000 spectators crowded into the racecourse and many more were situated on vantage points outside.

This pageant began at 2.00pm with fine weather but was marred from 3.00pm onwards with the wind getting up and some rain. Events in the programme included:

- The Egmont Cup Race
- Aerial Bombing
- Formation flying (it was reported five aircraft took off in V formation)
- A parachute jump by "Colonel Sandbags"

Captain Malcolm "Mad Mac" McGregor put on a thrilling display or aerobatics, including upside-down flying. He then took on Flight Lieutenant Maurice Buckley of the New Zealand Permanent Air Force in a display of aerial combat.

Competition Results:
Landing - Captain McGregor (First), Flt Lt Buckley (Second), Five took part

Balloon Bursting - Flying Officer Ian Keith (five took part)

Bombing - Jim Buckeridge (First), Bert Mercer (Second), four competed

Egmont Air Cup (Six Miles)
Heat One
First Place - Captain Malcolm "Mad Mac" McGregor
Second place - Captain Bert Mercer (Canterbury Aero Club)
Third Place - Pauline Bennett (Marlborough Aero Club)

Heat Two
First Place - Gerry Stedman (Wellington Aero Club)
Second place - Frank Dix (Blenheim)
Third Place - F/O Ian Keith (New Plymouth)
Also Started: - Miss Aroha Clifford (Blenheim)

Heat Three
First Place - Flt Lt Maurice Buckley
Second place - Captain Sidney Wallingford
Third Place - F/O Jim Buckeridge

Final
The winners were
First Place - Captain Malcolm "Mad Mac" McGregor
Second place - Flt Lt Maurice Buckley
Third Place - Capt Gerry Stedman


 

 

Auckland Aero Club Pageant
Mangere Aerodrome, 12th of April 1930
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
Avro Avian
ZK-
Miss Aroha Clifford
DH50A of the NZPAF
C/N 135

Wing Commander Grant-
Dalton and Rt Hon J.Gordon Coates MP (Passenger)

F/O Jim Buckeridge (in the competitions)

Fairey IIIF of the NZPAF

F1133 or 34

Flt Lt Sidney Wallingford

DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF

DH60 Gypsy Moth of the NZPAF

 

 

Captain Maurice Buckley

S/Ldr Len Isitt

DH60 Gypsy Moth (All Metal Coupe)
ZK-
F. Douglas Mill
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Frank Dix
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
R.S. Taylor
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
B.W. Boys
DH60 Gypsy Moth (Auckland Aero Club)
ZK-
Flt Lt Dave Allen
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Captain Bert Mercer
DH60 Gypsy Moth (Auckland Aero Club)
ZK-
F/O Tony Firth
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-AAI
Captain John Seabrook
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Capt. William Bloomfield
DH60 Gypsy Moth
ZK-
Francis Chichester
DH60 Gypsy Moth (Hawkes Bay & East Coast Aero Club)
ZK-
D.H. Newbegin
DH60 Gypsy Moth
G-EBZY
Major Gerald Cowper
Simmonds (Hermes) Spartan
ZK-

 

Over twenty aeroplanes attended this pageant, the second air pageant held at Mangere by the Auckland Aero Club. Special guests included Rear-Admiral Byrd and Francis Chichester.

The display programme sufffered from high winds, and Wing Commander Grant-Dalton (New Zealand Director of Air Services) refused permission to allow a parachutist, Captain Jonnassen of Thames, to descend due to safety concerns.

During the air derby Flt Lt Maurice Buckley had an incident. He was flying low over the mud flats when his engine suddenly cut and he was forced to put the aircraft down on the flats. As it slowed down the wheels hit a soft spot, and tipped over onto its nose. He was not hurt at all. The aircraft was righted, the blocked jet that had caused the engine trouble was cleared and the motor started perfectly. Buckley took off and got off the flats safely and flew back to the aerodrome.

The winners of the Landing Competition were
First Place - Major Gerald Cowper (of Hamilton)
Second place - Captain Malcolm "Mad Mac" McGregor
Third Place - Flt Lt Dave Allen (Auckland Aero Club)

One of the competitions was called "Bombing The Baby" where two flights of two aircraft dived in succession dropping bags of flour on a moving 'baby' car (undoubtedly a Baby Austin) that was travelling round the aerodrome at "high speed"

There was a height guessing competition for spectators. An aircraft climbed to a certain altitude which the pilotnoted from the altimeter and he fired off Verey Light flares so the crowd knew he was ready, and they had to guess the height and submit their answers.

The NZPAF Fairey IIIF snuck in from Hobsonville as an "enemy bomber", and when the alert was given three Moth 'scout machines' took off to intercept the baddie"with machine gun fire". The Fairey bomber then dropped bombs on an ammunition dump which exploded.

Following a display of formation flying, with many of the aeroplanes forming up in flights of three, but the planned "balloon strafing" exhibition where the aeroplanes dived on hydrogen-filled balloons released from the ground was cancelled due again to the high wind.

There were also demonstrations of dog-fighting between Dave Allan and Mac McGregor, crazy flying and 'stunting', and Mac McGregor performed the first demonstration of upside-down flying seen in Auckland. Major Cowper performed successive low loops over the field which was also a sight to behold for the crowd.

On the way to this show from Wellington, Francis Chichester ran out of fuel and force landed at Whatawhata, west of Hamilton. He continued on the next morning and made it to the pageant.

Other pilots taking part not listed above but possibly also displaying in the same machines included Ian Horton of Auckland Aero Club, Lt. Ian Keith of Masterton, Don Grigg of Marlborough Aero Club, Miss Pauline Bennett from Hawke's Bay, H. Armstrong (in a Moth), Ohlson (of Hawke's Bay), Saunders (of Auckland) and Mr. Neilson - secretary and instructor of New Plymouth Aero Club.

Captain John Seabrook was Officer of the Day; Ian Horton was "Starter"; R. Lowry was "Organiser", and the Stewards on the day were Captains Euan Dickson and William S.R. Bloomfield, Major H.P. Warnock, and Messrs. Douglas Mill, W.A. Boucher, F.B. Cadman, S.A. Andrew and L.W. Swan.

Competition judges were Wing Commander S. Grant-Dalton (Director of Air Services), Squadron Leader Len Isitt (NZPAF) and Mr. George Henning.

Moths present included ZK-AAU and G-AAKK


 

1931

Auckland Aero Club Annual Air Pageant
Mangere Aerodrome, 24th ofJanuary 1931
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
DH60 Gipsy Moth (The Blue Moth)
ZK-AAK
Tony Firth (crashed, unharmed)
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAT
Tony Firth
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACC
Tony Firth
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
F/O Dave Allan
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
W/C Keith Caldwell
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-A
Captain Bert Mercer
DH60G of the Wellington Aero Club
ZK-AAZ
Captain Barlow
Puss Moth of Air Survey and Transport Co. Ltd, Hobsonville
ZK-ABR
F. Douglas Mill (?)
Puss Moth
ZK-
Avro Avian of the Goodwin-Chichester Company
ZK-AAN
G. D. M. Goodwin
Desoutter
ZK-

 

This seemes to have been an eventful air pageant with lots of famous names taking part.

The day began at 8.00am with a take off of six Auckland Aero Club Moths, led by WWI pilot S/Ldr John Seabrook, which flew over Auckland city at 8.30am to advertise the event.

The morning's programme then consisted principally of races and landing contests, while the finals and the more novel events were flown in the afternoon.

One special guest was the Australian pilot Guy Menzies, who'd become the first ever person to fly across the Tasman Sea solo in the Avro Avian "Southern Cross Junior", just weeks before on the 7th of January 1931. He left Hastings in the Avian for Mangere but it developed engine trouble after 40 miles of flying and over rough country so he was forced to return to Hastings. Menzies then hitched a lift and arrived in a Canterbury Aero Club aircraft. This is a pity as it was advertised that Southern Cross Junior would "later be placed in a convenient position for the public to view it."

Another foreign guest was Lieutenant Haakon Quiller, a well known parachutist. The New Zealand Herald on the 26th of January 1931 noted,

"Great interest was taken in the parachute descents by Lieutenant Haakon Quiller, who jumped first from 800 ft., and later from about 3000 ft. Ho was seen to climb from the front cock-pit of a Moth piloted by Flying-Officer D. M. Allan, and stand on the lower wing. At a signal from the ground he jumped, and the crowd saw his tiny figure detach itself from the machine, and plunge downward at a terrific speed. The parachute, trailing behind, then opened, and Lieutenant Quiller's fall was checked suddenly, causing him to swing to and fro below the parachute. He landed safely behind the hangars, and after repacking his parachute with meticulous attention to detail, went aloft again to repeat his performance."

Regarding that second parachute jump the Auckland Star wrote:

"The refolding of the parachute for the next jump was followed with careful attention by the spectators, for on the correct folding of his aerial lifebuoy does the safety of the parachutist depend. But the Norseman was not so embarrassed by the public stare as to make a mistake in so vital a matter, and in his next descent landed safely just inside the bounds of tlie aerodrome from a height of approximately a mile. Juggling with the sail and swinging his legs, the parachutist regulated to a considerable degree his rate of descent. Near the ground a gust of wind caught the bag and nearly carried him into the creek at the eastern side of the landing field, but quick work with his legs brought him down on the edge of the scrub."

The Mayor of Auckland, Mr. G. Baildon, was also present at the event. Also present was Mrs G. Field, a well known aviatrix from the Hawke's Bay, and Miss Ina Wight, a lady pilot with the Auckland Aero Club.

Many aircraft came from around New Zealand from Aero Clubs and the New Zealand Permanent Air Force also sent a contingent. It was reported in the Herald on the day of the event that:

"To take part in the air pageant at Mangere to-day nine machines from Southern centres arrived at Auckland yesterday. Four machines, part of Squadron No. 2 of the New Zealand Air Force, under the command of Squadron-Leader M. C. McGregor, arrived at the Hobsonville air base after a good flight from Blenheim, via Hawera, a landing was made. This flight was organised to replace the refresher courses at Wigram aerodrome. Flight-Lieutenant M. W. Buckley was adjutant, the other members of the'party being Flying-Officer Craig, Flying-Officer Arunsley, Flying-Officer Carter, Flight-Lieutenant Lloyd, Pilot- Officer C. M. Duthie and Pilot-Officer Parsons."Two machines from the Western Federated Flying Club, piloted by Flying- Officer I. H. Keith and Mr. Haybittle, from New Plymouth, a machine from the Hawke's Bay and East Coast Aero Club, piloted bv Mr. Guy Field, and an Avro-Avian, piloted by Mr. Goodwin, of the Goodwin-Chichester Aviation Company, arrived at the Mangere aerodrome. A Moth, piloted by Mr. Armstrong, of Blenheim, arrived at the Hobsonville air base with Miss P. Bennett, a well-known Blenheim pilot, as passenger."

One of the flying displays was described in the New Zealand Herald, on the 26th of January 1931, as:

"Parade of Machines,
Tho grand parade gave tho crowd an opportunity of seeing every machine at close range, and after taxying round the landing field they took the air in succession. A formation led by Squadron- Leader J. Seabrook carried out several manoeuvres directly abovo the aerodrome, three of the machines looping together, while the other two spun away earthward."

The same report stated:

"An exhibition of "acrobatics" by Flying-Officer Allan was one of the most exciting events of the day. He looped and rolled as near the ground as was within the bounds of safety, and concluded by doing a half-roll and flying across the aerodrome upside-down."

One display put on was by Dave Allan and Keith Caldwell (New Zealand's top fighter ace in WWI) flying a mock dogfight fright over the airfield.

Another was a solo aerobatics display by Dave Allan, who was regarded as the best display pilot in the country at the time.

During a display, 'Tony' Firth suffered an engine failure and crashed. The Press newspaper (Christchurch) reported on the 26th of January 1931 the following,

"A spectacular crash, fortunately without injury to the pilot, occurred during the Auckland Aero Club's display at the Mangere aerodrome, when one of the club's Moth machines, piloted by Mr G. M, Firth, was extensively damaged, after falling from a height of about 80 feet. The accident was witnessed by a large number of people, and the machine landed just clear of the crowd in a paddock south of the hangars. By the time the first spectators had reached the machine, Mr Firth had climbed from the cockpit, being only slightly shaken. It is thought that the crash was caused through a defective petrol tap, The aeroplane, the blue Moth, ZK-AAK, which had been in use during the morning, was allotted to Mr Firth to use in the bombing competition. He took off into the wind; but the machine was only about 50 feet from the ground when the engine began to splutter and miss badly. The machine rapidly lost flying speed, and as the, pilot saw that he was directly over the crowd, he started a forced landing and attempted to turn back on to the aerodrome, apparently with the intention of trying to land downwind.

Effort to Avoid Crowd.
With the engine delivering no power, the machine suddenly stalled, and Mr Firth straightened out on his original course in an endeavour to clear the crowd and the parked cars. The Moth, which was moving so slowly as to be almost out of the pilot's control, made little response to Mt Firth's efforts to keep it aloft until the crowd was passed, and fell suddenly. Mr Firth pulled the joystick right back, and the machine landed on its wheels. The impact of the crash drove the landing gear up through the fuselage, which was broken in half at the passenger's cockpit, which, fortunately, was unoccupied at the time. The undercarriage was badly buckled, and one of the propeller blades was snapped off short at the boss. The wings were not damaged, and a cursory inspection of the engine failed to reveal any defect, although an overhaul will be necessary.

Pilot Wins Contest.
Immediately after the crash, a. squad of mechanics, under the supervision of /the ground engineer, Flying-Qfflcer E. J, Copley, removed the wings and cut the engine free from the broken fusalage, Various portions of the wreeked machine were then conveyed to a hangar, where the necessary repairs will be carried out. The machine will require a new fuselage, and the damage is estimated at about £350 or £400. Mr Firth took up another Moth immediately, and carried on with tho bombing competition, which ho eventually, won."

The competition results from the day were thus:
LANDING COMPETITION. A Licence Club-trained Pilots

E. K. Boucher. 1:
I.J. Ewington, 2;
E. B. "Ted" Firth. 3.

Pilots were required to make one landing from 1000 ft., without the use of the engine, and to finish rolling with the tail-skid in a circle on the aerodrome. The winner made a good three-point landing, although several of tho other competitors brought their machines in well.

NEW ZEALAND AERIAL DERBY

First heat:
E. B. "Ted" Firth, 1;
G. M. "Tony" Firth. 2.

Second heat:
J. C. F. Paine, 1:
Pilot-Officer C. M. Duthie, 2.

Final:
Pilot-Officer C. M. Duthie, 1;
E. B. "Ted" Firth. 2.

In this event competition was keen, but several pilots cut corners and were disqualified. Two machines touched wings while taking off in the second heat, but no damage was done.

LANDING COMPETITION, B Licence Pilots

Squadron-Leader Jim L. Findlay, 1
Flying-Officer Dave M. Allan, 2
Wing-Commander Keith L. Caldwell, 3.

The conditions were the same as in the contest for A licence pilots, but the greater experience of the competitors resulted in a higher standard in this event.

COLLEGE RACE

First, heat:
Ron A. Kirkup (Technical College). 1
G. M. "Tony" Firth (King's College), 2;
Flight-Lieutenant Jim D. Hewett (Wanganui College), 3

Second heat:
P. C. Lewis (Pukekohe High School). 1: .
Johnnie H. Atwell (Mount Albert Grammar School), 2;
A, B. Ranby (Wellington College), 3

The final will bo decided next Saturday afternoon.

BOMBING THE TARGET.

A Licence Club-trained Pilots.
G. M. "Tony" Firth, 1;
E. B. "Ted" Firth. 2:
G. D. M. Goodwin, 3.

Each competitor was given three flour-bag bombs to be dropped on a ground target from above 200 ft. Although several bulls were registered, many pilots flew too low and were penalised.

CALDWELL TROPHY AEROBATIC CONTEST

A Licence Club-trained Pilots.

Len M. Squire, 1;
G. M. "Tony" Firth, 2;
Pilot- Officer C. M. Duthie. 3.

Pilots were required to do a left stall turn, a right stall turn, a loop, a left-hand spin of two turns, a right-hand spin of two turns and three minutes' free flying ofany approved "aerobatics." A creditable standard of skill was revealed by all competitors.

ALL TRANSPORT RACE

B Licence Pilots
First heat:
Wing-Commander Keith L. Caldwell, 1
Squadron-Leader Jim Findlay, 2.

Second heat:
Flying-Officer Ian Keith, 1
I. C. W. Cory-Wright, 2.

Final:
Squadron-Leader Jim Findlay. 1;
Wing-Commander Keith Caldwell, 2.

This event was keenly contested, and proved one of the most successful. Pilots were required to run a short distance, drive a car to their machines, and then complete the course in the air. In the second heat Flying-Officer D. M. Allan was leading when his motor stopped, and he made a clever forced landing across-wind.

AEROBATIC CONTEST

B Licence Pilots.
Flying-Officer Dave M. Allan, 1:
Squadron-Leader Malcolm "Mac" McGregor, 2.

The conditions were the same as in the contest for A licence pilots. The two competitors completed every evolution of which a Moth is capable. Flying-Officer Allan's inverted flying gaining him the decision.

BOMBING THE CAR

B Pilots.
Squadron-Leader Jim L. Findlay. 1:
Wing-Commander Keith L. Caldwell, 2:
Flight-Lieutenant Jim Hewett. 3.

A light car was driven round the aerodrome, and pilots endleavoured to hit it with flour-bag bombs. No direct hits were registered but some of the bombs fell very close.

As well as the aerial action, the Auckland Aero Club also held a more social event, the Aero Club Ball that night with Guy Menzies as the guest of honour.

Sources:
New Zealand Herald, 24 January 1931
New Zealand Herald, 26 January 1931
Auckland Star, 26 January 1931
Press, 26 January 1931


 

 

Marlborough Air Pageant
Omaka Aerodrome, February 1931
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
DH60 Moth of the NZPAF, Wigram
873 "D"
Gloster Grebe of the NZPAF, Wigram
NZ50_
DH60G of the Wellington Aero Club
ZK-AAZ
DH60 Gipsy Moth from Australia
VH-UNQ
Puss Moth of Air Survey and Transport Co. Ltd, Hobsonville
ZK-ABR
F. Douglas Mill (?)
Avro Avian of the Goodwin-Chichester Company
ZK-AAN
DH60M Metal Moth of the Western Federated Flying Club
ZK-ABS
Simmons Spartan of Air Travel Ltd
ZK-ABU

 

Source: Details gleaned from a photograph and details in The History of New Zealand Aviation by Ross Ewing and Ross Macpherson


 

1932

1933

Te Aroha Air Pageant
Waihau Landing Ground, 8th of November 1933
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
DH60G of the Auckland Aero Club
ZK-AAL
I. MacEwan
W.J. Sexton
F/Lt Dave Allan for Crazy Flying
DH60G of the Auckland Aero Club
ZK-AAT
DH60G of the Auckland Aero Club
ZK-AAU
R G Tappenden
Aubrey Breckon
DH60G Western Federated Flying Club
ZK-ACU
DH60G Hamilton Branch of AAC
ZK-AAC
DH60G Hamilton Branch of AAC
ZK-AAK
DH80A Puss Moth
ZK-A??
F/Lt Dave M. Allan
Mr C. Lewis (passenger)
Avro 616 Sports Avian
ZK-ACM
Ron Kirkup
Leo White (passenger)
Desoutter I
ZK-ABY

 

In the competitions held the aerobatics and the aerial bombing competitions were won by R. Tappenden, and the landing competition was won by Lou Cadman.


 

1934

1935

South Island Aero Club Pageant
Oaklands Estate, Stoke, Nelson, Saturday 23rd of March 1935
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______

NZPAF Hawker Tomtit

NZPAF Hawker Tomtit

NZPAF Hawker Tomtit

NZPAF Hawker Tomtit

NZ50

NZ51

NZ52

NZ53

NZPAF de Havilland DH80A Puss Moth
2125

NZPAF de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth

NZPAF de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth

872

1560

de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAA
Marlborough Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ADA
Marlborough Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAB
Hawkes Bay & East Coast AC
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ABB
Hawkes Bay & East Coast AC
Desoutter
ZK-ABY
Hawkes Bay & East Coast AC
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ABE
Wairarapa & Ruahine AC
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACD
Wairarapa & Ruahine AC
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAG
Southland Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACF
Southland Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ADB
Southland Aero Club
de Havilland DH83 Foxy Moth
ZK-ADC
Southland Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAV
Wellington Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAZ
Wellington Aero Club
Waco UIC (of Wellington Aero Club)
ZK-ADE
S/Ldr Gerry Stedman
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAH
Canterbury Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAW
Canterbury Aero Club
de Havilland DH80 Puss Moth
ZK-ACX
Canterbury Aero Club - Sir Bruce Srewart
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ADG
Auckland Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ABA
Middle Districts Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ABV
Middle Districts Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-AAX
Western Federated Flying Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACH
estern Federated Flying Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACZ
estern Federated Flying Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ABF
Otago Aero Club
de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth
ZK-ACI
Otago Aero Club
Waco QDV
ZK-ACV
Otago Aero Club
de Havilland DH80 Puss Moth
ZK-ADU
Monocoupe
ZK-ABD
Len Mangham
de Havilland DH60 Moth "Bluebird"
ZK-AAD
A. McIntosh, of Invercargill
Desoutter
ZK-ACJ
Waikato Aviation Co., Hamilton
de Havilland DH80 Puss Moth
ZK-ABG
New Zealand Airways Ltd
Spartan
ZK-ABN
(passed through)
de Havilland DH80 Pussy Moth
ZK-ABR
Air Survey & Transport Co.

 

 


 

 

Metropolitan Queen Carnival Air Pageant
Wigram Aerodrome, Monday 22nd of September 1935
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest III

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest III

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest III

NZ1??

NZ1??

NZ1??

ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-

 

This pageant was put on in aid of the "sports queen" Miss Betty Cockerill. and involved both the RNZAF and the Canterbury Aero Club taking part. The programme began at 2.45pm with a flypast, and there were no gaps betweenitems for the rest of the day.

One display item had the announcer telling the pilot what to do via a radio set and taking with their aircraft's radio operator, in a demonstration of radio control from the ground. This was the fist genuine radio controlled display in Christchurch, though a mock version of it had been seen before at airshows.

At least one parachute jump was scheduled for this pageant too.


 

1936

McGregor Memorial Fund Pageant
Wigram, Saturday 29th of February 1936
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-

 

This pageant raised money for the McGregor Memorial Fund, which had been set up after the death of famous pilot Malcolm 'Mad Mac' McGregor, who was killed in an accident whilst landing a Miles Falcon at Rongotai on the 19th of February 1936. The fund aimed to create a trust to pay for the education of McGregor's four children. It raised £209

Parachute jumps were given by Bernard Skinner and John Frizzell.

Derry's Military Band was in attendance playing music. And Don Nicol of the "White Horse Inn" company was giving charicatures for a small charge. the same company gave a performance that night at the Theatre Royal as a benefit fund raiser. It raised £275 15s

The Apex Ice Cream Company had a stall with proceeds from sales going to the fund.


 

 

New Plymouth Air Pageant
New Plymouth Airport, Bell Block, Saturday 21st of March 1936
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-

 

Around 15,000 spectators attended this Air Pageant to mark the opening of the New Plymouth Airport at Bell Block, New Plymouth.

A total of 46 aeroplanes attended the event.

During the opening ceremony for the airport by George Monkton-Arundell, the 8th Viscount Galway, who was the New Zealand Governor General, he unveiled a memorial tablet dedicated to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm.

Before the start of the air pageant's display flying, seven aircraft of the RNZAF flew in formation over New Plymouth township.

Competitions were held and the results were thus:

Junior Landing For A
Licenced Club Pilots

1 - K. Congreve (Western Federated Flying Club)

2 - K.B. McKay (Marlborough Aero Club)

3 - Miss J. Prime (Wellington Aero Club)

Senior Landing For
Non-Professional Pilots

1 - L. McGaffin (Manuwatu)

2 - A.W. Buchanan (Wairarapa Aero Club)

3 - E. Leverton (Wellington Aero Club)

Professional Landing

1 - F/Lt Dave M. Allan (Auckland Aero Club)

2 - F/O Ian Keith (Western Federated Flying Club)

3 - F/Lt Noel Chandler (Marlborough Aero Club)

Club-Trained Pilots'
Aerobatics

1 - A.W. Buchanan (Wairarapa Aero Club)

2 - R.G. Tappenden (Auckland Aero Club)

Bledisloe Trophy
(North Island
Elimination Contest)

1 - Robert F. Smilie (Wellington Aero Club)

2 - K. Congreve (Western Federated Flying Club)

3 - E.W. Pearse (Middle Districts Aero Club)

New Zealand Elimination

1 - Robert F. Smilie (Wellington Aero Club)

2 - Robert McSkimming (Otago Aero Club)

Cory-Wright Trophy
For Non-Professional
Pilots

1 - E. Leverton (Wellington Aero Club)

2 - Mrs Poulton (Canterbury Aero Club)

3 - S.R. Dunean (Marlborough Aero Club)

Women's Trophy
For Take-Off, Approach
And Landing

1 - Miss E. Parkinson (Western Federated F.C.)

2 - Mrs Poulton (Canterbury Aero Club)

3 - Mrs Furkett (Wellington Aero Club)

Professional
Aerobatics

1 - F/Lt Dave M. Allan (Auckland Aero Club)

2 - F/O J. Smith (Southland)

Bombing

1 - J.R. Franklin (Western Federated Flying Club)

2 - R.D. Brown (Hawkes Bay Aero Club)

3 - R. Tappenden (Auckland Aero Club)

Points Trophy

Western Federation - 9 Points

Wairarapa - 5 Points

Middle Disricts 4½ Points

 


 

 

Milson McGregor Memorial Air Pageant
Milson Airport, Palmerston North, Sunday 22nd of March 1936
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
RNZAF
NZ
RNZAF
NZ
RNZAF
NZ
RNZAF
NZ
de Havilland DH86 Express Korimako
ZK-AEG
Took Rides

 

This pageant raised nearly £150 for the McGregor Memorial Fund, which had been set up after the death of famous pilot Malcolm 'Mad Mac' McGregor, who was killed in an accident whilst landing a Miles Falcon at Rongotai on the 19th of February 1936. The fund aimed to create a trust to pay for the education of McGregor's four children.

The event was held under the patronage of Wing Comander Tom Wilkes, RNZAF, and four Air Force aircraft took part.

Parachutist Flight Lieutenant J. "Scotty" Fraser made two successful parachute jumps during this event. The second landing was on a road and he just narrowly missed hitting a row of macrocarpa trees.

 


 

 

McGregor Memorial Fund Pageant
Rongotai Aerodrome, Saturday 28th of March 1936
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest
NZ1__
RNZAF Avro 626
NZ20_
Klemm Eagle
ZK-AEA
Pat O'Hara
de Havilland DH60 Moth
ZK-

de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide

de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide

ZK-

ZK-

de Havilland DH60G Moth Major
ZK-ADP
ZK-

 

This pageant raised around £200 for the McGregor Memorial Fund, which had been set up after the death of famous pilot Malcolm 'Mad Mac' McGregor, who was killed in an accident whilst landing a Miles Falcon at Rongotai on the 19th of February 1936. The fund aimed to create a trust to pay for the education of McGregor's four children.

Incidents: Sadly the famous parachutist Pilot Officer James 'Scotty' Fraser jumped to his death at this airshow, when his parachute failed to open. He plunged into Lyall Bay.

Source: Details from The History of New Zealand Aviation by Ross Ewing and Ross Macpherson, and Tool Box On The Wing by Geoffrey Ellis


 

 

McGregor Memorial Fund Pageant
Rukuhia Aerodrome, Saturday 4th of April 1936
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeest

NZ10_

NZ10_

NZ10_

Klemm Eagle monoplane
ZK-AEA
W.M. O'Hara
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-
ZK-

 

This pageant raised money for the McGregor Memorial Fund, which had been set up after the death of famous pilot Malcolm 'Mad Mac' McGregor, who was killed in an accident whilst landing a Miles Falcon at Rongotai on the 19th of February 1936. The fund aimed to create a trust to pay for the education of McGregor's four children.

This particular air pageant was held at the Waikato Airport, Rukuhia, and was organised by the Auckland Aero Club and the South Auckland Motor and Air Carnival Association.

Proceeds raised were in fact split between the McGregor Fund and the family of F/Lt 'Scotty' Fraser who'd been killed during the Rongotai McGregor Memorial Fund Pageant.


 

 

1937

1938

Royal New Zealand Air Force Display
Rongotai Aerodrome, Saturday 4th of June 1938
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______

Avro 626 from FTS, Wigram

Avro 626 from FTS, Wigram

Avro 626 from FTS, Wigram

NZ202

NZ203

NZ204

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

Vickers Vildebeest from FTS, Wigram

NZ101

NZ102

NZ103

NZ104

NZ105

NZ1__

NZ1__

Crew members included
Flying Officer J.C. Killiam
Pilot Officer E.J. Edwards
Pilot Officer Harold Dive
Pilot Officer R.R.T. Fisher
Pilot Officer L.J. Ranson
Pilot Officer J.C. Simpson

Gloster Grebe from FTS, Wigram

Gloster Grebe from FTS, Wigram

NZ501

NZ502

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

Blackburn Baffin

S1265

S1266

S1426

S1430

S1558

S1570

S1573

S1657

S1672

S1674

Fairey IIIF from FTS, Wigram.
S1805
May have been static

de Havilland DH60 Moth

de Havilland DH60 Moth

ZK-AAO

ZK-AFZ

Miles Hawk Major
ZK-

 

The RNZAF's first military organised airshow, held at Rongotai Aerodrome, the home of the Wellington Territorial Squadron. The RNZAF went all out with this show, and even had a three-ship Vildebeest display team - possibly the RNZAF's first ever dedicated display team. They even looped in formation according to Geoffrey Ellis's book 'Tool Box On The Wing'.

The airshow promoted the RNZAF and Territorial Air Force, which were both expanding rapidly at the time and wanted to show the public how much they'd trained in.

The weather on this day was fine

Sources: Details from The History of New Zealand Aviation by Ross Ewing and Ross Macpherson, and Tool Box On The Wing by Geoffrey Ellis, plus various photos and the airshow programme

FTS stands for the Tlying Training School, which was based at RNZAF Station Wigram in Christchurch

I have listed ten Baffin serials, only nine took part in this display from the ten that were serving with the Wellington (Teritorial) Squadron up till this time, I have not yet worked out which was no longer with the squadron for this event

 


 

1939

Westport Aero Club Pageant
North Beach Aerodrome, Westport, Saturday 4th of March 1939
____________Aircraft_Participant_____________
______Pilot_and_Crew______
Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club's
Foster-Wikner Wicko
ZK-AGN
Edgar Harvie
Wairarapa and Ruahine Aero Club's Miles Whitney Strait
ZK-AGB
Johnnie Nelson
Wellington Aero Club's Percival Vega Gull
ZK-AKV
J. Kirkaldie
Unknown Type doing "Crazy Flying"
ZK-
E. Clarke of Christchurch

 

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeests Mk III

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeests Mk III

RNZAF Vickers Vildebeests Mk III

 

NZ1__

NZ1__

NZ1__

RNZAF Pilots - likely to be

F/O Cyril Kay

F/O Ronald Cohen

F/O Tony Lester

 

 


 

 


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