Looking very neat in its RAF glossy desert camouflage, the first of the RNZAF's ten HS780 Andover C.1 transoirt aircraft was ferried into Whenuapai on December 11 at the end of a week long ferry flight from the United Kingdom. Captained by the CO of No.1 Sqn, Sqn Ldr George Oldgield, NZ7624 flew from the RAAF strike base at Amberley, Queensland, on the last leg of a 12,000 mile journey from RAF Brize Norton in south-west England where the training of RNZAF crews is being carried out by RAF's 241 Operational Conversion Unit.
As well as the four man crew (Sqn Ldr Oldfield, pilot; Fg Off Dick Newlands, copilot; Sqn Ldr Ovor Roberts, navigator; and Master Air Loadmaster Ron Hayward, loadmaster) the first Andover carried eight maintenance personnel who will carry out the training of ground crews on Nos 1 & 42 Sqns, which will re-equip with the new aircraft in 1977.
Late last year, four adventurous members of the Wellington Aero Club decided to try their luck and skill in competing in the 1976 Australian air race from Perth to Sydney, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The four, Rick Rimmer, David Gollop, Lurlene Stewart and Peter Mardon, made up a crew for Rick Rimmer's Turbo-Centurion ZK-DRI, to be the only New Zealand entrant in the race.
One other aspect of sport flying that is becoming popular in this part of the world is air rallying, and a feature of the homebuilt calendar in this country is the annual Te Kuiti to Dargaville rally organised by the Northland chapter of the Amateur Aircraft Constructors' Association, which is described in this article by Jim Barrowclough of Morrinsville.
AFTER two decades of spectacular growth, National Airways now faces a hard slog into the 1980's. This was the message conveyed by NAC's chief executive and general manager, Mr Doug Patterson, in an address looking at the next 10 years of the airline.
EVERY year, towards the festive season, a horde of aircraft descend on the forests of the central North Island in the annual battle against the dothistroma blight, the scourge of the country's valuable stands of export earnings. The 1976 season saw nine helicopters and 15 fixed-wing aircraft from five companies take part in the spraying operation, which covered some 61,200 hectares.
To be able to glide through the air like a bird has long been an ambition of man — an ambition which is today realised by many glider pilots; flying their gliders for maximum range has become one of the most demanding but satisfying variations of their sport. But what of gliding a powered aircraft to achieve maximum distance ... say following an engine failure or fuel starvation?
THIS month's Review covers a somewhat longer period than usual, namely seven weeks, and the allocations cover an interesting variety of aircraft, including two new types to the New Zealand register. Looking rust at the helicopters, the Bell 206B JetRanger-II ZK-HKD is a brand-new example, and was assembled in the Air New Zealand hangar at Mangere before being delivered to Whirlwide Helicopters Ltd, Timaru, on December 16. A second JetRanger-H registered HEE was assembled in the following week for delivery to Alpine Helicopters Ltd, Queenstown.