Whatever happened to my Cobber - Chadwick?



NEW ZEALAND HAS ITS SHARE OF AVIATION MYSTERIES WHERE AN AIRCRAFT HAS DEPARTED AN AIRFIELD, BEEN CASUALLY OBSERVED ENROUTE, BUT HAS NEVER ARRIVED — VANISHED TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES INTO PROVERBIAL THIN AIR. THE AIRCRAFT AND ITS LUCKLESS INHABITANTS MAY BE LEFT TO LIE UNSEEN ON THE SEABED OR DEEP AMIDST NEW ZEALAND'S RUGGED BUSH CLAD INTERIOR, WHICH MAKES SHORT WORK OF PROVIDING UNWANTED CAMOUFLAGE. THE LIST OF VANISHED AiRCRAFT IS QUITE SIGNIFICANT — SEVEN RNZAF AIRCRAFT REMAIN AS MISSING FROM WARTIME OPERATIONS AROUND NZ, AND A NUMBER OF CIVIL AIRCRAT — BOTH PRE — AND POST-WAR — HAVE FAILED TO TURN UP . THE LIST BEGINS WITH THE ILLFATED TRANS TASMAN BID OF MONCRIEFF AND HOOD IN JANUARY 1928 — FIFTY FOUR YEARS AGO. THE CHANCES OF VANISHING WITHOUT TRACE TODAY HAVE BEEN LESSENED WITH THE ADVENT OF THE EMERGENCY LOCATOR BEACON. AND, IF THE PILOT IS SURVIVAL CONSCIOUS, ANY SURVIVORS OF A MISHAP OVER BUSH OR SEA SHOULD HAVE A RANGE OF AIDS ON HAND WITH WHICH TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF SEARCHING AIRCRAFT. HOWEVER, EVEN RECENTLY, AIRCRAFT HAVE VANISHED SOMEWHERE IN FIORDLAND WITHOUT TRACE — DESPITE THE BEST EFFORTS OF INITIALLY SEARCH AND RESCUE, AND THEN, USUALLY, A SECONDARY SEARCH BY FRIENDS, HOPEFUL TO THE LAST. IF THE CRASH IS FATAL AND QUICKLY HIDDEN BY WATER OR BUSH THEN THE FATE OF THE FLIGHT IS LIKELY TO STAY UNKNOWN UNTIL A DIVER OR TRAMPER STUMBLES ON THE WRECKAGE MANY YEARS LATER. THE ACCOMPANYING ARTICLE RECALLS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AN AIRCRAFT WITH FIVE PEOPLE ON BOARD — A 20 YEAR OLD MYSTERY WITH NO ONE STILL ANY THE WISER AS TO THEIR FATE.

Access restricted:

Access to this article is restricted to AHSNZ Members. Memberships start at $60 NZD and you can Join online