WITH the definite possibility of third level operations booming and the growing awareness by the business community ofthe advantages of company aircraft, the number of light to medium twins on the New Zealand Civil Register is likely to mushroom this year. Air New Zealand, in retreat from provincial services, is leaving a vacuum that third level airlines are keen to expand into. And to do so means, in many cases, a requirement for new aircraft. There is no shortage of choice as NZ agents for the respective overseas manufacturers swing into action to get their slice of what must be the largest general aviation cake of recent years.
ANOTHER link with the earliest days of flying in New Zealand was broken on Friday 28th November with the death at the age of 85 of Keith Logan Caldwell.
AS noted in last month's WINGS, the New Zealand branch of the Australian Aviation Medical Society met in Auckland recently. The society provides a meeting ground for doctors in the armed forces, those involved in civil aviation, those who hold pilot's licences, and others interested in the medical problems of flying. In particular the society is valuable for those medical examiners designated by the Civil Aviation Division of the Ministry of Transport to conduct routine medical checks of pilots.
CHRISTCHURCH will not lose its Trans Tasman services when Air New Zealand gets its Boeing 747 fleet — that is the pledge from the airline in answer to one of a series of questions put by Wings. But Air New Zealand does say that Christchurch will have to wait before it sees the 747 services. The airline points out that introducing the 747 will mean dropping service frequency "and it is clearly in the interests of the South Island, in order to maintain a higher frequency for as long as possible, that Christchurch should be the last airport to receive the 747s." In a less than frank response to several of the questions, Air New Zealand is oddly reluctant to discuss discount travel for staff known to be up to 90 per cent — and says that salary levels are a private matter, although the average salary paid to Air New Zealand employees has been provided in Parliament,
Fast fading from the RNZAF inventory is the twin engined de Havilland Devon. The traditional home of the Devon, RNZAF Base Wigram, no longer sounds to the rhythm of twin Gipsy Queens and there are but a few of the distinctive de Havillands remaining at Ohakea, with No. 42 Squadron. These too are expected to be disposed of in the near future, while in the meantime the F27 Friendship has replaced the Devon on the line at Wigram.
Before this aging aircraft leaves RNZAF service for good, WINGS takes a look at its military history — as seen by two of the many aviators who were at one time familiar with the Devon.
The letter written by Peter Strugnell, Director of the Ohakea Museum, and published in the August issue of WINGS has prompted a number of letters on the Vickers Vildebeeste in RNZAF service and the Mk. IV in particular. As little has been published on the little known career of the RNZAF Mk. IV Vildebeestes it was thought a summary of the Information provided would be of interest by way of a permanent record.