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«TIGER RAG Newsletter of the Tiger Moth Club of New Zealand Inc. October 2013 Patron: Simon Spencer-Bower President: Jim Lawson Secretary: Graeme Wood ...»

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Newsletter of the Tiger Moth Club of New Zealand Inc.

October 2013

Patron: Simon Spencer-Bower President: Jim Lawson Secretary: Graeme Wood

Secretarial Address: The Secretary, Tiger Moth Club of New Zealand Inc, Postal Centre 14, Papakura 2214

Phone: (09) 418 3044 Mobile: 0272 932 318 Email: woodsy@clear.net.nz Website: www.tigermothclub.co.nz


We are starting Spring a little earlier this year with our Annual Taumarunui Fly in scheduled for a start Friday 18th October with the usual,excellent, great value BBQ at the High School Hostel.

Although the weather has been particularly Spring like the last week or so, there are signs on the horizon of some more settled weather for the weekend so check your oil, pump up the tyres and make sure you don’t miss out.

BREAKING NEWS: Avgas will be available at Taumarunui.

Members have been reported making the most of their aeroplanes in the recent winter months. Wayne Edwards and Grant Wilson made the journey from Puni & Ardmore respectively to Bridge Pa for the annual taildragger meet although there are no reports of any silverware being smuggled away.

Member and Chipmunk owner Bevan Dewes took part in an interesting world first recently when he played a part in an earth sandwich.

This entailed synchronising a pair of parachute descents from opposite sides of the globe at precisely the same time, at precisely the opposite point, being Masterton and somewhere in France.

We are pleased to report the earth did not implode from the resulting squish.

Bevan Dewes and Meanwhile many members were involved “meat bomb” in NZ Warbirds annual Battle of Britain day Chuck Berry commemorative flypast over the Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph. At 11am Sunday 15th September.

New member, and Ryan pilot Mike Hayman took William Hayman along for the flight and William got the fabulous picture of Graeme Woods in BLI on the next page. Mike reports the Ryan makes an excellent camera ship.

Also in this issue we have another enlightening piece from our President Jim Lawson, fortunately this time telling us the story of an airplane coming to our shores instead of one leaving. Another interesting arrival, a Tiger Moth 60 years ago is kindly documented by John King whilst we look into the price of Tiger Moths from around that time.

The Chisum’s account of Gipsys at Woburn Abbey will make many jealous and is a great read. Other members have been flying elsewhere around the world and we look forward to their reports in future issues.

If you haven’t done so yet please feel free to use the attached Taumarunui Registration Form or pass a copy on to anyone you know may be interested, and we look forward to seeing as many members on Friday 18 th October John King Graeme Wood positions BLI for the run in to the Cenotaph flypast on Battle of Britain day, 15th September

–  –  –

Tiger Moth Club Members (and others) aircraft lined up before the Cenotaph flypast.

Secretary’s report Graeme Wood Scholarships Last year the Club sought applications from people for a grant from club funds. The object of the grant is to find, encourage and assist younger people to continue their involvement and interest in vintage aeroplanes, particularly de Havilland types, and to further their aviation careers. Their interest may extend the restoration, maintenance and flying such aircraft. In granting the Scholarship, the committee looks for applicants who they consider will be a strong asset to the club in the future.

, successful applicants for the grant were Rupert MacLachlan, and Jason McQuarters (pictured), better known as The Jason Mac.

Rupert holds a Commercial Pilots License, and Instructor rating. He is passionate about vintage aircraft, and now wishes to obtain a Tiger Moth rating, and learn advanced training in aerobatics all aspects of Tiger Moth flying. He then wishes to share his experiences with new and younger pilots, and get them involved in vintage aviation.

Jason is a private pilot, and has started ratings on both the Tiger Moth, and the Chipmunk. He is Network manager at “The Rock” national radio station, and assists with commentating at various airshows. Being on radio he has assisted Warbirds in promoting their open days. His passion is aviation, particularly of WW2 era, and he wishes to obtain the required training to be able to fly many of these aircraft.

Funding of Future Scholarships.

Following concerns voiced at the AGM, and from member correspondence, the committee is looking at the structure and funding of any future scholarship grants.

At the last committee meeting, it was decided that the club open a separate bank account for Scholarship funding.

The Club has received $300 in donations for this fund so far, and is open to receive donations or grants for this account. It was suggested that the club may contribute to the fund. This will be discussed at the next AGM.


It has been reported that the Club website has been hacked, and is unusable. Grant Drinkrow and Benno Tissi are attempting to get it back up and running.

Happy Flying, Graeme.

“The Hibiscus and the Moths” Mike Feeney On precisely each 3rd of October, the bright green leaves of our tall hibiscus tree unfold and I am keen to fire-up the mighty engine of my Pratt & Stratton USA belowing lawncropping thingy.

–  –  –

But this October, I can think happy thoughts of all the troops who will soon aviate their diverse aeroplanes to Taumarunui......Tiger Moths, Piper Cubs, Harvards, and maybe a dear old de Havilland Beaver....and such a fine range of airplanes....who knows? Even that British Wonder-Plane......an actual AUSTER !!!!!

This year Janet and I shall really miss not attending but I shall be thinking truly happy thoughts of you as I sit in the sun next to the renewed Hibiscus tree and the Moths which will flutter about my head and the wonderful beat of the formating Moths which shall be within my memory of a lifetime......

Aaah......de Havilland !!!!!!!

(...and is there honey still for tea ?)

–  –  –

Early August I had a simulator check at the Sabena facility in Dinard, France. Jan rode my coattails from New Zealand. After the sim ride, we hopped across the channel to East Midlands airport where we parted company, Jan continuing off to Dublin. With a few days on my own, I embarked on my search for all things Gipsy Moth. To Duxford to see Mark Miller whom was recently delighted to unearth some very relevant paperwork pertaining to our very own Gipsy G-AAJO in the form of a letter to the Hon. Mrs. Montague- one of the original owners before Jan's father Stan White bought it in 1934 for his trip from Heston Aerodrome to Sydney. I also got to see 1934 Annual check sheets for many Gipsies that showed propellers, weights and aux tank mods for long distance flights.

A bonus was blueprints for the wooden laminated spinner to match the propeller shape. Next I checked in to Mike Vaisey's Vintech workshop with a list of nuts, bolts, gaskets and tab washers that was filled successfully. Then back to East Midlands to get Jan. We had to visit Shuttleworth where we got a briefing on the landing gear mods to the DH 88 Comet and met up with our "cabbie" Stu Goldspink that we met on our first Woburn in '04 when we were flying Henry Labouchere's Hornet. Stu is 1/2 of the terrible twins that include Keith Skilling. Stu flies the TVAL aeroplanes and the P-40 from Masterton.

The real reason for our UK sojourn soon came to the fore: Woburn Abbey 28th International Moth Rally. Henry had mentioned I might borrow an aeroplane to arrive Woburn suitably in style but then he injured himself and the stumbling blocks kept piling up. I could only hope the obstacles could be surmounted in time. He mentioned a certain type that is among my all-time favourites but I dared not speak of it for the fear of casting a jinx on the possibility!

As Jan and I headed southeast of London to see if I had an aeroplane we spotted a biplane: must be an airport nearby. Following it to its roost, we were delighted to see a Morane-Saulnier Gipsy Moth-gorgeous and perfect, being test flown. There we met Larry and Ilse Harmacinsky from North Carolina who own a Wright Gipsy in the same colors as G-AAMY, the "Out of Africa" Gipsy in factory colors of yellow and black. Larry and Ilse are true blue Gipsy people as they recently sold their Waco Cabin biplane to relish the air conditioning of the open cockpits. Test flying of the MS Gipsy going well, we hoped to see it at Woburn on the weekend.

Weather forecast for the weekend looking grim, Henry advised I might use the Dragonfly but Jan could not ride with me. In spite of his damaged back, he had prepared 3 craft for the fly-in, and nominated Jan to fly Simon Kidston's Racing Gipsy (lately of Gerald Grocott's stable in Bridge Pa) and had moved heaven and earth for the necessary authorisations and insurance. The rarest and fastest of all Gipsies, Jan was reluctant to take on the responsibility, but peer pressure (me) encouraged her to at least give it a try. So it was, on a beautiful pre-storm Friday, we checked ourselves out in our charges: Jan in the only Racing Gipsy, myself in Torquil Norman's priceless DH 90 Dragonfly. Jan found the racing wheels a little harsh compared to the doughnut tyres on our Gipsy. Took me about 5 landings in the Dragonfly before I could get an acceptable 3 pointer.

Next morning- fog! Bad weather on the way, would it engulf us before the fog cleared? A few spots of blue and we are off, but my radio as flight leader is inop, so with hand signals Henry takes the lead in Torquil's DH 84 Dragon. Weather toward London is improving. This flight was my highlight of the century to view Jan and Henry past the finely tapered wings of the Dragonfly.

Ancient villages passed below our three biplanes and the sound of our 5 Gipsy engines cast a faerydust wake of nostalgia from a happier time for England. But for me, It just couldn't get any better.

One of the delights of Woburn Abbey is to watch the landings of all types on the swayback 700 yard runway with the bump at the halfway point. Many Moth owners apparently fly their charges once a year to participate. In best Kiwi tradition, all three of our flight only used the first half, avoiding the galloping launch off the mid-field bump.

Jan's Racer was immediately marshalled and pushed to the centre stage place of honour to be displayed with a similarly vintage Bullnose Morris. This was appropriate as Morris Motors built more Tigers in wartime than De Havilland!

We met old and new acquaintances at every turn. Larry and Ilse were there but the MS Gipsy didn't show possibly due to the windy forecast.

Only two other Gipsies showed up and both had Gipsy I engines so no useful info about prop pitch.

Jan was awarded the Bonhams "Aviation Spirit of the Event" trophy not only because she brought the DH.60G Racing Gipsy but also as a tribute to her father that flew G-AAJO to Sydney, and Jan's pilgrimage from New Zealand. Of course the Dragonfly got "Best Twin".

Torquil Norman was honoured by the Club's Refuelling Team for his constant support, or maybe because his aeroplanes used twice as much fuel.

Henry had to leave before trophies were given, leaving eastbound to his maintenance base in Norfolk leaving Jan and me to our own devices to find our way west back to Rendcomb. When following Henry to Woburn I set the P II compass to our course, so we should be heading the right direction if we just put the north bar 180 degrees out, right? The GPS moving map on my ipad was only a backup.

The picture of Jan on final at Rendcomb will remind me of our fabulous good fortune, thanks to Henry, Torquil, and Simon Kidston.

Well what can I say?! As...and Jan Chisum Jerry mentioned I was looking forward to playing contributes...

Lady Muck, swanning into Woburn with him in his favourite de H, the gorgeous Dragonfly owned by Sir Torquil Norman..........

Dear Henry ( Labouchere), unbeknown to us had spent lots of time the previous week talking the non flying owner, Simon Kidston, into letting me take his racing Gipsy G- AAXG to the Rally, then getting me insured.

We all know this aircraft as Gerald's ZK-AEJ so in a way it was fitting that a Kiwi was the first to fly this very famous Gipsy to the Moth Mecca -but no pressure....

Apart from my normal, no tech helmet, I had no suitable apparel so borrowed an oilskin from the vintage car guys in the back hangar – cosy but not quite exhibiting the sartorial elegance expected in such company!

This was the sort of flying I love, following our esteemed leader with Jerry on my outside being the good shepherd.

At a certain stage I caught sight of a little lake so realizing we must've been overhead our destination, eased back so as to keep my own look out for 'boggies'. Jerry did likewise resulting in this rather amazing photo captured by Mick Bajcar.

It really is quite something to be involved in such an international event & we look forward to hosting some of our de H friends in this hemisphere in the near future.

It was good to see stalwart Stan Smith in the thick of things,still getting into trouble for being late home for dinner – honestly, airplane nutters worldwide are tarred with the same brush, I'll be bound.

It was a terrible pity that Woburn coincided with the Flying Proms very close by at Old Warden but that may've been adversely affected by the nasty bout of weather that tore to shreds the windsock at our event. By that time we were well ensconced in the social side of things with the a/c all securely tethered. For the pilots & crews this was a welcome return to Woburn after a five year absence for which, Stuart, Miranda & Melissa McKay deserve the utmost congratulations & huge votes of thanks for their unbelievable dedication to the cause.

These photos have come my way, along with many others of the period, and I’d like to share them by way of the Tiger Rag.

They show a Tiger Moth not generally known about, but Montague visited New Zealand in September 1947 aboard HMS Theseus as the CO’s pet aeroplane of 804 Squadron Fleet Air Arm.

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