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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 28786
Last updated: 9 December 2019
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Type:de Havilland DH.84 Dragon
Owner/operator:Auckland Flying School
Registration: ZK-AXI
C/n / msn: DHA 2057
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Ardmore Aerodrome, Auckland. -   New Zealand
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Ardmore
Destination airport:Ardmore
De Havilland DH84 Dragon 2 ZK-AXI, c/no 2057, (sometime seen written as DHA2057) was one of 87 built in Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two. The RAAF chose the DH.84 Dragon instead of the DH.89 Dominie/Rapide because Holden were already building Gipsy Major engines for the Tiger Moth production line (already well under way at the time (1942)).

This airframe went on strength with the RAAF on 24-3-1943 with the serial A34-68. Operated by No.1 Wireless Air Gunners School, Ballarat, Victoria

Post military service it became VH-AEF on 29-4-1945 for Butler Air Transport Ltd followed by Qantas Empire Airways Ltd in June of 1948. Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd feature from 14-5-1953. It was cancelled from the Australian civil register on 11-7-1953.

Cliff Rolve had purchased it and it was listed in NZ as ZK-AXI on 14-7-1953 to Rolvin Airways of Palmerston North. It was delivered to Nelson on 17-5-1954 for the Nelson Aero Club. ZK-AXI had a broken crankshaft at Manakau on 23-05-54 and forced landed. Somewhere about this time it became New Zealand's first twin engine air ambulance. Grounded on 1-6-1963 when it’s C of A required renewal. Purchased by Arthur Bradshaw in “as is, where is” condition in 1964. Flew again on 01 June 1965 painted red with a white dragon on the nose and named “Puff”.

It was refurbished and re-flew on 1-6-1965 and was used by Aerial Surveys Ltd of Nelson and piloted by Arthur Bradshaw. Used on aerial mapping for over 500 hours flight time

It was flown from Nelson to Ardmore on 5-4-1967 for Jim Bergman and Earl Cox who traded as the Auckland Flying School, being registered to the School on 10-4-67.

It did not last long as it was damaged on take off at Ardmore on 23-4-1967 (port engine failure due to collapsed fuel line) and was cancelled on 4-5-1967.

ZK-AXI was presented to MoTaT and stored at Ardmore from 1967 to 1983. It was trucked out of Ardmore in May of 1983 to Stan Smith at Dairy Flat. It became a restoration project and used a wing from Australia and was re-engined with DH Gipsy Major 10-2 engines of 145hp.

It was re-registered to G.S. & G.A. Smith, Smiths Tech-Air NZ Ltd of North Shore on 3-3-1997.
It now carries the name "Taniwha". The Dragon took to the air again on the 23rd of April, 1997, 30 years to the day, after her accident.


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
24-Nov-2008 23:23 angels one five Updated
01-Jan-2012 12:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
18-Jul-2019 10:31 Anon. Updated [Damage, Narrative]

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