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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 59817
Last updated: 10 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:2 AACU RNZAF
Registration: NZ1432
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1.5 miles west of Te Marama Station, Makara, Wellington -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Rongotai Airport, Wellington, New Zealand
Destination airport:Rongotai Airport, Wellington, New Zealand
Built at Rongotai. BOC by RNZAF at Unit 18 Rongotai 8 July 1942 as NZ1432.

The aircraft, on a Home Guard exercise, was flying in almost zero visibility with strong and gusty winds. Proceeding up a gully the plane was struck by a strong downdraught. It crashed into trees and caught fire. Large scale searches failed to find any trace of the plane, and the crash site was not found until the 21st of June 1945 in a steep gully in the Makara Hills near Karori.

Mākara is a locality located at the western edge of Wellington, New Zealand, close to the shore of the Tasman Sea. The suburb is named after the Mākara Stream (mā is Māori for white, kara is a kind of greywacke stone).

Crew of Tiger Moth NZ1432
P/O Mason Irvine ELLIOTT (Pilot, Service Number 416102) RNZAF- killed in service 23.8.42
Lt. Harold Bollard (Service Number: 5/2300) NZ Home Guard, - killed in service 23.8.42

R.I.P. The bodies of the two on board were not recovered until 21.6.45 (see below)

According to one account of the incident (see link #9)

"23 August 1942: P/O Mason Irvine Elliot age 27 with 229 hrs flying time, was tasked by F/O John Allan Kirkadie O. C. No 2 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Flight to carry out an exercise with the Makara Home Guard under the direct control of Major Douglas George Ball.

The crew were to survey the south-west corner of the North Island to the West of Wellington. They were to locate a number of army post positions, record these positions on paper and drop the report onto Home Guard H Q Karori. The O C and pilot had arranged to meet at Rongotai at 08:00 hrs the next morning.

Elliot did not arrive at the arranged time and as Kircaldie had to fly to Gisborne he left Elliot a message stating that he did not like the weather, and the exercise was not to be carried out if the wind exceeded 35 mph.

Elliot arrived by taxi at 09:45 hrs, dressed in a hurry and with Lt Harold Francis Bollard of the home guard who was in the front seat, they took off at 09:55 hrs. The last reliable sighting of the A/c was proceeding up the Waterworks Reserve Gully after 11:00 hrs.

At 12:30 hrs S/L James Duff Hewett O C Communications Flight at Rongotai made contact with the Makara Home Guard and learned that the A/C should have returned to Rongotai by that time. A search was commenced using a variety of A/C based at Rongotai and Harvards from Woodbourne.

Thursday 21 June 1945 Mr G A Bromley, a farmhand on Te Marama Station, Makara while searching for a missing dog, found A/C wreckage and human remains in a gully 1.5 miles west of the station. He reported his find to the police who then informed Air Dept at 17:00 hrs.

The following day two policemen, an RNZAF Photographer, and a member of the Accidents Investigation Branch travelled by car to Te Marama Station on South Makara Road, where they were met by Mr. Bromley and Mr. G P Smith the Station Manager, a reporter and press photographer from the Dominion newspaper also joined the party. The bodies were recovered and Lt Bollard was buried at Karori and P/O Elliot was buried at Onehunga.

The remains of the A/C were broken up and placed out of sight in the trees above the creek bed. Salvage of the engine was considered but it was found to be badly corroded, it was also left in the trees".

Aircraft written off books at Rongotai on 20 February 1943 as "missing in action".


1. King, John (1995). Aviation Accidents and Disasters. New Zealand Tragedies. Wellington: Grantham House. pp. 83. ISBN 1 86934 042 6.
2. For Your Tomorrow Vol 1 (1915 to 1942) By Errol W. Martyn - 1 July 1942 to 31 Dec 1942 (Part B)
3. Ministry of Defence Accident File 27-12-647


Related books:

Revision history:

03-May-2009 23:38 XLerate Added
05-Jun-2009 18:54 angels one five Updated
01-Oct-2009 19:50 angels one five Updated
17-Jan-2012 03:04 angels one five Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Jan-2012 12:44 angels one five Updated [Operator, Source]
26-May-2012 09:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2012 14:21 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
30-Oct-2013 08:27 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Narrative]
05-Mar-2017 19:13 angels one five Updated [Time, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Feb-2019 08:26 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
20-Jan-2021 20:37 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]
15-Aug-2021 19:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
15-Aug-2021 19:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Aug-2021 19:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Aug-2021 19:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]
15-Aug-2021 20:06 SD Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative, Operator]

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