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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 65401
Last updated: 18 September 2021
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Time:14:20 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:FIS RNZAF
Registration: NZ724
MSN: 3680
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rangitoto Channel, near Castor Bay, North Shore, Auckland -   New Zealand
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RNZAF Hobsonville, Waitematā Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand
Destination airport:
Built at Hatfield. Issued with UK C of A number 6259 on 25 April 1938 and imported into New Zealand for the Auckland Aero Club. Issued with New Zealand Certificate of Registration on 28 June 1938 and registered as ZK-AFP. Impressed into the RNZAF on 1 October 1939 as NZ724 for a cost of 1,400.

Involved in first fatal RNZAF Tiger Moth accident on 12 March 1940 when a pilot fell from the aircraft near Mangere after his harness fastener became disengaged during a roll. Squadron Leader David Allan killed, but the Tiger Moth landed safely undamaged. (See separate entry)

Written off (destroyed) when spun into sea in the Rangitoto Channel, near Castor Bay, North Shore, Auckland 18.4.41; Pilot Officer Bertrand Butler killed at 14:20 hours while being operated by Flying Instructor's School, Hobsonville. The aircraft was in a climbing turn when it entered a spin from which there was insufficient height to recover. P/O Bertrand Butler killed and P/O M. Hoy injured but rescued by gunners of the Royal NZ Artillery. Wreckage dragged ashore by Navy and aircraft written off.

According to a contemporary local newspaper report ("Evening Post, Volume CXXXI, Issue 92, 19 April 1941, Page 7)

"One officer lost his life and another escaped with minor injuries when a Tiger Moth aeroplane from the Royal New Zealand Air Force base at Hobsonville crashed into Rangitoto Channel near Castor Bay. The survivor was brought ashore by a party of men of the Royal New Zealand Artillery who saw the crash and swam nearly half a mile in all to the airmen's assistance.

The victims were:
Killed - Pilot Officer Bertrand William BUTLER, aged 25, single, son of Mr J P Butler, Invercargill. His brother is Brother Patrick, of the, Sacred Heart College, Auckland. Pilot Officer Butler was born in Invercargill and educated at the Marist Brothers' School there and at Sacred Heart College, Auckland. He joined the Air Force last year and was trained in Levin, Dunedin, and Blenheim, being transferred to Hobsonville less than a fortnight ago.

Injured - Pilot Officer Maurice Harry HOY, aged 21, single, son of Mr H Hoy, 35 Grafton Road, Roseneath, Wellington. He received shock and abrasions, and, after being attended by a doctor, was admitted to hospital. He has a brother serving with the Air Force at Whenuapai. Both had recently been transferred to Hobsonville, where they were to begin the instructors' course, on Monday"

Crew of Tiger Moth NZ724:
Pilot Officer Bertrand William Butler, RNZAF (Instructor Pilot, Service Number: NZ403421, aged 25) - killed in active service 18-4-41, buried at Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill, New Zealand
Pilot Officer Maurice Harry Hoy, RNZAF (Pupil Pilot u/t, Service Number: NZ403452) - rescued, survived

The Rangitoto Channel is one of several passes between the islands of the inner Hauraki Gulf, close to the mouth of the Waitematā Harbour to the east of Auckland in New Zealand. The channel is an important stretch of water as it is the only deep water approach to Auckland Port for large ships such as container cargo ships and passenger cruise liners.

The channel separates the volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island from the East Coast Bays of North Shore city, to the north of the Waitemata's entrance.


9. Photo of Tiger Moth NZ724 as ZK-AFP:


Related books:

Revision history:

05-Jun-2009 18:33 angels one five Added
25-Jun-2009 02:20 XLerate Updated
21-Sep-2009 02:47 angels one five Updated
21-Jan-2012 05:49 Nepa Updated [Registration, Operator, Narrative]
23-Jan-2012 01:19 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
04-Feb-2012 17:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
22-Oct-2012 01:17 angels one five Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Jan-2013 13:35 Nepa Updated [Operator]
17-Jan-2013 13:27 Nepa Updated [Operator]
19-Sep-2013 06:14 angels one five Updated [Operator]
19-Mar-2019 16:14 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
07-Aug-2021 18:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
08-Aug-2021 17:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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