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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 58907
Last updated: 11 June 2019
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Date:07-JUN-1947
Time:08:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club
Registration: ZK-AJV
C/n / msn: 82965
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Missing between Hastings and Taupo -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Hastings (NZHS)
Destination airport:Taupo (NZAP)
Narrative:
Ex RAF stocks, previously R5070. Built at Hatfield and assembled in NZ. Shipped to New Zealand on "SS Rangitane" and BOC Unit 18 Rongotai 20 July 1940. With No.3 EFTS, Harewood 1942-1944. Issued free to Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club from No.42 Squadron on 14 June 1946 and entered the New Zealand Civil Aircraft Register as ZK-AJV.

Departed Hastings at 08:00 on 7 June 1947 on a flight to Taupo but did not arrive.

ZK-AJV left Hastings Airport on a 62 nautical mile flight to Taupo. The trip should have taken less than an hour, and the plane is known to have been carrying ample fuel for the flight.

The Tiger Moth never arrived in Taupo and no trace of it or its pilot John Tacon has ever been found.

John Tacon got as far as maybe the Rangitaiki area and landed there for a while, hoping for the weather to improve. This theory is also based on the fact that he never made it to Taupo.

When the weather did not improve, I believe John attempted to return to Hastings and with some difficulty managed to get back following the Napier/Taupo Highway to as far as the last range before Napier, the Titiokura Range, but found that the passage was blocked by low lying cloud.

From there he flew to south of the junction of the Mohaka and Repia rivers - Pakatatau Station - where he was observed flying low, circled a clump of trees twice, and then headed north back towards Te Haroto. This would have been the most logical direction to fly from the Napier/Taupo Rd to see if you could find a way across the range to Hastings.

A course that I know several pilots have taken when they couldn’t get across the Titiokura Ranges was to fly down the Mohaka Valley until they reached the coast and then fly along the coast to either Napier or Bridge Pa, Hastings.

This to me would seem to be the logical course that John would have taken especially as he had found that the way through south was blocked.

I presently believe, going by the account of a Tiger Moth wreck being discovered by Trevor Crabtree in the Willowflat area, that John Tacon made it as far as there.

Sources:

http://www.adf-gallery.com.au//nz-serials/nz650.shtml
http://www.findlostaircraft.co.nz/zk-ajv.html
http://www.findlostaircraft.co.nz/zk-ajv%203.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
09-Mar-2009 00:09 angels one five Added
22-May-2009 02:31 XLerate Updated
11-Jan-2011 13:32 harro Updated [Source]
24-Feb-2012 15:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Mar-2015 07:55 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Damage, Narrative]

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