In December 2008, on a Shell Aviation sponsored helicopter trip from Hastings to Milford Sound and back, we flew into this area and hovered around for a while, but saw nothing of interest. The main thing learnt from that trip was it was pretty much a waste of time looking for aircraft wreckage that had been there for a long time as anything there would have long blended in to the undergrowth ending up covered in leaves or green algae or the like. At the time, we thought it may have been wreckage from Cherokee Six ZK-EBU. Imagine my surprise when watching “The Missing” TV Series t hey also flew a helicopter in there a few months after us thinking it may have been wreckage from ZK-BMP! It was interesting as they showed all the same rocks, etc., that I had also filmed. MISSING: watch from 5:14 mark.
If smoke was seen in this direction of Dr Mulvaney’s sighting from the “Miss Geraldine”, it could still be considered as “out the back of Big Bay”.
The only flaw I can see in the Kaipo crash scenario being caused by a broken main
spar is that if the “Mayday” heard on AKTV2 was genuinely from survivors on the Dragonfly,
then the accident had to be survivable, so any fire that occurred may well have been
purposely ignited in an attempt to attract attention, so whether a wing main spar
breaking would be survivable is anyone’s guess? Generally if the main spar breaks
and the wings fold up, there are NO survivors!
Another person who flew with Chadwick in ZK-AFB (possibly the last successful flight to Milford before the disappearance - 6/02/1962 - six days prior) commented that he heard one of the motors running rough for a period of time. Although Chadwick told him to not worry as the motors had just been overhauled - the Aircraft Log Books did not reflect this, so I guess it was just a way of Brian reassuring his passengers not to worry.
This got me to thinking… “Maybe there was a problem with one of the motors?”
In Richard Waugh’s book “Shot Over into the Shotover” he talks of his Father’s last
flight in DH89 Dominie ZK-AKT in April, 1967, that crashed into the Shotover River
due to the loss of an engine during the short 30 minute flight (Loss of an engine
was not uncommon in those days) and then a loss of power on the remaining engine
on approach to Queenstown airport causing him to have to force land off field into
You would need to read his book to fully understand the details, but from my opinion as working most of my life as a mechanic, to me the most likely reason for this loss of power was due to problems these motors were having with loose valve seats (as hinted about in his book). What most people don’t understand with this is the relevance of this problem…
When the valve seats come loose in the cylinder head, there is the danger that the seats will follow the valve as it opens and shuts not allowing the fuel mixture to enter the cylinder in the case of the inlet valve, or not allowing the burnt exhaust gas to exit the cylinder if it is the exhaust valve. On top of that, with the stress of the seat banging back and forth, it has been known for them to break apart with resulting chunks of metal banging around inside the cylinder, not to mention if it is the inlet valve, all vacuum is suddenly lost and in the event of the motor being carbureted, the engine will stop! If you are ‘lucky’ and it is the exhaust valve, the broken seat will just exit the motor with possibly no further damage, but it will no longer produce power on that cylinder. The other problem is if the