This Site is dedicated to all those families of the people that have tragically disappeared on flights in and around New Zealand. I  only hope that from all the effort in building this site and from all the effort of those taking part in this venture, that it will bear fruit in bringing ‘closure’ to their memories!
Gavin Grimmer
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Graeme and Pam McConnell brought my wife, Avon, down from Nelson. She had flown to Nelson on an Air NZ flight. We all stayed at the Hokitika Motor Camp that night and Graeme and I got up at about 6.00 am next morning, as I needed him to get me to the airport. I had to get away early as the forecast was for more bad weather coming up the coast from the South.

Most of the flight from Hokitika to Haast was pleasant although the wind started coming up again and the cloud was building and dropping from about the Lake Paringa area - south, which was annoying as I wanted to film and photograph the area further south around Lake Moeraki - in particular the Whakapohai River area, as there have been rumours that people have come across a crashed aeroplane up this river, but have not been able to find it again (before GPS days)! I believe that if these sightings are correct, then it is the Cherokee Six ZK-EBU with seven souls on board. (See Report 1 in “Sighting Reports”).

By the time I got to Haast there were rain showers that I had to fly through and unbelievably I had at one point 27 knots of wind on the tail, although there was no wind on the ground when I landed.

I was very impressed when I touched down on the upgraded metal runway as it was so smooth that I hardly knew I was on the ground. The majority of this Haast community had got together and voluntary done an enormous amount of work in preparation for this Air Pageant and sadly it didn’t eventuate as the weather closed in and “bucketed” down with rain for the next day and a half and then on the Sunday the rain cleared, but then it blew very strong winds all day!

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The local Haast citizens had however, erected an enormous marquee which gave all the visitors shelter from the elements, and the Saturday evening celebration dinner, held in the marquee was well attended by, at a guess, well over 1000 people! We discovered that we could tell who were the locals and who were not, as the locals attended the dinner in their gumboots! -  Very wise given the circumstances.

Flying Past Jacobs River Valley                       Original Haast Aerodrome Booking Office

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