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
Find lost aircraft
find lost aircraft links
ZK-CSS Cessna 172
ZK-AJV Tiger Moth
NZ5517 Corsair
NZ5544 Corsair
NZ-WAC Piper Tomahawk
About Myself.
Sighting Reports.
NEWS 31 December 2008.
Additional info. to my book.
NEWS Dec 2009.
Buy My E-Book.
C O N T A C T.
Site Updates.

This site is kindly sponsored by:

NZ5544 Corsair
North Head Boeings.
Search Techniques.

We know that they would have entered cloud somewhere east of Denniston as this witness saw them disappear from view in the area of Denniston. There is no mention of where this observer was at the time he/she observed this, but I suspect it was on the northern outskirts of Westport so as to be in a position to be able to observe the flights over Westport and Denniston and also be close enough to define that part of the aerobatic display was over the “nothern end of Palmerston Street” - where Reynold’s parents lived.. When they were in the area of Denniston, the observer commented that they appeared again several times “over the coast” in other words they were circling Denniston.  Denniston is situated on the northern (facing the coast) edge of a Plateau 9 nm further up the coast east of Westport, hence if they disappeared from view, appeared again, disappeared, appeared, etc., then it would be a reasonable assumption that they were circling the once thriving mining town. I would presume that a lot of the men in Westport would have worked in the mine there.... if not Reynold’s himself before the War, so he would have known at least some of  the people there. He also commented that shortly after the aircraft disappeared over the hills at the back of Denniston, only three aircraft were observed, instead of four.”  How could he have known that? He had to have been talking to someone that was “beyond the hills at the back of Denniston.,” that were in a position that saw them after Sheppard had turned back! Not only that, it means that they must have been between cloud banks (Reynolds said it was only scattered cloud at that point) for the person to have seen them. The “hills at the back of Denniston” would have to be the Mount William Range. The observer obviously didn’t know that one of the Corsairs had turned back before NZ5517 disappeared otherwise his assumption would not have been that NZ5517 could possibly be in the “vicintity of Denniston.”

Westport to Denniston,  3 x Orbits, and to Mt William Range = 26.4 miles = 8  x Minutes

By using Google Earth, we can ascertain that to arrive at Westport 10.40, then three orbits of Westport would take the 5 minutes as they claimed 10.45 - 3 mins to Denniston  10.48- another 5 mins over Denniston and to the Mt William Range, (where the cloud entered was most likely to have been), (Denniston allowance: three tight orbits  i.e.“several times over the coast”) = 10.53


Position North of Westport, Looking Toward Denniston, Demonstrating What Observer Would Have Seen

Page 14

Previous page.
Previous page.
Next page.
Next page.