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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Update 2nd July 2012

Gary Soden and a friend tried using a Flight Simulator in “Tiger Moth mode”, to fly down the Mohaka River over the section between the Te Hoe River and Willowflat bridge.

The purpose for this was we had heard that there was Maori folklore saying that there was an aeroplane wreck somewhere on the eastern bank of the river somewhere between these two positions. When flying down there at low level, they found a real tight left hand corner of the river that they lost control and crashed into the bank. This seemed an obvious place to search.

After obtaining a permit and a key to gain access into the forestry roads that lead up to that spot, we set off on Saturday 30th June, 2012, to do a ground search. We had 1949 aerial photos of this area that showed what bush was there at that time and it was virtually the same as the present day remaining bush. The Forestry had bought what was open farmland in the period of time John Tacon disappeared, had planted it out in Pine trees and had recently harvested them, leaving what was bush in 1947/49 untouched. This was obviously because it was on such steep ground.

On arriving at the scene, it was hard to believe it was the spot that we had viewed on Google Earth as it was so steep! However, Gary and I devised a plan of descending from the top, zig-zagging our way to the bottom.

View from the top of the hill looking down to the river!

We found it was not too difficult as there were plenty of trees to hang onto as we worked or way down. It was reasonably open bush, so we were able to see a good 20 to 30 feet either side of our tracks. There were also plenty of pig tracks made by the wild pigs that were a plenty in the area. At one stage Gary became quite excited as he thought he had found some old black tyres (Tiger Moth tyres?), but when he got closer he found it was only the carcase of a dead black pig! When we got to the bottom, we then worked our way  south along the river bank, but didn’t find anything of interest. Another area eliminated!

Looking South

Looking North

Google Earth image showing our GPS tracks

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