NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
WAIROA AEROPLANE CRASH
8 FEBRUARY 1931
From The Auckland Weekly News - 11 February 1911
THREE MEN KILLED
PILOT AND PASSENGERS
MACHINE TAKING MAIL
DELIVERY AT WAIROA
FATAL FALL FOLLOWS
The pilot and two passengers were killed when a Dominion Airways monoplane flying from Gisborne to Hastings with telegrams and letters crashed at Wairoa at 1.30 p.m. to-day [8 February]. The names are:—
Flight-Lieut. Ivan Louis KIGHT, solicitor, of Dannevirke, a director of Dominion Airways, Limited. Mr. Kight was acting as pilot of the machine. [Aged 35 Buried Mangatera, Dannevirke.]
Walter FINDLAY, baker, of Gisborne.[Aged 50 Buried at Taruheru, Gisborne]
William Charles STRAND, of Brunswick Street. Lower Hutt. A representative of A. S. Paterson, Limited, and a son of the Mayor of Lower Hutt. [Aged 28 Buried Old Taita Cemetery]
The aeroplane left Gisborne shortly after one o'clock with instructions to drop at Wairoa a bag containing telegrams. It was after dropping the bag in, a field that the accident occurred.
The aeroplane circled the field and was rising. It then banked, but stalled and nose-dived. It crashed at terrific speed into the railway yards at North Clyde, Wairoa, near the goods shed. The nose of the aeroplane was buried deep in the ground. Men worked frantically to extricate the occupants and they had to break a portion of the right wing to get to them. However the victims were past relief. Two had been killed outright and the third died within a few minutes.
A cordon was formed and the crowd was kept back pending the arrival of the police. The ship's doctor from the Northumberland was early on the scene in case his services were required. The machine was a Desoutter cabined monoplane, and was marked ZK-ACA. It had arrived from Hastings just before mid-day.
The aeroplane piloted by Captain Bolt had performed excellent service in maintaining communication between Gisborne and outside since the earthquake. Captain Bolt was relieved from duty only to-day, and Mr Kight took over tho day's trip. He intended to return to Gisborne with mail later in tho afternoon.
On the arrival of the machine yesterday Captain Bolt said he had never had a worse trip, bumping occurring all the way and he went to the length of strapping himself in for the return trip to Hastings.
Mr Kight had long been keenly interested in aviation. He was associated with Hood and Moncrieff in their ill-fated attempt to fly across the Tasman and went to Sydney to see them off.
Mr Kight was married and had two young children. His wife is a daughter of Mr Frank Armstrong, of Akitio, Hawke's Bay. Mr. Findlay was a prominent business man in Gisborne and owned a large bakery and catering business. He had been in Napier attending to business interests there and returned to Gisborne only last night, leaving again to-day to make arrangements for bread supplies. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
PHOTO - AEROPLANE CARRYING MAIL TO ISOLATED TOWNS IN THE EARTHQUAKE AREA CRASHES AT WAIROA
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