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      By: Don Eadie5th Mar 2018 10:10AMI cannot answer your question, but I can comment on the aircraft. It is a Mk5 Auster, possibly the same aircraft my brother Pat used to own, which he sold when he went to the UK in 1957 to join British European Airways. Pat's Auster, ZK-AWU crashed on the Craigieburn Range (Canterbury) while on a sightseeing flight on Aug 4 1963. I think it was owned at that time by a Mr Whitfield, who I understand was the pilot. What makes me think it might be the same plane is the metal propellor, (Pat changed the original wooden prop to a metal prop) and the long exhaust pipe, which made it a fairly quite plane. The Mk5 was originally built as a spotter/recon plane for the British Army during WWII, and imported into NZ in the early 1950s. Pat purchased it from Airwork NZ Lyd, who imported it from Britain for him. Accident investigation put the crash down to pilot error, although carb icing could not be ruled out. Most Austers were powered by a DH Gipsy Major engine, but the Mk 5 was fitted with a more powerful American Lycoming which is evidenced by the distinctive nose cowling. Note also the large square rear window (for an observer) just visible in the photo. Although quite a few Austers were imported in the 1950s and 1960s, only a couple of them were Mk5s. Hope this helps. Don Eadie
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      Photograph: Peter Rowley Senior with small plane possibly at Bell Hill

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