Noel and I had booked a C172 from Hastings to take part in the Waipukurau Dawn Raid today. It entailed meeting Pauline at 5:25am in Napier so we could be at Hastings to check the plane out ready for the 6:15am briefing. It turned out we arrived at Hastings at 5:45am just as the first person to unlock the club arrived. We checked the plane out in the dark and went to the briefing where the numbers of people had grown rather!

In former times the Dawn Raid seemed to be as its name suggests – a raid on the defending airfield trying to land without them realising you’re there. Now, it is not defended but there were lots of planes who would be arriving in a short period so still opportunity for conflict and so we had our eyes peeled. One lad from the club asked if we had a spare seat so we took him along too. Jan & Jerry kindly loaned us a headset for Pauline.

There was to be a prize for first to arrive and best spot landing followed later by competition for the Frogley Cup!

We didn’t try to be the first to leave, discretion being the better part, allowing a little bit of light to help us find our way on an easy route but one we hadn’t flown. There was morning mist about making the flight very pretty.

Here’s a log of our flight from Hastings to Waipukurau.

Lake Poukawa from the north-east.

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The 2 radio masts beside State Highway 2, the road we have driven lots to get from Napier to Waipukurau.








At Otane we tuned into Waipukurau radio and heard lots of calls. Some people were doing overhead joins, some were joining straight into the circuit. We did an overhead join and were overtaken on the left by someone who had called behind us.

Waipukurau airfield can be seen just to the left. It was ‘interesting’ on downwind as the sun made looking out for traffic quite difficult.


We landed on runway 20, not before being surprised to see toetoe (sounds like toytoy) in a line across the runway, shortly before the landing spot. More of this later…

After being directed to our parking spot by a 4×4 bike we walked to the club. On the way we saw Jan (Tiger Moth), Jerry (Gipsy Moth) and one other plane arrive overhead in formation.



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One of the planes had had a close encounter with the toetoe! 🙂


We were met at the clubhouse with a warm muffin and soup and coffee, shortly followed by egg, sausage and toast! I started to think I would need to re-do the weight & balance calculations and take-off distance calculation!

View from the clubhouse. Ross, our excellent Tiger Moth instructor and Waipukurau CFI, in the blue cap.


Me and Pauline.


A talk was given by “Dr. Dave” and then some prizes were given out. Wendy (Club Captain) and Ross (CFI) giving out prizes.


There was then a briefing for the spot landing competition for the Frogley Cup, competed by Hawke’s Bay & East Coast Aero Club (Hastings), Central Hawke’s Bay Aero Club (Waipukurau) and Dannevirke Aero Club.

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A pink cropduster!


Jan flew ZK-BMY and Jerry flew ZK-ADT.


Jan and Jerry.


We joined others watching the spot landing competition. The competition was 2 powered approaches and 1 glide approach and you were disqualified if you touched the toetoe.

Here are a couple of videos of some landings – video1, video2.

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A view of the clubhouse from the spot landing area.

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Oops! 🙂

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Quite busy at times.


Jan, Jerry and Ross.



Just before we left about 12:30pm we swapped a too-large West London Aero Club polo shirt we’d given Ross last week for a better size one. We also gave Ross some pictures Max had taken in 1946/7 of the Waipukurau club being built. Below is a Cub from today which appears in one of the pictures! We said a sad goodbye to Ross, he has been a very good instructor to us and we have enjoyed flying with him.


The lad we gave a lift to had left earlier in another plane so the return trip was me, Noel and Pauline.


I flew this trip. Here’s a log of the flight from Waipukurau to Hastings via the coast.

I was going to go for runway 02 as what little wind there was, was favouring that runway. However there really was so little wind I used runway 20 to fit in with other circuit and taxying traffic. Jan & Jerry taxied out soon after us and went for 02. Here we are downwind with Jan & Jerry taking off.


Noel, Pauline and me.


This range of hills was very pretty with the sun and shadows.



We headed towards the coast and then north. Here’s Kairakau.


This slip occurred after a bad storm.


Bare Island.


Cape Kidnappers.


Looking back from where we’ve flown.



The luxury Cape Kidnappers golf course with lodge.


Te Awanga.


Tukituki river, looking south.


Te Mata Peak.


When we got to near Hastings we joined downwind as gliders were in operation. Us turning Final 01 hard (left hand circuit).


While we were on Final we heard another aircraft call right base 01 grass and that he couldn’t see us. So I told him he was coming straight at us! Once he had spotted us it was fine and he landed on the grass soon after we landed on the hard.

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Safe and sound – a brilliant day. Noel and Pauline.


Noel and me.


We booked in, Pauline left and we found some lunch in Havelock North. We got back to the club for a 4pm Safety Seminar talk by Robbie McIntyre who flies for BA. He mentioned some useful points and then the bar opened so we stayed for a couple of drinks. We had a chat with Robbie and found out he has flown with Nigel Rhind, a BA colleague, and thinks, as we do, very highly of him.
I was singled out by one of the glider guys in the bar as I had an Omarama Gliding t-shirt on so he decided I was one of them! It was quite funny. 🙂

Although we should have gone back to the flat to continue sorting things out for leaving we were dragged back to Jan & Jerry’s. 🙂

Bruce turned up with some pizza ingredients and we were thoroughly entertained by the preparation and cooking of them. 🙂

Jerry somehow still had eyebrows after the BBQ generated quite a ‘boom’!

We had a lot of fun chatting with them but eventually we had to leave them to it so we could get on. A shame to say goodbye to them as they are good company.

We got back home about 9:30pm – a long but very good day.