Capital Air Services was an airline that was born out of the Wellington Aero Club. This post was originally written by Bruce Gavin and it explores the aero club origins of Capital Air Services. It has been reposted as more information has come to hand.
|The two Wellington Aero Club's Miles Geminis at Wellington... ZK-ANT (above) and ZK-AQO (below)|
Growth into a Commuter Airline and the Role of Murray Turley
|Cessna 180 ZK-BUS at Wellington carrying Wellington Air Taxi titles|
For this reason in 1963 the Wellington Aero Club registered a wholly owned private company named Capital Air Services Ltd although the company remained dormant and did not become operational until 1 April 1970 when the aero club’s commercial air service licences were transferred to it. It was also during the 1960s growth of the aero club’s commercial business began to be actively promoted by Murray Turley who was to become Capital Air Service’s General Manager and a major influence in the development of the growth of IFR commuter air services in the Cook Strait region and New Zealand. It was also during this time that the Wellington Aero Club leased six seats Cessna 205 ZK-CEZ (c/n 205-0134) in addition to their own Cessna 205 (c/n 205-0412) and twin engine Cessna 310 ZK-CFG (c/n 310G-0085) at times and as well purchased its own twin Piper Pa23-250 Aztec ZK-CEU (c/n 27-217).
In the mid '60s the 'Sports Post' flights were flown on a volunteer basis, mostly by NAC pilots many of whom had learnt to fly at the Wellington Aero Club. The Aztec, ZK-CEU, and later to the Cessna 310, ZK-CFG, were often used to transfer patients from all over New Zealand to Dunedin where highly specialised brain surgery procedures were carried out. The Cessna 310, which had been owned originally by Fletcher's, was mostly flown by the Peter Duggan-Smith who wrote the book, "Don't tell My Mother." At the time of his final flight in Cambodia in 1974 Peter had accumulated more than 17,000 flying hours in no less than 70 types of piston-engine aircraft.
|Cessna 205 ZK-CEZ at Rotorua on 28 October 1964.|
|Wellington Aero Club's Piper Aztec ZK-CEU.|
On the 1st of April 1970 the Wellington Aero Club’s commercial operations were taken over by Capital Air Services Ltd which began to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Club.
The Capital Air Services story continues at: