The club's operations started with De Havilland 60 Moths, but in May 1937 the club added a high performance five-seat Beech C17L Staggerwing ZK-AEU to establish a charter and air ambulance operation. The aircraft was impressed by the RNZAF during the Second World War as NZ573. It was restored to the Club after the war and reregistered as ZK-AJS. The charter operation grew with the addition of De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth ZK-AQB (c/n FM.49) in November 1947 and De Havilland DH89 Dominie ZK-BAU "City of Auckland" (c/n 6654) in April 1952.
|The Beech Staggerwing ZK-AEU, before being impressed into the RNZAF during the War and below as ZK-AJS after being returned to the Auckland Aero Club. (Photo : Auckland International Airport Opening Souvenir Programme, 22 January 1966)|
|The Auckland Aero Club's De Havilland DH89 Dominie ZK-BAU, "City of Auckland"|
|The Fox Moth Freighter ZK-AQB.|
|The Auckland Aero Club's first Cessna 170, ZK-BGE. (Photo : Auckland International Airport Opening Souvenir Programme, 22 January 1966)|
|Auckland Star 31 July 1956|
|The Auckland Aero Club's Cessna 180, ZK-BUF.|
In early 1961, with the development of Mangere as Auckland’s new airport, the Aero Club moved to Ardmore. In 1970 a “shed” was built at Claris as a shelter for waiting passengers. The Aero Club carried a lot of people for the Ministry of Works and Forest Service as well as the locals and holiday makers and at this stage it was using its Cessna 172s and the Cessna 336 Skymaster. By 1971 the Club was flying some 1500 passengers a year between Ardmore and the two Great Barrier Island airfields at Claris and Okiwi. Five years later the Club reported to the Great Barrier County Council that in the year to the 31st of March 1976 they had operated 1465 flights to the island carrying 3438 people to the island and 2440 people from the island.
|One of the Club's early Cessna 172s, ZK-CEY, taken at Ardmore.|
|The Club's Cessna 336 ZK-CGF was purchased with the help of NZ Forest Products Ltd. While mainly used on the Tokoroa service it was also used to Great Barrier Island|
Passenger numbers increased on the Barrier run continued to increase and in 1975 the Club established New Zealand Air Charter as the commerical division of the Auckland Aero Club. Next week's post will feature on NZ Air Charter's Great Barrier Service... see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/10/great-barrier-islands-professional-aero.html
For a post on the Auckland Aero Club's service to Tokoroa see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/06/forestry-towns-businessliners.html
Other nice shots of the Club's Cessna 170s can be found at;
ZK-BGE - http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac2/NZBA/ZK-BGE.html
ZK-BJS - http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac2/NZBA/ZK-BJS.html
ZK-BLS - http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac2/NZBA/ZK-BLS.html