21 November 2013

This day in history... the crash of BWA and Bay of Plenty Airways

On the 21st of November 1961 Bay of Plenty Airways Aero Commander ZK-BWA crashed on Mt Ruapehu killing the pilot and five passengers while on a flight between Wellington and Tauranga.
The ill-fated Aero Commander, ZK-BWA, loading the NZ Herald at Whenuapai. Photographer unknown
Bay of Plenty Airways was, in my opinion, the first of New Zealand's 'modern' third level airlines. The Aero Commander was New Zealand's first modern third level aircraft and was certainly a big step up from the de Havilland Dominies which had been the norm for third level airlines up until this point.


  1. I flew from Tauranga to Auckland with my father on this aircraft in January 1959.
    A great experience,and contrasted with an awful flight on a DC3 flight a year or two previosly.

  2. 1961, or '62, not 1967