RECIPIENTS OF NZAT AWARDS 2011

Duncan Campbell ‘A’ Award -2011


The Duncan Campbell ‘A’ Award is to encourage any young man or woman showing potential in the profession of aviation journalism and whose age does not exceed 28 years. The award takes the form of a medal, a monetary grant and a certificate.

The Duncan Campbell ‘A’ Award for 2011 goes to Nicholas George Peter Bird.

Nicholas is a young man who wants to pursue journalism as part of a well-rounded aviation career. He approached NZ Aviation News with an idea for a series of articles, covering some of the major flight training establishments, their operations and, perhaps most importantly and interestingly, how some of their graduates have fared in the wider aviation field since completing their training.

Although NZ Aviation News had not previously seen any of his work, his proposal was accepted for two main reasons: this was an aspect of aviation not previously covered in New Zealand publications; and NZ Aviation News wants to encourage more aviation photojournalists into the industry.

Nicholas has performed this task so far (his series is ongoing) with enthusiasm, increasing skill, an appreciation of deadlines and a willingness to learn.

This demonstrated interest fully meets the criteria for the issue of the award, and NZAT is delighted to present the Duncan Campbell ‘A’ Award to Nicholas Bird.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by John King, Editor, NZ aviation News


Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award -2011

The Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award is to recognise established aviation journalists or writers who have demonstrated their ability and dedication in this specialised area. The award takes the form of a medal, a monetary grant and a certificate. There are two Duncan Campbell ‘B’ awards being made in 2011.

This award goes to Mr Graham Orphan for his services to Aviation Journalism and the development of historic aviation in Blenheim.

Graham’s career has a number of facets – all of which involve vintage and warbird aviation and the written word. To place a ‘journalist’ label on Graham is insufficient, he produces Classic Wings magazine and, through its pages, reports on events and personalities in aviation but he makes things happen through his leadership of, in the past, the Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group and Marlborough Warbirds, and currently the Aviation Heritage Centre –its museum and air show and his committee membership of the Blenheim Branch of the New Zealand Division of The Royal Aeronautical Society. It is a career that encompasses many disciplines and successfully motivates people, especially young people, to say ‘I’d like to be involved in that!’

Classic Wings is magazine is dedicated to vintage and warbird aircraft worldwide and is the official organ of the Warbirds Association of Australia and New Zealand. The magazine is published five times per year with a circulation of 15,000 copies, with subscribers living in over 50 countries worldwide.

Graham is also a freelance journalist writing vintage aviation newsletters for various organisations, plus articles for magazines in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. More often than not, the theme was to generate action and encourage people to care and nurture old aeroplanes –“turning spectators into participants".

In addition to his ‘day job’ as a writer/graphic artist, Graham has an impressive list of aviation achievements:Graham’s interest in the Tiger Moth began in August 1974 when he and a friend recovered a Tiger Moth from North Queensland and shipped it 1,000 miles to Brisbane to begin a restoration project. Eight years of Sundays saw the completion not only of the project but the construction of an aerodrome and hangar. The Tiger is now based at Omaka and is still co-owned by Graham.

The Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group flourishes today as an organisation dedicated to ‘the airworthy preservation of Australia’s historic aircraft’. The Group was formed in 1975 by a group of aviation people concerned at the sale of vintage and Warbird aircraft to overseas buyers because of a lack of interest in Queensland. Graham took the initiative to identify interested parties and bring them together. This was achieved mainly through a newsletter he penned that excited and encouraged members to become involved in aircraft restoration. Homes for wrecked aeroplanes were found with caring restorers. It was the sense of ‘happening’ drawn from the newsletter that galvanized people into action.

After Graham arrived in New Zealand in 1990, he employed the same principles he used in Queensland to form the Marlborough Warbirds Association and foster interest in vintage and warbird aeroplanes. Many people became involved in restorations and syndicate ownership. This served another passion of Graham’s -that of bringing younger people into aviation. The population of vintage/classic/warbird aircraft at Omaka has grown from 3 to 82 during since the Association started. Once again, regular newsletters were used to excite members to become actively involved.

The success of the heritage aviation scene in Marlborough encouraged Graham and a small group of fellow enthusiasts to aim a little higher and try to create an aviation museum. Central to this endeavour was fund-raising and this lead to the thought of running an air show to provide funds and a further opportunity to encourage interest and participation in aviation in general, and heritage aviation in particular. Stage #1 of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is proving popular and financially viable as work continues towards completion of its final stages. The Aviation Heritage Trust oversees the development of the Museum -film director Sir Peter Jackson chairs the Trust with Graham as his deputy. The Museum has received ‘rave’ reviews from the world’s press and can be visited at www.omaka.org.nz. The Classic Fighters Air show, a biennial event, has provided funds for the Museum and created much interest nationally and internationally. The economic benefit in monetary terms to Marlborough is tens of millions of dollars. In addition to being involved in the governance of the museum and the air show, Graham is deeply involved in the planning and operation on the day. He provides the informed continuity commentary –Graham is to Classic Fighters what Raymond Baxter was to Farnborough!

These achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present the Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award for 2011 to Graham Orphan.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by W R Tannock BSc (Hons), C Eng, FRAeS

Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award -2011

The Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award is to recognise established aviation journalists or writers who have demonstrated their ability and dedication in this specialised area. The award takes the form of a medal, a monetary grant and a certificate. There are two Duncan Campbell ‘B’ awards being made in 2011.

This award goes to Paul A Harrison (Squadron Leader RNZAF Retired) for his contributions to aviation journalism and the historical record of New Zealand aviation over many years.

Following a long career as a telecommunications specialist with the RNZAF, Squadron Leader Paul Harrison was appointed the RNZAF public relations officer and was editor of the ‘Air Force News’ from 1992 to 1998. His selection as Air Force Public Relations Officer was based on his already established knowledge of Air Force History, acting as the unofficial air force historian from 1980 until his retirement in 2000. As a professional aviation historian he has published ten books, some in his own right and more recently has co-authored books with Brian Lockstone and Andy Anderson. He was also a contributor to the aviation component of the Oxford Companion of New Zealand Military History.

The books Paul has written or co-authored show the interesting mix of topics that make up his very valuable contribution to the aviation history in New Zealand. His reputation led to his being asked to contribute two notable texts in relation to significant RNZAF historical events, including the closure of RNZAF Base Wigram in 1995 and the disbandment of the Air Combat Force in 2001.

In addition to publishing various accounts of military aviation in NZ, his most recent book with Brian Lockstone, ‘Courage in the Skies –New Zealand Airmen at War’ is noteworthy in its focus on people and machines in remote locations. ‘Courage in the Skies’ re-iterates the worthy theme of recognition of the courage demonstrated by distinguished New Zealanders in military aviation, particularly during WW2.

In the wider field of aviation journalism, Paul has been a regular contributor to NZ Aviation News since 1999, where his articles included ‘Auster to the Rescue’ where he recounted the exploits of Flying Officer Bill Cranfield, an RNZAF pilot for the New Zealand Government support to the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955–58.

A member of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand since 1968, Mr Harrison is the current editor of the Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand. He has attended and contributed summaries of the proceedings of Royal Aeronautical Society Symposia over a number of years that have appeared in NZ Aviation News.

Over the past three decades Paul Harrison has been successful in bringing his passion for aviation journalism and writing into print. These articles and books have been enhanced with photographs from his personal collection which he has compiled through a lifelong interest in aviation. In compiling and producing this material for publication he has meaningfully added to the body of knowledge that has documented the feats of daring and achievements that brave and pioneering men and women have contributed to aviation in New Zealand.

These achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present the Duncan Campbell ‘B’ Award for 2011 to Paul Harrison.

Presented this day in Auckland.
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Wellington Branch, RAeS


Meritorious Service Award -2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal. This Meritorious Service award is made to Mr Barrie Hopkins, solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and honorary solicitor for thisSociety and NZAT.

Barrie Hopkins started his career as a law clerk in 1946, and has a considerable background in aviation as it has developed in New Zealand.His involvement included the legal issues that attended the integration of the domestic and international components of the aviation industry which resulted in the appearance of the new airline, Air New Zealand.

The founding of the Royal Aeronautical Society in New Zealand began in 1944 when a number of corresponding members in New Zealand considered the possibility of forming a branch of the Society. During the period 1945 to 1948 meetings of the New Zealand Branch were developed and in February 1949 the first meeting of the Divisional Council took place.

When the Divisional Council required a legal adviser, they were fortunate to be able to persuade Barrie to accept the position of Honorary Solicitor. His wise contributions to the many legal problems that confronted the Council from time to time, including its relationship with the Society in London, were highly valued.The problems of establishing the Division’s standing as a professional body with a “not for profit” financial policy, and therefore qualifying as free of any tax commitments was quite a challenge.

Barrie’s expert advice was particularly important when it became essential for the Rules of the Division to be revised.The executive of the Society in London had become very restrictive in their attitude towards the level of contributions they demanded from New Zealand.There was also pressure from the same quarter that the structure of the Division be changed to become an Overseas Branch.Largely as a result of Barrie’s expert advice, the changes from London were countered, at least for the present. The formation of the Charities Commission and a Government policy change required much expert work on Barrie’s part to protect the Division’s position to ensure it retained its non tax status.

New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Ltd was incorporated in 1956 as a trustee company to hold the proceeds of the funds raised by the Walsh Memorial Air Pageant Organization. The purpose of the Company was to perpetuate the names of pioneer aviators Leo and Vivian Walsh and their contribution to New Zealand aviation history. Barrie was involved in the setting up of NZAT and continues to advise the Board on legal matters.

Barrie is a Member of the Society. To reflect the esteem in which the Divisional Council holds Barrie, and to acknowledge the advice he has given the Society and NZAT so freely over many years, the Council is delighted to confer on Barrie the Meritorious Service Award with a gold medal.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by John H Mounce FRAeS


Meritorious Service Award -2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal. This Meritorious Service award is made to George Kay in recognition of his work with the Air Training Corps over many years.

George Kay began his long association with New Zealand aviation in 1955 as a trainee pilot under the compulsory military training scheme. His interest aroused, he volunteered his services as an officer with the Air Training Corps, and was instrumental in founding No 18 (Avon) Squadron in Christchurch in 1959. He became Commanding Officer of that unit in 1980.

He is a teacher by profession and has been on the staff of the Department/Ministry of Education since 1980. He has been the General Secretary of the Air Training Corps Association (ATCANZ) since June 2001 and has consistently demonstrated the highest standards of service and loyalty. His personal involvement in and commitment to all tasks assigned to him as the General Secretary over the last ten years have ensured they have been completed in a timely and professional manner.

During this time he has suffered debilitating bouts of ill health but has never failed to complete all his work punctually and effectively. The demands of new ATCANZ programmes and the associated workload of fundraising have meant that his services have been called upon to a much greater extent than any of his predecessors, while his willingness and cheerfulness have been an example to all. Through years of experience, dedication and application, he has become expert in the fields of fundraising and the organisation and administration of gliding and flying camps for members of the Air Training Corps. His loyalty has been demonstrated on more than one occasion when he has used his annual leave to ensure these camps were properly staffed and run and that cadets and officers gained the maximum benefit from the experiences.

He has been committed to the support of the International Air Cadet Exchange Programme since its introductionin New Zealand in 2004 and has developed a programme for visiting cadets that has been so successful that other countries in the exchange programme are looking to use it as a model. He has been instrumental in the planning of overseas visits by New Zealand ATC cadets and in the selection of participants.

There is no other person within the Air Training Corps movement who could match his exemplary record of service. His achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present a Meritorious Services Award to George Kay.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by AVM Peter Adamson RNZAF (Rtd)


Meritorious Service Award–2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to Glenn Martin, Managing Director of the Martin Aircraft Company, in recognition of the outstanding work he and his company have done in developing the Martin Jetpack, and the successful demonstration of the Jetpack’s capabilities.

Glenn has spent most of his adult life thinking about and working on the Jetpack concept. The work has been innovative and technically challenging, and his success is highlighted by the fact that the idea of a jetpack that a person can ‘strap on and fly’ is as oldas aviation and a staple of science fiction. No one else has come anywhere near the achievements of Glenn and his company in this field.

The potential for the Jetpack concept is huge. The Martin Aircraft Company has already signed a country-specific joint venture for the delivery of more than 500 Martin Jetpacks a year for emergency response, and is in active discussions with four other defence companies for other territories.

They are also in the final stages of research and development to meet early interest from key market sectors. In particular, the unmanned remote-controlled UAV version is well advanced in its development, with field trials beginning in the second quarter of 2011.

The experience gained from the UAV trials will significantly improve the capabilities of the Martin Jetpack for both manned and unmanned flight – further widening the scope of commercial applications for the Jetpack in these sectors.

A cornerstone investor is needed to help fund the final phase of research and development to ready the Martin Jetpack for commercial production, and to support the expansion of commercial and manufacturing capabilities.

These achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present a Meritorious Services Award to Glenn Martin.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Canterbury Branch, RAeS


Meritorious Service Award -2011


The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to Wg Cdr Gordon W Ragg AFC RNZAF (Rtd) JP in recognition of his service to military aviation, and to the Walsh Memorial flying school held annually at Matamata.

Wing Commander Gordon Ragg has been actively involved in civil and military aviation for over 50 years as a pilot and administrator. He is a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (a City of London Livery Company) and, in the past, chairman of the New Zealand Region –the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators is the only City of London Guild with overseas regions.

Gordon joined the RNZAF as a cadet pilot in 1958 and after graduating joined No 40 Long Range Transport Squadron based at Whenuapai, initially flying Handley Page Hastings C3 and Douglas DC6aircraft until they were replaced by the Lockheed C130H Hercules. During this period No 40 Squadron operated to and from all points of the compass (depicted on the squadron badge) between the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Gordon was part of the initial air force team sent to the United States for conversion on to the C130H aircraft and was a member of the crew that delivered the first C130H to the RNZAF in 1966. After a tour on C130s he was posted to the RNZAF’s Flying Training Wing at Wigram. After completing an instructor’s course Gordon spent two years as an ab initio instructor on North American Harvard and De Havilland Devon aircraft at the Pilot Training Squadron before being posted to the Central Flying School (also at Wigram) as an instructor. The Central Flying School is the air force’s primary institution for training military pilots where pilots are awarded the Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) category after graduating from the CFS flying instructors course.

Following a tour of instruction at CFS Gordon re-joined No 40 Squadron as its training officer. At the end of his second tour on C130s, when he would ordinarily have been in line to command the squadron, he was singled out to command No 5 Maritime Patrol Squadron operating Lockheed P3B Orion aircraft. During his tour as commanding officer (1978-81) No 5 Squadron won the coveted Fincastle Trophy (contested annually by the top crews from the Australian, American, British, Canadian and New Zealand maritime reconnaissance squadrons) and the VP1 Fellowship Trophy. Wg Cdr Ragg’s tour as commanding officer of No 5 Squadron coincided with the evaluation and initiation of the modernisation and upgrade of the anti-submarine and anti-shipping capabilities of the (then) 14 year old P3B. It was for his service as commanding officer of No 5 Squadron that Wg Cdr Ragg was awarded the Air Force Cross. Wg Cdr Ragg retired from the RNZAF in 1982.

In civilian life Gordon has continued his service to New Zealand after being appointed a Justice of Peace. This work he undertakes from his residence and on a rostered basis at a local civic centre.

Service to the youth of New Zealand and his interest in aviation also continued when in 2002 he was appointed by Scouts New Zealand as Director of the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School which is held annually at Waharoa Matamata.

As Director he is responsible for the proper and successful conduct of the school. Included amongst these duties is his responsibility to CAA for all aspects of the operation and compliance with civil aviation rules.

His ability to undertake the role of Director, in dealings with pupils, instructors, Scouts New Zealand and the general public is evident in the safe and efficient operation of the school.

In recognition of the Walsh Brothers first flight on 5 February 1911 Gordon acted as Chairman of the Centennial Committee which undertook the successful commemoration at Glenora Park Takanini on 5 February this year.

These achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present a Meritorious Services Award to Gordon Ragg.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Capt Neville Hay FRAeS


Meritorious Service Award–2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises the valuable long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to John H Mounce FRAeS, for his significant contribution to the Royal Aeronautical Society and to New Zealand Aviation Trusts Ltd, over many years.

John has spent his entire career in aviation, joining de Havilland in the UK and graduating as an aeronautical engineer before moving to New Zealand in 1968 when he joined New Zealand National Airways Corporation as a Technical Services Engineer. He has held numerous positions within NAC and later Air New Zealand, retiring as Vice President –Engineering Services in September 2003.

John has been active in the Royal Aeronautical Society all his career, and was President of the NZ Division from 2000 to 2002. He continues to be a Council member and is active in the business of the Society, including his ongoing role as coordinator of the awards committee.

He is also Chairman of New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Ltd, and manages the affairs of that company in a thorough and professional way. The role of NZAT is to administer the trust funds that provide the income for the awards we are awarding tonight.

John is also an ardent aviation photographer and has amassed a large collection of aviation images, some of which are in ‘100 years of flight in New Zealand’, a book he recently co-authored with Richard Williams.

He is also a MOTAT Board member and also a member of the Air Force Museum Board of Trustees, and has been involved with the New Zealand Institute of Management and the Aviation Historical Society. He is also one of the committee that organised this centenary event tonight.

John is married with four daughters, two of whom are serving in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. His commitment to aviation in New Zealand is beyond question, and the Royal Aeronautical Society is delighted to present the Meritorious Services Award with a gold medal to John Mounce.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Hugh McCarroll MRAeS and Ron Tannock, FRAeS


Meritorious Service Award -2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in civil or military history in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate,a citationand a medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to Peter Alan McQuarters, in recognition of his efforts in setting up the Ashburton Aviation Museum and helping preserve New Zealand’s aviation heritage.

At the age of 17 Peter called a public meeting to set up the Ashburton Aviation Historical museumSociety (Inc). The society’s aim was to preserve significant local aircraft for future posterity.37years later the society is still very active with a very strong nucleus of members who run an excellent aviation museum in Ashburton.

The museum houses a number of significant aircraft types that are an important part of New Zealand’s civil, military and agricultural aviation history. The museum is also home to an F8 Meteor representing the first jet aircraft type to fly in New Zealand skies, and a GR3 Harrier, one of only two in the Southern hemisphere.Last month they received one of the mothballed RNZAF Skyhawks.

In total there are 25complete aircraft in the museum. The society owns two hangars, a large workshop and club rooms on Ashburton Airfield.

As well as a Harvard project and ex NAC F27 acquired for his personal ‘Aeroview’ collection, Peter has also led projects for the Ashburton Aviation Museum to acquire their Commemorative Tiger Moth, GR3 Harrier, F8 Meteor and B2 Canberra section.

In addition to his aviation interests, Peter has also been involved in railway history since he was a boy, and has made significant contributions to that part of New Zealand’s transport history as well.

These achievements fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present a Meritorious Services Award to Peter McQuarters.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Canterbury Branch, RAeS


Meritorious Service Award -2011

The Meritorious Service Award is made by the Council of the Society, and recognises long term contributions and practical achievements in all sections of aerospace in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a certificate, a citation and a medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to William F. Moeller, former General Manager of the Christchurch Engine Centre from July 2007 to July 2010 and currently a member of the board, for his services to the Christchurch Engine Centre.

Bill inherited a management group that was divided and dysfunctional resulting in a lack of focus and direction by the management group. A significant number of the staff saw no future in the business and two of the three product lines were underperforming. Overall business performance was poor.

He very quickly learned and adapted to the Kiwi culture and this in combination with his knowledge of how the major shareholder (Pratt & Whitney) worked allowed Bill to adapt P&W needs and translate this into direction for the organisation that aligned with the NZ shareholders, management and staff. His communication skills and style of leadership worked particularly well with the management and staff.

A long term plan was developed with staff help and involvement. This was communicated to all staff and progress against this plan was reported to all employees quarterly in an open forum. The underperforming product lines were changed to a new business model or expanded.

The United Technologies Corporation improvement process ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) was given a renewed and practical focus and had business wide support.

He also introduced apeoplebased safety to improve staff safety and awareness program, and a Safety Management System (ICAO 9859 AN/460).

Business performance by the end of Bills tenure brought recognition from the owners and rewards to the staff.

Bill ‘turned around’ the business through the use of excellent managerial and interpersonal skills His achievement fully meet the criteria for the issue of the award, and the Society is delighted to present a Meritorious Services Award to William F Moeller.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Barrie Geddes and Ian Carmichael


Ian J Diamond award -2011

The Ian J Diamond award is awarded to a young aviation professional wishing to embark on a course of higher academic study leading to a tertiary qualification in an aviation related subject and with the firm intention of participating in New Zealand aviation. The award consists of a monetary grant, a citation and a medal.

This is the first year this award has been made and there are two recipients. This award is to Leading Aircraftsman Cody John Clarke, for his consistent display of excellence and high standards throughout his development within the RNZAF Avionics trade grouping and in acknowledgment of his aspiration to continually advance himself in skills and knowledge.

LAC Clarke, born in Waitara, joined theRNZAF in September 2005 having gained his NCEA Level 3 at Westlake Boys High School in Auckland. He had a passion to work on aircraft and a penchant for things technical. As it transpired avionics has suited to his potential. LAC Clarke enjoyed the camaraderie and challenges of his recruit course with him meeting all the standards without difficulty. He then progressed on to his Basic Aeronautical Engineering course followed by his Avionics Mechanics Course, passing both with above average marks. As his technical knowledge and hand skills developed so did his potential to perform to even higher standards. During his two years of on the job training (OJT) LAC Clarke’s workplace performance appraisals describe him as an avionics tradesman with a promising career ahead of him in the RNZAF.

After OJT LAC Clarke returned to the RNZAF’s trade training institution at Ground Training Wing, RNZAF Base Woodbourne to hone the skills and experiences he had assimilated and to extend his Avionics knowledge so as to be qualified as an RNZAF Avionics Technician. He had no difficulty meeting the standard and indeed was among a select few nominated for the “ATTTO Trainee of the Year”. LAC Clarke graduated as an Avionics Technician in July 2009.

LAC Clarke was posted to No. 40 Squadron Maintenance Flight after his Avionics Technician course and has continued to perform outstandingly well. The most meaningful accolade a technician could hope for was from his supervisors: “LAC Cody Clarke is a talented technician who isvery motivated and positive. He has the respect and confidence of his peers and superiors alike; he is polite and is able to express his thoughts clearly and concisely. On many occasions LAC Clarke has been called upon to act in a role above his rank and experience due to a shortage of avionics technicians at 40 Squadron; he has taken the challenge and excelled with the extra responsibility”.“His positive attitude towards the workplace has meant LAC Clarke is always well presented and punctual, often willing to work the extra hours, which is very much appreciated by his SNCOs and the maintenance executive.”

LAC Clarke has independently sought to expand his knowledge through attendance at ATTTO briefings and has sought interviews with ATTTO lecturers to explore future paths aiming to build upon his core trade skill base. He also has ambitions of completing a Mechatronics degree.This passion to extend himself is also noted in his expressed desire to look at diversifying into studies around Air Force doctrine.

In summary LAC Clarke is one of the RNZAF’s top avionics tradesmen who is well on the path to becoming an outstanding tradesman. He is an airman who embraces the core values of the RNZAF and is performing to a very high standard, which along with his desire to continue advancing himself academically makes him a well deserved recipient of the Ian James Diamond Memorial Award.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Group Captain A J Woods, RNZAF.


Ian J Diamond award -2011


The Ian J Diamond award is awarded to a young aviation professional wishing to embark on a course of higher academic study leading to a tertiary qualification in an aviation related subject and with the firm intention of participating in New Zealand aviation. The award consists of a monetary grant, a citation and a medal.

This is the first year this award has been made and there are two recipients. This award is to Tahlia Jane Fisher, for her proposed post graduate study into the interaction between airline pilots and line maintenance engineers with a specific focus on barriers and/or impediments to effective communication between the two groups.

Tahlia commenced her aviation career in 1998 when she enrolled into the Massey University Bachelor of Aviation degree (BAv) with a major in Flight Crew Development. She graduated in 2001, having also attained her CPL (A) and a ‘C’ category flight instructor rating. Initially Tahlia worked as a Junior Instructor at the Massey University School of Aviation and quickly gained her ‘B’ category instructor rating. She was Chief Flight Instructor of the Kaikoura Aero Club for fifteen months before returning to Massey University as an instructor.

During this second term at Massey Tahlia also acted as the Acting Chief FlightInstructor of the Manawatu Districts Aero Club for a period of seven months. Tahlia was developing a keen interest in aviation safety matters, particularly accident investigation. In addition to her flight instructing duties she pursued these interests bystudying specialist air accident investigation papers as a personal course of study. She then commenced postgraduate study and subsequently achieved a Graduate Diploma in Aviation (with Distinction).

In amongst all this Tahlia took a leave of absence from the University and, at her own expense, attended the University of Southern California for a semester and graduated with their Certificate of Aviation Safety, a highly regarded qualification internationally.

While still at Massey Tahlia assisted the Transport Accident Investigation Commission with an investigation into a serious accident that occurred locally. In October 2007 she left Massey to take up an internship with the Aviation Industry Association of NZ. In March 2008 she was employed by Air New Zealand as an Operational Integrity Safety Specialist and in November 2009 was promoted to be a Senior Safety Specialist, Operational Integrity & Investigations. Notable investigations to date include; the use of incorrect takeoff performance data, a heavy landing in Brisbane, an inadvertent slide deployment, a flight departing with insufficient fuel, and a high speed rejected takeoff in Narita.

Tahlia’s decision to undertake a PhD in the field of Air Safety again demonstrates her personal initiative and commitment to improving her knowledge and adding to the collective body of knowledge in this vital area.

Her proposed PhD course of study will explore interaction between airline pilots and line maintenance engineers with a specific focus on barriers and/orimpediments to effective communication between the two groups.Despite a plethora of anecdotal information which suggests that pilots and engineers may not be communicating in an effective manner, there has been little in the way of academic research to investigate why this might be. Additionally, while it is suspected that ineffective communication between these two groups can have negative consequences with regard to safe and efficient airline operations, there is no empirical data to support this theory. Her research proposes to undertake a series of studies within an airline environment following an inductive pattern of inquiry with a view to better understand both the nature in which pilots and engineers interact, and the way in which this affects airline operations.

Completing a PhD part-time while also undertaking full work duties is a huge commitment and an expensive exercise that can take between 4 –5 years to complete.

Tahlia Fisher has a demonstrated commitment to the Aviation industry. Her achievements to date and her proposed further study make her a worthy recipient of the inaugural Ian J Diamond Award for 2011.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11 2011

Recommended for this award by Frank Sharp, FRAeS


Michael J Neville/Boeing Aeroplane Company Award -2011

The Michael J Neville/Boeing Aeroplane Company Award was established as a memorial to Mike Neville, Company Solicitor at Air New Zealand Ltd, with a donation from The Boeing Airplane Company with whom Mr Neville had many dealings. The award is made to a young person employed in aviation in New Zealand who demonstrates excellence in work ethics, values, application and results, and has the intention of further study. The award takes the form of a specially minted medal, a certificate and a monetary amount.

The award for 2011 goes to Flight Lieutenant Jamie Wallace for his consistent display of excellence and high standards in all that he does within the RNZAF and the NZ Aviation Industry.

Prior to joining the RNZAF in 2007 Flt Lt Wallace attained a Bachelor of Science from Victoria University, graduating with double majors in Physics and Electronics and Computer Systems. Upon joining the RNZAF he was employed at various locations performing duties associated with the Integrated Logistics Support required for the A109 Helicopter and as a junior engineer on No.3Squadron. In 2010 Flt Lt Wallace was posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne to participate in a ten month Engineer Officer Training (EOT) course.

The EOT course provides the opportunity for engineers to contextualise their learning with a mix of practical and theoretical focus on all aspects of technical airworthiness and engineering leadership. The EOT course provided a different and dynamic learning environment for Flt Lt Wallace’s traits to be displayed.

Throughout EOT Flt Lt Wallace presented an impeccable attitude even through challenging periods of high and low individual and collective stress. His positive attitude assured a focussed approach to EOT demonstrating an ability to be forward thinking and unequivocally motivated to succeed, both as an individual and as a team member. During EOT Flight Flt Lt Wallace consistently displayed the values required of an Officer, contributing to his own growth by taking responsibility for his own learning and development. This attitude also contributed to the growth and development of others on the course through unreserved participation in the group environment.

His performance on EOT proved outstanding. As a direct entrant engineer with limited aviation experience to draw upon he quickly became very knowledgeable about Air Force policy and procedure and as a result was able to actively contribute at all times culminating in him topping the course with a final grade average of 97.4%. In addition to his academic performance Flt Lt Wallace maintains a high level of fitness and performs well in either team or individual sports interacting well with all ranks in the social or work environment.

Throughout his career Flt Lt Wallace has displayed a maturity beyond his years and an ability to think clearly and utilise effective communication skills. A notable strength is his ability to critically analyse both written material and practical situations. He hasshown an ability to interpret information presented, and develop an awareness of the whole situation before logically presenting his thoughts and making recommendations in a coherent well articulated manner.

Flt Lt Wallace is currently completing a formal course on ‘Practical Stress Analysis’, which was an area he self-identified as needing improvement and resolved to address through further independent study. He is currently in the final stages of this course and is already taking steps to attend Cranfield University to undertake an MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design –Avionics.

Since completing EOT in December 2010 Flt Lt Wallace has been employed as a Flight Commander at RNZAF Base Ohakea working in the Maintenance Support Squadron. This is a particularly busy area of work, with less than optimal manning, requiring a more hands-on command, management and leadership style –a challenge which he is embracing and performing to his continuing high standards.

Flt Lt Jamie Wallace is heavily involved in the New Zealand Aviation Industry; he consistently displays excellence and high standards in all he does. This is evident on the workface, in the learning environment and in social and sporting situations. His Engineering Officer Training course result, his double majors in Physics and Electronics and Computer Systems bear testament to his academic ability, whilst his current and planned tertiary study, demonstrate his capacity and drive for learning. Without doubt that Flt Lt Wallace exemplifies the qualities ofan Officer and the values of the RNZAF. He has a bright future in the RNZAF and is a worthy recipient of the Michael J Neville/Boeing Airplane Company Award.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Group Captain A J Woods, Chief Engineer, Technical Airworthiness Authority, RNZAF


George Watt Award -2010

This award was established by Group Captain George Watt to recognise outstanding technical merit which enhances the efficiency ofthe RNZAF. The award takes the form of a silver medal, a certificate and a monetary award.

The George Watt Award for 2010 goes to Squadron Leader Russell John McMullan for his dedication and efforts in developing and implementing RNZAF policy and process in the engineering discipline of aeronautical software.

Over the last few years the RNZAF has entered into a period of significant change with respect to the use of aeronautical software on its aircraft fleet and associated equipment. The introduction of integrated Flight Management Systems, glass cockpits, advanced digital technology and fly by wire flight controls moves the RNZAF into this new era of technology. As a result, broad policy objectives were produced with the intent that the RNZAF will manage this facet of engineering to a level commensurate with the criticality now evident with the upgrade and replacement aircraft entering service.

Squadron Leader McMullan's direct involvement with the design, certification and testing of aeronautical software came with a posting to the United States as part of the NZMOD resident project team on the P3K2 Orion systems upgrade project. ln this capacity, Squadron Leader McMullan worked very closely with the Prime Contractor, L3 lS in the early days of the project as its definition and design solutions were developed. Most importantly, Squadron Leader McMullan also gained critical knowledge and understanding of the design standards, levels of competency and, most importantly, the actual processes required for an organisation to administer aeronautical software in an airworthy manner.

On his return to New Zealand in 2008, Squadron Leader McMullan took up a position as the inaugural Commanding Officer of the Technical Support, Aeronautical Software Office. He quicklyset about developing and establishing a series of robust processes and practice within the RNZAF's technical airworthiness framework. This body of work leveraged off and complemented SAP Plant Maintenance, the RNZAF's recently introduced prime configuration and Technical Airworthiness management tool. Over this same period, Squadron Leader McMullan also undertook a series of specialist software courses and attended relevant conferences in order to further develop his individual competencies within this field. During this period Squadron Leader McMullan also established important relationships with key individuals from similar organisations from foreign militaries and commercial enterprises. His success in working with these outside agencies was demonstratedby their willingness to provide assistance in benchmarking exercises against the work that he had previously completed. Furthermore, Squadron Leader McMullan, now working at a more strategic level, also took it upon himself to produce and provide educational material around aeronautical software for all levels within the RNZAF technical and operational world. This program has been instrumental in raising the awareness and cementing the importance of the control of aeronautical software to those who now areroutinely exposed to it.

Throughout his tenure, Squadron Leader McMullan has demonstrated a level of motivation and enthusiasm second to none. These attributes, coupled with his professional attitude have gained him a great deal of respect and admiration from within the Engineering Branch. The leadership shown by him to his direct team and to an extent, the wider RNZAF community on this topic has enabled him to achieve a great deal in a relatively short period of time. As a direct result of his efforts the RNZAF is now well placed to accept and manage the aeronautical software elements associated with the upgrade and replacement platforms.

Without question, Squadron Leader McMullan has demonstrated outstanding technical merit which will not only improve the efficiency but also the effectiveness of the RNZAF. A comprehensive framework has been established from which the RNZAF can confidently move its software efforts forward. Squadron Leader McMullan can take a great deal of credit for this result and is a particularly worthy recipient of the George Watt Award for 2010.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Group Captain A.J. Woods, RNZAF Chief Engineer, NZDF Technical Airworthiness Authority.


George Watt Award -2011

This award was established by Group Captain George Watt to recognise outstanding technical merit which enhances the efficiency of the RNZAF. The award takes the form of a silver medal, a certificate and a monetary award.

The George Watt Award for 2011 goes to Squadron Leader David Morris Neil, for his dedication and efforts in ensuring RNZAF technical airworthiness policy publications represent best practice in a dynamic and challenging era of aviation.

Squadron Leader Neil has had a long and illustrious career in the RNZAF and whilst this nomination is for his outstanding achievements relating to the establishment of new technical airworthiness regulation policy and doctrine, this achievement should be contextualised on top of his noteworthy career.

He joined the RNZAF in 1964 as an Airframe Mechanic progressing up the non-commissioned ranks to Flight Sergeant in 1982. During his non-commissioned service he worked for periods on Strikemasters and Iroquois among many other engineering and maintenance support roles. He was selected for commissioning as an engineering officer in 1982 which saw him accept further challenges and rise to the rank of Wing Commander in 1994. Amongst his many achievements was his being selected as the resident engineer involved with the procurement and introduction into RNZAF service of the Aermacchi MB339C advanced pilot training aircraft. In 1998, after 34 years, he decided to leave the RNZAF for challenges in civilian life. However, the RNZAF was clearly in his blood, as he returned for further service as a Squadron Leader in 2001.

It is this recent career window that this award recognises. Whilst Squadron Leader Neil rejoined to serve in whatever capacity the RNZAF required of him he ended up working in Air Staff in 2002 beginning a rewrite of the Air Force’s technical publication suite to ensure it kept pace with airworthiness regulation and policy developments. As he formulated his plan to sweep up the myriad of publications that guided and directed the engineering community he saw the benefit of creating an overriding publication as the prime repository of technical airworthiness policy, regulation and guidance. This paradigm shift was colloquially referred to as a “win by the Lumpers over the Splitters”;however the change in publication management was to be much more significant than most realised. It has been under Squadron Leader Neil’s stewardship that the RNZAF’s technical airworthiness publications and regulatory policy has evolved into a robust set of leaflets within the Technical Airworthiness Manual -NZAP 6000.

The process for migrating technical information from disparate publications into a coordinated Technical Airworthiness Manual leaflet has been a value added process over the last nine years. As Squadron Leader Neil has focussed on each subject to be included in the new airworthiness manual he has reviewed New Zealand and foreign nations’ airworthiness policy, both civilian and military models, comparing them to the extant RNZAF/NZDF policy, then he hasproceeded to engage with the wider engineering and aviation community at all levels to determine the most effective, pragmatic and ultimately airworthy manner in which policy should be applied.

Over the years there have been a handful of additional policy development officers posted in and out of the office to work alongside Squadron Leader Neil but he has been the common denominator and maintainer of regulatory standards and discipline. As would be expected, the role of the regulator is an often thankless task and it can even be spurned by some whom do not appreciate the wider picture. Squadron Leader Neil’s professionalism, confidence in what he was doing and his tenaciousness has created a base of sound technical airworthiness reference material in amanner that enhances safety and capability, soundly underpinning the NZDF’s airpower capability.

In recent years Squadron Leader Neil’s efforts have received more general acknowledgment and plaudits from by the wider NZDF engineering and aviation community for the value he has added. He is now appreciated for the manner in which he has been carrying out his regulatory and policy role through engagement with the user community to achieve a degree of consensus -or at least understanding.

Squadron Leader Neil is commended for the professional and tireless manner in which he has applied himself to the advancement of technical airworthiness standards within the RNZAF and can take a great deal of credit for the sound shape of the RNZAF’s technical airworthiness policy and regulatory framework. It is this level of professionalism, technical and engineering proficiency, initiative and selflessness shown by Squadron Leader Neil that makes him a worthy recipient of the George Watt Award for 2011.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Group Captain A J Woods, Chief Engineer, Technical Airworthiness Authority, RNZAF


New Zealand Division (Inc)Henry Wigram Award-2011

The Henry Wigram Award was established in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by Sir Henry Wigram to the development of aviation in New Zealand. The purpose of the award is to encourage the preparation and delivery of technical and other papers, and is awarded for the best paper delivered to a branch of the RAeS in New Zealand. The award takes the form of a silver medal, a certificate and a citation.

The award for 2011 goes to David Saunders, for his thoroughly researched and very well delivered presentation commemorating The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, to the Wellington Branch on 15 September 2010.

Those present were taken back to 1940 and through an abbreviated version of his research study of the battle after he had needed to reduce the number of images that he had compiled, and included some little known facts and images of this historic air battle.

In his delivery, David provided the orders of battle of aircraft on both sides that flew the skies over southern England during the battle and other comparative statisticsthat were supported by numerous photographs and details even including the bullets used in this notable air battle. Some recent video footage of the aircraft is testament to the endeavours of keeping WW2 fighters airworthy for people to see and hear flying and make such anniversaries more meaningful.

David noted that the 70th anniversary was significant to us as it included the unveiling of a statue of Sir Keith Park in Waterloo Place in London. This was to recognise the enormous contribution that New Zealander Keith Park had made to winning of the battle by the Royal Air Force in 1940. This had followed the temporary statue erected on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square under the gaze of the statue of Lord Nelson from atop Nelson’s Column.

He also included a photo of the part of the Battle of Britain memorial sculpture on The Victoria Embankment overlooking the River Thames in central London that depicts ‘pilots on a scramble’ appearing to come out of the wall, and suggested that visitors to London should make a point of going to see it.

In thanking David for his excellent lecture that was delivered on the day of the 70th anniversary, the Wellington Branch was able to remember the heroic deeds of the veterans and casualties of this battle and realise the noted saying from our ANZAC Day remembrance services ‘we will remember them’.

David Saunders hails from the UK and is a graduate engineer who had a career with the Royal Air Force including a number of operational engineering tours and roles in aero structures engineering. He is a C.Eng. On leaving the RAF, he joined the RNZAF at Air Staff in Wellington as a Squadron Leader. It was during this posting that he became the RNZAF Rep on the Wellington Branch Committee.

After leaving the RNZAF, he was appointed the Engineering Manager at Windsor Engineering in Grenada North Wellington thathe described as a very rewarding time. Because of his willing contribution to the Branch, he was seconded onto the committee at that point and was subsequently elected asa committee member.

After leaving Windsor Engineering he became a project manager with the Department of Corrections then Maritime New Zealand in Grey St before taking up his current role with Corrections where he holds the position of National Engineering Manager.

David has a very strong sense of history and has championed the project to have a statue of Sir Keith Park installed in London for his role in the Battle of Britain as well as re-presenting a painting to the RNZAF Base Ohakea Officers Mess that he had previously gifted to RAF Bentley Priory Officers Mess (which had been returned to him on its closure in 2008).

The Wellington Branch has benefited from something of his own exploits in his previous lectures, including Tri-Star deployments and RAFC130 Ops and Special Ops and a lecture on the history of RAF Bentley Priory where HQ Fighter Command was located and during WW2, from where the RAF battle plans were executed.

Presented this day in Auckland
November 11, 2011

Recommended for this award by Wellington Branch, RAeS


Back to News














Copyright © RAeS New Zealand Division, All Rights Reserved