RECIPIENTS OF NZAT AWARDS 2016


George Watt Award -2016

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 2016 goes to Corporal Thomas Smedley RNZAF.

During his posting to the ground supportEquipment Fuel Maintenance team Corporal Smedley identified that fuel filter vessel o-rings on the aviation refuelling trucks were only able to be compressed four times before they were no longer serviceable. He also observed that the number of compressions was not accurately documented,notification to the maintenance staff was overly difficult and that this situation could lead to unserviceability of the refuelling trucks.

Concerns regarding the lack of proper control led Corporal Smedley deciding to take matters into his own hands.He designed a stencil to adhere to the filter vessels on all fuelling trucks to track the number of o-ring compressions and including a prompt to replace o-rings after the fourth compression. This initiative removed the guesswork regardingfilter vessel integrity, and increased the reliability of the seals. The stencil has since been rolled out across the RNZAF fleet.

During subsequent Air BP audits of RNZAF fuel establishments Air BP operations consultants noticed Corporal Smedley’s stencil and remarked on its effectiveness. These comments were passed to Air BP Headquarters in Sunbury England, where the merits of the idea were further recognised. Air BPidentified this as a missing tool in the management of fuel filters in support of aviation refuelling globally and is now adopting Corporal Smedley’s idea into new Air BP Regulations.

Corporal Thomas medley is a worthy recipient of the RAeS George Watt award for 2016.

Presented this day in Wellington September 16, 2016

Recommended for this award by Group Captain P B Griffin, Chief Engineer (Technical Airworthiness Authority)


Michael J Neville/Boeing Aeroplane Company Award 2016

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 Michael J Neville/Boeing Aeroplane Company Award for 2016 goes to Corporal Michael Leonard, RNZAF.

Corporal Leonard is the supervisor of a small team carrying out corrosion removal and prevention of aircraft based at Whenuapai. He is a hard working tradesman who is not averse to working extended or out of hours if the task requires it.As well as his supervisory and practical roles in the corrosion control bay he has a mentoring role.He took a lead role in formalising the training from the previous ad-hoc approach, by developing a work book that includes practical and theoretical training elements, along with learning confirmation through testing.

Corporal Leonardhas also spent a significant amount of time and effort liaising with facilities management to upgrade the corrosion control bay, making it a safer, more efficient and pleasant place to work.

Corporal Leonard is currently studying extramurally towards a Bachelor of Engineering Technology and has completed 2 papers to date with exemplary results. With a young family at home and busy work commitments, his dedication to furthering his knowledge is noteworthy and a good example for others. He is committed to seeing his studies through and being able to further his aviation career.Corporal Leonard takes great pride in his appearance, his workplace and the RNZAF in general. This was highlighted by his drive to develop and promote a ‘challenge coin’ for MSS AK. The concept was notedby the Base Commander and Corporal Leonard also produced one for Base Auckland.

Corporal Leonard is a worthy recipient of the Michael J Neville/Boeing Aeroplane Company Award for 2016.

Presented this day in Wellington16 September 2016 Recommended for this award by Group Captain P B Griffin, Chief Engineer (Technical Airworthiness Authority)


Ian Diamond Award 2016

The Ian Diamond award was established as a memorial to Ian James Diamond, General Manager of Engineering at Air New Zealand. The award is made 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 award goes to Leading Aircraftman Nicholas Ferdinando, RNZAF.

LA Ferdinando is an Avionics Technician at 40 Squadron RNZAF Base Auckland. He is establishing himself as a Subject Matter Expert on many of the avionics systems fitted to the C-130H and B757-200 aircraft. He is highly regarded by his work colleagues and the aircrew he has worked with on while travelling as maintenance crew on overseas taskings.

LA Ferdinando has achieved excellent academic results in all areas of study in which he has undertaken. On his Technicians course in 2012 he received an overallaverage of 89%. In 2013-14 he completed a two year diploma in Electrical Engineering (Electronics) achieving an A+ in every subject bar one where he received an A.

LA Ferdinando has also displayed a willingness to help others achieve their academic goals.He has tutored civilian and military students in his own time, helping them with subject such as mathematics, electronics and microcontroller programming in preparation for their end of year and pre-university entrance exams.

LA Ferdinando has shown interest in completing his Aircraft Maintenance Engineer License exams to further his career in aviation.

LA Ferdinando is an exceptional individual with a bright future ahead of him. He is a worthy recipient of the Ian Diamond Award for 2016.

Presented thisday in WellingtonSeptember 16 2016 Recommended for this award by Group Captain P B Griffin, Chief Engineer (Technical Airworthiness Authority)


Meritorious Service Award -2016

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 David Jupp.

The Walsh Memorial Scout Flying Schoolbegan in 1967 when a Scouting New Zealand concept was supported by the New Zealand Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society.The Walsh school has assisted manyyoung people to experience the thrill of flying, and many attain their Flying School Certificate and Scout Wings. In the two weeks each year the school camp operates, over 40 young people who have little or no previous aviation experience will fly solo under the eye of some of NZ’s most experienced flying instructors.

David Jupp attended the fourth annual Walsh schoolin January 1971 as an ab initio scout student, and the fifth school as a ‘returned’ student. The following year he volunteered for a staff position to demonstrate his commitment to the aims and standards of the school and to give something back in return for the personal growth he gained from his student experiences. He has not missed a school since, in roles of assistant Executive Officer, Quartermaster, Flight Operations Officer, and, for the past 23 years, in the pivotal position of Executive Officer. Of the 50 annual Walsh Memorial Scout Flying Schools that have been conducted David Jupp has attended and served at 45.

During each school David sets up and leads the flight operations team and maintains all school administrative, financial and personnel records. He is the lynch pin in the organization. His personal commitment to the interests of over 1700 students who have passed through the schoolduring his years, the protection of traditions, standards, sponsor involvement, and the financial viability of the organisation, have been a benchmark that is valued beyond measure.

David is also a council member of the RAeS NZ Division and also a committee member of the Wellington Branch and is actively involved in all fund raising activities that support ‘Youth in Aviation’. He is a current private pilotandhas also been involved with the Wellington Aero Club for 40 years, and was madea life member in recognition for his substantial support of the club. David is also the National Air Activities Advisor to, and life member of Scouting New Zealand.

David was awarded the Queens Service Medal for his services to Scouting in 1998, and theGuild ofHonourable Air PilotsSword of Honour in 2005 for services to Walsh school.

Davids is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2016.

Presented this day in Wellington 16th September 2016, Recommended for this award by Wellington Branch, RAeS


Meritorious Service Award –2016

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 Richard Williams.

Richard retired in 1996after a 46 year career with NAC and Air New Zealand. He joined NAC in 1950 as an Administration Clerk in New Plymouth before being transferred to Head Office in Wellington in 1956 as a passenger scheduling officer. Following the amalgamation of NAC and Air NZIn 1978herelocated to Auckland. His roles included public relations, advertising for both NAC and Air New Zealand, air to air photography, design and setup of overseas trade shows, and managing the airline’s visual identity programme.

Richard joined the Society andserved on the Wellington Branch committee and the Council, where he served as Secretary andPresident. In 1988he was appointed Chairman of the New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Ltd.

Through his interest in aerial photography, he was instrumental in arranging air to air publicity imagery of the NAC and Air NZ fleets. Following his retirement, he was enlisted by Air NZ Engineering to help with publicity to build up the Engineering business.

Armed with his extensive photographic collection,he teamed up with John Mounce to collaborate on their first book together. Titled ‘100 Years of Flight in New Zealand’, it was published in 2010 with the copyright assigned to Motat. The book was extensively illustrated, includinga unique collection of postage stamps depicting famous aviators and aircraft. Notably, he contributed the biographies of George Bolt and Vivian and Leo Walsh in the New Zealand Dictionary of Biography. Another book followed the next year, entitled‘New Zealand Aviation Pioneers –Walsh Brothers’,which he compiled with Ross Ewing in time for the centenary.

In 2011, Richard joined a small group from the RAeS and the GAPAN to plan the centennial celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first recognised powered flight in NZ by the Walsh Brothers.As well as a commemorative service at Glenora Park, Papakura on 5 February the panel planned the Walsh Centennial Medal Award, which was awarded to the person who had most contributed to aviation in NZ over the past 100 years, George Bolt.

Richard’s knowledge of aviation history is considerable and his passion for aviation and its people led to him becoming a volunteer with Motat, where he served as a specialist aviation archivist with the Walsh Memorial Library.In the course of this work, he became interested in another project to identify notable aviators and people involved in aviation.To date, he has spent considerable time and effort to compile over 60 biographies, known as the‘RL Williams Papers’, which has become a resource for the NZ Aviation Hall of Fame project. Richard was also involved with the preparation of the 75th Anniversary of Air New Zealand exhibition.

In recognition of his remarkable achievements in aircraft restoration, Richard Williams is awarded a Meritorious Services Award for 2016.

Presented this day in Wellington, 16thSeptember 2016, Recommended for this award by Bay of Plenty Branch, RAeS

Meritorious Service Award -2016

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 Colin Smith.

In 1986 Colin, with the support of his wife Maeva, established the Croydon Aircraft Company Ltd based at the Old Mandeville Airfield, near Gore, in Southland. Theaim was to set-up a facility for him to realise a passion to restore historic wood and fabric aircraft of the 1920’s and 30’s. From modest beginnings, this facility has gained an enviable reputation for historic aircraft rebuilds and restorations. With a host of restorations behind them, the enterprise has grown to team of eleven. The aircraft restorations have included: de Havilland Tiger Moth, Fox Moth, Dragonfly and Dominie, Beechcraft Staggerwing, Percival types and others.

TheCroydon AircraftCompany has expanded to provide flights in some of these restored aircraft. Withthe addition of The Moth café, restaurant and bar, the Mandeville site has become a tourist attraction in Southland.

Along with the restoration business, the enterprise has since been expanded to encompass another distinctive and separate component under the control of the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust. More recently, Colin has taken on the role of preserving the work of Bert Pither, an early NZ aviation pioneer who had built amonoplane around 1910. The team at Mandeville built and first flew a replicaof the Pither monoplane on 18 February 2005.

For his work in a variety of fields,including aviation,Colin Smith was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2011 for‘services to business’.

While New Zealand has established an enviable reputation for aircraft restoration, this has only come about through the hard work and dedicated of individuals with sound business acumento sustain them. This hasbeen ably demonstrated in this specialist field for three decadesby Colin.

Colinis recognised,not only for the realisation of his aim to restore and preserve examples aviation history,but also in keeping these rare vintage aircraft in an airworthycondition at Old Mandeville,for the inspiration and appreciation of others.

In recognition of his remarkable achievements in aircraft restoration, Colin Smith is awarded theMeritorious Services Award for 2016.

Presented this day in Wellington16th September 2016,
Recommended for this award by the Council of the NZ Division, RAeS


Back to News











































































Copyright © RAeS New Zealand Division, All Rights Reserved