RECIPIENTS OF AWARDS 2019


Duncan Campbell Award

The Duncan Campbell Award recognises excellence in aviation journalism. There are separate awards for young journalists and writers, and for established journalists and writers who have demonstrated their ability and dedication in this specialised area of journalism.

This award is made to Robert Moore and recognises his work with the biography on the WW2 RNZAF pilot Sgt James (Jimmy) Allan Ward VC.

Bob’s contribution to aviation history is not just in his valuable biography, but also in the remarkable diligence and determination he applied to a task given to him more than thirty years ago. In the 80’s Bob combined teaching with his interest in the military history. As a senior master at the Wanganui Boys College he discovered the assembly hall was called the Sgt James Allan Ward VC Memorial Hall, who no-one knew anything about. Bob changed this through liaison with members of the Ward family, RNZAF, Army Museum and 75 Squadron Association, resulting in a diorama that was presented to the College showing the story of James Ward VC in 1985.

The biography research, pre-internet, was done by mail, using other published work as well as interviews of veterans of 75 (NZ) Squadron RAF and the members of the crew Jimmy Ward had flown with. His research led to him to work closely with the 75 Squadron at RNZAF Base Ohakea. He was diverted away from his biography work when he was asked to contribute material to the history of the 75 (NZ) Squadron RAF, with acknowledged to him in the book ‘Forever Strong’ by Norman Franks published in 1991.

Difficulties finding a publisher for his work finally came to fruition in 2010 when JD Publishing Ltd. expressed an interest. During a subsequent visit to RAF Feltwell in 2012, Bob met other researchers, at the station where 75 (NZ) Squadron had been based. When unfortunate health issues stymied Bob’s best efforts, the publisher introduced another contributor in 2014 and the project gained new impetus and a rewrite. However, plans to publish this version were unable to be completed. This setback proved pivotal when an independent reviewer found the draft had merit but needed still more work. The final revision was completed and published as ‘Courage Aflame’, which was released on 24 June 2019. Fittingly, the book launch was held in the ‘Sgt James Allan Ward VC Memorial Hall’ at the Wanganui City College, formerly the Wanganui Technical College, which Jimmy Ward VC attended in his teens.
After 36 years, the release of this important biography brings to a close a remarkable feat of literary fortitude and physical endurance few would have sustained.

In recognition of his valued contribution to New Zealand aviation history, Robert Moore is awarded the Duncan Campbell B Award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington
1st November 2019

Recommended for this award by Air Commodore G.J.W. Goldsmith CBE, AFC RNZAF Ret, Wanganui

E A Gibson Award

This award was set up by the RAeS as a memorial to E A Gibson, a former Director of Civil Aviation, and is to acknowledge substantial technical achievement in the field of agricultural aviation or generally in the field of aviation safety. The Award takes the form of a silver medal, a certificate and a citation.

The award for 2019 goes to Murray Gordon McGregor.

Murray McGregor has been in the aviation industry for nearly 50 years. More than 43 years of this time has been spent in New Zealand and all of it practicing as a Design Engineer. He is a CPEng and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. At the technical level, he played a key role in the evolution and certification of aircraft designed and built in New Zealand. These include the CT4 series, FU24-950/4 series, Cresco series and P-750 XSTOL. He is highly respected by industry for his support to improve operational efficiency and safety within New Zealand. Murray’s example as a consummate professional also helped the young engineers he mentored to become fellow prominent Aero Design Engineers.

Murray’s started as a Design Engineer in 1971 at New Zealand Aerospace Industries Ltd (NZAIL), a forerunner to what eventually became Pacific Aerospace. By 1975 he was the Deputy Chief Designer with a CAA design signatory delegation, which he holds today and is one of the longest serving design engineers in New Zealand to continuously do so.

As the Chief Designer in the late 70s Murray was responsible for the final production configuration and certification of the Fletcher FU24-954 in1978. He also played a part in the development of Cresco, a turbine powered Fletcher with a larger payload, into the early 1980s. In 1992 Murray led the development team who re-engined the Cresco with the Pratt and Witney PT6A in 6 months. In 1999, Murray led the PAL team to develop the XSTOL skydiving / multi-role aircraft, overcoming significant design challenges, with certification in 2004.

Murray expertise was sought, and he joined Flight Structures in 2005, to focus on agricultural aircraft designs with the Falco 3000XL and its diesel-powered derivative, the FU24-954 later in 2012. Improvements in operational efficiency included light weight design innovations, better cockpit ergonomics and systems.

Murray’s company, Analysis and Design Associates, was extensively involved in the design and development of agricultural aircraft, including turbine conversions of the FU24-950/4 series, and in the 90s, a liquid cooled V8 powered Fletcher powered by a 550HP small block turbo charged 402(cu-in) converted Chevy V8 running a chain driven reduction gearbox.

Murray has earned immense respect from company executives and operators who entrusted him to overcome technical challenges and deliver practical real-world solutions. He is a quiet achiever, who has set a professional aeronautical engineering bench mark, which is recognised by Kiwi and international peers, for his outstanding abilities and knowledge that has been consummately passed on to future generations.

In recognition of his extraordinary contribution over five decades in aeronautical engineering design and development in the agricultural aviation sector in New Zealand, Murray McGregor is awarded the EA Gibson Award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington, 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by the Chairman and Committee of the Hamilton Branch.

GEORGE WATT AWARD

This award was established by George Watt to recognize outstanding technical merit which enhances the efficiency of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The award is open to all ranks of the RNZAF and is for; invention of improved equipment, improvements in methods which enhance efficiency, a technical paper which describes ways and means of improving technical support, or improved methods leading to an appreciable advance in technical training.

This year the George Watt Award is awarded to CPL Gareth NEL.

CPL Gareth NEL has been awarded The Royal Aeronautical Society: Group Captain Watt award for outstanding technical merit which enhances the efficiency of the RNZAF. This recognises his development of a software replica of the NH-90 Medium Utility Helicopter’s Self-Protection System (SPS), which meets not one, but two, of the criteria for the award: invention of improved equipment; and improved methods leading to an appreciable advance in technical training.

While in the rank of Acting Corporal posted to the Australian Defence Force’s Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit, CPL Nel identified a gap between the laboratory and physical aircraft environments. Working in his own time he created a high-quality NH-90 SPS computer-based simulation, which provides a means to test, load and document the loading of the aircraft’s SPS stores and dispensing routines, in a laboratory environment. This software application provides realistic testing with accurate visual representation of the equipment, negating the need for expensive
SPS equipment to be held at the ground support facility.

In addition, the simulator provides a means to train ground crew and aircrew in the loading, checking, and operation of the aircraft’s SPS system. Again, this has created huge efficiencies in not having to provide actual aircraft componentry for training. These efficiencies will be of great direct benefit to the RNZAF, and potentially to other nations operating the NH-90 helicopter.

CPL Nel showed tremendous insight, initiative and commitment to identify a problem, and in his own time come up with a robust and innovative solution at no cost to the RNZAF.

In recognition of his sense of purpose to understand air operations and his engineering talent, which combined to enable notable time and cost savings in SPS load testing and training CPL Gareth Nel is awarded the George Watt Award for 2018.

Presented this day in Wellington, 1 st November 2019,

Recommended for this award by Group Captain PEC Johnson, MBE, Chief Engineer
(Technical Airworthiness Authority), RNZAF.

Ian J Diamond Award

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 SGT Dean P Hart Y1006640 Avionics Technician.

SGT Hart has served on the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMS) since August 2016. He is employed as the P3K2 Avionics Specialist Supervisor. His role as supervisor contributes to the performance of his team through a wealth of avionics experience and knowledge.

Whilst at AMS, SGT Hart proved both his commitment to service and expertise in the field of aviation maintenance. It is for his application of this knowledge to areas outside of his normal area of influence that SGT Hart has being recognised and nominated for this award.

SGT Hart’s is dedicated to enabling Military Air Operations and exudes exceptional levels of trade skill and critical thinking, over lengthy fault-finding processes. His influence often extends to aircraft systems and knowledge gained outside of his core Avionics Trade. His analytical and logical research skills, coupled with an innate ability to apply knowledge gained through education, is a benefit to the RNZAF and a positive example to his team. SGT Hart is currently undertaking his own studies towards a Bachelor of Engineering Technology. Having already passed several individual papers with excellent marks. He has proven his ability to extend his personal knowledge in own time and through constant outstanding displays of military values for duty, responsibility and selfless service, and his significant aptitude in research, critical thinking and industry knowledge, it is recognised that he possesses substantial skills that the RNZAF values.

His desire to further his knowledge in aviation engineering through higher education, under his own capacity, is testament to his resolve for personal development, for which AMS Command nominates SGT Hart for this award.

The Ian James Diamond award is in place to promote further study in the field of aviation engineering. AMS Command believes that SGT Hart is a deserving recipient of the generous scholarship that this award grants. This award will enable SGT Hart to continue to pursue his future educational and career goals.

For the reasons stated above, SGT Hart is a worthy recipient of the Ian James Diamond Award.

Presented this day in Wellington, 1 st November 2019,

Recommended for this award by Group Captain PEC Johnson, MBE, Chief Engineer
(Technical Airworthiness Authority), RNZAF.

Meritorious Service Award

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 Clifford Vincent Tait MBE.

50 years ago, Cliff Tait achieved what many said couldn’t be done by a private pilot with his modest experience. From his day job as a salesman in Hamilton, Cliff aimed to promote New Zealand aviation to the world. He purchased, equipped and had an AESL Airtourer certified to complete a solo flight round the world in 18 months, including modifications and overweight approval for 13 hours flying at 85 knots. The misgivings of some was due to Cliff’s modest number of PPL flying hours with an instrument rating.

Without the backing of the industry he set out to promote, Cliff Tait’s goal was to depart from Hamilton as a private venture with some sponsorship from the UK. He took off on his epic solo flight on 14 May 1969 via Norfolk Island, the islands of the western Pacific to Japan, by ship to Canada, the USA to cross the Atlantic before starting his record attempt from the UK back to NZ. With access to Russia denied, Cliff dismantled his Airtourer and reassembled it in Canada before continuing his circumnavigation. His return to NZ was via the Middle and the Far East, Australia and Norfolk Island to land at Hamilton on 1 August 1969. Cliff made his epic solo flight of more than 42,000km over 79 days without an autopilot or GPS.

On 1st August 2019, MOTAT hosted a function to mark the 50th anniversary of the flight. The original Airtourer (‘Miss Jacy’) Cliff flew on the flight was a fitting backdrop to the event and is part the permanent aircraft collection at MOTAT. The event, initiated by Cliff’s son Clifford, attracted 100 family members, aviation professionals and enthusiasts who were treated Cliff’s recount of the trials and tribulations encountered on this epic flight.

This achievement led to work with AESL as ferry pilot and later Chief Pilot, where Cliff completed 110 delivery flights and oversaw many others. Among the FAI ratified record flights Cliff was credited with, the first two was the solo same day return crossing of the Tasman Sea, flying FU24 Fletcher ZK-USU, to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s first crossing in 1928. Similarly, Cliff’s speed records still stand for the various legs and the waypoints from London to Auckland during the delivery of a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 from Kansas via the UK and Middle East in April 1982. Cliff’s aviation endeavours were recognised when he was made a Member of the British Empire.

Unfortunately, Cliff’s flying days ended when he was injured in an air show at Tokoroa. In spite of a dire prognosis, he recovered from the injuries and took a final flight in ‘Miss Jacy’ from Ardmore, alongside flight instructor John Gemmell, before the Airtourer was relocated to MOTAT.

Despite his modest experience, Cliff completed his quest to fly around the world to a largely disbelieving aviation community and completed subsequent long distance, international flying that sets him apart from most other private pilots. Cliff has rightly earned his place in aviation history and merits formal recognition by the NZ Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

For services to aviation, Cliff Tait MBE is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by NZATL and New Zealand Division RAeS

Meritorious Service Award

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 Desmond Stanley Underwood.

Des joined the RNZAF in 1968 in the aircraft electrical trade, promoted to Avionics SNCO and in 1976, was posted to Project Takahe participating in the delivery of ex RAF Andover aircraft from UK to NZ. He was commissioned Engineering Officer in 1977.
After engineering training at the RAF College Cranwell, he served at NZ Defence Headquarters and RNZAF Bases in NZ. He retired from the RNZAF as a Squadron Leader after 22 years’ service, as the Officer Commanding Airframe Reconditioning Squadron, RNZAF Woodbourne where he led Project KAHU’s two prototype aircraft.

After a time as an engineering consultant, he was appointed Chief Planning Manager at Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd, and later Logistics Manager. He returned to military service with the RNZAF in 1995 as a Logistics Project Officer on the NZDF SAP Enterprise Resource Planning software system. He later became Development Manager Logistics responsible for the NZDF Real Estate and Logistics solutions, including engineering and maintenance management for all three services.

In 1998, he joined the Wellington Branch as the committee Air Staff Rep. He delivered several lectures to the Wellington, Christchurch and Palmerston North Branches and the AHSNZ. He joined the Wellington Branch committee and in 1999, he became an Affiliate Member of the NZ Division (of the Society).

In 2006, he retired from the RNZAF after 33 years’ service and was appointed Development Manager Logistics with the NZDF. He was elected Vice-President of the Wellington Branch in 2008. He was subsequently elected to Council of the NZ Division in 2011, where he developed the selection process for the RAeS Kestrel Trophy, awarded to RNZAF units for excellence.

Since 1999, Des has delivered several lectures across the country, where he developed his interest in aviation history. In 2012, he was awarded the Society’s Henry Wigram Award. Des retired from the NZDF in 2013 after 40 years’ service and moved to Tauranga. He joined Classic Flyers as a volunteer shortly after arriving in the area. Starting with the engineering restoration group, he later joined the management committee of the Tauranga City Air Show, in display planning and compliance roles until 2018. He continues his twice weekly commitment to aircraft restoration and has been involved in both Grumman Avenger and other restoration projects.

In August 2015, in conjunction with Classic Flyers, the Bay of Plenty Branch was formed and formally adopted by Council in 2016. Des was elected Branch Chairman. As an aviation historian, he was invited to join a biographical project on Sgt James Ward VC. He contributed considerable new material to the book ‘Courage Aflame’. He was made a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS) in 2016. He is a member of AHSNZ Inc and President of the Bay of Plenty Officers’ Club. Over the past two decades, Des has been a stalwart of the Society, compiling award proposal documents since 2011.

In recognition of his valued contribution to the success of the Society and to New Zealand aviation history, Des Underwood is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by Bay of Plenty Branch and New Zealand Division RAeS

Meritorious Service Award

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 Keith Ainsley Skilling.

Born in Christchurch. He joined the RNZAF straight from school and graduated as a pilot in the 'transport' role where he flew the Dakota, Hercules, Bristol Freighter and instructed on the Harvard and Strikemaster. In 1977, he was assigned to Project Takahe to deliver a number of the ex RAF Andover aircraft from UK to NZ. Squadron Leader Skilling was the Commanding Officer of No. 1 Squadron RNZAF before leaving the RNZAF to join Air New Zealand.
Keith started his commercial aviation career with the F27, before moving onto a succession of Boeing 737, 747, 767 and 777 airliners. In addition to his role as an airline pilot, Keith was a foundation member of NZ Warbirds and amassed an extensive record of flying historic aircraft types. With the approval of the airline, Keith has been a display and test pilot of a wide range of WWI and WWII military aircraft types and has flown at air shows in Europe since 1994. Remarkably, he has flown with Flying Legends at Duxford over the past 24 years, where he flew Spitfire, Mustang, Wildcat and Hurricane types. In addition, for 5 years he flew the Chance Vought F4U Corsair with the Swiss-based Breitling Fighters Team on their display circuit.

After a career of 34 years Keith retired from Air New Zealand as a Boeing 777 captain in 2012. The same year, he flew the recently restored DH.98 Mosquito KA114 on a well-publicised tour of the North Island. As well as his display flying northern hemisphere, he has flown at numerous air shows in New Zealand, mostly to display the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair ZK-COR (formerly NZ5648) operated by The Old Stick and Rudder Company Ltd at Masterton. His considerable international reputation as a test and display pilot, included support of display flying and extended to air show management in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Keith’s skilled flying display routines have been appreciated by thousands of avid aviation enthusiasts, other pilots globally and earned a place in the exclusive group of specialist historic aircraft aviators.

For his lifelong contribution to military and commercial aviation and his extraordinary commitment to historic aviation, Keith Skilling is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by Bay of Plenty Branch and New Zealand Division RAeS

Meritorious Service Award

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 the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre (AHC) is the operating arm of the New Zealand Aviation Museum Trust, which is a Marlborough charitable trust formed with the intention of creating an aviation museum and hub of heritage flying activity that would fascinate, educate and inspire visitors of all ages. The resulting AHC was conceived as a multi-stage development to be accomplished over time as funds would allow.

The AHC opened in 2006 and was fully occupied by the Knights of the Sky exhibition featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s private collection of World War One aircraft, artefacts, and memorabilia. This was a great success and was a catalyst for a surge of heritage aviation activity based around Omaka Airfield. This gave a firm base on which to raise funds for the next stage of development.

In 2016, the Dangerous Skies exhibition opened in a brand new third wing of the museum, featuring World War Two aircraft, artefacts and memorabilia being the property of several local collectors and owners. While this has also been a great success, there remains in storage at Omaka, or elsewhere in the region enough important aviation legacy items to fill two more such wings. These are planned and consented.

Since the AHC opened, nearly 400,000 people from all over New Zealand and the world have visited the displays. It is the region’s biggest single tourist attraction, and its associated event, the biennial Classic Fighters air show, is the biggest single event in the top-of-the-south.

In the 13 years since its opening, the AHC has earned a global reputation as being one of the world’s finest of its kind. It has attracted huge public and professional interest, and been visited by several international experts and dignitaries, including royalty with the visit in 2014 of HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In recognition of the exceptional work done by the AHC in promoting aviation heritage and helping the public to understand the richness of our aviation legacy, the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by Blenheim Branch and New Zealand Division RAeS

Meritorious Service Award – 2019

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 Peter Dixon.

Peter has spent his adult life either farming or involved in general aviation. He started flying training as a 17-year-old in 1961 but took time out for work and family commitments, returning in earnest in 1976. He progressed along the well-recognised path in the general aviation world of attaining his commercial pilot’s licence followed by a flight instructor rating. He consolidated his flying skills and gained commercial experience and instructional time prior to becoming involved in the administration and management of the Canterbury Aero Club (CAC). He culminated his direct involvement at CAC with a three-year stint as president until mid-1988.

Peter joined the Air Transport Division, Ministry of Transport to become a General Aviation Inspector and Flight Testing Officer in the southern region in July 1988 and was assigned across to the newly formed Aviation Services Limited (ASL) in July 1992, becoming a foundation member of that organisation, for whom he has represented as a flight examiner for some 27 years. He retired from ASL’s successor company Aspeq at the end of June 2019.
Peter has spent the last 31 years exercising the Director of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) delegation in the conduct of flight examining of candidates entering the professional piloting stream of aviation. He is vastly experienced in testing the knowledge and skills of budding commercial pilots, IFR pilots and flight instructors, from D Cats to A Cats. He has flown some 16,000 hours in his career, much of that time as a flight examiner. He holds an ATPL(A) licence with A Category Flight Instructor Rating and General Aviation Flight Examiner Rating. He has tested in excess of 5000 candidates as a flight examiner. He was the recipient of the Director of CAA Award in 2016.

Peter’s contribution to the safe and professional pathway to New Zealand commercial aviation for flight crew has been immeasurable. He has conducted himself at the highest possible standard in the exercising of his responsibilities and has provided sound advice and guidance to individual candidates and several generations of aviators. His knowledge, experience and commitment to safety have provided an invaluable contribution to his parent organisation, the training organisations and the Director’s staff within the CAA. His serious but kindly manner and firm approach has endeared him to candidate, instructor, manager and regulator alike and he has become one of the most respected professionals within the fabric of New Zealand flight training.
In recognition of the exceptional contribution to the safe and professional pathway to New Zealand commercial aviation for flight crew, Peter Dixon is a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Service award for 2019.

Presented this day in Wellington 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by Gordon Alexander, MRAeS and the Wellington Branch, RAeS

Meritorious Service Award

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 Silver medal.

This Meritorious Service award is made to Pioneer Aero Ltd.

Pioneer Aero has built up a global reputation for historic aircraft restorations over the years. Operating from Ardmore Airfield in Papakura amongst other workshops and general aviation activity, the task of a restoration, often from very damaged remains is a significant task. It takes a huge effort to research the particular aircraft and then painstakingly pursue as many suitable spares and parts from around the world. These are multiyear projects and often the restorers face difficult challenges as they seek to bring the aircraft back to an airworthy status and then fly it. These are no mere museum exhibits or replicas, but faithful restorations of aircraft types that saw service many years ago, but which are known to be iconic aircraft and now much in demand, along with the growth of the warbird sector around the world.

When, some 4 years ago, an Airacobra arrived for restoration, the team at Pioneer Aero were faced with the task of learning about an aircraft for which they had no prior knowledge. Nevertheless, the skilled team, led by Chief Engineer Martin Hedley, established that the aircraft had been subject to earlier restoration work. Pioneer Aero quickly determined that everything had to be stripped down and inspected to assure airworthiness and source the many missing spares and parts required for the rebuild to flight.

The Airacobra was constructed in 1941 and force landed during operations in northern Australia in May 1942. Abandoned for many years, the aircraft was discovered in 1963 and some years later recovered, where the early restoration work commenced. By 2000, the aircraft had passed through several hands and, although it was partially restored, it was many years later that the current owner, Jerry Yagen, tasked Pioneer with taking on the project to see it through to completion. Jerry was already aware of Pioneer Aero’s reputation for the many quality restorations that had been achieved at the company’s base at Ardmore.

Pioneer Aero started work on the project in early 2016 and it was to take another three years before the Airacobra was awarded a New Zealand Certificate of Airworthiness and took to the skies becoming only the third example of the type to fly again. Along the way there were many challenges which had to be solved and it is testimony to the Pioneer Aero team that these were all overcome. During the test flight, only minor problems needed to be resolved and the team were rightly proud of such a fine result.

With this restoration project Pioneer Aero has greatly enhanced the reputation of New Zealand in the aircraft restoration world and the Society wishes to acknowledge this fact with a meritorious service award to the Company and staff. Even now, they are engaged on the next major project; a De Havilland Sea Hornet, which when completed could become the sole airworthy example of the type in the world.

For their international reputation for the restoration and preservation of significant historical aircraft, Pioneer Aero is a worthy recipient of the Society’s Meritorious Service Award.

Presented this day in Wellington, 1st November 2019
Recommended for this award by Council of the New Zealand Division, RAeS

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