Ur­gent NZAF mis­sion to Three Kings

The Northland Age - - Local Schools -

Af­ter re­ports from Cape Reinga that the new unat­tended ma­rine light on the Great King Is­land was ex­tin­guished, two R.N.Z.A.F. Iro­quois he­li­copters flew an ur­gent mis­sion from When­u­a­pai on Sun­day, land­ing nearly half a ton of new batteries on the 900ft. peak in spite of thick cloud and se­vere tur­bu­lence.

The light shone again on Sun­day night, warn­ing ship­ping for more than 25 miles of the pres­ence of the dan­ger­ous Three Kings group.

“The weather was re­ally mar­ginal and the pi­lots (Wing Com­man­der Dal­li­son and Squadron-Leader D.F. Pat­ter­son) did a re­mark­able job,” said the Auck­land dis­trict elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer for the Min­istry of Works, Mr. J.K. Glad­well, who was one of the party of 11 who went to the is­lands.

“The he­li­copters had to let down through cloud at Cape Reinga to pick up the 12 80lb batteries, and then find the 100ft. land­ing pad on the Great King where the cloud cover was at 700 feet, 200 feet be­low the crest of the is­land where the light is sit­u­ated,” said Mr. Glad­well.

It was found that the light had failed be­cause the batteries were completely flat and that the wind­charger had not worked suf­fi­ciently well to keep them charged.

This had al­ways been a possibilit­y, said Mr. Glad­well, be­cause, though the wind­charger is on an ex­posed site, the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the is­land with its high cliffs ap­par­ently does not give a suf­fi­cient air flow there.

The new batteries give 500 amp hours each and will last for a month, and in that time it is in­tended to add so­lar cells (as used in satel­lites) and a small diesel en­gine. The en­gine will start au­to­mat­i­cally if the batteries drop, and with the wind­charger, this should solve the prob­lem.

Mr. Glad­well said it would be de­sir­able to make reg­u­lar vis­its to the is­lands, and he ex­pected that his would be done in co­op­er­a­tion with the Air Force as a train­ing exercise.

Be­cause of the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions the trip took much longer than ex­pected, and the party of eight Air­force men, two Ma­rine depart­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Mr. Glad­well spent the night at the Awanui Ho­tel, leav­ing the he­li­copters at Kaitaia Aero­drome, where they had re­fu­eled com­ing and go­ing.

Mr. Glad­well said he had been as­ton­ished at the amount of new growth of small plants since the teatree and other scrub was cleared in April and ear­lier this year.

When the light site and the land­ing pad were pre­pared, an of­fi­cer of the Wild Life branch was present to see that the rare plants on the is­land were not dam­aged, and Mr. Glad­well said it ap­peared that the work had ac­tu­ally been ben­e­fi­cial for there was now a pro­fuse growth of sev­eral plants, no­tably a lily, which may be the Reinga lily. Para­keets and bell­birds were also seen, and it ap­peared that the new in­stal­la­tion had caused lit­tle dis­tur­bance to any wild life.

— June 17, 1969

“Reg­is­tra­tion is ob­vi­ously too slow as we have so far only handled 796 ve­hi­cles,” he said. “I do ap­peal to peo­ple to come in this af­ter­noon or early next week to avoid the con­ges­tion that is likely as the pe­riod ends.” — June 20, 1969 A black al­ba­tross was found at Wai­harara yes­ter­day, un­able to fly. Messrs Mate Yelavich and three other per­sons dis­cov­ered the bird on Mr. Yelavich’s prop­erty, where it was walk­ing around. The bird, which ap­pears to be quite young, was mea­sured, and its wing span reached seven feet. It was left to its own ways and means of get­ting off the ground.

— June 24, 1969 We are sorry to hear that Mr. Ty­rone Chau­val is a patient in the Kaitaia Hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent to his hand, and we hope that he will soon be home again.

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Fos­ter returned home from their hol­i­day on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Mr. Cedric Parker returned home on Fri­day af­ter at­tend­ing the Star sale at Claude­lands. He also at­tended the Ayr­shire breed­ers’ con­fer­ence and the dinner and so­cial evening, this be­ing the golden ju­bilee of the Ayr­shire breed­ers in New Zealand. We congratula­te Mr. Parker on be­ing placed on the ju­nior judges list.

Mr. Les Fos­ter at­tended Mr. W. Risi’s sale of Mount­ley pigs at Ngaru­awahia on Mon­day. Family Dance Another very suc­cess­ful family dance was held in the Fair­burn Hall on Saturday night, with mum, dad and the family hav­ing an en­joy­able evening.

Mr. Rex Dawson was the m.c. and Mr. W. Greaves played the mu­sic for the danc­ing. Ex­tras were played by Mr. Peter Wilkin­son on the piano ac­cor­dion and Mr. Greaves on the piano. A Monte Carlo was won by Mr. and Mrs. John Gar­ton and a spot waltz by Mr. T. Trigg and Mrs. S Ju­lian.

The un­cooked dinner was won by Brett Coul­ter and the cake by Stephen Berghan.

Some much ap­pre­ci­ated mu­si­cal items were given by Mr. Bruce Greaves. The usual very nice home cooked sup­per was served and danc­ing con­tin­ued un­til mid­night.

— June 24, 1969

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.