Missing!  Aircraft Missing in New Zealand 1928 - 2000  by Chris Rudge

A total of 45 aircraft appear on missing aircraft lists in New Zealand. Of these, 17 have gone missing without trace and 12 were found from between three months and 39 years later. The remainder are presumed to have crashed at sea, as some of the aircraft, cargo or crew were recovered after the event. Tragically, these accidents claimed the lives of 118 people.

This book records the details leading up to each aircraft’s disappearance, the subsequent search for the aircraft and the conclusions reached by military courts of inquiry and civilian air accident investigators.

"The result of over six year’s research and interviews, this book gathers, for the first time, the details surrounding New Zealand’s missing aircraft into one volume. An important addition to New Zealand aviation literature, it is essential reading for aviation historians, those who knew people involved, or those who wish to try and locate aircraft that disappeared without trace and solve some of this country’s greatest aviation mysteries.


"An extremely detailed and impressive account of New Zealand's missing aircraft and an intriguing read for those with a love for aviation and the world off flight. . . an excellent reference guide."  New Zealand Outside magazine, June 2003.  Sir Edmund Hilliary endorsed this magazine by stating "New Zealand Outside is the most comprehensive outdoor guide to New Zealand that I have seen.  It is an exceptional publication."  The magazine was also a winner at the 1998 Tourism Awards.

"A rare gem in an age of hastily published books . . . Expertly researched, the book is a unique and valuable addition to New Zealand's aviation literature that I would recommend to researcher and enthusiast alike." Callum Macpherson, Pacific Wings

"This book is excellent, absolutely excellent, and has heaps of interest to aviators as well as non-aviators. Each chapter is thoroughly researched and well presented, with numerous easy-to-read technical explanations.  The many archival photographs are excellent.  The text is well written, with full details . . . "  Tony Gates, Evening Standard

"Excellent work on a fascinating subject - well done!" Graham Orphan, Classic Wings

"Extremely well researched and well written. A very interesting read." Richard Rayward, Air Safaris

"A very fine book!" Helen Reynolds, Taumarunui Library

"I thought I'd just say how impressed I was with it when it arrived." Dave Provan, RNZAF Museum

"The book is well written and well researched by someone who really knows his stuff.  Highly recommended."  Classic Wings magazine

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The list of aircraft covered in book (by chapter)

Part One - Missing Without Trace
Aircraft type Identity Date missing

Ryan B-1 Brougham G-AUNZ 10 January 1928
Airspeed Oxford NZ278 26 March 1942
North American Harvard NZ964 18 August 1942
Vickers Vincent NZ332 8 December 1942
Lockheed Hudsons NZ2044 & NZ2066 20 August 1944
Chance Vought Corsair NZ5517 11 November 1944
Chance Vought Corsair NZ5544 15 April 1945
Douglas Dakota NZ3526 24 September 1945
De Havilland Tiger Moth  ZK-AJV 7 June 1947
De Havilland Tiger Moth ZK-ATL 27 September 1958
De Havilland Dragonfly ZK-AFB 12 February 1962
Cessna 180 ZK-BMP 16 August 1978
Piper Cherokee Six ZK-EBU 29 December 1978
Piper Tomahawk ZK-WAC 7 January 1982
Cessna 172 ZK-CSS 30 July 1983
Cessna 180 ZK-FMQ 8 November 1997

Part Two - Lost and Found
Aircraft type Identity Date missing Date found

Airspeed Oxford NZ1302 29 May 1941 5 April 1980
Airspeed Oxford NZ1245 20 November 1941 10 April 1943
Airspeed Oxford NZ1237 14 January 1942 22 April 1942
De Havilland Tiger Moth NZ1432 23 August 1942 21 June 1945
Airspeed Oxford NZ277 23 October 1942 15 January 1974
Lockheed Ventura NZ4573 28 February 1946 18 March 1949
Airspeed Oxford NZ2124 5 July 1952 24 July 1953
Taylorcraft  ZK-ATY 23 November 1956 14 May 1959
Cessna 150 ZK-CGI 3 February 1970 3 August 1972
Maule  ZK-DYA 27 July 1974 4 November 1978
Piper Cherokee ZK-DIT 26 February 1984 26 May 1984
Piper Cherokee ZK-MBI 21 May 1995 8 April 2001

Part Three - Missing But Wreckage Found
Aircraft Type Identity Date missing Found

De Havilland Gipsy Moth ZK-ACZ 23 March 1937 Some wreckage
North American Harvard NZ961 21 January 1942 Seat cushion
Vickers Vildebeest NZ122 30 October 1942 Wheel
Fairey Gordon NZ617 7 December 1942 Pilot's body/wheel
De Havilland Tiger Moth ZK-AKD 16 November 1946 Interplane strut
De Havilland Puss Moth ZK-AJW 25 August 1948 Pilot's body/wreckage
De Havilland Tiger Moth ZK-AIS 28 April 1949 Interplane strut
De Havilland Vampire NZ5737 20 May 1952 Some wreckage
North American Mustang NZ2425 20 March 1955 Some wreckage
De Havilland Tiger Moth ZK-BGS 28 November 1957 Interplane strut
Piper Comanche ZK-BOO 17 October 1958  Undercarriage
Cessna 310 ZK-CFG 2 December 1971 Undercarriage
Cessna 172 ZK-CSN 30 July 1972 Port wheel
Cessna 404 ZK-TAS 8 August 1977 Some wreckage
Aero Commander ZK-DBQ 31 October 1977 Some wreckage
Cessna 208 ZK-SFB 27 November 1987 Some wreckage

Some photos from the book

The disappearance of Hood and Moncrieff, who went missing on 10 January 1928 during the first attempt to cross the Tasman Sea by air in a Ryan Brougham aircraft, is covered in detail in the book. This is the first comprehensive account of this aviation mystery.

ZK-CGI was recovered from Lake Duncan, Fiordland. The pilot of the Hiller helicopter is Bill Black. This aircraft was stolen from Taieri Aerodrome and then ditched. The aircraft is still flying today.

The remains of Airspeed Oxford, NZ1302, which lay undiscovered in the Tararua Ranges for 39 years. The wreck was eventually found by a hunter.

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