Sample Article from a recent AHSNZ Journal. . .
The Tiger and the Noble
One of the more interesting cases of double identities for New Zealand
Tiger Moths concerns the mix-up with a Vickers Viscount.
|the Tiger Moth that they had recently purchased
through the Government Stores Board (NZ1459) and, in normal sequence,
this became ZK-BRD. This aircraft was registered on 21 September 1956
and was granted a temporary C of A to enable it to be ferried from Wigram
to New Plymouth, which flight it made the following day. ZK-BRD then began
a prolonged overhaul at New Plymouth.
But NAC now objected to the registration letters ZK-BRA (for obvious reasons) and ZK-BRC (not so obvious). The civil aviation authorities were only too happy to oblige, and the allocations were revised to ZK-BRB (to which there had been no objection) and ZK-BRE and BRF (the next two allocations available). Unfortunately, the changes were advised over the telephone, and the first allocation was mistakenly heard as ZK-BRD - and the seeds of confusion took root.
All parties carried on, happy with their own understanding of the situation. The New Plymouth Aero Club and Civil Aviation believed the Tiger Moth to be ZK- BRD, and NAC was certain that their first Viscount was to be ZK-BRD. Denouement occurred in July 1957, when a civil aviation official saw publicity photographs of the first Viscount - plainly marked as ZK-BRD.
At this stage Tiger Moth ZK-BRD was still under overhaul, so the potential for conflict was not serious. Matters had to be put right, however, and after consultation with the engineer at New Plymouth, it was agreed that the registration letters for the Tiger Moth should be changed to ZK-BRB. A formal letter confirming this followed on 24 July 1957, alterations to the official records in Wellington were made, and all sat back satisfied that a calamity had been averted.
The fact remains, however, that the first ZK-BRD to fly was a humble Tiger Moth, whose title was usurped by one of the upper class, a noble Viscount no less.