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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48604
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Type:Airspeed Oxford Mk II
Owner/operator:2 SFTS RNZAF
Registration: NZ1302
MSN: 553
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Panatewaewae, Tararua Range -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Woodbourne AFB, Blenheim, Marlborough
Destination airport:Woodbourne AFB, Blenheim, Marlborough
Airspeed AS-10 Oxford Mark II. Built by Airspeed Ltd, Portsmouth, England with RAF Serial P8846. Brought On Charge with Unit No.1, RNZAF Hobsonville on 2 July 1940. Assigned RNZAF Serial NZ1320. Issied To No.2 SFTS, Woodbourne. Failed to return from an exercise on 29 May 1941. The aircraft left base in good weather at 09:07 hours and was due back at 11:15.

The search for NZ1302 continued for a week. Searching aircraft included North American Harvards, Airspeed Oxfords, Vickers Vincents, Hawker Hinds and de Havilland Tiger Moths. A total time of 58 hours and 44 minutes was spent during the search but nothing was found of the missing aircraft.

The Court of Inquiry into the cause of NZ1302's disappearance found that Sinclair should have been capable of carrying out the cross-country exercise given his previous experience. Orders and instructions issued to the pupil pilots were found to be clear and comprehensive. The weather conditions were judged as being suitable, although, around Otaki, they could only be described as "fair." Even so, it was concluded that the flight commander was justified in authorising the flight. On the evidence available, the Court was unable to determine the cause of the accident.

On 17 December 1941, Sinclair was officially presumed to have lost his life when his aircraft crashed on 29 May 1941.

Almost 39 years later, on 5 April 1980, a hunter found the wreckage of the aircraft in the western foothills of the Tararua Range, below Panatewaewae, east of Manakau. Parts of aircraft recovered for RNZAF Museum.

LAC Selwyn Sinclair, RNZAF, killed in a flying accident. Remains buried at crash site.


1. New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials and Aircraft History,
5. Ross Kerr (2006) A Chronology of the Tararua & Rimutaka Ranges
6. AHSNZ, 1980, Newsletter 4.

Revision history:

07-Dec-2008 23:28 angels one five Added
08-Dec-2008 09:16 angels one five Updated
29-May-2009 23:49 XLerate Updated
23-Jan-2012 01:32 angels one five Updated [Operator, Narrative]
23-Aug-2012 00:29 Lateron Updated [Registration, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2012 13:54 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location]
01-May-2013 06:20 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
01-May-2013 20:45 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
09-Aug-2017 17:03 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Aug-2017 17:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-May-2018 19:36 Ron Averes Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Source]
12-Apr-2020 09:53 harro Updated [Narrative]
13-Sep-2020 22:16 Ron Averes Updated [Operator]
07-Oct-2021 09:44 Ron Averes Updated [Source, Narrative]
07-Oct-2021 10:44 Ron Averes Updated [Location, Narrative]

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