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ZK-AFB the plane that went missing with five people aboard
This is ZK-AFB, the 'plane that went missing with 5 people aboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of Kingston
This is Kingston, NZ. 

    Tuesday 4th April 2017: Operation Dragonfly 2017 was successfully undertaken and completed, but with no sign of the missing aircraft yet. DETAILS HERE

    Tuesday 17th January 2017: So we're preparing for another expedition to search for the last resting place of ZK-AFB. We're not too sure how far in we will be able to get this time, but we plan to explore near where we found the boot last summer.

    It's the 55th Anniversary of disappearance of ZK-AFB on the 12th Febuary 2017.

    Image 

    The wreck of the MV Tuhoe
    on the Waimakariri River bar 

    Tuesday 17th November 2015: We've had a busy time lately, in more ways than one! Of note, we covered the stranding and subsequent breaking up of the old (1919) motor vessel MV Tuhoe on the Waimakariri River bar. The grounding forced an end to the production that we've been working on about this historic ship for a number of years. This movie will be released in due course... We also started a new promotional DVD dealing with the beautiful Weka Pass Railway and it's historic past.

    Saturday 30th August 2014: We're pleased to announce that we now have an aerial camera in the form of a Drone. This aircraft is capable of flying to about 2,500ft either straight up or out. We've flown to about 2,800ft away from the operator, but there is a height restriction of 400ft unless CAA approves a request to fly higher.

    This new tool will expand our video and photography methods in exciting ways. It records Full HD video and takes high resolution photos. It can take off and land from remote locations and can hover, fly forward back and forth in any direction.

    We no longer need to hire aircraft or helicopters when covering rallies or events. As they have a base limit of 500ft over built up areas it's not possible to get the wonderful vistas available to us with the Drone.

    This drone is also available for hire... see details here

    Saturday 19th May 2012: Our Third Expedition went very well. We had a great time... and after we came away, we came home briefly then headed north to check out another aircraft crash that still had wreckage on site. The whole story can be found here: CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY

    Friday 24th February 2012:

    Land Rover crossing the Hopkins River 

    The Third Expedition story
    can be found here:
    CLICK HERE 

    I have great news! The Third Expedition to search for the crash site of ZK-AFB is about to head forth. Mothers health has returned to the point where we have been able to start planning another trip into the mountain wilderness. It is like a dream come true... we had lost all hope of returning to the mountains, at least for this season at any rate. But now the 3rd great adventure is about to begin.
        We have no idea how long we will be away this time. It really depends on how Mother feels, so we shall take it on a day to day basis. We're taking both Land-Rovers and our bus, but not the caravan or trailer this time. This time we plan to do some specialist searching in dedicated areas. We may be forced to camp out with small tents if the distance covered each day is too great to return to base by nightfall. But all will be well... we are fully prepared for this.
        There are certain points of interest uncovered by our previous search efforts and also by the extensive research we have made since we were last in the area. This has given us reason to search these places.
        Oh for the open road... the open road to adventure; to where dreams are created and borne forth on the winds of time. Our destination is where the waving grass grows beneath the shadow of the gaunt peaks of the mountain divide. Our journey into this rugged region will take us back to a time when things were peaceful, quiet and contented. After the horror of living through 10,000 earthquakes and the worry of Mothers health it is now time to return to the tranquil solitude and the divine security where mountain peaks reach up with craggy fingers as though pointing to our heavenly abode.

    Cheerio... I will write again when I get a chance between chasing rabbits, deer... and hopefully a Bison or three... or is that just wishful thinking? Hehe! :)

    50th Anniversary Speeches 

    Speeches were given by various people
    at the recent Dragonfly 50th Anniversary
    Celebrations held at West Melton, NZ 

    Tuesday 14th February 2012: Various searchers and others from around the country gave speeches at the recent event held at West Melton, NZ to mark 50 years since DH90 Dragonfly ZK-AFB went missing between Christchurch and Milford on 12th February 1962.

    We were present and gave talks on our search efforts.

    Please visit our Video Clips page [CLICK HERE] to view the videos that have been recorded, edited and uploaded to YouTube.

    Talks were given by Bobbie Reeve (Father) and Adam R. B. Reeve (Son) to explain our methods, reasons and morals for our search.

    This event was held on 12th February 2012... 50 years to the day after that fateful flight of ZK-AFB.

    Saturday 4th February 2012: We have completed the DVD of the BROOKLANDS HALL MEETING (23rd January 2012) regarding the Red Zoned earthquake districts and related insurance matters.

    We filmed, edited and produced this video for the benefit of the community completely free of charge.

    The main speeches can be viewed on YouTube here:

    DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE
    It is for an excellent cause

    Or a DVD which includes the question and answers can be purchased through us. You can either ring 027 221 7763 or email us to order a copy. They are $10 each plus $2 shipping.

    More Information Here:
    BROOKLANDS MEETING NOTES

     
    Monday 23rd January 2012: For people who have been directed here from the Malvern and Rolleston News, a brochure with full details about the coming 50th Anniversary Celebrations at West Melton is now available for download.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE

     
    Monday 1st January 2012: The 50th Anniversary Celebrations are to be held at West Melton Airfield, Canterbury, NZ, on the 12th February 2011. Organised by the Rev Dr Richard Waugh, a well respected author, historian and organiser, this is to commemorate 50 years since the mysterious disappearance of Dragonfly ZK-AFB (the aircraft that we are searching for) on 12th February 1962. We will be on site to cover this on HD Video, with coverage of all interviews, speeches and other events.

    SPEAKERS:

    • Richard Waugh: Welcoming and short talk. (More information)

    • Gavin Grimmer: Presentation on his personal search for ZK-AFB using Google Earth. (More information)

    • Bobbie Reeve: Explain our preference for our search location and explain why we believe the aircraft is in that area. Also show artifacts from DH84 Dragon ZK-AHT that crashed on the Hope Saddle south of Nelson on 30th June 1944.

    • Adam Reeve:  Discuss search methods and techniques. Describe the difficulty and extreme danger involved. From camping to climbing... and from relaxing in the caravan to our struggles on the mountain peaks!

    We will conclude with an explanation about our intentions for ongoing search efforts...

    It is with great anticipation that we look forward to meeting you there. Until next time... 'au revoir!'

     

    Llynnelley a few weeks after her stroke 

    Llynnelley during an 'outing' near the
    hospital about 3 weeks after her stroke 

    Tuesday 27th December 2011: In late September (2011) Llynnelley had a massive stroke and heart attack one evening while she was cooking supper. It was awful to see a perfectly healthy lady lose the use of her limbs and her speech like that. But after almost five weeks in hospital Llynnelley's health slowly returned. It was a miracle how she learnt to walk and talk properly again. As time has gone on she has steadily improved. But we have decided its probably not wise to make another big expedition in search of the missing Dragonfly aircraft this summer. We do plan to go for a holiday there, but it will not be a major event like the other expeditions.

    We have recently suffered from fresh earthquakes. But although terribly stunned by the activity we have the faith to remain strong regardless of what happens. After surviving over 8,000 quakes in the last 16 months we have no choice but to accept that they are part of our daily life.

    Work is continuing as normal. We are have had a busy Christmas, and have an exciting time ahead. We refuse to allow the earthquakes and mothers ill health to dampen our spirits or meddle with our Faith.

    We look forward to the future with just as much relish as before. We long to go back searching for the missing plane, but we are now thinking of gathering together a band of dedicated people to go as a team. There will be more on this idea at a later date.

    Saturday 20th August 2011: Christchurch and Canterbury is no longer the same. We have been badly shaken by the earthquakes, and more recently by the red zoning of many areas in Christchurch. This has both directly and indirectly affected our sales... and like many other companies around the city, we are feeling the pain.

    However, we are a long way from being beaten. In true Kiwi style we refuse to be beaten... regardless of the odds thrown against us. We have rebuilt our home twice, only to now have the Government 'red zone' our property... and condemn it! This means they expect us to shift. But we are fighting to stay. After restoring our home twice we don't exactly feel like just walking out now!

    We are thinking forward to the Summer when we will be able to once more attempt another expedition into the mountains to look for the remains of ZK-AFB.

    Thursday 26th May 2011: Well, its sometime since I last posted an update. Since then we have suffered a second major earthquake... on the 22nd February 2011. At 6.3 mag it damaged our house once again. So we have been extremely busy with the rebuilding process. Its almost finished... for the second time! Three days before the February quake we were all ready to move back into the house. Ha! Then we got wrecked again and had to start back at square one. This last 8 months or so will never be forgotten as long as we live! With around 5000 earthquakes since 4th September 2010, it has changed the lives of everyone living in Canterbury forever. Except for the fact we cannot live in our home until it is finished, everything is running as normal once more.

    We desperately need a holiday after all these long months of hard slog, so we are planning a big adventure for next Summer. It's going to be rather interesting to see how we go.

    Wednesday 09th February 2011: Friends, Romans and Countrymen! Lend me your ears! I have something to tell you and I am afraid its not good. Although we have rebuilt our home and everything is alright on that front, we were steadily preparing to head south for the third expedition, when we received word that the access way into Monument Hut has been closed by massive slips after heavy flooding over Christmas, will take some time to clear. We thought it was all okay, but have been told we wouldn't make it through even with the Land Rovers alone. So basically what with the earthquake delaying us, the slips on the road have put the final nail in the coffin, so now we have to tell you, we are very sorry, but there will be no expedition until next summer... although we are considering going in late Spring if the snow is not too heavy over the winter. If we have heavy snow, the rivers will be swollen in the Spring from the thawing snow.

    It has been a major setback for us, but we are content to wait and prepare, and we wish to thank those who have helped us, and are continuing to support us, and say, we will continue, we won't be beaten by an earthquake and some flooding! Next season we shall be better equipped to tackle the stiff interior of the search area.

    Friday 24th December 2010: Hello and Merry Christmas everyone! Those who have been asking if they could help us in some physical way toward locating the crash site of Dragonfly ZK-AFB should go to the HOW YOU CAN HELP PAGE where you can find details on how to make a contribution to our search efforts. It is a huge task we have set ourselves, and while we believe we are very close to finding the site, we are unable to pursue our goal without extra finance.

    We could cope perfectly okay before when we could drive our vehicles into the vicinity, but now we have to shift further into the mountains, access has become the major difficulty. Hiring a Helicopter to shift everything into the search zone is one of many expenses necessary for such an undertaking. We have considered using horses, but as we know nothing about controlling horses, it could end up rather a risky plan! I thought of buying up all the old worn out horses and using them. If they drowned in a river or broke a leg... well, we could either build a cairn over them or live on horse meat for awhile! HAHA! At least we could have got a good supply of horses. My family didn't like the idea of heaps of cairns all the way up the river!!!

    Another idea has been tossed around. We need fresh meat, and seeing there is only rabbits and hares, and since the rest of the family got mighty tired of fried, boiled, or stewed rabbit last year, I thought it would be ideal to take a dozen or so hens and half a dozen sheep and turn the lot loose, then whenever we wanted fresh meat we could go out and take a pot shot at one of our roaming "livestock." However that plan has been squashed because no-one feels like eating a whole sheep in less that 3 days owing to not being able to freeze the carcass. No sorry, we are not the type that leave our meat hanging for days on end to make it taste better!

    Seeing it is Christmas, I would like to relate a funny story from our last trip into the mountains. I am sure you'll have a chuckle at my expense!

    Now you know we were living in our caravan, on the outer fringe of the native bush. You'll remember if you look at the photos of where we had the caravan parked. Anyway, it was early one morning we were all lying in bed fast asleep. The birds outside were singing, and the river was singing merrily nearby as we slept. Suddenly the sound of lowing cattle drifted in through the open windows and we awoke with a jump!

    I sat up sleepily in bed and pulled the curtain back to find out what was up. I rubbed my eyes in surprise to see a whole herd of cattle, calves and all smashing their way through out campsite. With total disregard for our goods and chattels they crashed though on their way down river. Instead of going out along the river bank they had for some crazy reason decided pass the caravan by pushing through the bush.

    All sleep was thrust from me by the shock of what was happening outside. We had to get those "four legged milk bags" away from our camp in double quick time to prevent further damage. I leapt out of bed with a bellow of rage, snatched the shotgun from the rack and tucked a packet of cartridges under my arm. In less time than it takes to tell I was out of the caravan and after those wayward beasts.

    I dodged through the forest firing and reloading the shotgun as the bemused cattle ran with heaps of green stuff spurting from their rear ends. I was like a wild indian on the prairies whooping and caroling, clad only in my pajamas as I chasing those cows away firing shot after shot into the air. I caused a regular stampede... and I returned to the caravan both breathless and hoarse to find my family had been watching my style of moving on uninvited guests with great amusement.

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to 2011 with excitement. Fun and adventure walk hand and hand with us on a daily basis. Whatever happens we shall tackle it without reproach or dismay. Roll on tomorrow... we shall be ready... come what may.

    Thursday 16th December 2010: After the long winter and the scary time with the bad earthquake/s back in September we are now moving on. Our home has almost been rebuilt. Just a few more weary days and we shall see the end of the long gloomy tunnel!

    Its been a terrible time, but we are pulling through and finally looking forward to going away for a well earned rest soon after Christmas. Only a person who experienced the earthquake could comprehend the shear terror people suffered. To be woken out of a sound sleep with your whole bed, your whole world moving is truly the stuff nightmares are made of!

    We now want to get away and think about something else for awhile. To sit reading near a twinkling mountain brook or to go rabbiting at dusk is something we really long for.

    It has not been decided what we will be doing yet, but we are going back into the Lake Ohau area to do more grid searching. We are not sure whether we will take the caravan or not... but its very likely we will.

    Our Third Expedition is coming up. Where shall we search this time? What shall we find? Time alone knows! Whatever happens you can rest assured it will be another great family adventure in some of New Zealand finest wonderland. We have a lack of meat up there. Everyone got tired of rabbit last time... even the cat, and tinned corned beef is a no no! Yuk! We all hate the stuff... even Spam! I suggested we take about 4 sheep and a dozen fowls (chickens) and just shoot one when we want fresh meat. Last time we were up there I couldn't find a Deer... and there were no Thar or Chamois either. I tried hard, but no luck last time... on Rabbits and Hares. Jessie won't mind. They will be new to her! HAHA!

    Friday 19th November 2010: The last 2 1/2 months have been really hectic. After the huge 7.1 Canterbury Earthquake on Sept 4th we have been busy doing repairs and alterations to our home. We have not had time to do much else really, given the circumstances.

    We are coming right again now though, and it will be a pleasure to be able to relax again... one day in the very near future! There has been in excess of 2,000 aftershocks, and these have really kept our stress level high!!!

    Our search for the Dragonfly will continue unabated... just slightly delayed. We plan to do another search after Christmas, but we are not sure of the times yet. We had originally hoped to go off for a couple of months from December 2010, but already we know it won't be till at least the beginning of February 2011.

    We will keep you posted on that though...

    WORLD PLOUGH 2010 DVD 

    WORLD PLOUGH 2010 DVD 

    Saturday 13th August 2010: It is our pleasure to announce the release of WORLD PLOUGH 2010 AND METHVEN VINTAGE CLUB 21ST ANNIVERSARY RALLY.

    The film has a running duration of 108 minutes, and full details can be found on the ALL VIDEOS page.

    This video is available on DVD and Blu-ray. It is the first Full HD 16.9 (widescreen) video we have produced. The quality is startling indeed!!! There is also a good scene selection so you can find your way back to a favourite section.

    We apologize for the long wait, but believe you will enjoy the finished product. We have to be completely happy with a video before we release it... we cannot allow second grade work through. It has to be 100% perfect or we won't pass it! This all takes time.

    PLEASE NOTE: To all those who preordered a copy/s, your disc was delivered to the despatcher on Friday, 13th August, so they are on their way at long last. Thanks for your patience, and we hope you like it. Please send us an email if you have time to let us know what you think of it. Any ideas are good to have... so we can make the next video even better!!!

    Monday 28th June 2010: Everything is going as it should with the video of the WORLD PLOUGH 2010, although it's taking a little time. Naturally we have other work but we're keeping WORLD PLOUGH 2010 as priority. Some people have asked why it takes so long... well, simply because we will not release a program unless its 101% perfect! We must be completely satisfied with it before its ready. Because our videos are proper movies every frame has to be checked and rechecked individually... Every effect, every title and every transition... nothing is left to chance.

    A couple of the aircraft we flew in whilst away 

    Inside the great hanger at Mandeville.
    This is just two of the planes we flew
    there recently 

    Saturday 19th June 2010: After filming the WORLD PLOUGH 2010 event near the end of April 2010, we continued on south for about 4 weeks to do some flight tests and air to air photography with various aircraft at several locations. Read more on this here

    Since our arrival home late last month, we have been really busy working on the recent WORLD PLOUGH 2010 DVD. It is coming along really well, but like all good things, is taking a little time. We are over halfway through, having completed the first edit...

    Soon after our return, our family acquired a new addition... namely a dog! Yes, a real live puppy dog. It is a purebred female Border Collie born on the 18th March 2010... so is today 3 months 1 day old. Her name is Jessie, and is a real bundle of fun. It will be lovely to have her companionship when away in the back of beyond! Hopefully Adam won't get into such tricky predicaments if Jessie is there to take care of him.

    Bessie the Mother of our Jessie 

    This is Bessie, the Mother of our little Jessie
    (See left side of this page for pictures
    of our pup, or check out the  
    About Us
    page for most recent photos) 

    We purchased this remarkably clever little pup from Tracy and Suzie Bedford of Christchurch. They breed fine Border Collies, and get incredible satisfaction and enjoyment from seeing the new pups go to new homes all around the country. Tracy says it is very rewarding. Jessies Mum is called Bessie, and is a fine Collie. Hopefully our little Jessie will grow up in the footsteps of her mother... she is already showing great intelligence and talent.

    Saturday 10th April 2010: After an incredibly exciting time away, we are home and planning a 3rd expedition to look for the remains of ZK-AFB! You can read the full story here. Click here

    It's always hard to come home to the extra work load after a holiday, but we are slowly working through it all. We are covering the NZ Plough 2010 event to be held at Methven next weekend. This will be our first rally video to be released on Blu-ray as well as standard DVD. It will also be first time we will cover the event in widescreen, so it should turn out to be a pretty interesting video!!!

    Saturday 23rd January 2010: It's getting closer to the time when we aim to head away. But whilst we have been preparing to leave, TVNZ approached us for our story. Closeup has made an interesting little video... with interviews mixed with live video footage of our last expedition into the search area. It can be viewed on the Closeup website at by clicking here or clicking on the photo below.

    CLICK THIS PHOTO TO SEE THE VIDEO CLIP
    BEHIND THE SCENES: One of the shots TNVZ (ClOSEUP) did to
    add into their item regarding our efforts to locate ZK-AFB

    Thanks to all those people who have emailed or telephoned us regarding sightings of wreckage or hearings of aircraft back in 1962. We are very grateful for your help.

    Friday, 8th January 2010: Just a quick update with some new photos for the bottom of this page here. Click here Also of note is the fact that a reporter from the Sunday Star Times newspaper recently asked for our story. It's due on Sunday Star Times website and also STUFF this Sunday... (10th Jan' 2010) also available from your local news agent. By the way, here is a photo we took of ourselves today... It shows the "gang" altogether!!!

    The Gang off duty
    The  four of us (and puss!) in a relaxed moment

    Monday, 19th October 2009: Our search for the missing plane is taking an interesting new twist as recent research draws us closer to the mystery crash location.

    Sunday, 6th September 2009: Preparations are under way for a Second Expedition this Summer. We have purchased a classic caravan and are busy restoring it for the trip. PREPARING FOR A SECOND EXPEDITION

    Sunday, 7th June 2009: The first expedition is over. We have learnt a lot, and mapped a great deal of the area to be searched. We have realized it is going to be quite an exercise, and one which could take a few seasons to complete. However, we are not concerned about the time it may take. We are working steadily onward. We have made a great deal of progress in that we made a performance test flight in the DH Dragonfly at Mandeville to see what it could or could not do. We were stunned at the findings!

    We are now preparing for a second expedition in the Spring of 2009... just a few months away. Keep a watch on this site as we'll be posting more details soon.

    Tuesday, 10th February, 2009: Operation Dragonfly is now in progress. We are departing in a couple of days in an attempt to locate the missing 'plane. Full details can be found at this page here: The Search Begins

    A recent meeting with the Rowan Family in Christchurch, NZ

    Photo (Left to Right): Susan Rowan (wife of John Rowan); Ann Rowan (wife of Patrick Rowan); John Rowan; Bobbie Reeve; Patrick Rowan; Christine Rowan

    On 24th November 2008 we met the Rowan family from Australia. Very fittingly the locale was Croydon House, Christchurch, the place Louis Rowan stayed at in the last days before the final flight of ZK-AFB. The Rowans are a wonderful family. We discussed our plans and hopes with them. In return they gave us much encouragement and prayers.

    Monday, 23rd June 2008: Well, I'm very sorry for the delay in updating this site, but things have just been so hectic of late. With the Kingston Flyer film finally behind us, we now have a new project on hand. This is the search for an aircraft which went missing on a flight between Christchurch and Milford in early 1962. The 5 people and the 'plane were never seen again. Our quest is to locate the site and find out what took place on that tragic day. We will also be producing a film of the search. The full story, with photographs can be found here: The Dragonfly Mystery

The Newly Wed couple aboard the last flight of ZK-AFB
The Honey Moon Couple who perished aboard the stricken plane

    Sunday, 30th December, 2007: NEW ADDITION TO SITE: Please see the new section here INFORMATION for stories about how and why we have made certain films. This new feature will be added to as time permits.

    Friday, 14th December, 2007: It is a pleasure to be able to finally announce the release of "THE KINGSTON FLYER, The Story of a Train and a Man" at long last! It has taken 10 long years to produce, and we are sure you will be pleased with the result.

    Saturday, 12th August, 2007: Kingston Flyer video is getting very close to completion. It's looking to be one of our most exciting steam videos.

Kingston - New Zealand
Kingston, New Zealand

    Saturday, 4th August, 2007: Exciting new web site unveiled. With a tidier navigation system and a more uniform layout we feel this new site will present our online image in an easier manner than the old site.
     

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OUR SEARCH
FOR DRAGONFLY
ZK-AFB

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CONTACT US

 

 

 

Bobbie explaining to the camera about what we have been doing with ZK-AYR
Bobbie talking about
what we have been doing
with Dragonfly ZK-AYR
at Mandeville, Southland 

  

www.whitebusfamily.co.nz 

  


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WHITE BUS FAMILY PRODUCTIONS
Telephone Contact: (0064) 03 327 6585 or Mobile (0064) 027 221 7763
Last Updated: Wednesday, 05 April, 2017