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Author Topic: My latest Youtube video
Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 3944
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted November 26, 2012 08:13 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Although its nothing to do with films except the times I did the occasional late night 8/16mm screening in the hanger. [Roll Eyes]

I was asked a few years back, had I any footage of the days I worked there, as when the engineering base closed, all the advertising stuff plus films, I found out later were thrown out.

I did take some video "17 years ago" and thought I might have scrubed it long ago, but found it, [Smile] and surprise, the tape was ok, so up on Youtube its gone. One feature on Youtube was to take the shake out. I have no idea how they did it, but it looks good. [Cool]

Anyway, I am expecting some abusive phone calls from those I video taped that day [Big Grin] I was a pain in the butt and getting in everyone way. The folk I worked with "they were a good bunch" like myself were later made redundant, not because we did not make money "we did" but a takeover from a larger company "not a nice experience". The aircraft are all gone and the hanger is now now a car park, so its a bit of history thats recorded. Oh! if you do watch it, there is one scene of yours truly in a blue overall standing like a tin soldier giving the fingers to the pilot on start up. I was on the roster that weekend along with one other from the hanger to cover all airline maintenance country wide, fix and keep things going was the general idea [Smile] ..so with a little spare time I had, out came the camera

The Youtube is called..."Mount Cook Airline The 748 Days"

Graham.

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Gary Brocklehurst
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 171
From: West Bromwich, West Midlands, England
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted November 27, 2012 03:29 AM      Profile for Gary Brocklehurst   Email Gary Brocklehurst   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Graham

As a keen commercial aircraft fan, I thoroughly enjoyed your excellent footage! Happy days..

Please feel free to keep in touch

Kindest Regards Always

Gary Brocklehurst (ex Derann)

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 3944
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted November 27, 2012 11:12 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Gary

It was during those days at Mt Cook and getting home late at night, was when I would come across the latest Derann news letter that would have arrived during the day in the post. [Smile]

Hence, the late night phone calls, which was day time at your end. It was great doing business with you over those years and was very pleased to here that after Derann closed you found another job.

Regards Graham.

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted November 28, 2012 09:46 AM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Graham

I thoroughly enjoyed the video. Excellent shots. Now lets get back to the 35 mm toy you have.

PatD

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1630
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted November 28, 2012 11:59 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nicely shot, Graham. And a nice camraderie with the guys - I especially liked the pilot waving out the window.

Here's the direct link for those who haven't seen it yet.

By the way, what's the significance of 748 days? The length of time you were employed there?

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 3944
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted November 28, 2012 04:38 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Bill

The 748 days really means HS748, 748 is just a short way of saying it. It was really a period of time when the "Mount Cook Airline" which was also part of the Mount Cook Group, ran as a separate company which had its own indentity.

The family that started it all and in particular one person, was a chap called Harry Wigley, who incidentally flew an old Auster with camera for the Cinerama film "South Seas Adventure", he was the man that built the Mount Cook Group and in particular the Airline side of things from the DC3 days to the HS748.

Although Harry Wigley died in 1980 before I started, he had a very dedicated bunch of people working for him and I understand was very popular and well liked by the staff.

The company he built turned out to be the largest tourist operator in NZ. After his death, Air New Zealand slowly increased its share holding and in time forced the remaining family shares to sell, hence they took over. With that came "asset stripping" of the company, nasty stuff.

The HS748 still continued to operate with its well known trade mark on the tail of the "Mount Cook Lily". When Air New Zealand decided to replace the HS748, they did it with the ATR72. I and others went along to the presentation of our new future, thats what we were told at the time. As the curtains opened there it was, a large model of the ATR72 in its new colours.

However, the one thing that was missing that everyone commented on at the time was the "Mount Cook Lily", where is it, the very thing that represented the airline all those years on the tale was missing. A new era had started and within 15 months Air New Zealand took all the maintenance of us, closed the engineeing down and made everyone redundant.

The very people that had worked so hard along with the man who started it all was now gone, many because of there age were not offered any alternative employment, even with years of valuable experience in the end meant nothing.

With the ending of the HS748 and the "lily" on the tail, it was the end of an era for many that worked for that company at that time.

The HS748 itself was well suited for its role of operating in rough strips and flying tourist destinations, in particular Queenstown and Mt Cook and many others. It was a solid aircraft that would handle rough mountain conditions, even though the passengers might not.

For me...well I went on to work for "Ansett NZ" until they closed a few years later [Roll Eyes] ....such is life.

PS.
I got a call last night from the tarmac engineer that featured in the video "someone told him" he was very pleased and was receiving many e-mails about it, and is going to send me some photos that include your truly in it that I never new existed [Eek!] ...soon.
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....The HS748 in the background...those were the days.

PS. Pat... I will get back to movies soon [Smile]

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 3944
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted December 03, 2012 12:40 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well folks what an amazing week of memories its been since that video went up on Youtube. The chap in the video put me onto a Facebook page thats dedicated to the airline, and here was me thinking that very little in the way of photos had been taken. I got that wrong. The person in the video was a keen photographer and had thankfully taken quite a few.

I am now looking at the Super8 film that I took in the hanger at the time. The quality is not that good...its a bit grainy, however there is someone local that has professional transfer stuff, that would be the only way to go so will see what it will cost first.

Its been a real thrill to be once again, after so many years to be in contact with folk that I once worked with.

Lots of stories, anyway here are a couple of photos you might find of interest and a big thanks to the person that took them.
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this must be around 1996-97...thats "me" at the far left with the blue jacket..we were fooling around at the baggage door in the ATR72 on night shift.
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This is a brilliant photo, on the far right is the HS748 and left the ATR72. All up I spent 21 years in that very hanger, working 10 years of that with the aero club. It really felt strange on the last night. The place became ghostly quiet. After seeing the last aircraft onto the gate late on a dark wintery Sunday night I closed the doors on the place for the last time. I was on my own, as by that stage everyone else had been paid out on the previous Friday and were gone.
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I took this photo 25 years ago for someone else taken of the shift I was on, as this person at the time was leaving so I offered to take it with his camera.
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When the placed closed it was like a family breaking up, as we all had spent so much time working there.

Graham.

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