On the 17th May 1950 the annual report showed a loss of 3 aircraft for the year along with a loss of $1387. Membership was also down to 747 down from 818. The loss was mainly due to the maintenance on the Tiger Moths, which was the clubs biggest burden. The club was also not without its incidents with the Ercoupe AQX crashing into a bank that was around Mangere when the pilot landed on the short runway. The nose wheel was badly bent and the engine cowl was dented. The petrol tank was split open and the propeller ended up “a little out of line”. It was repaired. A few days later on the 20th a Tiger Moth was involved in a crash at Te Kaha. It was salvaged by the Aero Club was an extremely hard job. Two members flew up in another Tiger Moth but they could not land anywhere near the crashed Moth due to the terrain. A truck made its way to the aircraft after crossing a number of rivers and making its own tracks to where the aircraft lay.
The club however was not without ‘fun flying’. At the beginning of October 1950 the Auckland Aero Club ‘attacked’ the Waikato Aero Club planes. A fleet of 7 aircraft took part and they were joined by three Piako club aircraft. The 10 aircraft along with the Waikato Aero Club planes formatted and went back to the Waikato Aero Club where the three clubs competed in a range of competitions for the day. On the 18th December 1950 the Waikato Aero Club had there chance to ‘attack’ the Auckland Aero Club. Four aircraft from Waikato and two from Piako Aero Club were in the raid. The Auckland Aero Club pilots scrambled to their planes. Seven aircraft took off and joined overhead, formatted and the aircraft headed over the city before returning to Mangere for breakfast. The weather prevented landing competitions from taking place and the ‘attackers’ went home.
On the 10th January the club unpacked two new Auster aircraft. One of the Tiger Moths were sold. However the new aircraft turned out to be extremely noisy. The engineers at the Aero Club also found out that the timing on the cylinders of the Lycoming engines were wrong.
The next aircraft the club bought was a Whitney Straight aircraft on 30th March 1951. The clubs Ercoupe and the Beechcraft were undergoing maintenance and once were finished the club was back to the full fleet of 4 Tiger Moths, a Fox Moth, the recently purchased Auster another Whitney.
On the 25th March 1952 the club bought three new aircraft, a Dominie and two Tiger Moths, the Domine was an 8 seater and was used to extend the clubs charter work and the Tiger Moths was used for training. The fleet at present consisted of 2 Austers, 2 Miles Whitney Straights, the Beechcraft, a Fox Moth and 5 Tiger Moths. The club continued with these aircraft for the next 2 years.
For the year ended April 1952 the Aero Club lost $3286 during the last financial year. In the annual report, the club was beset with difficulties at the start of the year. The two Auster aircraft were not allowed to fly, 10 days after the Ercoupe was finished its $700 overhaul it was involved in a serious incident that wrote it off. The three seater, Whitney, waited three months for its certificate of airworthiness, the Fox Moth needed to go to Wellington for its certificate of airworthiness and a plane that was imported from Australia waited two months in the Auckland Harbour and was then landed in poor shape.
In April 1954, they sold the Beechcraft AEYto an Australian grazer. It was the first ambulance aircraft and was used by the club to carry urgent hospital cases as far south as Dunedin.
In July 1954 the club bought 2 Cessna 170 aircraft. The Cessna cruises at 120mph. The club members welcomed the introduction of the new Cessna with warm arms and comments like ‘bang on and beautiful’. It was financed from the sale of the Beechcraft along with savings.
On the 9th of August 1955, the club decided to change its training fleet. Two Piper Super cubs were ordered along with a spare engine. The Super Cubs with an engine of 108 horsepower can leave the ground after a run of only 6 times its fuselage length, 41.28m. With full flaps it can be slowed down to 33mph. Compared with the Tiger Moths the Super Cub used barely any oil per hour while the Tiger Moth used 1 Quart, the cruise was 20mph more than the Tiger Moth, the endurance of the Super Cub was 7 hours compared to the Tiger Moth’s 3 hours. The Tiger Moths also had a very high maintenance cost. With the introduction of the Piper Super Cubs it means that the clubs main fleet will consist of American aircraft using the same make of engine which will keep running costs down. The existing fleet was getting old and the Aero Club put the Dominie and a Fox Moth up for sale. Later it sold two of its Tiger Moths. BKV was the first aircraft to arrive in January 1956 and BKW was at the club by March 1956.
With new aircraft on the way, the club unfortunately did not go without incidents. One of the Auster aircraft had an engine failure at about 1000ft. The pilot landed the plane about a mile and a half north-east of the aerodrome. He took the plane through a wire fence when trying to avoid a clump of pines. This was during a ‘Learn to fly’ display at Mangere. The plane was damaged but no one was injured.
In October 1955 the club decided to convert its Fox Moth to be able to carry a quarter of a ton of cargo to/from Great Barrier. This however did not work and the club sold the aircraft to Tauranga Aero Club in November 1955. The club also sold its Dominie to Southern Scenic Air Services LTD of Queenstown.
The Piper Cubs were proving to be a great asset to the club as at a meeting in June 1956 the president Mr. T.A. Barrow called for loans from members in order to purchase 2 more Piper aircraft. He added that the club is planning to sell all but one of its Tiger Moths for the enthusiastic pilots only if it was flown regularly. The two Piper Cubs BQP and BQQ, were bought and arrived in December 1956. By the end of December 1956 the club had 2 Cessna and 4 Piper. The club also had 3 Tiger Moths but sold these aircraft by February 1957.
The next aircraft to arrive at the Aero Club was a Cessna 180 along with 2 new Cessna 170’s BBK and BJS. Both C170’s were 4 seat tail draggers with 145 horsepower engine. They had a full panel and comm. radios. This was to modernize the fleet.
On August 3rd 1958, the Aero club had two aircraft involved in a serious accident. A Cessna and a Piper were coming in to land at Mangere when they collided. The aircraft was under the operation and control of an ATC unit. The club alleged during the court proceedings on 13th June 1960 that it was through negligence of the ATC officer that the accident occurred in that he failed to control the aircraft. He failed to keep a proper observation on the aircraft and permitted them to collide, that he failed to exercise due care and skill carrying out his duties. The plantiffs were seeking the sum of $3500 which was the purchase price of a new Cessna less $800 which was obtained for the plane involved in the crash together with just over $173 as the cost of the repairs for the Piper. The Aero Club, after the preceding, was awarded with just over $1902, which was 2/3 of the amount the club needed. There was a motion for re-trial but it was dismissed. To replace the Cessna that was involved in the crash the Aero Club acquired a Cessna 170 BLT while the other was re-built.