1960 and 1961 were busy years for the club as they prepared the move to Ardmore from Mangere. On 1st February 1961, 8 light aircraft took off in formation from Mangere around Auckland city to mark the move. The club started with 12 members and 1 Gypsy Moth in 1928 and now had over 600 members and 9 aircraft .
At the end of March 1961, the Aero Club hired a twin engine Apache aircraft for 15 months from a private owner in the South Island.
At the beginning of 1962, the committee decided it was time to start looking at replacing the training fleet. Among the aircraft the club looked at was a French plane called the Rallye. The CFI flew it at Ardmore in January 1962 to see would it be suitable for the club as trainers. The aircraft that was picked were Victa Airtourers, which did not arrive until mid 1963.
In February 1962, the club modified the Piper aircraft to tricycle undercarriage.
In July 1962, the government stops financial help to aero club to train pilots. By 1961 the figure had halved per student, but now it is being completely withdrawn which did not help with recruiting new students or for the aircraft hours for the year.
September and October 1963 saw 3 new aircraft online at the club. One aircraft was on loan – BQY a Piper Super Cub which was on-line at the club for a year. A C172 (CCF) and a C150 (CCK) were bought for £4770.
In June 1963 the committee decided to sell a C180 and buy a twin.
July 1963 saw the first of the Aero Club’s new training fleet arrive at Ardmore. The club’s maintenance hangar put together the first Victa Airtourer.
In May 1964, the Aero Club committee decided to sell its 5 Piper Cub aircraft as part of a policy of replacement of its training fleet to be 5 Victa Airtourer’s and 2 C150’s. The rest of the Airtourer’s arrived during the year with the final arriving before Christmas 1964. The Airtourer was a 2 seater single engine aircraft with a Roll-Royce continental engine with 100 horsepower and a cruising speed of 100kts. These aircraft kept the club busy and no new aircraft arrived at the club for 2½ years.
In June 1967, the club purchased 3 Cherokee 140 aircraft
In October 1967, the clubs C172 CEY was involved in an accident after touch-down. The pilot mismanaged the controls, had several bounces. The heavy impact detached the nose-wheel assembly and the aircraft overturned. The pilot survived.
In March 1969, the clubs Mooney aircraft CPF was involved in a serious accident. The indicator lights showed the landing gear had not locked down. Repeated cycling of the gear failed to obtain a down and locked indication. Ground observations indicated the gear was down and the pilot decided to land on the grass. At the end of the landing roll, the gear selector lever sprang out of the down position and the gear retracted. It was found after the investigation that the groove in selector gave a false impression of down. The pilot and his three passengers had no injury but the aircraft was badly damaged.
The 70’s was a busy decade for the club regarding purchasing and selling aircraft. The 23rd May 1970 the club lodged an application for a license to import a Piper Cherokee 140.The club also lodged another application to import a Cessna Skyhawk in October 1970.
However, in June 1970 the club lost one of the Airtourer’s CXS in an accident. The pilot along with apassenger were on a cross country from Gisborne to Taupo. The aircraft was flown above cloud for some time until the pilot found a break, which enabled him to descend beneath the ceiling, initially about 1000ft above ground level. A progressively lowering ceiling later obliged him to descend further and when ultimately cloud appeared to merge with the terrain ahead, the pilot initiated a turn onto a reciprocal track. During the turn, the aircraft entered cloud and after it had been completed, collided with gently rising bush clad terrain.The impact force destroyed the aircraft and later fire consumed the wing centre section and cockpit areas. The pilot lost his life and his passenger was seriously injured.
By the end of 1970 the club had 3 C172, BZS, CCF and CEY, a Mooney 21 CPG and a Cherokee 140. They also had three Victa Airtourer’s, two Mooney 20C, 1 C172 BWN and a Comanche aircraft that were hired by the club.