In February 1972, the Aero Club got approval to import a PA-32, a Cherokee. Later in the month, they got approval to import a Twin Commanche, which was to be on-loan at the club. The same month the club traded in CPF a Mooney aircraft as it was receiving DGZ a Cherokee 6.
In March 1972, the clubs Champion aircraft CMP, had substantial damage after touchdown in 12kt crosswind. The aircraft after touchdown yawed left through almost 90°. As the airspeed was still high and there appeared to be sufficient space available, the pilot applied power to overshoot. The aircraft became airborne but one wheel struck a fence and caused the aircraft to swing into it. The pilot and the passenger onboard were not injured.
June 1973, the Aero Club took delivery of a new twin Piper Commanche. The Commanche was one of 4 new aircraft the club bought. The other planes were a Cessna Cardinal, a Cessna Skyhawk and an aerospace T3 trainer.
Around April 1974, the club began to replace their Victa Airtourer 100 trainers – CFJ, CGP, CHB, CHE, CLE, CMC AND CME with T3’s. The first DLO arrived in April and DNF, DQP, DSZ AND DYK arrived throughout the year. These aircraft were produced by Aero Engine Services ltd at Hamilton and were modified Victa 100’s. The 130 horsepower Roll-Royce Continental engines replaced the O-200 engines. Only 1 T3, was built from scratch. All other T3’s were modified Victa 100’s. It was claimed that their maintenance costs were too high and they were eventually phased out in favor of the Grumman’s.
The next aircraft to arrive in 1975 was DJG a Piper Aztec that the club bought for $55,748.
By March 1976 the club had online DYK, DLO, DNF, DQP, DSZ (T3’S), DSM and DRQ (C172), DMI (C177B), DGZ, DIV (PA-32), CMP (Champion Citabria), DQS (Twin Comanche), CNL (PA-30), DIF, CUI (PA-28), DOA (Cessna 206), DGT (PA-23). They also had DAZ (C172), DML (C172), DOK (Comanche), DJG (PA-23) and BKV (PA-18) which are on hire.
By March 1977 the club had DYK, DLO, DNF, DQP, DSZ (T3’S), DSM and DRQ (C172), DMI (C177B), DJG (PA-23) along with 2 new Cherokee 6’s DGZ and DIV.
In 1978, the Aero Club decided to replace its training fleet with Grumman AA1C’s. The decision was taken not to pursue Cessna because another flying school was using them or Piper for the same reason. DLM was the first to arrive, which went on to see many PPL’s and CPL’s. It flew over 20,000 hours before the aircraft was retired. DYK, DLO and DRQ were sold. EFW was the next Grumman to arrive along with EFU and ESN.
In July 1978, the Aero Club lost its Archer, along with its pilot. Strong headwinds, turbulence and deteriorating weather were encountered during a visual flight from Wanganui to Ardmore. The pilot diverted to New Plymouth, but after four attempts to land in strong crosswind conditions, the pilot decided to continue onto Hamilton. In failing light and low cloud, he was unable to find Hamilton so he attempted to reach Auckland. The weather did not improve and when severe turbulence was encountered in the Manukau Heads area the pilot lost control of the aircraft, which struck the top of the ridge and overturned. There were 2 passengers onboard who were seriously injured.
1979 turned out to be a bad year for the club. In August CNL was damaged but was repaired, ENX was involved in a crash and ERN was sold in November after it had been involved in a crash in July. In February, the club replaced DIV with a later model.