2014 Taylor Coot Plane Project
In 2014 Mercury Bay Area School students embarked on a second aviation project, once again under guidance from members of the local community.
The new project is the restoration of a Taylor-Coot amphibian aeroplane and will be significantly different from the building of the new VANZ RV12 the school completed last year.
The Taylor-Coot project is a direct result of the RV12 project. The plane has been donated by Martin Farrand, a friend of Alan Coubray, who’s a member of the Mercury Bay Aero Club and who acted as the test pilot of the RV12. A team of mentors led by Jim Evans headed to Kaipara Flats, dismantled the wings and brought the plane to Whitianga.
MBAS and the Mercury Bay Aero Club have now formed the Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust and the plan is for this Trust to own the Taylor-Coot and sell it once it’s restored. It’s projected that the amphibian plane will generate sufficient profit to buy another RV12, or similar, kitset for another new-build.
All these new developments are very exciting and offer the possibility of aviation engineering or aviation studies as an ongoing option for students attending MBAS.
"At the moment students participating in our aeroplane projects can gain NCEA Level 1 credits through the Gateway work-readiness programme. If we can have an ongoing aviation programme, we hope to attract students from further afield. It really will be something that will set us apart from many other schools, not only in New Zealand, but around the world. It will also add to and enrich our existing range of unique learning opportunities, like our marine academy and marine science, outdoor education and horticulture courses.” Karlos Bosson, teacher in charge of the aviation project.
A key component of the success of the RV12 project was the involvement of members of the community who guided the students and acted as their mentors and the success of the RV12 has resulted in approaches from people other than the RV12 mentors who are eager to help.
The Taylor-Coot which is being restored is registered ZK-ECL. It was built in New Zealand in 1975. It changed hands in 1991 and Martin became its owner in 2004. The plane is of a low wing design, making it a stable aircraft and unlikely to capsize during take-off and landing.