Maurice Kirk

Maurice's Blog

October 2004 - Posts

Please sign our online petition: Fair Trials and Compensation instead of an effective remedy before national authorities, for Maurice and other victims of financial exploitation and legal oppression.

Breaking News:

Political asylum granted by France - to a British citizen - for the first time since the French Revolution... Key videos: We see Maurice being interviewed in Jersey in Dec 2010 and talking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, in June 2008. Here he introduces himself to a meeting of the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords, on March 9, 2010. In July 2010, Maurice speaks to the British Constitution Group in Stoke on Trent. For first-time visitors, a complementary and introductory blog offers also a one-page summary of his ordeals and battles.
  • Am I a glider or a helicopter?

    Flying both in and out of Tauranga, North Island, in poor visability this week, I perceived curiosity mounting in the minds of kiwi pilots communicating on the radio.

    Air Traffic had replied to my various transmissions, eg “G-KIRK, J3 Cub out of North Shore, 15 miles north of the field........etc with the abbreviated kiwi call sign of “IRK”, not the British used abbreviation of “GRK”. Later, with me at 200 feet on “finals”, listeners both flying and on the ground, heard a transmission of “GRK” from Air Traffic now adopting the more universally used system in the world, but with the possibility of my having to ”overshoot” the “approach” and go round for another 1000 foot circuit before landing.

    That would not have been a problem for me but to the listeners the ”I” before ”RK” denoted a helicopter, here in New Zealand. It was the “G” before the “RK” that I think concerned them more as it identified my aircraft as a glider.

    So what else is quirky round here.... the sun! She goes round the wrong way which gets me totally confused, more whilst lost in Auckland, I might say, than in the old cub. The kiwi sun rises in the East ok but then wants to travel through North to get to the West. Weird! And then there is me trying to understand weather maps for the Tasman Sea crossing. The kiwi winds want to go round the “Highs” (Cyclones) and “Low” (Anticyclones) in quite the opposite way to what reliably goes on in England each day. So I’m off to have a bath just to see which way the water goes down the plug hole.

    Then there are the maps or charts of Australasia, if you know the difference. Do you?

    Australasia appears in the centre of the world map instead of being stuck out on the side. Lines of longitude converge to the bottom of the paper and so, when it is time to consider Rhum lines and lines of Great Circle, they all curve the opposite way making the “witch’s hat” look like an “ice cream”! UTC of 12 hours difference to Greenwich Mean Time, just at the time of clocks being moved from Summer Time, with the added risk of a different date on the information for flight planning, it has been a mere bagatelle for my tired old brain when I am now to calculate fuel flows, at different throttle settings for maximum range, “point of no return” or the Big One........ the calculation I learnt in 1980s, on my ATPL course at the London Polytechnic, next to the Tower of London, that really stretched my maths “o” level and physics “a” level knowledge.

    What is it? Obvious, if I cannot get sufficient funds by sponsorship to fly over China and Russia to “Oshkosh by August”, then I need to go from Norfolk Island to Fiji (for Dave and Anna’s wedding on the 5th) and then on to rendezvous with at least two USS Aircraft Carriers somewhere between Hawaii and Los Angeles or a suitably flat cargo boat between Midway island and Alaska.

  • Rogallo (US), Dave Kilbourne (US) and Monsieur James Lobet (Fr)

    100ft cloud base Tauranga Air traffic had said for up the coast, as I left in the cub, after a good night’s sleep, a square meal for $20 and after a tricky passage over the mountains from the Gisborne Wine Festival.

    Waihi Beach measured something less than that and as I was also low on fuel (very difficult to get fuel in NZ at 7 in the morning when your recently issued Air BP card doesn’t work) and there was a rocky beach terrain from there on, for I knew not what, I decided to land. If I could find it, Waihi little grass air field, a few hundred yards from the fantastic 10 mile sandy beach, there was the obvious alternative.

    Vis. was no more than the length of the runway and it was raining lightly.

    I caught sight of a cafe and shop ......ideal for breakfast and refuel, I thought chance!

    The runway was full of rabbits, chasing each other up and down the hedge row, but as soon as they saw my camera, they scarpered.

    Cafe shut, shop shut, now really raining.

    Time to fly further up the coast as a 50 to 100 ft cloud base would not let me get over the hills direct to North Shore to the north west, unless I went up round the coast east of the mountainous peninsula, topping more than 2000 ft, locally called tiger country.

    As I primed the engine, I heard a faint cry from across the field and saw an apparition on a balcony through the fog, holding a mug of tea. Romeo, Romeo where art thou? (Dream on, Maurice).

    Madam beckoned and as I had arrived uninvited, I most doubtedly obliged.

    Upon hearing my request for fuel and the suggestion it was quicker to fly to the station, next to the beach than walk, Madam took me there.

    The fact that I had established that Robin owned the field and I had offered to move in, is a story for later.

    Then Monsieur James Lobet, aged 72, turned up at the hangar to work on his latest design, being the creator of the Ganagobie aircraft, even in the Oshkosh Museum of the EAA for where I am bound!

    Then up turns Dave and Pam Kilborne who, with typical American panache as aviators, get me to their home for breakfast and a little conversation on some of the good things in life, something I was so starved of when suffering the stench of the Guernsey’s Administration for 10 years, purported to be still part of Great Britain, despite their ongoing conduct (see click Guernsey map).

    Dave had been a pioneer in hang gliding sporting a bushy black beard and curly black hair leaping off cliffs in the 50’s and 70’s just as I did, commencing in1976, the former only to be awarded with the prestigious award of the Francis and Gertrude Rogallo, the certificate now hanging on the wall in their living room overlooking the Pacific I am about to experience.

    Old movie film of ancient flying machines and a little NZ brown beer and we were back in the 70’s ...who needs Dr Who’s police box after a little Spiets?

    I was able to speak to Francis in North Carolina and even threatened to visit by cub before his 94th birthday, his design having been seriously looked at by NASA in the 60’s for the moon flight recovery.

    But there was much to be done and I have to get to Norfolk now the cub tanks were almost sorted. Morning had brought sunshine and blue skies so, sadly, I flew away..... but threatened to be back!

    Wonderful Souls

  • Ray Clambach’s Wet Feet

    After hearing Ray’s dinghy had failed to inflate, during an inopportune ditching in the Pacific last week and the 2nd, dropped by the rescue aircraft, inflated upside down, that was it for me, “I was off to Grandma’s”.

    Straight down to Mr Bean I went to purchase 6 x 25 litre and 6 x 100 litre bags to slide down into the fuselage. I had also become rather close to the old girl and, as Kirstie quite rightly said, when I had disappeared for the 2nd time in the London–Sydney Air Race, “Maurice and Liberty Girl are welded together at the hip”.

    £70 of bubbles could not be sponsored by Head Office, apparently, despite the suggestion of both the Australian and New Zealand chain of stores’ Logo would then feature on web site and aircraft! So it was to be Plan B as I now had to resort to other tactics as cash was short and precious time was ticking by.

    So I drove straight around the back of their store and went through the dustbins for discarded packaging and retrieved what I needed.

    Then I was off to Auckland Yacht Marinas to try and buy another EPERB as I had just been told an amazing story by my hosts, Mat and Dee.

    Mat and Rob had been ferrying back a Lockheed Electra over the Pacific, from the US recently, when they landed at some small island to refuel. Whilst unloading their EPERB, supplied to all the competitors in the Sydney race, including me, started to bleep its 406 mhz frequency that should be detected all over the world.

    The Control Tower, not 300 yards away, heard nothing. Rob’s “gurt” rock, as we would say in Somerset, sorted the bleeping irritation, but not to its required effect.

    The other piece of kit was a Survival Suit supplied to the Military, but despite them giving immersion survival time of up to 8 times, priced at $4000 meant I would have to start collecting a lot of pennies before the 900 miles crossing of the China Sea.

    Perhaps the RNZAF have a surplus size XL lying around somewhere or do I go for a new one with the help of Qantas, Emirates or Air New Zealand?

    Now Dee’s use of a WISH LIST, as used in her Aero Club, is an idea?

  • Catalina Hitch

    7.30am Oh no! We have to be at Ardmore Airfield by 8!

    I tumbled out of bed and grabbed some clothes and hurriedly stuffed laptop, cameras and countless leads into all the wrong cases and made for the front door.

    I suggested to Mat I took the 2nd car as I could not stay in Hamilton all week end and to leave the car at the War Bird Museum might be very convenient, especially if I managed to hitch a flight back the same day.

    The use of two cars was my first mistake of the day.

    8.01am The second was finding, on arrival at the Catalina with crew almost ready for take off, I had left a camera lying on Mat’s front drive! “Mat don’t wait I’ve screwed this bit of fun”. Mat suggested I come back as the inspections were not yet completed.

    8.12am A police car comes round the corner in my opposite direction. That was my third mistake. I was unaware they drove with radar detector almost continually in the ON position and pointing in any direction!

    8.14am We are in deep conversation, the content of which is confidential.

    8.17am I am driving away considering the calibration argument I had once used before in the UK. Too late now for the flight in the 1940s War Bird, made famous for finding Hitler’s pocket battleship, the Bismarck and safely returning to England after 23 hours of continuous flying. I am resigned to working on through the plethora of paper work that was mounting each day for the route to Hong Kong, via the Tasman Sea. At the same time I was trying to run a business and countless court cases, back home, so far away.

    8.38am Matt calls to say they have an oil leak in the port engine that had to be fixed. The engine has a double bank of 7 cylinders, radially placed, pushing out around 1200 horse power. The same engine is installed in the DC3. It would take at least half an hour.

    8.38.12am I was backing out of the drive leaving my remaining mobile on the kitchen fourth mistake and I still had not obtained my first cup of tea of the day. My local mobile had been left, the day before, in one of the many yacht chandlers I had visited looking for a suitable immersion suite and other emergency equipment.

    10.16am After much engine testing and my being assured my Mae West was really not needed for an internal flight to Hamilton and no, the fact the two flight engineers were left with one small screw in their hand, after battening down the engine cowlings, the Catalina really did not need to be re-weighed.

    What a great roar the engines made on magneto checks before take off!

  • Sir Edmond Hillary & Smiling Policeman!

    Well it’s 2 in the morning here and I’m just back from a bit of baby sitting in North Shore. This meant I had to drive over the coat hanger harbour bridge. What a fantastic sight, the lights of Auckland with the lilac lighted tower in the middle dominating the scene.

    Well how did the day start? Whilst driving up to the airfield to work on the cub, an unmarked police car caused me to be pulled over, all lights blazing with the burly driver jumping out only to accuse me of committing, “an unsafe lane change” and, with little ado and a broad grin proceeded to issue a traffic ticket.

    My thoughts were well ahead of his as to the seriousness of this act.

    Their Lordships, just 9 months ago in the Privy Council, had indicated in their Judgment, apart from refusing my Appeal to remain a Member of the Veterinary College, that I was to re-apply in the minimum time period the law would allow i.e.10 months, next month, but leaving me with a £63,000 legal bill for the enormous team of lawyers and clerks to fight me, employed by the College’s Registrar, no less, a lawyer, of course, herself!

    This traffic ticket had just about put pay to that idea.

    I had been struck off for each and any of trivial motoring and 3 trumped up common assault convictions (SEE FORUMS) over the period of about 10 years when earlier charges and accusations of equally farcical claims of such things as Robbery, Attempted Robbery, Burglary, Theft and Child Abduction had never reached the starting gate but had, of course, had me in handcuffs and/or in a cell for days with the hope I would hit them. I NEED £500 to get to Auckland Court on the 15th March to fight it.

    The greedy lawyers for the College had told the College Jury of Academics, for example, that the fact I had pleaded guilty to delivering my motor insurance to the wrong police station, a guilty plea for crossing a single white line, at no more than 4 mph to avoid a wobbling pensioner on a Fun Run and being fined £25 for a minor Building Regulation it rendered me, “unfit to practice”. They even relied on a 20 year old Guernsey Conviction from both a foreign but incestuous regime, for Contempt of Court altered, incidentally, in the face of the Jury by ACK DAY, part heard, from a written charge of Disorderly Conduct, with a maximum fine of only £50. The permanent jury, voted on by the prosecution and most in the same Masonic Lodge, awarded me with the record prison sentence of, effectively 13 months because ACK DAY had again lied about the time spent on Remand, for which there was no appeal.

    Their Lordships heard that, contrary to my case, other professional people before them, were there usually because of allegations of either:

    1. Dishonesty
    2. Use or Abuse of Drugs or
    3. for Interfering with their Patients!

    I took the traffic ticket thinking a £10,000 bribe there and then would have been worth it, but I didn’t think Paul, the policeman, would accept it by credit card.

    Only last week an even friendlier policeman, if that was possible, had accused me of doing “a 90 in a 50 limit” and even had the audacity to breathalyse me so late at night!

    I must now consider abandoning my flight to Norfolk Island and later return to New Zealand to fight this £60 ($150) on the spot fine, if I am to have any chance at all of working again as a veterinary surgeon.

    But onto matters much more fun:

    An invite to Sir Edmond Hillary’s house this afternoon where we reminisced over our stay, 11 years apart, in the P Y G Hotel, in Snowdonia, North Wales and of slabs of awkward granite we grappled with, was much more my cup of tea. He had trained for the Everest Assault while muggings was there as a very young climbing instructor. This afternoon’s meet was a truly memorable event in the Kirk calendar. My stay at the hotel in Wales was all due to the generosity of Jack Hampson, our then Physics Teacher who, by personal tuition, “had me an A level pass” in one year, in the days when an A level meant something, when in reality I could not do algebra, use a slide rule or even reliably add up!!

  • Stuck in Orewa

    Stuck in Orewa, North Island, New Zealand.

    Well, I am still here, but this week end I believe I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

    The 10 gallon scuttle tank has now been duly etch primed and painted a shiny black, despite my protestations about this unnecessary weight. The old one only took half an hour to get out, but I cussed and swore (quietly) for 2 hours to get the new one in, all in aluminium, by the way and a fraction of the weight of the iron one being replaced.

    I sadly put the discarded tank under the work bench whilst outside, AOPA NZ and the teaming rain did battle with each other during a Precision Landing Competition.

    As the engines roared over head and the rain battered the tin roof of the hangar, I thought back 25 years. I dreamed of my many flights through France, that do not appear in my log book, my frantically trying to eyeball the bouncing wire float out through the top of the filler cap, in the dark, as the cork bobbed up and down in the remaining 2 inches of go juice. On one occasion, I remembered, while I was assessing rate of cork oscillation to usable fuel remaining, if it was not for the moonlight on the canal, near Auxerre, we may not have found the little grass strip of St Florentin and had the splendid supper that followed.

    This old tank and I had had a lot of fun together, over the years and had carried a variation of fuels from two stroke (see antique shot gun /missing Chief Superintendent’s Note Book story), various mogas types and even avgas when I had cleared from a Customs Airport, to go foreign.

    She had helped me carry some weird and wonderful passengers as well, but I digress.

    Radios, transponder and GPS (if I chicken out on my proposed sextant navigation) are now all in place and working, quite unlike at the start of the London Sydney Air race!

    Now, today, I contact Customs and Immigration for details and to try and persuade them to let me leave for Norfolk Island from a duster’s strip up at North Cape instead of the Customs Airport of Kaitaia, an hour’s flying, South, in the wrong direction. Will they let me take off from 90 mile Beach?

    What a great lady..Thankyou for the phone call to Auckland TV and thankyou for the several hedge shrinkers of NZ Whiskey!!!

  • Cub Down Under

    Hi Alex,

    How's school?......made any gunpowder yet or put the leibig condenser to good use?

    Spent the day with the "sparky", a wonderful chap from Roumania, called Livui. The job in hand was to fit both the transponder and wind generator. The hope was that the latter has enough punch to kick out the best part of 5 amps to run also the main vhf transmitter.

    I may have to resort to a steep dive, on full throttle and beyond VNE, before I can speak to anybody!! Well what's new?

    On a hand-held only, all the way from South Wales to here, was a reminder to some, but not all, as to why do we need one anyway, as long as we keep away from the most congested airspace?

    The new scuttle tank should arrive today, my having removed the old one in readiness.

    Giving one of my talks to North Shore Aero Club and friends on Sunday.

    Must go, need to organise services on Norfolk Island as the flight to Lord Howe Island is 560 miles for the old girl. May have to stay on the island with the locals waiting for best weather and a tail wind! May pick up some of their ancestors' habits.

    READ Sir Francis Chichester's book...." Alone Over The Tasman Sea", 1931 and try and obtain a copy for me as it is out of print.

    Love Dad

    PS accused of doing 90 in a 50 late last night...."when in Rome....Alex"


  • Mutiny and Phone number

    North Shore Airfield, Auckland - Preparing crossing to Norfolk Island to seek advice on how to start a mutiny in Guernsey, Kingsway, London and South Wales Police head quarters.

    NZealand no. - 64 21462559

    Out M.

  • The State of 'Liberty Girl'

    Dear Kirstie,

    Apart from my lost luggage at the airport, I've had little sleep now for 3 days and both my e-mail and mobile messages cannot be retrieved. I am now confronted with the enormous task of comprehending a mountain of "operations manuals" and "electrical knitting" to unravel! They came with the newly purchased digital camera, tape recorder, video recorder and hired mobile! The finding and sorting of accessories for them, to fit the aircraft, is daunting.

    At my age just trying to grasp mobile texting is going to take a day and a half, at least!

    Then there is the state of "Liberty Girl."

    She is not ready for the Tasman Sea because Stan, the engineer, is in a bad way. Post op complications to his leg means he is still in bed and/or commuting to Auckland for dressing changes and variations to his medication.

    Also, the 60 year old 10 gallon scuttle tank is leaking again despite the rewelds in Sydney, after the London Sydney race, when I had to resort to a bar of soap to plug the crack in order to cross the Timor.

    A new tank is on its way from the States.

    I've gone to earth in Orewa, an East coast town some 20 miles north of Auckland, 5 miles from North Shore Aerodrome. I'm staying in an adaequate backpackers' hostel, the little room strewn with paperwork, maps and gadgets.

    I anticipate much bureaucracy ahead just to overcome even getting out of an old colony. I need to use a duster's strip on the North Cape which, I am told, is government run and 90 mile Beach is classified as a highway, it being the other nearest take off possiblity for Norfolk Island.

    Still, "No Pain, No Gain"

    Love M