Hoki to Haast  by Richard Waugh

hoki to haast
New Zealand’s first licensed airline flew the Hokitika to Haast route on the scenic West Coast of the South Island. Air Travel (NZ) Ltd was launched in 1934 by legendary pilot Bert Mercer, the first Kiwi to achieve 10,000 flying hours. The airline pioneered scheduled services, alpine tourist flying, airmail, ambulance and versatile freight work. Illustrated by many rare photographs this book tells the story of de Havilland Fox Moths, Dragonflys and Dominies and how these biplanes became indispensable to the isolated people of South Westland. The sturdy fabric covered, wooden and wire aircraft flew in demanding weather, mostly fully loaded, to landing strips on beaches, riverbeds and in the bush. After Mercer’s tragic death, National Airways Corporation (NAC) and West Coast Airways continued the air service with Chief Pilots Norm Suttie, Frank Molloy and Brian Waugh. The world’s longest running de Havilland biplane air service lasted until 1967; an unforgettable mix of excitement and routine, romance and tragedy, ably demonstrating the key role of aviation for ordinary New Zealanders. CONTENTS Forewords by: Sir Anand Satyanand, Governor-General of New Zealand Maureen Pugh, Mayor of Westland District Council Acknowledgements Locality Map Chapters: Pioneer beginnings – First aeroplanes on the West Coast Halcyon days – Air Travel (NZ) Ltd 1934 -1939 Change and struggle – Air Travel (NZ) Ltd 1940 -1947 Nationalisation – NAC 1947-1956 Versatility returns – West Coast Airways 1956 -1967 GONE, BuT not forgotten – Remembering the air service Appendices: South Westland air service staff Airlines operating on the West Coast Index SOFT COVER 280x210mm 152 pages

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HARD COVER   cover 280x210mm 152 pages

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