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When the Coast is Clear

The story of New Zealand’s first and most unique licensed scheduled air service – South Westland 1934-1967

Describing Captain Bert Mercer’s exciting pioneering exploits and those of his successors, this book is illustrated with many rare photographs. The air service was the first scheduled service to be licensed in New Zealand. It pioneered regular airmail flights, established tourist flying and proved the relevance of aviation for ordinary New Zealanders. The air service, using fragile wooden “fabric and wire” DH83 Fox Moth, DH90 Dragonfly and DH89 Dominie aircraft, lasted for over 30 years. Truly a remarkable achievement of international significance.
When the Coast is Clear also contains a copy of the Hokitika Aviation Heritage Trail, the South Westland air service staff and a detailed history of all aircraft used during the period.


Editor: Richard J.Waugh

Contributing Authors: John King, Paul Beauchamp Legg and Richard Waugh

Contains over 120 photographs, with 12 in colour (including four rare pre-war).

Soft Cover 297x210mm

84 Pages

ISBN 0-473-02851-4