Books from Te Pātaka: Aviation stories of New Zealand

Read these fascinating stories of New Zealand’s legendary people in aviation. For example, a New Zealand pilot who searched the truth behind the MH370; the chief pilot of the former Air New Zealand who had a not so well-known world’s third fastest flying record; an aviation enthusiast who searched Devonport’s North Head for the world’s first two Boeing aircrafts; and the Westport’s pilot who founded the first commercial New Zealand airline. These true stories will let your imagination fly!

The truth behind the loss of Flight 370 / Wilson, Ewan
“New Zealand pilot Ewan Wilson and top journalist Geoff Taylor presents compelling evidence about MH370, some of it based on new interviews with family members of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah. This book takes us to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8 and brings together the lives of passengers and crew who should’ve been a routine flight to Beijing on a well-respected airline operating a state-of-the-art airliner with a near faultless record.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Sundowner of the skies : the story of Oscar Garden the forgotten aviator / Garden, Mary
“On 16 October 1930, Oscar Garden taxied his tiny Gipsy Moth across London’s Croydon aerodrome and took off. His plan was to fly to Australia, which was sheer madness as he only had a mere 39 flying hours under his belt. He landed at Wyndham 18 days later. He was the third fastest after veteran aviators Bert Hinkler and Charles Kingsford. He then became the Chief Pilot of Tasman Empire Airways, former Air New Zealand.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Tunnel vision : unearthing the secrets of North Head / Butler, Martin
“On 12 October 1918, the New Zealand Flying School took possession of the first two Boeing aircraft ever made. Almost a century later aviation enthusiast Martin Butler search of any remnants of these famous planes. His journey takes him to North Head, Devonport’s famous military landmark, which has rumours about sealed-up tunnels. After twenty years of research and investigations, Butler uncovers a trail of deception and cover-ups as he attempts to unravel the mystery of what’s beneath North Head.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Go fast or go home : the Garth Hogan story / Hanna, Tim
“Garth Hogan is a man who has lived life the fast lane. He became the first New Zealander to drive at more than 200 miles per hour, something he achieved at ‘Thunderpark,” Hastings in 1978. 30 years later his Ford Roadster set a record when it clocked 193 miles per hour. While Garth’s life in motor racing is well documented, perhaps less known are his business achievements, his passion for vintage and warbird aircraft, and his involvement with the governing body of world motorsport – the FIA.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Tiger moths & butterflies / Norman, Peter
In 1942, Peter Norman and his friends got into New Zealand Air Force for WWII. The reader is given an insight into the feelings of trepidation of a first solo flight in a well-known wartime aircraft Tiger Moth and the thrill of accomplishment. The book also covers the training in New Zealand and Canda; the shift to modern fighter aircraft, the companionship of a squadron and the inevitable loss of friends. The book is illustrated with a wealth of photographs from both private and official collections.” (Adapted from Goodreads

Born to fly / Reid, Bill
“Three generations of Reids have flown helicopters. First John Reids, a retired Second World War fighter pilot, pioneered in using helicopters for rabbit poisoning, concrete pouring, fertiliser spraying and oil exploration. John’s son Bill flew for a range of causes such as heavy lifting, mountain rescue, fire-fighting, animal control, heli-fishing. Bill restored a WWII vintage aircraft Avron Anson Mk1 bomber, which is the only flight-worthy model in the world. Then Toby and his wife pioneered the helicopter tourism business.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Hoki to Haast : New Zealand’s first airline / Waugh, Richard J
“The story of the first commercial airline in New Zealand, operating on the West Coast. Haast is distance from the nearest Hokitia of 290 kilometers, and the difficulties lies travelling both by water and by land, and letter took days to arrive. Author is the son of a West Coast pilot, had written about the establishment of Air Travel (NZ) Ltd. This successful account has taken on a national venture. Although there was a crash near Mt Hope that killed its founder and pilot, Bert Mercer. (Adapted from the Catalogue)