|The Saro Windhover, ZK-ABW in Britain. Photo : Ed Coates Collection|
The first flight, piloted by Captain George Bolt, departed from Hastings at 5.20 p.m. on the evening on the 22nd of December 1930 and arriving at Gisborne at 6.30 p.m. The Desoutter took off without passengers and without any ceremony, its departure being witnessed only by a couple of the aerodrome staff and a reporter from the Hawkes Bay Tribune. On board the plane were copies of the Hawkes Bay Tribune for the editors of the Poverty Bay Herald and the Gisborne Times and the following day the Poverty Bay Herald reported that, by courtesy of Dominion Airlines Ltd., the editor of the Herald last evening received a copy of the Hastings Tribune, of yesterday's date. The newspaper was brought to Gisborne by the plane which left, Hastings last evening, and was delivered at 7.15 p.m. A considerable saving in time was thus effected, as had the paper been posted in the ordinary course it would not have been delivered in Gisborne until tomorrow morning.
|Cover flown on the first flight, signed by George Bolt|
|What did ordianary clothes look like in 1930? A classic photo of the Desoutter and passengers signed by George Bolt. Photo : B Gavin Collection|
|Flight-Lieutenant Ivan Kight. Photo : Evening Post 23 December 1927|
The initial Court of Inquiry found that the accident was caused by an error of judgment on the part of the pilot in attempting to turn at too low an altitude, when the engine failed. This verdict of an engine failure was later contested in a second case.
|The ill-fated Desoutter ZK-ACA. Photo : G Claridge|
There is a great clip of a Desoutter flying in the UK at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56dqtAUnZIU - would you fly on one?