Centenary of air achievements marked
If you turned your eyes to the sky yesterday, you could have been forgiven for thinking you had gone back in time.
About 14 aircraft, most of them built in the 1940s, flew from Mandeville, near Gore, to Invercargill and back to the Gore airstrip to mark 100 years since the first cross-country flight in New Zealand.
James William Humphrys "Will" Scotland flew his Caudron biplane from Invercargill to Gore, following the railway line, on the evening of February 20, 1914. The young pilot left Invercargill about 7pm, and arrived at what is now the Gore A&P show grounds at 7.50pm.
Croyden Aviation Heritage Trust founder Colin Smith organised the centenary celebration yesterday.
"Historically it's of huge importance." he said.
"It took somebody an awful long time to successfully fly such a long distance. I just wonder what he must have been thinking, how he must have felt at the end of the day."
Aircraft came from as far afield as Auckland to mark the event, including a 1948 Dehavilland Beaver, owned by the NZ Warbird syndicate.
Scotland's great-niece Carol Yockney travelled to Mandeville from Auckland for the occasion with her husband, Roland.
Despite having never flown in a vintage aircraft, Mrs Yockney said she was honoured to have been invited to the event.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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