Author(s): Bill Conroy
In early 1928, during a time of pioneering, long-distance flights, two New Zealand pilots set off from Australia on the first attempted aerial crossing of the wild Tasman Sea. Amid fervent hope, government interference, a spirit of patriotism, wide newspaper coverage and family pride, John ‘Scotty’ Moncrieff and George Hood, along with their non-flying partner Ivan Kight, dreamed of closer British Empire ties, a safer New Zealand and a shot at aviation glory. The disappearance of their aircraft Aotearoa remains one of Australasia’s great flying mysteries. Bill Conroy has researched this fascinating and tragic story for more than three decades. In the first full-length examination of Moncrieff and Hood’s flight, he recounts the conception, planning, execution and aftermath of the project which enthralled both sides of the Tasman.