Chapter 31

Off to Christchurch, New Zealand - Bill wanted me to meet the people at Mount Cook Airline. He thought that they would be prospective customers for the MD-80. This city was a step back in time. The quaint town of Christchurch was a city living in the 1940s. The only thing on television was the local wrestling matches from the school gym. It is amazing how you can enjoy something when it is the only thing on the tube. The visit was not productive. Mount Cook would barely survive with what they had. An MD-80 would finish them off.

Air New Zealand, in Auckland, was a delight with good people, and had been a Douglas operator, but was now operating 747s. Air New Zealand purchased DC-8s and successfully operated the aircraft until they replaced the aircraft with DC-10s. This was also a successful program until 1979 when a succession of three DC-10 accidents, including Air New Zealand which crashed one into the mountain in Antarctica, killing everyone aboard. By 1983, they were an all 747 operator.

Colin Mcdonald, our Agent and his Assistant, Leo Britt, were top people who knew what to expect in the airlines and provided invaluable assistance. It was easy to become friends with both of them.

My first trip was over. Memories of the fourteen hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, the return through New Zealand, and the many friendly people I met on this trip were still in my mind when it was time to take the second trip.

Collin & Gwen Mcdonald


Leo Britt