Female aviation trailblazers

From Nine To Noon, 10:09 am on 12 October 2016

It has been 80 years since Jean Batten made her record breaking flight from London to New Zealand.

She was the first person ever to fly from England to New Zealand.

In 1934 Batten flew from London to Sydney in a Gypsy Moth and then back to London,

In 1936 she flew a more powerful plane the Percival Gull, which was fully enclosed, flew from London to Sydney then on to Auckland.

Her remarkable achievement in a male dominated aviation world is the subject of a feature length drama to screen on TV1 this Sunday.

To put together the film, the producers tracked down the only air worthy Gipsy Moth in the country owned by Jan Chisum in Hawke’s Bay.

Jan's nickname is Gypsy Jan and she's been flying for 40 years.

She says the Gypsy Moth is a special plane.

“Well they look really fragile and they are in some respects, you don’t want to poke a hole in the wing because the wings are made of fabric as are parts of the fuselage but they’re very sturdy aircraft in many respects.

“You have to be a bit potty, really to love these old aeroplanes."