Survey Flights 1931 - 1932

In addition to the Christmas flights of 12 November and 24 December 1931, the New Zealand Air League organised a series of survey flights in late 1931 and in 1932 to investigate the suitability of setting up both passenger and airmail routes.

In each case, the company involved was Air Travel, the pilot was Squadron Leader M.C. McGregor and the plane was a Simmonds Spartan. (The plane is often referred to as a Spartan Arrow, but according to Alan Gardiner in The Kiwi, vol 39, no 6, pp 108-110, November 1990, there were two similar types of aircraft, and the Air Travel plane was a Simmonds Spartan.)

Auckland - Gisborne, 10 December 1931

Dec 10

The flights had the support of the Postal Department, and an official airmail was carried.

The route was Auckland - Gisborne and return with stops made in both directions at Hamilton and Rotorua. Mail was delivered and collected at each stop and the total mail carried was 6,564 items.

The flight left Auckland at 9.03 am and arrived in Gisborne at 12.24. The return flight left Gisborne at 3.23 pm and arrived in Auckland at 6.48 pm.


Outward Flight

This is one of the 343 items flown on the Hamilton to Rotorua leg.

Rotorua back

It is postmarked in Hamilton at 5.30 am on 10 December, but the Rotorua arrival backstamp does not have a time.


Return Flight

This cover is one of 1567 that left Gisborne on the return flight at 3.23pm and arrived in Auckland at 6.48pm.

The cover is postmarked at 2.30pm on the afternoon of the flight. No cachet was applied, but the covers were backstamped on arrival in Auckland with a time of 7.45pm.

Gisborne back

The cover was specially produced for the flight from Gisborne. The postage was 2d plus 3d airmail.

Dec 10

The next cover was one of 576 items carried on the Hamilton to Auckland leg.

Dec 10 back

There are two backstamps. The first is the Auckland backstamp on December 10 while the second indicates that it was transferred to the Auckland Post Office Delivery Counter at 8 am on December 11 from where it could be collected.

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All scans were made by the author. Information on this page is taken from:
Airmails of New Zealand, volume 1 (1955) compiled by Douglas A Walker, and the New Zealand Airmail Catalogue, (2nd Edition, 1994) by James Stapleton. Both are published by the Air Mail Society of New Zealand