30 May 2007

"The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story" by Dick Georgeson and Anna Wilson

I have recently finished reading this excellent autobiography. Dick Georgeson, the nephew of famous jet boat inventor Bill Hamilton, grew up in the South Island high country and was a pioneer glider pilot in New Zealand. He set many gliding distance and altitude New Zealand and world records as he explored the mountain waves that form in the lee of ranges. The stories of coping with extremes of heat, freezing cold, turbulence and flying in cloud are somewhat awe inspiring. Breaking records is not easy! The Mackenzie Country in South Canterbury where Dick Georgeson often flew has subsequently come a world-class centre for soaring.

A Listener article published in 2003 provides some more information about Dick Georgeson that was not included in the book.

Personally I have been up in a glider twice on trial flights but while I was flying powered light aircraft wasn't tempted to take up gliding as a hobby. My wife was involved in a gliding club in England when she was younger.

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