Manapouri Mallard

PRIOR TO the entry of the Mallard into the Fiordland scene I had been very busy operating Southern Scenic Air Service's floatplanes throughout the area from Queenstown and later from Te Anau for some four years. I knew the area well, especially as during the year immediately preceding the announcement of the tailrace and Wilmot Pass contracts going to UWB (Utah, Williamson Burnett) I was making several flights a day into Deep Cove from Te Anau with geologists and other people checking out the ramifications of the project.
UWB needed an aircraft to establish direct, fast and economical communication between Deep Cove, at the head of Doubtful Sound, and its future headquarters in Invercargill. Various Australian "experts" tried to show the simplicity of building an airstrip at Deep Cove and operating a wheeled aircraft from there, much to the amusement of our CAA pilots who were familiar with this area.

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