Garth James Cameron

Garth James Cameron

My first passion was for aviation and three of my books are on aviation themes including two on aviation history and one on practical flying. Writing them required a balancing process, enough technical detail but not too much. I put the detailed technical content in endnotes and glossaries.

My father introduced me to aviation as he had been a fitter 2E (an expert on aero-engines) in the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War Two. In 1944-1945 he was in Fiji working on flying boats, the PBY Catalina and the Short Sunderland. Occasionally he flew in the flight engineers position in the PBY and I remember him telling me that they had to stream drogues from the gunners' blisters, to help manoeuvre when taxing. The commands were 'haul in port' or 'haul in starboard.

He avoided doing anything heroic and learnt to fly in the early 1960s, I did the same when I was 16-17 years of age and often flew with him in the family Piper PA 22-150 Tripacer. This was an ugly but efficient four-seater and I have a soft spot for the design.

I did a commercial licence and instructor rating in the early 1970s and instructed at the weekends and the holidays from University where I was working on a BA and an LLB. I kept flying after I qualified and started practicing law and some aviation clients come to me because of my dual qualification and enhanced communication, I don't need to be told the difference between a turn-and-slip indicator and an artificial horizon.

My latest book is How to Fly a Plane, a book intended to encourage more people to learn to fly.

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