New Zealand Embassy Rome, Italy

Retracing the steps of the record breaking Jean Batten

Jean Batten - Image from the New Zealand Library

The pioneering spirit of New Zealand’s most famous pilot, Jean Batten was celebrated with a re-enactment of her historic fight from England to New Zealand in 1936.

It took a group of international aviators 25 days to fly halfway around the world in a restored DC3 plane named the Jean Batten Clipper.
The craft has retraced most of Batten's 22,000km journey, covering France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

The New Zealand Embassy in Rome and its network of Honorary Consuls collaborated closely with the intrepid aviators lead by Kiwi, Mark Oremland, to ensure safe passage through the Mediterranean and into the Middle East. Other New Zealand missions, notably the High Commission in New Delhi helped with other legs of the re-enactment flight. Oremland acknowledged the assistance provided by New Zealand missions as being critical to the success of the re-enactment.

The DC3, which set out from Lydd airport, England, on October 25, arrived in Auckland on November 16 and in Te Anau on 19 November 2012.  A documentary and photo book of the flight are expected to be released next year.

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