What motivates a pilot to sit in the cockpit of a light aircraft for days, overloaded with fuel, alone over a vast ocean? Discover the remarkable story of gifted Australian aviator, the late Jim Hazelton, on Thursday 3 June.
Central West Libraries will host the launch of ‘Jim Hazelton Born to Fly’ by Mark Nelson, which tells of the life of the first Australian to fly the Pacific solo in a single-engine aircraft in 1964.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the Hazelton name was synonymous with aviation in the Central West, with Jim and brother Max founding Hazelton Airlines, which operated from 1953 to 2001.
“The Hazeltons were pioneers of the aviation industry for many years. Jim later left the airline to establish his own flight training school, and was respected and admired by all who knew him,” Cr Kidd said.
Jim crossed the Pacific over 200 times, revelling in the hazardous business of ferrying light aircraft.
He cut his teeth instructing pupils in Tiger Moths in the early 1950s and then thrived in the dangerous business of agricultural flying before taking up ferrying in the 1960s.
Such was Jim’s love of flying that he continued to ferry to the very end of his life. Amassing more than 50,000 hours in 130 aircraft types over 64 years – he crisscrossed the globe like few pilots of his generation.
Renowned for his unique instructing style and flying ability, Jim was respected and admired by all who shared his cockpit. He was a pilot with a rare gift, a man who found himself at one with the sky.
The book launch will be held from 5.30pm to 7pm at Orange City Library. The event is supported by Collins Booksellers, Orange and books will be available for purchase at the event. Please book your place online via Eventbrite or call 6393 8132.