You'll Never Make It - A New Zealand Pilot's Story


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At 17 years old, Invercargill-born Rod Hall-Jones has one goal: to become a commercial pilot. And when the chief flying instructor of Southland Aero Club tells him, “You’ll never make it,” it only makes him want to succeed more.

Fighting prejudice at every turn, Rod not only earns his commercial pilot licence, but goes on to become one of the most respected helicopter pilots in New Zealand. His helicopter career begins with live deer capture on a farm. He then completes six years as the helicopter pilot operating off the research vessel Calypso for Jacques Cousteau – landing in storms when all other aircraft are grounded, flying over war-time former-Yugoslavia, and being present at Mururoa while the French conducted a nuclear test.

Finally, he comes home to fulfil his dream of being a pilot in his beloved Fiordland, notorious for its changing weather and difficult flying conditions.

From being blessed by the Pope to visiting an isolated Indonesian tribe to transporting tourists in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Rod’s 50-plus years of flying have never been dull. This is his story.


• A classic Kiwi adventure tale written in a down-to-earth style
• First book written by anyone who worked on Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso
• A great gift for the typically hard-to-buy-for male


Rod Hall-Jones

Soft Cover 240 x 170mm; sewn & drawn binding

208 Pages

ISBN 978-0-473-54119-4

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