[David Thomas Collection]

Maker and role
David Thomas, Compiler
Production date

Object detail

Accession number
Archive includes the pilot's flying logs, manuscripts for his autobiography 'My Wings', manuals and training notes, two boxes of photographic slides from family holidays, aeronautical maps and other sundry records relating to Thomas' career as a pilot. Registry items include a name placard, a pilot's writing board, flight computer (manual), and protractor.

Thomas was a military and commercial aviation pilot. With the outbreak of WWII, he signed up to the Aerodrome Defence Unit (ADU) on 24th October 1942 and trained as a pilot in Harewood and Woodbourne to obtain a pilot's "A" license (NZ423427). In 1943 Thomas was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and trained as an instructor in Tauranga. He went on to instruct at training camps around New Zealand and, after his time as an instructor, was posted to 23 Fighter Squadron to join the Pacific War effort. Thomas was demobilized on 27th November 1945. To continue his flying career post-war, he obtained a pilot's "B" licence and a radio communication license. This enabled Thomas to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. In his first position as a commercial pilot he flew for Union Airways during the airline’s integration to New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC). In January 1947 Thomas was selected to crew the first passenger and airmail flight since WWII from Gisborne to Northland. After various piloting positions with NAC Thomas was appointed as a 737 instructor in 1970 and then Chief Check and Training Captain in 1973. With the NAC/Air New Zealand merger Thomas retired from flying and was appointed to be a Flight Simulator Instructor until his retirement in 1983. Aircraft he predominantly flew included DH Tiger Moth, Harvard, Corsair, Electra, Dominie, Lodestar, DC3, Friendship, Viscount and B737. His manuscript and self-published book ‘My Wings’ has hours flown in each of these types.
Credit line
David Thomas. [1940s-1980s]. [David Thomas Collection], COL-2019-1. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


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