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Missing: Fraser’s historic helmet

Aviation pioneer Rhona Fraser in recent years. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

MARCUS ANSELM
[email protected]

Aviation pioneer Rhona Fraser at Rongotai Aerodrome in 1954, with her Tiger Moth helmet and goggles.

The search is on in Wairarapa for a piece of aviation history.

A helmet and goggles set owned by aviation pioneer Rhona Fraser has gone missing.

The 93-year-old recently moved from Featherston to Greytown. The set has not been seen since the move.

“You don’t just give them away or toss them aside,” she said. “They’re worth a bit. But apart from the money – I’ve refused money for them, over the years some quite good money – I don’t want to part with my flying gear.”

Fraser was the first woman after World War II to gain her private pilot’s licence. She took just 4½ flying hours to pass.

She was also the first woman to fly solo in a DeHavilland Tiger Moth from the Wellington Aero Club.

In 1960, she was the first president and patron of the New Zealand Association of Women in Aviation group.

The equipment was used on her flights in the biplane. The helmet connected to the fuselage of the plane, allowing communications between pilot and passenger.

Anyone who can help find the missing helmet and goggles should call Jennifer Armstrong on 027 466 9152 or email [email protected]

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