Event Detail


Airport of the Nine Dragons

Captain Charles Eather
Thursday, 28 Sep 2006
The Penthouse, Jardine House

Airport of the Nine Dragons
Captain Charles Eather
Thursday, 28 September 2006
The Jardine Penthouse, 48/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place
Complimentary Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm (please note that additional seating has now been provided at this venue) We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong, Captain Charles Eather, who flew Cathay's planes in 1946, its first year of operation, to show pictures and tell of his experiences as an aviator during the development of flying in the Far East from 1946 to the 1970s. It is a tale from times when flying was a great adventure for passengers and staff alike and starting an airline was largely a matter of having a reasonably operational aircraft and an excellent sense of humour. As the South China Morning Post said when it reviewed his books: "More than just a story of the growth of Cathay Pacific it is also an account of the growth of civil aviation in much of Southeast Asia and the development of modern Hong Kong". Charles Eather started his flying training in 1936, at the Kingsford Smith Air Services. In 1946 he joined the fledgling Roy Farrell ExportImport Company, the forerunner of Cathay Pacific Airways, and so became Cathay Pacific's fifth salaried pilot. His story is full of personal experiences and hilarious anecdotes and takes you into an earlier world of flying when planes were far less reliable and adventure abounded. He flew during the Karen Insurgency in Burma for the Union of Burma Airways. Within range of Karen insurgent artillery Cathay's planes operated from encircled Rangoon's Mingaladon Airport dodging shell blasts and snipers. In 1952 he returned to Cathay Pacific Airways, flying every aircraft type with them, amassing approximately 25,000 flying hours. Airport of the Nine Dragons is a story of the romantic growth of Hong Kong with its hub centered on Kowloon Airport of the Nine Dragons. The construction of the `miracle strip` brought the British Crown Colony out of a forgotten backwater to the vibrant resourceful bastion it became. Captain Eather describes the aviation origin of Hong Kong in thoughtful depth and speculates on its future. He has written three books: Syd's Pirates, We flew in Burma and The Airport of the Nine Dragons. This lecture is being held in the fine surroundings of the Jardine Penthouse. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend at HK$100 for Members, HK$150 for Members' guests and others. This includes a complimentary drinks reception prior to the lecture.

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