WONZ 233 – Malcolm Campbell

Guest: The late Malcolm Graham Campbell (5 Oct 1934 – 27 Nov 2020)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 12th of April 2013

Released: 14th of March 2021

Duration:  57 minutes 50 seconds

In this tribute episode Dave Homewood releases an old interview he did with the late Malcolm Campbell, who was well known as a pilot, airline founder and owner, and aviation entrepreneur.

Malcolm won a flying scholarship aged 15 while still a schoolboy in Palmerston North. He got a job with a computing firm, but was called up into the Air Force as a pilot under the Compulsory Military Training scheme of the 1950s and trained at RNZAF Station Taieri.

On leaving the RNZAF he moved to Hamilton and became a topdressing pilot for James Aviation in Fletchers. However following an accident in a topdresser he gave away this somewhat dangerous career and went to the more stable role of instructing with Waikato Aero Club.

In 1969 Malcolm and his wife Joan decided to start their own flying school, and they bought the famous Airtourer ZK-CXU, which Cliff Tait had just flown around the world, for this new venture – Eagle Flying Academy. The business grew from there till they had six aircraft, Cessnas, Piper Cubs and Piper Tripacers. They also registered the companies Eagle Airways and Eagle Air Maintenance, which would later become a big part of their lives.

Malcolm tells the story of his involvement in Eagle Airways over the decades, and its expansion and buy outs. He also tells a few interesting and amusing stories from around Hamilton Airport.

Note: Three years after this interview, Air New Zealand decided that Eagle Airways would cease to operate. The company disbanded on the 26th of August 2016.

Above: Joan and Malcolm Campbell. My thanks to Steve Lowe of the 3rd Level New Zealand Blog for permission to use this photo.

Quick Links:

Eagle Airways history on the 3rd Level New Zealand Blog

A tribute to Malcolm Campbell on 3rd Level New Zealand Blog

Eagle Airways on Wikipedia

NB: The music at the end of this episode is Wild Flower by Joakim Karud

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