The Duke of Cambridge was in for a grand treat when Sir Peter Jackson, aviation enthusiast and film director, escorted him on a private tour of his personal First World War aircraft collection. Sir Peter has spent millions to create one of the world’s largest and finest aviation museums–the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center in Blenheim on the South Island of New Zealand.
On April 10th, the Duke and Duchess visited the museum where they met a 93-year old Spitfire pilot from the Second World War, Harcort “Bunty” Bunt.
Bunt shared the extraordinary story of his former commander, Lieutenant Keith Caldwell, the highest-scoring fighter ace for New Zealand during the Great War. Caldwell survived the First World War and went on to be an Officer in the Second World War. The story goes: Caldwell was facing eminent death when his biplane was damaged while still 7,000 feet in the air. He managed to glide the plane down toward the ground by stepping out onto the wing of the plane and leaning inside the cockpit to control it. He bravely used his body weight as a stabilizer to even out the plane.
The Telegraph was able to preview the entire story which Bunt gladly retold to the Duke, who, as a pilot as well, was able to enjoy.