IN KAINANTU in late 1953, with Assistant District Officer Harry West returned from a long patrol to the Fore, I was planning a follow-up patrol to the Lamari, but it did not work out that way.
District Commissioner Ian Downs decreed that the Lamari patrol was to be delayed until after he had made an aerial survey of the area in the New Year.
In the late afternoon of News Years Day, Downs duly arrived in a de Havilland DH84 Dragon flown by Ray Harris, the boss of Territory Airlines.
The next morning, we took off with Harris in the single pilot’s seat in the nose of the aircraft, Downs and West perched behind him on bench seats on either side of the aircraft and me in the rear.
Downs and West could see some of the countryside ahead but I could only see a little to the side. That was odd, as I was the one who needed to see the terrain over which I was about to walk.