After returning to England in 1929 to visit family, Sir Francis Chichester took flying lessons at Brooklands, Surrey, and became a qualified pilot. He then took delivery of a de Havilland Gipsy Moth aircraft, which he intended to fly to New Zealand, hoping to break Bertie Hinkler’s record solo flight back to Australia en route. Mechanical problems meant the record eluded him; however, he completed the trip in 41 days. The aircraft was then shipped to New Zealand. Finding that he was unable to carry enough fuel to cross the Tasman Sea directly, he had his Gipsy Moth fitted with floats, borrowed from the New Zealand Permanent Air Force, and went on to make the first solo flight across the Tasman Sea from East to West (New Zealand – Australia.) He was the first aviator to land an aircraft at Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. Again, the trip was delayed: after his aircraft was severely damaged at Lord Howe, he had to rebuild it himself with the help of islanders.
*All historical information taken from Wikipedia for educational purposes only.