Aircraft
 
            25 July 1989         20c, 80c, $1.05, $1.30                                 Mint and CTO        $3.35
                                                                                                             FDC                       $3.85

Technical Details

        Release Date:                    25 July 1989
        Tablet Values:                   20c, 80c, $1.05, $1.30
        Artist:                                Tony Theobald
        Printer:                              The House of Questa Limited
        Process:                            Lithography
        Paper:                               CA Watermark
        Stamp Size:                       30.50 x 38.00 mm
        Perforation Gauge:
        Pane Format:                    50 (2 x 25)
        Mint and CTO:                 $3.35
        First Day Cover:               $3.85


An Aircraft stamp issue?  Pitcairn Islands?  Aircraft?  There is no airport or airstrip in the Pitcairn Islands!  Quite right.  But no airstrip is needed for a helicopter to land ... and fixed-wing aircraft can make their presence felt even if they never touch down, particularly if the territory in question is as small and as remote as Pitcairn.

At least nine helicopters have landed on the island and six fixed-wing aircraft have made close contact, ie, approached within a few hundred metres during the course of an overflight.  (This does not include high flying commercial aircraft, en route between Easter Island and Tahiti, which are sometimes sighted from Oeno Island).

For those interested in such matters our records show that helicopters have landed on Pitcairn as follows:

Vessel                                Date                                Number of helicopters

HMS Warrior                    31 July 1957                               2

Eastwind  (US)                 14 October 1961                        1

Atca  (US)                         2 April 1966                               2

Sunnyvale  (US)                1 August 1966                            1

Breton  (US)                      12 February 1969                       1 (landed 200 drums of diesel)

Jeanne d'Arc  (French)       9 December 1971                       2
 

Overflights by fixed-wing aircraft took place on:

25 July 1978         - a single engined Cessna made a private photo reconnaissance.

14 January 1983   - A Queen Air Beechcraft made a photographic reconnaissance for
                               National Geographic magazine.

21 February 1983 - RNZAF Hercules C130 reconnaissance and maildrop.

31 May 1983        - RNZAF Hercules C130 dropped eleven tone bulldozer.

21 March 1985     - RNZAF Orion, maildrop.

2 March 1987       - RNZAF Orion, maildrop.