This edition of the 1976 adventure series documents a pioneering attempt to fly over Aoraki-Mount Cook by hot air balloon. RNZAF squadron leader Roly Parsons had made the first balloon crossing of Cook Strait the previous year. Director Pamela Meekings-Stewart captures his preparations to take on perilous winds and high altitudes. A first attempt with newbie co-pilot Rolf Dennler sets an altitude record, but crashes near Fox Glacier township, before Parsons pulls on his gold flight jacket for a final attempt at the challenge. Julian Dickon (Pukemanu) wrote the script.
It's about time somebody else had a crack at going across Cook Strait, because I want to watch it on the telly.– Roly Parsons in The Waikato Times, 4 April 2013
Music arranged by Dave Fraser, from 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' by Bob Dylan