Herbert John Pither of Invercargill, New Zealand, was a professional cyclist, cycle and small engine manufacturer and aviation experimenter. The basic facts are clear. Pither built a Bleriot-type monoplane, and a V-4 configured engine to power it. He incor-porated some ideas of his own, including the early use of bicycle steel for the airframe. His workmanship was of a high standard.
Pither tested his aircraft on a remote Southland beach in winter 1910, but there is no contemporary record of a witness to the flight he later described. He claimed to have flown for 1.5 km along Riverton Beach on 15 July 1910 at a height of 30 ft.
He took it to Australia in November 1910 hoping to attract the attention of the Australian government, and then disappeared from aviation history.