Master Chef Wingless
A year on from the last Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow, pilot and celebrity Chef, Simon Gault of Auckland, is still to get his aircraft airworthy again.
Simon’s Thunder Mustang suffered engine problems as he was approaching Wanaka Airport in April 2012. He was due to perform as part of the air display at the Airshow. Simon says it was fortunate the valve lifter broke in the engine as he was about to land. “It might have been a different story if it had happened earlier when I was flying over Mt Cook.”
Since last April the engine has had to be completely removed and rebuilt. “It’s been a major really and there’s still more work to do.” The engine is now back in the aircraft and Simon was in Wanaka recently and took it for a test flight. “We’re still having oil pressure fluctuation problems so we’re now trying to resolve them.”
Once the aircraft is airworthy again it will be returned to its usual base at Ardmore Airport in Auckland. Simon says he still hopes to be able to return with his Thunder Mustang to perform at Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
“Simon’s five-eighths size replica Thunder Mustang is part of a growing movement in New Zealand towards sport aircraft as an entry point to owning an aircraft. At WOW 2014 we are encouraging owners of Warbird replicas, microlights, Kitfox, RANS, gyrocopters, Rutan designs, Tiger Moths, Tecnams and others to display at the Airshow” says Mandy Deans, Event Manager.
Aviation from the Ground Up
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says they’ve had backing from the New Zealand Warbirds Association and the head of The Royal New Zealand Air Force for the initiative.
NZ Warbirds Association President, Frank Parker, says they’re always keen to support any moves which might result in more potential pilots being interested in flying the older aircraft. “A casual glance along the heavy metal flightline at most airshows is akin to the social welfare office on pension day! NZ Warbirds’ motto is ‘Keep ‘em Flying’ and we’re well aware that you need pilots to do that.”
Mr Parker says the Association has been active over recent years in trying to get new members into the pilot ranks and they hold regular training weekends. Another initiative is syndication of aircraft ownership to try to make it easier for a number of pilots to own the same Warbird.
Meanwhile, Ed Taylor says Warbirds Over Wanaka has come up with a couple of new initiatives for the next airshow at Easter 2014 which are aimed at people who are keen to try flying.
“We’re inviting sport aircraft to be at our next airshow, these include everything from gyrocopters to microlights and home-builts to replicas. We hope to have a great selection of these aircraft at Warbirds and involve them in some way in our flying display.”
This is an opportunity for people to see how affordable it can be to get into flying.
The Sport Aircraft Association President, Bill Sisley, “also looks forward to contributing to a successful event with more youngsters developing a desire to be involved in aviation.”
Another new initiative is setting aside Easter Monday as a ‘Rides Day.’ “Local operators and visiting aircraft owners will be offering rides in all types of aircraft.” While we’re still to confirm exactly what aircraft will be available we’re hoping it will include Warbirds, Tiger Moths, microlights, Tecnams, the DC3 and the Catalina.
Ed says people are able to get more information from the Warbirds Over Wanaka website and can then book directly with the operator.
The RNZAF also supports the ‘Rides Day’ concept and hope to be part of it. Air vice Marshall Peter Stockwell says they support any move to attract new people to aviation. “We’re keen to be involved in the ‘Rides Day’ concept but how we are involved will depend on aircraft availability and operational imperative” said AVM Stockwell.
There is no entry fee to the airport and this Rides Day is a separate event to the Airshow. There will be a cost for the flights.
Please note aircraft featured will not necessarily be those available on Rides Day.
RNZAF confirmed for WOW 2014
The Royal New Zealand Air Force has confirmed it will have many of its aircraft at the 2014 Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
The Chief of the Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, has described Warbirds Over Wanaka as one of the pre-eminent airshows in the world. “The air force is proud to be involved and is committed to providing on-going support to this great airshow.”
Air Vice-Marshal Stockwell says subject to operational imperatives, the RNZAF intends to have many of its aircraft types at the show. “It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the RNZAF’s capabilities to the general public and to engage with the wider aviation sector,” said AVM Stockwell.
The RNZAF has a long history of association with the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. They have displayed various aircraft over the years with their Red Checkers aerobatic display team attending on a number of occasions.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says it’s fantastic news to have the RNZAF confirm they will be at their 2014 show. “They add such a lot to our event and it just wouldn’t be the same without them,” said Ed.
Warbirds Over Wanaka has also formally invited the Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Air Force to be part of the 2014 airshow. “We won’t know for some time whether they will be able to be here. It all depends on operational issues and budgets but we’ve made it very clear we would love to have them here.”
Loyal Warbirds Over Wanaka Fans
Simon bought four Gold Passes for him and his wife Kerry and two friends from Auckland. “We had already booked our accommodation and I wanted to make sure we got our Gold Passes as well. We’ve been talking about coming to Warbirds Over Wanaka for years. “When we finally decided to do it, we decided to do it properly so that’s why we went for the Gold Passes.”
Simon says they do have one problem – waiting more than a year until the airshow rolls around.
Meanwhile, Anthony Toms, from Mosgiel, was also booking early on Monday to secure his Gold Pass. He got the first tickets when they went on sale for the 2012 airshow but had to concede first place to Simon for the 2014 event.
Anthony is one of a group of people who have attended every Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow since the first event in 1988. “My uncle was a pilot in the WWII and was shot down over Germany, so I’ve had an interest in aviation since I was a kid.”
Anthony says when he heard about an airshow being held in Wanaka back in 1988 he made sure he got tickets and he’s been coming back every two years since. “I just can’t believe what an awesome airshow the organisers put on every two years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says they’re rapt with the early interest in tickets. “We’ve got lots of interest as usual from Australian tour groups and it’s great to see so many New Zealanders also securing their tickets so far out from the actual event.”
“There is something about Warbirds Over Wanaka which sets it apart from most of the other airshows in the Southern Hemisphere. Something magical and a lot of that has to do with the absolutely stunning location it is held in,” says Ed.
February 15, 2013
STATEMENT ‐ THE ALPINE GROUP
Hawker Hurricane MK IIA – P3351
The Alpine Group’s Hawker Hurricane MK IIA ‐ P3351 has been sold and was exported to France earlier this month.
"P3351 was recovered as a wreck from Russia in 1993 having been missing in action since 1943. It was subsequently purchased by Sir Tim Wallis for his Alpine Fighter Collection. Following an extensive rebuild over the course of seven years in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the aircraft flew again in 2000 after fifty seven years out of service and has been based at Wanaka since.
Having exhausted all avenues for keeping P3351 in New Zealand the aircraft has now been exported.
Warbirds Over Wanaka Tickets go on sale!
Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2014 (WOW) tickets go on sale on Monday 18thFebruary for the 14thAirshow at Wanaka Airport. In addition, we invite participants to stay an extra day on the Monday 21stfor a yet to be announced event.
“We are delighted to advise of some additions to our ticket structure with a new Family Pass; benefits for those that pre-book; the facility to print your own tickets (also on the day) and an Early Bird Friday Silver Pass. The Silver Pass will again prove very popular with a one day option for grandstand seating” said Mandy Deans, Event Manager.