Wings over Wairarapa:

January 28, 2001 - Hood Aerodrome, Masterton

The Wings over Wairarapa airshow is a two day biennial event organised by the Sport & Vintage Aviation Society which is based at Hood Aerodrome Masterton. This report has been broken into two sections. The first page can be found here.


As is to be expected with RNZAF Base Ohakea just across the ranges, the Royal New Zealand Air Force participated in the show. Particularly good was the Red Checkers display team, and the Navy boys in the Kaman SH-2F Seasprite. With this aircraft due for retirement in favour of the incoming SH-2G(NZ), the display was particularly spirited.

Top: CT-4Es being fueled, taxied out, and the hallmark Red Checkers 'mirror' formation.
Bottom: The soon to be retired SH-2F Seasprite.

Classics and Warbirds

Following on from the Agricultural display and the RNZAF, there was a variety of classic and warbird aircraft.

Beech D17S Staggerwing ZK-AMU, Stearman N9163R, DHC-1 ZK-TAZ, P-40-N-1 ZK-CAG, CJ-6s ZK-OII & ZK-STP, and DC-3 ZK-DAK.

The photos above show a selection of aircraft - Robin Campbell displayed New Zealand's sole example of a Staggerwing ZK-AMU, well known TV presenter Paul Holme's Stearman participated in a race with a Pitts and a motorbike, DHC-1 Chipmunk ZK-TAZ was down from Tauranga, Garth Hogan displayed his P-40N-1, Nanchang CJ-6s from the North and South islands formatted together, and the DC-3 exemplified the both classic and warbird.

Top: Fouga Magister ZK-FGA. Bottom DH.115 Vampire T.55 ZK-RVM

At the faster end of the spectrum were the jets - Fouga Magister ZK-FGA and Brett Emeny's T.55 ZK-RVM masquerading as an RNZAF machine. For a change I was quite pleased with my airborne pictures of these aircraft

Harvard ZK-SGQ (NZ1033), Mustang ZK-TAF (as NZ2415), Devon ZK-UDO (NZ1821).

Continuing the historic RNZAF theme were two real examples and another imposter. P-51D Mustang ZK-TAF is actually an import. The SVAS Harvard NZ1033 carries Air Commodore Stan Quill's initials - he purchased the aircraft for the society. The Devon is also the real thing - these days it is based at North Shore in the CAF hangar.

Brought north from Wanaka were two special participants - the distinctive Spitfire Mk.XVI and Hurricane IIa pair from the Alpine Fighter Collection. This was only my second look at the Hurricane, so I was particularly pleased. But I think the Spitfire topped the displays with a 'low' pass prior to departure to Christchurch for another engagement.

Light (and very light) Aircraft

These last few pictures I've grouped together, because I wasn't quite sure where else to put them. But the displays by the ultralights and the Pitts were just as good as anything else on the day. I caught up with the Yak-52s in the aircraft park, and couldn't pass up the photographic opportunity.

Avid Flyer STOL UL ZK-JFR, Denney Kitfox III ZK-JBN, Pulsar XP ZK-KFC, Pitts S-1S ZK-PPS and Yak-52s ZK-KGB and ZK-LIZ.

Going Home

After the conclusion of the show I didn't reach TRW till 45 minutes after Noel - bit of a struggle getting a shuttle. I was feeling a little jaded (sore legs and tired), but really enjoyed day. Overall I found the show to be excellent - quite a variety of aircraft and some aspects I hadn't seen elsewhere - like the combination of Ag-aircraft. The organisation on the ground was great, and the weather was just glorious. I'm definately looking forward to their next show!

We were in the air at 5.44pm. Airspace was busy as we departed - lots of radio calls. Only saw a few aircraft - but one I did see go by was the Vampire. Took a few more pics of the scenery. Also tried a self portrait. Sat my camera with an 18mm lens on the instrument panel - the result can be seen at left. Arrived back at Te Kowhai at 7.44pm after an good flight. Rang may wife, and then helped Noel pack TRW away. Sat and drank a litre and a half of water while waiting for my ride. Was feeling worse for wear when we got home - too much sun and not enough water or sleep - but the day had been worth it.

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