Today was practice day at Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow.

We set off from Cardrona with not too much expectation that all the flying would be able to proceed due to low cloud and spits of rain. In the event the hills seemed to hold off the weather to the distance.

We arrived about 10:45am and found the WW1 planes taxying past. Sir Tim Wallis had very kindly given 3 VIP passes to Max so that he, Noel and I could watch from the VIP tent. We had a quick chat with Tim who is a lovely chap.

WW1 planes taxying past.

IMG_6498_resized

Shortly followed by Yak-52s taking off for their display, some of which we had seen refuelling at Omarama 3 days before.

IMG_6499_resized IMG_6500_resized IMG_6502_resized IMG_6503_resized

IMG_6505_resized

IMG_6510_resized IMG_6523_resized IMG_6524_resized

Then we had a selection of biplanes and a Chipmunk…

IMG_6525_resized IMG_6526_resized IMG_6527_resized IMG_6528_resized IMG_6531_resized IMG_6532_resized

Chipmunk owned and flown by Bevan Dewes – Jan Chisum has mentioned him positively before. Only 20 years old and lots of good experience. The Chipmunk was used by Prince Philip to learn to fly in 1952.

IMG_6533_resized IMG_6534_resized IMG_6535_resized IMG_6536_resized IMG_6539_resized IMG_6540_resized IMG_6542_resized IMG_6544_resized IMG_6545_resized

At lunchtime one of the waitresses came over and said she thought she knew me. After exhausting ‘Ski Club – not me, flying – not her’ we gave up!

As we were having lunch Jack Stafford and his wife Edith arrived. I had last met them the last time I was at WOW in 2006. Very friendly people.

IMG_6547_resized IMG_6548_resized

Back outside – we’re not cold, honest!

IMG_6549_resized

Just before the afternoon practice started a couple of commentators interviewed Tim and Max. The chap interviewing Tim is Trevor Graham who had told Max earlier that he is a member of West London Aero Club (WLAC) at White Waltham, UK – which is where Noel and I fly from. So Max took us over to meet him. We didn’t recognise – he said he doesn’t fly but helps set up the WLAC airshow every year for ‘them’ and gets free membership for doing that. A bit later Trevor was interviewing Mike Mangold about the jet racing and Trevor mentioned ‘my mate Paul Bonhomme’. Mike Mangold used to fly in the Red Bull Air Race alongside Paul Bonhomme (who grew up at WLAC and is considered part of the club).

IMG_6553_resized IMG_6555_resized

The jets racing – line abreast at the start.

IMG_6557_resized

The jets in the distance – not nice weather over there!

IMG_6565_resized IMG_6567_resized IMG_6571_resized

Noel and Max.

IMG_6572_resized

After the jet racing the three of us went for a walk and met up with Noel’s friend Richard who has just become the South Island Foxbat distributor but due to all the bad weather everywhere in NZ the Foxbat for him to show people hadn’t turned up.

We then met up with the son of Russell Clarke, a 485 (NZ) Squadron friend of Max’s for a chat.

Avro Anson.

IMG_6577_resized

Kittyhawk.

IMG_6588_resized

Corsair.

IMG_6590_resized

Avenger.

IMG_6594_resized

Spitfire.

IMG_6600_resizedIMG_6620_resizedIMG_6622_resized

Still NOT cold… 🙂

IMG_6609_resized

The gliders about to launch – we went up in them at Omarama on Tuesday (3 days ago) with those pilots.

IMG_6612_resizedIMG_6615_resized

Richie McCaw (All Blacks Captain) being interviewed during the gliding. Max said he knew his grandfather (486 Sqn) and that Jack Stafford (also 486 Sqn) had introduced him to Max. Richie’s Dad was the tow plane pilot for the gliders.

IMG_6631_resized IMG_6637_resized

Dumping water as they land.

IMG_6643_resized IMG_6645_resized IMG_6652_resized

A couple of vintage cars towed the gliders away.

IMG_6655_resized

The practice finished at 3pm so we drove to the lake front as a WW1 airshow was to happen at 4:30pm.

IMG_6664_resized

An amphibian.

IMG_6672_resized IMG_6680_resized IMG_6683_resized

WW1 airshow over the lakefront.

IMG_6690_resized IMG_6699_resized IMG_6701_resized IMG_6705_resized IMG_6706_resized IMG_6733_resized

One of the shooting downs was done very well.

IMG_6745_resized IMG_6747_resized

IMG_6759_resized IMG_6769_resized IMG_6773_resized

It wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday but by the end of the flying we were glad to get in the car and get warm. We drove back to our place and had dinner at the Cardrona Hotel almost next door.

Advertisements