Wairarapa News : January 23rd 2013
Buying a HOME? Need a LOAN? For a great deal, tailored to you, call WBS Wairarapa's Home Loan Specialists phone 06 370 0070 4013006BH www.wairarapanews.co.nz WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013 TALENT HOPEFULS Looking for that x-factor 3 END OF AN ERA Camera shop closing 4 MEDAL HAUL Spoils for local swimmers 35 Big crowd: Crowds take in some of the special array of aircraft that graced this year's Wings Over Wairarapa. Aerial drama: Yak aircraft perform a flying demonstration. Huge show best ever By PIERS FULLER It was an extraordinary weekend for Wairarapa, the region having hosted its biggest organised event ever. The biennial Wings Over Wairarapa air show not only smashed attendance records but delivered one of the most impressive aviation events New Zea- land has seen. About 30,000 attended over three days to see some seriously classy air- craft flit about the restriction-free skies over Masterton's Hood Aerodrome. Great weather, top-notch organisation and an aviation lineup like no other made sure that aeroplane geeks and casual visitors were all satisfied. Event organiser Liz Pollock has been in charge of pulling all the elements together for Wings since 2005 and she says this was the biggest in terms of visitor numbers as well as the inclusion of aircraft such as the de Havilland Mosquito which has never before been seen in New Zealand skies.. There were some seriously impress- ive flying displays. The atmosphere was great. Everyone genuinely had a good time. That is satisfying for an enormous number of people. It was a quite genuinely inter- national event and I think from a Wai- rarapa perspective that's got extra- ordinary flow on effects. The Wairarapa is known now around the world for putting on an international standard air show,'' she says. Wings Over Wairarapa began in 1999 and has been running every sec- ond year since then. Last time it was scheduled in 2011 the air show was hit hard by a weather bomb on the Saturday, washing out the event and leaving organisers taking a huge hit. Ms Pollock and air show director and founder Tom Williams breathed a sigh of relief when the last plane was in safely on Sunday evening. Tom and I, when that last plane landed, just looked at each other and I burst into tears,'' she says. Having endured the disappointment of 2011 makes this year's success more satisfying, she says. It certainly is the biggest Wings show there has ever been and it was a phenomenal success, but it's been four years since we've had one that's worked and that's a long time between drinks.'' Mosquito hard to beat By WALT DICKSON Star attraction: Wings Over Wairarapa Community Trust chairman Bob Francis, and air show founder and director Tom Williams, with the famous de Havilland Mosquito in the background. Photo: LYNETTE JUNO Flying-friendly weather is not the only key ingredi- ent to a successful airshow -- a star aircraft is also essential. With favourable weather for the biennial Wings Over Wairarapa airshow last weekend, huge crowds spilled into Hood Aerodrome. One of the main attractions was a rare wooden wonder'' -- a Mosquito fighter bomber. Built in Canada in 1945, the de Havilland Mos- quito is the only one of its kind flying. They were the fastest operational aircraft in World War II and the only ones constructed almost entirely of wood. Wings Over Wairarapa Community Trust chair- man Bob Francis says the Mosquito was a major drawcard and the challenge for the next airshow, in 2015, will be replicating that. Everything that I have looked at would suggest that you have to go overseas, so we will start plan- ning for that now,'' Mr Francis said. The Wings Trust will send several representa- tives to a major airshow in Geelong, south of Melbourne, in March. Sharing costs with the Australians and perhaps looking at what aircraft they have is where the challenge will be between now and the next one, and we have got to put a lot of work into it.'' With a record crowd of about 30,000 people attending over the two days, the airshow is a multi- million dollar benefit to the region, Mr Francis says.
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