Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Plug pulled on second air show despite success

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Classics of the Sky - Spitfire at Sunset was a great success last weekend with thousands turning out to enjoy the entertainment but Classic Flyers, the organisers of the event, have pulled the plug on a second show.

Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie said the cancellation of the March 19 show was because of pilot and aircraft unavailability on this date.

It just got too hard. Aviation is a small community after all.
Andrew Gormlie, Classic Flyers chief executive

Mr Gormlie said the decision to cancel the show was like anything else - sometimes hard decisions had to be made when organisational problems arose.

"It appeared we were not getting enough types of the aircraft we wanted, and some of the aircraft weren't available because they were off to the Wanaka Airshow at Easter.

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"It just got too hard. Aviation is a small community after all.

"Being six weeks out from the show it was not really a problem to cancel it, as the organisers had not made a huge financial outlay," he said.

Mr Gormlie said last weekend's show was excellent.

"I felt it was best for us to exit on a high note, rather than trying to struggle on and deliver something that we were less than happy with."

Mr Gormlie said the new format for the airshow was such a huge success that a decision had been made to run an annual airshow in the future, instead of every second year.

Classic Flyers would be regrouping and may even consider the option of holding several smaller airshows throughout the year, rather than just one big show, he said.

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Mr Gormlie said the format of a secondary event at the airshow, such as partnering with The Mount Truck Show this year, also worked well and was well-received by the public.

"There is a lot of synergy between aircraft and trucks."

Mr Gormlie said the organisers would also be looking to broaden the range of secondary activities on offer even further.

"The organisers wish to thank all those who participated or attended and contributed to making last weekend such a great event for everybody," said Mr Gormlie.

The exact date of the show next year had not been finalised.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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