Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Amphibious microlight aircraft flies both flags

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Bay of Plenty residents have the opportunity to see both the current flag and Silver Fern rival flying - on an amphibious microlight aircraft.

Tauranga Pilot Derek Holmes decided to put both flags on the undersides of the wings and on the back of the microlight so people could see them from different angles.

"It gives people a visual of both flags and it creates a talking point.

"It is an historic time for New Zealand and it is important to recognise that," Mr Holmes said.

"It's good way for people to see the difference."

OVER THE MOUNT:The Amphibious Microlight Aircraft flying over Mount Maunganui. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
OVER THE MOUNT:The Amphibious Microlight Aircraft flying over Mount Maunganui. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Mr Holmes, who grew up in Tauranga and attended Tauranga Boys' College, bought the aircraft in Florida three years ago.

"It is the only amphibious microlight of its type in the US that's gone through the full certification process as a light sport aircraft. It can take off on water, grass runways and at airports."

The microlight has a four-stroke motor and can travel at 80km/h for four hours.

"I love it. The freedom, the spectacular scenery and the adventure of being in the air is amazing," Mr Holmes said.

"It takes 20 minutes to get it off the trailer and to put it back on once you're done. You can pack it up and travel to where ever you want to go flying," he said.

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Mr Holmes is a senior microlight instructor in the New Zealand system and a private pilot flight instructor in the US, and provides introductory flights for individuals wanting to learn to fly.

"It is great to be able to share the thrill you get when flying with other people," he said.

Spectators Brian and Sharon Richardson from Otumoetai stopped to watch the aircraft during a morning walk.

"It's different, it doesn't need much air to take off, that's for sure," Mr Richardson said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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