A get together celebrating 100 years since the No 75 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed went off with a bang this weekend.
About 200 people came from all over New Zealand for the commemorative reunion - to see old friends, talk about the glory days and swap stories about the Skyhawks they piloted or worked on from the ground.
An engineless Skyhawk watched over the festivities, after it was mothballed and was brought to the Classic Flyers aviation museum in 2012.
Local "groundie" Barry Dorr was at the reunion, and had helped scrub up the in house Skyhawk for the occasion.
75 Squadron reunions were held every two years and Mr Dorr had been to three but this one was special.
For one, the location was great - the past two had been held in Palmerston North but this year local members of the squadron lobbied for the reunion to be held at Classic Flyers in Tauranga.
Many more people made the effort to come to this year's centennial reunion.
"It's the best one I've been to," said Mr Dorr, an engine fitter for the Squadron between 1978 to 1982 and 1986 to 1987.
"It's the guys you haven't seen for a long time, we had a lot of fun together in the old days," Mr Dorr said.
"When you get out of the squadron everyone goes in different directions, so to get everyone together once in a while it's really good."
While a groundie working on the engines, Mr Dorr had several memorable experiences of flying in a Skyhawk.
It was a rare chance, as there were not that many two seaters and many more groundies than pilots.
He was fortunate enough to take a three-hour trip through the mountains in the South Island in a Skyhawk.
Mr Dorr still came in every once in a while to tinker on the Skyhawk in the aviation museum.
75 Squadron reunion
- Biennial reunion of the 75 Squadron (RFC, RAF, RNZAF) Association of New Zealand spanned two days over the weekend, and included tours of Tauranga, a commemorative service, and a formal dinner
- It was a get together of Association members of all those Airmen (aircrew and ground crew) that ever served on the RAF and RNZAF 75 Squadrons in England, Singapore and New Zealand.