Model warbirds swoop over Awatoto

By Roger Moroney

Hawke's Bay skywatchers turned out in large numbers for the model Warbirds over Awatoto action during the weekend and Bay pilots did their bit by picking up four of the six flying awards.

"We had a great weekend," Hawke's Bay Radio Flyers spokesman Barrie Russell said.

The event, which had literally been under a cloud due to poor weather in the build-up and a not-so-flash forecast, went ahead without a hitch as the bad weather stayed away.

"The weather was kind - we had a light overcast and light easterly breezes down the strip for the whole weekend," Mr Russell said.

He estimated about 2000 people turned up over the two days of flying.

More than 100 aircraft, ranging from World War I bi-planes through to sleek jets like the Eurofighter, were in aerial action and kept the crowds in awe with their remarkable precision and pace.

Mr Russell said there were only a couple of "outfield arrivals" where the aircraft encountered problems.The success of the event was a "testimony to the skill of the pilots and the reliability of their aircraft and equipment".

Hawke's Bay pilot Ray McPeake's 1912 Ettrich Taube won the Pilot's Choice for Best Aircraft at the event as well as the best World War I model flying.


Flying awards

At the Sunday prizegiving, which saw out-of-town flyers again praising the field preparation and organisation, the six main awards were handed out.

  • WW1: Ray McPeake (HB) Ettrich Taube (1912)


  • WW2: John Sutherland (HB) Focke Wulf 190 (1944)


  • Between the Wars: Mike Harris (HB) Trojan T.28 ((1950s)


  • Modern Military: Dave Hodges (Tauranga) Eurofighter


  • New Zealand Military: Peter Brown (Wellington) DH Vampire


  • Pilot's Choice: Ray McPeake Ettrich Taube


- Hawkes Bay Today

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