Fighter planes to grace the skies

By John Maslin

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FLY BY: This restored Supermarine Spitfire will feature in the skies for Anzac Day.
FLY BY: This restored Supermarine Spitfire will feature in the skies for Anzac Day.

Skies over the Whanganui and Manawatu districts will be filled with the sound of two World War II fighter planes as part of the Anzac Day ceremonies on Monday, April 25.

The Supermarine Spitfire based at the Biggin Hill hangar at RNZAF Ohakea will fly over a number of towns across the region that morning.

And if the weather is fine a Grumman Avenger will fly into Whanganui Airport, arriving at 10.15am, do a handling display an hour later before returning to Ohakea.

The Spitfire's schedule takes in Sanson (9.52am), Rongotea (9.55), Palmerston North (10), Ashhurst (10.05), Pohongina (10.09), Apiti (10.15), Hunterville (10.22), Aramoho cemetery (10.31), Whanganui city (10.33), Whanganui airport (10.34), Marton (10.41), Halcombe (10.44), Feilding (10.47), Bulls (10.50) and Ohakea (10.51). To meet CAA rules, the flypasts are conducted at a minimum altitude of 300m above the ground for built-up areas.

The Spitfire will be piloted by Squadron Leader Sean Perrett and the Avenger by Squadron Leader Jim Rankin. Both men are instructors based at RNZAF Ohakea.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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