It will be bombs away at Rotorua Aero Club in March as the club’s flour bombing competition returns for the first time in more than 40 years.
Rotorua Aero Club in association with the Royal New Zealand Aero Club held the annual National Rotorua Bombing Competitions from the 1950s until the early 1980s, awarding the Sir Francis Boyes Cup to the winning club.
On one weekend, more than 100 aircraft attended.
But rising compliance costs and a drop in membership mean the competition hasn’t taken place since then.
This year, the airborne flour bomb competition returns to Rotorua.
The Big Bomb competition involves 12 planes dropping 250g paper bags of flour onto a target on the Rotorua Aero Club grounds.
Aero club members from around the North Island will compete at the event, which will give anyone who wants to get up in the air a chance to join in for $100.
Rotorua Aero Club member John Thomson said this year’s Big Bomb competition would be one of many events he hoped could win Rotorua the right to host the Sir Francis Boyes Cup - which is for precision circuits and spot landing - once more.
Thomson said hitting the target from a moving small aircraft would be “very hard” for novices but the clubs’ pilots would be doing all the flying and mathematical calculations.
“All the passengers have to do is aim and let their flour bombs go.
“There will be a briefing and we’ll walk you through some calculations. Then our pilots will fly you up and give you some instructions for each drop, whether to go left or right.”
Thomson said there would be other prizes and a good show for spectators who prefer to keep their feet on the ground,
“You will have chances to predict the closest shots and the best ones. There’ll also be a barbecue going.”
Rotorua Aero Club President Wayne Puddle said The Big Bomb competition was a “community social event”.
“[It’s] fun, rewarding and brings amazing people with a passion to help you, your children and families fly.”
Puddle said The Big Bomb competition would be a fun day at the club and he looked forward to meeting everyone who came along to participate.
The aero club was also offering a $180 special for 40-minute trial flights on the day.
Thomson said anyone wanting to put their hands on the controls of a 172 was welcome to come along and have a go.
- An earlier version of this article said Rotorua mayor Tania Tapsell would be attending the event, but the council says she has not yet received an invite to the event and could not confirm her attendance.