Tauranga Aero Club hosted the annual Flying New Zealand Nationals recently at the Tauranga Airport, concluding with the presentation dinner on Saturday night, attended by 180 pilots and supporters.

Waitomo Aero Club was well represented, entered in 10 of the events.

Paul Grayson won both the Rotorua Bombing Trophy, as well as representing New Zealand to take the Trans-Tasman Bombing against a strong contingent of pilots from Australia.

He also placed third in the Sir Francis Boyes Landing event.

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Waitomo Aero Club team, from left, Cecil Hickman, Trevor Hall, Evan Harris and Murray Bowe which finished third in the Wigram Cup Team competition. Photo / Supplied
Waitomo Aero Club team, from left, Cecil Hickman, Trevor Hall, Evan Harris and Murray Bowe which finished third in the Wigram Cup Team competition. Photo / Supplied

Evan Harris again won his favorite GPS Navigation event, the Oscar Garden Trophy, and won the Wigram Cup Non Instrument Circuit, helping his Waitomo team of Cecil Hickman, Trevor Hall and Murray Bowe to be placed overall third in the highly prized Wigram Cup Team competition.

The pair of John Lissington and George Thompson were placed third in the Ivon Warmington Life Raft Dropping competition.

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To be on the rostrum against the best pilots from the five New Zealand regions was a memorable experience for the Waitomo fliers.

Despite it being one of the smallest aero clubs in the country, Waitomo punches well above its weight.

Other recent events of significance for Waitomo club members have been Clint Mangles and Murray Bowe passing their commercial and private pilot licences respectively.