Smooth flying conditions and "unbelievable" hospitality have made for a successful first national aerobatics competition in Wairarapa.

The New Zealand Aerobatic Championships relocated this year to Hood Aerodrome, after almost 30 years at the Central Hawke's Bay Aero Club's airfield at Waipukurau.

The Wairarapa and Ruahine Aero Club took over hosting the competition, after it was forced to move because of encroaching real estate at the Waipukurau airfield.

New Zealand Aerobatic Club president and competing pilot Grant Benns said the first Wairarapa event has gone "brilliantly" so far.


"It's been unbelievable," Mr Benns said.

"We knew the Hood Aerodrome was going to be a good venue, because of space available and the history of the airfield.

"But we've been blown away by the hospitality of the aero club here and the support of the locals.

"Everyone's been so helpful - us pilots have felt welcome and right at home."

The 2015 event has featured 20 pilots of varying levels of experience - from trainees "going for their licence", to commercial airline pilots, to Aucklander Wayne Ormond, who earns a living "taking people for joy rides" in his plane.

Pilots hail from all over the country, with one travelling from Dubai for the champs.

Competitors take part in four categories, according to skill level and "horsepower".

Mr Benns, who flies a Boeing 777, said, despite the "chilly" weather, flight conditions have been favourable.


"There's been a brisk southerly, which makes flying very smooth.

"The nice, flat terrain helps as well."

And the meals haven't been too bad either.

"We've had barbecues, cheesecake and perfectly cooked lamb steaks.

"I think we'll be going home 2kg heavier."