Friday started with the schools visits and what a perfect way to use a quieter time at the show to introduce 4500 kids to aviation and some hands on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). They had them off roading in Landrovers, in boats, doing assault courses, checking out wind tunnels, and gave them access to both civil and military education and opportunity, as well as watching the show. Celebrity Scientist Nanogirl did some entertaining and of course highly educational shows. One primary school age boy was selling tea towels with his own aviation artwork on to help fund his future pilots license. It must have been a fantastic day for them and full credit to the organizers although I have to admit to a slight sigh of relief when they were all gone by 2pm.
Friday’s flying for practice day was great with the usual display of the WW1 aircraft. Nowhere else in the world can you see so many up together and they do a fantastic display. The Augusta Westland and Kaman Seasprite put on a good show with the rappelling from the NH90 a crowd pleaser (including bringing a dog down) and waterbombing. The skillful Yak formation display made for some great photos and the Mustang and two Spitfire replicas added another dimension. Also up was the Catalina, displaying and running pleasure flights. We spoke to a few very happy people that that been for a ride. There were also the radio controlled jets, boy those things are fast.
Saturday’s full display saw all these and a few additions including a couple of Fokker triplanes, a Bristol Fighter and possibly a couple that I missed (apologies) due to being involved in a photo shoot for Petrolhead Magazine. I had a chance to look at the varied ground displays and flight line too. The Venom gave us the weekend’s Jet fix before heading home ahead of the weather closing in. All in all not bad considering the forecast. There were a few Warbirds that didn’t make it down and a big disappointment for us all was the non-attendance of the B52, unfortunately not able to make it due to technical difficulties.
Wings over Wairarapa did however manage to finally amaze us with the night show that should have happened two years ago, and in my opinion it was worth the wait. Unfortunately the crowd thinned out before the evening show due to a sudden downpour that saw our 3x3m marquee go from 4 to 40 occupants in 30 seconds. It proved quite entertaining getting to know the person standing on your toes.
The show has taken us from WW1 right up to date with the motorized Grob 109b gliders fully kitted out with neons and fireworks, a tranquil and beautiful display, preceded by a light & sound show and radio controlled neon helicopter. The evening finished with spectacular fireworks.
We had to head home on a very wet Sunday morning after the announcement that the Wings over Wairarapa Sunday Airshow had been cancelled. Whilst our initial disappointment was rather selfish, we quickly looked at the bigger picture and respect the organizers decision which is for the safety of everyone involved. Given the forecast we were lucky to get two days of flying and to witness one of the most beautiful air displays we have seen.
Thanks to everyone who came to say Hi, you made our day.
To the whingers and winers who find things to complain about, you have absolutely no idea what goes into an event like this, often for nothing other than sharing the love of aviation, and it is all at the mercy of the weather.
Thanks to the organizers for putting on a great show and volunteers who always do a fantastic job.
Roll on 2021