The darkest hours: Dannevirke breakfast fly-in
Mit Brereton (furthest travelled) receives his wine from club president Vince Payne.
Dannevirke always has its winter fly-in on the closest Sunday to the shortest day of the year, so poor weather can sometimes be on the menu and this year was no exception. Leaving Masterton before 6am I drove into rain after about 30km, and the rain and heavy cloud continued until about 15km from Dannevirke, but I was pleasantly surprised to find good weather and a fair amount of sun on the approach to Dannevirke aerodrome, although the wind was rather strong and variable.
First to arrive was Wendy Milne from Waipukurau in her Rans S6S Coyote ZK-JDP at 7.46am, followed by a steady trickle of aircraft, predominantly from Hastings, Napier and Waipukurau, plus four from Taonui (Feilding). One surprise, and a very definite winner of the furthest distance travelled category, was Mit Brereton who came all the way from Takaka at the top of the South Island with his appropriately registered Cessna 185A ZK-MIT.
Only 20 aircraft managed to brave the weather conditions, but all visiting pilots had the opportunity as usual of winning the spot landing on arrival competition, a feature of most fly-ins. This time it was Graeme Donald flying Glasair Sportsman ZK-SPO from Taonui (Feilding) with a landing right on the button.
As usual, all pilots and passengers were treated to a substantial barbecue breakfast prepared by members of the Dannevirke Flying Club, before the presentation of bottles of wine by club president Vince Payne to the winners of the three categories of earliest, furthest and most accurate.
Another regional feature is the annual Frogley Cup spot landing competition between the Dannevirke Flying Club, Waipukurau’s Central Hawke’s Bay Flying Club and the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Aero Club, Bridge Pa, at each of their winter fly-ins.
Waipukurau won the first round with Bridge Pa second and Dannevirke third, while today’s competition had Waipukurau winning again with Dannevirke second followed by Bridge Pa. The final competition will be held at Bridge Pa at the end of this month to decide this year’s Frogley Cup winner.
The Dannevirke Flying Club earns thanks for a great day. While the weather cannot be controlled, it is wonderful to see the positive attitude of the pilots who attend these winter flying get-togethers.
- Report and photography by Clive Wilkinson.
» Summer success at the Walsh
» The luxury of living in the Ivory Tower
» Comper moves swiftly
» UAV usefulness increasing
» Woodville’s even dozen
» 60th birthday party for ZK-BNL
» New airline MRO facility
» Hands across the Southern Alps
» Praise earned in tough place