Wind problems at Anzac Weekend show
Tim Sullivan in the Stampe starts the show with a display of ribbon cutting. The external differences between the contemporary Stampe and Tiger Moth are subtle and found mostly in the shapes of wingtips and empennage.
A rather windy build-up to the time of Masterton’s Anzac Weekend airshow and the Saturday morning posed a major problem for the organisers. With gusts of 20–25kt on the ground and 30-plus knots in the air, it did not look promising for any flying.
But although larger and more wind-prone aircraft remained in the hangars for protection, the airshow went ahead, on time and for the full duration, with a restricted number of aeroplanes on static display and flying. It was interesting to consider how similar and worse weather conditions in Europe during WWI would have affected pilots and aircraft, with not just weather to worry about but also aggressive intentions from both enemy aircraft and ground troops.
A collection of vintage vehicles on display ranged from several versions of the Model T Ford through to some great examples of early British cars up to the 1950s, a good crowd magnet before the start of the flying display.
The show itself began, as usual, with a ribbon cutting display with the Stampe and Tiger Moth. On this occasion both pilots, Tim Sullivan and Kerry Conner, performed with precision, cutting the ribbons on almost every pass.
Displays and dogfights between the Pfalz and Nieuport, with tank bombing by the three SE5As, led up to Keith Skilling showing the crowd how well a Kittyhawk could be flown. During a quick chat to Keith afterwards, he said that it was the P-40 and its flying capabilities that made the display so spectacular, but I have to disagree — Keith is an amazing pilot with the ability to bring the best out of an aeroplane.
More WWI types, with the three Fokker Triplanes and the trio of SE5As involved in aerial combat, were followed by displays by the Sopwith Camel, Fokker D.VII and two Fokker D.VIIIs to conclude the flying programme.
Sara Randle, airshow organiser, said afterwards she was happy with the numbers attending, especially with the marginal weather conditions which were a lot worse above the ground with very strong wind gusts. To give an example, the RNZAF Red Checkers that should have performed did not leave Ohakea due to the strong winds.
Of the 370-plus entries in a competition open to the public during the show for two free flights in a Tiger Moth, 14 percent were from overseas visitors, a good indication of the growing worldwide interest in TVAL’s remarkable collection.
I believe the next TVAL display scheduled for November will be of a slightly different format. I am also eagerly awaiting the unveiling of some more new aircraft constructions from TVAL, as every airshow seems to show us something new.
- Report and photographs 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