Visitors didn't want to fly away
Members of Dargaville Aero Club are flying high after successfully hosting pilots from all over Northland.
The well-organised Flying New Zealand Northland regionals included such hearty breakfasts, cheap transport and jolly company it was hard to get the visitors to leave.
Flying instructor Murray Foster says what was supposed to be a one-day regional competition turned into a weekend extravaganza. Everyone left thoroughly satisfied, and not just with the competition results.
Mr Foster says he had so many compliments about the cooked breakfasts and delicious lunches the club members provided for their 50 to 60 visitors.
"In fact, I'm a little bit worried they might want to come back again."
Despite the fact they all stayed in various motels and hotels across the district, travelling was no problem.
The Dargaville fire brigade picked up the pilots and their supporters each morning in return for a donation.
Mr Foster says they took them wherever, whenever.
Dargaville members were too busy hosting and Ruawai turned up late so no Kaipara flyers entered in the 11 events that ranged from spot landings and bombing to aerobatics and formation flying.
North Shore won first place in the Wigram Challenge Cup, the most prestigious award that tallies points from non-instrument circuits, instrument flying, senior landing and junior landing.
A mayday call on Sunday afternoon made for an exciting but slightly scary finish.
Members from the Auckland club sent out a mayday call on their way home when a door almost flew off. They managed to hold on to it until returning to Dargaville toland.