Super show thrills crowds

23:03, Mar 31 2013
Tony Wytenburg
Classic Aero Machining Service - Tony Wytenburg with a beautifly machined rotary engine to be showcased at the Classic Fighters Omaka Airshow.
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Pin-up Girl Antoinette Bason and re-enactment group members from Delta Group Military History and Preservation Society
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Avro Anson and Nanchang fly over Havelock to promote the Classic Fighters Air show at Omaka 2013
Avro Anson
RARE SHOW: The Avro Anson banks during its flight over Nelson and Tasman to promote the Classic Fighters show at Omaka this weekend.
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Avro Anson and Yak
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Yak flying over the Salt Works south of Seddon in Marlborough
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Yak flying over Marfells Beach in Clifford Bay, Marlborough.
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Avro Anson flying over the Awatere Valley in Marlborough
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Yak flying over the Awatere River in Marlborough
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Tony Karauria with his labrador, Colonel Rhodh.
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Roman Black poses as a British paratrooper. He's been doing this for five years and loves it
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Corsair
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Harvard arrives with singer Sarah Brown.
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Harvard in the sunset
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Yak 52s
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ME 108
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Sarah Brown entertains
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Yaks line up for take off
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RNZAF Iroquois
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Yaks going through their display.
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Yaks going through their display.
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Corsair going through its display with a high speed pass
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RNZAF NH 90 helicopter landing
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Ex-RNZAF Strikemaster
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Lining up for the show on Saturday
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Classic Fighters Omaka 2013
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Fokker Triplanes as the sun breaks through at the start of the day on Saturday
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Spitfires
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Ready for takeoff
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Kittyhawk
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Corsair
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Corsair
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WW2 finale with tank
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The German Natter plane is destroyed during the WW2 Finale.
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The German Natter plane prepares for launch during WW2 Finale.
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Classis Fighters
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Focke Wulf.
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Corsair
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WW1 biplane a Sopwith Camel and a triplane.
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Beech 17
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The RNZAF Red Checkers perform
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Corsair
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Corsair
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Corsair
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Spitfire chased by a Focke Wulf
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Harvard
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Glider display
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Spitfire
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Corsair
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Magnificent Seven Fokker Triplanes
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Magnificent Seven Fokker Triplanes
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Four Fokker Triplanes flying very close together
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The Red Baron in a Fokker triplane has a Sopwith Camel in its sights.
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Troops preparing for the day
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Sopwith Pup
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Red Checkers team perform their display
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Kiwi Blue parachute team make their descent.
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Red Checkers team perform their display.
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Fokker Triplanes fly in formation.
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Expositive fireballs rise into the sir during the crowd thearte at the Classic Fighters Air Show.
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Alan Mitchell, left and Greg Olsen of Nelson dressed as World War One German officers .
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Two Spitfire aircraft and a Focke Wulf Fw 190, top right fly past the crowd.
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Smoke comes from an MX2 aerobatic aircraft as it performs it's display in the morning light.
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Ground theatre
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Moisture comes off the propellers of a DC3 aircraft as it takes off
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P-51 Mustang
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Kiwi Blue parachute team
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Fokker Triplanes fly in formation a
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A Royal New Zealand Air Force NH 90 helicopter taxis past the actors dressed as German soldiers and a replica Tiger Tank
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The F27 Friendship was a common site in New Zealand when opearted by Air New Zealand.
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Kiwi Blue parachute team
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Amelia Reid, top and Sally Martin both actors on Shortland Street dressed in Royal Air Force uniform on the stairs of a MK1 Avro Anson at the 2013 Classic Fighters Air Show at Omaka. The Anson the only one of it's type flying in the world was restored by the Reid Family of Wakefield. Amelia who plays Bella on Shortland Street is the daughter of Bill Reid who restored the aircraft.
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force Red Checkers team perform as the sun sets
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the sun sets on the Royal New Zealand Air Force Red Checkers
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The Yak 52 display team performs on the first day
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Jay McIntyre at the controls of a Nanchang over Omaka Airfield
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Avro Anson Bomver and Yak 3 Fighter pictured over the Awatere River and Awatere Valley in Marlborough
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Two spitfires and the Focke Wulf FW190
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Red Checkers

An estimated 30,000 people will be ironing out the kinks in their necks after spending the weekend gazing at the sky at the Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow near Blenheim.

Airshow organiser Graham Orphan said that despite rain yesterday, the crowd was out in force for the seventh biennial airshow at the Omaka airfield.

About 18,000 people were thought to have attended the show on Saturday, while 5000 attended the dusk show on Friday and 7000 more headed along yesterday despite the fickle weather.

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St Johns Command Unit - Emergency Medical Dispatcher Brendan McInnes and Paramedic James Watkins

"Every year I get up in the PA tower and look down at all the people, and Saturday definitely had unprecedented numbers," Mr Orphan said.

Aircraft enthusiasts and history buffs were treated to more than 100 vintage, warbird and replica World War I, World War II, Royal New Zealand Air Force and civilian aircraft performing spectacular aerial displays and stunts.

The props team didn't disappoint as the crowds watched enthusiastic ground troops re-enact battle scenes aided by gunfire and realistic explosions.

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A World War II German point-defence rocket-powered interceptor, a Bachem Ba 359 Natter, was blown up in the secret finale yesterday.

"It was a shame to blow it up really, it was just beautifully built," Mr Orphan said.

Instead of being blown up vertically as was intended, the props team decided to do it horizontally because of wind concerns.

"They blew it to smithereens," Mr Orphan said. "The props guys always blow me away with what they do."

The star of the show was the German World War II fighter Focke-Wulf Fw190, which made its maiden public performance in the Southern Hemisphere.

"It's never flown in public before - there was a huge applause in the sea of people," Mr Orphan said.

The aircraft, which was originally intended to make its debut in the 2011 airshow, delivered in spades this time around, he said.

Twenty-nine aircraft were involved in the final flyover, a record number for New Zealand, Mr Orphan he said.

Planning is already underway for the 2015 airshow.

"I opened the file on my desk two months ago for 2015," he said.

"I must be crazy."

While a few familiar faces were spotted, including aircraft buff Jim Hickey, Sir Peter Jackson, a trustee of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, did not attend the event.

"I'm not sure why exactly, but it was a shame, because he's never missed one yet," Mr Orphan said.

He was also expecting 2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz to arrive on Saturday when the news broke he and his wife Kathy had crashed into the sea off Kawhia Harbour in their twin-engine Beechcraft Baron.

"He was supposed to come on Saturday to debut his classic Beech 17 biplane," Mr Orphan said. "I only spoke to him three days ago and he sounded really enthusiastic."

St John operations team manager Tony Cronin said the weekend went smoothly with only minor injuries treated apart from three people who were injured when a gas cannister exploded on Friday.

The majority of people who presented were treated for stings, cuts and burns.

"The crowd, the atmosphere, the whole weekend was just superbly run," he said.

"Everyone was well behaved and no one was treated for intoxication."

The team treated 11 people on Friday, 30 people on Saturday, and a further 15 people on Sunday.

Constable Andrew Holdaway, of Blenheim, said police were happy with the behaviour of the airshow attendees. "With 18,000 people here on Saturday, not a single bad thing happened," he said.

Classic fighters - how you saw it on Storify

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