Bush pilots' flying skills delight crowd

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 07:22 03/02/2014
Richard Davidson
Emma Allen
Richard Davidson, from Rangiora, flying a C180A comes in to land in the S.T.O.L Heavy Touring Category.
Hugh and Grace Midgley
Emma Allen
Twins Hugh and Grace Midgley, 17 months, are held by their mother Tess Midgley, from Marlborough.
Sam and Patrick Andrew
Emma Allen
Twins Sam and Patrick Andrew, 5, watch the planes through the fence.

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Grey skies didn't stop pilots from all over New Zealand enjoying the second annual Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Championships on Saturday.

Sixty-seven small aircraft took part in the event, which attracted hundreds of spectators to Blenheim's Omaka air field.

A group of five men had prime seating, as their fold-out chairs lined the fence closest to the landing strip.

Masterton's Ron Williams was one of them.

Mr Williams said they had been there since the gates opened.

"We will hang out here all day.

"It's great fun."

The group of friends travel to air shows all around New Zealand; four of them held private pilot licences, and had long loved planes.

Marlborough Aero Club president Craig Anderson said he was happy with the event.

"The day was a roaring success."

Twenty of the planes were from Marlborough, and the rest had come from around the country.

"We had some from Queenstown, Invercargill, Auckland and everywhere in between," he said.

"The weather was great, the pilots had a great time and everyone is raving about it."

The competition involved planes taking off and landing in the shortest possible distances as well as precision landing.

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- The Marlborough Express

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