Plane flown by a pilot prince

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 10:15 11/04/2014
Bevan Dewes
Scott Hammond

Bevan Dewes

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A Timaru man flew to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre yesterday in the very plane Prince Philip learned to fly in.

Bevan Dewes owned one of two de Havilland Chipmunks, which were flown by Prince Philip at White Waltham Airfield, the nearest airfield to Windsor Castle.

"They had two of them and the other one is sitting in the Royal Air Force museum so this is the only one still flying, so it's a pretty special plane," Dewes said.

He flew the plane to the Omaka Airfield yesterday morning ahead of the visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, although he thought it was unlikely they would get a chance to look at the plane.

"It's a shame they came halfway across the world and they can't see [William's] granddad's plane."

The 20-year-old flying instructor brought the aircraft about six months ago, and planned to repaint it in original colours, silver with yellow stripes, when he had the money for the job.

He thought the centre was a "fantastic" place for the royal couple to visit, especially with Prince William being a pilot himself.

"It's probably the most interesting thing for him on the trip," he said.

Dewes was originally from Masterton, and had been involved with their Vintage Aviation Museum.

He began flying when he was 17. "I was flying passengers before I could drive passengers."

He was due to continue on to Masterton last night.

kat.duggan@mex.co.nz

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