Planes to howl at Cromwell
Flying upside down at speeds up to 300kmh is not everyone's cup-of-tea but for pilots taking part in an Otago Aerobatic Open day in Cromwell this weekend it is a long-lasting passion.
Some of New Zealand's best aviators are expected to take part in the open day to flaunt their skills and practise for the New Zealand Aerobatic Championships in Waipukurau in March.
Southern Lakes Learn to Fly owner and operator Ivan Krippner, twice our national aerobatic champion and six-time national title holder, said the day would be a chance to talk with pilots, see them in action and those wanting to test their stomachs could take an aerobatic trail flight.
Mr Krippner, who grew up on an airfield, said the pilots will fly upside down, complete hesitation rolls, stall turns, snap rolls, half cuban eights manoeuvres and humpty bumps within a 1 square kilometre "box" to practise for competitions.
"It's a fun day. It's a good social thing. We always do it because it's fun."
Aerobatic pilots were often looked at as a "bunch of irresponsible cowboys" but the majority were airline captains and career pilots, Mr Krippner said.
"We get painted with the wrong side of the brush," he said.
Flying was in Mr Krippner's blood from before he was born.
His mother was a pilot and "was the second woman to be grounded because of pregnancy".
The open day was a chance for him and other aerobatic pilots to show others about their passion, he said.
Fast facts What: Otago Aerobatic Open When: Saturday and Sunday from 10am Where: Cromwell Race Course Airfield