Aviation nostalgia drops in from skies

19:47, Feb 24 2013
Guy Clapshaw
REGULAR VISITOR:: Auckland pilot Guy Clapshaw with his 75-year-old Proctor Mark 1 aircraft at the Mandeville Fly-In.

Flying enthusiasts from throughout New Zealand took to the skies near Gore at the weekend for the annual Mandeville Fly-In.

More than 500 people attended the two-day event to look at vintage aircraft, old steam engines and classic cars.

Event convener Maeva Smith said there were about 30 aircraft and good weather conditions helped draw the crowds.

Popular at this year's event were the Mustang World War II fighter, old steam engines and a first-time display of Bantam microlight aircraft.

The Bantams were becoming very popular among Southland farmers because they were less expensive than other planes, easier to fly and convenient, Mrs Smith said.

The Croydon Aircraft Company had recently taken its first orders to start making them, she said.


Pilot Guy Clapshaw said he flew from Auckland for the event, which he tried to attend each year.

Mr Clapshaw, a former pilot for the Royal Air Force and Air New Zealand, said a sense of nostalgia kept bringing him back. "This takes me back to my air force days. This is sort of the centre of the vintage aircraft movement."

Riversdale resident Paul Langford said despite living so close to the airfield, this was the first time he had been to the event.

Highlights included seeing famous New Zealand racing car driver Denny Hulmes' first race car on display and the Mustang World War II fighter.

It was a great family day out and the family would go again next year, he said.


The Southland Times