Whitianga Warbirds and Wheels airshow

20:19, Jan 05 2014
Whitianga warbirds
Happy landings: The arrival of a DC3 included a plane-load of passengers who came over for the day from Auckland.
Whitianga warbirds
Harvard graduates: Pilot Rob Silich and Les Larsen gave holidaymakers and residents in Whitianga an early morning wake-up call by flying their 1942 Harvard 78 over the town.
Whitianga warbirds
Back on Earth: Dean Beverley has just returned from a display flight over Whitianga in this 1942 Harvard 52.
Whitianga warbirds
Hello down there: Captain Geoff Cooper looks out from the cockpit of his Ardmore Airport-based DC3.
Whitianga warbirds
Flight briefing: Twins Luke and Ryan Smardon, from New Lynn in Auckland, get the lowdown on the North American Harvard from pilot and New Zealand Warbirds Association operations manager Gavin Trethewey.
Whitianga warbirds
Looking the part: Luke Smardon, 8, from Auckland was thrilled to try on a helmet and get up close to this North American Harvard.

The Whitianga airfield was buzzing with excitement - and the sound of numerous aircraft engines - on Saturday for the Warbirds and Wheels air show.

Thousands descended on the venue where about 25 vintage military aircraft were on display.

Nearby, stock cars were roaring around a track and various classic and custom cars had parked up, with just as many people attracted to them as to the planes.

A vintage DC3 was used to drop a group of high-speed parachutists from 7000 feet.

"It was a nicely balanced day. We had around 5000 punters come through and everyone really enjoyed it," Mercury Bay Aero Club vice-president Bill Beard said.

"I really liked how there was something always going on. The organisation went really well and there was always something to keep people's attention. We had a lot of kids there, which was the best thing about it really. You could tell they were all enjoying it and all getting a lot out of it."

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