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Air Force Black Falcons to entertain Waikato and Bay of Plenty crowds in busy weekend

The Ohakea-based Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aerobatics display team, the Black Falcons, is set to appear in the skies above Waikato and Bay of Plenty several times this weekend.

18 January, 2024

The five-strong team, flying the T-6C Texan II aircraft, will perform above Matamata, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga and Taupo from Friday to Sunday, providing aerial entertainment for a flying school, an airshow, cricket and motor racing crowds.

Team member Squadron Leader Michael Williams said the pilots were looking forward to flying the first displays of 2024.

“It’s a real pleasure to bring our displays to people any time, but these opportunities are special,” he said.

“The Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School is iconic in the New Zealand aviation scene, and we have huge respect for what they achieve for the 70 or so students that get their first real taste of flying there every year.

“Our Texan aircraft is the one in which all RNZAF pilots learn to fly, so we also hope this weekend’s displays will inspire some of the young people who see us there and over the weekend. It could be them up there one day.”

“That visit and the other events that we’re part of this weekend all give us a chance to demonstrate a key element of our Air Force’s wide range of capabilities.

“This type of flying is fantastic to be part of as a pilot, but it also practises and sharpens key military flying skills.

“So while it’s great to watch and hopefully showcases an Air Force that New Zealanders can be proud of, there’s a serious side to the extra training and practice involved in display flying,” he said.

Black Falcons display schedule

  • Friday 19 January: Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School, Matamata, 1.45pm
  • Friday 19 January: Friday Night Falcons, Main Beach, Mt Maunganui, 6.30pm
  • Saturday 20 January: Classic Flyers Aero Open Day, Tauranga Airport, 1.15pm *updated time as at Saturday morning.
  • Saturday 20 January (flypast only): T20 Black Clash, Bay Oval International Cricket Ground, Tauranga, 6.20pm
  • Sunday 21 January: Taupo Historic Grand Prix, Taupo Motorsport Park, 12.13pm

All times are approximate and subject to local weather conditions.  

For more information on the team visit