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Soaring at Wings Over Wairarapa 2023

The inclement weather didn’t dampen our spirits at this year’s Wings Over Wairarapa airshow, with thousands of students visiting our ground displays and guests treated to a taste of what some of our aircraft can do during yesterday’s air display.

27 November, 2023

Bad weather provided planning challenges but didn’t dampen spirits for Wings Over Wairarapa 2023, held on a postponement date of 24 – 26 November after Cyclone Gabrielle impacted the regular February date.

Five thousands students were expected to attend the first day of the event, with Schools to Skies, Defence Technology Agency, Defence Careers, and a LAV and LOV from 16 Field Regiment on the ground for Take Flight Friday.  Practice flying was curtailed by wind, rain and low cloud, but the students were well entertained by the STEM activities happening in hangars, tents and under marquees.

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After Saturday’s show was cancelled due to the weather, Sunday dawned brighter.  Adjustments were made, fingers were crossed, and Sunday’s display was able to go ahead with the SH-2G helicopter put through its paces, before the arrival of the A-109 and NH-90 which made for a popular static display.

The Air Force Heritage Flight of New Zealand wowed the crowd with the Supermarine Spitfire and Texans in formation, before the Black Falcons kicked off their display season in fine fashion.  A solo Texan display finished the day for the RNZAF.

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Detachment Commander Wing Commander Geoff Pierce said it was a busy weekend that provided challenges but proved agility.

“It was a pleasure to be able to put on an entertaining display on Sunday, after two days of pivoting in response to operational and weather issues."

A large number of people visited our ground displays and talked to our personnel with the static displays, providing us with an opportunity to interact with the public that we don’t often get.

The next major air show display for the Defence Force will be Warbirds over Wanaka, held over Easter weekend in 2024.


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Wings Over Wairarapa 2023