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Melissa & Rex Pemberton join star line-up

Melissa & Rex Pemberton join star line-up

4th December 2012

The NZ International Air Show has added another global aviation heavyweight to its line-up, American aerobatics extraordinaire Melissa Pemberton and her daredevil husband Rex Pemberton. The Pembertons join previously announced headline act Jetman and his 5000-foot fall to earth that already has the public buzzing. The star acts will perform as part of the NZ International Air Show on January 26th, 27th & 28th (Auckland Anniversary Weekend) at North Shore Airfield.

Twenty eight year-old American pilot Melissa Pemberton is living proof that the sky’s the limit. A seasoned master in aerobatics, Melissa has become a renowned staple act at some of the world’s biggest air shows, dropping jaws around the globe with her complex gyroscopic maneuvers.

As one of the few young females in the aerobatics industry, Melissa is a role model as much as she is a daredevil, with a story as inspiring as it is thrilling. Her high-octane performances wow the eyes, ears and imaginations of all fortunate enough to see them.

Today Melissa takes her wings around the world, encouraging young people to do more than just dream about careers in aviation. Melissa believes that mastering the skills of both competition and air shows make her the most skilled and safe pilot that she can be.

Melissa will be joined by her equally daredevil husband Rex Pemberton. Rex straps on his Vampire wingsuit, which can glide three feet forward for every one foot down allowing him to literally fly across the sky! Melissa circles him in her high performance aircraft as he descends from 10,000 feet above the ground until he opens his parachute at 2,000 feet. Both of them carry air to ground radio communications so that the crowd can hear their conversation as this unfolds. Rex often jokes that he has to be ‘extremely nice’ to Melissa before this routine. Not many husbands would let their wives circle them with a high-revving three-bladed propeller!

The Pembertons join Yves Rossy, better known as the world’s top aviation stuntman Jetman, who will be bringing a team of engineers to help him launch 5000 feet from a helicopter, before landing by parachute at North Shore Airfield. A team of camera technicians will help spectators feel on board every step of the way, the ultimate experience for anyone who has ever dreamt about flying.

Born in Switzerland and having been inspired at an air show when he was 13, Rossy knew he was meant to fly and so became a military pilot before flying both Boeing and Airbus aircraft for several commercial airlines. However, it was the freedom and innovation in flying that he lived for and Rossy worked tirelessly on designing technology that would allow him to fly in the most natural form possible. After ten years of inventions and prototypes, his mechanical wings were finished and Jetman was born. He is the first and only man in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing, and still is to this day.

This impressive line-up is already turning the traditional air show on its head. Being held at the North Shore Airfield over Auckland Anniversary Weekend (January 26, 27 and 28), the first-ever NZ International Air Show is set to be much more than just an exhibition of aviation. Cutting-edge live streaming camera technology and the use of giant screens will make spectators feel like they are in the cockpit experiencing the pilots’ adrenaline rush.

So not only will New Zealand be host to two of the aviation world’s biggest players in Jetman and Melissa Pemberton, but audiences of the NZ International Air Show will get to experience the journey of the aviation superstars as they themselves perform them. Technology has never been used this intensely in an air show anywhere in the world.

In other exciting news, the NZ International Air Show has added a tasty touch to its line-up by joining forces with Cadbury to make the iconic Kiwi ‘Jet Planes’ the official confectionary of the event. Given that the NZ International Air Show is designed to be as exciting for children as it is for adults, this is a pretty sweet addition. Stay tuned for competitions and giveaways involving the old favourite ‘Jet Plane’ lollies.

There are plenty more exciting acts that will be announced over the next few weeks, so stay tuned as we near one of the most anticipated events in Auckland this summer.

Tickets are on sale now from just $55 at


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