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Three Exciting New Acts at International Air Show

11 December 2012

Three Exciting New Acts Announced: Red Checkers | Chuck Berry | Air Racing

The NZ International Air Show is excited to announce the addition of three new aviation acts to an already amazing line-up! Classic Kiwi favourites, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Red Checkers, renowned altitude stuntman Chuck Berry and an exhilarating air racing competition have been added to the NZ International Air Show on January 26th, 27th & 28th (Auckland Anniversary Weekend) at North Shore Airfield.

Flying the highly maneouverable New Zealand-built CT-4E Airtrainer, the Red Checkers will perform their famous range of solo and formation aerobatics on Monday 28th January only in a long-awaited return to their stage in the skies.

Extreme sports athlete and seasoned aerobatics professional Chuck Berry has also joined the bill and is set to add more wild skydives to his existing 6000 leaps across all three days at the NZ International Air Show.

And in a world first, side-by-side aerobatic racing on all three days will let spectators experience the exhilarating rush of competitive air racing at its finest.

These three thrilling acts join previously announced acts Rex and Melissa Pemberton, as well as the world famous Jetman, in what is sure to be the most eagerly-anticipated aviation line-up New Zealand has ever seen. See below for biographies on each of the NZ International Air Show headline acts.

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 see the return of the much-loved Red Checkers, experience the adrenaline of Chuck Berry, witness up-close air racing and be host to two international aviation heavyweights, but audiences of the NZ International Air Show will get to experience the journey of the aviation acts as they themselves perform them. Technology has never been used this intensely in an air show anywhere in the world.

Tickets are on sale now from just $55 at www.nzairshow.com. Combined ticket and accommodation packages are available through our partner Accor Hotels. See www.nzairshow.com for details on these packages.

THE NZ INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW LINE-UP

YVES “JETMAN” ROSSY
The world’s top aviation stuntman

Yves Rossy, better known as the world’s top aviation stuntman Jetman, will bring 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 let 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.

MELISSA AND REX PEMBERTON
Aerobatics extraordinaire and daredevil duo

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 daredevil husband Rex Pemberton. Rex straps on his Vampire wing-suit, which glides three feet forward for every one-foot down and allows him to literally fly through 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!

RNZAF RED CHECKERS
The return of a classic Kiwi formation aerobatics team

A staple of New Zealand air shows for the last fifty years and synonymous with stunning aerobatic displays, the NZRAF Red Checkers will be bringing a brand new flying squadron to the NZ International Air Show. Flying the highly maneuverable New Zealand built CT-4E Airtrainer, the NZRAF Red Checkers will perform their famous range of solo and formation aerobatics. Made up of senior instructors from the Air Force’s Central Flying School, Pilot Training Squadron and a strong support crew, the team will be led by Officer Commanding Central Flying School, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Oliver Bint.

“We perform a wide range of formation and solo aerobatics. The team’s history can be traced back to the late 1940s in Wigram, and we have been flying under the Red Checkers name since 1967,” says Bint.

“The Red Checkers give the New Zealand public a chance to see our military flying skills. The exciting flying routines entertain the public while also providing public relations and recruiting opportunities for the Air Force. We’ll no doubt get a chance to meet the next generation of military aviators in our travels”

The NZRAF Red Checkers flying squadron for 2013:

Checkers One: Squadron Leader Oliver Bint
Checkers Two: Flight Lieutenant Stuart Anderson
Checkers Three: Flight Lieutenant Matt Walls
Checkers Four: Squadron Leader Matt Alcock
Checkers Five: Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Davidson
Checkers Six: Flight Lieutenant Robert Cato
Checkers Display Director: Warrant Officer Ash Wilson

CHUCK BERRY
Aeronautical athlete and all-round adrenaline junkie

Now this is a man with an incredible resume! Like the rock n’ roll royalty he shares a name with, New Zealand’s Chuck Berry certainly knows how to make an impact. Having done the first of his 6000 skydives at the age of 17, Chuck has since added professional basejumping, kayaking, scuba diving, paragliding, snowboarding, alpine and ice climbing to his growing list of achievements. An aircraft engineer by profession, Chuck knows all about the science behind what he does.

“Your livelihood rests on faith in yourself, confidence to perform, lightning reflexes to make critical decisions and act accordingly to keep one alive,” he says.

Chuck’s career on the edge and wild thirst for adventure has made him the subject of several documentaries, the star of international ad campaigns and a mentor to many. He is the New Zealand canopy formation flying record holder, was a participant in two separate world record attempts for largest freefall formations and has won a host of national skydiving championships. There’s no way Chuck’s appearance at the NZ International Air Show will be anything less than breathtaking!

AIR RACING
Side-by-side air racing like never before

Alongside aviation superstars and innovative technology, the NZ International Air Show is putting a new spin on air racing. In a world first, an aerobatics race will judge pilots on their skill as much as their speed. Airshow Systems chief executive Peter Newport said two aircraft would race head-to-head to test pilot expertise and efficiency.

"An air race has never been done in this format before. The closest the world comes to it is at the Red Bull Air Race, but it only judges who gets to the finish line first. Pilots are not judged for their skill and efficiency."
The six pilots – including Richard Hood, Grant Benns and Wayne Ormrod – will race side-by-side in New Zealand-made Robin 2160 aerobatic aircraft at up to 240 km/h. A pace plane leads the aircraft out and when they reach the right speed and altitude, the race starts over three 800m legs. The aircraft do a loop on each leg and a half turn at the end of each leg, with camera technology allowing spectators to feel on board every inch of the way.

On Saturday 26th January, the three Kiwi pilots will battle against one another in am elimination round to decide who will face the ‘World’ team. On Sunday 27th January, the three ‘World’ pilots (Melissa Pemberton, Paul Bennett and XXX) will race one another in an elimination round to decide who will race in the final against the top Kiwi pilot. Finally, on Monday 28th January, the top kiwi pilot will race the top ‘World’ pilot in a final showdown to decide who will take out the challenge!

ENDS

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