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Crashed Spitfire out of Rotorua air show

News Release
Friday 4 December 2009

Crashed Spitfire out of Rotorua air show as three more aerial acts announced

ROTORUA 04.12.09: Organisers of next weekend’s Let’s GO Rotorua! Lakefront Air Show are searching for a replacement aircraft after the show’s WWII Spitfighter fighter crashed on landing at Ardmore Airport in Auckland yesterday, damaging its propeller and undercarriage.

Events & Venues Rotorua general manager Peter McLeod said he was disappointed that the Spitfire would no longer be part of Rotorua’s air show to celebrate the start of the city’s trans-Tasman service but he was relieved to learn that pilot Doug Brooker had escaped uninjured.

“We are currently seeing whether we can locate a replacement aircraft to fill the gap but even without the Spitfire we have a fantastic lineup of 15 performances that are going to keep everyone enthralled during the 12 December air show.

“I’m particularly pleased to be able to confirm today that we will have three exciting aerial performances featuring aircraft and pilots from Tauranga’s Classic Flyers’ Museum.

“A Cessna Dragonfly military jet trainer and ground attack aircraft is certainly no slouch with a top speed of 778kmh, and it’s really going to thrill the crowd. Originally built in 1952 the Dragonfly was capable of carrying cannon, rocket pods, bombs and napalm tanks as well sidewinder missiles.

“We also have a Bell 47 Helicopter which can lay claim to being the first chopper to become a TV star, as a result of the hit series MASH set in the Korean War. The Bell 47G and a vintage Piper Cub that played an important spotter role in Korea will stage a twin flying display themed around the Korean War era.

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“And then all hell will break lose over Lake Rotorua as a grunty 550 hp Pratt and Whitney North American Harvard matches its paces with a German Messerschmitt 108 fighter aircraft in an enthralling WWII aerial dog fight. There’s no doubt this going to be one of the real highlights of the Lakefront Air Show .

Mr McLeod said the involvement of Tauranga's Classic Flyers Museum team reinforced the regional significance of Rotorua's new trans-Tasman direct air services and he was delighted to have them involved.

“The Flyers' Museum is one of the very best collections of restored and preserved aircraft in the country and their appearance at the Lakefront Air Show will give people a taste of what they can expect from the Classic Flyers own air show in Tauranga on February 6 and 7.

The Let’s GO Rotorua! Lakefront Air Show and carnival are being organised by Rotorua District Council as a free community event from 11am on Saturday 12 December, ahead of the arrival of the inaugural direct trans-Tasman flight from Sydney at 2.35pm.


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