One of the features of ANZAC day for me in the Manawatu, is the flypast organised by Brendon Deere. Every year we head out to Ohakea, usually bathed in warm autumnal sunshine, to see the planes leave and return. This year the flight was made up of Brendon's Supermarine Spitfire IX PV270, (flown by Falcon 5, SQNLDR Sean Perrett RNZAF), flanked by two RNZAF Beechcraft T6 Texans (flown by Falcon 2, FLTLT Alex Joel RAAF and Falcon 3, FLTLT Dan Pezaro RNZAF).
Over the weekend a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 aircraft conducted low-level navigation training in New Zealand. This included a stop at Ohakea Air Base. In the beautiful summer sunshine, as big planes often cause, people gathered to watch. As it began to depart, two young boys borrowed our step ladders for a moment, peering at the large aircraft through a hand held telescope. Soon enough the jets began to wind up, and the plane gathered speed. Camera's clicked and excited boys squealed with delight, as the big four engined jet climbed into the Manawatu skies.
One of the joys of going out to RNZAF Ohakea Air Base is that you never know what is going to happen next. From fighter jets, to diverted passenger planes when one of the larger airports in New Zealand has an issue. Yesterday we went out to see an Airbus A350 which had been diverted to Ohakea from Christchurch due to fog. But while we were there we saw the de Havilland DH-112 Venom being fueled for take-off.
At the end of February, the Royal New Zealand Air Force celebrated their 80th year of service by hosting a two day air show at the Ohakea Air Base. With aircraft from several nations (including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, France) joining in, the event promised to be a great chance to see some new aircraft. Despite a rather fickle summer so far, the weekend was held under mostly clear blue skies with the hot summer sun beaming down.
While most people have less than fond memories of the air show held there 5 years ago, for me I had a great time. Thanks to a bunch of pro photographers who gave me some hints and tips along the way I came away with images which I was very happy with and I learn't a lot.