Warbirds at Ashburton

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PLENTY TO SEE: Warbird aircraft, including a former training Harvard, will be landing at Ashburton from today refuelling, or practicing, ahead of Warbirds Over Wanaka. PHOTO FILE
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Warbirds aircraft will practice flight displays from Ashburton Airport this week, ahead of travelling south to the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow; a three day event at Wanaka during Easter weekend.

Ashburton Aviation Museum member Warren Janett said the Yak-52 formation aerobatic team, lead by Mike Harvey, would be based at the airport from Monday to Wednesday.

‘‘The Yak-52 team, which is 14 aircraft, will base themselves here for three days. They are going to do their practicing from here, so people can come out (and view them).

The team were known for their high-performance formation flying, including their signature nine-ship formation loop.

‘‘I know the guys quite well actually. They are really keen, they love it here,’’ Janett said.

‘‘They are going to do a bit of a display before they leave.’’

Janett said plans were being worked through to let people get up close to the aircraft, talk to the pilots and take photographs.

It would likely be Wednesday morning, in a fenced-off area made available via the aviation museum entrance.

This week, and especially on Wednesday, there would be a lot of interesting aircraft refuelling at the airport, he said, including Harvards, the ex-training aircraft with big radial engines, which would refuel in Ashburton.

‘‘There will be quite a bit to see. I can not confirm whether the Mosquito is coming or not, all we know is it is going to Wanaka, but there will be a lot of other aircraft coming through.’’

The Mosquito is an ex-RNZAF de Havilland DH98 Mosquito NZ2308 which has under gone a 15-year restoration in Auckland. It was due to appear at the airshow before being shipped to its new home in the United States.