Vintage aircraft attract high interest

Vintage aircraft pilots (from left) Austin Jones, of Wanaka, Bevan Dewes and Lucy Newell, both of Masterton, with a De Havilland Tiger Moth (left) and a De Havilland Chipmunk vintage aircraft. Photo: Adam Butcher

TE ANAU was privileged to have a visit from two vintage aircraft last week.

One aircraft, a De Havilland Tiger Moth owned by Brian Hore, was flown by Lucy Newell, of Masterton, and Austin Jones, of Wanaka.

The second aircraft, a De Havilland Chipmunk, was owned and flown by Bevan Dewes, of Masterton. Most Te Anau residents got a view of the two vintage aircraft as they flew from the top of Lake Te Anau, making their way down and flying past the town.

The aircraft visited Milford Sound to take advantage of the weather during the weekend, and decided to continue to Te Anau, to enjoy Fiordland’s scenery. They refuelled at Te Anau/Manapouri Airport before returning to Wanaka.

All three are passionate aviators, and have a love for vintage, classic and warbird historic aircraft.

Te Anau aviator Adam Butcher said, very active flyers, and are often seen at different locations around the country.

“I think we’re incredibly lucky to have aviators come to visit us here in Fiordland. It’s an amazing place, and a very special airport.

“The more people who visit and are shown a warm welcome, then the more word of mouth will spread and encourage others to come and visit to enjoy our region.’’

The benefits would ripple to all areas of the town’s economy, and continued promotion, Mr Butcher said.

The Cannonball Fly-in March 2022 which was to be held at Te Anau/Manapouri Airport and organised by Ivan Krippener, was cancelled due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions.

“But today’s visit highlights that anyone is welcome at any time.”