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Experienced pilot walked away unscathed after Wanaka airshow crash

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Section
Dunedin,
Publish Date
Saturday, 31 March 2018, 10:52AM
The plane crashed during Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. Photo / Louise Frampton via ODT
The plane crashed during Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. Photo / Louise Frampton via ODT

Update: 3.13 PM: The pilot who walked away from a crash at the Wanaka airshow has decades of experience.

Retired airline pilot Arthur Dovey waved to the crowd after emerging from his craft at the annual Warbirds Over Wanaka.

His Yak 3 landed on a grass runway, and one wing hit a cherry picker being used by a camera operator.

Warbirds general manager Ed Taylor says he's spoken to Mr Dovey after the crash.

"He's good, he's obviously shaken but uninjured which is fantastic, our priority, of course, is always the safety of everyone that comes to the air show, and so we were just so relieved when the pilot walked from the aircraft."

The pilot is understood not to have been injured. Photo / Supplied by Matthew Warner

The Yak is one of two at the show. It dates back to 1943 and was used by the Soviet Air Force.

F-16s no-show at opening

Meanwhile, bad weather disrupted the surprise opening of the show.

While early morning rain at Wanaka Airport has cleared, there is plenty of cloud still around, and it's understood the weather is the reason why a the United Stated Airforce F-16 jet fighters cancelled an appearance at the opening.

The jets, flying out of Christchurch Airport, are still expected to put on a flying demonstration over the show later today.

The plane crashed during Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. Photo / Louise Frampton via ODT

The airshow started at 10am, with founder Sir Tim Wallis due to take a spin along the runway aboard a New Zealand Air Force helicopter.

Other dignitaries expected at the show are National Party leader Simon Bridges and his family, and United States ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown.

Queues of people and cars are making their way to the show in cool, overcast but dry conditions.

 

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