Spectators at the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow
at Easter are likely to see a plane being flown like a
The manoeuvre was invented by Lithuanian aerobatics ace
Jurgis Kairys (61), and show organisers confirmed yesterday
he would perform it at the show in his Sukhoi 29 plane.
Airshow event manager Mandy Deans said Mr Kairys was regarded
as one of the world's most innovative aerobatic pilots.
''We are privileged to have Jurgis back in New Zealand.''
He performed at the Wanaka airshow in 2010.
In a press release, Mr Kairys said he was ''full of power and
ready to fly''.
He will perform on all three days of the show, beginning on
Airshow patrons will also have the chance to ride in one of
the workhorses of New Zealand aviation.
The 69-year-old DC-3 ZK-AWP is the only surviving RNZAF World
War 2 aircraft still operating in a frontline service.
It is also the last flying piston-engined example of the
RNZAF C-47 fleet and the last flying example of the National
Airways Corporation DC-3 fleet.
The plane was built in 1945 in Oklahoma City, in the United
States, and flown to Hamilton to become RNZAF Dakota NZ3543
assigned to 41 Squadron RNZAF.
It remained in the military until 1952, when it was handed
over to the National Airways Corporation.
The plane was used to carry passengers in Samoa until 1973,
when it was converted into a top-dresser.
In the mid 1980s, it was converted to carry air freight and
in 2000, after clocking up 46,000 flying hours, Pionair
Adventures Ltd began using it for passenger charter work.
In June 2002 it was badly damaged when it skidded off the
runway at Glentanner Station, near Mt Cook, and crashed into
After being repaired, it began work in Tonga and apart from
three years spent in storage after the 2006 riot in the
Tongan capital of Nuku'Alofa, it continued carrying
passengers in the islands until March 2013.
It is now based in Auckland.