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Mr Paterson (28), of Christchurch, was born and raised in the small Maniototo settlement of Patearoa, and said it was humbling to return to and give children opportunities which were not available when he was young.
"This is what the DC-3 is all about - sharing it with Kiwis.
It's a neat thing to be able to come here and land in the Maniototo because I've got a strong connection to the area, and it's great to see the locals supporting it," he said.
It was the first time a passenger airliner had used the airstrip.
"When I grew up there was a couple of top-dressers and a few aviation enthusiasts, including my father and grandfather, so it's really satisfying to come back and share this kind of thing with local kids," he said.
A volunteer pilot for the DC-3 trust, Mr Paterson said flying the airliner during his time off work was worth every minute.
"It's a real privilege to be able to take an airliner like this, with its veracity and durability, out to a paddock in the middle of the Maniototo."