First for Fay making Yak aerobatic team

Fay Emeny prepares to take off in her Yak-52. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Fay Emeny prepares to take off in her Yak-52. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
The first female pilot to make the world-class Yak-52 aerobatic display team hopes to clock up another first in her career at next year’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.

Flying is in Fay Emeny's blood: both her grandfathers were also pilots.
Flying is in Fay Emeny's blood: both her grandfathers were also pilots.
New Plymouth-based pilot Fay Emeny wanted to make her debut in the Yak team at Warbirds Over Wanaka in 2020.

"Unfortunately, Covid forced the cancellation of the airshow but I have since become a regular in the team and can’t wait to make my first appearance at Wanaka in 2022,” Ms Emeny said.

Flying is in her blood: both her grandfathers were pilots, the late Cliff Emeny flew De Havilland Mosquitos in World War 2 and Jack Wheeler (94) was still a keen Taranaki aviator.

Ms Emeny’s father, Brett Emeny, has operated an agricultural helicopter business and was a top New Zealand Warbird pilot, while her uncles were also involved in different aspects of aviation.

Ms Emeny had her first flight in a Yak-52 at the age of 15 and flew her father’s Yak down to Wanaka in 2006 at the age of 20.

"Now I’ll be returning some 16 years later and actually flying in the airshow.

"It doesn’t get any better than that,” Ms Emeny said.

Next year’s Warbirds over Wanaka is being held over three days from April 15 to April 17 and tickets are already on sale.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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