Warbirds board looking ahead to next show

Arrangements are being made to ship this Polikarpov I-16 Russian fighter aircraft back to Germany...
Arrangements are being made to ship this Polikarpov I-16 Russian fighter aircraft back to Germany. PHOTO: ED TAYLOR
"We'll be back in 2022."

Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor sits on a deserted Wanaka lakefront on Friday...
Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor sits on a deserted Wanaka lakefront on Friday afternoon. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
That was the message from Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor yesterday as he reflected on this past weekend, when an estimated 55,000 people would have attended the airshow at Wanaka Airport.

"I am obviously a bit sad, particularly as the weather on Friday and Saturday was absolutely stunning. It was perfect for an airshow with no wind and beautiful sunny skies, but we are a resolute bunch and we are determined to be back for the next airshow."

On March 15, after two years of planning and with just four weeks until the first day of the three-day event, Mr Taylor and the Warbirds Over Wanaka board made the decision to cancel the 2020 show.

"We were aware of the Covid-19 virus when it first broke in China and at that stage, earlier on in the year, we identified it as a possible threat; then it became a probable threat and then it became an inevitable threat."

Mr Taylor said 80 aircraft were to have been involved in the 2020 airshow. He would try to rebook some, but success would depend on their availability and that of the pilots.

"It is a big event to pull together and that is why this weekend has been a bit tough for us, because it is not like a normal job or business where you have good weeks or bad weeks and there will always be another day.

"You only get one crack at it," he said.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter