Warplane has family connection

Marryllyn Donaldson displays a picture of an Avro Anson Mk1, the model of aircraft her...
Marryllyn Donaldson displays a picture of an Avro Anson Mk1, the model of aircraft her grandfather flew in World War 2. She will soon get to fly in the only one in the world still working. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON/SUPPLIED
Dunedin woman Marryllyn Donaldson is preparing herself for a wave of emotions when she travels to Wanaka later this month for a flight in the only Avro Anson Mk1 aircraft still flying. 

Ms Donaldson’s father, the late Arthur (Bill) Bennett, flew Ansons for the Royal Air Force during the World War 2.

"He had a few adventures, including several crashes, but managed to survive the war and continue a peacetime RAF career."

Ms Donaldson attended many United Kingdom airshows with her father before emigrating to New Zealand in 2009.

Marryllyn Donaldson with her late father, Bill Bennett. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Marryllyn Donaldson with her late father, Bill Bennett. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

She was a regular at the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow and jumped at the chance to fly in the Anson at Wanaka Airport this month.

"I will be bringing plenty of tissues because I just know that when I get into the aircraft all those. memories of my Pops are going to come flooding back."

She was one of those who had booked flights on either Bill Reid’s Anson or Graeme Frew’s Yak-3 World War 2 fighter.

The two Blenheim-based aircraft will be at Wanaka between August 21 and 24; a portion of the cost of each ride will be donated to the Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust as it recovers from having to cancel this year’s airshow because of Covid-19.

 

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