Thursday, 9 April 2015

Omaka Classic Fighters - Day 2

Dawn broke on day 2 to find us trekking up Wither Hills.

Photo of Rob & I by Lee

In 2013 we'd discovered this was quite the nice walk to get a good view over Blenheim and the Omaka Aerodrome (where the show was being held).

The WW1 planes also often use the lighter winds at this time of the morning to get some practice! That means you can get a few shots like this in the early morning light...

Overlooking Wither Hills towards Cloudy Bay
Overlooking the aerodrome
From there, it was time to check out the Omaka Heritage Centre. If you haven't been, it is a must do. The displays are amazing thanks to Weta Workshops.

This guy creeps me out every time I see him - so life like!

I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with the centre in a few years as they expand to WW2.

After the centre, it was time to head back out into the sun and check out what was on offer. The show always has a large contingent of re-enactors for the ground theater along with plenty of planes on display. 

From a show perspective, Friday is just the practice day - a chance for the pilots to practice prior to the start of the main event on Friday night - the twilight show. Below are a selection of photos from throughout the practice flying and into the twilight show.

I've had a play with a few of the photos to either create a black and white or, for the Huey, try for a vintage look. The sunset also created some interesting colours and silhouettes. 

 Yes... it is a replica V1 that could fly. Flew around the aerodrome quite well!

The Focke Wulf 190 was the main draw card. It looks and sounds so impressive.

But disaster struck! The plane ground looped on landing. The pilot walked away unharmed and was flying again a little later. Unfortunately not so for the FW-190.... reports so far say that one of the brakes failed causing the spin.

Something you won't see anywhere else in the world.... nine Fokkers in the air.

With the FW-190 crash, the big draw card was gone. Until the organisers announced another surprise was nearly here. We all scanned the horizon in the fading light and a shape could be made out....

The griffin powered Mk 14 Spitfire. A plane that had been restored and only had it's first flight the night before! It just roared through like it owned the place!

Finally, the finale. A covers band playing classic NZ & Oz hits followed by a massive and I mean massive fireworks display. Some money went up in smoke with that! (I need to have a play at merging a few of the photos to see if I can get some better firework ones).

That brought Friday to a close and it was off home for an early night ready for an early start on Saturday.