Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 4, 2005 11:49:09 GMT 12
I have been considering creating a webpage dedicated to the great display pilots on the New Zealand airshow scene, past and present.
Of course the mater Ray Hanna will be there, as will Mark Hanna and Tm Wallis.
I would also include these great pilots of the NZ scene: Keith Skilling Tom Middleton Phil Murray Trevor Bland John Denton Ken Hayr
I'm sure I've missed many famous names. Can you nominate other display pilots that you'd like to see remembered, honoured or detailed on such a site (if it happens). They can be from prewar, wartime, postwar, whenever. I know our warbird scene began the late 1970's but prior to that were RNZAF displays so I'd like to include them all.
I'd also love to find the names of all the team members for each season in such teams as The Red Checkers, Kiwi Red, the Vampire Display Team (1958), The Roaring 40's, the Brieling Fighters, and any other NZ display teams you know of that included Kiwi pilots.
Robbie Booth would have to be one of the best I've seen in NZ. When I was at Gulf aeronautics he took the Sea Fury out to practice a new routine for an upcoming airshow. He succeeded in pulling the tightest display I have ever seen the Fury do, well inside the confines of Ardmores boundaries, but still using all the speed - absolutely awesome! When he came back in his eyes were bloodshot where the G forces had broken some blood vessels, and he did say "I think I might back it off it bit...". Off course he also has artificial legs, so the blood doesnt pool down there! Steve Taylor and Richard Hood are also on my list of top display pilots initailly flying Pitts Specials etc and more recently Giles 202. Steve also flew with the roaring 40s for a while. Kieth Trillo is also an ex Pitts pilot who used to display the Fokker triplane relica for a while. as display Pilots the the Harding Family (Richmond, Bruce and Don?) from Wanganui aero Work need recognition for devising such an unusual and spectaculr display with the WAW Bird Cresco team.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Well, I can recall back in the early-1980s when a Squadron Leader by the name of Bruce Ferguson was leading the Red Checkers: I gather he has gone on to much bigger things now!
I have a booklet which was released in 1988 when Kiwi Red was on tour around NZ, and at that stage the team was:
Red 1 - Wing Commander Frank Sharp Red 2 - Flying Officer Peter King Red 3 - Flying Officer Donald Laming Red 4 - Flight Lieutenant Craig Tanner Red 5 - Squadron Leader Gavin Howse Red 6 - Flying Officer Nigel Milne
Flt Lt Tanner was later killed in the crash of Strikemaster NZ6369 on 20th November 1991.
The Skyhawk aerobatic team that was formed for the Air Force Day 1981 Ohakea Airshow was led by Wg Cdr Graeme Goldsmith, and had the unofficial name RAGNSBQGAT (Red And Gold Nothing Special But Quite Good Aerobatic Team!). I know that Stew White (can't remember his rank) was in that team, along with Flt Lt John Dick who was later killed in the crash of TA-4K NZ6253 on 25th March 1981.