Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 20, 2021 12:27:57 GMT 12
The Wings Over New Zealand Show 242 is now online. In this episode I caught up with well known and respected airshow pilot John Lamont, while we were both visiting Ardmore Airport last month.
As a child, John lived next to the Omaka Aerodrome and he caught the aviation bug from a young age. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1963, and trained on Harvards and Devons, and became an instructor at Pilot Training Squadron for two and a half years. He was then posted to No. 3 Squadron RNZAF, flying the Bell 47 Sioux first, and then later onto the Bell UH-1H Iroquois.
Posted to Singapore in the early 1970’s, he then served with No. 41 Squadron there on Iroquois. And then when he came home from that posting he returned to Wigram at the Central Flying School. He decided to leave the RNZAF and joined Air New Zealand, flying the Friendship, the DC-8, the 737, the 767, the 747-200 and the 747-400. After he left the airline aged 60, he flew helicopters commercially at Wanaka for a while.
John also got involved with NZ Warbirds in the early 1980’s, and was one of the original members of The Roaring Forties Harvard aerobatic team. In the early 1990’s he got the opportunity to fly WWII fighters with the Alpine Fighter Collection, and he later flew with the Old Flying Machine Company.
That was another great episode, thank you John and Dave! Like so many warbird pilots all I knew about John before warbirds was "RNZAF/Air NZ/both" so this was a welcome way to get to know more of his career.
Was only recently looking at some old WOW DVDs the other day, pretty sure he end the LA 9 fin come loose during a display from memory?
It was the rudder trim tab, Saturday of the 2004 show, and John was thinking about bailing out at one point. Lots of hard work overnight to make her show-ready for the next day and John's display was beautiful.