Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow organisers have confirmed popular glider display pilot Doug Hamilton will perform for the 30th anniversary airshow at Easter 2018.
Wellington-based Hamilton last performed at the 2012 Warbirds in an ASH25, which has one of the biggest wing spans of any glider in the world.
Warbirds Over Wanaka event manager Mandy Deans said Hamilton’s soaring performance to classical music surprised and mesmerised the crowd.
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“Doug was given a huge ovation at the completion of the act when he brought the glider to a stop with the wing tip resting in the hand of a child on the runway. We received some amazing feedback about the display, even from some aviation fans who prefer to have V12 Merlins in their aircraft rather than relying on updrafts to fly,” Deans said.
Hamilton has been flying gliders for more than 30 years. Performing at airshows called on all his skills, he said.
His gliding achievements include a non-stop 1000 km flight and time gliding in the USA and Argentina.
“The big difference is that instead of flying as high as you can and often in a straight line, with airshow performances, you are trying to keep as much of your display as possible in front of the crowd,” he said.
Deans said planning for the 2018 airshow was underway and announcements about other acts would be made “as soon as we are able”.
Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is on March 30, 31 and April 1, 2018