By Beckie Wilson
Dubbed ‘The Token Pom’ by his Kiwi friends, Trev Graham is no rookie to air show commentating with more the 2000 shows of experience up his sleeve.
Mr Graham, from Winchester, flew over from Britain in the weekend to commentate his sixth Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2017, starting this Friday.
The chief commentator is more than familiar with New Zealand after co-commentating Warbirds over Wanaka for about 12 years, and for several years at Balloons over Waikato in Hamilton.
Air shows and knowledge of aircraft comes easy to Mr Graham after a family venture triggered his interest.
“We had a family business that did commentary at air festivals too,” he said.
“My father was in the RAF, and worked for an airline, as well as my mother and my wife.”
He officially started commentating at the famous Biggin Hill Festival of Flight at Kent, in Britain about 30 years ago.
“I started off as a producer next to the commentators and then I drifted into making small announcements, and then in the end I started and never stopped.”
He said the commentary team was an important link between the pilots and the audience.
“You need the link for people to enjoy themselves, and to understand what is happening during the show.”
He said the show had evolved from a war birds show and evolved into a more general air show and was now a very family-related show.
Mr Graham is responsible for bringing AeroSPARX team Guy Westgate and Tim Dews who will both fly in the night show, the only team in the world to offer aerobatics at night, with pyro fireworks and LED display.
And during the weekend Guy Westgate will attempt two new world records, both the number of continuous rolls on aero tow, and the number of continuous rolls in one flight, both in a glider.
Mr Graham thought the pyro fireworks night show would be a great treat for people coming to the show.
For each show, he does specific research into learning about local aircraft, but some he knows by heart due to his 30 years in the industry.
Mr Graham enjoys coming back to Wairarapa each time. “I enjoy being with the Kiwis.”