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A local topdressing gun

John Bargh, an aerial topdressing pilot by day, is getting ready to show off his flying tricks to swarms of attendees at this weekend’s Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival.

The South Wairarapa-based pilot first got a taste for flying 54 years ago when he learnt to fly at Wairarapa Aeroclub.

“I’ve been involved in aviation for a long time now, and even though I fly planes for a living, I still enjoy it.”

“It was always something I wanted to do, from an early age of about six,” Bargh said, noting that his dad had influenced him in wanting to become a pilot.

“My father was always keen on aeroplanes and that sort of thing, but he never learnt to fly himself.”

His career path has also followed in the slipstream of his late uncle, who was a fighter pilot in WWII.

Bargh is set to take off in the Fokker D8, RE.8, Hanriot HD-1, and an Air Tractor – which he owns – in three separate displays during the multi-day festival.

Adding to the many hours of flight he’s already got tucked under his belt, Bargh said he practices flying his designated aeroplanes on the last weekend of each month, from November through to April.

A memorable moment during his time in the aviation industry, Bargh said, was in 2016, when he flew a WWI fighter aircraft from England to France to commemorate the Battle of the Somme.

Bargh and his wife Penny own an aerial topdressing company and service land throughout the region – particularly in South Wairarapa.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Wings Over Wairarapa, which is being held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton, from Friday, November 24 to Sunday 26.

For more information or to purchase tickets to Wings Over Wairarapa, visit www.wings.org.nz

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