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Planes to star at open day

Hood Aerodrome is holding an open day today. PHOTOS/FILE

Planes old and new, including some with people jumping out of them, will be on show at Hood Aerodrome Open Day today.

The open day gets under way at 10am with the Masterton Air Training Corps cadets of 21 squadron showing what they can do, which will be of particular interest to anyone aged 13 to 18 years, the age-range for cadets.

Part of the Vintage Aviator Collection that will be on display at the Hood Aerodrome open day.

Trial flights will be available for those thinking about learning to fly, with a competition for a free 30-minute trial flight.

If powered flight isn’t your thing, president of Youth Glide NZ Tim Tarbotton will be explaining that “gliding is the new youth sport”.

At 1pm Skydive Wellington will tell you all about how to become a skydiver, helped by great footage of jumpers over the magnificent Wairarapa scenery.

“We live in a ‘bea-u-tiful’ part of this world and it only gets better from the skies above. So, if you haven’t had a chance to look out the top, come along,” organisers say.

Wairarapa Helicopters will be outside the Kittyhawk Café at 1.30pm and that’ll be a chance to learn about the excitement of how to fly helicopters.

The privately-owned aircraft on display are expected to include a 90 per cent scale Supermarine Spitfire, a Jet Ranger helicopter, a Long Ezy, gliders, a three-quarter scale P51 Mustang, a Seray amphibious aircraft, and aerobatic aircraft.

The open day is a first for the council-owned aerodrome, where the Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival is being held on February 22, 23 and 24, 2019.

There was no WOW in 2017/18 and that meant annual usage of the aerodrome was down, according to Masterton District Council documents. The 9549 aircraft movements were less than the year before and missed the council’s target. However poor flying conditions in April and May contributed.

The aerodrome achieved its other three performance targets, according to the council’s draft annual report.

The aerodrome had operating costs of $296,448 in the 2017/18 year and the council contributed $186,222 to it from rates.

Its runways were open all year except for a three-hour period in May when the runway was repainted.

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