Planes to howl at Cromwell

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Fly­ing up­side down at speeds up to 300kmh is not ev­ery­one’s cupof-tea but for pi­lots tak­ing part in an Otago Aer­o­batic Open day in Cromwell this week­end it is a long-last­ing pas­sion. Some of New Zealand’s best avi­a­tors are ex­pected to take part in the open day to flaunt their skills and prac­tise for the New Zealand Aer­o­batic Cham­pi­onships in Waipuku­rau in March. South­ern Lakes Learn to Fly owner and op­er­a­tor Ivan Kripp­ner, twice our na­tional aer­o­batic cham­pion and six-time na­tional ti­tle holder, said the day would be a chance to talk with pi­lots, see them in ac­tion and those want­ing to test their stom­achs could take an aer­o­batic trail flight. Mr Kripp­ner, who grew up on an air­field, said the pi­lots will fly up­side down, com­plete hes­i­ta­tion rolls, stall turns, snap rolls, half cuban eights ma­noeu­vres and humpty bumps within a 1 square kilo­me­tre ‘‘box’’ to prac­tise for com­pe­ti­tions. ‘‘It’s a fun day. It’s a good so­cial thing. We al­ways do it be­cause it’s fun.’’ Aer­o­batic pi­lots were of­ten looked at as a ‘‘ bunch of ir­re­spon­si­ble cow­boys’’ but the ma­jor­ity were air­line cap­tains and ca­reer pi­lots, Mr Kripp­ner said. ‘‘We get painted with the wrong side of the brush,’’ he said. Fly­ing was in Mr Kripp­ner’s blood from be­fore he was born. His mother was a pi­lot and ‘‘was the sec­ond woman to be grounded be­cause of preg­nancy’’. The open day was a chance for him and other aer­o­batic pi­lots to show oth­ers about their pas­sion, he said.

10am Otago Aer­o­batic Open Satur­day and Sun­day from


Cromwell Race Course

Free en­try for spec­ta­tors. Aer­o­batic Trail Flights from $199 for 30 min­utes.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627534292

Fly­ing flips: South­ern Lakes Learn to Fly owner and op­er­a­tor Ivan Kripp­ner, a two-time na­tional aer­o­batic cham­pion holder, has or­gan­ised for aer­o­batic pi­lots to show their skills above Cromwell this week­end.

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