Glider con­firmed for 2018 War­birds Air­show

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

‘‘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.

GAVIN CONROY

Glider pi­lot Doug Hamil­ton per­forms at the 2012 War­birds Over Wanaka Air­show.

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