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 Becoming One Of The Few... Becoming One Of The Few...
Text, in-flight video & photos by Will Mays
Video & editing by Lee Jacques; Other photos by Rob Wood

In early November an advert popped up for a company specialising in Warbird flights here in Auckland, New Zealand. No way I thought… this can’t be possible. But, it seems recent changes to Civil Aviation laws here in New Zealand have now made it possible.

When I saw one of the flights available was in a Spitfire and you could experience some aerobatics, well I was sold. I’d never thought it would be possible to fly in a Spitfire, one of the most iconic aircraft of World War Two. The original plan was to have an Auckland city scenic flight in the Harvard followed by an aerobatic flight in the Spitfire the following day.
Below: The iconic Spitfire.
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So on a Saturday morning after some nervous moments due to typical temperamental Auckland weather over the few days preceding…. it was on! But there was a change; I was going to fly in the Spitfire first. A week later, on a perfectly clear summer’s day, I had the scenic flight in the Harvard where I could easily see right across Auckland… from the Waitakere ranges across to the Coromandel.

Top left: Will stands next the the Harvard.
Right: Chocks away!
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Below: Downtown Auckland from the cockpit of the Harvard.
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Becoming One Of The Few... In regards to Warbird Adventure Rides, the pilot I flew with Frank Parker. He’s clearly very experienced with something like 12 years flying Warbirds and being the current leader of the Havard display team. He’s very relaxed and was great to fly with. From the pre-flight talk, to checking over the aircraft and during the flight he talked through the aircraft operation, what was going to happen and what was happening. It made everything nice and clear and smooth.

Left: Will with pilot Frank Parker.

I was also lucky enough to have some good mates help capture the flights with video footage and photos. Just a note… my camera microphone isn’t very good. The aircraft sounded much better inflight than the inflight recording does!

Will's Spitfire Experience Will's Harvard Experience
I won’t say too much more and will just let the videos and photos speak for themselves, but the experiences were fantastic. As it was such a great experience I thought I’d share them. Hopefully it will entice some of you to save up for some flights of your own! You can learn more about the aircraft flown at the Warbirds website:


Even now, I’m still up in clouds dreaming about being a fighter pilot.

Tally Ho!

~ Will.

Becoming One Of The Few...
Becoming One Of The Few... Becoming One Of The Few...
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Last Updated On Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Blake at Battlefront