Floats, boats and connections

Some days are more special than others ….

It was time for Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow. One special feature was a display of aircraft on water, which is not a common sight in NZ. Ivan and Kylie Krippner, both pilots and part-time Flyinn guides, own and operate Southern Lakes Learn to Fly Wanaka, plus one of NZ’s few float plane businesses, Wings and Water based in TeAnau. Their Cessna 206 DRH, was at Lake Wanaka to be a part of the display.

With most of their Flyinn itinerary complete, we asked our guests: “Would they like to go boating on this beautiful day? Plus would anyone be interested in flying a float plane? Yes! and Yes!!

As we boarded the MV Ambergris,we watched the pilot of our float plane row to the buoy where she was tethered. After DRH was prep’ed, and we had practised backing, we carefully positioned ourselves in front of the floats. Guests Bill and Andy, along with Flyinn guide Nick, transfered from the back of the boat to join Adam, float plane pilot and instructor. Over the next hour, DRH could be seen taking off, flying and landing all around the lake – allowing for flight training and changing of pilots. What a DRH Lake Wanaka 2blast.

Another special feature of the Airshow was to be a display of the RNZAF’s very new T6 trainers. Stuart Anderson, a previous Flyinn guide pilot and now with the Airforce, was piloting one of these. Due to an afternoon off he had joined us. It did not take long before both pilot guests were engaged in conversation with Stu. Bill’s flying career began with years as a helicopter pilot in the US Military, while Andy from South Africa, deducted he knew Stuart’s father well, through connections in South Africa. Very small world!jo camera May2016 113

So this was one of those days where the connections made through Aviation turned what may have been an ordinary day on a boat on a lake, into an extraordinary collusion of shared interests resulting in fantastic fun and friendship.

After watching the airshow, we motored to Ruby Island to complete the day with a picnic barbeque of Geordie Hill merino, enjoyed with NZ wine and shared with warm camaraderie.


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