Red Checkers no show investigated

A Red Checkers Airtrainer that made a forced landing while on its way to the Tauranga City Airshow will be returned to Ohakea Air Force base in Manawatu by road today, or tomorrow.

The forced landing on Friday, January 27 meant the Red Checkers were pulled from the Tauranga Airshow, and from the Anniversary Day celebrations in Auckland on Monday.

The Red Checkers have been grounded as a precaution. Photo: NZDF.

The Waitangi Day Red Checkers aerobatic team display, planned for February 6, is also in jeopardy.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force spokesperson says whether or not the display goes ahead will depend on the outcome of the initial investigation into the cause of the forced landing.

The lead aircraft flying from Ohakea to Tauranga on Friday afternoon developed mechanical problems in flight, while travelling over the Tongariro National Park.

The pilot made a forced landing, about 12km south of Rangipo. The aircraft overturned on landing, sustaining moderate damage, but the pilot was uninjured.  

The RNZAF reports the remaining Airtrainers, which were also enroute, all landed safely but will not specify exactly where they landed.

The RNZAF took delivery of the first of 13 leased CT-4E Airtrainers in August 1998. The 13th aircraft was delivered in June 1999. The airtrainer is manufactured by Hamilton based Pacific Aerospace Limited.



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