Media and Updates

For all the latest news on Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival 2019 see below.


Due to operational issues the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress will not make its New Zealand debut at the Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival in Masterton today.

The B-52 was due to perform a fly past of Hood Aerodrome at 2pm, which was set to open the afternoon’s flying programme. The plane was on its way from Guam to New Zealand, but has been grounded in Australia due to a maintenance issue. There is no prediction on how quickly this engineering problem can be resolved.

In a statement U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown says:

“We know that thousands of people made plans based on being able to see the B52. We know how disappointed they will be. We share that disappointment. We're gutted,” says U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown. "We've been in touch with the organizers and I personally called Defence Minister Ron Mark to convey our apologies and regret."

"When the organizers of the airshow asked us to participate, we worked really hard to accommodate their request. Despite our commitment to coming to the airshow, it was decided that safety, both of those in the air and those on the ground, must be the priority.

“The Wings over Wairarapa Airshow has established itself as a world class event and we were honored to be invited. We wish the organizers all the best for this year’s display and the U.S. Embassy looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with this great show,” says the Ambassador.”

Wings Chair, Bob Francis, says this morning’s news was very disappointing for all involved.

“This is incredibly disappointing but we have to accept there’s been an operational issue curtailing the fly over of the B-52 at Wings Over Wairarapa this afternoon. This was something we’ve actively promoted and know people have travelled here to see this,” says Mr Francis.

“We are still looking to put on a terrific flying programme this afternoon for the thousands of visitors that are here and are confident they will enjoy this. We’ve worked incredibly hard behind the scenes this morning and have secured a Lockheed Martin P3 Orion from Squadron No 5 RNZAF based in Auckland.”

The air festival will still run from 2pm as planned and open with the P3 Orion followed by a dazzling display by the RNZAF. This will be followed by an afternoon of flying featuring military aircraft, agriculture aircraft and WW1 aircraft from the Vintage Aviator Collection.

All media enquiries contact Yvonne Way at

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