By crikey – they do get about. A group of microlight enthisiasts have been making an annual trip to Waiheke for a tot of rum for nearly four years now. And most of them are from Gordonton, according to a story in the Waiheke Marketplace.
The pilots are all members of the Gordonton Microflight Club but come from far and wide, from the Coromandel and North Shore. They all receive a monthly newsletter and fly regularly as a group over the North Island. Many are farmers, says reporter Diana Worthy.
Gordonton dairy farmer Martin Heston has his own airfield, but not everyone does.
“I always wanted to fly as a kid at primary school. Somehow I ended up farming but remained interested in flying so started learning when I was 38.
“I had to wait but now I’ve got a micro aviation Bantam B22F.”
The pilots park their electric range of light aircraft at Carson’s Rd airfield on Waiheke and their visit has become a public fixture on the calendar, thanks to island rum maker Russell Duurloo.
The public are invited to wander around the airfield to look at the microlights, gyrocopters and planes.
“We thought it had been a shame no-one had seen them when they first came so, the following year, I adverstised the visit and provided a sausage sizzle.
“Now we do it every year, collecting koha for Friends of the Street, which gets young people home safely on weekends,” says Russell.