Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,
The Red Checkers is the only aerobatic team of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Using Harvards, the RNZAF first flew display aerobatics in the immediate post-WWII years. In 1967, the Central Flying School (CFS) team was officially called the ‘Red Checkers’, the name being derived from the red and white checkered cowls on the five Harvards that made up this team. After being disbanded in 1973, the team reformed in 1980 but this time flying the CT-4B Airtrainer. The first Airtrainer team comprised four aircraft but this was soon increased to the current team size of five. In 1999, the team moved onto the aircraft that is currently used – the CT-4E Airtrainers. The aircrafts used by the team had a nose painted in a red and white checkered pattern but this has now been reduced to a small checkered stripe. Red Checker pilots are senior flying instructors from the RNZAF Central Flying School and the Pilot Training Squadron situated at RNZAF Base Ohakea.
On 9th April, 2013, the Red Checkers performed a 15 minute flying display routine over Lake Rotorua as part of their tour of the North Island. The display comprised of the mirror maneuver (seen below) – a maneuver the team is well known for.
You can see all the images from the 15 minute routine here. Enjoy!!!
Till next time, take care and gallop free.