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Catalina ‘water landing’ confirmed for Warbirds Over Wanaka

Photo: Picture by PHIL HOSKING


Fresh from celebrating her 75th birthday, New Zealand’s only airworthy Catalina flying boat has been confirmed as one of the star attractions at next Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.

On 14th March 1944, ZK-PBY serial number CV357 emerged from the Canadian Vickers aircraft factory at Cartierville on the outskirts of Montreal, Canada.

The aircraft includes a water landing as part of its display. The Catalina will put on two displays at Wanaka next Easter, one at the Airshow itself at Wanaka Airport and another at the lakeside event on Good Friday afternoon which includes a ‘splashdown’ on Lake Wanaka.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says they’re thrilled the Catalina will be returning.

“We get so much amazing feedback from visitors, especially from overseas, who just love to see the majestic Catalina come in low to land on the lake on the Friday afternoon. The aircraft then does a taxi along the lakefront so all the 7,000 plus crowd can see the aircraft up close manoeuvring on the water. This is unique in the world to our airshow,” says Ed.

Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held at Wanaka Airport next year, April 10th, 11th & 12th 2020. Tickets are on sale on 0800 224 224 or at

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