Wingnut’s resort re-entry


A Wanaka aerobatics company has crossed the Crown Range to provide a G-force rush to Queenstown tourists.
Silver Demon Aerobatic Flights now have their classic Pitts Special plane parked at Queenstown’s Airport to take brave punters for an adrenaline-laced spin – and have one of the country’s best pilots behind the controls. 

Ivan Krippner – an aerobatic pilot for 20 years after buying his own plane at 19 – collected a haul of silverware from the New Zealand Aerobatic Club National Championships last month. 

Wanaka-based Krippner winged his way to victory in the intermediate acrobatic and unknown sequence categories, and the overall champion of champions title with the highest overall score. 

Krippner – also a finalist at the Central Otago Sports Awards last weekend – will be offering tourists 15-minute spins in the snazzy plane and aerobatic lessons over winter. 

Silver Demon is stepping in after Jag Air shut its thrill-seeking operation this year. Wakatipu Aero Club is also now offering aerobatic flights under the name Aerostunts. 

Another company Actionflite, where Krippner was a pilot, also shut down several years ago. 

Despite the daredevil image, Krippner says: “Everyone gets the ride they want.” 

And though passengers are sometimes looking at the view upside down, he claims the plane’s bubble canopy allows one of the best ways to see the Wakatipu. 

Krippner will be whizzing overhead in the stunt plane at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival next Saturday.