28 Jan 2012

Red Checkers performance pulled after plane damaged

10:03 am on 28 January 2012

A performance by the Defence Force's aerobatic flying team has been cancelled after its lead plane made a forced landing just north of Waiouru on Friday afternoon.

The CT-4E aircraft was damaged when the pilot had to land near the Desert Road while travelling from Ohakea Air Base in Manawatu to Tauranga for the city's air show. The pilot was unharmed.

The Defence Force says the aircraft, which is the lead plane for its aerobatic flying team the Red Checkers, made the forced landing due to an engine problem.

Defence Force spokesperson Pete Coleman says the site is being secured and the incident is under investigation.

He says as a precaution the Red Checkers will no longer be flying in Tauranga this weekend.