Wanaka: Sixty-one years old and “still powerful”, one of the world’s most innovative aerobatic pilots has just confirmed he will be performing at the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
Travelling to New Zealand from his home in Lithuania, Jurgis Kairys plans to perform some of the difficult manoeuvres that have helped retain his long-held position at the top of the international scene.
“If you have clear skies I will show my best manoeuvres which helped me get medals in the 2009 and 2011 World Aerobatic Freestyle Championships. Depending on your wishes we can do race with cars, formations or fly under bridges”.
Born in 1952 in Siberia, the Lithuanian national has been pushing the boundaries in aerobatics for close to forty years. He collected the first of his many international titles in Hungary in 1979 and has also won a Red Bull air race and been a member of both the Lithuanian and Soviet international aerobatic teams.
As an aeronautical engineer as well as a pilot, he helped develop the Sukhoi 26, 29 and 31 aerobatic aircraft. These types went on to dominate the highly competitive world of unlimited aerobatics.
Kairys took the next step developing his own JUKA aircraft and has also invented several extremely difficult aerobatic manoeuvres. He was the first person to successfully perform the ‘Cobra’ manoeuvre in a propeller-driven aircraft and the first to hover his aircraft like a helicopter.
His lifetime achievements were recognised by his home country when he received the Sports Glory Commodore Cross from the Lithuanian Prime Minister at a special ceremony in 2012.
“Without a doubt, one of the World’s best aerobatic pilots, we are privileged to have Yurgis back in New Zealand” said Mandy Deans, Event Manager.
Previous visits down under, the last of which was to Warbirds Over Wanaka in 2010, earned him a considerable following, something he relishes and hopes to build on.
“New Zealand is my good friends country. Warm hello to my friends and spectators. I am full of power and ready to fly.”
Kairys will perform on all three days of the Easter holiday event on April 18th, 19th and 20th.
Source / Author: Warbirds Over Wanaka
Photo: Warbirds Over Wanaka