The first Wanaka-born pilot has received the Warbirds Over Wanaka Flying Scholarship.
Daniel (Dan) Pezaro said he is “over the moon” at this week’s announcement of the 2018 scholarships. This was Pezaro’s third attempt to snag the yearly award amongst a pool of talented applicants. He will receive one of two $5000 Flying Scholarships announced by the Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust.
The Flying Scholarships were launched in 2016 as a way to help passionate Warbirds pilots achieve more skills and experience to ensure the future of airshows, such as Warbirds Over Wanaka.
Pezaro is a long-time aviation aficionado dating back to his younger years living in Wanaka and perusing the Warbirds Aircraft in Sir Tim Wallis’ collection. Pezaro used to work a holiday job at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum guiding visitors around the aircraft as well as helping during the airshows.
“My dream was one day to be able to fly these amazing pieces of history,” said Pezaro.
“This dream helped shape my career choice to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force where I could receive training in the type of flying Warbird aircraft conduct. I’ve been very fortunate with my time in the Air Force to be able to learn display and formation flying skills. The award of this scholarship will now hopefully allow me to transfer my experience into Warbird aircraft.”
Pezaro now lives in Wellington with his family.
A second scholarship has been awarded to Masterton-based pilot Bevan Dewes.