‘Lithuanian Maniac’ and ‘Krazzy Ivan’ to perform at Wanaka Airshow
The world’s most prolific high-performance aerobatic display pilot will be joined by one of New Zealand’s best as they deliver jaw-dropping aerial displays at next Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
Organisers have today confirmed the return of two-time World Aerobatic champion Jurgis Kairys from Lithuania and a debut solo Wanaka performance by Te Anau-based Ivan ‘Krazzy’ Krippner.
Jurgis can’t wait to return to Wanaka after last performing at New Zealand’s premier airshow in 2018. “My first time in Wanaka was 2006 and I was blown away by the welcome I received. It’s such a well-run event and known all around the world as one of the very best Warbirds airshows.”
And Jurgis would know. He’s been flying aerobatics for an incredible 50+ years and has performed at somewhere between 400 and 500 airshows or aerobatic competitions over the years. Those performances have literally been all around the world from the UK, multiple European countries to Russia, China and Japan, the United States, Canada, UAE, South Africa, Australia and of course New Zealand just to name a few.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager Ed Taylor says one of the most often asked questions leading up to an airshow is “will Jurgis be performing”? Nick-named the ‘Lithuanian Maniac’ by the Wanaka commentary team Jurgis has gained legendary status for pulling up to 10 g’s while performing – all without wearing a g-suit.
Ed is also thrilled to announce former Wanaka-based pilot Ivan Krippner will also be performing his advanced aerobatics routine at the airshow. “Ivan was based at Wanaka for around eight years before he and his pilot wife Kylie moved to Fiordland where they own and operate the Wings and Water Te Anau float plane business.
“Ivan used to practice his aerobatics over the Wanaka airfield when he lived here so he knows the area very well. Like Jurgis he’s a real showman and entertaining the crowd is top of the agenda when it comes to performing,” says Ed.
Ivan has performed at other airshows around New Zealand and Australia plus at least eight appearances at shows in China but this will be his first solo aerobatic display at the world-famous Wanaka airshow.
“When I used to practice aerobatics over the Wanaka airfield I always thought I would love to do it for real at the airshow. Now my chance is here and I am really pumped to put on a stunning display,” says Ivan.
Tickets to Warbirds Over Wanaka are on sale through www.ticketek.co.nz