Red Checker 5 prepares for the big Air Force Air Show

20 March 2012

Former Freyberg High School student and Red Checker Lieutenant Commander Wayne Theobald is looking forward to putting on a polished performance for the crowds at the Air Force Air Show on 31 March at Base Ohakea.

Wayne says trying to identify one best thing about being a Red Checker is near impossible. “Everything from the initial training, through to the displays themselves has been an epic experience. Having the opportunity that so few people are able to experience is an honour that was just too good to turn down.”

“From very early on I wanted to fly,” says Theobald. “I joined the Navy in 1998 as a Seaman Officer, and then later changed roles to become a Navy pilot in 2001, first qualifying on the SH-2G Seasprite helicopter in July 2003. My pilot training was primarily conducted at both RNZAF Bases Ohakea and Whenuapai.”

“Currently I’m working as an instructor at the Air Force Pilot Training School at Base Ohakea teaching student pilots how to fly the CT4-E Airtrainer. I’ve also just started training on the new A109 helicopter which will occupy a significant portion of the next few months, and being a member of the Red Checkers display team requires additional commitment, often outside normal working hours.”

“As Red Checker 5, my main role is as the solo aircraft. While this position does involve several manoeuvres in close formation with the other four aircraft, the majority of the routine is spent performing solo aerobatics.

“The team will always try to put on a polished performance. Hopefully, everyone who watches the routine will be treated to a tight display of formation flying which showcases individual ability, and co-ordinated teamwork.”

To buy tickets to the Air Show go to and search Air Force Air Show.

For media enquires contact Todd O'Hara, Defence Communications Group on 021 186 4111

This page was last reviewed on 21 March 2012.