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US Air Force bomber grounded at Wings Over Wairarapa following mechanical issues

One of the main attractions at this year's Wings over Wairarapa air show was grounded today, but there was still plenty to excite die-hard fans.

The US Air Force B52 Stratofortress bomber, failed to show after it was grounded by mechanical problems.

It would have been the first ever time the bomber would have been in New Zealand airspace.

“They're not able to get it back up,” Colonel Jamie McAden, the Defence attaché for the US Embassy in Wellington, said

"We've exhausted every possibility, but we're deeply disappointed. We know the organisers and, of course, the people who came here today are disappointed as well."

"Bit of a let-down, really, but probably Australians just couldn't fix it,” one member of the crowd said.

There were still plenty of military aircraft taking to the skies to wow the crowds for the event's 20th anniversary.

The military opened the show with a mock chase, going after a helicopter thief with combat planes from the First World War also featuring.

"We have huge respect for those young guys. Those poor kids were young, inexperienced, they had to fly in all sorts of weather and they were at war," pilot Andrew Vincent said.

The delicate, fabric-winged planes require a lot of care.

"It's very special in that it's one of our originals, so it's an original airframe and more importantly, an original engine. It's simply 100 years old," Mr Vincent said.

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While the grounding was disappointing to die-hard fans there were still plenty of military aircraft taking to the skies.. to wow the crowds for the event's 20th anniversary. Source: 1 NEWS