Auckland Scoop

Air Bandits Reunite at Wanaka

Press Release – Warbirds Over Wanaka

30th October 2015 Media Release – Air Bandits Reunite at Wanaka
Wanaka: Two members of the world famous Air Bandits aerobatic team will be reuniting at next year’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.

Two-time World Aerobatic Champion, Jurgis Kairys from Lithuania, will team up with Auckland-based Rob Fry to perform together at Wanaka for the first time since 2008.

Jurgis is one of the world’s most accomplished aerobatic pilots and is a crowd favourite at Wanaka, having stunned visitors with his solo performance at last year’s Warbirds Airshow in Rob Fry’s Sukhoi-Su29.

Jurgis is bringing his own aircraft to Wanaka for the 2016 airshow. An aircraft designer and engineer, Jurgis designed the Juka (the name comes from his initials) as a lightweight aerobatic aircraft. The Juka weighs less than the lightest Sukhoi and is powered by a Russian M14PF engine developing 400hp to give it a very impressive performance.

Jurgis continues to be in hot demand around the world and has been performing at airshows in China. Most recently he was one of the star attractions at the big China International General Aviation Convention Airshow in Pucheng.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor says Jurgis has been one of the stars of the event over a number of years. “Airshow visitors just can’t get enough of him. He’s known for his cool, calculating precision while performing and his display has been described as ‘controlled mayhem’,” says Ed.

The 2016 Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held at Wanaka Airport on March 25th 26th, 27th with the Rides Day on the 28th. For more information see


About Jurgis Kairys:

Jurgis has been performing aerobatics for nearly 40 years. Over the years he has won the World Aerobatic Championship twice and been placed on a number of other occasions. He has won the European Championships plus he has won at the Red Bull Air Race Championships. When not competing in championships, Jurgis flies at airshows around the world.

Jurgis performs either solo or in a group and has displayed many times with his Air Bandits Team.

Jurgis is not just a pilot but is also a trained aeronautical engineer and helped develop the Sukhoi 26, 29 and 31 aerobatic aircraft. This has given him a great understanding of the limits he can push his aircraft to while performing his stunning world-class routines.

Following his collaborative work on the Sukhoi, Jurgis took the next step developing his own JUKA aircraft. He has also invented several aerobatic manoeuvres that take great skill to perform. These include the Slide Pass, Kairys Wheel and the Small Loop.

He was the first person to successfully perform the Cobra manoeuvre in a propeller aircraft and the first pilot to ever hover his aircraft like a helicopter. Jurgis’ achievements were recognised by the Lithuanian Prime Minister when he was presented with the Sports Glory Commodore Cross in 2012.
About Rob Fry:

Rob came to flying later in life. As a young man growing up in Auckland, Rob was a successful age group sailor. Work took him to Japan where he continued to sail at the highest level.

He started flying in 1992 and soon became interested in aerobatics, obtaining his first aerobatic aircraft in 1997. In 2003 he bought his Sukhoi Su-29 and joined the Air Bandits aerobatic team in 2006.

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