Red Checkers

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Red Checkers
Air Force Air Trainers in formation - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg
Red Checkers Air Trainers in formation
Country  New Zealand
Branch Nzairforce.jpg Royal New Zealand Air Force
Type Aerobatic display team
Size Seven pilots
Garrison/HQ Central Flying School RNZAF, RNZAF Base Ohakea
Colors Yellow, Red and White
Aircraft flown
Trainer CT-4E Airtrainer

The Red Checkers are the aerobatic/precision flying Team of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The Checkers fly the Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer. Previous aircraft used were the CT4B and North American Harvard (T-6). Until the year 1994 the Checkers were based at Wigram. Aircraft used by the team had a nose painted in a red and white checkered pattern, but this has now been reduced to a small checkered stripe.

The team is known for its mirror flying displays. It is the only RNZAF team to have a sustained history, the "Jetabatic" de Havilland Vampire team and "Kiwi Red" A-4 Skyhawk team lasted only a few years.

The RNZAF Red Checkers Display Team performing during RNZAF Base Auckland Open Day 2007

Red Checker pilots are senior flying instructors from the RNZAF's Central Flying School and Pilot Training Squadron situated at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

The RNZAF Red Checkers Display Team performing during RNZAF Base Auckland Open Day 2007


Squadron Leader Nick Cree was killed when the CT-4 training aircraft he was flying hit the ground while practicing aerial display manoeuvres near RNZAF Base Ohakea on 14 January 2010.[1]

On 1 March 2010 two aircraft touched during training with one aircraft incurring minor damage. The Red Checkers were grounded for the rest of the season.[2]


  1. ^ Michael Forbes and Dave Burgess (15 January 2010). "Pilot gave life '100 per cent'". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Red Checkers grounded after latest accident". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 

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