About Fighter Flights

Fighter Flights operates out of the world renowned Omaka Aviation Heritage Center in the beautiful wine growing area of Marlborough. The aircraft you will fly in is actually hangered in the new WW II AHC exhibition hall in a representative Stalingrad Diorama.

Fighter Flights also supports as many airshows as possible during the summer months and there is ride availability at these shows usually on the post show Monday. To date the Fighter Flights Yak has appeared at the Warbirds over Wanaka Easter Air Show (every even year), the Omaka based Classic Fighters Easter Air Show (every odd year), the Tauranga Classics Air Show and the Wings over Wairarapa Air Show.

We also support the NZ Warbirds Open days at Ardmore Auckland and the regular flying days at Omaka Airfield that are organised as fund raisers for the Avaition Heritage Center.

Fighter Flights is a business offering flight experieces in a Yakovlev 3 WW II V-12 fighter-“The Russian Spitfire”.

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Graeme Frew

Graeme Frew


Graeme is the Chief Pilot for the Fighter Flights Yak 3. He has some 15000 hours of military and airline flying in aircraft as diverse as the humble Piper Tomahawk right up to the B747-400. Graeme’s passion from a young age has always been World War 2 Fighters and his bedroom ceiling was festooned with models of Spitfires and Mustangs doing battle with the best of the Luftwaffe.

It is the realisation of a boyhood dream to be able to own and fly the so called ‘Russian Spitfire’-the Yak 3. The Yak 3 is widely regarded amongst experienced Warbird pilots as one of the fastest and sweetest handling of the WW II Fighters and at the relatively low flying altitudes most common in modern usage will out fly any other WW II Fighter.

Graeme is a qualified low level and aerobatic display pilot in the Yak 3 and has for the past three years been privileged to show off the Yak at airshows around New Zealand including Warbirds over Wanaka and Classic Fighters Omaka. It is also a thrill for him to share the experience of flying in this awesome machine with others who wish to experience one of the best Fighters of WW II.

Ryan Southam

Ryan Southam


Ryan has been immersed in aviation from a very early age and was actively flying at the age of 17. From this early beginning the passion for vintage aviation and warbirds has driven Ryan to train and develop his career path around this exciting but small niche of vintage and warbird aviation as a commercial pilot, instructor and aircraft restoration engineer.
Ryan has always had a hankering to fly the higher performance fighters such as the Mustang and Spitfire and jumped at the offer to fly the Fighter Flights Yak 3-the Russian Spitfire.

Currently experienced in flying over 60 different types of aircraft, a large portion of which are vintage or warbird, Ryan brings a wealth of experience ranging from WWI single engine aircraft through to WWII twin engine bombers. Ryan will introduce you to the power and agility of this amazing aircraft so widely praised by ‘friend’ and feared by ‘foe’.

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