It seems there were two teams in 1967. Arthur Dovey says:
In fact the squadron members Arthur mentions were from No. 485 Squadron. The Vampire aerobatic display at Ohakea on the 8th of August 1967 resulted in a tragic crash. Flying Officer Murray Whineray, brother of the famous All Black, Sir Wilson Whineray, was sadly killed in a flying accident after the display as he was landing at 16.20 hours. He as flying Vampire FB.5 NZ5454. The occasion was the handing over of the No. 485 (NZ) Squadron Badge to Strike Wing, Ohakea. The team had been doing a display in front of a group of New Zealand WWII Spitfire veterans.
Squadron Leader Colin Hall (retired) was an RNZAF Fireman at the time and he witnessed the accident, and was involved in the attempted rescue and consequent Court of Enquiry that followed. He has written the following account especially for this webpage:
"The four-aircraft display was for the benefit of some Spitfire pilots as mentioned, and was to start with a 'scramble' which was probably not a good idea! The aircraft started up and took off, and it was noted subsequently that Murray Whineray didn't have his face mask on. There was also a loss of communication with him during the display, so they went into 'radio failure' routine.
They then lined up to land on 09 staggered, that is one behind the other, but taking different sides of the same runway. In a normal approach, the Vampire was pretty stable if set up correctly, but the application of power was notoriously slow with those old engines. You couldn't slam the throttle open as in Top Gun, because the engine would stall, so the throttle had to be opened slowly, which meant power delivery could take 20 or 30 seconds to develop.
The first two aircraft landed normally, but the third was seen to stagger in the air, and having watched air shows and aircraft for many years, it was clear he had hit the wake turbulence of the aircraft ahead. The crash crew took off, and I can recall being on the grass before we heard the klaxon, which in effect meant we were ahead of the tower in reacting.
The Vampire nose went up in a typical stall manner, then dropped suddenly. At the end of 09 there is an earth ramp run-off, and the aircraft hit that very hard, bounced, and came to a halt. It was such a short halt that it was on the engine run-up pan, which is at the very end of the runway. The impact was so severe, it broke off the bottom of the aircraft, and I recall seeing the four Hispano cannon lying on the taxiway.
There was a Devon on the hangar side of the taxiway, waiting for the last aircraft to land before taking off, and he witnessed the whole event. We had told the Tower to tell him not to move because it was better for us if we knew precisely what he was doing, and sitting still was fine! The pilot later said that he watched the Vampire hit, and slide to a halt, then two crash vehicles hurtled past his nose!
The accident was probably survivable but for one very unfortunate factor. There was quite a strong wind down the runway, and the aircraft came to a halt facing the way it had come, and when the fuel tank, just behind the pilot, ruptured, the resulting fire went directly over the cockpit. The pilot had no mask on, and inhaled smoke and flame in those first few seconds, a fact which eventually killed him.
We initially set about releasing him by lifting him, but as he was virtually sitting on the concrete. Myself and someone else, I think an engineering officer who had arrived, lifted the nose up and the rest of the boys dragged him out of the bottom of the aircraft.
I could see that he was very, very badly burned, and the RAAF doctor we had at the time stepped up and gave him an immediate injection of something pretty powerful. We then threw him into the ambulance, and off he went. He didn't speak at all, yet some arsehole of a reporter for the Manawatu Standard claimed he said "I'm alright but get me out". We went back to the Crash Bay via 75 Sqn and I dropped off to talk to the CO who was standing watching the whole event, as were most of the Base, and I told him what the situation was, but didn't mention my own thoughts or the fact that he was as badly burned.
The next morning, we heard on the radio that he had died overnight. I was at the Court of Inquiry and just told it as I saw it, and was asked what indication we had to move so quickly, before the tower sounded the alarm in fact, and I said it was obvious the aircraft was losing lift, and had virtually stalled at about fifty feet or so."
The Spitfire pilot's reunion and air display was actually filmed by BCNZ, or perhaps the National Film Unit. The above-described crash was caught on camera, and the film was used as evidence in the Court of Enquiry. I don't know if the footage of the air display was ever released.
No. 75 Squadron pilot Dave Bevan recalls, "The team on 8th August 1967 (when Murray Whineray was killed) was: Colin Rudd (1), Flight Lt Larry Olsen (2), Murray Whineray (3) and Trevor Bland (4). The team was a makeshift one, to mark the establishment of Strike Wing, and as Murray had been flying as #3
previously, it was considered better to leave him in that position and slot the more experienced Larry Olsen in at #2. After the display and "buzz and break", Murray turned onto finals a little too close behind Larry Olsen. In attempting to establish the correct separation he slowed down as much as he could but eventually flew into Larry's jet wake. The combination of slow speed, no power, and hitting the wake turbulence caused him to stall; he recovered the first time but stalled again almost immediately and crashed."