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Film director Peter Jackson brightened the day for a group of sick children earlier this month when he allowed them to be given a guided tour of his collection of vintage aircraft in New Zealand.

Jackson – who helmed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as King Kong and The Lovely Bones – let the eight patients from Wellington’s children’s hospital explore his aircraft at the Old Stick and Rudder Company in Masterton. The children – aged between eight and fifteen – were flown to the location courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

“These children have a really hard time with heart issues, kidney disease or cancer and they miss out on so many childhood moments because of the amount of time they are in hospital,” Wellington Hospital and Health Foundation event co-ordinator Maria Quigley told The Dominion Post. “A little treat like this can really turn their perspective around and shows them how much more is out there.”

The children were able to view many of the director’s 30 vintage aircraft, and had the opportunity to climb into the Curtiss Helldiver bi-plane replica built especially for King Kong.

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