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8000 enthusiasts predicted to flock to Great Eastern Fly-In

KEEN VIEWERS: Aviation enthusiasts watch the war birds get ready to taxi onto the runway at the 2016 Great Eastern Fly-In at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome.
KEEN VIEWERS: Aviation enthusiasts watch the war birds get ready to taxi onto the runway at the 2016 Great Eastern Fly-In at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. Leah White

JET engines roared over Evans Head as the town's Memorial Aerodrome once again swarmed with aircraft of all shapes and sizes for this year's Great Eastern Fly-In.

Organisers said about 8000 aviation enthusiasts were expected to walk through the gates of the Aerodrome over the two-day event.

Highlights included a RAAF fighter trainer squadron formation flypast, T28 Trojan handling display, an aerobatic display of the classic Tiger Moth, simulated ground attack display of the P52 Mustang as well as the YAK52 Russian Fighter aerobatic display.

More than a few people signed up for joy flights in the ex-military 'warbird' aircrafts, as well as recreation aircraft, ultralights, motorgliders, helicopters, gyros, vintage planes and bi-planes.

On Sunday morning, a special flag raising ceremony, minute's silence and mass-formation warbird fly-past was held for veterans and for the aerodrome.

For years, the Aerodrome was home to the Royal Australian Air Force's No 1 Bombing and Gunnery School, which trained thousands of air observers, bombers, wireless operators and navigators for the Second World War.

More than 5000 trainees were stationed at the Evans Head base, more than 100 of which were killed during the war.

Fly-in co-ordinator Gai Taylor said she was extremely pleased with the turnout.

"We've had massive crowds all morning," she said.

"The day is perfect, there's lots going on, lots of things for people to see and do and we've had a number of new things this year.

"We've got a re-enactment group from Brisbane, they're got a camp set up, we've got a whole bunch of jeeps and military vehicles from World War Two.

"We've got a while heap of new, larger aircraft.

"Lots of people going for flights, lots of aircraft flying and the aviation museum is doing a roaring trade.

"And of course the weather has been just perfect for us."

Topics:  aircraft, grafton, great eastern fly-in, lismore, planes




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