BEAUDESERT aviation collector Steve Searle with one of his favourite aircraft, the WWII Avenger, a torpedo bomber built by Grumman.
BEAUDESERT aviation collector Steve Searle with one of his favourite aircraft, the WWII Avenger, a torpedo bomber built by Grumman. DAVID NIELSEN

A mix of ancient and modern

HONG KONG-based commercial Airbus pilot Frank D’Altoro belongs to a group of enthusiasts who flew in two vintage aircraft from Caboolture, Queensland, to the Great Eastern Fly-In – a CA25 Winjeel trainer and a CA18 Mustang ex-WWII fighter.

“I can’t help myself,” he laughed.

“I’m one of those guys who does it for a job and as a hobby on my days off.

“There’s so much history here. We put in the effort to support the fly-in and the airstrip.”

Former Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot Ted Sly had a tear in his eye as he soaked up the classic aircraft coming and going.

“I flew four campaigns in England, Malta, the Western Desert and the Pacific during the war and people don’t realise the price we paid for our freedom today. Our contribution was huge – 45 per cent of bomber casualties were Australian. My job is to remind people.”



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