Hitch a ride in a warbird
By WILL JACKSON
PILOT Ed Field says flying in a Mustang is like a cross between riding a motorbike and a rollercoaster.
"The acceleration is kind of like a bike, with the Gs pushing you into the seat," he says. "The manoeuvring is something like one of the rides at Dream World ? but very smooth. There's no bumps."
The restored authentic World War II fighter plane has a top speed of 438 knots ? which is somewhere around 900km/h.
"It wouldn't do that straight level though," warns Ed.
"That's diving speed."
While normally based in Queensland, Ed is bringing the Mustang down to Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome for the Great Eastern Fly-In from December 30 to January 2.
Enthusiasts can have a go in the warbird at the special price of $600 for 10 minutes air time.
"We'll demonstrate the handling of the aircraft, simulate some combat manoeuvres and do some rolls ? if the passenger wants to," he says.
Fly-In organiser Gai Taylor says there's plenty of cheaper options at the event for those who want some air time but don't have the budget for the Mustang.
She said prices ranged from $30 up for rides in various aircraft, including ultralights, helicopters and the mighty warbirds.
For those who want to keep their feet on the ground, on the Saturday and Sunday of the event dozens of pilots will put their their aircraft through their paces in spectacular air displays.
This year's Fly-In is free and also features historic aviation exhibitions, an art show, a film night and a 'flying market'.
For more information or advance flight bookings in the Yak 52s, the Trojan and Mustang, ring Gai on 0427 82 52 02.