Crowds on the Evans River shoreline watch as an F111 flies over Evans Head for the last time travelling at 620km/h at a height of 500 feet.
Crowds on the Evans River shoreline watch as an F111 flies over Evans Head for the last time travelling at 620km/h at a height of 500 feet. JERAD WILLIAMS

Farewell to an old friend

AROUND 50 people were scattered along the Evans River shoreline yesterday just before midday to watch the flyover of the soon to be retired F-111.

They braved the rain with umbrellas and cameras in hand.

“We've come here for our boys, Nathan and Alexander, who are air force cadets,” Joanne Parker, of Lismore, said.

“They are in the 326 Squadron in Lismore and have left their camp to come and see the flyover.”

Bree and Geoff Hancock, of Evans Head, had also brought their two young boys Oscar, 5, and Cooper, 3, to watch the ‘big plane'.

“We're used to seeing them fly over but never this low,” Mrs Hancock said.

“It was very noisy.”

Young Cooper knew what he was looking at when he described it.

“It's a big one,” Cooper said.

The plane did two flyovers of Evans Head, the first slower than the second.

Cr Donella Kinnish said watching the flyover filled her with memories.

“As the wife of an ex-RAAF serviceman it's a nostalgic day,” she said.

The sight of one of the F-111's final flights invoked memories for a number of observers such as John Davies, of Evans Head.

“It brought back memories of my mum who was a driver during the war,” he said.

“It would have been magic to watch the planes in the 1940s as it was today to see the F-111 fly over.”

The farewell to the F-111s is in preparation for the introduction of the RAAF's FA/18 Super Hornets.



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