COCKPIT EXPERIENCE: Kevin Hogan, Federal Member for Page, officially launching the cockpit tours of the F-111 at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Museum.
COCKPIT EXPERIENCE: Kevin Hogan, Federal Member for Page, officially launching the cockpit tours of the F-111 at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Museum. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Take a "cockpit tour" of Evans Heads' 'new' F-111

WHAT do you get when you cross a politician, a retired RAAF F-111 fighter jet and a big sum of money? A brand new attraction for Evans Head.

Yesterday, Member for Page Kevin Hogan was the first visitor to sit in the cockpit of the F-111 fighter-bomber jet at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Museum.

Mr Hogan visited the museum not only to unveil new cockpit tours of the jet, but also to fulfil his election commitment of $185,000 of federal Funding for the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association.

He said $130,000 would go toward the restoration of the Bellman Hangar in Evans Head, while the additional $55,000 would support continuing upgrades to the museum.

"The museum is really good for tourism in the area as it will attract people to this community who might not have visited before," Mr Hogan said.

The Member for Page, who had his two children Sean and Rosie in tow, eagerly jumped into the cockpit and said the entire experience, was "really cool".

Aviation association president Rod Kinnish said receiving funding to continue the projects at Evans Head was "phenomenal".

"It's just the best news ever, as now we can finish the exhibits and it's really excelled our plans by 12 months," he said.

The F-111 fighter jet on display at the museum is one of six of the aircraft on permanent loan from the RAAF to communities throughout the country.

It was the most-used defence force front-line strike bomber between 1975 and 2010.

Interestingly, the Bellman Hangar was the largest training base in the Southern Hemisphere during the Second World War.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the museum on the October long weekend (Oct 5-7) between 10am and 4pm.

Cockpit tours are $35 per person and can be booked by phoning 0411 378 998* or visiting the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association website.

* An earlier version of this story had the wrong phone number. This has now been corrected.



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