An RAAF EA-18G Growler goes through its manoeuvres along the Brisbane River a day before Riverfire. Picture: Nigel Hallett
An RAAF EA-18G Growler goes through its manoeuvres along the Brisbane River a day before Riverfire. Picture: Nigel Hallett

‘9/11 stuff’: Kiwi outrage over Riverfire

TERRIFIED New Zealanders are up in arms over the showpiece event at Brisbane's annual Riverfire extravaganza, calling it "unnecessarily stupid and dangerous".

Despite the event taking place almost two weeks ago, only now have our Kiwi cousins taken exception to the actions of highly qualified RAAF pilots as they performed their usual aerobatics along the Brisbane River.

And, based on those quoted in the article, it appears there are many in the nation that likes to think of itself as the adrenaline capital of the world who just don't have that need for speed.

Under the headline "Watch: Terrifying moment plane flies towards buildings in Australia" The New Zealand Herald today slammed the actions of pilots and festival organisers for putting residents and office workers in danger.

It claims onlookers were "terrified as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) plane flew within metres of high-rise buildings in Brisbane during a festival".

It's unclear whether the article, with no byline, was written as a tongue-in-cheek piece or not, but there's no doubt as to the fear on display in some of the social media comments it attributes, which slam the fly-bys as "unnecessarily stupid and dangerous".

"Footage surfaced online showing the aircraft flying through the city within mere metres of buildings that the plane only narrowly avoided," the article said, seemingly not realising the EA-18G Growler and C-17 Globemaster haven been dazzling delighted crowds for years at the annual event which marks the end of the Brisbane Festival.

The Herald said some people even referred to the stunt as "9/11 stuff".

"All it would take is a small mistake and those buildings and people would be toast," one person commented.

"I mean it's cool and stuff, but that could've gone very, very, VERY wrong," someone else said.

"Why would they even think that's okay flying towards buildings like that where people live?" another commenter chimed in.

A footnote in the article at least made it clear why the RAAF pilots were "terrifying" so many in the River City, confirming it was all part of Riverfire, but it appears our cousins across the Tasman just don't have the sense of adventure they thought they did.



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