The Great Eastern Fly-In promises plenty of high-flying aerobatics as well as ex-military aircraft displays.
The Great Eastern Fly-In promises plenty of high-flying aerobatics as well as ex-military aircraft displays. Contributed

Warbirds to fill the sky at Evans Head this weekend

THE sky will once again roar with the sound of warbirds as the squadrons perform a memorial Flypast over Evans Head for the 2016 Great Eastern Fly-In

It's a nod to the days the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome was home to the RAAF's No 1 Bombing and Gunnery School, training thousands of air observers, bombers, wireless operators and navigators for the Second World War.

Considered the largest RAAF training base in the Southern Hemisphere, the aerodrome saw more than 5000 trainees pass through its gates. More than 1000 were killed during the war.

Ex-military aircraft taking part in the air displays will include the US forces T28 Trojan, the Winjeel CA-25, Tiger Moth DH82, P51 Mustang and the Russian YAK 54.

Aviation enthusiasts will have the opportunity to pre-book joy flights, adventure flights and trial instructional flights with many of the warbirds.

The warbirds won't be the only aircraft in the sky.

Recreational aircraft, ultralights, motorgliders, helicopters paramotors, gyros, vintage planes, bi-planes and aerobatic aircraft will also by flying in and out of the airshow over the weekend.

As many as 200 aircraft and their pilots from all over Australia will fly into the aerodrome for the annual event.

On the ground, two re-enactment groups from Queensland, the Army Group South and Brothers In Arms will be setting up their camps for the weekend, demonstrating what army life was like during the Second World War, complete with uniforms and vehicles.

Since its inception in 1992, the fly-in has been the biggest event of its kind on the Northern Rivers, drawing crowds of up to 10,000.

Fly-in co-ordinator Gai Taylor said the aim of the event was to celebrate and educate the public about the Second World War heritage of the Evans Head aerodrome while at the same time promoting all facets of aviation.

"On Sunday morning we have a special flag raising ceremony and a minute's silence for veterans and for the aerodrome and this year we're having a mass-formation fly-past during that event of warbirds," she said.

"This year we're also going to have a large group of amphibious aircraft.

"Seaplanes, boatplanes, flying boats, are all coming. They're amphibious, so they can land on the ground or they can land on water."

Ticking off all modes of transport, the Fly-in will feature the 'Drive-In' display of classic cars and bikes on Sunday as well as a model boat show.

Admission to the Fly-In is free, however donations are welcome.

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