That was my first time to attend such an annual air show and it was called Wings Over Illawarra (WOI) held in Wollongong, New South Wales. I t was an awesome and spectacular show and I know all people who watched the event were more than happy … really, really enjoyed well!
There were heaps of flying machines on display during the show but there were more spectators interested or perhaps curious just like me in each display. The show featured an aerobatic display by Southern Biplane Adventures, flying and static display of HARS aircraft, current Navy helicopter range including Seahawk, MRH90 and squirrel helicopter pair, RAAF Roulettes, fast jet display, Air Force Balloon, Red Berets Army Parachute Team, Navy, Air Force and Army Cadets Air League Displays, and they had free rides for children, plus stalls, classic cars and bike displays.
I had the admiration and salute the pilots in the flying machines – aerobatics, roulettes, choppers and the parachuters; they really are the elites in their fields. They piloted their machines just like an ordinary cars.
But I gave more weight of recognition for Matt Hall for his awesome aerobatics in the air … wild, low fly, steep descent and ascent maneuvers, really breath taking show!
That was too, the first time a civilian aerobatics display has taken place at WOI 2013.
S t a t i c D i s p l a y
The RAAF F-111 fighter bomber A8-109 was on static display. This was the last operational F-111 in the world when it took its final flight in 2010.
The following HARS aircraft was also on display and were available for public inspection.
Lockheed Super Constellation ‘Connie’
- Douglas DC4
- Douglas C47
- Grumman Tracker
- Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun
- North American Harvard
- CAC Winjeel trainer
- Hawker Hunter
- De Havilland Vampire trainer
- Neptune 566
- CAC Sabre Jet
- Morava aircraft
- Piaggio P166 aircraft
Australian Department of Defence
- Four Navy Squirrel Helicopters
- RAAF Roulettes
- RAAF ‘fast jet’ (actual aircraft to be confirmed by ADF)
- RAAF Air Force Balloon
O t h e r D i s p l a y s
- Helibox drop demonstration by Aerial Patrol in the Partenavia
- Some commercial light planes
There were also displays of classic and historic cars and motorbikes to entertain spectators.
Each year, car and bike clubs from NSW and ACT are invited to display their vehicles at the event and add to the atmosphere created by the historic aircraft on display and in the air.
A Night to Celebrate
An evening of fine food and music to celebrate the 2013 Wings Over Illawarra Air Show was programmed for those interested, but we didn’t go that far anymore. There was a fee of $80.00 per person and advance booking was a requirement.
You can view more photos of the Air Show on my Photo Galleries at the Sidebar.
They say autumn is the best time to visit this place as the Grande alley flame-red Liquid Amber Trees and a mountain of golden and amber leaves are all invigorating and colourful. The garden has these great attractions and we spent more than a couple of hours of enjoyment – tree Surfing, tube slide rides, obstacle courses, hedge mazes, 3D indoor mazes, bush adventure scramble, fantasy gardens, and enchanted creations, heaps to entertain the young and the olds.
But, we had a hard time parking our car because the car park was already full when we got here, we did just park on the road side and after an hour or so, more visitors arrived and parked alongside with us. That was remarkably stark indication how much visitors were received during that day.
The traditional Hedge Maze with Japanese Garden in the centre is the trademark of the garden. People got lost here easily looking for the exit or the centre (which is a Japanese garden), and we were one of them. The maze was so big, tall, and has labyrinths, a mad maze indeed!
The 3D indoor maze also attracted our attention. Inside of it are labyrinth of graffiti like arts on walls (exits indicated this time), with piped in loud and scary music, high impact intense colours of blue, orange to red, and yellow green on both narrow walls of walkways. Then there was this bridge totally enveloped with a tube like turning painted blanket which was a scarier passageway. Each individual entering the 3D maze was provided with 3D glasses. Indeed, a sort of a crazy maze full of fun!
Also, the tube slides were very entertaining, too. Heaps of children and adults did enjoy this attraction. Tree surf was fun, as we saw it but never tried because advance booking was required before availing this facility.
The notable sculptures along paths throughout the Sculpture Park added more glamour; they were skilfully carved out of cypress logs by Ken Blum, an artist in residence. Using chainsaws, axes and chisels Ken has revealed the faces of many of the indigenous people who once roamed the area.
People lined up to take their photos with these awesome masterpieces as their photo backgrounds.