The ANZAC weekend and beautiful Autumn weather of South East Australia provided a fantastic opportunity to belatedly celebrate RAAF’s 100 years of serving Australia and the global community.
A crowd of enthusiastic aviation buffs exulted in static and aerial displays of aircraft encompassing the history of Australia’s Air Force. A walk down RAAF memory lane included the history-shaping Wirraway, Winjeel, Sabre and CT4. We then time warped to goggle at the impressive C-27J Spartan and jaw dropping aerobatics of the amazing Roulettes in their highly manoeuvrable, sleek PC21s.
As always, Paul Bennett stunned his audience; who doesn’t love spine tingling aerial stunts performed before their eyes? It takes nerves of steel and a great amount of skill to put aircraft through such extreme paces.
Aircraft from around the world provided added interest – the T-28 Trojan, Nanchang, Edge 540 and Gruman Avenger were all present to be admired. The Armed Forces Museum was open and free to all Airshow ticket holders.
The AV8 RAAF Band, Sale City Bank and Maffra Municipal Band played to a different tune than the pilots, with feet firmly planted on the ground, providing fantastic musical entertainment.
The family enjoyed many aspects of their day at the Sale Airshow. Adults and children, alike, enthusiastically shared favourite aspects of the day, which included the opportunity to climb aboard big aircraft, watching the aerobatics, and, “The Plane Going BOOM,” jointly described as, “A big bang” and “Plane flying through fire.” The stunts and visual simulations were, indeed, spectacular! We shouldn’t omit the highlight of, “Getting Stuff!” Everyone likes getting stuff, after all!
The Johnson family are self-confessed aviation enthusiasts, who have a close connection with Australia’s Royal Airforce, with two children members of RAAF cadets.
It was so great to see families enjoying time together, taking an avid interest in the RAAF, past and future.
Graeme has had an interesting career – spanning time at a radio station, where he can brag of having a coffee with Slim Dusty, to time being ferried in a ‘chopper’, whilst working for Santos Ltd.
Has Graeme always been an aviation boffin? Absolutely! In the 1970s and 80s, when RAAF East Sale hosted airshows, Graeme would be in attendance. Graeme said that he hadn’t seen a crowd at a Sale event as large as was in attendance at this year’s Airshow, the calibre was just that good!
We agree with Graeme’s assessment that, “Everyone loves aviation!”
Greg and Don decided the Sale Airshow afforded a good day out, amidst aircraft, and they weren’t disappointed. They have been to four or so shows held by RAAF East Sale, in years gone by, and so had more than inkling of what was in store.
The Pitts Special and Dream Machine, “two fast ones,” were particular favourites of Don and Greg on the day. Their insightful knowledge of aircraft was obvious and they were only too happy to share it with us; for instance the reason that the Torpedo bomber’s wings fold up is to accommodate storage below deck on aircraf carriers.
When questioned on why people should attend the airshow, Don said, “The show was excellent entertainment, where you see things you don’t see any other time.” Greg believed it to be, “A well prepared, good show and well worth a look.”
We look forward to crossing paths with these two gentlemen at a future airshow and to glean more aircraft knowledge from them.