The skies over the New South Wales south coast buzzed with old and new aircraft for the Wings Over Illawarra air show on May 4-5.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) put on flying displays and ground attractions for the event, with the public gaining a first-hand look at Air Force aircraft, Army and Navy helicopters, and even a Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle.
"We like to open generally, because we beat all the thermals to put on a nice, precise display then go out and meet the public."
Group Captain Tim Sloane, Director of Air Operations for the Air Force Show Team, said tri-service participation was excellent at this year’s air show.
"While obviously aviation-centric, all three services made a large effort in providing ground displays that gave the public a wide view of what the ADF does,” Group Captain Sloane said.
"A large number of Reserve personnel were involved and it was pleasing to see the Air Force, Navy and Army Cadets show what they could offer as progressive youth development organisations sponsored by Defence."
Opening the show each morning were four of the Air Force's new PC-21 aircraft, flown by the aerobatic Roulettes team.
"Hands down it is the most capable and fun helicopter I've flown."
"We like to open generally, because we beat all the thermals to put on a nice, precise display then go out and meet the public," Flight Lieutenant Armstrong said.
"The PC-21 is a completely different aircraft to the PC-9/A. It's a real generational shift and because it goes really fast it's great for putting on a show.
“At the moment we're getting everyone low-level aerobatics qualified on the new aircraft, and will soon add formation aerobatics to the whole Roulettes team. We hope to have a six aircraft display later in the year that will be very exciting to watch."
Navy also provided displays of the MH-60R Seahawk and the MRH90 Taipan helicopters. Navy Pilot Lieutenant Adam Jameson enjoyed showing the public around the MRH90 Taipan helicopter at Wings Over Illawarra.
"I've been flying the Taipan operationally for the last four years, and hands down it is the most capable and fun helicopter I've flown," Lieutenant Jameson said.
Closing the show each day was Air Force Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Kris Sieczkowski, who described his display as fast, low and making a lot of noise.
"It was a handling display, so we showcased the ability of the aircraft by going up to around 550 knots and around 200 feet, with a bunch of aerobatic manoeuvres," Flight Lieutenant Sieczkowski said.
The air show closed out with exciting synchronised pyrotechnics as the Hawk 127 roared past one final time followed by the famous Wall of Fire display.