The Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show at Raglan was in full swing on Saturday 23 May, with over 100 interesting aircraft and helicopters flying-in and on display, and featuring a spectacular air display which included the debut of Paul Bennet Airshows, and a display by Australia's own Top Gun pilot Matt Hall, fresh off a podium finish in the Japanese leg of the Red Bull Air Race 2015 World Championship. There was also an impressive new and old car and truck and machinery show - and tractor pulling!
A wide variety of aircraft flew in to the Old Station farm from all over Australia! The day was hosted by the Creed Family and the Old Station Flying Club. There was support from numerous sponsors and helpers from other local flying groups including the Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) which not only had members' aircraft on display, but also supplied the ground marshallers tasked to park all the visiting aircraft.
Some of the interesting aircraft on display included a brand new Cirrus SR22 Australis N9ZN. The Australis is an aircraft that Cirrus has designed specifically for Australian conditions and featuring air conditioning, UV protection windows, PLB, four-person survival kit, four-in-one back-up gauges, claw tie-downs and a two-year subscription to the AvPlan EFB. See more of the SR22 Australis at the Rockhampton Aero Club at Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 7 June.
McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International are always great supporters of the Old Station Fly-in and this time sent Aerospatiale AS.365N2 Dauphin helicopters VH-NAR. and VH-IYS.
For most of the day, the crowd was entertained by some spectacular Warbirds which operated regular aerobatic joyflights out of Old Station. The most popular aircraft were undoubtedly the Warbird Adventure Flights-operated North American T-28D Trojan VH-TRO and Aerostar Yak-52 VH-YRO.
Other smaller warbirds operating joyflights included Australia's only Beech 45 / T-34 Mentor VH-XUS, along with 1951-built Cessna O-1G Bird Dog VH-XVB.
Matt Hall Racing Extra EA-300L VH-IOG also operated several aerobatic joyflights during the day including one lucky passenger who had Matt Hall fly him around during "The Ultimate Experience" in aerobatic joyflights!
Slightly more sedate was Stock-Air Helicopters Robinson R44 II VH-VVW which also operated joyflights over Old Station.
Finally, in the challenging afternoon light, the cloudy skies above Old Station came alive with a great air display kicking off with a stunning solo performance by Pilatus PC-9/A A23-058 of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) elite formation aerobatic display team - The Roulettes.
Cessna O-1G Bird Dog VH-XVB took to the skies and even flew a 'mock' bombing run!
Of interest, this aircraft actually saw active military service with the US Army and then the United States Air Force (USAF) in Vietnam. It was then flown by the South Vietnamese Air Force, before being recovered.
Then, in what was a superb sight and sound, North American T-28 Trojans VH-TRO and VH-FNO performed a spectacular formation routine that was a real treat to watch. I also captured some photos earlier in the day of their departure on a 'practice run'!
Rockhampton-based R-Mach Aviation Ayres S2R Turbo Thursh VH-NFF then put in a great water-bombing and spraying display.
Then another pair of aircraft took to the skies together with the 1954-built Beech 45 / T-34 Mentor VH-XUS joined by 1955-built De Havilland DH-104 Series 5 Dove VH-DHI. Both aircraft were making what I believe to be their debuts at Old Station.
Then Paul Bennet made a spectacular debut at Old Station flying is Amateur-built Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB.
Yak-52 VH-YRO then took to the skies.
Then Just Aircraft Super STOL 19-8530 demonstrated its stunning and very unique Short Take-off and Landing capabilities by virtually hovering in the air!
Paul Bennet then returned to the skies in his Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB - and this time he was joined in the air by the Yak-52 VH-YRO.
Finally, in my opinion, the two main attractions of the flying display took to the air with Paul Bennet jumping out of his Pitts and straight into the cockpit of his mighty Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Warbird VH-MML.
The thunderous Avenger put on a very spirited display which also included a couple more 'mock' bombing runs!
And last, but no means least, Matt Hall took to the skies once again in his Extra EA-300L VH-IOG, putting an awe inspiring aerobatic display that had the crowd really entertained - despite the fast fading light!
Matt Hall's performance concluded a great day of flying action at the Old Station Fly-in. The action continues at Old Station at Raglan on Sunday 24 May, with another air display commencing at 10am. Following this, it is expected the most aircraft with depart and make their respective ways home.
It should be pointed out that all proceeds from the weekend - from admissions, food and drink sales, and part of the joyflights - will aid the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS). CHRS (Australian Helicopters) Bell 412EP VH-EPR also arrived and was a very popular display at Old Station!
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