Matt Hall, Ron Hancock and Peter Tuffield make some exciting announcements at the launch of the 2011 Wide Bay Australia International Airshow.
Matt Hall, Ron Hancock and Peter Tuffield make some exciting announcements at the launch of the 2011 Wide Bay Australia International Airshow.

Airshow hits new heights

THE 2011 Wide Bay Australia International Airshow has scored a great coup, announcing an Australian Red Bull air racer as the program headliner.

Preparations for the biennial show have gained momentum with less than a year before Bundaberg's skies ignite with a new style of aviation spectacular.

At the launch of the airshow yesterday, air racer Matt Hall said the August event would be the first confirmed item in his 2011 schedule.

The pilot, who spent almost two decades in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming the most successful rookie in the history of the Air Race World Championships, said he was honoured to be part of next year's event.

“I have wanted to be part of the Wide Bay Australia International Airshow for a long time,” he said.

“I flew in 2007 as a minor part, flying a P51 Mustang.

“I left that air show thinking, ‘I want to come back in 2009', but I was busy.

“To get this opportunity in 2011 is something I am very much looking forward to.”

Hall spends a significant amount of his aerobatic flying time working on his high-energy display, and is looking forward to performing this new style of “freestyle” flying as part of the 2011 airshow program.

He said Bundaberg was an area he loved to fly around, but he had yet to take time to discover the region on foot.

“I like this part of the world,” he said.

“I haven't experienced any bad weather and flying here is beautiful.

“I love that part of Queensland too and to be able to help launch the event is a bonus.”

Wide Bay Australia International Airshow board chairman Peter Tuffield said people should mark the event on their calendars.

“Matt Hall will be an absolute highlight to our 2011 air program,” he said.

“He has dedicated his life to flying, with more than 4000 hours in various aircraft types, including over 500 doing aerobatics.

“This will definitely be an aerobatic spectacular not to be missed.”

“Barnstorming Bundaberg” was also revealed at yesterday's launch, with the 2011 airshow stepping back in time and rediscovering the origin of the air show.




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