Crowd endures wind for airshow


HIGH winds and a small grass fire did little to detract from the spectacle of the Wide Bay Australia International Airshow.

The three-day event attracted thousands of people through the gates to watch series of acrobatics and old war planes go through their paces.

Wide Bay Australia International Airshow chairman Daryl Corpe said the crowd numbers were yet to be tallied.

But he said the crowds on the very windy Sunday were a lot smaller than those on Saturday.

Winds at times gusted up to 43 kilometres per hour on Sunday.

“There is one thing that we cannot control with an event like this and that's the weather,” he said.

The windy weather did little to interfere with the planes but it did mean the parachuter was unable to jump in order to open the day of flying.

“The parachuter was a shame but it was great on Saturday,” he said.

But perhaps the biggest upheaval in the program was a small grass fire near the runway just after lunch on Saturday.

A small part of the pyrotechnic display had set some of the grass on fire.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service officers were able to get the fire under control with relative ease.

While the crowd was enthralled by the skies during the event, a small army of volunteers worked to make sure nothing else went wrong.

“There are over 200 volunteers here,” Mr Corpe said.

“We could not put on this event without the volunteers,” he said.

“They have been doing a fantastic job.”

Mr Corpe said it was not clear yet whether the airshow would go ahead in another two years.

“We assess after each event,” he said.

“I think the answer is that this has been a great event and we will be doing a debriefing in the coming weeks.”

Bundaberg Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the airshow was an incredibly important event for the region.

“(It's an extremely good event) not only for our community but also for the economy,” she said.

“The airshow brings in millions of dollars so it's great for our tourism sector.”

Hotels around Bundaberg have been booked out during this weekend – a much-needed boost for the industry which is lagging due to the poor economy.

Cr Pyefinch said she was grateful to the State Government for its support of the event this year.

“Given the potential economic benefit to the region, the airshow should be considered one of the priorities state-wide,” she said.

Did you go to the airshow at the weekend? Share your thoughts on it below.

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