A flyover of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Bathurst involving up to 300 different aircraft is being planned as part of the activities marking the Bicentenary of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth’s Blue Mountains crossing.
Organisers hope that everything from helicopters to small private fixed wing aircraft to World War ll fighters and modern day military jets will take part in the event on May 25 next year.
They are working with the RAAF for their assistance with resources such as staging areas and aircraft participation.
Once airborne, pilots will follow a similar path to that blazed by the three explorers in 1813, with viewing areas planned for Penrith, Glenbrook, Springwood, Hazelbrook, Wentworth Falls, Katoomba, Blackheath, Mt York, Lithgow and Bathurst.
Former RAAF Wing Commander Matt Hall, Australia’s leading aerobatic display pilot, is co-ordinating the event on behalf of Businesses Supporting the Bicentenary (BSB) and Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism (BMLOT).
BSB director Philip Hammon, who owns Scenic World, came up with the idea of a flyover to enable thousands of people to view the event and celebrate the Bicentenary in their local communities.
“A flyover is something that demonstrates just how far we have come in the last 200 years since Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth made their historic journey,” Mr Hammon said.
Mr Hall, who served time in combat over Iraq while on exchange with the US Air Force in 2003, said the flyover had the potential to be one of the largest gatherings of aircraft in Australian history.
“We are looking for aviators with aircraft of all shapes and sizes to be involved in what will be a truly unique experience,” he said.
BMLOT chairman Randall Walker congratulated Mr Hammon on instigating the flyover.
“This event promises to be one of the most spectacular ever to have occurred in the Blue Mountains.
“To celebrate a crossing by foot 200 years ago with a crossing by air, with historic aircraft, will be an unforgettable experience.”
For more information about the Crossings Bicentenary, visit www.bluemountainscrossings.com.au.