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Monday, May 17, 2021

Up and away: New event soars into Lake Macquarie

One of the US Navy’s most devastating WWII warbirds will thunder over Lake Macquarie next month as part of a new festival.

Based on the Rathmines Foreshore, Up in the Air will feature aerial displays by Australia’s only Grumman TBF Avenger – the heaviest single-engine aircraft of WWII famous for sinking the Japanese super-battleships Yamato and Musashi.

The event will take flight on Sunday 23 May and will also include aerial displays by a T-28 Trojan, a Rebel 300 aerobatic plane and a Pitts Special biplane.

Paul Bennet Airshows Operations Manager Glenn Graham said the aircraft would fly about 200 metres from the shoreline, with some planes operating just metres above the lake’s surface.

“There will be four display pilots who have been top international aerobatic performers for the last 10 years,” he said.

On the ground, classic car displays, food trucks and market stalls will operate throughout the day, with science shows, kite-making workshops and magic shows among the other attractions on offer.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said the program included entertainment for all ages.

“This is a fantastic opportunity not only to see these spectacular aircraft soar over Lake Mac, but to enjoy a host of land-based entertainment in a beautiful part of our City,” she said.

“Rathmines Park is a fitting setting, with its history as a WWII RAAF base.”

Live music on the day will be provided by Toronto Brass Band, Western Lake Macquarie Concert Band and Waratah Brass Band.

Tickets are $8 each, with free entry for children aged 15 and under.

Helicopter joyflights will also be available throughout the day. Bookings are essential.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to lakemac.com.au.

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