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Brilliant day 1 weather makes for a spectacular flight up the NSW coast, from Royal National Park, south of Sydney, to Tyagarah, the airstrip north of Byron Bay.
Pilot John Tabone takes in glorious views of the hinterland of Byron Bay, NSW, from his 1942 Boeing Stearman, Miss Demeanour. Doug DeVries in another Stearman tails John. It’s day 2 of the Great Circle Air Safari, a 6500km, vintage-plane fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
Stearman pilots Doug DeVries and Tom Smillie fly wingtip-to-wingtip above spinifex-stippled sheep country between Longreach and Winton, in central Queensland.
Ivanhoe residents Terry Forbes and daughters Rachel, 17, and Renée, 4, enjoy the buzz as the aircraft descend on their western NSW town. Born prematurely, Renée was transported to hospital by the RFDS. “We couldn’t do without them,” says Terry.
Rusty Frame reckons he’s become an RFDS “frequent flyer” during a lifetime in the outback. He spent 35 years as a rodeo clown before joining the R.M. Williams Outback Stockman Show in the amphitheatre at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Longreach.
John Tabone adjusts his Stearman’s rudder pedals at a fuel stop while his wife Amanda Jones climbs aboard.
Glowing late-afternoon light shines upon two Stearman biplanes and a 1952 De Havilland Chipmunk as they orbit Uluru. For many participants, this Red Centre fly-by was the air safari’s highlight.
Doug DeVries guides his Stearman to the final-stage landing at Camden, near Sydney.
As if flying into a bygone era, Stearmans piloted by Peter Anderson (127) and Joh nTabone soar over the shining Tasman Sea during the air safari.
Home Topics Science & Environment Gallery: Outback skies
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