More than 70 aircraft flew into history when they took part in the largest civilian flyover in Australian history and the first ever of the Blue Mountains over the weekend.
Thousands flocked to 11 public viewing sites to witness the 75 aircraft fly overhead to mark the bicentenary of the first recognised European crossing of the Blue Mountains by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth in 1813.
The two-and-a-half-hour aerial spectacle included the famed RAAF Roulettes aerial acrobatic team, a C-130J Hercules, a RAN Squirrel and Seahawks, Beavers, a team of Yaks, Gyrocopters and everything in between.
Joining in the fun were descendants of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, who flew over the same route blazed by their famous relatives two centuries ago.
Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said the official regional tourism organisation and Destination NSW, the state tourism department, were delighted to jointly fund, along with BSB, Australia's largest ever civilian flyover.
‘‘This event has been an unforgettable highlight of this year’s Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015 program.
‘‘Thousands of locals and visitors have turned out to witness this once-in-a-lifetime tourism event.
‘‘To stand out from the crowd we must dare to dream, to have the courage to be different from the ‘rest and then do whatever it takes to turn that vision into reality. Philip Hammon was that driving ‘force behind the Blue Mountains Bicentenary Flyover.’’
Event flying operations co-ordinator Matt Hall said the aviation side of the event had gone off without a hitch.
‘‘This was an extremely complex exercise in logistics but the pilots all showed a tremendous amount of professionalism and skill,” Hall said.
‘‘The Businesses Supporting Bicentenary and Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism should be commended for creating an event that was not only great for the local area but also a wonderful advertisement for aviation.”