Aerobatics daredevil Paul Bennet brings aerial magic to the bush

Monday, 05 June 2017

Flying commercial aircraft is not the only job for people who dream of a career in the skies, as aerobatics expert Paul Bennet will happily tell you.

He launched his business Paul Bennet Airshows in 2005 and is now involved in over 30 events nationally and internationally each year, operating over 10 aircraft and employing five of Australia’s top air display pilots.

His company is now the largest aerial entertainment business in Australia and is the headline feature for the 2017 Lismore Aviation Expo on Saturday, 17 June.

“As a passionate aviator, I realised that compared to international markets, Australia was really lacking in businesses that brought aviation to the community,” he said.

“Building this business has helped bring world-class aerial displays to rural Australia and at the same time inspired a new generation about a future in aviation.

“Coming to expos like the one in Lismore is what we live for. It’s the best job in the world.”

The third annual Lismore Aviation Expo is presented by Fast Aviation, a growing local business that will launch Lismore's new 24-hour charter service at the Expo.

Last year the Lismore Aviation Expo attracted more than 6,000 people and both the crowds and the line-up is growing.

There will be a massive range of aircraft on display in 2017 including the Albatross L39 jet, T28 Trojan, YAK 52s and Beech Mentor G-57.

You can also see Wolf Pitts, a Grunman Avenger, a Rebel 300, Model 12 Pitts, Fox Sailplane, WWI SE-5A biplane, CAC Winjeel, T-34 Mentor, Replica Spitfire and Beechcraft Baron… the list is endless!

Visitors can also check out the cockpit of a REX SAAB 340 aircraft and helicopters including Rotorwing Helicopter Services’ Bell Huey, R-44 choppers and even the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

“It’s bigger than Ben Hur!” laughed Lismore City Council’s Danielle Hanigan.

“This started two years ago as a fairly small show, but the fact is, people love aviation and is  growing so fast. There's a magic in flying that really inspires and delights people.

"There are few other places you would get to see such a unique range of planes, helicopters, vintage cars, motorcycles and hot air balloons all in one place. The aviation is an exciting new event for Lismore.”

As well as static displays, the 2017 Lismore Aviation Expo will feature joy flights, adventure flights and discovery flights, plus displays from institutions offering aviation careers and training including the Northern Rivers Aero Club, TAFE, emergency services and the Defence Force.

There is also children’s entertainment, food stalls, and drones and model aircraft that kids will love.

The Lismore Aviation Expo runs from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, 17 June at the Lismore Aviation Centre, Three Chain Road, South Lismore. Entry is $5 with children under 16 free, and all proceeds will go to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

Due to limited parking, a free shuttle bus will be running constantly between the Lismore Transit Centre in the CBD and the Lismore Aviation Centre.

For more information, go to www.visitlismore.com.au or phone 1300 87 83 87.

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