For some images from the Defence Force Air Show in Williamtown, click here.
The crowd was upwards of 30,000 people and there was no doubt who most of them came to see. After the soon to be decommissioned F1-11 anyway!
It was Matt Hall, a product of the Hunter Valley returning to the region where he grew up and the very air force base where he spent more than a decade representing his country as a member of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Amongst some amazing fly pasts from the star aircraft in one of its final public appearances, some exhilarating F-18 displays and some wonderful vintage warbirds including a Sabre, a Kittyhawk, a Spitfire and the Mustang was Hall’s ten minute ‘air dance’ in the tiny Giles 200.
It was the first display of the day and one that the crowd on hand will not forget in a hurry – a hybrid aerobatic, air race style performance that is set to be Hall’s trademark in the year ahead as the Red Bull Air Race goes into hibernation for 2011.
The 39-year-old also led a formation of fighters when he piloted the P-51 Mustang around the display box.
After the day’s flying and meeting fans, Hall was bubbling with excitement about the crowd and the reception he received.
“I just love flying here at Williamtown because the place has so many wonderful memories for me and to do it today in front of a crowd like this was just awesome,” Hall said.
“I had so many people come and say hello, get an autograph or a photo and say how excited they are that I will be able to perform more in Australia next year. It was very humbling.”
The air show continues tomorrow with Hall again performing two displays.
NBN TV’s Paul Lobb took time out to chat with Matt about his love of flying all types of aircraft and his return to ‘home’ base of Williamtown this weekend for the Defence Force Air Show.
Matt Hall Racing merchandise will be on sale at the Defence Force Air Show at Williamtown this weekend.
Please come and visit the Matt Hall Racing tent / Massel stand for hats, t-shirts and polos as well as samples from our wonderful sponsor Massel. Matt will also be there at various stages throughout both days meeting fans and signing autographs.
Men’s and women’s t-shirts – $30
Polos – $35
Hats – $25
Cash sales only!!!
Feel free to stop by and say hi!
Merewether pilot Matt Hall has spent the best part of the last two years wowing crowds the world over as one of the elite pilots in the Red Bull Air Race World Championships but next month Hall will show his wares closer to home when he flies at the 2010 Defence Force Air Show at Williamtown.
The 38-year-old former RAAF fighter pilot will return to the base that he was stationed at for more than a decade before resigning from the Air Force in January last year to pursue his competitive dreams.
The two day extravaganza on September 18 and 19 will feature a stunning collection of military planes and helicopters involved in both static and flying displays.
Hall, who wound up the Air Race season with a brilliant third place in the German round earlier this month, will display at midday on both days of the weekend in a Giles 200 before taking off again at around 1530 in a P51 Mustang to lead a formation of fighters old and new.
Hall said the event would be one of the highlights of his year.
“I have been fortunate enough to fly all over the world this year but I have had my eye on September and the Defence Force Air Show at Williamtown for a while now,” Hall said.
“Being born in the Hunter region and still living in Merewether make this my local air show and when you consider I was in the Air Force at Williamtown for so long this really is going to be a special few days for me.
“The people of Newcastle and the aviation community as a whole have been so supportive of me throughout my racing career and I see this is an opportunity to say thanks.”
Hall will spend time between flights greeting fans, posing for photographs and signing autographs.
Further information and ticketing details regarding the 2010 Defence Force Air Show are available here.