Take to the skies for a stunt pilot experience and discover some of the best views in the world
It’s every thrill seekers dream, but in reality it’s not as scary as it seems. Maybe it’s the world-class views, or perhaps it’s the cool sea air blowing through you hair, but a stunt pilot flight experience with Southern Biplanes is more an opportunity for maximum fun than something to be fearful about. The day starts by meeting the family orientated team at their base at Albion Park airport. Smiles, laughter, and a relaxed atmosphere are a definite comfort to anyone feeling nervy.
Plane buffs will go nuts when they see the Boeing Stearman, known fondly around the hangars as Lilly. The aircraft was built as a fully aerobatic military trainer in 1943 and she is the flagship of the Southern Biplane fleet. She’s as gentle as her name suggests, and it’s hard not to fall in love with her at first sight. Just a couple of minutes after take off, you’re above the ocean and straight into it.
Chris, the pilot, talks you through what’s coming up, and his calm presence is reassuring as you begin to experience g-force. The flight includes a full range of aerobatic manoeuvres, including the loop, a barrel roll, a stall turn, and the much anticipated tail spin.
If you’re travelling well, you’ll finish with an aerobatic sequence that will have you questioning which way is up and which way is down. It includes a split s, a push over, a snap roll and a Cuban eight. It will not disappoint.
And, somehow, the ever-glistening aqua views act like their very own anti-nausea tablet, and the sick bag in the pocket of your flying suit is unlikely to be needed.
As confidence builds, being upside down becomes just a great opportunity to take in the full beauty of the coast, and when it’s time to return to the airstrip you’ll undoubtedly be thinking about which flying experience you’d like to do next.
If you don’t feel up to the thrill of aerobatic flight but love planes and being out in the fresh air, then Southern Biplanes offer scenic flights and also have a learn-to-fly school.
The Stunt Pilot Ultimate (30 minute) experience is $379.
By Lisa Herbertson
t: 02 4257 9440
a: Hangar 3, 32 Airport Rd, Illawarra Regional Airport, Albion Park Rail, NSW