Thursday 29 September 2016

A soaraway success as 140,000 flock to air show

Ciara Treacy

Published 25/07/2016 | 02:30

Italian aerobatics team Frecce Tricolore Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Italian aerobatics team Frecce Tricolore Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

It got off to a flying start - and things were really soaring by yesterday afternoon as thousands of spectators packed the seafront for the annual Bray Air Display.

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The free family seaside event, organised by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Wicklow County Council, attracted a total of 140,000 visitors over the weekend.

The death-defying Breitling wingwalkers Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
The death-defying Breitling wingwalkers Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

The crowd marvelled as 14 team displays carried out loops, turns and synchronised formations in the air. Highlights included the Red Arrows, who opened yesterday's event on their first appearance at the Bray spectacle.

The Breitling Wingwalkers thrilled audiences with a daredevil display of acrobatics on the wings of Boeing Stearman bi-planes while in flight.

Dramatic

After a packed schedule of aviation performances from world-class teams, Italy's Frecce Tricolori brought the day to a dramatic finale.

The spectacular Red Arrows Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
The spectacular Red Arrows Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the IAA, said it was proud to sponsor the show in the year of the centenary of the Easter Rising.

"Aviation has played a critical role in the development of the Irish economy over the last 100 years and it remains a key part of the economic system, supporting over 40,000 jobs directly," he said. "We hope that this weekend will have helped to inspire a new generation of pilots, engineers and enthusiasts."

One youngster present was Ben Twomey from Fermoy, Cork, who was given a surprise when Red Arrow Squadron Leader Mike Ling, known as 'Red Ten', wished him a happy 14th birthday in person before he blew out the candles on an aeroplane-themed cake.

Spectators Eugena Loughlin, Eilish Murtagh and Rachel Hughes from Armagh, who enjoyed the show Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Spectators Eugena Loughlin, Eilish Murtagh and Rachel Hughes from Armagh, who enjoyed the show Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Irish Independent

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