The biennial air show at Avalon is a big deal. Industry displays occupy the first few days and then it's aerobatics and afterburners on Friday and Saturday. I don't know anything about aircraft and I feel I should be appalled by the whole display but I'm actually fascinated.
I won't go to the show. I don't need to. Just about everything has flown over the city at one time or another. (Although I haven't seen a Catalina. Sure, I'm not that well-versed on aeroplanes but I do have a soft spot for flying boats. Flying boats and jump jets. But that's it. Honestly.)
Many years ago, when I lived in Townsville, I was on my way to work when a massive shadow crawled across the road ahead. I peered up through the windscreen to see a USAF B-52 coming in to land. I hadn't seen one before but there was no chance of mistaking it for a Lear Jet or a Cessna out on a joy flight over Magnetic Island. It was huge. And it was scary.
The B-52 flew over again later in the Townsville air show. One of the local DJs did a live cross to the pilot, a charming, polite and unflappable man. Which was more than you could say about the DJ after the following exchange.
DJ: And what exactly is the role of a B-52?
Pilot: Well, sir, we carpet bomb.
Well, really, what did he expect?