Glenwood pilot to pay tribute to explorers in flight

GLENWOOD pilot Gabriel Wall will join up to 200 aviators, including German legend Matthias Dolderer, in a historic Blue Mountains bicentenary flyover on Saturday.

They will fly the path trodden by the three explorers Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth two centuries ago.

"I see the flyover as a commemoration for every other pilot who's done anything historic and, of course, a commemoration of what the three explorers did," said 27-year-old Mr Wall of Glenwood who will fly a Cessna 172 —a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft capable of reaching 302km/h.

"I had great-uncles that flew in the Second World War, so the opportunity to take part in something that's part of history was an opportunity I couldn't miss," Mr Wall said.

"Now it's just a matter of studying the block levels that we'll be flying."

Mr Wall has been flying for 11 years. He made his first solo flight aged 15.

"As a child my dad took me to the airport to watch planes and from then on I felt like I was born to fly," he said.

It was this belief that compelled him to leave his job as an IT salesman last year and focus on getting his commercial pilot's licence.

Saturday's flyover will take the fleet from Emu Plains through the Blue Mountains to Mount York, where the aircraft will then go via O'Connell and on to Bathurst.

"I think it will be a pretty special event," Mr Wall said.

■ The flyover, part of the Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015 program of events, marks the first recognised European crossing of the mountains.

Details: bluemountainscrossings.com.au.

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