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   Jan 21

World first stunt thrills crowd at Hunter Valley Air ShowPhotos

World first stunt thrills crowd at Hunter Valley Air Show | Photos Perfect conditions for a perfect day: Pilot Paul Bennet and motocross stunt rider Joel Brown at the Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil
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Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

Perfect conditions for a perfect day: The Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookIT was a world-first months in the making, and it had the crowd at the Hunter Valley Air Show in Rutherford in awe on Sunday.

Aerobatics pilot Paul Bennet flew his plane between two jumps – barely a metre above the ground – while stunt rider Joel Brown did a backflip and jumped over him on a motorbike.

More than one thousand people held their breath as it unfolded.

Mr Bennet and Mr Brown were “relieved” to be back on the ground in one piece after the stunt.

They signed autographs for wide-eyed children who wished they could be like them one day.

It was the first time they had performed the stunt in public. They practised it six times on Friday and another 15 times before that in a Luskintyre field.

“It’s not something you want to get wrong, it doesn’t end well if it doesn’t work out,” Mr Bennet said.

“The build-up has been good. Conditions were good and the jump felt really good,” Mr Brown added.

Windy conditions on Saturday forced them to cancel the stunt.

They had been hoping the wind would ease enough on Sunday, which it did, to make the stunt “as safe as possible”. “It wasn’t perfect today, but we could work with it … It was great doing it in front of a cheering crowd and I’ll definitely sleep better tonight, I’m very relieved,” Mr Brown said.

The stunt was the main attraction among a wide range of aircraft on show at the Rutherford aerodrome.

A superSTOL plane had a small mechanical issue as it came down the runway.

A bolt in the under-carriage broke and left it on its side.

The pilot escaped unharmed.

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