• Bankstown-based Red Baron is one of several Australian teams doing great work during the 2018 Chinese air show season. (Red Baron)
    Bankstown-based Red Baron is one of several Australian teams doing great work during the 2018 Chinese air show season. (Red Baron)

China's air show season has a very distinct Australian flavour to it, with the skills and flair of our local pilots being put on display right across the country.

From solos, duets and formation aerobatics, the air show circuit in China would look very pedestrian but for the Aussie contingent.

Cowra-based Paul Goard Promotions is largely responsible for the 2018 season having the largest Aussie contingent ever doing the rounds of Chinese air shows. Principal Paul Goard and his team co-ordinate the displays at several shows, roping in some of this country's best flying talent to show the burgeoning Chinese GA industry just what can be done with the liberal application of passion and enthusiasm.

Australian teams have been strutting their stuff at air shows in Anshun, Jingmen and Faku, including:

AOPA Freedom to Fly Team
Jeremy Miller (Su26), Lyndon Tretheway (Yak 55), Kiwi Ivan Krippner (Pitts S2c) and Adrian Vandersly (Pitts S1)

Atlas Aviation
Jay and Ray Ekinci (Extra 300)

Red Baron
Joel Haski and Enzo Iacono

PGP also adds a bit of international variety to the China scene, wrangling dynamic Canadian Jason Newburg in his modified 300-hp Pitts Viper and Swedish star Kristen Nyberg, who this year became the first Swedish pilot to display in China.

Goard attributes the Australia success to a certain style that appeals to the Chinese audience.

"We are entertaining, but we don't go to the point that they think we're dangerous," he told Australian Flying. "China is all about safety, being new to the GA market, and what they like about us is that we're not too low and don't appear to be wild in a flying style.

"The Americans are extremely low and often quite frightening to watch, as much as they are skillful. We do fly low, but we don't fly low inverted or doing knife-edges or anything like that.

"They don't like the super-high, super-low, right-in-your-face air show ... you've got to be a little bit conservative."

But as safe as they might be, Goard says the Australian displays are by no mean unexciting.

"We've got the first four-ship team Australia has ever taken to China. We've got the two radial Su26 and Yak 55 with the two Pitts off each wing of them, and it's quite a dynamic display. Our second team has a female pilot in it, so we're mixing it up and keeping it dynamic."

Add to the bill the work done by another Australian team in China, Paul Bennet Airshows, and it seems there is a very healthy presence over there doing their best to show off Australian skills and aviation expertise to the gathering masses.

It's enough to wake up a sleeping dragon.

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