VIDEO: Shannon air show wows crowds of up to 40,000

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A DAZZLING display of aerial acrobatics was witnessed by crowds of up to 40,000 at Shannon Airport on Saturday, to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight.

There were plenty of oohs and aahs amongst the crowd during the five hour display, which featured legendary Limerick pilot Gerry Humphreys, who with his son Harry, 21, became the first father and son duo to perform at an Irish air-show.

Gerry flew his own light aircraft, which he built himself, called a Flying Cow, while Harry flew a Russian mini-mig, one of only two of its kind in Europe.

Model agent Celia Holman Lee and her husband Ger, Rose Hynes, of Shannon Airport, and radio presenter Lorcan Murray were among those who took to the stands in the VIP area to gain the best vantage point.

It was also a special day for schoolboy who is bravely battling a very aggressive form of bone cancer.

Stephen Reilly, age 11, from Galway, received VIP treatment throughout the air show on Saturday having courageously fought osteosarcoma since he was six and had his right leg amputated .

His parents wrote to Shannon Airport last week ahead of the air display, held to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight to Shannon.

The ecstatic schoolboy got his wish when was given a bird’s eye view - courtesy of Executive Helicopters – of the vast airfield and the huge crowds before the action in the stunning five hour show began. “It was the best day ever. I didn’t think an air show could be such fun. The helicopter ride was fantastic. Just to see everything from way up there was great,” enthused the young boy. In addition to the air display, complete with aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers, attendees had plenty of field entertainment in the spectator zone, including 20 separate children’s attractions, 25 food operators, music entertainment.

- See the weekend Leader for more pictures from the day