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Paul Bennet

Paul Bennet spent his childhood flying remote controlled airplanes while listening to stories about his grandfather flying planes during the war, and now he has 23 planes, competes in aerobatic flying competitions, and spends most weekends showcasing his skills at air shows across the world with his family.

“When I was one or two, I went for a fly in my car seat in a Cessna and the bug just got me.

“I moved to Newcastle and went for a ride with a friend of mine who soloed in a two-seat Pitts Specials (that I still have to this day) which was about 20 years ago,” said Paul.

The very next day Paul went to the aero club to get his pilot license and hasn’t stopped flying since.

“Instead of finishing my license to get unrestricted I knew I wanted to do aerobatics, so I went and saw Phil Unicomb and started training.”

In 2008 Paul won the title of the National Advanced Aerobatic Champion, the following year saw him take out the National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and then in 2011 and 2012 Paul won Unlimited in both Queensland and Victoria. In 2016 Paul won the award of Australian Freestyle Aerobatic Champion and just last year won the Australian Freestyle Champion.

It was in 2009 that the air show side of things started to take off and Paul started to fly warbirds.

Paul Bennet

“I flew for a mate of mine, Steve Searle. I was the Chief Pilot for an aviation museum up in Queensland where Steve was acquiring the warbirds and all I had to do was fly them.”

Paul flew for Steve for a few years until he became quite unwell and sadly passed away.

“I ended up buying his fleet of warbirds so I could keep his dream of creating an aviation museum alive.

“We’re getting a museum going in Cessnock and I have a lot to do with the Hunter Warbirds Museum in Scone.

“I remember when I did my first air show at Mudgee, Col Pay came across from Scone in a Mustang and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I remember thinking to myself how cool it would be to just sit in that Mustang let alone fly it. I was lucky enough to fly it many years later.

“I think now I have flown more Mustangs in Australia than anyone else and I am the first civilian to fly with two F-35 Jets in a Kittyhawk.”

Paul now has 23 planes, and an aerobatic team called the SkyAces with fellow pilots Glenn Graham, Jesse Jury and Glenn Collins, plus three other pilots, a ground crew and media team.

They’ve been flying at some of the biggest air shows in the world for more than 20 years including in South Korea and China.

It’s a family affair wherever they go too, Rachael Paul’s wife handles the huge b-double merchandise truck that goes to every show with his daughters Milani and Summa. Paul’s oldest son Jett works for him and competes as an aerobatic pilot.

“It’s truly a family affair,” said Paul.

“Something that we want to do is inspire others to be aviators, that’s one of our goals to inspire the next generation of aviators and share our passion for aviation.”

You can experience what Paul and his SkyAces do too, from the passenger seat.

Paul Bennet

AeroHunter is the Adventure Flight portion of the business.

The pilots will start you out slow with some of the easier maneuvers and then build up the excitement as you get more comfortable – before long you’ll experience barrel rolls, loops, G-Fore, Cuban eights and a bunch of other aerobatics.

The feeling of weightlessness is incredible, and don’t worry, the pilots have seen it all over the years, from the screamers to the pukers, so nothing will faze them!

If you can’t quite bring yourself to get in the plane, you can see the pilots do their thing at the 2024 Central Coast Airshow 25th and 26th May.

If you want to experience the thrill of an aerobatic flight:

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