Connect with us

Thai Life

Up in the air: Aviators hit Hat Yai for huge airshow



PHUKET: For the second consecutive year, a large contingent of recreational aviation enthusiasts from Phuket flew southeast to Songkhla Province to take part in what may have been the largest and most exciting air show in Thailand’s history.

The show was staged for Thailand’s National Children’s Day, an annual event which is celebrated on the first Saturday after New Year.

One of the most highly anticipated entries at this year’s show was an aerobatics display by none other than Les Vorosmarthy, the Malaysia-based, American stunt pilot whose exploits aboard his German-built Extra 300 have been featured at several past events at Phuket Airpark and over the island’s Surin and Patong beaches.

One of his maneuvers over Hat Yai was the so-called ‘tail slide’, when Les cuts the engine to idle while the plane is still rising skyward. As gravity takes its toll, the craft comes to a stop in mid-air before slipping backwards into free fall. When the plummeting reaches a certain speed, the wind hits the tail and flips the plane right over.

There were also demonstrations of firefighting and air rescue operations – and lots of free snacks and gifts for the kids.

Pat James from Phuket Airpark led the Phuket contingent to the Royal Thai Air Force Wing 56 air base, located across the runway from Hat Yai International Airport.

“Last year’s event was just unbelievable. There had to be 20,000 to 30,000 people who turned out throughout the day… It was the first time such an event had been held there in over a decade, since the start of the unrest in the Deep South along the Malay border,” Mr James said.

“It’s incredible the amount of time and planning that goes into these events, including dealing with the security concerns. Our private aviators from Phuket were really treated like VIPs from the moment we stepped down from our planes,” he said.

He made a point of thanking Wing 56 Commander Aumarit Kanokkaew and his deputy, Group Capt Annop Nongchana, for involving private pilots and their aircraft in these shows.

“The goal is to enlighten, entertain and educate,” Mr James said.

— Stephen Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chiang Rai7 hours ago

2018 Thai cave rescue inspires new attraction in Chiang Rai

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | New traffic rule to affect entire country

Economy7 hours ago

Robots now serving people at Thai restaurant chain

Sponsored15 hours ago

LASIK eye surgery with state-of-the-art procedures in Thailand

Bangkok7 hours ago

Patiphan explains to police: It was my twin brother Patiphat!

Thailand8 hours ago

Woman faces jail for trafficking girls after karaoke raid in Thailand

Weather8 hours ago

South Korea’s capital sees record rainfall, at least 9 killed

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Protests8 hours ago

Amnesty International urges Thailand to free activists and return bail rights

Drugs9 hours ago

Truck leads police on 100km chase over shockingly small drug stash

Chon Buri9 hours ago

Chon Buri police couldn’t find victim of car crash on back seat

Phuket9 hours ago

Phuket expects recent India road show to bring in even more tourists, and revenue

Press Room9 hours ago

Jungceylon undergoes renovation to become a one-stop shopping paradise

World10 hours ago

Pakistani Taliban commander reportedly killed in Afghanistan

Tourism10 hours ago

Europeans lost in Koh Pha Ngan forest found by tourist police

Chon Buri10 hours ago

Mountain B fire death toll rises to 16

Bangkok11 hours ago

MRT says Bangkok won’t suffer any Seoul-type metro flooding

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11