Flight Path


On the blustery afternoon of Sunday, September 15th, the River Liffey was transformed into a flight path for a variety of aircraft, both vintage and modern, for Flight Fest, a Gathering event organised by the Irish Aviation Authority in association with Dublin City Council.

Despite heavy winds, the event went ahead without a hitch, and a crowd of over 130,000 lined the Liffey, from the East Link Bridge to the Talbot Memorial Bridge, with another 40,000 viewing an online stream, making it the biggest event of this nature ever staged.
Over 30 planes and helicopters from around the world flew at low level over the river, providing a rare chance to see such aircraft in flight at such a close proximity.

The aircraft ranged from commercial airliners to military craft, spanning World War II to the present day. Vintage World War II planes involved included a United States Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress and a Royal Canadian Air Force Catalina Flying Boat PBY-5A, both of which are based at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

Ireland’s Air Corps provided several fly-pasts, including a quartet of Pilatus PC-9 (small aircraft used in the training of pilots) flying in formation.

A variety of commercial airlines contributed to the event with planes from Aer Lingus, British Airways, Ryanair, Etihad and others on display.

As well as planes, several helicopters were on show, including the Sikorsky S61, a craft primarily used on oil-rigs, and a trio of Aer Corps’ AW139’s, used for transport and air ambulance missions.

The event was rounded off with an appearance by the giant British Airways Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

Photo: Air Corp Casa group.

By Eric Hillis