Pre-Event Checklist: 5 Displays Removed Including Stunt Flying From Wings Over Illawarra 2022 But Opening Skydiving Display Added As Event Map Released Plus Weather & Transport Details

UPDATE (11:56PM, FRIDAY 11/11/2022): This article has been updated to include details on the industrial action on the Sydney Trains network & South Coast Line this weekend.

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Flying Program Changes

Wings Over Illawarra last week confirmed via Facebook that. due to pilot availability and aircraft maintenance, the PT-17 Stearman, CA-27 Sabre and the Learjet 35’s (minimum & usually 2) would not be flying to this weekend’s air show.

Sydney Spectaculars was also informed by Wings Over Illawarra this week that the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopter would not be flying to this weekend’s air show due to similar reasons.

The CAC Wirraway has since been announced to fly on both days at 12:26pm at the expense of Paul Bennet flying a Super Cub onto a vehicle, the first foray into stunt flying by Wings Over Illawarra.

It has also resulted in a very differently timed flying program with the F-35 Lightning now flying only the last 8 minutes of the air show (previously 17) at 3:52pm both days. Also, both days is the Warbird Balbo, which is now at 3:34pm but running for an extra 3 minutes. The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes also runs an extra 7 minutes now.

On Thursday, Wings Over Illawarra announced both days will open with a skydiving display by Skydiving Australia with multiple (do not know how many but more than 1) of their instructors skydiving into Shellharbour Airport.

You can find the latest flying program here with any future updates to the flying program, if any, to be posted there directly rather than through an article.

Event Map

There, you can find the event map, which was revealed last week:

WIngs Over Illawarra 2022 Event Map
Map: Wings Over Illawarra

Notably, from the event map, we can see the classic cars are no longer part of the show. Organisers did have registrations open for them this year so we assume they did not get many registrations this year and thus, removed it from the event entirely (though it is still on their website). A larger amusement ride Carnival – The Captain’s Carnival – takes its place. Vintage military vehicles will still make an appearance.

There will also be a new World War II German Exhibit near the runway intersection on the south-eastern side. It will contain motorbikes, reenactors, vehicles and information boards. The Focke Wulf Fw-190 is not part of this exhibit. There is also a new food and wine tasting area near the main entrance. A drone racing area will replace the Drone Expo this year.

Also new but not shown on the map is Wings Winery, which will also have craft beer, cider, gin, vodka, liqueurs, sauces, chilli-based products & relishes!

Weather

This year’s event is once again held in November – the 2nd time ever to be – but it is also the first event to be held on this particular November weekend (last year’s was held in late November) so previous events’ weather cannot be compared.

Weather has plagued the event before – mainly in 2014 & 2015, when high crosswinds cancelled the flying program (except 3 morning displays) and when an East Coast Low cancelled the whole event respectively. There is no sign of similar weather this year.

Forecast

The below paragraph is for the Wollongong area.

Except for wind, Saturday is looking better than Sunday at this stage with less rain and no chance of a thunderstorm in the Wollongong area. Sunday has a possibility of a severe thunderstorm. Saturday has a medium (50%) chance of showers while Sunday has a very high (95%) chance of showers. Saturday will be partly cloudy while Sunday will be cloudy. Both days begin with light winds. However, in the morning, on Sunday, the winds will become north to north-easterly 15-25km/h while on Saturday, the winds will become south to south-westerly 15-20km/h. In the middle of Saturday, the winds will tend south to south-easterly 20-30km/h.

The amount of rain forecast is not enough to cancel the entire event or most of the flying program. However, the possibility of a thunderstorm on Sunday particularly at or after 2pm may ground the flying program for the duration of the storm, if any. Previous editions have seen the flying program run overtime until 5pm if conditions necessitate it. Safety is paramount so if there is a delay in the flying program, please be calm and patient, particularly as the event is organised by a small but dedicated team. They will try their best to ensure a great safe air show. If a severe thunderstorm does appear, a warning will be issued by the Bureau Of Meteorology, which can be found here.

The below details are for Albion Park:

  • General Forecast: Shower Or Two (Saturday) & Showers (Sunday)
  • Minimum Temperature: 15 (Saturday) & 17 (Sunday)
  • Maximum Temperature: 24 (Saturday) & 26 (Sunday)
  • Possible Rainfall: Up to 2mm (Saturday) & 5-10mm (Sunday)
  • Rain Chance: 60% (Saturday) & 95% (Sunday)
  • Sun Protection: Recommended 8:40am (both days) to 4:40pm (Saturday) & 4:30pm (Sunday)
  • Maximum UV Index: 10 (Very High) (both days)

The Bureau Of Meteorology’s MetEye service predicts the following for Shellharbour Airport:

  • 11am Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading north-northwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 2pm Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 20-30km/h winds heading north-northwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 5pm Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading northwest, feels like 21-24 degrees Celsius, 70-80% relative humidity, 1-2 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 11am Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 25-50% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading southwest, feels like 21-24 degrees Celsius, 70-80% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 2pm Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 50-75% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading southwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 5pm Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 50-75% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading south-southwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 1-2 (clear sky) UV Index

Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index is 3 or higher.

Transport

Ticketholders to the 2 main public event days are recommended to arrive by train.

Train

The air show is on the South Coast Line (Bondi Junction to Bomaderry via Central). This form of transport is ideal for locals, Sydneysiders and visitors & people from the Shoalhaven. The station the air show is at is Albion Park, which is right across the road from Shellharbour Airport. Due to industrial action, trains are running to a reduced frequency and changed timetable. Allow extra travel time. This advice should be particularly followed in regard to leaving the event. For details on other Sydney Trains lines, click here.

These are the last train times before gates open at 9am (arrival station in italics):

  • Bondi Junction – 6:13am
  • Town Hall – 6:24am
  • Bomaderry – 6:26am
  • Central – 6:29am
  • Redfern – 6:31am
  • Wolli Creek – 6:41am
  • Sutherland – 7:03am
  • Kiama – 7:49am
  • Albion Park – 8:09am (from Kiama, 51 minutes before gates open & 2 hours, 51 minutes before flying program begins)
  • Wollongong – 8:16am
  • Albion Park – 8:36am (from Bondi Junction, 24 minutes before gates open & 2 hours, 24 minutes before flying program begins)

These are the last train times before the flying program begins (arrival station in italics):

  • Bondi Junction – 8:13am
  • Town Hall – 8:24am
  • Central – 8:29am
  • Redfern – 8:31am
  • Bomaderry – 8:32am (Saturday)
  • Wolli Creek – 8:41am
  • Bomaderry – 8:54am (Sunday)
  • Sutherland – 9:03am
  • Kiama – 9:56am
  • Wollongong – 10:08am (Saturday)
  • Wollongong – 10:10am (Sunday)
  • Albion Park – 10:16am (from Kiama, 44 minutes before flying program begins)
  • Albion Park – 10:31am (from Bondi Junction, 29 minutes before flying program begins)

Coach

The NSW Trainslink Southern NSW Coach Service 749 operates (Bundanoon to Wollongong via Albion Park). This form of transport is ideal for people travelling from the Southern Highlands. You cannot catch a coach from Wollongong to Albion Park. Bookings are required to be made on event day. The stop the air show is at is Albion Park Railway Station, which is right across the road from the air show. Below are the last available coach times to the air show (as of writing) (arrival stops in italics):

  • Bundanoon – 6:15am
  • Exeter – 6:20am
  • Moss Vale – 6:30am
  • Bowral – 6:45am
  • Burrawang – 7:03am
  • Robertson – 7:13am
  • Albion Park – 7:50am (from Bundanoon, 1 hour and 10 minutes until gates open & 3 hours and 10 minutes until the flying program begins)

Bus

Premier Illawarra operates 4 bus routes to the air show:

  • 37 (Lake Illawarra Loop: Wollongong to Shellharbour anti-clockwise via Dapto & Albion Park Rail)
  • 57 (Lake Illawarra Loop: Wollongong to Shellharbour clockwise via Warrawong & Albion Park Rail)
  • 76 (Shellharbour Village to Albion Park via Albion Park Rail (Loop Service))
  • 77 (Shellharbour to Albion Park via Albion Park Rail (Loop Service))

This form of transport is ideal for people travelling locally. However, they mainly operate on the Saturday. The stops the air show is at is Albion Park Railway Station, which is right across the road from the air show and the Princes Highway. There are 6 bus stops in the vicinity (1 at the Railway Station and 4 on the Princes Highway, three southbound, two northbound). All bus times below are for Saturday except where stated.

Below are the last available bus times at major bus interchanges before the gates open (arrival stops in italics) (bus route in brackets):

  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 7:29am (57)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 7:42am (37)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 7:44am (57)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 7:45am (37)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 7:47am (57)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 7:52am (57)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 8:02am (57)
  • All Saints Anglican Church, Tongarra Road, Albion Park – 8:08am (76)
  • Dapto Mall – 8:09am (37)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Railway Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:10am (57, 50 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 50 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 8:17am (37, Sunday)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 8:20am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:22am (37, 38 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 38 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 8:23am (37, 37 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 37 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Tongarra Road after Terry Street, Albion Park – 8:24am (76)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Railway Station – 8:32am (76, 28 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 28 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station/Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 8:33am (76, 27 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 27 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Dapto Mall – 8:47am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:59am (37, Sunday, 1 minute until flying program begins)

Route 76 also stops in Woollybutt Drive at 7:58am but will travel, as shown in the list above, around Albion Park for 1 hour and 34 minutes before arriving at the air show at 8:32am/8:33am. Alternatively, you can walk the 15 minutes from that bus stop to the air show main gates or drive the 2 minutes to the official car park at the corner of Croome & Tongarra Road and catch the 1-minute shuttle bus to the air show main gates.

Below are the last available bus times before the flying program (arrival stops in italics):

  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 9:33am (57, Sunday)
  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 9:34am (57)
  • All Saints Anglican Church, Tongarra Road, Albion Park – 9:38am (77)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 9:41am (37)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 9:44am (37)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 9:48am (57, Sunday)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 9:50am (57)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 9:51am (57, Sunday)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 9:53am (57)
  • Tongarra Road after Terry Street, Albion Park – 9:54am (77)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 9:56am (57, Sunday)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 9:58am (57)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station – 10:01am (77, 59 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 10:06am (57, Sunday)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 10:08am (57)
  • Dapto Mall – 10:09am (37)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:14am (57, Sunday, 46 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:16am (57, 44 minutes until flying program begins)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 10:17am (37, Sunday)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 10:20am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:22am (37, 38 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 10:23am (37, 37 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Dapto Mall – 10:47am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:59am (37, Sunday, 1 minute until flying program begins)

Route 77 also stops in Deakin Street, Bridge Avenue, Wentworth Street & Industrial Drive (Oak Flats), Wooroo Street, Karoo Street, Koona Street & Windang Street (Albion Park Rail) for local residents to travel to the air show between 9:16am & 9:26am on Saturday, arriving at Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway at 9:28am, 1 hour and 32 minutes before the flying program begins.

Airline

Link Airways is the only airline servicing Shellharbour Airport. All flights immediately before the air show are already sold out. These flights are only now ideal for people travelling from Queensland or Victoria.

Live Streaming

As like last year’s air show, the event will not be live streamed.