There's a new sight lighting up the skies over the Illawarra - if you are able, that is, to catch a glimpse of it as it screams past.
Top Gun Australia has christened its new Wollongong operations by taking its first local passengers for a whirlwind ride in its L-39 Albatros, formerly owned by the Czech Republic air force. Capable of reaching speeds of 900km/h, and pressing eight Gs of force on occupants, the jet will take passengers for joy flights out of Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park.
"You get the real military experience. Passengers are briefed, given a flight suit, and taken out over the ocean for aerobatic manoeuvres," said Brett Sutcliffe, Wollongong operations manager for Top Gun Australia.
"It is an ex-air force plane, so it's exactly what real fighter pilots are experiencing. It's not a replica, it's the real deal."
Passengers can fly for up to 30 minutes, executing barrel rolls, loops and low-level "bombing runs" along the coast. Passengers also have the opportunity to fly the plane themselves. Mr Sutcliffe said from Bass Point to Kiama takes five seconds.
"Most people never get to be in a fighter jet in their whole life, so this lets them see what it's like for real," he said.
See topgunaustralia.com for more information.