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LIKE bees to a honeypot, folks of Albury were drawn out of their offices and homes yesterday after hearing the thunderous noise of a pair of RAAF Hornets — but no one could guess the touching story behind the flyover.
One of the pilots was Wodonga’s Daley McLeod, 25, of RAAF’s No. 3 Squadron, who was given the green light by the RAAF to do the special flyover for his sick mother, Sheila McLeod.
His brother Sam, 28, said the flyover was a suggestion of his father Denis.
“It was my old man that pushed it — he just said ‘you’re flying this way so on the way you should stop by’,” Mr McLeod said.
His newly graduated fighter pilot brother was returning from the Centenary of Military Aviation Show at the air force’s Point Cook base to his home base near Newcastle.
Mr McLeod and his family gathered at Albury Airport yesterday to watch and thought their brother and son tipped the wing of his plane in greeting as he flew over.
“Mum was very happy, very proud,” Mr McLeod said.
The two supersonic jets each dipped to within metres of the runway as they made two loops before, on their third circuit, they thrust vertically and zoomed back to Newcastle.
The McLeod family found themselves surrounded by onlookers as, after hearing the noise from the jets that can reach speeds of more than 1900km/h, they drove to the airport to try to catch a glimpse of the aircraft.