Back to where a love of flying began

Royal Australian Navy pilot Lieutenant Josh Gorrie is no stranger to the Wings Over Illawarra airshow.

CAPTION: Navy pilot Lieutenant Josh Gorrie at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow. Story by Flight Lieutenant Gerard Reed. Photo by Corporal Kylie.

The local boy, from Gerringong, in NSW, has been to a few over the years but 2021 was a bit special as he flew his MRH-90 Taipan multi-role helicopter to the show, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.

Lieutenant Gorrie, from 808 Squadron at HMAS Albatross, in Nowra, was delighted to showcase the MRH-90 and his passion for flying during last month’s event.

“It really all began for me here at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow. Attending this event as a small child, seeing the displays, it was inspiring to see the aircraft and actually did inspire me to join the Royal Australian Navy after school to become a pilot,” Lieutenant Gorrie said.

The role has been a long and fulfilling journey for Lieutenant Gorrie, who has great respect for the MRH-90 Taipan and its capability for the ADF.

“The role of the MRH-90 is maritime support, so think of a big sky truck that does all the hard work, moving items, logistics, external loads, ship to ship, delivering mail,” he said.

“We can fast-rope clearance divers and boarding parties, we can do internal loading and our squadron does a lot of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.”

Joining the Navy was a straightforward decision for Lieutenant Gorrie.

“I enjoy being part of a small team on a ship who are the go-to experts in aviation, it really appeals to me,” he said.

The 2021 Wings Over Illawarra airshow was a career highlight for Lieutenant Gorrie, as he returned to the place where his love of flying began and he enjoyed meeting members of the public at the event.

“One of the big things for me is the social aspect of flying,” he said.

“I really love to see the excitement of people who are new to aviation, it keeps it novel and reminds me how lucky I am to have this job. There’s a huge range of knowledge and interest levels when you come to an airshow.

“It’s great being back. All the way through my training I was looking forward to getting back to Gerringong, to the places I’ve known so well, and it’s really nice to meet up with mates from high school and to also show my Navy mates around my home town as well.”





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