The Canberra Day long weekend, now famous for its Balloon Spectacular and the Enlighten Festival but in years gone by locals would gather in large numbers for a different kind of spectacle – The Birdman Rally.

Held from 1985 to 1992, brave Canberrans would launch themselves in homemade aircrafts off a 10 metre high platform above Lake Burley Griffin.

The aim was to be able to glide at least 50 metres before hitting the water in order to collect the cash prize up for grabs.

At the height of it’s popularity, It’s estimated around 100,000 people would pack the shores of the lake to watch the rally.

Local TV station, known then as Capital 7, ran the event and later broadcast it to those watching at home.

Click here to see some of the footage from previous Birdmans

Similar events continue to be held around the world, including in Melbourne.

However, increasing costs associated with the public liability and prize insurance of the event are believed to have led to the eventual cancellation of the rally in the ACT.

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