It was a special treat for Adelaide when the Air Force flew a unique formation over the city. It was led by a C-130J Hercules, included a P-8A Poseidon flanked by two Pilatus PC-9/As.
Flown at a height of 1000 metres over the city, it was a great show from the ground and the air.
The flight was conducted to allow local media to get a first-hand look into the upcoming Edinburgh Air Show, which will be held at RAAF Base Edinburgh from November 9-10.
Air Commodore Sawade, the Head of Air Shows, said the flight gave a taste of what will be on display at the next month’s show.
“We got to see one of the oldest aircraft in the RAAF fleet, the PC-9, which are being retired after over 30 years’ service later this year, flying alongside one of the newest aircraft in the fleet, the P-8 Poseidon,” Air Commodore Sawade said.
“As far as I know, this was the first and probably last time this will be done.”
Flight Lieutenant Adam Francki, a South Australian local from the Aircraft Research and Development Unit based at RAAF Base Edinburgh, piloted one of the PC-9s during the formation.
“Having two PC-9s off the wings of a P-8 is something the public doesn’t get to see very often, so that is pretty special,” Flight Lieutenant Francki said.
Flight Lieutenant John Ayers, the captain of the C-130J, said it was an amazing experience.
“I am certainly proud to have flown and led the formation around Adelaide,” he said.
“Flying alongside this amazing P-8 Poseidon and the PC-9s, which is a training workhorse, has been an absolute pleasure.
“To fly separate aircraft in formation together is a very rare thing and when I got selected to do this, you should have seen the grin on my face,”
Flight Lieutenant David Burnard, a P-8A captain of Crew 3 at 11 Squadron, who calls Adelaide home, said his team were all excited to be a part of the air show.
“It’s really exciting to see a mix of big aircraft flying with small aircraft as it’s not something we do every day,” Flight Lieutenant Burnard said.
“Seeing the formation fly over my home town was pretty special, especially when you see the aircraft you trained on next to the new operational aircraft you’re now flying.”
The air show has been three years in the planning and is designed to show the Australian Defence Force’s people, technology and aviation capability to the South Australian community.
“We want to encourage the public to come out to the air show and to talk to the members of the Air Force, to talk to the pilots and the aircrews and to really understand why we are here and what we do,” Air Commodore Sawade
“The biggest crowd pleaser will be the F-35A Lightning II. This will be the first time this fifth-generation aircraft is on display to the public in Adelaide. The Roulettes are also always a crowd favourite and the air show will be the first time they perform as a complete formation in Adelaide with their new Pilatus PC-21s.”
For more information on the Air Show, including flying display details and ticketing information, visit www.airforce.gov.au/edinburghairshow2019.