The atmosphere on the ground was electric as onlookers cheered and clapped as the ADF put on a spectacular show at Brisbane’s Sunsuper Riverfire on September 25.
No. 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster III pilot Flight Lieutenant Dirk Taylor said he was proud to have captained the 2021 flypast over the Brisbane CBD.
“We realise the importance of the flypast and putting on a show for the community,” Flight Lieutenant Taylor said.
The Globemaster provided a unique spectacle, flying from RAAF Base Amberley over Mt Coot-tha and the NRL game being played at Suncorp Stadium, and then headed south along the river at South Bank before repositioning to fly east along the Kangaroo Point cliffs towards the Storey Bridge.
Applause for the flypast was followed by more excitement as those gathered at South Bank awaited the arrival of helicopters from the Army Aviation Training Centre, Oakey.
When the ARH Tiger and MRH90 Taipan helicopters passed, kids jumped up and down, waving enthusiastically.
Captain Lucas Holt said he was honoured to be the flight lead for the ARH Tiger section.
“This was my last flight as an Army aviator, and what better way to say goodbye than seeing the excitement of the crowd as we flew our slow-speed handling manoeuvres,” Captain Holt said.
Both flying units spent hours planning and practising for the flypast.
Flight Lieutenant Taylor said a lot of time was spent in the preparation phase to make sure the flight was safe.
“We surveyed the city and practised the flight in the simulator to make sure it was perfect on the day," he said.
Captain Holt said the preparation was necessarily a lengthy process to confirm all safety requirements could be met.
“We rehearsed all the procedures prior to conducting the activity in the actual aircraft,” he said.
“Our ADF aircraft have the ability to fly safely through the city at a low level and land in all different types of terrain.
“These skills provide assurance that we can serve the community effectively and help those in need.
"Riverfire was a great opportunity to demonstrate to the community what we can do and give back to the community that we proudly serve.”
More images can be viewed on the Defence image gallery.