Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

All posts by Motty

Life’s a Beech Adventure.

The beautiful silver twin seemed to hang motionless in the air as the day’s last light danced across its graceful, classic lines.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3332 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3647 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2785 -ASO

One of the newest additions (or returns?) to Australian skies is the lovely Beech 18 VH-BHS “Miss Maple” of Chris and Haley Tibbetts from Beech Adventures, based at Maitland, just west of Newcastle NSW.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4466-DTLR-1-1-001-ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3763 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3282 -ASO

Built originally in 1952 as a Beech D18S-3TM Expeditor for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the aircraft served for around 20 years before being sold off as surplus and bought by Hamilton Aircraft.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 1955 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3810 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4829 -ASO

While Beechcraft also built civilian versions of the ’18, the surplus ex-military airframes were a popular (and cheaper) choice for many as short-haul airliners, cargo carrying or business and private machines, and Hamilton applied a wide range of modifications to the airframes it bought to increase the performance and capacity of these very versatile aircraft.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2814 -ASO

 Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2923 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3414 -ASO

Some of the modifications which Hamilton applied to this airframe include extended wing tips, Cargo and air-stair doors, pilot’s escape hatch, two-piece windscreen, stacked exhausts & baffled cowls, an extra fuel tank in a slightly extended nose, a taller tailwheel and an increase to the angle-of-incidence of the tailplane. The performance benefits of these modifications meant an increase in maximum takeoff weight from 9,300Lbs to 10,100 and an increase of 20Kts in cruise speed.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2723-DTLR-1-1-001-ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2808 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2752 -ASO

A side-effect of these increases in cargo capacity and performance was that the type became popular with gun and drug-runners in the US and South America, and it was while being used in this capacity in the 1980s that Miss Maple was seized and impounded by US authorities before eventually being auctioned off.  Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3978 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4064 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4431 -ASO

The aircraft passed through a couple of owners in the US before being flown to Australia by Alan Miles and, still with its American Registration, used for tours with Australian Outback Safaris, and even the odd bit of film work in Queensland.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3818 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3312 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4776 -ASO

Current owners, Chris and Haley, then purchased the aircraft and, with a great deal of very much appreciated help from Luskintyre Aircraft Restoration, Paul Bennet Airshows and Hunter Aerospace, among others, have spent the past two years lovingly restoring her  to her former glory with a beautifully appointed interior and the classic “speedbird, silver finish with red and white trim. The name “Miss Maple” was chosen as a tribute to the aircraft’s origins with the RCAF.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3726 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3927 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3366 -ASO

Chris and Haley’s aim is to take Miss Maple to Australian airshows and display the beautiful lines of this classic aircraft for the crowds. They also hope to offer the public a chance to take an adventure flight with a difference. One of the limitations of many adventure flight offered by numerous operators around Australia is that only one person is able to go up at a time and the experience can’t be shared with others (simply due to the very nature of the aerobatic aircraft which are often used). What Beech Adventures can offer is the chance for the whole family to go together, in leather appointed comfort, for scenic flights around the Newcastle Coastline and beautiful Hunter Valley, or the local areas around the various airshows they attend, in an aviation classic. The large cargo door can also be removed for flight and the seats removed as well, making for a large cabin space which could also be used for parachute jump flights if required.Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2823 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2767 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 2756 -ASO

So keep an eye out for the beautiful “Miss Maple” at your next airshow and make sure to stop by and say G’day.

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4314 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 4103 -ASO

Mottys Beech Adventures Beech-18 VH-BHS 3935 -ASO

My sincere thanks to Chris and Haley Tibbetts of Beech Adventures and Paul Bennet and Glenn Graham from Paul Bennet Airshows for the opportunity to capture this classic in such beautiful light too.

Motty.

Click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

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BAE Systems’ upgraded Hawks take to the sky

The Initial Operating Capability for the Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program (LIFCAP) was recognised at a ceremony at RAAF Base Williamtown today.Mottys-BAE-SYSTEMS-Hawk-LIFCAP-Milestone-76SQN-Williamtown-A27-16-0058-001-ASO

The Royal Australian Air Force’s pilots of the future are now flying the latest, digital standard of Hawk advanced jet trainer having accepted the first upgraded aircraft from BAE Systems. The first cohort from 79 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce has commenced training, taking advantage of enhanced training capabilities which make the RAAF’s fleet amongst the most advanced in the world.Mottys-BAE-SYSTEMS-Hawk-LIFCAP-Milestone-76SQN-Williamtown-A27-16-0012-001-ASO

Each upgraded Hawk provides new training capabilities including simulated radar, electronic warfare, digital mapping, ground proximity warning system and traffic collision avoidance. The upgrade also includes the replacement of two legacy synthetic training devices with three full mission simulators provided by CAE. The upgrade of the Australian Hawk fleet is delivering an enhanced training capability to prepare pilots for life in the cockpit of fast jet aircraft including F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and, when introduced into service in late 2018, the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.

RAAF Hawk returning for it's fast pass over the crowd and base.
A LIFCAP Hawk in action as part of the 2017 Dawn Strike.

BAE Systems’ engineering teams in Australia and the UK, together with CAE and Cubic Defense Applications Inc, have worked closely with the Commonwealth to deliver this enhanced capability. A joint team of BAE Systems and RAAF technicians has already completed the upgrade of 12 of the 33 fleet of aircraft. Once modified, all 33 aircraft will be almost identical to the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) of the UK’s Royal Air Force.

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L-R, Wg CDR Carlos Almenara (A/OC 78WG), Gp Cpt David Langlois (OC TFSPO) and Mr Steve Sheard (Head of Engineering & Product Development, BAE UK) mark the achievement of this significant milestone for the BAE Hawk 127.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Glynn Phillips said: “The upgraded BAE Systems Hawk aircraft provides the RAAF with a leading edge capability and, coupled with the CAE full mission simulators, delivers a highly impressive Lead-In Fighter Training System (LIFTS) that will ensure Hawk retains its effectiveness into the next decade and beyond.

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A27-16, one of the upgraded jets, on show at the ceremony.

“The upgrade brings the RAAF Hawk up to the same platform capability as the most modern Hawk aircraft around the globe; allowing for future shared development and potentially shared cost, across multiple users.”

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Some of the key members of the LIFCAP program, L-R, Gp Capt Robert Denny (Acting/CDR ACG), Gp Capt Langlois, Mr Steve Sheard, Mr Steve Drury (Head of Aerospace, BAE Australia), AIR CDRE Greg Hoffman (DG ACS), Mr Steve Underwood (BAE Australia), Wg CDR Carlos Almenara, Mr Matt Hall (TFSPO)

Acting Commander Air Combat Group, Group Captain Robert Denney said: “The Initial Operating Capability for the Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program (LIFCAP) represented an important milestone in developing Air Combat capability and was essential for providing the quality and quantity of pilots and air combat officers for the Air Force.

AWIC17 A27-16 Hawk (1 of 1)
A27-16 returning from the Dawn Strike last week.

“The LIFCAP introduces a major avionics upgrade to the Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter, three advanced full mission simulators and operational support systems which will ensure that the Lead-In Fighter Training System (LIFTS) is capable of producing sufficient, suitably trained aircrew to operate F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. A mid-life upgrade to the Hawk was necessary to ensure its continued viability, to decrease risk to operational conversion output and to provide the LIFTS with adaptability to support the training requirements associated with the new platforms.”

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A27-27 was one of the development airframes for the LIFCAP program. Seen here during a flight past Tomaree Headland in 2015 

The upgrade of the aircraft has included full ground testing and developmental flight clearance by a joint RAAF/BAE Systems team beginning in 2014 at BAE Systems Australia at its Fast Jet facility at Williamtown, NSW and the fleet upgrade will be completed by early 2019.Mottys-Tomaree-LIFCAP-HawkK-008

Our thanks to the Royal Australian Air Force and BAE Systems for allowing us to cover this event.

 

 

 

 

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Dawn Strike 2017 – Hornets Return to Their Nest

The cold morning air was torn apart as wave after wave of aircraft roared low over the airfield in full afterburner before breaking off to land in a seemingly never ending stream.

Taxing out for the mass launch.
Taxing out for the mass launch.
Time to get into the fight.
Time to get into the fight.

After about an hour the first waves of jets started to return back to base

Coming in nice and low !
Coming in nice and low !

AWIC17 Dawn Strike

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Last Friday morning (June 30th, 2017) a large crowd braved the cold, both on and off the base, for Dawn Strike, the culmination of the Air Warfare Instructors Course (AWIC) 2017.

The crowd is getting bigger every year.
The crowd is getting bigger every year.
The "Ecto" popped a few times.
The “Ecto” popped a few times.

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AWIC17 Dawn Strike

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AWIC17 Dawn Strike

Previously known as the Fighter Combat Instructor’s course (FCI) conducted by 2 OCU, which saw the best of the best fighter pilots trained to become the leaders and teachers of the RAAF’s air combat capability; as the Air Force’s roles and technologies have expanded to encompass a wider range of air combat elements in recent times, so has the need to integrate these aspects into an overall and cohesive doctrine of battle-space management.

AWIC17 Dawn Strike

F/A-18F Super Hornet pops some "Ecto"
F/A-18F Super Hornet pops some “Ecto”
AWIC17 Dawn Strike
AWIC17 Dawn Strike

Jet's everywhere.

This growth means that there is now the need to include a wider range of ADF capabilities such as electronic countermeasures, airspace control, communications, information transfer and control and much more, which has led to the establishment of the Air Warfare Center  and the former FCI course develop into the new AWIC course, the purpose of which is “to graduate expert leaders and instructors capable of tactics development, validation and instruction” in the multi-faceted fields of modern air combat.

 

AWIC17 Dawn Strike
AWIC17 Dawn Strike

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AWIC17 Dawn Strike
AWIC17 Dawn Strike

The six month long course has been conducted in conjunction with the “Diamond” series of exercises, such as Diamond Shield back in March which saw the F-16s of the 18th Aggressor Squadron, Alaska, deploy to Williamtown for a few weeks (see that article HERE) and has culminated with the large Diamond Storm exercise held across Australia’s north in recent weeks.  In this final phase of the course, aircraft from 2 OCU, 1, 2, 3, 37, 75, 76 and 77  squadrons took part in a mock-attack towards Williamtown with various elements tasked as either offensive or counter-offensive forces. At the conclusion of the battle (as was the tradition during the former FCI course), all the participating aircraft recover to Williamtown in a series of low level, high speed approaches at the crack of dawn. And that’s what the spotters were there to see. Speaking with one of the pilots about how he would describe the battle out at sea, he went on to say “Think of Knights on horseback charging each other, swords drawn for battle. Clashing in the middle to determine the Victor.”

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A21-16 2OCU 75th Anniversary Tail
A21-16 2OCU 75th Anniversary Tail

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Around 20 classic Hornets and two Hawks launched from RAAF Williamtown at 6am while another 20-or-so Classic and Super Hornets departed from RAAF Amberley. Also on hand was an E-7 Wedgetail from 2 Squadron to provide battlefield command & control and a C-130J from 37 Squadron.

C-130J-30 Hercules on the run in.

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RAAF E-7 Wedgetail about to land.
RAAF E-7 Wedgetail about to land.

As word of this event has grown over recent years, it has become a major highlight of the Australian “Spotters” calendar, with people travelling from all around the country to witness the spectacle. The viewing areas in front of the base were full to the brim with spectators, enthusiast and casual alike and, after the previous few times occurring under gray and dreary conditions, this year they were treated to a fantastic (although freezing) clear winter’s dawn.

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A21-8 75SQN F/A-18A Hornet
A21-8 75SQN F/A-18A Hornet
A21-16 2OCU 75th Anniversary Tail
A21-16 2OCU 75th Anniversary Tail

ASO was able to cover the event from several vantage points; the viewing areas in front of the base (which is a great spot to capture all of the aircraft as they make their final approaches), mid-field at Air Movements and from the control tower. As the first tiny specs appeared over the coast, to the east, it was on! A fantastic assault of the senses as the aircraft tore across the field in full ‘burner with the occasional puff of “ecto” as they squeezed the moisture out of the air before pitching up to join the circuit downwind. Wave after wave streaking in while an almost constant stream of jets turned onto finals to land over the viewing areas, all in the most fantastic early morning light. And it’s not often that you get to see a Wedgetail do a low initial-and-pitch, or a C-130 pulling “ecto” as it pitches into the circuit either.Mottys-RAAF-Williamtown-Dawn-Strike-2017-0698-ASO

RAAF Hawk returning for it's fast pass over the crowd and base.
RAAF Hawk returning for it’s fast pass over the crowd and base.
RAAF C-130J-30 Hercules even popped a little "ecto".
RAAF C-130J-30 Hercules even popped a little “ecto”.

While a fantastic chance for those of us on the ground to get a rare glimpse of the RAAF in action, this was really about the people involved and the culmination of several months of the most intense study and stress that they have probably ever experienced, in order to become the future of Australia’s air combat capability. Our sincere congratulations to all of the Graduates of the inaugural Air Combat Instructor’s Course and our thanks to the Royal Australian Air Force for allowing us to cover it for you.Mottys-RAAF-Williamtown-Dawn-Strike-2017-0989-ASO

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RAAF E-7 Wedgetail landing last.
RAAF E-7 Wedgetail landing last.

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A short video of the action from the Control Tower-

If you are in school and are thinking about a career in the Royal Australian Air Force then for more information click here- http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/airforce/

Dream, Believe & Achieve.

ASO would like to thank the Royal Australian Air Force, 2OCU, The Air Warfare Center 88SQN,SQNLDR Bruce Chalmers for the support and access to cover AWIC17.

Click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

 

 

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Winter Solstice at Luskintyre

Last weekend saw the close-knit community at Luskintyre, a small grass airfield west of Newcastle NSW mark the Winter Solstice with a good, old-fashioned bonfire night.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-6736-ASO

After a few weeks of dodgy weather, we were finally treated to a spectacular, clear winter’s afternoon which was all the encouragement many needed to commit aviation, with a steady stream of aircraft taking advantage of the beautiful weather throughout the afternoon.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-Yak-52-VH-VMI-0295-ASO

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Naturally, Tigermoths were well represented.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-Tigermoth-VH-BGR-0102-ASO

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Paul Bennet and the team stopped by with their Wolf Pitts, Rebel 300 and Wirraway and treated us to some brilliant flying and the beautiful afternoon provided some great light.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-PBA-Formation-0460-ASO

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Balloons Aloft also brought along a couple of their craft to provide rides for kids (both young and old) as the light faded and temperatures dropped. This also made for quite a spectacular light show if, like me, you haven’t had the chance to see a balloon flown at night.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-Balloons-Aloft-5863-ASO

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And, after my first real attempts at night photography at Illawarra recently (and thanks to the lessons from Mark Jessop and Leigh Atkinson) I took the chance to try some night shots as well.Mottys-Luskintyre-Bonfire-Night-2017-6133-ASO

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Thanks to everyone involved for another great afternoon and evening at this wonderful little rural airfield.

Motty.

Click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

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Dawn Strike, Heads-Up

 

F/A-18A A21-26 2OCU 70th Anniversary tail

Up to 35 aircraft will conduct a ‘dawn strike’ on Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown on Friday 30 June between approximately 7am to 7.30am as the Air Force’s newest air warfare combat instructors return home from Exercise Diamond Storm in the Northern Territory.Mottys RAAF FA-18 Williamtown FCI 2015 1004

Local residents are advised more than 30 x F/A-18A Hornets, two Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter aircraft will return to base flying in formations of up to four fighter jet aircraft, accompanied by  two C-130J Hercules transport aircraft and an E-7A Wedgetail.F/A-18A Hornet High speed turn

Mottys Williamtown Centenary 3 Family Day Hawk 0050 A27-12-ASO

Mottys Williamtown Centenary 2 Parade Day Parade 0090-ASO

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Heads-Up; Display practice over Tea Gardens and Myall Lakes National Park

What:             Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter jet to conduct display practice

 When:             Wednesday 14 – Thursday 15 June 2017

 Where:           Vicinity of Tea Gardens and Myall Lakes National Park and RAAF Base WilliamtownMottys-Photo_2016_06_24_0029-DTLR-1-001-ASO

Three Royal Australian Air Force Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter aircraft from Number 76 Squadron, will conduct two practice flying displays on 14 and 15 June in preparation for graduation celebrations of Australia’s newest fighter pilots on Friday 16 June at RAAF Base Williamtown.Mottys-Photo_2016_06_24_0152-DTLR-1-0010ASO

On Wednesday, 14 June at 3 pm, a practice flying display will be conducted in the designated practice area in the Tea Gardens and Myall Lakes National Park.mach loop-9

A second practice will be overhead RAAF Base Williamtown on Thursday 15 June at approximately 1:45 pm.Wanaka Friday-1-3

Note: The display over Williamtown on Friday 16 June for graduation celebrations will consist of a formation of three aircraft which will conduct formation flypasts.  Then a single aircraft will break off to conduct a low level aerobatics display. A second formation of up to seven aircraft will conduct a flypast following the three ship display.Mottys-Photo_2016_06_24_0309-DTLR-1-001-ASO

 

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Show report: Hunter Valley Airshow 2017

Warbirds, Jets, aerobatics, frontline military hardware, models, glider, paragliders, rag-and-tube and a balloon; it had it all.

The second Hunter Valley Airshow was held at Maitland Airport (also known as Rutherford), a small local airfield just a half-hour’s drive west of Newcastle, over the 28th & 29th of January and, just like the first one, held in 2015 (see that article HERE), it was great mix of aircraft and displays for enthusiasts and families.Mottys-HVA-2017-L39-VH-IOT-020-4841-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Hunter Valley Airshow-18

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The excitement started to build on the Friday afternoon before the show as Paul Bennet and the team ran through some final practices for their displays and some of the visiting aircraft began arriving, particularly Graham Hosking’s amazing F4U-5 Corsair, flown by Peter Clements, and Judy Pay’s beautiful CAC Mustang with  Bernie Heuser at the controls. The chance to see the Corsair parked next to Paul Bennet’s Avenger was a real sight to behold. To think that both of these large aircraft used to operate from aircraft carriers.Mottys-HVA-2017-Sky-Aces-060-_3763-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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ASO’s Motty was allowed the incredible opportunity to catch these two impressive machines in the air as well, as they took some time to familiarise themselves with the layout of the area and went through a practice of their displays (see that gallery HERE). Sadly, the Corsair suffered a landing accident before the show on Saturday and was unable to take part in the rest of the weekend’s flying. Most importantly though, the pilot was ok and, hopefully, the aircraft can be repaired and back in the air before too long.Mottys-HVA-2017A2A-Mustang-VH-JUC-&-Corsair-VH-III-015-1777-DTLR-1-001-ASO-Header

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The forecast for the weekend was for soaring temperatures and Saturday dawned warm with low cloud and fog, which soon cleared to a bright, hot and sunny day. Sunscreen, hats and plenty of water would be the theme for the weekend.Mottys-HVA-2017-PBA-Lineup-015-9999_290-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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The flying displays each day began with a “missing man” tribute by the Paul Bennet Airshows team. Saturday’s tribute was to Gerard Beiboer and Sunday’s was for Peter Lynch. Gerard was a good friend to many at Maitland and played a major part in the organisation and operation of the 2015 event, but he passed away when his Pitts Model12 crashed just a few weeks after that show. Peter Lynch was a well-known member of Australia’s aviation community and a great supporter of many events and causes, particularly the Evans Head airport and their Great Eastern Fly-In shows. Peter had passed away just a few days before this show when his Grumman Mallard crashed into the Swan River in Perth on Australia Day.Mottys-HVA-2017-Missing-Man--0110-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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This was followed by a a flag drop where a parachutist descended trailing a large Australian flag while Paul Bennet circled in his bright yellow Wolf Pitts Pro.Mottys-HVA-2017-Flag-Drop--0278-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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David Wainwright and Scott Duncan displayed the performance and agility of their powered chutes and Craig Baverey, Levi Wagner and Jeff Sparks put on a show with their incredible, large scale RC models. It takes a second look to tell some of these models from the real thing in photos and the skilful flying by the pilots added to the effect as well.Mottys-HVA-2017-Powered-Chutes-005-0646-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Craig Gunther displayed the Breezy from nearby Luskintyre, possibly one of the most unusual machines you are likely to see. Literally a basic tubular frame upon which the pilot (and a brave passenger at times) sit, very exposed at the front, and the wing from a Piper Cub on top. Open cockpit flying at its best.Hunter Valley Airshow

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Nigel Arnot then put on a display in his Fox glider. Now, on the face of it, you would probably assume that a glider display might be one of the less impressive routines for an airshow, but neither Nigel nor his craft are what you would call “average”. Rolls, loops, hammerhead stalls and low level aerobatics are definitely not what you expect when you hear the term “glider”, but Nigel masterfully guided his machine through what must surely rate as an amazing example of very skilled energy management.Mottys-HVA-2017-Glider-PT-020-1609-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Aerohunter’s Yak-52 was put through a very crisp routine at the hands of Glenn Graham, the bright yellow machine, trailing its plume of smoke, making for a striking image against the clear blue sky. At one point, Glenn even managed a wave to the crowd while inverted!Mottys-HVA-2017-Yak52-VH-MHH-140-2374-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Paul Bennet took his T-28B Trojan up for an impressive display of loops, rolls and low level passes, and that sound!Hunter Valley Airshow-3

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Jeff Blunt displayed the unique capabilities of his gyrocopter before Paul Bennet’s CAC Wirrway was gracefully displayed by Ben Lappin.Mottys-HVA-2017-Other-Types-070-3761-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Not all the attractions were in the sky either, with plenty to see and do on the ground. The RAAF Balloon offered tethered flights all weekend and RAAF recruiting had a Super Hornet simulator available for future pilots to test their skills. There were Helicopter joy flights and several static aircraft to view including a demonstrator from Cirrus Aircraft and Luskintyre Aircraft Restorations had several of their latest classic rebuilds on show, including Tiger, Gipsy and Fox Moths, along with a pair young ladies dressed in WWII period attire to help set the scene. Beech adventures also had their new  Beech 18 on display which is hoped to be back in the air soon. There was a great display of historic military vehicles and the FMX Stunt team amazed the crowds with jumps, backflips and more all weekend.Hunter Valley Airshow-21

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Something a little different was a combined display by Nigel Arnot in the Pitts M12, Adrian Vandersluy in the Lancair and Glenn Graham in the Rebel 300 where the three of them alternated their displays. First Nigel performed a solo routine in the Pitts before Adrian made some passes in the Lancair which was followed by Glenn doing his own routine in the Rebel, then the Lancair again, the Pitts and so-on, back and forth a few times, which made for a varied and entertaining display.Hunter Valley Airshow-5
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The pace picked up a notch or two as Mark Pracy appeared in Jetride Australia’s L-39 to put on another smooth display of this popular jet warbird.Hunter Valley Airshow-7

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Not slowing the pace any was one of aviation’s icons, Judy Pay and Dick Hourigan’s beautifully restored CAC Mustang, painted in the colours of a 3 Sqn P-51 in Italy during WWII. Flown by Bernie Heuser and Peter Clements over the weekend, it’s always a joy to see this classic machine perform in its element and then of course, there’s also that unmistakable sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin just to top it off.Hunter Valley Airshow-27

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The crowds were then treated to Paul Bennet’s incredible solo routine in his Wolf Pitts Pro. One of only two in the world, the Wolf is a unique and very powerful version of the diminutive Pitts Special which has been designed for speed and maneuverability, both of which Paul exploits to the fullest in his display.Hunter Valley Airshow-11

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On the Sunday afternoon, visitors were treated to the added spectacle of FMX rider Joel Brown performing a back-flip jump over the top of Paul in his Wolf Pitts.Mottys-HVA-2017-Wolf-Pitts-VH-PVB-145-_6732-DTLR-1-001-ASO

The RAAF was next on scene with several passes by a C-130J from 37 Squadron at Richmond, followed by the noise and spectacle of a solo Hawk display by Flt Lt Tim Twelvetrees from 76 Squadron at nearby Williamtown.Hunter Valley Airshow-14

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Paul Bennet was up again, displaying the surprising maneuverability and throaty rumble of the large Grumman Avenger, including a few bombing runs accompanied by some pyrotechnics, before another highlight of the show for many with Ross Pay performing only the second public display of Vintage Fighter Restoration’s beautiful Hawker Hurricane at an airshow since its restoration the previous year (you can see its premier appearance at the Flight of the Hurricane show HERE).Hunter Valley Airshow-19

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Ross’ solo routine led into a formation display with the Hurricane leading the Avenger, Trojan and Mustang for several passes, and the sound of the two merlins in company with the big radials was just awesome!Mottys-HVA-2017-Hurricane-VH-JFW-025-_7382-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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After the formation passes in Saturday’s show, the Mustang broke away for another, energetic solo display with an emphasis on simulated ground attack passes.Mottys-HVA-2017-Mustang-VH-JUC-070-4973-DTLR-1-001-ASO

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Paul Bennet, Glenn Graham and Ben Lappin displayed their low level aerobatic formation skills in three different versions of brightly coloured Pitts Specials as the Sky Aces team with loops, rolls, opposing passes and more.Hunter Valley Airshow-63

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The RAAF was on hand once more with another crowd favourite, the Roulettes display team in their red, white and blue PC-9s and, on the Sunday afternoon with large storm clouds looming on the western horizon after a long, hot day, the always impressive Roulettes made for a fitting finale to what had been a great weekend of aviation.Hunter Valley Airshow-48

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Although the Hunter Valley Airshow is only relatively new to the Australian airshow calendar, the very impressive displays which they have put on so far have us eagerly looking forward what the team might come up with next. Our sincere thanks to the team for the chance to cover this great show.

Click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

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ANZAC Day 2017 Flypasts

2OCU Traylz solo practice display. A21-102.

Follow the link below for a very informative map of what, when and where to catch the many ANZAC Day fly-overs by the Royal Australian Air Force.

RAAF ANZAC Flypasts

RAAF ANZAC Day Flypasts UPDATE | The location markers on the Anzac Day 2017 Flypast Google map are not displaying correctly on some phones.

If you are experiencing problems opening the markers in Facebook please access the menu at the bottom right of your phone screen and open the link using your web browser.Wings Over Illawarra 2016 RAAF Roulettes-109

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IN ADDITION;

Paul Bennet will be over Stockton in his Trojan at 9:00Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 3294 T-28 Trojan VH-FNO-001-ASO

Ross Pay will be over Scone at 11:00 in his MustangCAC CA-18 MK21 Mustang A68-107

The Russian Roolettes will be over Mittagong at around 11:10

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Heritage Trainers in Victoria, comprising 3 CT4’s and 4 Winjeels,  Flypasts of Melton ANZAC Day parade at 10:15 then 10:45 for the Shrine of Remembrance. They will also be conducting the RAAF Museum Interactive Flying Display Point Cook at 1PM.

The aircraft and their respective pilots are as follows:
1. CT4 / Coy
2. CT4 / Wallace
3. CT4 / Herne
4. Winjeel / Fox
5. Winjeel / Grigg
6. Winjeel / Craven
7. Winjeel / Henderson

Kyneton Airshow 2017 7 (1 of 1)

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Kyneton Air Show – 23rd April 2017

KAC-AIRSHOW-Hi RES 2017 v1.22017 Kyneton Air Show –‘Spread Your Wings’

April 2017 will see the Kyneton Aero Club host a local event, specifically a community air show on Sunday the 23rd of April.

Supported by the Rotary Club of Kyneton, the Rotary Club of Woodend and Macedon Ranges Shire Council this promises to be a great day out for the family.

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Tickets can be purchased online via PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Ticket prices are:
Adults: $25
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children under 16): $60
Student (Children between ages 5 and 16): $10
Senior/Pensioner/Concession: $20
Children under 5: Free

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 Gates open to the public at 8:30AM with flying displays commencing from 10:30AM. Flying displays will include vintage and rare aircraft and a visit by the RAAF Roulettes. There will also be entertainment for children, a vintage car display and lots of vendors with great food.Wings Over Illawarra 2016 RAAF Roulettes-108

The theme for this air show is ‘Spread Your Wings’ and there will be information on site about careers in aviation. This is a significant event for the Kyneton Aero Club the Macedon Ranges and for the history of aviation in Australia.  People from all over Australia will be visiting the Macedon Ranges and joining with the locals for this fun day of family entertainment and celebration.Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 1385 Paul Bennet Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB-001-ASO

If you would like more information about this topic, visit their web site HERE or please contact (David or Gaeleen) at 0407681474 / 0411408252 or email us at info@kynetonaeroclub.org

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Aggressors Downunder.

If, like me, you’re a fan of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and cool colour schemes, then the recent couple of weeks at RAAF base Williamtown, just north of Newcastle, have been a spotter’s heaven with the deployment of a baker’s dozen machines from the US Air Force’s 18th Aggressor squadron from Eielson in Alaska, taking part in exercise Diamond Shield.17841940_10155138311098582_1586506325_n

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Diamond Shield was a part of the Air Warfare Instructor’s Course which is currently being conducted at Williamtown and the role of the 18th Aggressor Squadron and their F-16s was to simulate the tactics, performance and electronic signatures of possible opposition aircraft against “allied forces”.AWIC F-16-1

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From a spotter’s perspective, the chance to see the impressive and nimble F-16s in the distinctive colour schemes worn by the Aggressor units has been a welcome opportunity, with the observation deck at the Fighterworld Museum and the viewing spots on the roadside at the end of Williamtown’s runway seeing a constant stream of enthusiasts waiting to get a good look at the visitors.Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-298_2017_03_20_1221-ASO

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While we will be doing a full wrap-up at the end of the Air Warfare Instructor’s Course, these guys have just been too cool not to share by themselves.AWIC F-16-4

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Below is a selection of images of each aircraft from this deployment.

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AWIC F-16-13

 

87-0366Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-366_2017_03_16_2124-ASO

AWIC F-16-11

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-366_2017_03_13_1321-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-366_2017_03_28_1677-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-366_2017_03_28_0243-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-366_2017_03_20_0924-ASO

 

87-0375Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_20_1049-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_20_2484-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_22_1925-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_29_1446-ASO

 

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_20_1040-ASO

Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-375_2017_03_22_1907-ASO

Our thanks to the 18th Aggressor Squadron and the Royal Australian Air Force for the chance to get a closer look at these awesome aircraft. We hope you enjoyed your time in Australia.Mottys-Diamond-Shield-Aggressor-F16-Fligh-tLine_2017_03_24_0152-ASO

AWIC F-16-3

 

 

Motty.

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