Thursday, April 28, 2016

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 3" at Mackay and Gladstone Airports

After one failed attempt, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 3" was finally noted departing Townsville on Thursday 28 April for RAAF Base Amberley, flying via Mackay and Gladstone Airports.  It had originally departed from Townsville about a fortnight ago however it returned to Townsville due to a maintenance problem.

File photo taken by Michael Fleetwood  ©

"Choppa 3" has been in Townsville during April to provide support during the RAAF's Exercise Black Dagger.  RAAF Pilatus PC-9 aircraft from Number 4 Squadron were spectacularly eight United States Navy (USN) Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-115 F/A-18E Super Hornets from Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, which staged out of Townsville during the Exercise.

File photo taken by Dave  ©

File photo taken by Dave  ©

Exercise Black Dagger is a field training exercise that has been held at RAAF Base Townsville and surrounding airspace over the past couple of weeks.  Exercise Black Dagger is the culmination of Number 55 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) course designed to produce combat-ready JTAC-qualified personnel.

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