Thursday, October 13, 2016

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes Aerobatic Display Team Members Call into Gladstone Airport enroute to Townsville

After putting on a spectacular aerobatic display over the top of Maryborough Airport, followed by a popular meet-and-greet at the Maryborough Aero Club, the seven Pilatus PC-9/A's of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) elite formation aerobatic display team - The Roulettes - departed Maryborough mid-morning on Thursday 13 October heading North.

Soon after, all seven PC-9's made a spectacular landing at Gladstone Airport where they took on fuel before contuning further North to Townsville where they will be participating in the T150 Defence Force Air Display and Open Day this weekend.

Of interest, The Roulettes form part of the RAAF Central Flying School (CFS) at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria.  the seven PC-9s that are making the journey to Townsville are A23-012, A23-058, A23-059, A23-051, A23-006, A23-025 and A23-067.

As we mentioned in the post below, The Roulettes are being supported on their trip to Townsville by both Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-LHZ "Choppa 4" (which is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia) and RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-350.  Although as the photos in this post show, the King Air accompanied the PC-9s into Gladstone - of interest, it was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Beaufort 03".

After taking on fuel, six of the seven PC-9s departed in formation as "Roulettes" while the seventh - A23-067 - departed on its own using the callsign "Aladdin 67".  The Super King Air continued North to Townsville as well.

Meanwhile, it is unclear if S-76A helicopter VH-LHZ travelled to Townsville.

UPDATE!  VH-LHZ in fact returned to RAAF Base Amberley on Thursday 13 October.  It did not fly north to Townsville.  I have been told that fellow RAAF Sikorsky S-76A VH-HRP "Choppa 3" is in the North and will provide SAR support over the weekend.

Sincere thanks to 'Mick' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by 'Mick'  ©

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