Special flying formations are planned over 14-15 September to help celebrate the graduation of the Royal Australian Air Force’s and Royal Australian Navy’s newest pilots.
FILE PHOTO: A 26-aircraft thunderbird formation during a pilot-course graduation. Photographer unknown.
The graduating pilots are part of course 248 of Number 2 Flying Training School’s (2FTS) Advanced Pilot Course, conducted at RAAF Base Pearce.
As part of the celebrations, two special formations involving Air Force PC-9s will take to the skies over Perth this week in formations known as ‘Thunderbird’ and ‘Diamond 9’.
The Thunderbird formation involves at least 16 aircraft flying in a formation that resembles a large aircraft.
Thursday’s Thunderbird formation, at approximately 3pm, will be performed as a salute to the RAAF and RAN trainees graduating as military aviators.
On Thursday there will also be a standard low-level Hawk 127 lead-in fighter jet aerobatic display at approximately 4pm by one Hawk.
On Friday, when the trainees graduate, a number of their flying instructors will take to the skies as part of a Diamond 9 formation to honour their graduating trainees.
The special formation involves nine aircraft flying in a diamond shape and will take place on Friday from approximately 11am, above the graduating pilots and their families attending the parade at RAAF Base Pearce.
In addition to the PC-9 display, there will also be two low-level passes from west to east over the RAAF Base Pearce parade ground by four Hawk 127s, at approximately 11am.
In addition to these spectacular formations, a solo PC-9 will conduct a low-level aerobatics display on both Thursday and Friday above RAAF Base Pearce.
Formation flying, is an important training activity for the trainees as formation flying experience is a critical component of their development as military pilots.