One Air Force Cadet recently had the privilege to step up from a DG-1000S glider to a Pilatus PC-9/A.
CAPTION: CSGT Tharane Thamodarar prepares for the flight of her life (thus far) in an Adelaide-based RAAF PC-9/A, with FLTLT Moriarty from ARDU. Image supplied by CSGT Tharane Thamodarar.
Cadet Sergeant Tharane Thamodarar from No 604 Squadron (Hampstead Barracks, SA) has successfully completed two residential promotion courses.
In the most recent – the Senior NCO Course run in January this year – she was awarded a Course Commander’s Award for her performance in SNCO Course Bravo.
She has participated in a range of ground-based activities, from squadron bivouacs to Exercise ‘Green Eagle’, the AAFC’s national fieldcraft competition.
With such an all-round interest in the AAFC, it is not surprising that CSGT Thamodarar has gained both the Bronze and Gold Awards of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Her dream to fly saw her complete the skills sections of her Duke of Edinburgh’s awards, and receive an Air Force scholarship for gliding.
But during the recent July school holidays, she had the chance to fly as she had never done before – in the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) PC-9/A from RAAF Base Edinburgh.
CSGT Thamodarar had a scenic flight of Adelaide and its northern suburbs, and then flew along the coast into the training airspace north of RAAF Base Edinburgh.
The flight was intended to give her an appreciation of the speed of the aircraft and its ability to manoeuvre.
CSGT Thamodarar said it was very different flying a powered aircraft because you have that leverage of the engine for certain manoeuvres.
“The ability of the aircraft to perform acrobatics and turns is simply amazing, because of the smooth and highly responsive controls.”
Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig, Public Affairs & Communication Officer for Aviation Operations Wing said, “This flight over Adelaide was facilitated by Headquarters 6 Wing and ARDU to give an aspiring pilot an understanding of what it is like to be an aviator in the Air Force”.
The PC-9/A was designed by Pilatus Switzerland, and was built under license in Sydney by Hawker de Havilland.
It was introduced to the RAAF in 1987, with pilot training commencing in 1989.
As part of Air Force’s AIR 5428 Pilot Training System project, the PC-9/A will be replaced by the Pilatus PC-21, the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft.