Unique experience for WA cadets

Flying low level in a C-130J Hercules is something few get the opportunity to experience, so a familiarisation flight over Perth was extra special for Air Force Cadets from Western Australia.

CAPTIONAustralian Air Force Cadets disembark a C-130J Hercules at RAAF Base Pearce after a familiarisation flight. Story and photos by Flying Officer Michael Thomas. 

More than 60 cadets and volunteer staff attended a camp at RAAF Base Pearce during the school holidays aimed at providing junior cadets a taste of military life and showcasing the variety of job opportunities available in the ADF through unit tours and presentations.

CAPTIONCadets from the Australian Air Force Cadets on board a C-130J Hercules.

The highlight however was the opportunity to fly in a C-130J Hercules from 37 Squadron, low-level, over the Perth northern suburbs’ beaches and city.

Cadet William Tapper said watching the ramp open in flight and sitting in the loadmaster seat was an amazing experience.

“The highlight was when the C-130 pulled a hard banking turn coming into land. As this was happening my grin slowly turned into a massive smile,” Cadet Tapper said.

CAPTION: A loadmaster looks out over Fremantle port as the C-130J Hercules flies up the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia.

“I want to join the RAAF as a fighter pilot, but that flight inspired me to work even harder and consider other roles such as transport or maritime operations.”

The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) aims to inspire and develop young people by fostering an interest in aviation and the RAAF, instilling Defence values, leadership qualities, self-reliance, and good citizenship.

CAPTIONMembers of the Australian Air Force Cadets standing in front of a C-130J Hercules at RAAF Base Pearce.


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