Air and ground buzz for West Sale locals after ANZAC Day

Past, present and future of the Royal Australian Air Force was on show for the Anzac weekend air show at West Sale airport during April 27-28.

CAPTIONThe Roulettes perform a complex high-precision aerial manoeuvre at the West Sale Anzac weekend Air Show. Story by Flight Lieutenant Greg Hinks. Photos by Flying Officer Neive Vinall.

From exciting displays in the air to entertainment on the ground by a detachment from the Air Force Band Sydney and a continuous line up of people wanting to experience flight in the Defence Force Recruiting simulators, the biennial event attracted more than 10,000 people.

Squadron Leader Sam Da Graca Costa, Executive Officer of No 100 Squadron, enjoyed showing off one of the Royal Australian Air Force’s historic trainers with a thrilling aerobatic display of a CAC Winjeel.

“We flew the Winjeel twice each day, with an aerobatics flight and then a formation flight teaming up with a couple of privately owned trainers, which added a richness to the display,” Squadron Leader Da Graca Costa said.

“The Winjeel has a real character to it and even listening to the vibrations coming from the engine is a skill and an art required to properly operate the aircraft.

“The highlight of the day was the weather – and seeing the crowd enjoying the display.

“There was a young man smiling who gave me a thumbs up as I taxied in after the display and that was really special.”

CAPTIONPast present and future pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force: Executive Officer 100 Squadron, Squadron Leader Samuel Da Graca Costa (left), Roulette 2, Flight Lieutenant James Dutschke (centre) and trainee pilot, Pilot Officer Gregory Weber. Photo by Corporal Brett Sherriff.

It was a hometown event for Roulette 3 Flight Lieutenant Steven Heriban who recounted how he joined the Royal Australian Air Force after seeing similar aerobatics displays as a teenager.

“I grew up in Gippsland and my earliest memories of Royal Australian Air Force flying was going to the East Sale air show years ago, and now it’s nice to be able to give back to the local community,” Flight Lieutenant Heriban said.

“It inspired me to be an air-force pilot and I’d like to inspire future generations.

“Flying with the Roulettes is a highly rewarding job in the Royal Australian Air Force – a real career highlight for me.”

Student pilots from the No 1 Flight Training School based at RAAF Base East Sale, joined Defence Force Recruiting with air force simulators and were excited to be part of the ground displays, showing the Pilatus PC-21 trainer and sharing their experiences in the service.

Another special moment during the air show was when former sergeant Hugh Davies joined the Air Force Band on stage for a photo.

Mr Davies was a member of the RAAF Central Band from 1975 to 1981, with band members humbled to hear stories of his time as a Royal Australian Air Force musician.


CAPTIONCurrent members of the Air Force Band meet with a former member of the RAAF Central Band, former sergeant Hugh Davies. 


The above report originally contained zero references to “Royal Australian” or RAAF  – an ‘error’ corrected by CONTACT. See here why we think this matters.







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