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'Roulettes at Riverfire': RAAF aerobatic team returns

AIR SHOW: Squadron Leader Daniel Wilson (left) and Flight Lieutenant Mark Elsey will be flying the Air Force's newest aircraft, the EA-18G Growler, at this year's Riverfire.
AIR SHOW: Squadron Leader Daniel Wilson (left) and Flight Lieutenant Mark Elsey will be flying the Air Force's newest aircraft, the EA-18G Growler, at this year's Riverfire. SGT Mick Bott

TWO types of aircraft from the Amberley base will put on a spectacular display this weekend for Brisbane's Riverfire Festival. 

The Air Force's recent arrival, the EA-18G Growler Electronic Attack aircraft, will be on display for the first time at the signature Brisbane event this year.

Late on Saturday afternoon, one EA-18G Growler will fly a series of low passes along the Brisbane River down to 250 feet AGL and up to a maximum of 450 knots.

Two aircraft will then conduct a flypast to commence the fireworks later in the evening.

As part of preparations for the event, the aircrew of both flypast aircraft will conduct practice runs at 12.30pm and 1.20pm on Friday, leading up to the event.

The Air Force's formation aerobatic team, the Roulettes, will also be performing breathtaking flying displays at Riverfire for the first time in eight years.

The Roulettes use hand-eye coordination to fly at speeds of up to 590kmh and can experience up to six times the normal force of gravity during a display in their PC-9/A aircraft.

All seven members of the Air Force's Roulettes team will be involved in Riverfire, with six pilots and aircraft taking part in the aerial acrobatics display and the seventh pilot providing commentary on the ground.

The Roulettes are based at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and their last appearance at Riverfire was in 2009.

The Roulettes formation aerobatic team took to the skies over Ipswich to showcase their flying skills to the students of Ipswich State High School. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times IPS031011LETT03E
The Roulettes formation aerobatic team took to the skies over Ipswich to showcase their flying skills to the students of Ipswich State High School. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times IPS031011LETT03E David Nielsen

The workhorse of Air Force's aircraft fleet, the C-17A Globemaster, will provide a flypast before the fireworks display and up to four MRH90 helicopters from the Army Aviation Centre at Oakey will also conduct a helicopter flying display.

The MRH90 is one of the most advanced tactical troop transport helicopters of the 21st century.

All flypasts and flying displays are subject to variables including air traffic control requirements, weather, and operational availability; as such, may be subject to cancellation at short notice.

Noise management and environmental impact are vital considerations in the planning and conduct of military flying.

The Royal Australian Navy Band Queensland will entertain crowds at the South Bank Piazza in the lead up to the fireworks display.

The band's repertoire ranges from timeless jazz standards through to hits of the 70s and 80s, as well as current Top 40 hits.

An Anzac Centenary pop-up exhibition on the Battles of Polygon Woods and Beersheba will also be featured at South Bank Piazza which will include two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs) from the 2/14th Light Horse Regiment.

Topics:  growlers raaf news



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