Saturday, June 14, 2008

RAAF Base Darwin Open Day

After a couple of weeks of Darwin residents constantly hearing the deep throated sounds of fighter jets buzzing around the sky above us, it was:
Saturday 14th June 2008
10am – 2pm
RAAF Base Darwin hosted a Base Open Day to showcase the personnel and aircraft involved in Exercise Pitch Black 08 , the Air Force’s largest and most complex Air Exercise.
It was a long walk in through the side gates (appropriately perhaps opposite Bombing Road).
The long hot walk
The walk
The alternative was bumper to bumper driving!!
RAAF Darwin Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Noel Hinschen,is quoted as saying
opening up the Base gave the public a terrific opportunity to get a close look at the aircraft taking part in PB08 and a chance to talk with Australian and international ground crews and aircrews.

“It was also an opportunity for the Base to say a big thank you to the local community for their ongoing support,” Wing Commander Hinschen said.
NATO Early Warning aircraft
Royal Thai Airforce
Royal Thai Airforce
Displays included static aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, the United States Marine Corp, NATO, and the French Air Force, plus hourly displays from the RAAF Military Working Dog Team.
High view
The elderly strike reconnaissance aircraft,F111 was introduced to the RAAF in June 1973,
but its still doing good service
FII1.. still a great aircraft
There were great crowds there, with families willing to queue to get a closer look
Families enjoying the day
I had a great time snapping away at this event, chatted to a couple of pilots, one was 25 year old Peter "Topper" Tippner from the RAAF, who flies the F18 Hornet. (Costing $35,000,000 each!!)(See this article"A FLYING CAREER BEYOND MACH 1 giving his history!!)
Peter "Topper" Tipper F/A 18 Hornet pilot
and Major Tyson from Republic of Singapore Air Force also spoke with Major "Tyson" from the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
RAAF FA 18 Hornet pilot
United States Marine Corp pilots
Royal Thai Airforce pilot has a chat
French NATO crew from airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.
French pilot from NATO
United States Marine Corp fighter
Royal Thai Air Force pilot
For further information on Exercise Pitch Black 2008 visit the Exercise Pitch Black website at: