The RAAF Roulettes will perform their last thrilling aerobatic display using PC-9/A aircraft this weekend at the Australian International Air Show 2019 at Avalon.
Minister for Defence Personnel and Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said it would be a milestone moment for the aerobatics display team.
“The Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft has provided excellent service to the Australian Defence Force for the past 30 years, training thousands of aircrew from Navy, Army and Air Force,” Mr Chester said.
“This is just the second time the aircraft flown by the Roulettes has changed since the team’s first public display in 1970. For its pilots, past and present, and the team’s many fans, this weekend’s displays will be tinged with nostalgia.”
Mr Chester said the Pilatus PC-21 aircraft had replaced the PC-9/A aircraft as part of a new era in pilot training at East Sale, now the new home of all basic pilot training for the ADF.
“Pilots from across Defence services will be trained at RAAF Base East Sale using a new PC-21 aircraft, which is regarded as the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft,” Mr Chester said.
“The PC-21 aircraft and its supporting training systems will modernise RAAF aviation training and strengthen the ADF’s pilot training capability for many years to come. The new aircraft and training system means we will train more people faster and to a higher standard.
“The new aircraft with its distinctive livery will become a familiar sight in the skies above Gippsland.”
The Federal Government has provided $392 million for major upgrades at RAAF Base East Sale to create a modern and purpose-built training facility that includes flight simulators, maintenance hangar, new air traffic control tower and 100 new student accommodation units.
Up to 165 trainees are expected to come to Sale each year to undergo basic pilot training, bringing with them an expected $15 million boost to the local economy, in addition to the current Defence contribution of $12 million per year in direct wages and supplies.