Royal Australian Air Force bids farewell to the C-130H with spectacular flypasts across the Red Continent

Nov. 19 saw the Royal Australian Air Force celebrate 34 years service of the Lockheed C-130H Hercules with a 2-ship retirement flight over Sydney.

Departing RAAF Base Richmond the two aircraft, one with a special yellow sunset tail paint scheme, formed a loose formation and flew along Sydney’s southern beaches at a reported altitude of 150 metres.

Separated by 600 meters, the two Herkys then orbited the Sydney harbour area for 20 minutes before departing to the North and the town of Barrenjoey, where they headed west to the Blue Mountains before returning to base.

Image credit: Royal Australian Air Force and Commonwealth of Australia

Another flypast was conducted on Nov. 23 when a C-130H  flew over Canberra approaching Mt Ainslie from the north/north-east before flying over the Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade at 175 meters altitude. It then overflew the Parliament House at 300 meters before descending and departing via Anzac Parade and Australian War Memorial.

Another C-130H visited regional areas with a touch-and-go and overflight of the runways at Lake Cargelligo, Gilgandra, Tamworth at 4.30pm and Walcha.

The RAAF will retire the type for good on Nov. 30 and will bring down the curtain on a service record that has lasted since 1978 and has seen the type in hot spots all over the world.

The ABC Sydney website quoted former Hercules pilot Air Vice Marshall (Ret.) Greg Evans who said: “They’re being retired mainly because it’s a smart economic decision, they’re 34 years old and aircraft have a definite economic life.. but we’re living in fairly constrained economic times inside Defence at the moment.”

Richard Clements for

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