Tag Archives: RAAF

Australian EA-18G Growler Jet Damaged in Incident at Nellis Air Force Base

Aircraft Photographed with Smoke from End of Runway. Crew Reported as Uninjured.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft is being reported as damaged in an incident that occurred at 10:45 AM local time on Jan. 27 at Nellis AFB, outside Las Vegas, Nevada, according to a statement issued by Nellis AFB and quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The aircraft, one of a contingent of four Australian EF-18G Growlers at Nellis AFB for the Red Flag 18-1 air combat exercise, is part of the 340-person contingent of the Royal Australian Air Force participating in this year’s first Red Flag Exercise.

Red Flag is a large-scale, highly realistic air combat exercise originating from Nellis AFB and taking place over the large air combat training ranges that surround the area.

Early reports in both Australian and U.S. media say the aircraft is from the RAAF No. 6 Squadron who are participating in Red Flag now. There are also reports that the Australian EF-18Gs are “operating alongside US Navy EA-18Gs” at Nellis as indicated in a January 2018 article on Combat Aircraft magazine’s website.

Australian journalist Elena McIntyre of Ten News Sydney reported in a tweet that an “RAAF Growler apparently experienced a critical engine failure during takeoff at Nellis AFB, before skidding off the runway. Pilot and ground crew are safe.”

According to an article in Australia’s Air Force magazine, the first RAAF EA-18G Growler instructor pilot began flying the electronic warfare aircraft in the U.S. at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in the United States in November 2013. Production of the first of 12 RAAF EA-18G Growlers began in 2015. Before that, RAAF flight crews trained on the U.S. EA-18Gs with the U.S. Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron 129, “The Vikings”, permanently stationed at NAS Whidbey Island, in Washington state.

Photos from the accident that appeared on Twitter show the aircraft sitting upright, intact, with the canopy open and the leading-edge slats and arrestor hook down. There appears to be discoloration on the left vertical stabilizer from dark smoke also seen in photos that appeared on Twitter.

RAAF photos distributed prior to the incident show the four aircraft at Nellis AFB, with one of them painted in a special color scheme with a bright blue and yellow tail and upper fuselage. Based on the photos shown on Twitter the aircraft involved in the incident appears to be one of the other three aircraft without the special color scheme.

EA-18G Growlers from Number 6 Squadron arrive at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for Exercise Red Flag 18-1. *** Local Caption *** The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed a contingent of approximately 340 personnel to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for Exercise Red Flag 18-1, taking place from 29 January to 16 February 2018.
Established in 1980 by the United States Air Force, Exercise Red Flag centres on the world’s most complex reconstruction of a modern battlespace and is recognised as one of the world’s premier air combat exercises. The exercise involves participants from the United States Navy as well as the United Kingdom.
For 2018, an AP-3C Orion, E-7A Wedgetail and a Control and Reporting Centre have been deployed on the complex, multi-nation exercise. Four EA-18G Growler aircraft from Number 6 Squadron have also been deployed for the first time on an international exercise, since being transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force in January 2017.
Training alongside allied nations is critical to the success of Air Force units on real world operations; helping develop further familiarity with foreign terminology, methods and platforms.

The RAAF received their first EA-18G Growlers in 2017. The aircraft are to be operated from the Australian RAAF Base Amberley about 50 km (31 miles) southwest of Brisbane.

So far there has been no official report about the status of the Red Flag 18-1 flight operations following the incident, even though no much disruption is expected.

Epic selfie catches moment EA-18G Growler pilot fires an AGM-88 HARM missile

Flight Lieutenant Todd ‘Woody’ Woodford, an Australian officer assigned to VAQ-135, launches an AGM-88 HARM All-Up-Round from a Growler.

The above selfie was taken by a Royal Australian Air Force pilot, FLTLT Todd Woodford, assigned to VAQ-135, a U.S. Navy Squadron that operates the EA-18G Growler, during a live fire exercise off the coast of Pt. Mugu, CA.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is an Electronic Warfare/Attack variant of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet that replaced the EA-6B Prowlers in U.S. Navy service.

Along with actively jamming enemy communications, the Growler, operating in a networked environment along with other two aircraft of the same type can use its EW pods to geo-locate a signal source and target it from stand-off distance with air-to-surface missiles.

According to the Tailhook Association, Woody, leading a division of three EA-18G aircraft during the live-fire portion of the US Navy’s graduate electronic warfare tactics course, HAVOC, became the first Aussie pilot to launch a HARM missile.

The RAAF officer is one of six Australian aircrew serving in US Navy expeditionary EA-18G squadrons as part of a bilateral Personnel Exchange Program, and is the first international partner to complete the HAVOC course. Woody will rejoin the VAQ-135 Black Ravens following HAVOC for his second deployment to the U.S. Pacific Command area in the EA-18G this fall.

In 2013, Australia committed to purchasing 12 EA-18G, 30+ ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming Pods, associated AEA equipment, and AGM-88 HARM and AARGM weapons. The integration of RAAF aircrew into US Navy operational squadrons has been on-going since the fall of 2014. Integrating, training and developing deployed experience in the EA-18G is a critical component to the Australia-US strategy for partnership in Airborne Electronic Attack.

Australia will take delivery of their first EA-18G at NAS Whidbey Island, WA in January 2017.

Photo credit: FLTLT Tood Woodford, VAQ-135. A big thank you to the Tailhook Association for allowing us to post this fantastic shot along with the caption.

All the aircraft types involved in the MH370 air search in one photo

Search by air for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 has been called off. Most (if not all) the aircraft tupes that undertook visual search from Australia, were grouped for a farewell picture.

Search for any sign of the missing MH370 flight in Southern Indian Ocean has been called off, since it is extremely unlikely that any debris will be found on the ocean’s surface little less than 2 months since the Boeing 777 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing mysteriously disappeared from radars.

52 days into the search, anything would have sunk and for this reason the authorities have decided to focus on underwater search.

But before patrol and support aircraft and crews from Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and U.S. left Perth, RAAF Pearce, and RAAF Learmonth, planes from each participating nation were grouped for one last farewell photo.

Image credit: RAAF

Enhanced by Zemanta

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 TheAviationist.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

V8 Supercar drivers experience extreme G-force dogfighting against each other in F/A-18 Hornet jets

Australian readers of The Aviationist pointed out the following interesting video, showing V8 Supercar drivers Garth Tander and Shane Van Gisbergen sitting on the backseat of F/A-18 Hornet jets of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The drivers, did not only have the opportunity to fly the multi-role combat planes, but enjoyed also the thrill of a simulated dogfight.

Tander and Van Gisbergen flew with two of Australia’s Tog Guns: Squadron Leader Jason ‘Easty’ Easthope and Flight Lieutenant Jason ‘Crossy’ Cross at the Williamtown (30km north of Newcastle) RAAF base.

“Like driving a car?”

“No..”