Flying Operations

This website provides general information about significant aircraft movements, flypasts, exercises and training activities.

This website does not provide information on single aircraft movements; or general information about routine flying activities.

For routine flying information refer to

Air Force Globemaster comes to Summer Skyshow

What:    Flypast by Air Force C-17A Globemaster III

When:    Saturday, 21 January 2017. The flypast is scheduled for 3pm.

Where:    Maroochydore, Queensland.

A flypast by a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft will form one of the highlights for the Hot 91.1 FM Skyshow in Maroochydore on Saturday, January 21.

Approaching from the north, the C-17A will fly along the coast at an altitude of 150 metres. The aircraft will turn inland and fly over Maroochydore, climbing to 300 metres and departing to the north.

The flypast is scheduled for 3pm, however timings may vary due to local air traffic control and weather conditions. This activity is also subject to variables such as aircraft availability and operational requirements.

Air Force operates a fleet of eight C-17A Globemaster IIIs from RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, using them for strategic airlift of large cargo over long distance. The aircraft can also airdrop cargo and paratroops, or land on semi-prepared runways.

With an empty weight of 128 tonnes, the C-17A has a wingspan of 52 metres and a length of 53 metres, and is powered through the air by four turbofan engines.
The cavernous cargo bay can accommodate two semitrailers side by side, or 12 family sedans. In Australian service, these aircraft are more likely carry loads such as helicopters, 70 tonnes of cargo, or even aero-medical evacuation patients.

Australia’s C-17As have been used around the globe, from resupply flights to the Antarctic through to sustaining Defence personnel in the Middle East Region, and disaster relief missions in Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines.


What:         Low-Level Aerobatics Display at World Gliding Championships
When:         Sunday, 22 January 2017, at 10.45am

Where:         Benalla Aerodrome, Victoria

A Royal Australian Air Force Roulette pilot will conduct a low-level aerobatics display over Benalla Aerodrome this Sunday morning, as part of the World Gliding Championships being held there.

The pilot behind the controls of the distinctive red and white Pilatus PC-9 aircraft will be Squadron Leader Dan Kehoe. Squadron Leader Kehoe is one of the most experienced Roulette pilots in the team.

The aerobatics display will take place at approximately 10.45am and will be a carefully choreographed routine that will show why The Roulettes are held in such high regard.


The pilots who comprise the Roulettes are among the Australian Defence Force’s best.  They are selected from the RAAF Central Flying School’s instructors whose primary role is to teach selected pilots to become Qualified Flying Instructors.

Further information on the Roulettes is available at:

The Royal Australian Air Force is proud to support events such as the World Gliding Championships whenever possible. Events such as this give the public an opportunity to take a closer look at what the Air Force does, and the assets it uses.

Salt Ash Air Weapons Range - 23 January to Friday 17 February

Hawk Lead-In Fighter aircraft will return to the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range (SAAWR) to conduct training on weekdays as from next Monday 23 January, 2017. Number 76 Squadron aircraft have scheduled operations on the range from 23 January through to the 17 February inclusive during week days only.  The jets will not operate on the range on Australia Day. Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) aircraft are scheduled to conduct training on the range from 20 to 24 February, and during the week of 1-5 May inclusive.  A Media Release has been issued to local media outlets.

RAAF Base pearce aircraft take flight for 2017

What:         Fast jet aircraft from RAAF Base Pearce begin flying operations over Western Australia and the North-West coast for 2017
When:         Thursday, 19 January 2017

Where:         RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia

Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce fast jet military aircraft have commenced flying from today (Thursday 19th January) for the new year.

Commander of Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Steve Roberton, said flying activities will gradually increase over the next few weeks around Bullsbrook and areas further north as personnel gear up for another busy year.

Fighter jets from RAAF Base Pearce operate over Western Australia, and over the ocean off the WA north-west coast throughout the year.

“Air Force is committed to ensuring every effort is made to minimise any inconvenience to residents living in these areas.”

“The ongoing support of local communities is appreciated,” AIRCDRE Roberton said.

Noise management and environment impact are vital considerations in the planning and conduct of military flying. Air Force appreciates the support it receives from the Western Australian community during this flying activity.

For further information on RAAF Base Pearce flying activities, members of the community are encouraged to ring 1800 DEFENCE (1300 333 362) or log onto the website for further information on flying operations near you.

C-17A Globemaster Perform low level flying in Townsville area

What:    low level flying by an Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft

Where:    Magnetic Island and The Strand, Townsville

When:        Thursday, 15 December 2016

A single C-17A Globemaster aircraft will conduct a low-level training flight around the Townsville region as part of a routine training sortie.

The training flight will begin at 2:00 pm and the C-17A can be seen at the following locations during the sortie (times are approximate);

Bushland Beach (flying across not along) – 2:30 pm
Magnetic Island – 2:35pm
Cleveland Bay – 2:40pm
Over the Strand – 2:42pm

The aircraft will be travelling at 550 km/h and will not be lower than 100 meters off the ground.

Low-level flying is an important part of training and essential in maintaining skills for the pilots that fly the aircraft.  

No. 36 Squadron operates eight C-17A aircraft from RAAF Base Amberley in South East Queensland and conducts missions in support of current operations and, when required, humanitarian relief. Recently, No. 36 Squadron has been conducting sustainment operations to the Middle East Region.

The C-17A is a heavy transport aircraft and allows Australia to rapidly deploy troops, supplies, combat vehicles, heavy equipment and helicopters anywhere in the world.

Air Force appreciates the support it receives from the Townsville community and residents.

Information on aircraft noise and current flying activities is available at or by calling 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362) and asking to be connected to RAAF Townsville.