RAAF's historic flight grounded ... what a fizzer
UPDATE: HUNDREDS of aviation enthusiasts have this afternoon waited for the flight that never came.
Social media was alight earlier this week with reports a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18B Classic Hornet would today fly over Northern NSW on its way between the Amberley RAAF base near Brisbane to the Williamtown RAAF base near Newcastle.
A media firm circulated the RAAF's press release across media on Tuesday afternoon advising of a 1pm Wednesday takeoff and rightfully so ABC radio gave the announcement extensive airplay today creating a great hype along the coast.
You see the eye catching aircraft, used to train pilots to fly F/A-18A/B aircraft, is painted in distinctive tiger strips to celebrate the final year of the RAAF unit's Classic Hornet operations.
The flight was set to enthral crowds from Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour to Port Stephens.
But enter a communications breakdown and who knows maybe a pilot on a sickie - (bad joke of course).
With the flight cancelled it was a good test of how many people follow the RAAF on Facebook where all but a one line update on the original post was largely missed - yes even by the media - sorry about that.
No email update to newsrooms would follow the decision it seems.
As some readers have jokingly asked 'did the flight not happen due to the other tigers of the sky (TigerAir's) potential strike' - another aviation story of course making headlines today.
In our approach to RAAF media (around the proposed landing time in Williamtown after a long wait for a photo between other jobs we must admit) we were told the flight is being rescheduled.
So I guess standby ground control for a new date and time to take in this impressive jet fighter.
We'll keep you posted on the details aviation enthusiasts.
EARLIER: RESIDENTS along the North Coast could spot a distinctively painted Air Force jet in our skies this afternoon.
At 1pm Wednesday, the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18B Classic Hornet will depart the RAAF base at Amberley, enroute to its home base at Williamtown, with a brand new paint job.
The distinctive paintwork design features black on orange tiger stripes along the dorsal spine of the aircraft and on the inside of the vertical fins.
The outside of the fins feature the 2OCU Tiger head on a black background.
The aircraft will depart RAAF Base Amberley at noon Queensland time (1pm NSW time) and fly down the coast, passing key local areas such as Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Forster, Nelson Bay and Newcastle before landing at RAAF Base Williamtown at around 2pm.
The aircraft is painted in distinctive colours to celebrate the unit's final year of Classic Hornet operations, primarily training pilots to fly the F/A-18A/B aircraft.
In December 2019, the final course of 2OCU pilots trained to fly F/A-18 Classic Hornets will graduate.
In 2020, the next group of pilots to graduate from 2OCU as fighter pilots will do so on the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.