As the RAAF's elite formation aerobatic display team, the Roulettes perform breathtaking displays, using only hand-eye coordination to fly at speeds of up to 590 kilometres per hour. The six Roulettes may experience up to 4.5G (or 4.5 times the normal force of gravity) during a display in their PC-9/A aircraft. When the Roulettes are not showcasing their skills, they teach qualified RAAF pilots to become flying instructors at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria.
The application form can be downloaded from here.
Squadron Leader Stephen Baker
Squadron Leader Stephen Baker, 40, has over 21 years of flying experience that began when he graduated from No. 161 Pilots’ Course in December 1992.
Stephen was posted to fly Caribou tactical transport aircraft with No. 38 Squadron, then in 1996 became quite possibly the youngest instructor in the RAAF since WWII at the tender age of 23, where he went on to instruct on the PC9/A turbo-prop trainer at No. 2 Flying Training School (2FTS).
During his tenure at 2FTS, he was selected for an exchange tour with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, where he instructed on the advanced jet Macchi 339. Whilst in New Zealand, Stephen was a member of the low-level formation aerobatic team, The Black Falcons, flying as Black 3. Stephen has some of his fondest flying memories from New Zealand which saw him fly jets through the Alps of the Southern Island.
Upon his return to Australia, Stephen instructed on the brand new Hawk 127 jet trainer, prior to displaying the aircraft. Stephen was subsequently selected to join the RAAF Roulette aerobatic team from 2004 – 2007.
In late 2007 Stephen took a sabbatical travelling the world for seven months as well as completing his diploma in photography.
Prior to returning to Central Flying School in 2010 to take over as Roulette Leader, Stephen also displayed some of the Air Force’s warbirds at the RAAF Museum.
Stephen can usually be found riding his Ducati Streetfighter, fishing , taking photos or playing golf.Stephen has over 5300 military flying hours. This is his tenth season with the team and his fifth as Roulette Leader.
Flight Lieutenant Daniel Kehoe
Flight Lieutenant Dan Kehoe, 33, grew up in Maryborough, QLD and had flown solo at 16 years of age, before he had even driven a car. In 2000 he graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics, before graduating from No. 190 Pilots’ Course in 2002. Dan was then posted to No. 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond flying the C130H Hercules for seven years as a Tactical Captain. Throughout this time hewas involved with operations in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Tsunami Assist, and four tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2009, Dan completed Flying Instructors Course before being posted to No. 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) in Perth as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the PC9/A. During this tour Dan was deployed back to Afghanistan as the Senior ISAF Airlift Planner, in charge of twelve aircraft from eight nations which he found quite challenging but very rewarding.
On returning to Australia in 2011, Dan was posted back to the Hercules as an instructor at 285SQN. Following the retirement of the C130H in 2012, Dan was posted to Central Flying School where he now develops and assesses RAAF instructors on the PC9/A, CT4B, C130J and the C-17.
Away from work, Dan lives and trains on the mountain trails North of Sale, competing in several ultra marathons each year. He is also an accomplished bagpiper currently playing with Victoria's premier Grade 1 pipe band. Dan has over 4300 hours and over 1200 on the PC9/A. This is his second season with the Roulettes.
Flight Lieutenant Lachie Hazeldine
Flight Lieutenant Lachie Hazeldine, 31, grew up in Korumburra, Victoria and joined the RAAF in 2001, completing a degree in Aviation Technology at the Australian Defence Force Academy. In 2003 he joined No 199 Pilots’ Course where he trained on the CT4B at the Basic Flying Training School in Tamworth followed by the PC9/A at No. 2 Flying Training School (2 FTS) at RAAF Pearce. Upon graduation in 2004 Lachie was posted to No. 292 Squadron (292 SQN) and then No. 11 Squadron (11 SQN) to fly the AP3C Orion. Whilst at 11 SQN he was involved in Operation Relex and Resolute to help secure Australia's Northern Borders. He was also deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations on Operation Catalyst and Slipper supporting the Australian Army over Iraq and Afghanistan and the Australian Navy in the Northern Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
On completion of his tour at 11 SQN, Lachie was posted to Flying Instructors Course and then to instruct at 2FTS in Western Australia. After two years at 2 FTS he was posted to Central Flying School, the Standardisation Squadron for all flying units in the Australian Defence Force. After twelve months teaching Flying Instructors Course he was selected to join the Roulettes.
Lachie’s interests include motorsport, camping and running. Lachie has over 3500 hours military flying experience and this is his first season with the Roulettes.
Flight Lieutenant Ross Laves
Flight Lieutenant Ross Laves, 34, grew up in Western Sydney with an interest in aviation being sparked by his two ex-RAAF grandfathers. Ross commenced civil flying training at the age of 14 at the Concordia Gliding Club, or the Sydney Gliding Club as it is called now. In 1993, on the day after his 15th birthday Ross flew solo in a K-13 glider at Camden aerodrome.
In 1997 Ross joined the military and attended the Australian Defence Force Academy where he completed a Major in Economics. By 2004 Ross completed his flying training in the Australian Regular Army and was awarded his Army Pilot brevet. He then went on to serve with No. 1 Aviation Regiment, flying the UH-1H Iroquois.
Upon retirement of the UH-1H Ross transitioned over to fly the S-70 Blackhawk which he did initially with the School of Army Aviation, assisting with Loadmaster Training and Search and Rescue support. Ross was briefly posted to Sydney where he flew with the 6th Aviation Regiment before beginning the process to service transfer to the RAAF.
After completing Flying Instructor Course in 2008, Ross joined the RAAF and was posted to ADF Basic Flying training School, where he instructed on the CT-4B for two years. Following this Ross took a posting to Central Flying School where he has since completed his PC9/A conversion and instructs future ADF flying instructors on both the CT-4 and PC9/A.
Ross’s interest outside flying include down hill skiing and after experiencing the 1998 Sydney to Hobart has been unable to shake a sailing bug. This is why you may find him sailing his dinghy sail boat – Moon Dog on Lake Wellington. Ross has 2900 hours military flying experience, with a little over 1000 hours instruction. This is his second season with the team.
Flight Lieutenant Steve English
Flight Lieutenant Steve English, 31, joined the RAAF in 2002 on No. 196 Pilots’ Course where he trained on the CT4B at the Basic Flying Training School in Tamworth and the PC9/A at No. 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) at RAAF Pearce. Upon graduation Steve was posted to No. 37 Squadron to fly the C-130J. This saw Steve flying throughout the Asia Pacific region, North America and the Middle East where Steve completed several tours in Operation Catalyst and Slipper. Being able to put all his military training into practise and being a part of a large multi national military force in both Iraq and Afghanistan was both very rewarding and a career highlight for Steve.
Steve was then posted to Central Flying School (CFS) where he was the Ground Training Officer, instructing ground based subjects on Flying Instructors Course (FIC). He then completed FIC himself and was posted to 2FTS. After a brief tour Steve was posted back to CFS where he instructed on FIC before joining the Roulettes in January 2012 as Roulette Two. After 12 months, Steve moved to the Roulette Six position and now as Roulette 5 leads the synchro pair and is also deputy Roulette leader.
Steve’s interests include motorcycle riding, running, tinkering with his car, and building scale model aircraft. Steve has over 3000 flying hours and this is his fifth season with the Roulettes.
Flight Lieutenant Andrew Lynch
Flight Lieutenant Andrew Lynch, 33, joined the RAAF in 1999 on No 188 Pilots’ Course where he trained on the CT4B at the Basic Flying Training School in Tamworth and the PC9/A at No. 2 Flying Training School (2 FTS) at RAAF Pearce. Upon graduation Andrew was posted to No. 34 Squadron (34 SQN) to fly the CL604 Challenger VIP aircraft. While at 34 SQN he transported several notable passengers including the Governor General and the Prime Minister and flew to destinations throughout South East Asia. In 2005 he was posted to No. 10 Squadron (10 SQN) to fly the AP-3C Orion where he was involved in Operation Relex and Resolute to help secure Australia's Northern Borders. He was also deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations on Operation Catalyst and Slipper supporting the Australian Army over Iraq and Afghanistan and the Australian Navy in the Northern Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
On completion of his tour at 10 SQN, he was posted to Flying Instructors Course and then to instruct at 2FTS in Western Australia. After two years at 2 FTS he was posted to Central Flying School, the Standardisation Squadron for all flying units in the Australian Defence Force. After six months teaching Flying Instructors Course he was selected to join the Roulettes.
Andrew’s interests include paragliding and riding his road bike around Sale. Andrew has over 4000 hours military flying experience. This is his fourth season with the Roulettes and first as Roulette Six.
Flight Lieutenant Clay Esler
Flying Officer Clay Esler, 29, was born in Melbourne and joined the RAAF in 2006 as a reserve General Hand whilst completing a Commerce Degree at Deakin University.
Clay then transferred to the permanent Air Force and commissioned prior to completing flying training on the CT4B and PC9/A aircraft, graduating from 221 Pilots Course. Upon graduation Clay was posted to No 32 Squadron at RAAF Base East Sale to fly the KA350 KingAir aircraft. This has seen Clay flying all around Australia and also to Noumea and New Zealand. Whilst at 32 Squadron Clay also completed several trips to Dallas, USA for simulator training.
Clays interests include waterskiing, snow skiing and dirtbike riding. Clay has over 1100 Military flying hours and this is his first season with the Roulettes.
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