Air Force C-130H Hercules retirement flight over Sydney
By AFHQ, 16 November 2012 15:20:49

Sydneysiders will get one of their last chances to see a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130H Hercules in flight, when two of the retiring aircraft fly over Sydney on Monday, 19 November.

Two C-130Hs will depart from RAAF Base Richmond in a loose formation at around 10:20am, with one aircraft carrying a bright yellow 'sunset' tail art scheme to commemorate the C-130H’s 34 years of proud service to Australia.

The Hercules will fly from Cronulla along the Southern Beaches at approximately 10:35am at an altitude of 150m, with 600m of separation between the aircraft.

The formation will enter Sydney Harbour at 10:45am and climb to 300 metres altitude above all buildings. Both aircraft will orbit Sydney Harbour for up to 20 minutes.

The C-130Hs will then depart Sydney Harbour through the heads, flying up along the Northern Beaches to Barrenjoey Head at approximately 300 metres altitude. From there the aircraft will head west to the Blue Mountains, appearing near Katoomba at approximately 11:25am.

Air Force will farewell the C-130H Hercules from service on Friday, 30 November. Since 1978, the C-130H has provided tactical and strategic airlift for Australian Defence Force personnel around the globe, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and East Timor.

They have also supported the Australian and international community during critical times of need, including in the aftermath of the Bali bombings, air-dropping hay to stranded cattle in regional NSW and responding to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Air Commodore Gary Martin, Commander of the Air Lift Group, said the C-130H had established a benchmark of airlift performance and accomplishment.

“Australian C-130H crews have delivered cargo and personnel in some of the world’s most dangerous environments,” Air Commodore Martin said.

“They leave behind a considerable record of accomplishment, and one which all the men and women who have worked on this aircraft can take great pride in.”

The Hercules legacy will live on at RAAF Base Richmond as the latest-generation C-130J continues to serve with Air Force. From 2015, they will be joined at Richmond by the first of 10 C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifters.