C-130H Hercules farewell flights for NSW and ACT
By AFHQ, 22 November 2012 15:23:37

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130H Hercules transport aircraft will conduct flypasts of Canberra and New South Wales regional centres on Friday, 23 November 2012, ahead of their retirement later this month.

One C-130H will conduct a flypast of Canberra at 3.20pm, approaching Mt Ainslie from the north/north-east before flying over the Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade at 175 metres altitude.  It will then climb and orbit Parliament House at 300 metres before descending and departing via Anzac Parade and Australian War Memorial.  This aircraft will then conduct a 10-minute handling display at RAAF Base Wagga at 4.15pm.

Another C-130H will visit regional areas with a touch-and-go and overflight of the runways at Lake Cargelligo at 3.30pm, Gilgandra at 4pm,  Tamworth at 4.30pm and Walcha at 4.45pm.

The last of Air Force’s fleet of 12 C-130Hs will be retired from service on November 30. In 1978, a fleet of 12 C-130Hs was delivered to RAAF Base Richmond for use as a tactical transport.

Many Air Force personnel who served on the C-130H during its career completed training at Wagga Wagga and Tamworth. Likewise, Canberra is home to many Defence organisations that have supported the C-130H in its career.

Airfields at Walcha, Lake Cargelligo and Gilgandra played a key role in the training and development of Air Force Hercules crews, who have used their experience at these airfields to assist them in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.

Air Force C-130Hs have also supported the Australian and international community during critical times of need, including after the Bali bombings, airdropping hay to stranded cattle and responding to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

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.