Exercise Pitch Black 2022 flying activity - RAAF Base Curtin, Western Australia

Fast jet training operations will be conducted around RAAF Base Curtin over the period 22-25 August 2022 in support of Exercise Pitch Black 22. Up to 18 fighter aircraft from Australia and the United States will be flying out of RAAF Base Curtin including the F-35A Lightning II aircraft. Fast jets will be flying between 8am and 3pm daily and some aircraft will be returning to RAAF Base Tindal each evening.

Aircraft will be training in airspace over the Shire of Derby West Kimberley as far East as Fitzroy Crossing and will be flying at high speeds and as low as 200 feet. People in the West Kimberley Area may hear the aircraft which can sound like distant thunder or a distinct thump sound. Residents are advised not to be alarmed if they hear the aircraft.

Stations within the Shire of Derby West Kimberley conducting mustering operations are encouraged to contact the RAAF Base Curtin duty phone on 0427 792 669 to ensure flying operations can be deconflicted with mustering operations. All efforts will be made to minimise the impact of flying operations on station work.

An Australian F-35A Lightning II aircraft will conduct a flying display over the Derby Marsh to thank the Derby community for their support to the Curtin flying activation. The flying display will be conducted at 2.30pm on Wednesday 24 August and will be best viewed from the Marsh foreshore between Dinner Tree and the Southern end of Jetty road. Drone flying will not be permitted in the Derby township during the display to ensure aircraft safety.

Imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery.

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 is the Royal Australian Air Force’s premier international engagement activity involving up to 16 international participants. The exercise aims to enhance the Royal Australian Air Force’s interoperability with our key strategic partners, both within our region and across the world.

For more Exercise Pitch Black 2022 information please visit www.airforce.gov.au/PB22

Flying is subject to change, including short notice cancellation, due to variables such as air traffic control requirements, weather, and operational availability.

For more information, visit the Defence Aircraft Noise website or call 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362).

Flying schedule

  • Aircraft will be training in airspace over the Shire of Derby West Kimberley as far East as Fitzroy Crossing.