Wednesday, February 20, 2013

RAAF C-130J to light up Melbourne dusk with spectacular flare drop

Commonwealth of Australia

This sounds freakin' awesome. From the Royal Australian Air Force:

An Air Force C-130J Hercules transport aircraft will make a spectacular appearance on Sunday, February 24, as it conducts a ‘flaredrop’ over Port Phillip Bay.

Beginning shortly after 8pm, the Hercules will fly over Port Phillip Bay towards St Kilda in a counter-clockwise direction, at an altitude of 300 metres. It will complete a ‘practice pass’ to ensure there are no boats or other obstructions for the flaredrop. On its second pass, the Hercules will dispense up to 240 flares over the course of ten seconds, as the aircraft banks left towards Williamstown.

The best public vantage points will be Beaconsfield Parade and the St Kilda Foreshore. The display may also be visible from Williamstown.

The flares will safely burn out before they reach the water; however, Air Force requests the cooperation of local boat owners to remain clear of the flightpath.

The flares serve a practical application, being part of the C-130J’s countermeasures against attack by infra-red guided missiles. The C-130J will be one of the many Defence aircraft on display at the 2013 Australian International Airshow, to be held at Avalon Airport from February 26 to March 3.

The display over Port Phillip Bay will also recognise this month’s 10th anniversary of continuous deployment of Australian Hercules to the Middle East Area of Operations, the longest such deployment in Air Force history.

This activity is subject to availability of the C-130J to conduct this task, and may be cancelled at short notice. Air Force will endeavour to notify the public through media and online if this display is cancelled.

Live updates for the flypast will be posted to and using the hashtag #Avalon13.

So if you like aviation and are in Melbourne this Sunday, you know where to be!

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