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Army December 10, 2009
By Flt-Lt Eamon Hamilton
AN era has come to an end at RAAF
Base Townsville with the handover of
Army's King Air surveillance aircraft
to Air Force.
The three King Airs were transferred
in a ceremony on November 20, mark-
ing the end of more than 40 consecutive
years of fixed-wing Army aviation.
That period of service, involving
Cessnas, Porters, Nomads and King Airs,
included operations in Vietnam, Papua
New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia.
Brig Shayne Elder, Commander 16
Avn Bde, said the transfer would enable
Army Aviation to focus exclusively on
advanced rotary-wing aircraft.
"We can look forward to a number of
new platforms coming on line, including
the MRH90, Tiger ARH and new-genera-
tion Chinooks," Brig Elder said.
It was the second time Army had
transferred its fixed-wing aircraft to Air
"The first time was in 1921, when
the Air Flying Corps, then a part of the
Army, became the basis of the newly-
formed RAAF," he said.
Brig Elder also noted the irony of
November 20 being the 23rd anniversary
By Flt-Lt Eamon Hamilton
IT WAS not the first time a
Chinook had airlifted a Caribou
from its external hook, but it was
almost certainly the last.
On November 18, a Chinook
from 5 Avn Regt's C Sqn airlifted
38 Sqn's Caribou A4-199 from
High Range Field Training Area
to RAAF Base Townsville.
The Caribou had made an
emergency landing in High Range
on September 26 because of a
fault in its horizontal stabiliser.
With the impending retire-
ment of the Caribou fleet and no
easy fix for the fault, the only
way to get it home in time was by
Technicians from 38 Sqn
removed the Caribou's engines
and tail, lightening the load.
The Air Movements Training
and Development Unit (AMTDU)
deployed an aircraft recovery team
comprising Flg-Off Jamie Osborn,
WO1 David Jaehne, Sgt Andrew
Hahn, Pte Andrew Munro and Pte
Aaron Dickson to prepare A04-
199 for its "final flight".
"This one was unique in that
it was the only one we've moved
with the wings still attached," Flg-
Off Osborn said.
"Spoilers" were mounted on
top of the Caribou's wings to dis-
rupt airflow and a large parachute
was fitted to its tail to ensure in-
The Chinook had little trouble
carrying the 7.2-tonne aircraft.
"The Caribou 'flew' level in a
perfect nose-down attitude," Flg-
Off Osborn said.
Chinook pilot Capt Chris
McDougall said the Caribou
Fixed wings freed
Last time a
of the Air Force transferring its helicop-
ter fleet to the Army.
Along with the King Airs, six Army
Aviation pilots will serve with 38 Sqn to
assist in training and operating.
173 Survl Sqn, which had operated
the King Airs, is being stood up as 173
Avn Sqn, operating a fleet of Kiowas
from Holsworthy Barracks.
The three King Airs will be joined
by another five aircraft by the middle
of next year, serving as interim light
transports with Air Force's 38 Sqn.
It will allow the squadron to phase
out the Caribou after 45 years of serv-
ice, replacing it with a more efficient,
reliable and far-ranging light transport.
"The King Air with 38 Sqn repre-
sents a transfer of that capability, and
will still be available to Army through
our normal tasking processes," Brig
The location of 38 Sqn's King
Airs at RAAF Base Townsville ena-
bles them to support Army units across
northern Australia, including 3 Bde
CAF Air-Mshl Mark Binskin and
senior Army and Air Force repre-
sentatives presided over the handover
"Following the withdrawal of the
Caribou, our partnership will continue,
with the Caribou roles to be efficiently
distributed among Air Force's fleet
of King Airs and Hercules, as well as
Army Aviation's fleet of Black Hawks,
Chinooks and MRH90s," Air-Mshl
behaved better than most loads.
"This was heavier than most of
the loads we carry, although not
the heaviest we've carried."
The trip was made at 45 knots,
with the crew being careful to
avoid built-up areas.
"Our biggest consideration
was the speed -- we didn't want
enough speed that the wings
would generate any lift," Capt
"It was very stable and
behaved much better than we
expected from an aerodynamic
load, due mostly to the great job
the AMTDU aircraft recovery
Thumbing a lift: A Chinook
picks up the Caribou from High
Range Training Area.
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
All yours: Brig Shayne Elder signs
over three Army King Air planes to
Air-Cdre John Oddie.
Firefighters face the ARes music
Air and graces: King Air aircraft (left and right) take up position at RAAF Base Townsville, ready to replace the
Photos by AC David Said
THE Victorian ARes' close
working relationship with the
Country Fire Authority (CFA)
goes beyond its assistance dur-
ing fire emergencies, such as
February's catastrophic blazes.
The 4th/19th Prince of Wales'
Light Horse Regt (PWLHR) Band
and members of the 2nd/10th Field
Regiment have consolidated the
relationship by supporting the
CFA's running championships in
the past five years.
At this year's championships
in Warnambool, the combined
military band from the two units
played for the March Discipline
events, involving 70 brigade units
from across Victoria.
CFA chief Russell Rees
recently presented a plaque to the
band at PWLHR headquarters as
thanks for supporting the compe-
tition. The fire chief was treated to
a couple of numbers before pre-
senting the plaque.
Acting band leader Cpl Sarah
Gill said the band liked to be
involved in community events.
THE Clothing Systems
Program Office has
issued an approved list for
There must be proof
the uniform is for opera-
tional activities, overseas
(such as Defence attach-
es), domestic representa-
tional duty (such as aides-
de-camp), and investitures
(award and promotion
For requests for prior-
ity not in the approved
list, email helen.
are advised that heavy-
weight trousers are avail-
able from clothing stores.
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