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AIR FORCE March 18, 2010
FEW Air Force Cadet squadrons can lay claim to
being in possession of a real warbird.
The Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS)
however has honoured No. 338 (City of Shellharbour)
Squadron (AAFC) with the use of an ex-RAAF P-2V-
7 Lockheed Neptune.
At the Wings Over the Illawarra Open Day, cadets
had the chance to show off the static Neptune.
A89-281 is a veteran of countless search and res-
cue missions, maritime exercises, and patrols along
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
DRAMATIC skies could do little to
dampen spirits at the Wings Over the
Illawarra Open Day on February 28.
Spirited handling displays against
dramatic rainclouds helped draw more
than 30,000 people to Illawarra Regional
Organised by the Historic Aircraft
Restoration Society (HARS), the event
was an opportunity for their collection to
be showcased to the public.
A highlight of the day was a Hornet
handling display by SQNLDR James
Atkinson of 75SQN, stunningly executed
at low level.
The Roulettes also flew their display
before departing to perform at the Point
Cook Air Pageant (see next page).
On the ground, the public could see
the HARS collection of restored air-
craft -- including Dakotas, Neptunes,
a Catalina and a Super Constellation
-- along with modern frontline Defence
From Richmond, a 37SQN C-130J
transported Australian Air Force Cadets
to give them a taste of Defence aviation,
while helicopters from the Navy's Fleet
Air Arm and Army's Aviation Corps
were also on static display.
a grey day
pride of place
the Australian coast.
The Air Force flew
24 Neptunes between
1952 and 1977. Neptune
A89-281 was delivered
to 10SQN at RAAF
Base Townsville in May
1962, and was the final
Air Force Neptune to fly
in December 1977.
Following its Air
Force service, A89-281
was transported from
Amberley to Archerfield
in Brisbane, languishing
in the open.
It was gifted to HARS in August 2003, and spent
the following years being transported in pieces to
Illawarra Regional Airport and reassembled.
HARS already has two Neptunes in its inventory.
A89-273 is in a flyable condition, while VH-LRR is a
former French Navy example from Tahiti, and is being
restored to flight.
Co-location of the AAFC unit alongside the HARS
collection presents unique opportunities, as evidenced
by the Neptune. Cadets from 338 Squadron AAFC and
a number of other No. 3 Wing Squadrons provided
VIP escorts, assistance at entry gates and help with the
Neptune at the open day.
"Today is our way of supporting a great organisa-
tion and a wonderful event," CO 338SQN FLTLT
(AAFC) John Sperring said.
AERIAL THRILLS: The Roulettes thrill spectators with their impressive flying
during the Wings Over the Illawarra Open Day.
Photos: AC David Said
STAR BILLING: F/A-18
pilot SQNLDR James
Atkinson of 75SQN is
the centre of attention at
the open day. SQNLDR
spectators with a fast
and loud F/A-18 handling
BIG DAY: Taylor Smith
and Caitlyn McInally,
both with No. 338 Cadet
Squadron, with flyers for
the Neptune A89-281.
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