Home' Air Force News : September 29th 2011 Contents 3
September 29, 2011
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AN AIR Force member who was
seriously burned in an explosion
at Rockhampton airport on July
25 died of his injuries in the burns
unit of Royal Brisbane Hospital on
SGT Michael Dunn, of 322
Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron based at RAAF Base
Tindal, was deployed to the airport as
part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.
He was part of the airfield
arrester crew, whose duties included
operating the arresting cable across
the runway in the event of an emer-
gency landing by a fast jet.
After the explosion, colleagues
immediately extinguished the flames
on his body and applied first aid.
He was transferred initially
to Rockhampton Base Hospital
for treatment and then to Royal
Brisbane where he remained in a
THE first flight by a 33SQN KC-30A
Multi-Role Tanker Transport has been
made from RAAF Base Amberley.
The aircraft, A39-002, soared in to
a clear Queensland sky on September
16 for a 2½ hour flight.
Until now, all KC-30A flights
have been made by Airbus Military,
although some have carried RAAF
CO 33SQN WGCDR Geoff Fox
said the flight was a proud moment
for a unit which had worked hard to
prepare people and aircraft alike.
"The flight was a milestone in that
we've now brought the weapon sys-
tem online," WGCDR Fox said.
At the controls were SQNLDRs
Craig Whiting and Justin Ryder. Other
crewmembers were FLTLT Ben Goring,
WOFFs Darrell Bent and Aleisha
O'Brien, and FSGT Talwyn Davies.
On board as observers were
WGCDR Geoff Fox and US Air Force
exchange member, TSGT Lindsay
The KC-30A flew over Roma,
Airman dies of injuries after explosion
Maroochydore, and into military
airspace off the Sunshine Coast. On
board, 33SQN members validated
the flying procedures they will use to
bring the KC-30A in to service.
The aircraft flew profiles similar
to those used for air-to-air refuel-
ling missions, although all refuelling
equipment remained stowed.
Much of the crew has conduct-
ed training on Airbus A330s with
Qantas or on the KC-30A with Airbus
Before the first flight, the crew
extensively rehearsed their procedures
to ensure they were ready.
33SQN technicians, HALSPO and
Qantas Defence Services staff have
worked extensive hours to prepare the
two KC-30As at 33SQN, including
scheduled servicings and the incorpo-
ration of special inspections and man-
ufacturer service bulletins required
before the start of RAAF flying.
Subsequent flights by 33SQN will
continue validating how the unit oper-
ates the KC-30A, focusing on crew
training and an Operational Test and
Evaluation (OT&E) program.
"We will initially aim for two to
three flights a week, with our goal to
reach Initial Operational Capability,"
WGCDR Fox said.
"We've got a very clearly defined
work-up process under our Special
Flight Permit recommended by the
Airworthiness Board, so we know
how and where we need to train and
"There's certainly excitement
about us being used for air-to-air
refuelling but we need to work-up
to that capability with a coordinated
approach to training and crew devel-
33SQN has two KC-30As and can
expect to take delivery of a third at
RAAF Base Amberley in October.
The remaining two aircraft will
arrive in 2012.
HAPPY DAY ARRIVES: To p ,
aircraft captain SQNLDR Craig
Whiting (left) and co-pilot
SQNLDR Justin Ryder prepare
the KC-30A for its first flight with
an all-Air Force crew. Inset: The
tanker taxis before taking off on
the historic flight from RAAF Base
Photos: LACW Rosaleen Normoyle and
LACW Jessica Smith
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
expressed his deepest sympathies
and those of the Air Force commu-
nity to SGT Dunn's family.
"SGT Dunn was highly respect-
ed and well liked by his col-
leagues," AIRMSHL Brown said.
"Those who visited Mick since
the accident were all affected by the
courage and determination that he
showed during his treatment and are
extremely saddened by his passing.
"Our thoughts are with his family,
friends and colleagues.
"He served 27 years in the Air
Force and most recently he was
serving at RAAF Base Tindal
where he and his family were
long standing members of the
Air Force and the Defence
Community Organisation are
providing his family with sup-
Meanwhile, investigations into
the incident continue. Inquiries
by the Queensland Police and the
ADF Investigative Service deter-
mined there were no criminal
actions involved. The COMCARE
investigation is ongoing and the
exact details are still unclear.
It is believed he may have been
exposed to a fuel spill, with the
substance igniting while he was in
the portable toilet.
The source of the ignition is
yet to be ascertained.
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