Posts Tagged:jet

Performing Low Level Intercepts at Night in the Mirage

As part of the continuous training and currency requirements of fighter aircraft there are many and varied missions that need to be practiced in order to remain an effective fighter pilot.  With the Mirage there were a number of missions that were very difficult to master and one was night low level intercepts.  The Mirage…

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Almost Missed Australia While Bombing

During my time at 77 Squadron, flying the Mirage, we spent time at the bare base Learmonth on Australia’s North West coast.  This was a very good detachment with excellent flying to be had.  On one such detachment the Squadron ran a bombing program with a gradual build up to quite complex operational style missions…

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The Mirage Heavy Landing

I am proud to say that I have only ever damaged an aircraft once that was my fault, although I have been guilty of some other silly mistakes during my career.  So what did I do?  I was in 77 Squadron at the time and one of the Squadron luminaries decided that we should attempt…

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Going for a Spin in the Mirage

The flight manual for the Mirage IIIO was quite specific in prohibiting spinning the aircraft. A spin in an aircraft is when one wing has lost all its lift (stalled) and the other is still producing some lift, this usually occurs at slow speeds and high angles of attack when the aircraft enters an unbalanced…

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Close Call in a Mirage

During my time flying Mirages I did have a few close calls. The first was while I was in 3 Squadron in Butterworth Malaysia. The Squadron was running a ground strafe program on the air weapons range known as Song Song. Song Song was an island to the North of Penang and on its Eastern…

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The Attempted Space Shot

During my early days of flying the Mirage IIIO for the RAAF we focused heavily on conducting intercept missions that were designed to catch high flying bomber aircraft.  These missions were done both day and night.  The Mirage radar was not very good and you would be lucky to detect a bomber at 15 nautical…

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A Fighter Ace in 45 Seconds

“A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an “ace” has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more. The few aces among combat aviators have historically accounted for the…

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The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

The RAAF started taking delivery of the Hornet in 1983 to replace the Mirage. The Mirage was a second generation jet fighter and the Hornet is a fourth generation jet fighter. Basically fighter generations are a measure of the technology incorporated in the design of the aircraft. So the step up to the Hornet from…

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The Macchi MB-326H

The Macchi MB-326H was introduced to the RAAF to replace the two seat Vampire as the RAAF’s advanced training aircraft in the late sixties. The RAAF ended up with 97 in all. It was powered by a Rolls Royce Viper engine producing 2,400 pounds of thrust. It was one of the few jet aircraft that…

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Becoming a RAAF Pilot

I have had the pleasure of mentoring a number of young men in their attempts to become RAAF pilots and I have enjoyed a reasonable level of success over the years. There are a number of attributes that the RAAF look for during the recruiting process and I am often asked what these attributes are…

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