Novocastrians probably noticed – and heard – a bit of activity in the sky today.
And, it’s quite impressive, too.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) No. 77 Squadron is farewelling the F/A-18A/B Hornet with a series of flying displays over Williamtown, Newcastle and Port Stephens this week – up until Friday 11 December.
On Monday 7 December, a four-aircraft formation was witnessed over Nobbys Beach in the morning, followed by a single aircraft handling exhibit over the same location as well as Birubi Beach.
Further activities are also planned on:
Tuesday 8 December: Four-aircraft formation at 10am over Birubi Beach (Port Stephens); and a single aircraft handling display at 2pm over Fighter World Museum and Nobbys Beach (Newcastle).
Wednesday 9 December: Four-aircraft formation at 10am over Fighter World Museum.
Thursday 10 December: Single aircraft handling display by the Worimi-painted F/A-18A Hornet at 10am over RAAF Base Williamtown.
Friday 11 December: Eight-aircraft formation flight over the region covering Nelson Bay, Medowie, Raymond Terrace and Newcastle, followed by a four-aircraft formation display at 10.30am over RAAF Base Williamtown.
For the best viewing points, head to Nobbys Beach (which can be accessed via Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle); Birubi Beach (via James Paterson Street, Port Stephens); or the Fighter World Museum (located at 49 Medowie Road, Williamtown).
“Residents should note that the date and time for these events are subject to variables such as weather and operational availability – and may change,” a RAAF spokesperson said.
“Noise reduction and the environment are vital considerations in the planning and conduct of military activities, we appreciate the ongoing support of the Williamtown, Newcastle and Port Stephens communities during these activities.”