USA   F-111 Aardvark


Work-up towards Avalon
(with the permission of Air Force Today, publishers of, 1 February 2001)

In the same way an actor prepares for the stage, aircrew and technicians from No 6 Squadron are busy with preparations for an F-111 airborne display that will take place in the skies over the Avalon International Air Show in February.

SQNLDR Geoff Harland (navigator) and FLTLT Stephen Stewart (pilot) are the aircrew in charge of performing the display and said the process of getting the display organised began late in November 2000.

"From a flying point of view we began in late November by practising individual manoeuvres that would ultimately be strung together in the show. We basically start practising at higher altitudes and work down to what is known as the display minimas, or the lowest altitude at which we will perform the display," said Operations Officer with No 6 Squadron SQNLDR Geoff Harland.

FLTLT Stephen Stewart said the main priorities for the aircrew in organising the display are twofold.

"Firstly we work to ensure the display is safe and after we satisfy that requirement, we work on polishing the display to make it eye pleasing for the audience," he said.

Apart from all the work in the cockpit, the Avalon display will also involve the efforts of a number of maintenance personnel.Dump and Burn - Avalon 1999

"There’s 12 maintenance personnel who will be coming along, and while that isn’t a huge maintenance push, it is enough to re-fuel, service, launch and recover. The maintenance personnel are working especially hard because they have to do this on top of their normal duties," said FLTLT Stewart.

The aircrew are currently carrying out two sorties per day to complete a total of 30 practice sorties before the display at Avalon. LOGO


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