USA   F-111 Aardvark OZ

Last Updated 17 February, 2005

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The Tradesman's Page Saluting our Maintenance Professionals !

Co Webmaster - FLASH@F-111.NET

"It takes a College Education to break 'em and a High School Diploma to fix 'em "

The purpose of this page is to give recognition to the behind-the-scenes workers who strove in sometimes terrible conditions from mid winter blizzards of New York state to tropical thunderstorms in South East Asia to maintain the F-111.  Without their dedicated work and inventiveness, the F-111 would never have achieved it's proud mark in aviation history today.

The troops at RAAF Amberley AFB Queensland Australia are still working on the F-111C, RF-111C and F-111G
See insentive flight images gallery for Kristien "Junior" Heins - GALLERY LINK

366th TFW-390th AMU

RAAF Amberley

RAAF Amberley


Boeing Australia
Ball Aerospace Australia


"There I was..." stories ("waries" in the aussie vernacular) are wanted for this page.  Poignant, amusing, or tall; all are welcome!!

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The dedicated hard work is evident here.  This is a picture of a wing change on an EF-111A Raven (67-0038) from the 429ECS whilst deployed to Saudi Arabia 1998. The wing change took only 6 hours and 52 minutes. Greg Weigl, Steve Sharp, Scott Glasscock, Rick Jiminez were some of those involved. It should be noted that SSgt Tod Crawford from McConnell AFB, KA. was the crane driver and so expertly micro controlled the movement made for the swift removal and replacement of the wing.
Steve Sharp
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SMSgt Marc Sherman gets the traditional hosing down after an 'Incentive' flight.  Incentive flights are a means that both the USAF and RAAF use to give recognition to hard work. Unfortunately, by the nature of the aircraft and the size of the Squadrons' population, only a few of the maintainers ever get the opportunity to fly in the F-111.
RAAF Engine Fitter ("Sumpie" in RAAF parlance) Brian Hampton has been to M2.3 (in F-111C A8-146). Can any non-aircrew beat that??
via Mike Kaplan
On 3 October 1996, 6 Squadron gave the Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel, Ms Bronwyn Bishop MP, a familiarisation flight in an AUP F-111C.

Some guys though deserve more than one incentive flight.  Here Mike Kaplan has 'before' photos of his four rides.  Mike's wife, Iris, also has had an incentive flight.  Only husband / wife incentive flights -(until retired RAAF Dave Dunlop and his wife).
Mike says,
"Flight one, Pburgh 1984, was a half hour roller coaster ride, I dry heaved the entire time, I was sick!!  Flight two was while assigned to the 520AGS, RAF Upper Heyford, 55th AMU, 1987. I didn't get sick until we did a low-level to high altitude transition, he did a few aileron rolls on that climb and I was beat after that, threw up after we landed, in a garbage pail in life support!!!  Got that flight while on a WTD deployment to Incirlik AB, Turkey.   Third flight was at Edwards AFB, CA, 1990. I did 1.2 Mach on that flight, also have a picture of the AMI showing it..    That flight was enjoyable, though he wore me out too, a little over 1 hr in duration. Flight four was again assigned to Upper Heyford, 55FS, that flight was awesome!   No sickness, flew 1.5 hrs, could've stayed up double that!!"

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Joe Sadler MSgt USAF (Ret), sent along these images of his time with the 494th AMU.

(494th AMU, RAF Lakenheath, UK, 1989. Day shift Maintainers. )

First RAAF
Female F-111navigators

Mrs Elizabeth Monica Anderson -
(Formerly Preston & Spence)

In 1979, I was the first woman of the RAAF to be posted to No 6 Squadron.  I was an admin clerk in the HQ. On 1st August 1980, I was the first RAAF Airwoman to ever fly in an RAAF F-111, it was actually an RF-111C (A8-143 to be precise and Fltlt Thoroughgood was my pilot). The sortie was 1 and one half hours long and we flew down to the Gold Coast, went Mach 2.2 20 miles out to sea then flew back in over Evans Head Bombing Range for a low-level TFR and then home by skirting the Rosewood area, all the while me inputting the map co-ords and navigating via the cockpit camera screen.  CO at the time was Wing Commander Peter (Pidge) Hackett.   First CO was Wing Commander Dave Rogers.  I returned to 82 Wing HQ to serve under the then Group Captain Pete Chris.  I was at 6SQN when Plt off Fallon pitched in and he was the youngest ever F111 pilot graduate.
Brook Chivers (left) and Aroha Fifield (right)

Kristien Heins - of No 6 Squadron RAAF Amberley
Junior as he is known to his mates get the flight of a life time in A8-514 whilst at the RAAF AFB in the Northern Territory.

Blast from the past....
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(courtesy of Thomas Lockard)

Contact Jim Mundell to order the coin.

RAAF 482 & Aircraft Depot 3


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