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Thursday, 5 April 1984
Page: 1349

(Question No. 645)

Senator Colston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 16 December 1983:

(1) Were the two Royal Australian Air Force jets which collided on 15 December 1983 being used for aerobatic practice; if so, why is this dangerous activity fostered by the RAAF.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The two RAAF jets which collided on 15 December 1983 were being flown by members of the RAAF Roulettes formation aerobatic team on an authorised training flight. Aerobatics and formation flying are important parts of military flying and are practised by training and operational elements of the RAAF. During pilot training, aerobatics are introduced early in the flying training syllabus to teach the student to control the aircraft accurately and competently in all flight attitudes. Operationally, complex aerobatic manoeuvres are flown to exploit the operational capabilities of aircraft and their weapons.

The Roulettes, which are formed from experienced instructor pilots from the RAAF Central Flying School, combine aerobatic and formation skills to provide a display team to personify the skills and professionalism of the RAAF to the general public on occasions of significance.