IT took Flight Lieutenant Adam four and a half hours to get from Bathurst to Newcastle by road. It then took him 20 minutes to return – and that was ‘just cruising’.
Flight lieutenant Adam was one of the pilots flying the F-18A single seat fighter jet over the city of Bathurst on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning in the lead up to The Great Race.
With a flight time of about 20 minutes from Williamtown RAAF Base in Newcastle, the pilots were flying at speeds of up to 1000km/hr during the display.
“It’s about half of what the aircraft can actually do.”
Flying as low as 75 metres overhead, it’s not exactly a scenic flight for the pilots.
“You can see, most of the time you are looking out, you have quick looks inside to check parameters and speed and height, but most of it is done looking out, But it not really scenic looking out for most of it.”
The pilots train for the display itself for about two months before, with 15 flights and the same number of simulations.
Before that they have to be flying for between four and five years with the airforce.
Flight lieutenant Adam said he had wanted to be a pilot since he was a teenager and his first experience of the jets was seeing them fly in the displays at events like the Formula One.
“Since I was a teenager. I wanted to fly the jet and do that as part of a job, and the display is just on the side of our real job.”
The Australian Defence Force are supporting the 2016 Bathurst 1000 from the skies and on the ground with Team Navy personnel an important part of the Prodrive Racing Team.
Three Navy technicians, marine, electrical and aviation specialists, are on a 12 month secondment to the team where they work as members of the crew.
The Australian Army also have several different displays around Merchandise Ally to engage the motorsport community and spread awareness of technical trade training in the Army.