The Roulettes will undertake their final aerobatic display in the PC-9/A aircraft at the 2019 Avalon Air Show in a fitting tribute to retiring Chief Executive Officer of Pilatus Australia, Mr Rob Oliver.
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester thanked Mr Oliver for his significant contribution to Defence, including being instrumental in Pilatus’ bid for Project AIR5428, the Pilot Training System.
“The Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft has provided excellent service to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for the past 30 years, training thousands of aircrew from Navy, Army and Air Force,” Mr Chester said.
“The PC-9/A aircraft is being replaced by Pilatus PC-21 aircraft under the AIR5428 Pilot Training System project and I thank Mr Oliver for his dedication and hard work.”
The PC-9/A aircraft was introduced to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1987, with pilot training beginning in 1989. Mr Oliver started work for Pilatus Australia in 2006 and played a significant part in the commencement of operations with the PC-21 aircraft.
Mr Chester said the replacement Pilatus PC-21 aircraft was the most advanced turboprop trainer in the world. The first ADF basic pilot course had started earlier this year.
“The PC-21 aircraft and its supporting training systems will modernise RAAF aviation training and strengthen the ADF’s pilot training capability for many years to come,” Mr Chester said.
Australia has committed to purchasing 49 aircraft as part of project AIR5428. The new aircraft will be based at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia in the pilot training capacity.