The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has ceremoniously farewelled PC-9/A aircraft after more than 30 years of flying operations on 12 December 19.
The PC-9/A aircraft was introduced to service in 1987, commencing pilot training in 1989 and has been the backbone of Air Force and Navy flight training.
Deputy Air Commander Australia, Air Commodore Guy Wilson said he was proud to join hundreds of RAAF members, personnel from the supporting contractor Airflite along with representatives from the original manufacturer Pilatus and their respective families at a function to mark the significant milestone at RAAF Base Pearce.
â€œThe PC-9 aircraft has provided fantastic service to the Australian Defence Force over the past three decades, Air Commodore Wilson said.
â€œThe aircraft has successfully supported 103 pilot training courses and graduated more than 1400 pilots from Navy and Air Force,” he said.
â€œThe PC-9/A retirement comes as Defence introduces one of the world’s most advanced training aircraft, the PC-21 as part of the new pilot training system project.
â€œFor those who have flown and supported the PC-9 fleet, seeing them retire will be an emotional experience â€“ but the introduction of the PC-21 allows us to deliver modern and effective training that will serve the next generation of pilots,” Air Commodore Wilson said.
The retired fleet of PC-9/A aircraft will be disposed through transferring to heritage centres, allocating as training aids and through commercial sale.