Pilatus PC-21 Single-Engine Turboprop Trainers
Pilatus PC-21 Single-Engine Turboprop Trainers

Royal Australian Air Force Farewells the PC-9/A Aircraft

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.

“The PC-9 aircraft has provided fantastic service to the Australian Defence Force over the past three decades, Air Commodore Wilson said.

“The aircraft has successfully supported 103 pilot training courses and graduated more than 1400 pilots from Navy and Air Force,” he said.

The PC-9/A is designed by Pilatus Switzerland and built under license by Hawker de Havilland in Sydney. It was introduced to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1987, with pilot training commencing in 1989.

“The 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.

“For those who have flown and supported the PC-9 fleet, seeing them retire will be an emotional experience – 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.

RAAF pilots graduated from the final course flown on the Pilatus PC-9A turboprop trainer at RAAF Pearce, in Western Australia on December 6. From the next course, pilot training will be conducted in the recently-inducted PC-21 aircraft. (RAAF photo)