UP IN THE SKY: An an Force KC-30a is doing laps around Evans Head to help test new communication suite at the RAAF base.
UP IN THE SKY: An an Force KC-30a is doing laps around Evans Head to help test new communication suite at the RAAF base. Chris Hosie

Why is that huge plane flying over the Northern Rivers?

YOU may have spotted an unusual aircraft flying quite low to the ground around Evans Head this week but don't worry, it's just doing its job.

An Air Force KC-30A has been flown into the help the Evans Head Air Weapons Range test new communication instruments recently installed.

"We've refurbished an old communication suite," Range Control Officer Jason Van Rysbergen said.

"There's a certain style radio we use to talk to aircraft from the ground.

"What we've had installed is a modernised version of that.

"We're testing this new version with the (Air Force KC-30a) to make sure we've got good communication with any aircraft that uses our airspace."

 

Mr Van Rysbergen said the tests, which started on Monday, have been successful so far.

"Everything is doing what it should and we're able to talk to (the plane) quite easily (from the ground)," he said.

"We're testing the various parameters of the communication suite.

"We'll keep testing as many days we can get good weather this week.

"We've had good weather on Monday and Tuesday so we should be able to achieve (the results) with that.

"But the rest of the week looks wet.

"Once we get the green light, we'll be able to operate as normal."

Posting on social media earlier this week, Mr van Rysbergen said he always liked to keep the community up to date with any thing happening out of the ordinary in the Evans Head airspace.

"I trawl the local social media pages because I want to make sure the local community are engaged," he said.

"A lot of people were talking about how they saw a plane operating at 1000 feet.

"I wanted to let them know that (the plane is ) doing what should be doing.

"I try as best as I can to make sure the community know what we're doing as people might be concerned."

Have you spotted the Air Force KC-30A? Send in your photos to news@northernstar.com.au.



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