A pair of Air Force C-130J Hercules transports visited the Ballina airport today.
A pair of Air Force C-130J Hercules transports visited the Ballina airport today. Marc Stapelberg

Rare opportunity for cadets to fly in Hercules at Ballina

AUSTRALIAN Air Force cadets had a rare opportunity at Ballina today, when they were involved in a training mission in one of the hardest working aircraft in the Defence force, the C-130J Hercules transport.

Two Hercules planes are in Ballina today to undertake a local area flight with the cadets.

This will involve instructors preparing new pilots and loadmasters in how to operate the C-130J.

Hercules instructor, Flight Lieutenant Steve Andrews, is a pilot and former resident of Ballina who went to Southern Cross K-12 School.

"It's rare that we have opportunities to bring a Hercules to Ballina and showcase the aircraft quite like this," he said.

"Engaging youth will hopefully spark the imaginations of young men and women, either into a career in Defence, aviation, or any number of technology fields."

The visit to Ballina is also an opportunity for Defence to illustrate the role of the C-130J.

"We always have at least two Hercules supporting Defence personnel in the Middle East Region, and have recently delivered relief following Cyclone Winston in Fiji," Flight Lieutenant Andrews said.

"Different models of Air Force Hercules have a record of supporting communities in need since December 1958, and I'm very proud to be part of this legacy."



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