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HomeLatest NewsLoud jets give locals a thrill (and scare!)

Loud jets give locals a thrill (and scare!)

We were perambulating peacefully through Dee Why on Tuesday when the gut-rumbling fury of several fighter jets stopped us – and half the Northern Beaches – in our tracks. Is it war? Is it Australia Day? Did we miss the memo on an invasion?

No, of course, to all three.  We don’t tend to get much in the way of warning on military exercises and this one, it turns out, wasn’t even our defence force. It was Korea’s, we learned after a bit of digging, but they were here by invitation.

So what were they and why were they here?

The flight around Sydney on Tuesday, 21 February, was organised by the ‘Black Eagles’ as part of their transit from South Korea to Avalon (in Victoria, not here) to join the Avalon 2023 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition, explained Airshow media manager Phillip Smart. We arrived at Phillip after first asking Australia’s Defence Force teams what was going on. They explained the jets weren’t there’s and were heading to Victoria for the show.

The Black Eagles are the Aerobatic Team for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), reportedly one of the world’s most highly regarded military jet display teams.

The eight-aircraft Black Eagles team has wowed audiences at recent airshows across Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom, winning both the prestigious King Hussein Memorial Sword and the Friends of RIAT (FRIAT) “As the Crow Flies” display awards at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT 2022) in England.

But this will be the first time either the team or its supersonic Korea Aerospace Industries KAI T- 50B Golden Eagle jet aircraft have ever displayed in Australia.

Their signature move is the “Taegeuk”, in which the team creates the Republic of Korea flag with display smoke.

Justin Giddings, CEO of AVALON 2023 organiser AMDA Foundation, said the Black Eagles are an exciting addition to the program, with announcements of more new first-time participants and aircraft to follow in the coming weeks.

And with that may come more surprise visitors to our local skies.  A delight for many, but to the chagrin of parents having just got their restless charges to sleep….