View Full Version : Go RNZAF

21st Oct 2002, 01:31
No doubt there is a bunch of Herc drivers back at Ohakea killing themselves with laughter. Had a couple of mates at the stadium and they said plenty were scrabbling for cellphones to call loved ones or making a mad dash to get out of the stands or pointing at the Herc and panicking.

Fly-by rattles rugby fans
21 October 2002

An unscheduled show of air force over Jade Stadium frightened some Canterbury rugby fans on Friday night.

Spectators at the Canterbury-Auckland NPC semifinal were sent ducking for cover when a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules flew low over the stadium.

With international plane and bomb attacks on Westerners still fresh in people's minds, some spectators thought the end was nigh.

Lorette Peach, of Christchurch, said her husband had rung her from Jade Stadium in a state of shock.

"He thought that they were all done for. When the Hercules banked around, flying low, and was heading straight for them, he thought that the aircraft must have been stolen or taken over by terrorists, and they were all about to die."

Linda McFarlane, of suburban Halswell, said the fly-by was in poor taste... "especially as earlier we stood in remembrance for lives lost in Bali".

"I appreciate the air force is there to protect us, but a warning of the fly-by would have saved many a lot of distress."

RNZAF squadron leader and director of public affairs Ric Cullinane said the air force was concerned about any anxiety caused.

Mr Cullinane had not spoken to the Hercules captain, but imagined the fly-by was an attempt to support the rugby match.

"I can't speak for him, but I would be astonished if any of our people deliberately tried to scare anyone. Their concerns are understandable, given the current circumstances.

"I'm sure after this event that it's very unlikely that there will be any impromptu fly-bys in the future," Mr Cullinane said.

The captain of the Hercules was cleared to fly visually (rather than with instruments) from Christchurch Airport, bound for the Ohakea air base in Manawatu, at about 8.45pm. The Hercules flew across the city before circling over Jade Stadium.

Mr Cullinane said the pilot and the aircraft were well within the the height limitations of the clearance given.

Canterbury Rugby Football Union chief executive Hamish Riach was just as surprised as the 19,000-strong crowd when the Hercules roared overhead.

Mr Riach said last night the timing was strange, given recent attacks overseas, and he intended to explore the event with the air force tomorrow.

"The whole issue is about keeping us informed. Then we could have let people know, and it wouldn't have been a problem," Mr Riach said.

21st Oct 2002, 02:38
I dont think it was the herc that was causing the anxiety, but rather the lack of performance on the field that was causing the Cantabrians some angst.

21st Oct 2002, 05:18
I've just been watching an outraged TV "shock-horror " from some precious twinkie from the Canterbury Rugby Union. He ought to be happy it was one of ours.:(

21st Oct 2002, 05:36
Same issue arose in Sydney earlier this year with a RAAF Hawk taking photos of a visiting USAF jet - huge uproar from scared people on the ground.

Anyway, too bad if they were bad guys, Helen has made sure that there is no one to scramble even if there was time. I wonder if anyone rues the day she took our jets away cribble?


21st Oct 2002, 05:51
one woman said it looked like a fighter jet, well i suppose they are one-eyed cantabrians.

21st Oct 2002, 09:50
I can see how the cantab's could get confused....

Close one eye and you only see two engines, conclusion - must be a fighter.

On the other side they are prob' not far wrong. With all the macchis and A4s being sold the boys are carrying out low-level fighter intercept practice. Good on ya Helen!!!!

:D :D :cool:

Lapsus linguae
21st Oct 2002, 12:22
"I appreciate the Airforce is there to protect us........."

Buster Hyman
21st Oct 2002, 14:27
No big deal...Rugby's a girls game anyway!!!

(Wait for it...wait for it...here it comes....:p )

22nd Oct 2002, 02:19
The upshot of all this was....................

Stunt gets wings cut for pilot
22 October 2002

A Royal New Zealand Air Force captain has been stood down from flying duties as punishment for buzzing Jade Stadium in his C130 Hercules.

Spectators at the Canterbury-Auckland NPC semi-final on Friday night ducked for cover when the aircraft flew low over the stadium in a manoeuvre the pilot later said was aimed at supporting the match and raising the profile of the air force.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshal John Hamilton, said yesterday that the Hercules was travelling at 1000 feet a legal height for aircraft flying over built-up areas but the pilot had shown poor judgment.

"I was disappointed about the decision (to buzz the stadium) in that it showed poor judgment, given the international circumstances we find ourselves in," Air Vice Marshal Hamilton said.

The pilot, a flight lieutenant with more than eight years experience, had been removed from flying duties pending possible disciplinary action.

Air force planes had buzzed stadiums in the past without causing concern, but those incidents had been during the day, Air Vice Marshal Hamilton said.

Unauthorised low flying was a serious offence in the air force.

"Low flying is dangerous. If you are doing it through bravado and don't have the full skills the risk is higher. It will get people dismissed from the service, particularly during a wings course," Air Vice Marshal Hamilton said.

"We expect a certain spirit in our people, an attitude that is part of completing the range of difficult tasks we undertake on a regular basis.

"However this attitude must be balanced with skill and judgment. In this case I am disappointed by the captain's decision and in my view it showed poor judgment," Air Vice Marshal Hamilton said.

Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU) chief executive Hamish Riach said the air force's response in standing the pilot down was "entirely appropriate".

Mr Riach said he had spoken to the air force yesterday and was satisfied a thorough investigation was being undertaken.

"The pilot has issued a public apology. That is a serious level of response, which was entirely appropriate it was a stupid thing to do.

"The context of this is appalling, of course (rugby fans) were alarmed and scared. The pilot made what I regard as a serious lack of judgement," Mr Riach said.

Faxes and emails continued streaming into CRFU offices yesterday, from people frightened by the low-flying Hercules.

22nd Oct 2002, 04:31
And I hoped that back home a little commonsence would be shown by the kiwi public. Sad enough having to live with neurotic north americans without having to read reports of hysteria back home over a BS incident like this....
Who the **** would want to bomb NZ? Time to wake up and smell the sheep **** lads.

22nd Oct 2002, 04:43
Heaven forbid we remind the NZ public that we still have an airforce left. It would ruin all of Helen Clarks carefully laid plans. As for the grounding, better not let morale get too high there folks.:confused:

22nd Oct 2002, 04:54
91.311 Minimum heights for VFR flights
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), a pilot-in-command
of an aircraft must not operate an aircraft under VFR
(1) over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over
any open air assembly of persons, at a height of less than 1000
feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of
2000 feet from the aircraft position;

-NZ, CAR, Part 91, General Operating & Flight Rules

What's there to book him on?
1000 ft isn't really considered low flying is it?

Hopefully sanity will prevail, and he'll get his Wings back and Helen will get kicked out of power...

22nd Oct 2002, 05:28
RNZAF rules specify Low Flying as below 1000 msd, so no problems there. Unfortunately the Gestapo can get you on any number of infractions under the DM69 (Manual of Armed Forces Law). Worst offence, making the CAS have to tap dance on national TV!

Sir Shiraz
22nd Oct 2002, 07:43
"Low flying is dangerous. If you are doing it through bravado and don't have the full skills the risk is higher. It will get people dismissed from the service, particularly during a wings course," Air Vice Marshal Hamilton said.

What a crock.....

The poor guy flys over at 1000' and gets absolutely shafted......Airnz grind Ansett into the ground and get away scott free......

What a world you live in over there.....


Ray Dar
22nd Oct 2002, 22:36
Sir Red,

Spot on ! The poor RNZAF have had their arse's taken from underneath them and now the brass decide to really sort out the morale problem by doing this.

Apparently that juice that the PM is on is being used more widely now and more people are losing their brains and making great decisions.

Maybe a "little talk" discussing public sensitivities would be more than sufficient rather than grounding an experienced driver with, I would gather, no ROSO.

Good work team.....................not:mad:

23rd Oct 2002, 05:50
What a crock of ......!

Once again the only real problem in the RNZAF is the top-brasses complete inability to understand that their job is to support their troops at times like this. Not act like politicians and immediately seek to blame someone else (and take the limelight of themselves). Where's the backbone in your country? Feeble and weak leadership at all levels......

No crime was committed.... if anything, the general publics perception indicates an insecurity that would justify a more public military presence. Welcome to the modern world NZ; I'm glad it scared you...... another wake up call.

The Iroquois's spent years 'buzzing' (at 1000ft!) the Auckland rugby ground, often in formation and during cricket tests....... both spectators and TV commentators loved it.

Well done Smeg! Dont let the buqqers get you down!

PS. Whens your ROSO up? Get the hell out of dodge!

Ex Douglas Driver
23rd Oct 2002, 10:54
I'm behind you 100% Smeggie.

To not break any of the rules and get shafted in public is a complete crock. I would've thought that after the complete lack of support from "upstairs" at HQNZDF(Air) during the disbanding of the AAF, the current Chief would see the merit in not hiding behind butt licking comments.

I'm glad I've left.

24th Oct 2002, 21:13
I see the C130 Capt is back flying as a co-pilot.

Probably used to that side anyway with that sort of experience and is probably an instructor as well.

Personal file will be at the top of the pile.

Just wait some plum job will be in the offering.

Bad luck about the public perception, the only thing the public were concerned about was losing to the Auks and they had to vent their spleens on something. My bet is that the pilot was probably from Canterbury originally anyway otherwise no interest would have been shown.
:confused: :confused: :confused:

24th Oct 2002, 23:56
Not too far from the mark.

The RNZAF is so small they can actually ill afford to have an experienced Capt and Instructor religated to Co-pilot. Not to mention that he'll be hogging the seat of some less experienced squadron mate thus depriving him/her of valuable experience.

All in all a shocking show of command/leadership. This young thruster commited no crime (1000ft VFR!). What the RNZAF needed was a commander who said as much to the press/Govt thus gaining the respect of all RNZAF personnel.

As Ex-DD stated, morale is low in the RNZAF because they know at times like this (even when completely innocent) they will get no support from their Senior Officers.

? Perhaps its because anyone worth their salt (in the senior ranks) has left ?

By-the-by: I note that the PM recently blamed the Hercules and 727 unservicability rate on the National Parties desire to buy F16s!?
The fact that her Govt has done nano, zero, squat, zilich for the last 5 yrs seemed to completely slip her mind.