816 Squadron confirms attendance at Australian Grand Prix

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), LSIS Paul McCallum (photographer)

Topic(s): S-70B-2 Seahawk, 816 Squadron, V8 Supercars

File image: Ford Performance Racing cars with the support of an S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 round of the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship at Sandown Raceway. (photo: LSIS Paul McCallum)
File image: Ford Performance Racing cars with the support of an S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 round of the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship at Sandown Raceway.

The 2014 Australian Grand Prix is described as a place where power and glory come together so what better place to suit the highly capable Royal Australian Navy Seahawk helicopter than in Melbourne from 14–16 March this year.

This week 816 Squadron confirmed its place at the spectacular event where a Sikorsky S-70B-2 will take part alongside other highly anticipated acts varying from race cars to world renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk.

The Squadron will host a static display with approximately four aircrew and ten maintainers in attendance to field questions and meet and greet aviation enthusiasts.

Commanding Officer of 816 Squadron, Commander (CMDR) Marc Pavillard said the event is a great opportunity for Melbourne residents, interstate visitors and racing fans from around the world to get up close to one of the Royal Australian Navy’s remarkable flying machines.

“Specialising in anti-submarine warfare, with a maximum speed of 270 kilometres per hour, the Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk is a very impressive aircraft,” CMDR Pavillard said.

Extending the combat radius of a ship, a typical Seahawk mission involves low-level operations over the sea, by day or night, in all weather, often recovering to a ship’s deck that pitches and rolls dramatically in heavy seas. In addition to the Seahawk’s primary roles, its comprehensive sensors and excellent performance make it an ideal helicopter for performing a number of secondary roles including: search & rescue, utility operations (winching and external load lift) and fire bombing.

Whether racing fans are six or sixty there is something to enjoy, learn and experience for all ages. They can meet the aircrew and maintainers who operate the Seahawk, take a seat in the cockpit and find out about the diverse history of 816 Squadron, based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra.

Spectators can also witness Navy involvement on track throughout the weekend amidst the racing action of support categories Porsche Carrera Cup, V8 Supercars and the Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge. Driving alongside Mark Winterbottom, in the Navy branded Ford Performance Racing V8 Supercar; Team Navy’s Honorary Lieutenant Chaz Mostert will take on the main game for a serious shot at the V8 Supercar Championship Title this year.

With a Navy helicopter off track and a Team Navy driver racing a V8 Supercar on track, there is plenty of opportunity to support the Royal Australian Navy this year at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. Tickets are available through the website http://www.grandprix.com.au.