Lifestyle

Former Rockhampton man flies Air Force's biggest aircraft

HIGH FLYER: Hailing from Rockhampton, Flying Officer Nic Barnes is now sitting in the cockpit of a KC-30A, that is the biggest aircraft in the Air Force fleet.
HIGH FLYER: Hailing from Rockhampton, Flying Officer Nic Barnes is now sitting in the cockpit of a KC-30A, that is the biggest aircraft in the Air Force fleet. CPL Mark Friend

SOARING above a seemingly endless stretch of the Pacific Ocean at 39,000ft is just another day in the office for Nic Barnes.

The former Rockhampton man is now flying high in a KC-30A, a multi-role tanker transport which is the biggest aircraft in the Air Force fleet.

A converted Airbus A380, the KC-30A can carry up to 270 passengers and cargo on missions up to 18 hours long around the globe.

Flying Officer Barnes piloted the aircraft home to Australia on July 16 after a task to Guam and Japan.

"Just in the last nine months or so this jet has taken me all over the world," he said.

"I've flown to the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Spain, the mainland United States a few times, and we're coming back from Japan now.

"Plus, we go all over Australia, flying domestically up and down the East Coast is a weekly occurrence for us."

The former Heights College student has been serving with the No 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane for the past 18 months.

Flying Officer Barnes trained on a CT-4 and PC-9 aircraft before stepping up to the KC-30A, and said it was the first twin-engine plane he'd flown.

"The KC-30A is 233 tonnes at maximum take-off weight, which is nearly one hundred times heavier than the PC-9," he said.

Flying Officer Barnes said there was a lot of preparation behind every international mission.

"We just need to make sure everything is squared away with flight planning, air routes, fuel figures, we have the diplomatic clearances to fly through other nation's airspace, and that we're carrying all the right publications such as airfield approach charts and maps," he said.

Topics:  aircraft, air force, pilot, plane




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man who drove at pedestrian 'just having a joke'

Magistrate doesn't see the humour as he hands down jail sentence

Explosion of shoplifting in Central Queensland

HUGE IMPACT: Yeppoon business owners Kylie Paterson, Karen Neale and Suzie Kaboozie are struggling to deal with the increased rate of shoplifting on the coast.

Small business owners feel victimised after increase in shoplifting.

Ambos treat woman at scene of single vehicle crash

Queensland Ambulance Service reports they treated a woman in her 20s

Latest deals and offers

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked