A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

A Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] C-130J Hercules will make return trips across the Tasman for this year’s Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival at the Hood Aerodrome in Masterton this weekend.

The RAAF Hercules participated in the flying display practice day yesterday and will participate the air display today.

The RAAF Hercules will conduct an “initial and pitch” before the crowds at Hood Aerodrome before approaching the runway for a full-stop landing.

The RAAF crew will then reverse their Hercules back along the runway, and then take off for the return flight to Australia.

To ensure quarantine safety for covid-19, the crew will not exit the aircraft on the ground before return to Australia unless in an emergency.

Squadron Leader John Ayers, Temporary Commanding Officer of No 37 Squadron, said the Hercules crew would make a 4600km round-trip each day from RAAF Base Richmond, in Sydney’s northwest.

“The runway at Hood is only 1200 metres long, so our appearance at Wairarapa will demonstrate our reach and operational flexibility when supporting our regional neighbours,” Squadron Leader Ayers said.

The RAAF C-130J is the same model that will soon be introduced into Royal New Zealand Air Force service as a replacement for its C-130H Hercules.