Swarm of Hornets cause quite a shake, rattle and roll in Katherine

SHOOK UP: A F/A-18 Hornet returns to Tindal RAAF Base during Exercise Arnhem Thunder. Picture: Defence Meida.
SHOOK UP: A F/A-18 Hornet returns to Tindal RAAF Base during Exercise Arnhem Thunder. Picture: Defence Meida.

IT IS likely a returning flight of 16 F/A-18 Hornets made the rumble in Katherine and surrounds on Monday night.

The RAAF has revealed it is running a second operation, Exercise Arnhem Thunder, in conjunction with Exercise Desert Storm, from the RAAF Base at Tindal.

Hundreds of residents reported a violent shaking of windows and doors in their homes Monday night.

Some initially thought Katherine may have been hit by a minor earthquake but this was discounted yesterday by Geoscience Australia.

OC 81WG Group Captain Timothy Alsop has today told the Katherine Times it was likely the RAAF’s flight operations which caused the rattle and there may be more to come.

“Early on Monday night, approximately sixteen F/A-18 Hornets returned from their scheduled training in formations of two or four aircraft, remaining visually clear of Katherine to the the north east,” Group Captain Timothy Alsop said.

“The aircraft were flying at normal recovery speeds and altitudes.”

He said the Hornets operated in accordance with standard operating procedures and always endeavour to avoid directly overflying Katherine township and other built-up areas.  

Exercise Arnhem Thunder is being conducted concurrently with Exercise Diamond Storm from Tindal.

“The aim of Exercise Arnhem Thunder is to develop the same advanced air combat skills that have been so effective in the fight against Da'esh in Iraq and Syria over the past three years.

“This involves both day and night flying to ensure the pilots are equally capable in all environments,” Group Captain Alsop said. 

“Over the next two weeks, Royal Australian Air Force aircraft will continue to conduct night flying to ensure our fighter pilots maintain the high skills required of them. 

“Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal appreciates the support it receives from the local Katherine community during periods of increased exercise tempo and during periods of night flying. 

Further information on contact details or flying times can be found on the Flying Operations page: