Top Gun Australia Pty Ltd is owned and operated by a highly experienced former U.S. Fighter Pilot and flies from Hobart International Airport on a full time basis. Occasionally we fly from Launceston, Devonport, and Wynyard. At Hobart Intl Airport, we operate from the TASAIR Facility so please feel free to come by and say hello! We are the only adventure flight company operating from a capital city airport in Australia!
DANIEL DUGGAN – CHIEF PILOT
Formerly a Major in the United States Marine Corps, Dan flew the famous AV-8B Harrier “Jump Jet”. He also flew and carrier qualified with the T2C Buckeye and A4J “Skyhawk”. As all U.S. Marine pilots, Dan is a “Naval Aviator” and has compiled several hundred carrier landings on seven different aircraft carriers, a third of them being at night. As a senior tactical instructor Dan held every tactical instructor qualification including Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Air Combat Tactics Instructor, Low Altitude Tactics Instructor, Night Tactics & Night Vision Goggle Instructor, and a Day/Night/NVG LSO (aircraft carrier landing instructor) to name just some. Other duties included Harrier “Level III Demo” (airshow) pilot. He also was deployed to the Persian Gulf flying missions in support of Operation Southern Watch from Kuwait and the USS Boxer. While in the Gulf he also flew from the British carrier HMS Invincible. Dan finished his military flying career with the Marines after being chosen for Exchange Pilot duties to the Spanish Navy where he flew the Harrier II Plus (Radar variant, shown above) from the Spanish aircraft carrier “El Principe de Asturias” (shown here). Along with being Chief Pilot and Managing Director, Dan also is a contracted military tactical instructor and consultant and has recent experience with the Hawk and Mig29. Dan also holds a U.S. and Australian ATPL, Australian Grade III Flt Instructor, and Low Level Jet Aerobatic Display endorsements
Holger Funken – Chief Operations Officer
email: <[email protected]>
Funky spent 22 years in the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) with more than 20 years flying experience mostly flying the impressive F-4 Phantom (right middle) in the air defence and ground attack roles. Funky is a highly experienced Mission Commander with several instructor qualifications such as Fighter Weapons Instructor(FWI), Qualified Flight Instructor (QFI)
Trent Kenagy, a former US Marine Captain and RAAF Flight Lieutenant, has over 17 years flying experience. Much of this time was spent flying the F/A-18 Hornet from land and sea bases in both the ‘C’ (pictured) and ‘D’ models. As an aircraft carrier based Marine pilot, Trent is an expert in Naval Aviation and demonstrated routinely the high skill level required to not only find, but land on the “postage stamp” known to the pros as the “The Boat”. During his time in the Marines, Trent achieved many instructor ratings, flew in many operational missions and participated in several multi-national exercises. Recognized as a leader in tactical instruction, Trent joined the RAAF as a Flight Lieutenant and attended Central Flying School for training as a Qualified Flying Instructor. During his time in the RAAF he was responsible for training advanced pilots in tactical and operational flying prior to advancement in the RAAF Fast-jet program. Since leaving the RAAF in 2001, he has flown internationally in 747’s and now fly’s 737’s domestically for a leading Australian Airline. Trent is also an instructor for an international test pilot school with experience in the Hawk Jet, Mig 29, and L-39.
Jethro Nelson was formerly a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force (UK), and served for almost 20 years. Flying mainly the Panavia Tornado GR4 (bottom right), he flew numerous combat missions in the ground attack & reconnaissance roles, participated in several multi-national exercises, and was selected to be the RAF’s senior Tornado GR4 instructor & flight examiner for the Central Flying School. Instructing ground attack and air combat tactics not only on the Tornado, but also on the agile BAe Hawk advanced jet trainer, Jethro accumulated considerable instructional experience and qualifications, including Qualified Flying Instructor, Qualified Tactics Instructor and Air Combat Leader.Before leaving the RAF in 2009, Jethro qualified as a commercial seaplane pilot, and has since been flying floatplanes in Scotland, the Kimberley & Tasmania.
HISTORY OF THE JET PROVOST SERIES
The JET PROVOST Mk 5 has a lengthy development path, being the latest variant of the Jet Provost, which is in turn a development of the Percival (later Hunting) Provost. The P.56 Provost prototype, powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XVIII engine first flew in 1950. The type was accepted by the RAF as a basic trainer, entering service in 1953. By this stage thought was being given to an all through jet trainer and Percival looked to replace the Alvis Leonides 126 radial powerplant of the Provost with a turbojet.
The new design retained the wing and tail structures of the original Provost, but mounted the Bristol Siddeley (later Rolls Royce) Viper powerplant in a new fuselage and added a tricycle undercarriage. Although developed as a private venture, Percival succeeded in gaining an RAF order for 10 of the aircraft. By the time the first aircraft flew on June 16, 1954, Percival had been taken over by Hunting. The P.84 aircraft was therefore designated the Hunting Jet Provost T.Mk.1.
After trials, the RAF accepted the Jet Provost as a basic trainer in 1955. It became the standard basic trainer for three decades, being phased out in favour of the Shorts Tucano from 1989.
Production amounted to 386 aircraft, and many were refurbished for export. In the meantime Hunting created the H.145 as another private venture. This was redesignated the BAC.145 when Hunting was absorbed into British Aerospace.
The new version Jet Provost T.Mk.5 featured a longer nose for avionics, a pressurised cockpit, and strengthened wings to carry more weapons and fuel. The prototype was flown on February 28, 1967, and 110 were produced. An armed version was produced for the export market, and the BAC.167 extended this concept. The prototype (G-127-8) was first flown on October 27, 1967. Powered by the uprated RR Viper 535 the wing was redesigned for up to 8 hardpoints carrying 1361kg (3000lb) of stores, and the aircraft featured improved brakes, and armour.
For more detailed information on the Jet Provost go to www.jetprovostheaven.com
The CJ6a “Nanchang”
is an initial military training aircraft of the Chinese Air Force (Peoples Liberation Army). Student pilots learn the fundamentals of military aviation and aerobatics in the CJ6 before moving on to fast jets. It has a powerful 285 horse power, 9 cylinder, radial engine giving it plenty of grunt to perform advanced aerobatics. The radial engine also gives the Nanchang the feel and sound of a classic warbird. Capable of speeds of over 350kph, the Nanchang can pull up to 6 G’s and will give you one of the best warbird experiences available.
OUR MISSION OBJECTIVES
“Objective 1” is to carry out our flight experiences in the safest and most professional manner possible. To us, safety is “priority one” and is our commitment to you!!! Our aircraft are carefully maintained in accordance with a CASA approved “Maintenance Schedule” and are subjected to routine inspections and servicing on a daily basis. Further, ALL our pilots are military trained Fighter Pilots and will carry out the “Mission” with the highest degree of discipline and professionalism, ensuring that your safety is not compromised.
“Objective 2” is passenger comfort and enjoyment. We know these experiences are a life long dream for most of our passengers. We will endeavor to make sure that the passenger and guests will remember this “once in a lifetime” experience with the fondest of memories. We also know these flights are not cheap and that the purchaser and passenger have worked long and hard to make this dream a reality. In order to maximise comfort, our experienced pilots will personally tailor each flight to the passenger. We will not rest until the mission is complete and our clients are as satisfied as possible.
“Objective 3” is to be a “Good Neighbour”. We are aware of the sensitive noise issues associated with our jet adventure operations. It is important to know that we have self imposed restrictions on our flight operations and adhere to very strict noise abatement procedures. Although our aircraft are much smaller and quieter than the commercial jets already flying from Hobart International Airport, we will avoid noise sensitive areas and limit our flight time in the airport area to the least amount possible to maintain safe flight profiles. The majority of our flights are flown out over the water which adds to safety reducing the possibility of severe turbulence and also minimizes our noise impact to populated areas.
OPERATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Aerobatic flight is inherently more dangerous than normal routine flight operations such as Commercial Regular Public Transport, Charter, and General Aviation. However, we have identified specific areas that will limit our Operational Risk to a minimum increasing safety to a maximum :
Our Jet Provost aircraft are carefully maintained in accordance with a CASA approved “Schedule of Maintenance” which has been modeled from that used by the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF). The Jet Provost last flew with the RAF on active service and we have the original logbooks formally maintained by them. Our Nanchang aircraft are maintained to the same high standard using the maintenance systems used by the Chinese Air Force. We operate our aircraft with a LIMITED CATEGORY CERTIFICATE OF AIRWORTHINESS which requires us to follow strict guidelines as set forth by the Australian Warbird Association Ltd of which we are a member.
We specifically chose to fly the Jet Provost Mk5 and CJ6a Nanchang because they were designed tough as Military Trainers making them robust, reliable, and aerodynamically predictable. The Jet Provost has one of the safest track records of any military jet aircraft and it is for this reason that the RAF chose to operate the series for so long. The “Side by Side” seating arrangement allows the pilot to look after the passenger easily and adds to the pilot’s overall situational awareness, adding to safety.
Unlike other Jet Adventure Companies, you will always have an experienced MILITARY TRAINNED FIGHTER PILOT as your Mission Commander. This adds credibility, discipline, professionalism, and an undisputable proven past performance to all our flight packages adding to the overall safety of each mission.
OUR AIRCRAFT MARKINGS AND LOGOS
Top Gun Tasmania Pty has taken inspiration from two Tasmanian symbols. Firstly, for our Squadron badge we chose a classic Tasmanian bird of prey, the White Bellied Tasmanian Sea Eagle, found coastally throughout Tasmania. For the Jet “Roundel” we modeled our design from that of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the blue, white and red kangaroo but replaced the kangaroo with one of the most famous Tasmanian animals, the Tasmanian Tiger. We also proudly display the Tasmanian State Flag on our vertical fin. Interestingly, the RAAF originally had only a red circle in the center of their round ell but after a RAAF WWII aircraft was misidentified for a Japanese war plane and mistakenly shot down by a US fighter, they changed the circle to the unmistakable Australian Kangaroo. Fortunately for Top Gun Tasmania, we don’t have to worry about being shot down, but feel very proud of our “colours” and hope to represent Tasmania in “Top Gun” style! Perhaps we’re the beginning of the Royal Tasmanian Air Force (RTAF)? 🙂