Red Thunder 2019 Poster

Red Thunder TFC - 2019

20th - 26th May

by Gill Vardi

Every year the skies above the Brisbane Valley have resonated to the throaty growl of the Red Thunder Tactical Formation Clinic (Red Thunder TFC). The Red Thunder TFC has become Australia’s premier air combat playground, offering Warbird owners the opportunity to experience their aircraft the way they were meant to be flown!

The TFC brings together the experience of former and current Military pilots offering Warbird owners a snapshot of combat type operations.

This 7 day not for profit clinic has become renowned for providing excellence in the supervision of tactical flight operations. The Red Thunder TFC facilitates a safe environment for continuation training of both ab-initio and proficient pilots, with an emphasis in the areas of ;

  • Close Formation,
  • Tactical Formation,
  • Max Performance Handling, and
  • Combat Manoeuvring.

The Red Thunder TFC training is well documented and demanding. Participant work hard and play hard. This year the Red Thunder event diversified to conduct operations from both Kingaroy and Watts Bridge. Gill Vardi (Air-Boss for the TFC) and president of the Queensland Warbird and Vintage Aircraft Association (QWVAA) took some delight in reminding us all of the just how much Red Thunder is a part of Watts Bridge, and how it has called Watts Bridge “HOME” for over 7 years! Richard Waugh, President of Watts Bridge and avid Red Thunder participant, frequently remarks on how Red Thunder has grown from humble beginnings to enjoy some 30- 35 warbirds at each event. Sponsored by the Queensland Warbird and Vintage Aircraft Association, Red Thunder could hardly take Exercise POEHALI (the Red Thunder final day exercise) to another airfield!

As with all Red Thunder activities the local community of Toogoolawah have been active in many of the social activities which surround each event. This year’s turnout was a ‘cracker’ as was the Red Air Squadron dinning in night! Of course Red Thunder is not just a ‘boys club’ our Natasha’s actively engage in our social activities, mostly enjoying a range of Luncheons, Spa days and of course the banter which ssurrounds a ‘testosterone charged’ final days event. As frequently espoused around the Red Thunder social events a couple ‘C’ notes for my Natasha is usually worth a couple of ‘M’ notes on the aircraft.

All said and done many 'Eastern Block' and other warbird aircraft take part at Red Thunder events. Whilst we continue our 'Russian Flavour' in both our flight and social activities, we’d love to see you at one of our events, whatever type you fly or just to join in on our social activities !

For more Red Thunder TFC info, be sure to visit their website at

Photo Gallery

Many thanks to Tim Fisher and Peter Biddle for the photographs used in this gallery.

[ Click the small photographs to view a full size image. ]

© 2003 - 2024 Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield Inc.
PO Box 98, Toogoolawah, Queensland, 4313, Australia

Phone: 0427 699 239 

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