However, it was the media troops in the iconic choppers on Monday, and instead of gun triggers, the troop’s fingers remained glued to their shutter buttons.
I was lucky enough to be among the media troops to fly in one of the 6th Aviation Regiment helicopters that left from Leeuwin Barracks on Monday morning.
The Australian Army’s Black Hawks are mostly used as a workhorse, lugging troops from one place to another, but we were told machine guns could also be mounted from the front windows; not this time though.
As expected, the noise and wind generated from the Black Hawk is enough to have you grasping for your hat and communicating with various expressions of ‘this is so cool’.
This is an almost daily joy for our pilots, Captain Ben Mackey and Captain Glen Little, who flew us around Perth in Dragoon at a relaxed speed of about 80 knots.
The pilots have flown over most Australian capital cities, but they assure the WA journalists that Perth city is up there with Sydney in terms of beauty.
They gave a quick safety briefing and before too long, Leeuwin Barracks was a speck in the distance and the ground-level scenery was replaced with sweeping views of Fremantle Harbour.
Lift-off was smooth, the side doors were open and we were treated to the novelty of dangling above the houses as the Black Hawk leaned over to turn towards the city.
From 200 to 500 feet above the footpaths and roads, Perth’s beauty was encapsulated in a single frame with the river, grassed foreshore and skyline forming a picture of opulence and progress.
The yellow-sanded expanse at the Elizabeth Quay project, the cranes dotted over the cityscape and the modern high-rises are Perth’s most clearly visible signs of growth from the sky.
Around the CBD, we flew low enough to see observers craning their necks to wave and marvel at the noisy beast that is the Black Hawk.
Descent was painless and it was too soon that we were back on the ground contemplating facing traffic on the commute back to the office.
It is clear why residents are warned in advance of the ADF’s training; the noise had already attracted social media attention and sent dogs berserk by the time we landed again.