Mother of all military planes to fly over the Gold Coast at very low altitude

A ROYAL Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster III will fly over Allambe Memorial Park in Nerang on Friday as part of a funeral service for Gold Coast Flight Lieutenant Michael Atkinson.

The huge aircraft will fly at an altitude of just 90 metres above all ground obstacles as it approaches the park from the north at approximately 2pm.

The flypast will form part of a funeral service for Flight Lieutenant Michael Atkinson, who passed away last week at the age of 94.


Initially joining the Australian Army in January 1942, Flight Lieutenant Atkinson was selected by the Royal Australian Air Force to serve as a Wireless Air Gunner.

On completion of his training in Canada in 1943, Flight Lieutenant Atkinson flew on Halifax bombers on missions over Occupied Europe, before returning to Australia in 1946.

He went on to serve as a wireless operator on the Dakota transport and Lincoln Bomber, deployed to the Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan and flew missions during the Malayan Emergency.

The crew of a Royal Air Force No. 78 Squadron Halifax Bomber ‘Q for Queenie’. Flight Lieutenant Michael Atkinson is pictured kneeling on the left. (Supplied)

Flight Lieutenant Atkinson was later commissioned as an Air Traffic Control Officer before retiring from the Air Force in 1975, remaining close to the Air Force whilst living on the Gold Coast.

The Globemaster conducting the flypast on Friday is operated by No. 36 Squadron, which is one of the squadrons Flight Lieutenant Atkinson served with following the Second World War.

The C-17A Globemaster III provides Air Force with an unprecedented capacity for strategic airlift and allows Australia to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world.

A ROYAL Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III will flyover the Gold Coast on Friday PHOTO: Department of Defence

NOTE: The flypast is subject to variables including Air Traffic Control, weather, and operational availability; and may be delayed or cancelled.