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The Last Skyhawk

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My first original song is about aircraft 6205, the last operational Skyhawk in the Royal NZ Air Force. Its final flight should have been routine, but wasn't! The song was released on 12 February 2024. You can listen to it here:

The Sound Effects Used

The engine sounds are genuine, from an RNZAF A-4K Skyhawk's single Pratt & Whitney jet engine: first taking off and later a high-speed pass.

The radio traffic is my voice with various effects applied to make it sound like different voices over the radio. If you listen carefully, you can hear the following messages:

  1. "Cleared for take-off, runway 27, Skyhawk 205." — This is the pilot repeating his take-off clearance back to the controller. Skyhawk 205 is actually the aircraft number and wouldn't be the call-sign. However, I've taken this liberty so that the exchange makes sense to the listener (given I refer to the aircraft number in the introduction text). Runway 27 is a real runway at Ohakea airbase in NZ where 75 Squadron was based.

  2. "Skyhawk 205, cleared for Low Flying Zone." — The designated low flying practice area was Foxton Beach to the west of Ohakea.

  3. "Roger that. Let's see if the old girl has one more low pass in her. Descending to 50 feet, Skyhawk 205." — This acknowledgement is given to provide context to the listener. The RNZAF did practice strike missions at 50' altitude. This made them extremely difficult to intercept according to the CO of 75 Squadron in an interview. I would guess that in a real message the correct acknowledgement might be, "Cleared for Low Flying Zone, Skyhawk 205."

  4. "Mayday, mayday, mayday. Skyhawk 205 going down at Foxton Beach."

  5. "Rescue One. Returning to base. Pilot on board, shaken but not broken." — A message from the pilot of the search and rescue helicopter to explain the happy ending :)


I hope you enjoyed this music.

The Short Story

You can read my short story about this flight here.

Photo Credits: RNZAF Official

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