A Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Bell 429 training helicopter made an appearance at the 2016 Tyabb Airshow. 3 are operated by RAN No. 723 Squadron in Nowra, NSW and are used to maintain and develop the skills of junior Naval helicopter aircrew (delivered in April 2012).
Junior aircrew initially conduct lead in training in the Eurocopter AS350BA Squirrel helicopter. They then move on to the Bell 429 which acts as a lead in trainer for the more advanced navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk and NHIndustries MHR-90 Taipan ship-borne helicopters. In June 2012 Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Peter Laver said “The introduction of the Bell 429 will expose crews to some of the most advanced technology in rotary wing aviation today.”
This example was on static display but flew in over the airshow early that day and took off in a great hurl of grass and dust after the show. It caused a bit of excitement in the remaining crowd at the end of the day!