French Navy crew to jet into Illawarra Regional Airport for HARS’ visit

FLY IN VISIT: The former French Marine Neptune 566 at HARS Aviation Museum. A French Navy jet crew will visit HARS on Saturday.
FLY IN VISIT: The former French Marine Neptune 566 at HARS Aviation Museum. A French Navy jet crew will visit HARS on Saturday.

A French Navy jet crew will drop by Illawarra Regional Airport on Saturday.

The Dassault Gardian maritime surveillance jet will fly into HARS Aviation Museum to pay respect to one of their former squadron aircraft.

The 25F Navy Squadron crew will inspect the former “French Marine” Lockheed Neptune 566, which was built in 1959 and was recovered from Tahiti by volunteers from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS).

HARS volunteers keep it in operational condition.

HARS Aviation Museum president Bob De La Hunty, said Neptune 566 spent most of its life patrolling the Atlantic until it finished its career in Tahiti in 1984.

The French Government donated “566” to HARS in 1987 and the museum’s volunteers spent almost two years making visits to Papeete Airport restoring the former long-range maritime patrol anti-submarine aircraft so they could fly it to Australia.

“From our perspective, “566” is the finest example anywhere in the world of a Lockheed Neptune, since it is complete in its original condition inside,” Mr De La Hunty said.

Subject to conditions on January 19, the crew will stay at the HARS Aviation Museum until about 3pm.

This story French Navy crew to jet into Illawarra Regional Airport for HARS’ visit first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.