Incredible cockpit video of plane flying among skyscrapers in Brisbane
29th September 2021

Cockpit video of Australian military plane flying among Brisbane’s skyscrapers shows how close ace pilots are able to fly to the buildings

  • RAAF cargo jet filmed was weaving through Brisbane CBD’s skyline on Thursday 
  • But new cockpit footage shows just how close the ace pilot could fly to buildings
  • The plane’s computer can be heard alerting the pilot to various obstacles
  • The pilot was practicing for the Sunsuper Riverfire event at the Brisbane Festival
  • Jet seen following the curves of the Brisbane River through the CBD at just 300ft
  • Viewers have expressed their thoughts on the ‘terrifying’ sight in ‘colorful’ ways 

New cockpit footage from a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 cargo jet that flew between skyscrapers last week in Brisbane has left viewers in disbelief at how close ace pilots are able to fly next to the buildings.

The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft was filmed on Thursday during a practice run as the jet flew through Brisbane at low altitude, with footage amazing and upsetting viewers in equal measure.

But the latest footage taken from inside the plane and released by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) shows just how impressive the flight was, as the pilot skilfully carved their way above the Brisbane river, mere feet from the metal and concrete. 

Throughout the video, the plane’s computer can be heard alerting the pilot to the oncoming buildings, bridges and houses mere dozens of feet away, with a robotic voice repeating ‘obstacle ahead’ and ‘terrain, terrain!’.  

The plane was rehearsing for the annual Sunsuper Riverfire event, which was held in the Queensland capital on Saturday night to mark the end of the three-week 2021 Brisbane Festival.

The C-17A Globemaster carved along the course of the Brisbane river, mere dozens of feet from buildings

The plane’s onboard computer can be heard warning the pilot throughout the flight, as a robotic voice repeatedly said ‘obstacles ahead!’ and ‘terrain, terrain!’

The latest footage taken from inside the plane shows just how impressive the flight was as the pilot skimmed just 300ft above the ground

The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft was filmed on Thursday during a practice run as the jet flew through Brisbane at low altitude. The impressive footage amazed some, but has startled other viewers and drawn criticism

A RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft was filmed flying through Brisbane’s CBD skyline on Thursday (pictured) 

Brisbane residents were warned about the practice flight but others watching online were shocked

Brisbane locals pointed out the stunt is not nearly as dangerous as it appears, with the plane actually flying above the Brisbane river that runs through the city, not necessarily through the skyscrapers as it seems in the first video that was published.

‘It’s not immediately discernible in the angle in the video, but that plane is flying above a river that runs through the city. Not weaving in between buildings. Also it was widely publicized before it occurred so people weren’t caught off guard,’ Australian reporter Chad Ryan explained. 

Some Brisbane residents described the stunt as ‘epic’, while other viewers from the US questioned the safety of the Brisbane event, describing it as ‘terrifying.’ 

Pictured: The cargo jet weaves between skyscrapers at a low height. Viewers were startled at the footage, with US commenters online saying they had flashbacks to 9/11

A pilot of a C-17 jet in the US Air Force who wished to remain anonymous told Task & Purpose the stunt would never be allowed to be performed in the States, calling the videos ‘insane.’

‘If the crew’s timing is off or if they are slow to react, the jet would collide with a building. Very risky,’ the pilot said. 

He explained that special approvals can be sought out for flyover events, but the jet is not allowed to fly below the tops of buildings in the US. 

Other US viewers of the stunt also voiced their disapproval, with NBC senior executive Mike Sington writing on Twitter that it gave him flashbacks to the 9/11 terror attacks.

‘No, no, no, just no,’ Sington wrote.

‘A Royal Australian Air Force jet weaves through the skyscrapers of downtown Brisbane, on purpose. It was a rehearsal for an air show, causing immediate flashbacks to 9/11.’

The RAAF released a statement informing locals of the rehearsal flight, explaining the flight paths of the jet.

‘Safety, noise management and the environment are vital considerations in the planning and conduct of Defence flying activities, and participating squadrons will operate with a view to minimising the impact on local communities,’ the statement read.

‘The health and safety of all personnel participating in this event is paramount. All Australian Defence Force personnel are required to adhere to state and territory government travel restrictions and health advice. There are a range of COVID-19 risk mitigation measures in place for this exercise.’

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