​​Eastern Bloc Warbirds


Australia's aviation safety regulations allow the operation of a range of ex-military, historic and replica aircraft in adventure-style flights.


Numerous aviation organisations offer flights to the public in these jet and propeller aircraft for a fee.


These flights are marketed as 'warbird', 'combat', 'military', 'top-gun' or 'adventure' flights, rather than traditional 'joy flights'.
The flights may involve mock military-style combat manoeuvres, aerobatics and mock bombing runs.


The information below is an outline of how the safety risks of these flights are managed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and - since May 2007 - the Australian Warbirds Association Limited.


It is intended as a guide for people considering taking adventure flights and should not be seen as an endorsement of any particular organisation or adventure flights in general.

Are adventure flights safe?


The safety risks of adventure flights are very different to the risks of flying in large passenger jet aircraft or smaller commuter aircraft.

In fact, the safety risks of adventure flights are unique.

The reason is simple – these are flights conducted in historic, ex-military and replica aircraft, operating under more extreme flying conditions.

Many of these ex-military aircraft were manufactured in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Our Antonov was built in 1989 making it newer than some of the commercial airliners flying in the Australian skies today.

It is also important to remember that the original design specifications and standards of manufacture were military, not civilian.  This means the way the aircraft were built and then maintained was not the same as civilian standards for passenger-carrying aircraft.

The maintenance standards required for these historic, ex-military and replica aircraft today are not as high as the standards required for commercial passenger-carrying aircraft.

In addition, the flights may involve aerobatics or mock military manoeuvres and this intrinsically carries a higher risk than flying in a commercial or private aircraft in level flight.

Depending on the location, the adventure flight may not be supported by air traffic control services.


All these factors mean taking an adventure flight has a higher level of risk than flying as a passenger on a commercial airline.

So what's CASA's role in adventure flights?


Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations ex-military, replica and historic aircraft intended for adventure flight operations are registered with CASA and placed in the Limited Category of airworthiness.

This allows the aircraft to operate under a special set of conditions contained in Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 21.189 and Civil Aviation Regulations 262AM.

The aircraft must be operated and maintained in accordance with the Australian Warbirds Association Limited manual or have a specific approval issued by CASA to operate.

The Australian Warbirds Association has approval from CASA to administer aircraft operating under the Limited Category.

CASA will not generally conduct direct routine surveillance of Limited Category aircraft.

CASA's involvement is restricted to licensing pilots and granting approval to the Australian Warbirds Association to provide a measure of self-administration of the sector in respect to airworthiness matters and adventure flight operations.

CASA also delivers education about the risks of adventure flights and will remove people from the aviation industry who endanger lives or engage in other unsafe practices.

The regulations provide that neither the Commonwealth nor CASA are liable in negligence or otherwise for any loss or damage incurred by anyone because of, or arising out of, the design, construction, restoration, repair, maintenance or operation of a limited category aircraft or an experimental aircraft, or any act or omission of CASA done or made in good faith to any of those things.

What are the conditions on these flights?

Under the regulations there are a range of important requirements relating to adventure flights operated under the Limited Category.  

These include:

The number of people on any aircraft are restricted to no more than six, Unless approved for more.

Some aircraft are restricted in where they are allowed to fly.

The aircraft must be in a good state of repair and airworthiness.

The aircraft type must have a satisfactory history of operations as far as can be reasonably determined,

CASA or an authorised person is satisfied that the aircraft can reasonably be expected to be safe when it is operated under the conditions limiting its intended use the operator must produce a statement, in a form and manner acceptable to CASA or the authorised person, setting out the purpose or purposes for which the aircraft is to be used CASA or an authorised person may inspect the aircraft to determine whether it is in a good state of preservation and repair and is in a condition for safe operation and require the applicant to carry out a flight check to enable CASA or the authorised person to make the determination.

Do people have to understand and accept the risks?

Yes. Before you take an adventure flight you must be given an explanation of the risks involved and you must accept those risks.

People who fly in Limited Category aircraft must be properly briefed and must have acknowledged that briefing in writing.

If you choose to take an adventure flight you will be asked to sign a document to confirm you have been briefed about the safety issues.

In addition, every Limited Category aircraft must carry a placard with the following warning clearly displayed inside the aircraft in a way that each person can read:



WARNING - PERSONS FLY IN THIS AIRCRAFT AT THEIR OWN RISK
THIS AIRCRAFT HAS BEEN DESIGNED FOR SPECIAL
OPERATIONS AND IS NOT OPERATED TO THE SAME SAFETY
STANDARDS AS A NORMAL COMMERCIAL PASSENGER
FLIGHT.

What will I be asked to sign?

If you take an adventure flight in Limited Category aircraft, you will be asked to sign a document acknowledging you have been told and understand the risks involved.


The risks you must accept are:

the design, manufacture, and airworthiness of the aircraft are not required to meet any standard recognised by CASA

CASA does not require the aircraft to be operated to the same degree of safety as an aircraft on a commercial passenger flight a person who flies in limited category aircraft does so at his or her own risk.

What types of pilots fly these aircraft?

The pilots flying adventure flights must have a licence of a higher standard than a private pilots licence.

They are required to hold a commercial pilot licence or an air transport pilot licence, with appropriate ratings and endorsements.


The endorsements qualify the pilot to fly the particular type of aircraft, while ratings are the qualifications for different types of flying, such as low level or aerobatics.

What types of aircraft are commonly called warbirds?

In general, an ex-military aircraft now being flown in civilian aviation is known as a warbird.

They can be historic or modern aircraft and in some cases are replicas.

Both jets and propeller driven aircraft operate as warbirds engaged in adventure flights.

Types include MiGs, YAKs, Strikemasters, L39 Albatross, Trojan, Tiger Moth and CT4.

There are currently more than 200 ex-military (warbird), historic and replica aircraft registered with CASA and flying in the Limited Category in Australia.

Have there been any accidents in Limited Category aircraft?

Yes, there have been accidents involving these kinds of aircraft.

However, accidents are not common, despite the higher level of risks that must be accepted when flying in these aircraft.

Since the inception of Limited Category airworthiness and adventure flight operations in 1998, two fatal crashes have occurred.

Why doesn't CASA take a more active role in managing safety in this area of aviation?

Ninety six per cent of Australians fly on commercial aircraft operated by our airlines or charter companies.

Naturally, this is where CASA concentrates its time and resources.

CASA's primary responsibility is to carry out safety checks and audits on airlines and other passenger carrying operations to make sure standards are acceptable and risks are being properly managed.

CASA has a policy on industry priorities and the carriage of people in aircraft (CEO-PN001-2004: CASA's Industry Sector Priorities and Classification of Civil Aviation Activities - Please note: As of 15 June 2009, this policy notice has been suspended pending further review and reconsideration) which sets out how it approaches its functions under the Civil Aviation Act on behalf of the Australian public.

Non-passenger carrying operations are not ignored by CASA, but fewer resources are allocated to these activities.  Lower priority sectors include private aviation, freight only flights and sports aviation.

Adventure flights operating in the Limited Category are regarded by CASA as similar to sports aviation.

This means that people taking part in this type of aviation are expected to understand the risks involved and to accept those risks.

That is why people on adventure flights are required to be briefed on the risks and to sign a document acknowledging they accept these risks.

Where can I get more information on ex-military/warbirds, historic and replica aircraft?

Further information on these aircraft and adventure flight operations can be obtained from the Australian Warbirds Association Limited web site:
http://www.australianwarbirds.com.au/
 

Eastern Bloc Warbirds Trading as Saario Holdings Pty Ltd as Trustee for Saario Aircraft 

Use of our service

Fine Print Terms and Conditions use
Adventure flight Operations

The purchaser shall be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions of behalf of the traveller(s).

This document sets out the Terms and Conditions under which you may use the Service (the 'Terms'). By using the Service, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agreed to be bound by these Terms. Acceptance of these Terms and conditions is a condition of booking. These terms and conditions apply to our booking agents also. If you do not accept the Terms stated here, do not use this Site and Service. The term 'you' as used in these Terms refers to all individuals and/or entities accessing or using the service for any reason.

1. Delivery of services

(a) We provide an adventure flight service IAW civil aviation regulation 262am
(b) The purchaser / booking agent acknowledges we reserve the right to deny a booking request for any or no reason.

2. Payment, refunds, cancellations and amendments

(a) Full payment is due at time of booking via bank transfer or cash, unless otherwise discussed. If for any reason payment does not clear, the booking will be cancelled and we reserve the right to apply the appropriate cancellation charges. All prices listed on our booking form are inclusive of Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST). 

(b) There is no refund or exchange for any unused flight or service supplied as part of a gift voucher package. Should we have to cancel a flight due to any reason eg: engineering, unsuitable weather, last minute pilot shortage, sickness etc you will be manifested onto a later flight that is mutually agreed upon, just like any airline for these reasons a refund will not be issued. We will attempt to contact you in such a case before hand, therefore a valid phone number and email is required.

(c) Requests for changes to any details of the package must be notified by the purchaser via email info@an2.com.au  at least 48 hours prior to the flight. We will make all reasonable efforts to fulfil requests for changes; however any replacement component of a adventure flight is subject to availability. Each change will incur a charge of $10 per passenger. 

(d) All cancellations of bookings must be made at least 48 hours to the departure date. Cancellations made outside  48 hours to departure incur a minimum 50% cancellation. Cancellations made inside 48 hours from departure, is 100% penalty with nil refund. Gift vouchers can not be cancelled and they expire as per the voucher expiry date.

(e) If a traveller fails to check in by the required time for their departing flight they are deemed to have cancelled their booking and a 100% cancellation fee will apply. And the flight will depart. Checkin time is 30mins before the departure time of the Adventure Flight.


3. Insurance
We hold passenger liability insurance.

4. Travel Restrictions and Conditions

Restrictions and conditions apply to all of the adventure flight services offered. You must obey all instructions issued by us.

5. Your Use

You must only use the Service for lawful purposes and in a responsible and co-operative manner. Any breach of these Terms by you could result in legal action being taken by us against you. You agree you will not: make any fraudulent, speculative or false enquiries, bookings, reservations or requests using the Service or the Site www.an2.com.au; use the Service or the Site while impersonating another person; post or transmit to or via the Site any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, libellous, obscene, indecent, inflammatory or pornographic material or any material that could give rise to civil or criminal proceedings; tamper with, hinder the operation of or make unauthorised modifications to the Site; delete data from the Site without our permission; knowingly transmit any virus or other disabling feature to the Site; breach any third party's rights (including intellectual property rights and obligations of confidentiality owed to third parties) or infringe any laws in any jurisdiction in using the Site; frame the Site as part of another site or cache the Site for commercial benefit; commit any act that may amount to a criminal offence or civil breach of any other jurisdiction; attempt to do any of the above acts; or knowingly permit another person to do any of the above acts.

6. Your warrants

You warrant that you are of sufficient legal age to create legal binding obligations for any liability you may incur as a result of using the Service, you are responsible (financially and otherwise) for all uses of the Service by you, and the information you supply to us will be accurate and not misleading, deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.


7. Indemnity


You indemnify us and our officers, employees and agents against all losses, costs, damages, claims and expenses arising from any breach of these Terms by you, any act or omission by you or an officer, employee or agent of you and any claim, action, demand or proceeding by a third party against us or our officers, employees or agents caused or contributed to by you or an officer, employee or agent of you.

8. Your Privacy

We will handle your personal information in accordance with the terms and conditions set out. At all times we retain the right to monitor, retain and disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request. We may disclose aggregated information about users and use statistics relating to the Service

9. Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability

(a) You use the Service at your own risk. 

(b) By accepting the products and services supplied and using the Service, you agree that neither Saario Holdings Pty Ltd nor any of its representatives shall be liable to you or any other person for any loss, injury or damage whatsoever to any person or their belongings or otherwise arising out of or in connection with the offer and/or supply of goods or services by Saario Holdings Pty Ltd or any third parties resulting directly or indirectly from any occurrences including breakdown/faults in equipment, weather, strikes, theft, delay or cancellations or of changes in itinerary or schedules etc. 


(c) To the maximum extent permitted by law, we (including our officers, employees, shareholders or other representatives) are not liable for any loss or damage, however caused, which you may suffer directly or indirectly in connection with your use any of the products or services supplied or the purchase and use of any products and services supplied. This limitation of liability applies to all damages of any kind including compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, loss of data, income or profit, loss of or damage to property, personal injury and claims of third parties. 

(d) Saario Holdings Pty Ltd nor any of its representatives do not accept any liability whatsoever and shall not be liable to you or any other person for any injury, damage, loss, delay, additional expenses or any distress, disappointment or inconvenience caused either directly or indirectly by any events or acts or omissions which are beyond our control, including but not limited to, war, civil commotion, fire, floods, acts or God, act of government or other authorities, industrial action or accident or failure of machinery or equipment. 

(e) In the event that you the purchase and use of any products and services supplied causes you loss or damage, your sole remedy is the refund of any money that you paid to us to use the Service.

(f) We do not represent that any of the products and services supplied will be suitable for you. You release us from any claims in relation to any of the products and services supplied, including but not limited to claims that any of the products and services are not suitable. 

10. Amendments

Except as otherwise specified, we may amend these Terms at any time. The amended Terms will take effect immediately.

11. Termination

We may terminate this agreement and/or any other service provided to you by us and any other agreement between us, immediately if you breach any of these Terms. Aviation is a dynamic industry as a result we may choose to terminate any agreement in which we have signed as a company “ Saario Holdings Pty Ltd ”

12. Governing law

If any dispute arises about this agreement or how this agreement applies or arising out of your use of the Service, the laws of Queensland, Australia will apply. You irrevocably and unconditionally submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Queensland, Australia, and waive any right that you may have to object to an action being brought in those courts.

13. General

(a) If any of these Terms are invalid or unenforceable, it will be struck out, and the remaining Terms will remain in force. 

(b) Headings are for reference purposes only. 

(c) If we do not act in relation to a breach by you or others of these Terms, this does not waive our right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. 

(d) In these Terms, the term "Service" includes any email bulletins or other communications that we provide to you or initiated from the Site.