March 4, 2014 - Cairns Domestic Airport: The air in northern queensland is hot. Not hot like the dry desert heat of Iraq or Afghanistan. Hot like you just tripped over a rock and landed in vietnam. The air is thick like a soup and nearly as wet, temperatures only jump to around 38 Celcius on a bad day, but the humidity makes sure you can't sweat, so it might as well be 48 degrees. The high air pressure and existing tourism made Cairns an ideal place for a venturing air racing competition to make its first foray into Australia, where the Aero GP would carve out a foothold in a market recently forsaken by Red Bull Air racing, and promise a more exciting event. Simultaneous Air Races, and Air Dogfight tournament, Barnstorming Acrobatics and Bomb-dropping competitions, Pilots like Andrew Dempster, an ex RAAF Wing Commander, were meant to be the local meat, a rallying point for curious viewers to support and key to the expansion of the Aero GP franchise.
As the early events of the weekend were about to come into play Andrew, strapped into his Extra 300SP, suddenly lost his ATC priveliges and the radio channels became filled with the Tower ordering all civilian pilots out of the air. No detail was being given over regular radio frequencies or ATC, so the plane was parked and Andrew went to the nearest bar to investigate. The Australian Government was being very quiet about what was happening, but it soon became apparent that a conflict of some sort had broken out between them and the Indonesian Air Force. Embassies were suddenly closed, ambassadors left or were thrown out to other countries to find their way home, all of a sudden all communication lines between both states had stopped.
With no flying to do and the AeroGP venture seemingly cancelled, Andrew stayed at the pub and met more of the pilots who were coming to watch or take part in the spectacle. He met Hari Singh and Hugo van den Berg at the bar, pilots who came to watch and heckle the lesser pilots, most in the 'dogfight' tournament had never seen combat. They talked and got along well, speculating on the event that shut Cairns Airport down and bullshitting each other over which would win in an all out war. A brief visit to the bathroom nearly turned deadly when Jessica Meier smashed a local's head against the wall, after the man used Meier's limited english to convince her that he owned a F-106 Delta Dart, when the 'dart' he was really talking about was in his pants. It wasn't the last fight either, Kim Soo-Ah and Chang-wu Perron nearly butting heads over their opinions of China. The group ended up going on a bar crawl together, visiting one drinking hole after another and telling life stories that got more grand the drunker everyone got. Eventually the topic flowed onto the growth of PMC corporations and their role in the fracas out near East Timor.
The next morning, the lot of them ended up in Andrew's AeroGP paid hotel room at the Cairns Hilton, barely anything memorable from last night for any of them, except for the grand (and probably stupid) idea of starting their own PMC flight, and a name. Hydra Flight (None of the pilots will verify if "Two up for every one down!" was a later motto or a drinking game they invented the previous night). When Andrew pushed the idea to his AeroGP team, which was owned by Red White and Blue Incorporated, the took to the suggestion immediately, always looking for quality pilots to earn some dosh. Before they new it, the hungover Hydras were on their way to Port Moresby to help police the UN No Fly Zone.