Army Helicopter Training Over Lane Cove

    Over the last couple of days, helicopters have been hovering over and flying very low and fast over the Lane Cove Council Area.  There is no need to panic. 

    Counter-Terrorism Training

    Australian Defence Force personnel is conducting counter-terrorism training in Sydney and the Wollongong area of New South Wales from late-May to late-June 2020.

    The training will be conducted during the day and at night.

    The ADF has said “The public should not be alarmed if they see or hear military vehicles and military personnel carrying weapons.

    Blank and paint ammunition may be used during some aspects of the training.

    People who see the training should not be concerned that any of the locations are under any form of an actual threat.

    This essential training is vital to maintain Australia’s world-class military capability. It is not a part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response. The training is being conducted in a manner that accounts for COVID-19 restrictions and good health management processes.”

    Unfortunately the above is all the information we can supply, as  Defence is unable to provide media access or further information, including specific timings, regarding this training in order to protect operational tactics, techniques and procedures.

    Shaking the House

    Today the Army Helicopters were incredibly low and started around lunchtime.  At one stage ITC’s whole house shook and pictures looked like they were going to fall off the wall.  As at 7.20 pm tonight (3 June 2020) they are still flying over (after a break – which could mean a new crew and late-night flights)

    March 2020

    The Army also conducted drills in March 2020.


    January 2018

    In January 2018 we had 5 Blackhawk helicopters fly over Lane Cove


    November 2017

    In November 2017 4 Black Hawk Helicopters were spotted flying low over Lane Cove at about 7 pm.  At 2 am the next morning they came back, with a vengeance, flying low over Lane Cove with their lights off for about an hour.  Our Facebook page went off with people asking what was going on.

    So be alert not alarmed.



    1. Last night, my family and i were subjected to numerous frightening, disturbing, noisy and offensive low flying helicopters from the Army above the houses of Lane Cove and West Chatswood.

      While greatly respecting the need for the military to undertake various forms of training, we received no prior warning that such training IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD was taking place. Apart from violating of our basic rights to live peacefully in our neighbourhoods and the right to refuse such trauma-inducing activity, the lack of notice has set the precedent such that if and when a real counter-terrorism action needs to be undertaken, then it would be treated by the civilian public as a mere training exercise and the threat ignored, placing people at even greater risk.

      On some 15 overflys between around 7pm and 8pm these gunships were positioned at no more than about 40 metres above the roofs of local houses, moving at estimated speeds of around 120 kmph, in scenes reminiscent of Vietnam war movies!

      The whole episode lessens our confidence in the military to be responsive to the Australian people.

      Why has the Army carried out these unacceptable, terrifying events without our community consent and proper advance notification?

    2. John as you are probably aware the armed forces are subject to security classifications that would preclude them from giving advance notice of training exercises. As you could imagine if there were any real terrorists or potential terrorists in the neighbourhood (or even just idiots with laser pointers) this sort of information would be an absolute gift. Also operational matters (adverse weather conditions, other more important tasks) would also make it difficult to keep to a prearranged schedule. As for the actual exercises, they involve deploying personnel from hovering helicopters to the ground or rooftops. So of course the helicopters have to be at low altitude! While it’s unfortunate that you consider counter-terrorism training exercises to be unacceptable, terrifying, noisy, disturbing and offensive, just consider how much worse the alternative lack of preparedness by the Army would be! All the best.

    3. Mr_George, well said. Moreover, I did not find the helicopters terrifying etc. My better half and I watched them for a bit – it was quite a sight. No complaints here. All the best to you and John.