IT WAS a great morning to be a plane spotter in the Amberley area, with an impromptu handling display by a RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornet.

For 10 minutes the Super Hornet crew showed off the aeroplane's aerobatic capabilities, with a series of eye-watering loops, rolls and climbs, before returning to the base.

While the display was the highlight of the morning, attracting a large crowd of aircraft enthusiasts to the base perimeter fences, Amberley was a hive of activity.

A total of 11 Super Hornets departed the base just after 10am, from both 1 and 6 Squadrons, with the crews heading off on a variety of training missions, a Defence spokesperson said.

"We also had a KC-30 tanker heading off on a training mission, as well as one of our C-17 heavy transports," the spokesperson said.

"It was a great day for our many plane spotter friends."

Check out the video shot by QT photographer Rob Williams of the Super Hornet at play.