Hiller UH-12C ZK-HXK

A pleasant surprise on the first day of winter 2011 was stumbling across Hiller UH-12C ZK-HXK/3 parked at Ardmore.  This classic helicopter has been on the NZ register for almost 5 years and under the ownership of a Coromandel address.

Piper PA28-181 ZK-LJI

A visitor from Taranaki at Ardmore today, 01 June, in the form of Piper PA28-181 ZK-LJI.  This aircraft recently featured in http://galonghaulnews.blogspot.com/2011/05/back-in-2008-piper-archer-n1005j-was.html when it was delivered to the Canterbury Aero Club.

During April this year the Archer changed ownership to private hands in New Plymouth.

Robinson R44 ZK-ILX

The owners of Galloway Station near Alexandra have recently taken charge of R44 Raven II ZK-HHS and it has subsequently been re-registered ZK-ILX as of mid April this year, joining another Robinson on the station, R22 ZK-HLX.

Above and below taken at Ardmore 01 June 2011

Robinson R44 ZK-HGL

Ag Ops of Kerikeri operate Robinson R44 ZK-HGL and it sports the titles of Kiwikopters, http://www.kiwikopters.co.nz/.

Interestingly though if you check out the website it now takes you to Adventure Aviation New Zealand so perhaps the titles currently displayed will soon be removed?
Above and below taken at Ardmore 01 June 2011

Cessna 182T ZK-RGZ

On the first day of Winter 2011 there was some pleasant surprises at Ardmore.  The first was coming across 2005 edition turbo charged Cessna T182T Skylane ZK-RGZ. It was registered to Huitaha Ltd of Putaruru on the 1st of April this year.

Australia's First KC-30A Lands in Amberley

01 Juni 2011

A330 MRTT (photo : Australian DoD)

The first KC-30A tanker to have been delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force has touched down at the service's Amberley air base in Queensland, following its transfer from Airbus Military's Getafe site near Madrid, Spain.

Carrying the temporary registration MRTT003, aircraft A39-003 is the third of five modified
Airbus A330-200s on order for the RAAF. It is also the first of three to be converted for air-to-air refuelling tasks by local contractor Qantas Defence Services.

The aircraft landed at Amberley on 30 May, three days after leaving Getafe. Its delivery flight included stops in the mainland USA and Hawaii.

Airbus Military in mid-May said that Australia could receive two of its delayed multi-role tanker/transports during June, with two more to follow late this year. The programme's fifth aircraft should be accepted during 2012.

The RAAF's new KC-30As are being delivered in a 270-seat, two-class configuration, in addition to their two under-wing hose and drogue refuelling pods and air refuelling boom system. The aircraft has a maximum fuel capacity of 111t.

(Flight Global)

Go Nuclear or Go Home

My previous article gave electric cars a conditional two thumbs up as a way of reducing man’s level of carbon dioxide emissions.  The condition is that fossil-fuel-based energy production, which represents about 70% of the total current global energy production, is phased out as EVs are phased in.

A complete makeover of our power plant infrastructure is a daunting task from an economic perspective.  The amount of energy consumed by man is already tremendous, and the demand is going to increase dramatically as certain populous countries develop and cars begin to go electric.  If fossil fuel power plants are to be shut down, what can they be replaced with?

At present, there is only one alternative that can meet the high demand: nuclear power plants.  Solar and wind, while renewable and green, are only effective in certain locations and even then do not give nearly as much bang for your buck.  Put simply, we cannot, at present, expect to meet more than 10% of our global energy production demands with wind and solar.

While nuclear plants do create radioactive waste, the waste can be contained, in contrast to coal plants, which release CO2 directly into the atmosphere.  The sheer amount of waste in the case of nuclear is comparatively so much less because it is 750,000 times more mass efficient then coal.  One kilogram of coal, when burned, can power a 100-Watt light bulb for eight hours.  The fission of one kilogram of enriched uranium can power the same bulb for 690 years.
Why is nuclear power so much more efficient than coal power?  It has to do with the nature of the reaction.  Burning coal is a chemical reaction known as combustion.  A fission reactor houses nuclear reactions, which involves the division of atomic nuclei.  Fission is actually an illustration of the most famous equation in the world, Einstein’s E = mc2.  The equation says that if mass is converted into energy in its entirety, one kilogram becomes 9*1016 Joules, which could power the 100-Watt light bulb for 30,000,000 years.

In a nuclear reactor, only a tiny fraction (about 0.002%) of the mass of the uranium is converted into energy.  As such, nuclear plants only begin to tap into the promise of E = mc2.  Over time, should man figure a way to release all of the energy within the mass of a given spec of matter in a controlled fashion, it would represent a quantum shift for society.  Man’s energy crisis would be replaced by a bottomless pit of energy.  Sadly, this dream sits so far into the future that it is not worth pondering. 

Returning to the current reality, if nuclear power plants can meet global energy demand, are so efficient, and do not dump massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, then why do we not use them exclusively?  The reason comes down to politics and public perception.

When an airplane crashes halfway across the world, every major media outlet worldwide is sure to cover it.  They will however not bother to cover the thousands of fatal car crashes that occur in the same time span.  As a result, the public is typically more fearful of flying than driving, even though it is statistically safer to fly per distance traveled than to drive.

There have been only five noteworthy disasters at the over five hundred nuclear power plants worldwide over the course of the past half century.  Four of them affected hundreds of people (leaving them dead or afflicted with cancer due to radiation).  The other one is that of Chernobyl in 1986. The WHO estimates that the Chernobyl disaster was responsible for 9,000 deaths. 

Even if we include Chernobyl in the statistical analysis, there have been more deaths linked to coal mining than to nuclear disasters per energy produced by each method.  This fact would not be easily perceived by a quick pass through any newspaper, which for months has been reporting about the devastating disaster in Fukushima, which from a nuclear standpoint, was essentially averted.  The newspapers were however very keen on following a rare success story of trapped miners.

The reality is that large-scale energy production is a dangerous practice, and regardless of the production method, strict safety standards must be adhered to.  What we must put ahead of anything else is the equilibrium of our biosphere.  Our fossil fuel energy production over the past century has had a global effect on the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.  We must produce energy by an alternative means to fossil fuel burning, and in the short term, the only viable option is nuclear power.

If we are serious about minimizing our impact on our planet, we must situate this out-of-sight, out-of-mind issue in plain sight.

Official Comment on Evektor Deploy

Enlightening news today from Vit Kotek, Marketing Manager for Evektor, that ties up the loose ends on the recent parachute deployment of an Evektor SportStar.
Vit’s statement, edited only for clarity:
“An accident of the SportStar RTC aircraft occurred during flight tests at Kunovice airport (LKKU) on 18th May, 2011.  The test pilot was performing spin testing at aft C.G.  The pilot successfully completed the program, after completing 30 spins.
Then he decided to perform a maneuver, which we’re still not fully clear about, which put the airplane into a flight condition the pilot could recover from.
He activated the ballistic parachute system which deployed successfully.
The airplane suspended below the parachute landed on a lake close to the airport and sunk after five minutes. The pilot swam safely to the shore. The airplane was fished out after six hours. The pilot was not injured.
The event proves the proper functioning of the ballistic recovery system and its installation, even though the airplane was partially damaged. 
The accident is being investigated by the Czech Air Accidents Investigation. Evektor-Aerotechnik wants to note that the accident happened during flight tests and not during normal airplane operation.
Further, more than 800 successful spins have been completed on the Eurostar and SportStar type since 2001 and tested airplanes always demonstrated very good spin recovery characteristics.
The last successful spin testing of the SportStar type was performed less than a year ago, and all required abnormal control use techniques for spin recovery were tested.
Microlight and Light Sport Airplanes are spin prohibited in normal operation.”
Thanks to our good friend Art Tarola of AB Flight in PA, the Northeast Evektor guy, for that update, and we’re glad the factory confirms the pilot wasn’t hurt.

ČSA plans Zagreb and Belgrade pullout

Zagreb and Belgrade flights on the line
The national carrier of the Czech Republic, ČSA is seriously considering suspending flights to Belgrade and Zagreb from the start of the winter season, insiders say. The Czech airline is trying to concentrate on more profitable markets by opening a base in Bratislava in neighbouring Slovakia and launching several new routes to Russia.

Only a month ago the SkyTeam member airline flew to the Croatian capital 9 times per week, usually with ATR72s. It has now cancelled 3 of its weekly flights and downgraded to a 45 seat ATR42. The airline won't be operating its traditional seasonal summer services to Dubrovnik and Split either. Zagreb was ČSA’s first international destinations, launched back on July 1, 1930.

The Czech national carrier is making more drastic cuts to its Belgrade service which used to operate twice per day. Effective immediately, the airline has cancelled 10 of its weekly flights and now operates only 4 times per week from Prague to Belgrade with a Boeing 737-500. The airline will close its representative office in the Serbian capital tomorrow. Flights between Prague and Belgrade have been operating since 1946 with the only interruption occurring during the 1990s when flights to Yugoslavia were banned under international sanctions. Jat Airways suspended flights to Prague as part of its cost cutting escapade in 2008 along with Tirana, Gothenburg, Malta, Thessaloniki and Tripoli. All of them, expect for Tirana and Prague, were resumed the following year. The main problem on the route is the lack of point to point passengers.

Ardmore 31 May

Nelson based King Air 350 ZK-MMM arrived late morning from its home town and joined two other Beechcraft on the Hawker Pacific apron, N890LG and ZK-VRR.


Towed from a paint shop was yet to be registered (and completed!) ZK-NWH, a Cessna A185F (185-04426) ex N714WH.

Also towed from another paint facility was this unidentified EC130.  In the opposite direction under the same mode of towing was another EC130, ZK-HAT.

Boustead Defence To Produce Propellant At Bentong Plant

31 Mei 2011

Previously, propellants used in the defence industry were imported; the BDTSD-PMSB joint venture marked a significant milestone for the defence sector, Ahmad Zahid said (photo : CSAR)

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Boustead Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (BDTSD), which signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Prokhas Manager Sdn Bhd today to produce and sell propellants for the defence sector, expects to start initial production at its Bentong plant by end-2012.

Boustead Defence is a unit of Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC).

BHIC managing director, Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, said Boustead Defence would own 49 per cent of the JV company, Pyrotechnical Ordnance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (POMSB), with the remaining stake held by Prokhas.

The JV company will have an initial authorised share capital of RM50 million divided into 50 million ordinary shares of RM1 each. Upon its incorporation it will have a paid-up capital of RM35.294 million.

Ahmad Ramli said so far, RM58 million has been invested in the plant that would produce double-base propellants for locally-used artillery and rockets for the time being.

"Subsequently we will market the products regionally," he told reporters after the signing ceremony between both parties here today.

Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, officiated the ceremony.

Ahmad Zahid said the plant would use raw materials from Slovakia.

"Previously, propellants used in the defence industry were imported and this joint venture marked a significant milestone for our hich-technology defence industry," he said.

Spain Gets its Share of Australian AWD

31 Mei 2011

Hobart class AWD (image : MConrads)

Facing growing delays in the parallel construction of three Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) and two Landing Helicopter Dock Ships (LHD), the Australian Ministry of defense and program manager AWD Alliance decided to redistribute the construction work among three Australian shipyards currently involved in the program, and transfer part of the work to the Navantia shipyard in Spain. This move will relieve the pressure from the BAE Systems Shipyard in Melbourne. The new plan will enable the consortium to minimize delay of the completion of the first ship by up to 12 months, and of all three AWDs by up to 12 months.

The recent decision follows the relocation of nine steel blocks constructions, from BAE Systems’ Melbourne to the Forgacs Shipyard in Newcastle, Australia. According to Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announcing the plan today, the construction of 18 steel blocks related to the first two ships will reduce the schedule risk to both this project and to the two LHD ships project currently underway in Australia. Up to 13 steel blocks will be reallocated among the three Australian shipyards in Adelaide, Melbourne and Newcastle. Seven blocks will be for advanced fit out and six for construction. Up to five steel blocks will be reallocated to Navantia in Ferrol, Spain. A decision on the reallocation of blocks on the third AWD will be made later in the project.

The AWD program encountered engineering and construction delays, related to some of the hull blocks. It seems that the delays resulted in the Melbourne BAE Systems shipyard, stretched over two major projects at the same time – constructing steel blocks for the Air Warfare Destroyers and 14 steel blocks for the superstructure of the two 27,500 ton LHD Ships, due to delivery in 2014 and 2015. According to the AWD Alliance, the industry consortium managing the program, these obstacles could push back the delivery of the first AWD ship by two years. Under the new plan, BAE will complete the structural steel and initial outfitting work on the seven steel blocks for the AWD, it is currently working on, as well as all its work on the 14 blocks for the superstructure of the Landing Helicopter Dock Ships and the integration work. The LHD ships were due to be delivered from December 2014.

The AWD Project is an important element of Force 2030. The AWD is based on Navantia’s F-100 design, similar to the AEGIS equipped vessels operated by the Spanish Navy. According to the Australian Defense, when complete, the AWD will be one of the more capable types of warship of its size in the world. Overall, the AWD program involves the construction of 90 separate steel blocks, being built at three Australian shipyards – in Adelaide (ASC), Melbourne (BAE Systems) and Newcastle (Forgacs). Three additional sonar block assemblies are being built in Spain and the United Kingdom. The total cost of the program is estimated at A$8 billion. The AWD Alliance consists of ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Raytheon.

(Defense Update)

Air France comments on AF447 tragedy



On the eve of second anniversary of Air France’s Flight 447 tragedy, Air France has issued a statement saying that the carrier and its staff are turning their thoughts to the families of the passengers and crew who were aboard the fight to wish to express their full solidarity. The aircraft crashed over the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris

According to the statement, the perserverance of the authorities, Airbus and Air France has led to the flight recorders and parts of the aircraft being found after a two-year search. The French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) is now able to reveal the sequence of events leading to the crash of flight AF447 from Rio to Paris on 1 June 2009.
This description of the facts therefore replaces the assumptions that have been made over the past two years.
Air France said it appears that the flight deck crew was monitoring the changing weather conditions and thus altered the flight path, that the initial problem was the failure of the speed probes which led to the disconnection of the autopilot and the loss of the associated piloting protection systems, and that the aircraft stalled at high altitude. It also appears that the flight captain quickly interrupted his rest period to regain the cockpit. The crew, made up of three skilled pilots, demonstrated a totally professional attitude and were committed to carrying out their task to the very end and Air France wishes to pay tribute to them.
Air France stated that all the data collected must now be analyzed. It will only be at the end of this complex task, which requires patience and precision, that the BEA will be able to establish the causes that led to the disaster.
We can already see that the authorities, the manufacturer and the airline have taken measures to avoid the repetition of such an accident.
Air France hopes that everyone has the patience to wait for the interim report that the BEA will publish in a few weeks, no doubt along with additional recommendations. The safety of the global air transport industry will be even stronger.

Source: BTN

Henry reporting in

 Henry has kindly sent me this selection of photographs, mostly taken at Taupo, during the last few months.
 Above is the Flight 2000 Ltd Douglas DC3-C ZK-DAK2 c/n 26480/15035. (Often referred to as "The Warbirds Dak"). It was at Taupo on 11-03-2011 with a private tour party. It is painted in the scheme of the RNZAF VIP Dakota NZ3546 of 42 Squadron.
 Cessna 750 Citation X C-FNRG c/n 50-0305 of Skyservice Business Aviation from Dorval, Quebec parked up at Taupo on 17-10-2010.
 Taking off from the Chateau strip in the height of summer is the Cessna 172M Skyhawk ZK-EKP , c/n 17267279 , of Mountain Air.
 "Ah De Havilland".   DHC-2 Beaver ZK-FPZ c/n 717 of Venture Aviation at Taupo.
On approach on 28-05-2011 was the Gulfstream GV-SP ZK-KFB2 , c/n 5260 . & this one is referred to as the Peter Jackson Gulfstream.
Two views - one approaching and one departing of the Sydney Jet Charters Dassault Falcon 2000EX VH-CRW , c/n 058, on 15-12-2010. It was in Taopu several times during the summer.

Interesting post about Dynaero Clmax (>3.0) at HBA

These calculations might interest you if you are wondering what is the Clmax in those little aircraft. Rule of thumb from Daniel Raymer et all says it is impossible, but flight data from MCR proves that ULC R has nothing short of extraordinary high Clmax.

Read more here: http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/aircraft-design-aerodynamics-new-technology/10349-specifications-coefficient-lift-dyn-aero-lafayette-mcr-ban-bi.html

Air India wants Adria

The Slovenian Government wants Air India to take over Adria
The indebted Slovenian national carrier, Adria Airways, could soon be saved by Air India. The “Večer” daily reports that the Slovenian and Indian governments have been negotiating about a potential takeover of Adria Airways by India’s national carrier for several months and a final agreement could be reached in mid June when the Slovenian Prime Minister, Borut Pahor, visits the subcontinent. Air India, which itself is swimming in debt would purchase a certain amount of shares which would be increased over the next 5 years. Similar talks of a potential Adria takeover between the government and Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa have all ended unsuccessfully.

Adria Airways now owes up to 80 million Euros to banks and a further 20 million to suppliers. In May the government granted state guarantees for a short term 6.1 million Euro loan for Adria. Further assistance by the government will be provided as the carrier carries out its restructuring process.

Air India is government owned and is the largest airline in the country. It will become a Star Alliance member this summer. Its only interest in the region was shown several years ago when it wanted to set up a joint venture airline with Jat Airways with its base in Belgrade. Ultimately, the plans between the two never materialised.

Ardmore Visitors 30 May

The Mainland Touch was on hand at Ardmore this morning with Dunedin based training school Mainland Air represented by Cessna 152's ZK-NSA and ZK-NSZ.  Both aircraft departed Ardmore for Thames.  The north was also graced with Mainland's Piper PA31-350 today, ZK-KVW.  It spent a time on the ground at Auckland arriving from and returning to Dunedin with a flight time southbound of 3hr 40mins!  Long haul!



Fly Synthesis Texan Top Class ZK-TXS is registered to a Whangarei address and this smart class 2 microlight whistled into Ardmore.  At the same time another Whangarei resident, Alpi ZK-LPA was departing Ardmore while entering a workshop was yet another Far North resident, Tecnam P92 ZK-WTF.

Costs on Subs to Rise 36pc, Libs Say

30 Mei 2011

Collins class submarine (photo : Defense Industry Daily)

THE federal opposition is set to grill the government and Defence today over their plans for through-life maintenance of the troubled Collins-class submarine fleet, claiming the boats' costs will rise 36 per cent over the next decade.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith had failed to advance a maintenance support contract recommended more than two years ago by the Auditor-General, the opposition's defence spokesman, David Johnston, said yesterday ahead of Senate estimates hearings.

"The Gillard government is reluctant to face any real scrutiny and no portfolio illustrates this more starkly than the Defence Minister and his department," Mr Johnston told The Australian.

He queried the reason for delays from Mr Smith in replying to questions on notice related to outstanding defence concerns -- many of the questions asked more than two months ago.

A reply received last week to queries about ongoing costs for the Collins-class submarines included a reference indicating an answer had been prepared earlier this month.

That begged the question of whether the minister or his department delayed the reply to minimise the level of scrutiny they would face before Senate estimates, Mr Johnston said.

Defence estimates hearings begin today and the opposition is expected to focus on delays to implement a through-life support plan for the submarine fleet.

In 2009 the Auditor-General reported on the management of the Collins-class sustainment but two years later no contract had been negotiated despite the two principal parties being wholly government-owned, Mr Johnston said, referring to the Australian Submarine Corporation and Defence Materiel Corporation, responsible for military acquisitions and maintenance.

In reply to Mr Johnston's questions, the government said it was expecting to finalise the submarine maintenance contract "by the middle of 2011".

He said Mr Smith's office was notorious for failing to answer either questions on notice from the opposition or questions arising out of Senate estimates.

"There are currently 53 outstanding questions asked more than two months ago relating to submarines and the Strategic Reform Program, and 75 questions asked following the last round of Senate estimates in February," Mr Johnston said.

"These questions relate to a number of acquisition programs that have -- in defence terms -- been realigned, rescheduled or re-phased by defence bureaucrats, and are important to show the direction in which defence is heading."

A promised improvement for a more prompt response to questions from the opposition had not occurred, he added.

As of last night, Mr Smith's office had not responded to The Australian's request for comment.

Second Gepard Class Frigate was Shipped to Vietnam

30 Mei 2011

Gepard 3.9 frigate for Vietnam Navy (photo : JSC Zelenodolsk Shipyard)

After successful sea- and acceptance trials, the secondGepard 3.9 class ship built byZelenodolsk Shipyard was sent to the customer.

The ship was loaded aboard the special-purpose transport vessel Eide Transporter on May 25 and shipped to Vietnam on May 26. Estimated duration of the cruise is 65 days.

As was earlier reported, all mechanisms, systems, and armament of the ship conform to the contract specifications and technical design.

The ship has improved navigability, maneuverability, dynamism, steering capabilities, and longer cruising range. The interior design was also changed with regard to the orderer's wishes expressed after the first frigate's delivery. According to experts, the second ship is more serviceable and easier to operate.

(ZDShip)

Sungai Besi Base to be Relocated to Sendayan

30 Mei 2011

Sendayan, Negri Sembilan (image : NST)

GEMAS: The Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, will be relocated to Sendayan in Negri Sembilan.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who made the announcement yesterday, declined to elaborate but said that further details on the relocation would be given later.

Sendayan is about 15km from Seremban. There had been plans for the site to be made a Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) for AirAsia, but the plans were shelved.

Najib was speaking to reporters after launching the Community Rehabilitation Centre in Kem Syed Sirajuddin here.

Air Force chief Tan Sri Rodzali Daud had earlier said the air force was prepared to relocate if the government wanted to turn the Sungai Besi base into a commercial hub.

He said if instructed to move, all assets, including the headquarters and aircraft which were at the base, would be moved to the Subang Air Force base, or any other suitable location.

"We have no objections, but hope the relocation will provide us with better and modern infrastructure."

The Sungai Besi air force base was the first airport in the country to be given international status on Aug 1, 1956, by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the nation's first prime minister.

Earlier in his speech, Najib said the government would enter into more "unique partnerships" in future with the aim of reducing manpower and costs, as well as maximising the use of existing assets to generate income.

He said it was time for the government to think creatively and find solutions for social, economical and political problems.

"We cannot think conventionally anymore. If in the past we wanted to reduce the crime rate, we would have immediately asked for an additional budget, increased manpower and more prisons.

"However, now under the Blue Ocean Strategy way of thinking, we need to find ways to reduce crime using the lowest budget possible. This is what we are doing today with our community rehabilitation centres being set up in army camps."

Najib said the cost of rehabilitating 300 prisoners at the camp was only RM7 million a year compared with caring for 400 prisoners in a jail which cost about RM50 million a year.

"The community rehabilitation centres are a clear example of how successful a 'unique partnership' can be. To make these centres work, the Home, Defence and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry ministries have to work together."

Najib said phase two of the programme would be extended to the rehabilitation of drug addicts and would involve the National Anti-Drug Agency.

The community rehabilitation centre at Kem Syed Sirajuddin is the second after the prime minister launched the first one at Kem Mahkota Kluang in Johor on March 26.

"During my walk around the camp, I spoke to six prisoners and their families and they were all thankful to the government for coming up with such a programme.

"Here, they are able to see their families regularly, learn new skills and even earn up to RM200 per month, compared with about RM30 per month in jail.

"He said the government would discuss with Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun) on the possibility of giving these prisoners a small loan to venture into the agriculture sector on their release.

Three other community rehabilitation centres would be set up in Kem Desa Pahlawan, Kelantan; Kem Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, Alor Star; and Kem Batu 10, 4th mechanised brigade, Kuantan, Pahang.

In Muar, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera and 1Malaysia Development Bhd were the developers of the new RMAF base in Sendayan.

"Once the Sendayan base is completed, the developers will turn the Sungai Besi base into a commercial hub, which will include low-cost housing for the lower-income group," Zahid told the media after officiating the Bakri Umno division meeting here yesterday. Also present was Bakri Umno chief Datuk Saipol Bahri Suib.

He said the developers would build all the facilities at the new base, which is as big as the Sungai Besi base, including the runway, control tower and hangars.

"We will only move into the new base once all the facilities and equipment are in place. The moving process is expected to take 60 months to complete," said Zahid.

Asked if the ministry had a deadline for the developers to complete the new base, he said the ministry had a timeline but declined to elaborate.

(New Straits Times)

Accident report released on ZK-BAR

 The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand have released the accident report for the De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth ZK-BAR which crashed near Ashburton on 02-12-2006.
Report available at :-
Photograph above was taken at Ashburton on 25-07-2006.

Avspecs at Ardmore Today - Goodbye ZK-TWK

A quick trip to Ardmore this morning saw some interesting aircraft as the hangars opened up. I was delighted to find the Avspecs hangar open, and with permission I photo'd the following aircraft.

This isn't the best photo of Tomahawk ZK-TWK but it is probably the last photo of it taken in New Zealand. Tomorrow it will be in a container............

In the back corner was Jerry Yagen's Mosquito KA 117 coming together with engines in place. This will be amazing to see when it is finally completed. I was told "it will be finished when it is finished".

And a surprise in the other corner of the hangar was a second Mosquito! This one is TV 959 owned by The Flying Heritage Collection of Norfolk in England. Flyernzl has posted better photos and details of this aircraft on the Wings Over NZ blog.

Fleet change at Dargaville Aero Club

 After five years and some 1,500 hours with the Dargaville Aero Club, Fly Synthesis Storch S ZK-FOS2 (= Murray Foster, CFI of the club) [c/n 322A-378] was sold in April to Rodger L Fortune of Invercargill. Handover to the new owner took place on April 9 at Omaka.
FOS has been replaced by the 2007-vintage low-time, Fly Synthesis Storch S ZK-JES2 (= Allan Jessop [c/n 374A-430], NZ dealer for the Italian manufacturer Fly Synthesis, owner of HeliNorth Agricultural, and Dargaville Aero Club stalwart), which boasts a three-blade composite Duc propeller, partial glass cockpit, and greater fuel capacity.
Jean210

Montenegro suspends Milan and Brussels

Montenegro Airlines dumps new routes
Montenegro Airlines has suspended services to Milan and Brussels which it launched just over a month ago. The service to Milan was inaugurated on April 8 with 3 weekly flights while services to Brussels launched on April 15 and saw the same number of frequencies. Both services operated out of Podgorica, however, the airline failed to attract any interest. The Montenegrin national carrier announced that as part of its cost cutting measures it was bound to cancel the two new routes. It has also been announced that the airline will suspend its flights to London Gatwick, although services to the British capital remain in the airline’s timetable for now.

Montenegro Airlines now plans to redirect its aircraft to Belgrade. It will add an additional 2 daily frequencies to the city, one from Podgorica and one from Tivat after reducing its services to the Serbian capital for the summer season by 15 flights when compared to the same period last year. The additional flights will commence if an agreement is reached with Belgrade Airport.

Montenegro Airlines is latest amongst the former EX-YU carriers to trim its destination network in the past few weeks. Recently B&H Airlines suspended flights to Frankfurt and Vienna while Jat dumped its flights to Trieste.

Napier resident Cessna 172N N37ER


The remains of a this Cessna 172N are kept in the Napier area and hauled out on occasion to support emergency and rescue demonstrations and exhibitions. These photos were taken on Marine Parade in April 2009 by JEAN210.

Rather surprisingly, the source of this hulk is the United States. Even more interesting is that N37ER (msn 17269534) suffered an accident at Salida, Colorado, on 18 July 1983, when it encountered downdrafts after crossing Ruby Mountain at 9,900ft and made a forced landing on a sloping, rocky meadow at an elevation of 8,200ft. The nose wheel collided with a boulder and over went the aircraft. Fortunately, pilot/owner Kenneth P Smith and his wife escaped uninjured.

The wreck was shipped to NZ as a spares source, or ?
Is this wing from the same aircraft ?

Thanks to Jean210.

New terminal to open in September

Construction of Skopje’s new terminal continues
Skopje’s shiny new passenger terminal is scheduled to open on September 8, more than a month ahead of schedule. The new multi million Euro terminal will be officially opened on September 8, on Macedonia’s Independence Day public holiday. Originally, the building was to open its doors on October 20, in time for the 2011/2012 winter season. The airport’s operator, TAV Airport Holdings, has plans to turn Skopje into a regional leader. Besides the new terminal, the airport’s runway has also been extended so it can handle larger aircraft. Currently, construction of the first of six air bridges has begun.

The new terminal at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is ten times the size of the current terminal building. It stretches over two levels and 40.100 square metres. It will have the capacity to handle 6 million passengers per year. TAV has recently negotiated for Wizz Air to begin flights to the Macedonian capital and attracted Niki as well. It now hopes to lure Lufthansa to begin flights to Skopje. TAV is also vying to construct Zagreb’s new terminal. It has been shortlisted although the final decision on who will build Croatia’s biggest infrastructure project will be known in several months.

McNair Mynah 2 Seater

As a test I post this microlight which I believe is the one and only 2 seater McNair Mynah, photographed at at airshow at Matamata in 1991. Can anyone provide any more details?

Hughes 369D ZK-HDZ

Seldom seen in the big cities is this Hughes 369D ZK-HDZ2  c/n 51-0959D. It was captured here at Paringa on 22-04-2011 by Chris Appleby.  Built in May of 1981 it reached NZ to become ZK-HDZ on 07-10-1985 with Helicopter Equipment at Taupo for delivery to Peter Bradley of Murupara on 22-11-1985. It did not stay long as it was cancelled on 26-05-19867 as exported to Rabaul to become P2-IHB with Island Helicopter Services Ltd. It returned to NZ through Wing & Rotor to join Waimana Helicopters on 31-07-1990. On 10-10-1994 it was listed to Amuri Helicopters Ltd of Waikari, North Canterbury. It had a bit of a technical problem during a spray run near Cheviot on 16-01-2004 and was damaged in the forced landing. It was duly cancelled and it went down to James Scott at Fox Glacier and following a reee-work it was returned to the register on 02-10-2007. It wears Alpine Adventures sign on the passengers door.

RMAF to Have Training Base

28 Mei 2011

New airbase it is reportedly believed to be at Kota Warisan in Dengkil, near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang (photo : Airplane Pictures).

KUALA LUMPUR: The new air force base, to replace the one at Sungai Besi, will primarily served as a training establishment.

Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said the new base would house the numerous training facilities in the organisation 'under one roof' as a management and leadership centre, especially for non-commissioned officers.

"At the moment, our various training institutions, like the Air Force Specialty School in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, are scattered all over the country but soon, it will be centralised in one base.

"It will allow us to restructure our operations and relocate the air divisions and command headquarters to forward operational bases just like how the navy and army has done."

As part of the 'Air Force-Next Generation' strategy, Rodzali said the force would emphasise on courses in aero-mechanics, avionics, aerospace support equipment and information communications technology for the future generation of technically skilled personnel.

"Under our 'Engaging the Talent' mission, we want to nurture people with calibre and quality with skills in handling sophisticated equipment like digital avionics, as a way of keeping up with global challenges."

He declined to identify the exact location of the new air base, which will not have a runway, but it is reportedly believed to be at Kota Warisan in Dengkil, near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

"Having a runway will not be feasible as the Klang Valley already has a congested airspace," he told a press conference held in conjunction with RMAF's 53rd anniversary on Wednesday.

He said the bunkered air defence operations centre at the Sungai Besi base would be relocated, possibly to the air force commando base in Bukit Jugra in Banting, while the helicopter squadrons to Subang, home to the RMAF's VVIP jets and helicopters, Hercules C-130s, maritime patrol squadrons and a national disaster air relief centre.

The 160ha Sungai Besi air base will make way for the multi-billion ringgit upscale Bandar Malaysia, undertaken by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) via the Armed Forces Superannuation Fund.

Meanwhile, he said the RMAF's development plan included buying the muti-role combat aircraft, radars, sensors and the airborne early warning and control system.

The shopping list also include the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets of the United States, Dassault Aviation's Rafael from France and the Saab JAS 39 Gripen from Sweden.

"We are looking at acquiring between 12 and 18 ultra-modern fighter jets per squadron, to replace the aging MiG-29N Fulcrums by 2015. Ideally, we want to operate not more than two types of fighters for ease of logistics, maintenance and the like."

Rodzali added the RMAF would take delivery of 12 Eurocopter EC-725 from next year, six Airbus A400M medium-lift aeroplanes were due for delivery from 2015."

In the meantime, at least 15 of our Nuri S-61 Sikorsky helicopters will be refurbished with upgraded avionics to complement the Eurocopters.

(New Straits Times)

Regional Naval Directory (2)

28 Mei 2011

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