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Australia Approves Defence Projects Worth AUD 3 billion

31 Agustus 2011

Standart Missile on Adelaide class FFG (photo : Trimarshall)

Defence capability projects approved

The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare today announced that the Government has approved four major Defence capability projects.

The projects are:

The acquisition of over 950 new four wheel drive vehicles as well as trailers and associated equipment for training purposes (combined first and second pass approval for the acquisition of Light and Lightweight Tactical Training Vehicles under Land 121 Phase 5A);

The upgrade of Navy’s current long range Standard Missile-2 (SM2) air defence missiles for future use by the Air Warfare Destroyers (SEA 4000 Phase 3.2 combined first and second pass approval);

Funding for a collaborative international study into the upgrade of the air defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile fitted to the ANZAC Class frigates and Air Warfare Destroyers (SEA 1352 Phase 1A combined first and second pass approval); and

An Enhanced Military Satellite Capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including transportable land satellite communications terminals and upgrades for satellite communications on Navy platforms (Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B first pass approval).

These approvals are estimated to involve expenditure of around $550 million. When complete, the projects are estimated to involve a commitment toAustralia’s national security of expenditure of around $3 billion.

New Training Vehicles (Project Land 121 Phase 5A)

The Government has approved the acquisition of over 950 new ‘G-Wagon’ four wheel drive vehicles from Mercedes Benz Australia Pacific Pty Ltd, together with around 200 modules and 830 trailers.

The modules will be manufactured and integrated onto the vehicles by G. H. Varley Pty Ltd in NSW and the trailers will be sourced from Queensland-based Haulmark Trailers (Australia).

This approval is subject to successful negotiations with the respective companies.

This project will provide the Australian Army with a fleet of tactical vehicles and an enhanced training capability to prepare for operations in protected vehicles.

The approved value is around $425 million. The Australian industry component is worth more than $100 million.

Upgrade of the Standard Missile-2 (SEA 4000 Phase 3.2)

The Australian Defence Force’s inventory of SM2 missiles carried by the Adelaide Class frigates will be both upgraded and converted for use by the Air Warfare Destroyers.

The conversion of the missiles will allow them to be used in the Air Warfare Destroyers and provide an enhanced anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile defence capability.

The SEA 4000 Phase 3.2 project is valued at around $100 million and will be acquired under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangements with theUnited States.

Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Upgrade (SEA 1352 Phase 1A)

The Government has given combined first and second pass approval for a contribution to the international risk reduction study for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

The ESSM is currently fitted to the ANZAC Class frigates and will be fitted to the Air Warfare Destroyers. This project will upgrade the ESSM to ensure these ships can defend against aircraft and anti-ship missile threats.

This approval involves Australia contributing approximately $20 million to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Sea Sparrow Project Office to conduct the study to develop an upgraded ESSM.

The total cost of Project SEA 1352 Phase 1 is cost capped between $1 billion and $2 billion in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

Enhanced Military Satellite Capability (Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B)

The Government agreed to first pass approval for Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B – Enhanced Military Satellite Capability.

This project will deliver a comprehensive wideband satellite communications capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and will take advantage of Australia’s investment in the US Wideband Global Satellite Communications system.

Phase 5B will include the delivery of transportable land terminals to equip ADF elements, upgrades for the satellite communications fit on Royal Australian Navy platforms and the establishment of a satellite communications network management system.

Funding of $12 million has been approved for first pass to second pass work. This work includes project development and risk mitigation studies including in relation to the potential upgrade of the Geraldton ground station and a new ground station facility in Eastern Australia.

The total cost of Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B is cost capped between $300 million and $500 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

A busy afternoon at NZRT

A stranger in town was this Piper PA18 Super Cub ZK-BTU (c/n 18-6233) which joined the Airline Flying Club (Inc) on 18-05-2011. It spent most of its previous life with the HB & EC Aero Club.
It was parked in the unfinished hangar with the Cessna 180 ZK-JMH from Haast.
The CRAC Rans S-6ES Coyote 11 ZK-JOL2 (c/n 08031519-1203ES) was out bashing the circuit.
Resting in the sun briefly to allow the Thruster ZK-FHK out of the hangar, was the Sigma-4 ZK-JRC2 (c/n 09) belonging to Harry Devonish.
Alpi Pioneer 200 ZK-LPN (c/n  NZ2010) resting outside "The Landing Spot". This is the one from Middle Rock Station in the Rakaia Gorge.
Also pushed out to allow others to escape was the Sam Fry Laser 230 ZK-LZR (c/n 3).
Vans RV-4 ZK-SIM2 (c/n 2816) was also thrashing the circuit.
And can't you just hear it ?  North American NA78 Harvard 3* ZK-XSA (c/n 78-6647) did a couple of circuits before blatting off to some less crowded airspace.

The final countdown

Grand opening next week

Next Tuesday the new terminal building at Skopje’s Alexander the Great Airport will open. New details are now emerging regarding the grand opening on September 6. The opening ceremony will take place at 13.30. Turkish Airlines is chartering a special flight to the Macedonian capital on Tuesday carrying members of the Turkish Government and businessmen. Shortly after, Turkish’s scheduled service from Istanbul will touch down in Skopje together with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who will open the new terminal with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski. As a result, Turkish Airlines will be the first to use the new facilities. Later that day Malév, Adria Airways, Pegasus Airlines, Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways will also use the new terminal.

TAV, the airport’s operator, is keeping the interior of the new terminal a closely guarded secret. Known so far is that the terminal will have 23 check-in desks, 6 air bridges and 15 passport control counters. The new terminal also features a large statue of Alexander the Great and several duty free stores and restaurants including the first Burger King fast food restaurant in Macedonia. Skopje’s city transportation company will operate two double-decker busses from the city centre to the airport on the opening day so those interested can see the final product of the 110 million Euro investment.

Meanwhile, Mat Airways, the only passenger airline which calls Skopje its home has once again ceased operations, a second time it has done so this summer. It is unknown when and if the airline will resume flights. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency is talks with several airlines in hope that one will base an aircraft in Skopje from the 2011/12 winter season. One of them is a national airline from the former Yugoslavia which operates flights to Skopje.

Hiller ZK-HAP

The Hiller UH-12E ZK-HAP (c/n 2075 2076) played a significant part in the early history of the NZ rotary wing scene. It appeared on the US register in August of 1960 as N5378V to the Hiller Aircraft Corporation at Palo Alto in Californnia. It entered the NZ listings on 04-10-1963 as ZK-HAP to Whirl Wide Aviation Ltd of Hastings, first flying there on 20-11-1963. I believe it was given the name "Aotearoa 1". A name change to Whirl Wide Helicopters Ltd  of Timaru was applied on 01-11-1969.
Above : ZK-HAP as seen at Timaru on 03-08-1971. It appears to have the Company name written under the cockpit.
Below: as seen at Wanganui on 25-09-1972 with "Douglas" on the tail boom.
An ownership change on 05-05-1972 had it listed to Douglas R Bushby of Christchurch, and then to Thames Aerial Top Dressing Co Ltd of Thames on 06-10-1975.
Pic below was taken at Thames with TAT script on 05-09-1979.
It was rolled on a hill at Paparata on 30-05-1980 and was cancelled on 01-12-1980.
Airwork (NZ) Ltd picked it up and rebuilt it, re-registering it again on 18-02-1981; First flight after rebuild being on 24-01-1981. It was then sold abroad and cancelled on 06-08-1981 to become VH-FFU followed by a spell as P2-JMF at Ihu in PNG between 1982 and 1985, before returning to VH-FFU in February of 1985. It was cancelled on 27-01-1991.

How to Become an Airline Pilot

Life of an airline pilot is exciting, however it is a lot of demanding work too. In view of the fact that safety is most important in the aviation sector, airline pilots have to go through a lot of training, examinations and check flights in order to keep the various competencies required sharp and up to date. Even a captain of a 747 will have to take various exams and flight checks a few times a year.
Despite the fact that it looks exciting from the exterior, there is a lot of demanding work that goes into becoming an airline pilot in the first place and then to maintain the high standards necessary to be an airline pilot. In addition, you will not make the big wages until you become a captain.

How To Become An Airline Pilot?
In order to become an airline pilot, it is essential to have a lot of commitment and put in a lot of hard work. A degree is not a must to become an airline pilot in general, nevertheless in order to become an airline pilot now a days, a degree is a significant advantage. Though, the degree does not require to be within an aviation associated field.
Usually the path to become an airline pilot starts by receiving the Private Pilot Licence. Do your due diligence when deciding on a flight school to obtain your Private Pilot Licence. Don't just disregard an trainer at a regional flight school. The larger flight academies have a lot of advantages, as their instructors may frequently be recently retired airline captains with extensive knowledge. Local flying schools may have the keen young instructors who may well be suitable for the younger age group.

Once you acquire your Private Pilot Licence, your subsequent main target is to acquire the CPL. This will necessitate you to build up the flying hours as well as doing examinations and flight tests. While you are building up the hours for the Commercial Pilot Licence, you may possibly obtain the instrument rating and/or an instructor rating added to your Private Pilot Licence. An Instructor rating will permit you to train and acquire useful experience in addition to logging hours. You should also try to add multi engine ratings to the PPL licence.

The next licence up the ladder is the Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), which you will need as an airline pilot with a main airline. But, provided you hold the suitable ratings, and in certain cases even with about 500 to 1000 hours of flight time, you may get the opportunity to work for a regional airlines flying turboprop and regional-jet aircraft. These do not need you to hold an ATPL. You can advance to Air Transport Pilot Licence after you have obtained the obligatory experience.

Generally airlines generally require you to have Air Transport Pilot Licence and choose hopefuls who have done the integrated courses as these are of acknowledged quality and contain the multi-crew co-operation course. The modular trained pilots are expected to have 1500 hours or more before being accepted but this varies from company to company and in addition as the market changes. Flying with a regional airline is a nice advantage as they regularly have a firm tie with the larger airlines.

If you are successful in getting into an airline, then you will start as a first officer. Then you will usually work your way up to become a captain. But, the chance to undertake training for upgrading from the first officer to captain is commonly given on the position in the airline, not on the flying hours.

Article Source:

ČSA to suspend Belgrade flights

ČSA farewells Belgrade

As was originally reported by Source : EXYU aviation news : back in May, ČSA Czech Airlines has this week officially confirmed it will be suspending flights from Prague to Belgrade. The service will come to an end due to cost cutting measures and internal reorganisation but also due to poor economic performance on the route. The carrier operated 2 daily flights to Belgrade at the beginning of the year but signs of problems emerged when the airline cancelled 10 of its weekly flights and closed its representative office in Belgrade over the summer. ČSA has been the sole operator on the Prague to Belgrade service since 2008 when Jat Airways suspended its flights on the route due to its own cost cutting policy. As a result, Belgrade won’t have a direct air link to Prague for the first time in nearly 10 years. 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.

ČSA becomes the latest airline to announce that it will pull out of Belgrade. LOT Polish Airlines will alter its flights from Warsaw to Belgrade into a seasonal summer service as will Cimber Sterling on its flights out of Copenhagen. Meanwhile, airBaltic will also suspend its flights from Riga this winter, but at this point the airline is unsure whether it will return to the Serbian capital next summer. On the other hand, Sky Work Airlines will commence flights from Bern to Belgrade this winter. Bulgaria Air is still hoping to strike a deal with Jat and commence flights from Sofia in the next few months while Flydubai has applied for a license to operate flights to Belgrade although there are still no guarantees that the airline will actually begin the flights from Dubai this winter.

Together with Belgrade, ČSA is also cancelling several other destinations including Tel Aviv, Venice and Zurich. Within the EX-YU region, the Czech national airline will reduce its flights to Skopje from 6 to 4 times per week. Currently, flights from Prague to Zagreb and Ljubljana remain unaffected.

Fifth RAAF C-17 Flies

30 Agustus 2011

RAAF's C17 Globemaster II (photo : busaustralia)

The fifth Boeing C-17A Globemaster III for the RAAF made its first flight from Boeing’s Long Beach, California, facility on August 25.

The aircraft, to be designated A41-210 in RAAF service, is scheduled to be handed over to the RAAF in early September, and delivered to 36SQN at RAAF Amberley later that month to join its four stable mates.

The fifth C-17 was ordered earlier this year instead of an additional two C-130J Hercules transports under Project Air 8000 Phase 1. The aircraft was already on the Long Beach production line, intended for delivery to the US Air Force.

(Australian Aviation)

Plans to Improve Air Base in Palawan Underway

30 Agustus 2011

Nomad of the PAF (photo : Reuters)

ISABELA CITY, Basilan — As part of the development program being pushed to improve the capabilities of the Armed Forces’ services in the province of Palawan, the planning team from the 570th Composite Tactical Wing (CTW) sat down with its counterpart from the Western Command (WESCOM) and the Naval Forces West (NFW) to map out the development of the air base in Palawan.

In a press release, the 6th Civil Relations Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reveals that a two-day conference was held last August 18 and 19 to formulate the Master Development Plan of Antonio Bautista Air Base (ABAB).

ABAB is one of the nine air bases eyed for the priority development programs of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Maximizing the use of its land resources is the primary objective of coming up with a Master Development Plan for ABAB. The lay-outs of the land areas of both WESCOM and NFW were integrated inconceptualizing the plan since the two are adjacent to ABAB.

As the three military headquarters share some common needs, the planners aim to come up with a strategic design that would serve as a basis for deciding where to put up a facility, like a hospital for instance, that is most convenient and accessible to all.

Equally important is that conceptualizing the Master Development Plan would allow the planners todecide what project is most suited to a certain land area so as to maximize its utilization.

Experts have been consulted in formulating the conceptual plan for ABAB. For instance, with the help of an environmentalist, the effect of a certain project on the natural environment has been assessed and taken into consideration.

Should the National Headquarters approve the plan and the National Government provide the fund for its implementation right after, it would not only translate to an improved headquarters’ lay-out, but it would also mean better services for the people.

(Zamboanga Times)

FAA Rulemaking: Sport Pilot Training To Count For Higher Ratings?

The FAA just published a petition for rulemaking from EAA, AOPA, NAFI, and GAMA that calls for sport pilot instruction hours to count toward Private Pilot and higher ratings. 
The petition calls for a change in the current regs that disqualify flight training hours for counting toward higher ratings, if those hours were taught by a CFI-S, which is a flight instructor who only has the Sport Pilot rating.
The petition addresses FAR Part 61 and seeks to simplify and harmonize all flight training areas, and beyond that, actually makes sense when you think about it.  After all, why should sport pilots have to repeat their initial flight training because they learned the basics in an LSA from an LSA-only-rated instructor?
FAA personnel upon reflection (and prodding from the above named orgs) seems to have realized the unintentional discrimination against Sport Pilot CFIs, and by extension, Sport Pilot students, among other considerations, was making a statement about Sport Pilot training (or CFI-Ss) being somehow inferior to traditional CFIs and their training methods, which is probably pretty silly when you think about it. 
Every CFI I’ve talked to affirms that a Sport Pilot student learns all the requisite flight skills in an LSA to provide a solid foundation for advanced ratings.  And since LSA are lighter in weight and therefore more susceptible to crosswinds and other nuances, you can make a good case that LSA must be flown with rather more sensitivity and skill on any given day than more traditional aircraft.  Just ask all the high time pilots who've pranged an LSA because they refused to get sufficient transition training.
So even though GA aircraft can be more complex, the basic skills learned in flight require the same attention to fundamentals.  The argument is, there’s generically no fundamental flight skill significantly unique to any GA SEL training airplane that would somehow be skipped or incompletely taught by a CFI-S but not a CFI, if that CFI-S is properly trained of course.
It’s not a law change yet, but a first step in the typically lengthy govt. process that will give anybody interested a chance to weigh in on the subject.  Which means you can comment here.
Once everybody has posted their yays and nays, we can expect this minor kerfluffle to go away entirely and we can get on to fretting about other minor kerfluffles and the occasional big kerfluffle.

Ryanair to Ljubljana from summer 2012

Ljubljana negotiates with Ryanair as Adria faces a tough week

Ljubljana Airport’s management is finalising an agreement with Europe’s largest low cost airline Ryanair. Worried that the airport will be hit by Adria’s massive network reduction, the airport has proposed for Ryanair to operate flights out of Dusseldorf, Madrid, Oslo and London to the Slovenian capital. While airports across the former Yugoslavia report a significant passenger surge, Jože Pučnik in Ljubljana saw only a 3% increase in the first 6 months of the year, thus handling 574.740 passengers. Numbers began to slide after February despite the fact that the airport was closed for 2 weeks in April of 2010 for a runway overhaul. Nevertheless, the airport did see an operating profit of 2.1 million Euros, which is up by 78% on last year. Adria Airways is responsible for 74.9% of passengers using Ljubljana Airport.

Ryanair is also conducting talks with other EX-YU airports. There are negotiations under way for the no frills airline to commence flights from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt to Tuzla and flights to Podgorica from London and Glasgow. Flights to Ljubljana are expected to commence in April, at the start of the 2012 summer season.

Meanwhile, it will be a do or die week for Adria Airways. On Wednesday, the airline’s shareholders will decide on a capital injection and a restructuring plan to rescue the indebted flag carrier. Last week, all of the major banks participating in the talks said that they are unlikely to further support Adria. Such a decision, Adria says, will see the airline out of business by October. The restructuring plan entails a fleet, destination and employee reduction. The airline’s network cuts will be announced in September. Short listed for suspensions are flights to Paris, London, Istanbul, Warsaw and Copenhagen. Latest inside information points that the airline is also considering suspending flights to Belgrade and Podgorica.

Indonesia and Timor Leste Signs Defence Agreement

29 Agustus 2011

Pindad's SS2 riffles (photo : Detik Forum)

Forgive and forget as Dili signs Jakarta defence pact

EAST Timor's small army will be supplied with Indonesian weapons after the signing of a ground-breaking agreement between the two countries that were once deadly enemies.

Australia has 380 military personnel in the half-island state and has a close security relationship, but some in the capital, Dili, complain that Canberra can be excessively bureaucratic in its dealings on defence.

On a recent visit to Dili, Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who also serves as Defence Minister, signed a memorandum of understanding covering security co-operation, including training and military logistical support.

The deal was expected to be quickly ratified by the East Timor parliament, diplomatic and government sources in Dili told The Australian. It is understood the agreement will also cover the training of East Timorese military and police officers.

At the signing on August 8, Mr Gusmao and Mr Yusgiantoro were pictured hoisting aloft an Indonesian-made light machine gun of a type to be acquired by the East Timor Defence Force.

The weapon is a local variant of the Belgian 5.56mm FN Minimi.

The agreement will also provide for the establishment of a Timor Leste-Indonesia Defence Co-operation Joint Committee to co-ordinate broader areas of co-operation.

The agreement also covers co-operation on aviation, although no details of this have emerged. However, there have been suggestions that East Timor wants to acquire military helicopters.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said last night that the government welcomed any positive development in security co-operation between East Timor and Indonesia.

"Australia has an unwavering commitment to the long-term security and prosperity of East Timor," Mr Smith said. Australia had close defence co-operation with East Timor in areas including engineering, maritime security, logistics, financial management, communication and English-language training.

East Timor has gone to diverse sources for its military equipment and has patrol boats from Portugal, South Korea and China.

The executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, retired major general Peter Abigail, said that the new East Timorese defence link with Indonesia was a very positive move.

It made a lot of sense for Australia, Indonesia and East Timor to have a strong collective relationship and good relations with one another, Major General Abigail said.

He said that Australia would remain very deeply involved in training the East Timorese forces and advising the Dili government.

Clinton Fernandes, a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy, said East Timor clearly wanted to improve relations with a powerful neighbour.

"East Timor is diversifying its contacts in the region and clearly wants good relations with them all," Dr Fernandes said.

(The Australian)

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