Tag Archive | "Aviation"

Plane for sale after unique mission

CHRIS THOMSON

American Champion Aircraft brand, Scout 8GCBC aeroplane. 2006 model. 2635 flying hours. Two seats. 400-minutes endurance. Cruise speed 110 knots. Big tyres for short-strip landing. Always hangared. Flies only mission of its kind in the world. One owner. Dream to fly.

That’s what the Department of Parks and Wildlife wants to sell to you by public tender.

The department says the pictured Scout aircraft is one of several that between them provide the only “dedicated aerial bushfire detection system” in the world.

The Scouts detect bushfires early so intelligence can be gathered to enable aggressive initial attack of the blazes by ground forces and water bombers.

Between them, the Scouts fly about 4000 hours each summer. They have accumulated more than 50,000 hours in service, which the department says is a world record for a fleet of Scout aircraft.

The department’s aviation manager says that apart from the “normal consumables”, the Scouts have “proven to be excellent aircraft” to manage and fly.

The Scouts operate out of Jandakot, Bunbury, Dwellingup and Manjimup, and fly across areas set each day according to forecast fire conditions.

The planes are also used to supervise waterbombing in the state’s Southwest, relaying information to fire controllers about a fire’s movements.

According to the department, the Scouts are “extremely versatile” due to their 400-minute flight range “good, slow-flying characteristics”, cruise speed of 110 knots, and big tyres, large manual flaps and heavy-duty brakes that allow them to operate easily from short air fields.

The pictured Scout was bought new by the department in 2006 and has always been hangared. It has flown 2635 hours, and the department wants to offload it before it reaches 3500 hours.

For further details, give Mark Dixon a buzz on 0429 049 906.

And tell him oneperth sent you.

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Perth lights up for MH370

STAFF REPORTER

Tonight and tomorrow night the lights on Perth’s Council House will spell out ‘MH370’ as a show of support for people affected by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

A Perth council spokeswoman said the city was sending its thoughts and prayers to the passengers, families and staff of MH370.

“This is our small way to show our support for the many people affected by the flights disappearance,” the spokeswoman said.

“We also send our best wishes to those [people] involved in the extensive search and hope they can bring some closure to the uncertainty.”

Photo: Michael Spencer, Wikimedia Commons

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$2.25 million state Jetstar handout

STAFF REPORTER

1PM UPDATE: The state government has agreed to give Jetstar $2.25 million, on the back of a $7.65 million handout to related company Qantas.

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey claimed the deal with Jetstar would help Western Australia’s continued growth as a holiday destination with the state promoted in domestic tourism markets and Singapore through joint advertising.

Mrs Harvey said the last aviation agreement with Jetstar, signed in 2010, had been a big success and delivered a significant return on investment for the government.

“The previous marketing activities with Jetstar led to thousands of additional passengers into WA from the east coast, boosting our tourism economy by millions of dollars,” she said.

Mrs Harvey said the Jetstar handout helped address the perception that it was expensive to fly to WA from other parts of Australia.

“Research has shown us that the cost of flights to Perth from Melbourne or Sydney had been a barrier for people wanting to visit WA,” she said.

“This agreement with Jetstar is important because it promotes low cost fares to WA, as well as the extraordinary experiences visitors can enjoy here during their holidays.”

The Jetstar deal is the second major aviation handout the state government has approved in the past five months. Last September, Tourism WA signed a three-year, $7.65 million deal with Qantas, which will see WA promoted interstate and in international markets including the UK, USA, Germany and Singapore.

Meanwhile, two Jetstar companies were today fined a total of $90,000 for unlawfully making six cadet pilots responsible for training costs and making deductions from their wages, despite receiving advice the deductions contravened workplace laws.

Jetstar Group Pty Ltd and Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd were each fined $45,000 in the Federal Court in Sydney after admitting they breached the Fair Work Act.

The penalties are the result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The six pilots were recruited between October, 2010 and January, 2011 and were employed on New Zealand individual contracts through a New Zealand-based Jetstar subsidiary while they underwent six months of training.

At the conclusion of the training, the cadet pilots’ employment was transferred to Australian entity Jetstar Group.

Justice Robert Buchanan found that Jetstar continued to pursue plans to recover training costs from the cadet pilots despite advice that this was unlawful under Australia’s Air Pilots Award 2010.

Jetstar deducted a total of $17,500 from the cadet pilots’ wages between June and September 2011 before the practice was ceased and the money was returned to them in November 2011, following a legal challenge by the Australian Federation of Air Pilots.

Deductions were made from all six pilots’ wages, including one pilot who had refused to agree to the deductions.

Justice Buchanan said Jetstar showed a lack of contrition.

“The respondents used their vastly superior bargaining power to effectively brush aside any personal resistance by cadet pilots, not desisting until the AFAP stepped in,” he said.

“The conduct of Jetstar Group and Jetstar Airways was calculated solely by reference to their assessment of their own commercial interests and their determination that the cadet pilots should be ultimately responsible for the cost of their training.”

Imposing penalties at 68 per cent of the available maximum, Justice Buchanan said, “I think it is appropriate to mark the Court’s disapproval of what was done”.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s separate legal proceedings against Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd, as well as Singapore company Valuair Limited and Thai company Tour East (T.E.T.) Limited are ongoing.

In these proceedings the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that cabin crew employed by Valuair and Tour East (T.E.T.) to work on domestic flights for Jetstar were subject to Australian workplace laws.

These allegations are being contested by Valuair, Tour East (T.E.T.) and Jetstar Airways. A hearing is scheduled for April 7 in the Federal Court in Sydney.

Photo: ‘Bidgee’, Wikimedia Commons

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State subsidy for Qantas

STAFF REPORTER

The WA Government will subsidise the marketing spend of Qantas airlines to the tune of $7.65 million.

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said the three-year deal was one of the biggest “airline partnerships” in Western Australia’s history.

Under the deal, Qantas will promote its WA destinations, matching State Government marketing funding dollar for dollar.

Mrs Harvey expects the deal will bring thousands of visitors to WA.

“It will play a vital role in our bid to attract more domestic and international visitors to the state and increase the value of tourism from $7.5 billion in 2012 to $12 billion by 2020.”

The deal is worth $2.55 million a year over three years and will target potential visitors from Australia, the United Kingdom, USA, Germany and Singapore.

Photo: Adrian Pingstone

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Learner charged over fatal airport crash

STAFF REPORTER

A 29-year-old learner driver from Thornlie will face multiple charges over a car crash that killed a woman and seriously injured six other people near Perth Airport on New Year’s Day.

Police spokeswoman Naomi Smith said that about 8.50pm the man – a learner driver – drove a Holden Commodore west along Dunreath Drive and collided head-on with another Commodore as he allegedly tried to overtake a truck.

The crash killed a 40-year-old woman and serious injuries to six other occupants of the two cars.

The man has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, two counts of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, three counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, contravening his learner’s permit, and contravening a work order.

He will appear in Perth Magistrates Court on January 31.

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Blaze closes airport approach roads

CHRIS THOMSON

3.50PM THURSDAY UPDATE: A fast-moving fire with flames up to 12 metres high threatened residential Cloverdale and Kewdale yesterday and closed major roads around Perth International Airport.

More than 24-hours after the blaze broke out, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority has just given the all clear for the eastern part of Cloverdale near Perth Airport.

The fire is now under control. However, the wind is picking up a lot of dust from the ground where the fire burnt and FESA has advised people on foot to avoid the area as it is still poses some risk.

Dunreath Drive is still closed between Horrie Miller Drive and Brearly Avenue.

Fifty regular firefighters attended the fire and mopping up continues. Airport firefighters and Federal police were also on the scene.

Yesterday, residents of McLarty Place and Towie Street in Cloverdale were evacuated. They have now returned home.

FIREFIGHTER INJURED

One male firefighter sustained minor burns and was taken to hospital.

Yesterday, FESA had reported flames as high as 12 metres.

The Department for Child Protection set up a fire relocation centre at Forster Park Hall – at the corner of Keane Street and Abernathy Road in Cloverdale.

Three helicopters sent to protect crews and homes have now been released from the area.

The fire was reported at 12.23pm today and 66 hectares have been burnt out.

The cause of the conflagration is unknown. FESA has asked anyone seeing suspicious behaviour to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

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Woman killed in airport car crash

STAFF REPORTER

A 40-year-old woman was killed and six other people seriously injured last night when two Holden Commodores crashed head-on at the road linking Perth’s domestic and international airports.

Police spokesman Samuel Dinnison said that about 8:50pm a white Holden Commodore was travelling west on Dunreath Drive.

At the same time a gold Holden Commodore was travelling east on the same road which links the domestic and international airports.

Mr Dinnison said it appeared the driver of the white Commodore had allegedly tried to overtake a slower moving truck.

He said the two cars collided head-on in the east bound lane.

The crash occurred on a bending section of the road that had double white lines.

Seven people were seriously injured, with one – a 40-year-old woman – later dying in hospital.

Injured in the white Commodore were the woman, a six-year-old boy, a 29-year-old man, a 31-year-old man and a 32-year-old man.

Injured in the gold Commodore were a 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man.

Anyone with relevant information about the crash should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Perth pilots get their transfers

CHRIS THOMSON

Three Perth-based pilots have had their transfers to Brisbane upheld after a bid by a Qantas colleague to quash the transfers was yesterday thrown out of the Federal Court.

Sydney-based Second Officer Jason Hyde was aggrieved at being overlooked after having expressed a wish to move to the sunshine state.

Mr Hyde was employed in November 2004 as a Second Officer based in Sydney, flying B747 aircraft – a position he still maintains.

He tried to get an injunction placed on the transfer of Perth-based First Officers Paul Burkamshaw, Stephen Power and Tian Viljoen.

Before Justice Julie Anne Dodds-Streeton, Mr Hyde argued the three were junior to him on the Qantas seniority list and so the transfers breached seniority entitlements of Qantas’ enterprise bargaining agreements.

He sought penalties against Qantas for the alleged breach.

The Perth pilots were First Officers who flew Boeing 737s on short haul routes, while Mr Hyde was a Second Officer who flew B747s on long haul routes.

Qantas argued that Mr Hyde was not qualified to be a First Officer nor trained to operate B737s – and would have needed 13 weeks full-time training, and to be promoted, to do so.

The company stressed that First Officers were qualified to take off and land aircraft, while a Second Officer was not.

Justice Dodds-Streeton noted Mr Hyde was not sufficiently qualified to fly 737s.

She dubbed as ‘weak’ Mr Hyde’s claim that the failure to transfer him based on seniority was a breach of Qantas’ enterprise agreements.

Mr Hyde’s application for the transfers to be quashed was dismissed.

Photo: Adrian Pingstone

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Pilots vindicated by big fine

STAFF REPORTER

RELATED NEWS: PERTH PILOTS GET THEIR TRANSFERS

A Perth-based magistrate has ordered a national aviation services company to pay a penalty of $96,030 for underpaying 33 pilots.

The Federal Magistrates Court in Perth has imposed the penalty against National Jet Systems Pty Ltd, which operates a fleet of jets offering freight and passenger services throughout Australia.

Federal Magistrate Toni Lucev found the company had breached workplace laws by underpaying 33 pilots a total of $123,423 in 2006-2007.

The underpayments were the result of National Jet Systems failing to provide the pilots with wage increases they were entitled to under their workplace agreements.

Magistrate Lucev said there was a need to impose a penalty “to demonstrate to others the seriousness with which the court views contravention of industrial instruments, with a view to deterring others from committing such contraventions”.

National Jet Systems rectified the underpayments after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal proceedings.

The biggest underpayment of an individual pilot was $7337.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also alleged that company had breached workplace laws by applying duress to two pilots in an effort to pressure them into signing workplace agreements.

However, Magistrate Lucev dismissed this allegation, finding that while National Jet Systems had applied pressure to the two pilots, it did not amount to unlawful duress.

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Less noise for northern suburbs

CHRIS THOMSON

Airservices Australia is using airforce airspace to cut flight noise over Perth’s northern suburbs.

Under the trial, some international flights from Perth Airport are using the military airspace when the Royal Australian Air Force does not need it.

Some aircraft that between 10pm and 7am would normally depart to the north, and dogleg toward the ocean as low as 760 metres, are taking a different route over houses further north at a minimum altitude of 2400 metres.

From east to west, suburbs now receiving less noise include Beechboro, Mirrabooka, Malaga, Koondoola, Balga, Warwick, Hammersley, Carine, Duncraig, Watermans Bay and Marmion.

Airservices Australia expects the extra altitude will reduce aircraft noise on the ground.

However, Banksia Grove, Carramar, Merriwa, Butler, Clarkson, Jindalee, Quinns Rocks and Mindarie are receiving some extra night time noise.

Up to four flights are using the route each evening.

The trial will last several months and a review will be conducted in March next year.

Depending on feedback, the new route may be extended to cover some flights at all times of the day.

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Qantas pilot pays for drinking session

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: A Qantas pilot who denied claims by an outranking officer that he displayed suicidal tendencies during a drinking session has won back the right to fly.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney has heard that in March last year former air force pilot Jeremy James Hackett was a second officer with Qantas when – on a trip to the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires – he dined with his captain and fellow officers.

Mr Hackett, now 40, continued to party and drink with first officer Simon Redhead whom he had met only that night.

DEATH AND REINCARNATION

Late into the evening, Mr Hackett spoke of death and reincarnation, and the impact of environmental degradation on the planet and his children, and Mr Redhead became concerned for his colleague’s safety.

Mr Redhead contacted a Qantas welfare officer and claimed Mr Hackett was delusional and suicidal.

Qantas doctors became involved, and Mr Hackett was stood down. He returned to Sydney as a passenger, accompanied by a psychologist, on the flight he had been scheduled to help operate.

In April 2010, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority suspended medical certificates Mr Hackett needed to keep flying. He appealed the decision and in October 2010 was again permitted to fly – subject to conditions.

Mr Hackett appealed the conditions and in a tribunal decision delivered yesterday succeeded in having the conditions relaxed somewhat.

APOCALYPSE

Mr Redhead told the tribunal that Mr Hackett had discussed the occult, Waco sect leader David Koresh, saving himself from suicide, protecting himself from his demons, preparing his family for the apocalypse, and leaving his body.

The first officer also claimed Mr Hackett was delusional and angry to the point of hitting the table and snarling.

It was also contended that Mr Hackett had been morose and tearful, and near the window of his hotel room when he said: “stop me from killing myself”.

In the tribunal, Mr Hackett denied he had been suicidal. He said he did not recall wanting to kill himself.

A Qantas doctor who checked on him at his hotel room the next morning said he had presented as lucid and not suicidal.

QANTAS PLANT

Mr Redhead said he saw Mr Hackett check behind pot plants to see if people were hiding there, and that Mr Hackett had suspected him of being a psychologist planted by Qantas to monitor him.

The tribunal heard Mr Hackett had earlier suffered a moderately severe depressive disorder for which he was treated in 2007. Mr Hackett was not permitted to fly for about six months during 2008.

Evidence from Mr Hackett’s psychologist that he had made an excellent recovery from his 2007 illness and no longer suffered a psychiatric disorder was accepted by the tribunal.

Mr Hackett has requested 12 months leave from Qantas starting July 5 so he can return to the air force where requirements for flying are different and he has been cleared to fly unrestricted.

Photo: Adrian Pingstone

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Planes’ return to Langley Park

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: A group of Australian aviators is set to step into the breach left when the Red Bull Air Race pulled out of Perth.

The Sports Aircraft Association of Australia is planning a ‘Langley Park Fly-in’ involving more than 100 aircraft for Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 of October.

Included in the planned program are a Boeing aircraft fly-past, water bombing display, and commando exhibition by WA’s own crack Special Air Service regiment.

The skills of former Red Bull air race pilot Matt Hall will be featured.

Also on the cards is a Red Bull Team aerobatic display and a RAAF fly-past and handling display.

The airshow will begin at 12.40pm on the Saturday and 11am on the Sunday.

The SAAA advises that the public will be welcome to view its members’ machines and chat with the owners.

Gates will open at 10.00am – which will allow aviation fanatics to see the planes arriving.

Entry is free, but a gold coin donation to Telethon is encouraged.

Public entry to the fly-in will be from Terrace Road.

The event will be the seventh Langley Park Fly-in and the first since 2009. It will be the first since Red Bull last year cancelled all its air races on safety grounds.

In the 1920s, the grassy, 11.7 hectare Langley Park was Perth’s first aerodrome.

Victoria Avenue and Plain Street between Terrace Road and Riverside Drive will be closed from 6:00am to 4:30pm on the Saturday and Sunday of the event.

The river foreshore including the cycleway between Victoria Avenue and Plain Street will also be closed. The City of Perth says this is to ensure public safety during the air displays over the river.

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Direct flights to China

STAFF REPORTER

The WA government has signed an agreement with Asia’s biggest airline, China Southern Airlines, towards introducing direct flights between Perth and the big red nation.

The deal will give WA direct access to the world’s biggest tourism market for the first time and was sealed at a ceremony in Guangzhou today.

In China for the signing, Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the agreement was a positive step for WA’s tourism industry.

“The securing of an agreement with China Southern Airlines, one of the world’s great airlines, for direct flights to Perth would give the state’s tourism operators a tremendous boost,” Dr Hames said.

China Southern Airlines is the largest airline in China and has hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing.

Using a fleet of more than 400 Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft, the airline operates an extensive domestic network in China and international services to the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Australia.

The airline already has links with WA after the establishment of its flying college campuses at Jandakot and Merredin in 1993.

In 2010, 12,000 Chinese visitors came to WA, an increase of 32.1 per cent on 2009.

“The potential of the Chinese market is incredible,” Dr Hames said.

“But currently WA only attracts about three per cent of Chinese visitors to Australia, and the Government and Tourism WA want to rectify that and significantly increase our share of the Chinese market.

“Clearly, direct flights will greatly assist in meeting that challenge.”

 

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Four injured in balloon crash

STAFF REPORTER

A hot air balloon crash near Northam injured four people this morning.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority rescue helicopter is returning to Perth from the crash that occurred on Great Eastern Highway at Muluckine.

FESA says that eight people were involved in the crash and four were injured.

Two patients have been transported to Northam Hospital.

The helicopter carried two patients to Royal Perth Hospital and was scheduled to arrive at 9.40AM.

All patients are in a stable condition.

Firefighters and three ambulances attended the crash which was reported at 7.28AM.

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