Wondering if anyone can tell me about Raphael Koipa who stayed with my family for an extended period when he first came to Australia as a young teenager. We stayed friends and visited & kept in contact for many years. My brother stayed with him in Port Moresby. We have been wondering why we haven't heard from him. I saw his name in a list on your website.
Raphael passed away some years ago at Mt Hagen. He flew with Air Niugini in the 70's and then took up Rotary Wing flying and had his own operation at Mt Hagen in 2000. In the meantime he did quite a bit of flying for Col Bubner's Airlink. He built a nice home on Kuta Ridge. A real Gentleman. I think he died of a heart attack.
For your response. Am very sad to hear of Raph's passing - we had wondered why there was no word for so long and at least we know now.
He became a family member over the year or more he spent with us. We have lots of funny memories as he came straight from his village to our home in a small Qld country town, quite a culture shock. The last time I saw him was in 1974 when I visited him at Sogeri. He wrote & rang sometimes & visited my family in subsequent years but I was living on Christmas Is and missed him.
We did have a letter from his wife Dorothy about the time of the trouble in Bougainville. I don't know if they were ever reunited. Is there anyone you know who we contact for more information about Raph & his family? Thanks again
Haven't been on for a loooooong while, but it is heartening to see that the same old Lapuns are alive and kicking. Chuckles, Tinpis, Torres, Animal Club. I shall open the fridge door and get yes all a coldie and we can sit around and tell lies to each other.!!
Central Aviation based in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, servicing the mining industry of PNG and other charter requirements is seeking the services of line pilots to fly the PAC750XL.
ICAO CPL 1000 hours Current instrument rating 3 years aviation experience (to be eligible for a PNG work permit) Desirable:
PAC750XL endorsement BGT The salary range offered will be A$60,000 A$70,000 dependent on experience and endorsements. The contract will be on a touring basis of 8 weeks on, 4 weeks off. Return airfares to Australia or New Zealand provided. Accommodation and meals supplied whilst in PNG.
Opportunities will be available to progress to Twin Turbine flying after a period of time with the company.
That would be a good gig, pays well + accom and food.
(mass exodus from NCA pending?) Dunno about the Hagen meris though
Gents this is a request for any information regarding the GSA fleet, but in particular the leased Lockheed Lodestar VH-FAC. Any photos or recollections? GSA aircraft had chequered painted rudders.. what colour were they?
I used to live right next to Goroka airstrip as a kid when GSA was operating. I doubt if there are any colour photos available to confirm this but, from memory the chequered rudders were black (or very dark green) checks superimposed on the silver colour of the fuselage (fabric or metal).
GSA operated Austers, Norsemans and Junkers 52s, as well as the Lockheed Lodestar pictured. According to James Sinclair's book "Sepik Pilot", the Lodestar was leased from Fawcett Aviation when Gibbes was hoping to get an airline licence to operate a regular service from Port Moresby and Sydney via Cairns and Brisbane. The licence request was refused by DCA on the grounds that it would compete with the established airlines already operating the route. GSA handed back the Lodestar in 1953. According to Sinclair the Lodestar "...was a financial and operational embarrassment from the start. It was expensive to operate, unserviceable for long periods, and unsuited to the type of internal operations the Company conducted; ..."
If you want to get the best information on the operation of GSA, I would suggest you get a hold of James Sinclair's excellent book "Sepik Pilot", published in 1971 by Lansdowne Press SBN 7018 0323 1, which details the history of Bobby Gibbes and GSA. Unfortunately, I doubt this book would still be in production but may be found in a library somewhere.
From James' book, in addition to the Lodestar, the aircraft operated by GSA included (all VH registrations):
Austers: KSD, KSQ, KSS,KSU, KST Norsemans: ASN, ASS, ASR, BLM, BNE, BNL, BNT, BHG, GSA Ju 52s: BUV, BUU, BUW
I went to PNG in the early 70's with only a latent sting from the Aviation Bug after a 10 shilling joy flight in a Bo at an airshow at Hoxton Park.
Towards the end of my stay I decided that I cant leave without experiencing a small adventure, and to see a little more of the country than just dry old Port Moresby. One Saturday morning one of you fellows took my (then) wife and I from POM up to Tapini. Just the 2 of us in a twinotter, what a magic trip. Up into the hills, along ridges and over valleys. I wish I had known about the Tapini ILS then. The AV bug began to bite a little harder. After landing and parking cross runway at the top of the hill, the aircraft was mobbed by a hoarde of would-be passengers.
We departed with a more than full load. The return trip was also very intersting, but more on the inside of the aircraft. The gaggle of people, their piles of carry-on baggage, the screaming, sqwarking trussed chooks in the aisle took a little away from the air adventure. Never mind, the AV bug was doing it's work.
Just before we left, we were invited to one of those PNG parties were huge, whole, BBQ coral trout were served. I chatted with a fellow who was an ATC at Moresby tower and he invted me up the tower the next day to see what he does.
That was it! The AV bug had done it's job and as soon as we were settled back home I started flying lessons with Mike Jones of Pioneer air. I was satisfied staying a PPL and for the last 10 years we have owned our own C182. I still travel to Mackay to see Mike every year for my IFR renewal.
Last time I saw those colours and rego, was when I ferried it Hir-Kia-Nadza, Nadzab-Lae-Goroka-Daru-HI-Cns, Cns-Isf-Hug-Roma, and Roma- Af, on the 18, 19, 20 & 21st. Jan '81. Had to go inland from Innisfail because of a cyclone sitting on the coast south-east of Townsville. Had Junior's son and his schoolchum on board from Goroka, as they had to get back to school in Sydney. We operated a PA-23 in late '83, briefly, H4-AAM, but don't think it was the company Aztec, more likely the SDA Aztec to fill a short term need. From late '85, we operated H4-ABD that may have been the old GKZ, as I think it came to us from Air Melanesaie. We had taken an Islander from them a few months earlier, YJ-RV2, and had a 402 and Bandit from Talair then too, as the Metro was still u/s.