PPRuNe Forums

Go Back   PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Forgotten your Username/Password?

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 31st Oct 2008, 11:49   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 24
Question New Flying School in PNG

Flying school


AN AUSTRALIAN helicopter company has teamed up with a group of Kikori landowners in the Gulf province to set up a helicopter flying school.
The project is estimated to cost US$10 million (K26 million), with the National Government already giving K6.5 million as counterpart funding.
Webb Helicopters Pty Limited of Australia will develop the project with Gulf Air Limited, which is the business arm of the Kikori Gas Pipeline Landowners Association (KGPLA).
Their representatives signed a memorandum of understanding in Kikori on Sunday.
The signing ceremony started with the delegation landing at Kikori oval in a maroon A$10 million (K16.3 million) Squirrel model series six-seater helicopter witnessed by a huge crowd.
This was followed by the signing of documents and exchanging of PNG and Australian flags by KGPLA chairman Mark Sarong and Webb Helicopters operations manager, Capt John Wells.
Besides operating a flying school, the company will also look at servicing the needs of oil and gas industry partners including InterOil, Oil Search, Petromin, MRDC and the National Government.
The groundwork is expected to start in the next six months.
“We are here for the long term and the flying school will enrol school children who are interested in flying helicopters and planes as a profession,” he said.
“We will provide scholarships for six students every year, starting next year, for the 2010 intake, so it is very important for students to study hard and get good marks at school, especially in maths and science,” Capt Wells, a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot, said.
During his RAAF career, Capt Wells served in Bougainville, Iraq and Afghanistan as a peacekeeping force helicopter pilot.

Interesting.......
Capt SFB

Source: Nation | The National Newspaper
Capt SFB is offline   Reply
Old 31st Oct 2008, 19:42   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Asia
Posts: 155
I know the Aussie dollar has dropped a lot lately, but A$10 million for a Squirrel!?
Mark Six is offline   Reply
Old 31st Oct 2008, 21:20   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: australia
Posts: 159
$10,000,000, I don't think so
deeper is offline   Reply
Old 31st Oct 2008, 21:54   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: AGL
Posts: 118
If Captain Wells experience in PNG is limited to the RAAF on Bougaineville then I think he about to gain a whole lot more "experience."
EBCAU is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 01:05   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 19
Angry

The following rant assumes for a moment that this story has some basis in fact, which is a stretch for anything on PPRuNe.
It's a common story in PNG, although not often involving helicopters. I am familiar with at least three occasions in the last 20 yrs where outside individuals have been asked to "help" local people set up helicopter operations to compete with the established ones.

Naive PNG locals with landowner rights and un achievable expectations coupled with the frustration of feeling powerless to change things, imagine their ship has just come in when in cooperation with a perhaps well intended naive non PNG culturally unaware service provider, and "malleable" government signatories, "approval" is granted and money provided.

Apart from the particular Aust provider having an unenviable reputation for poor standards and little attention to legality, it is a nonsense to imagine that a "helicopter training school" has any chance of success in a place like Kikori. It's a bit like setting one up at an outstation in the NT. Why would you do that? Because someone is trading on uninformed expectations and royalties to promise the impossible. Someone is benefiting, but it will not be the landowners or the so called "students".

Of course the "school" is only a ploy anyway. Someone thinks by getting into Kikori this way, the oil and gas interests will give them work. If that happens, it will make the whole rort worthwhile for the provider, but I give it a one in a thousand chance of success. The oil and gas folks do have some standards and audits to support any decisions to grant work, even if it is sometimes just lip service.

I fear that it is yet another K6.5m down the tubes of what started as Aust taxpayers money in the form of AusAid. And the difference between the real cost of a Squirrel and the A$10m quoted? Ask yourself where all the funds come from that enable half the PNG legislature to own real estate in Australia and send all their kids to private schools down here. It is surely not from their salary, which also largely comes from AusAid.

If anyone can demonstrate, with substance, that the above is off target, please contribute. By substance I mean someone who knows the players, who knows the culture, and has dealt with the context personally over enough years to know what they are talking about. It would be a pleasant surprise to be wrong.
vetskone is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 02:17   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: AGL
Posts: 118
Vetskone
You are spot on. You have said exactly what I would like to have said if I had the time.
EBCAU is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 02:18   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: On top of the Longline
Posts: 200
I've spent 31/2 years on the Papuan island on both sides of the border & I know the founder of Webb helicopters well enough to say that you are spot on, Vetskone. You have expressed eloquently exactly what was going through my mind as I read through the article, but I am not surprised that these people have been conned in this way. Not because of who they are or where they live, but because of who they have hopped into bed with.
heliduck is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 03:09   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 627
Vetskone got it almost right, whilst half the PNG legislature own real estate in Australia, he failed to mention that the other half own real estate in Singapore Everything else mentioned was spot on

I really don't think that reporter from The National newspaper did much in the way of checking the veracity of what was reported on.
gulliBell is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 07:58   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Posts: 754
I wonder if John Wells was really in the RAAF as the Army has operated their helicopters for at least 20 years. Just a small point!
Nigel Osborn is offline   Reply
Old 1st Nov 2008, 08:45   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Asia
Posts: 155
Pretty sure it is the ex-Army John Wells. Last I knew he was flying a B412 on the civil contract at Oakey.
Mark Six is offline   Reply
Old 2nd Nov 2008, 09:34   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Vetskone,
As a R/W pilot with 11 + yrs PNG exp you are 110% correct.Bit (not really) sad that some people can be fooled into thinking a plan like this would wk !! All I can say is problem belong webb and co as they have no idea of what they are dealing with .
Only decent thing to ever come out of Kikori was the Bara fillets I used to buy of old John Senior ,good pla to say the least.
This is an easy one to predict where this will go,maybe some more real estate in Qld or at least a few more toyota sales for ela motors LOL.
Lookim
350boy is offline   Reply
Old 2nd Nov 2008, 10:57   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 19
Can anybody at Kikori verify the newspaper report? Is it current? I couldn't find a date. The ex Army "John Wells" is unlikely to be the one referred to as I understand he has been full time at Oakey with AHPL for over 12 months, and runs his own CRM business....so unless he leads a triple life I doubt he is the one they refer to.
The other bit that doesn't ring true is the "During his RAAF career, Capt Wells served in Bougainville, Iraq and Afghanistan as a peacekeeping force helicopter pilot." First if he was RAAF, he can't have served in all those places. Second, if he was Army I am not aware we had "peacekeepers" in two of them. Third I know of no Aust military pilot who has served in all three places.
So maybe the whole thing is just a wind up?

350Boy John Senior was good to know, and yes, the Bara was memorable. Overnighting there when his progeny was on the turps could be fraught though !!
vetskone is offline   Reply
Old 2nd Nov 2008, 11:36   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 24
Vetskone,

The article was dated 30 October 2008 (and has a photo of Capt Wells signing the document). I am a long way away from there now, so can't add any more to the "interesting" I added earlier.......

Capt SFB

(Edited to correct date)

Last edited by Capt SFB; 3rd Nov 2008 at 06:03.
Capt SFB is offline   Reply
Old 19th Mar 2009, 11:40   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern Oz
Posts: 16
Wells - never been to Iraq or Afghanistan, never been in the RAAF

I hear that his employer is a bit surprised that he was in PNG.
Felix the Cat is offline   Reply
Old 19th Mar 2009, 12:06   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Out of my bag
Posts: 10
Hay kids we talking bout the webby from Emerald?????
nothing better 2 do! is offline   Reply
Old 19th Mar 2009, 15:57   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 73
As mentioned by Capt SFB, the home page of The National Online from that date has this picture:

wish2bflying is offline   Reply
Old 24th May 2009, 17:13   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: On top of the Longline
Posts: 200
Does anyone have an update on this? I'd be interested to know if us pessimistic critics have been proven wrong or are a leopards spots truly unchangeable?
heliduck is offline   Reply
Old 17th Jun 2009, 11:56   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Offshore somewhere ...
Posts: 74
The other bit that doesn't ring true is the "During his RAAF career, Capt Wells served in Bougainville, Iraq and Afghanistan as a peacekeeping force helicopter pilot." First if he was RAAF, he can't have served in all those places. Second, if he was Army I am not aware we had "peacekeepers" in two of them. Third I know of no Aust military pilot who has served in all three places.

I know at least three gentlemen who have served in all three places as AAAvn helicopter pilots. I know no RAAF pilots who fit that criteria. The John Wells of Oakey fame is not one of the three ....

curious
Chinook is offline   Reply
Reply
 
 
 


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 18:26.


vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
© 1996-2012 The Professional Pilots Rumour Network