View Full Version : Catalina over the Orwell

Four Wings
4th Aug 2013, 14:20
Approx 1515 today 04.08 Catalina flew up line of River Orwell in Suffolk Felixstowe towards Ipswich.

Any further info from PPruners please?

Background Noise
4th Aug 2013, 14:24
Catalina Events (http://catalina.cardinal-technologies.com/events.asp)

4th Aug 2013, 15:31
That link tells little but it was almost certainly G-PBYA from Duxford. Did it look all-white?

Four Wings
4th Aug 2013, 16:07
All white. She flew east over Levington a few minutes earlier - I was puzzled by her disappearing shape beyond neighbouring trees (from below and behind has a quite sqare body and after all, I probably last saw one over 60 years ago). Didn't get my binoculars out but when she returned up the Orwell and I got a side view I had instant recognition. Remarkably quiet for two big radials.

Made my day.

Background Noise
4th Aug 2013, 16:55
That link tells little but it was almost certainly G-PBYA from Duxford. Did it look all-white?

You're right - it did when posted, since updated I suppose. It had the aircraft appearing at Felixstowe I think so it all made sense.

4th Aug 2013, 18:36
OK. They are magic aeroplanes and my wife and I had a ride in one in New Zealand a few years back. Unbeatable.

India Four Two
5th Aug 2013, 15:24

I presume you flew in ZK-PBY?

I saw her in New Plymouth in November, looking a bit sorry for herself:

There are some corrosion issues in the wing, minor from a structural point of view, but major from the point of view of the labour involved. It's a big wing!

I was able to sit in the cockpit during an anti-det run. An interesting experience and a wonderful noise, but I'm glad I wasn't asked to clean up afterwards:


5th Aug 2013, 15:37
Oh dear, that is very sad. We had our trip at Omaka where there was a big air show taking place. It was a magic experience and one which will live with me for ever.

India Four Two
5th Aug 2013, 15:43

Don't worry. They are fixing her up and plan to have her flying again.

Was your pilot Brett Emeny?

5th Aug 2013, 16:40
I don't know. A guy in the back making sure we behaved was Gordon Habgood. The co-pilot was a lady and here's a piccy of the pilot.


India Four Two
5th Aug 2013, 17:00
No, that's not Brett, but a nice picture of "Harvard 98" in the background.

"My" Harvard, or at least the one I had a ride in.:ok:

5th Aug 2013, 17:17
Might see a bit more of it in the coming month:-
Catalina G-PBYA | Project Hawker 2013 (http://projecthawker2013.com/catalina-g-pbya-2/)

5th Aug 2013, 18:24
I42... oh, you mean this one...


I've never seen so many Harvards as we did in NZ..

India Four Two
6th Aug 2013, 06:34

Yes, that Harvard. Photo at Tauranga?

I've never seen so many Harvards as we did in NZ..

I know what you mean! :)


I took this picture at the 2011 Tauranga Air Show. I was helping out on the "piston" line-crew, which meant besides marshalling duties, I was able to take a lot of photos from the "air side" of the fence.

For such a small population, there is a staggering amount of vintage and warbird aviation. Over the two-day show, we handled 8 Harvards, 7 Yak 52s, 2 P40s, 2 Spitfires, an Me108, a T28 and a Corsair, as well as various light-aircraft. Down by the tower, on the apron, the "jet" crew looked after a Hunter, Vampire, Strikemaster, L39 and a T37.

I've had an email from NZ. The Cat is now (partially) under-cover and I have been told the plan is to have her flying by next Easter:


Your pilot was Chris Neilson, one of the foundation members of the Catalina Group.

6th Aug 2013, 09:37
OK thanks for all that. The Harvard pic was taken at Tauranga. When we told the chap at the museum that we were elderly pommy spotters he offered to let us in for free, but I paid. We first went to Tauranga Airport in 1979 when it was little more than an airstrip, When we went in 2007 it was like Heathrow! NZ is a truly wonderful place for old aircraft and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Sadly, I shall never go again.

India Four Two
7th Aug 2013, 11:00
More information about the repairs to ZK-PBY can be found in the News section here:

NZ Catalina Preservation Society (http://www.nzcatalina.org.nz/)

16th Aug 2013, 23:39
how wonderful to see (presumably) GPBYA overflying Twyford, Berks, en-route Duxford/Southampton today (16th) :D

first time I've seen (and heard!) her 'in the flesh' - even took my eyes off the fishing rod I was meant to be attending haha! :ok:

18th Aug 2013, 17:53
She rumbled past the old RAF Broadwell site about 40 minutes ago, heading roughly north east, wonderful to have a bit of period company while spending a few minutes there.

18th Aug 2013, 18:50
She is heading up this way for a display on Thursday over invergordon

Cromarty Firth Port Authority - 40th Anniversary (http://www.cfpa.co.uk/About-Us/40th-Anniversary.aspx)

18th Aug 2013, 20:22
Flying at Dunkeswell this afternoon at an event celebrating the airfield's 70th anniversary.