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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

Old 7th Dec 2008, 09:24
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Sat in N160AT's (aka VH-CAT) left seat this afternoon

Hi Everyone,

My first post here on on PPRuNe. I was very fortunate to climb into the Cat this afternoon at Bankstown and have a good look around. I own and operate a Lake Renegade and I've always been impressed with how solid and well built Lakes are. They're like paper mache compared with this beast! Everything has that classic WWII heavy duty solidity about it. There is nothing "lite", it's all heavy.

Sat in the left seat and imagined myself getting it up on the step as I do in my Renegade. It's a mightly thought; the sheer magnitude and power that would be needed! I can't wait to go fo a ride in this amazing thing. The rudder pedals alone are like something you'd expect to find steering an ocean liner, the control wheel is classic WW11 bomber (a round wheel that looks like it should be on a Mack truck) and throttle/pitch controls that look like they're designed to control enormous heavy-duty things that are a long way away (which of course those 1830s are!). I felt a bit uncomfortable after 5 minutes in there. Congratulations to the team for being in there as long as they have and bringing this Cat to its spiritual home!

I was very fortunate to meet Chris Goezinne, the PIC for the ferry flight. He's this larger than life Dutchman who just oozes excitement about the whole experience, Catalinas and flying in general. He's a very experienced airline pilot who, in between, 747s and various Airbus' flies Cats, mostly the Dutch cat (Home of the Catalina PH-PBY - Home check it out, fantastic photos), There he was hours after they'd arrived at Bankstown after this epic journey and he was welcoming everyone on board who wanted to "have a look" with a big smile and a warm handshake. He's one of those people that's a joy to be around. We compared notes on hull flying and most of what goes on in the Cat is not disimilar to a smaller floating hull aircraft like the Lake.

I asked him about how well the cockpit stood up to rain and he said that at one stage over Indonesia they had been going through intensely heavy showers for hours and the cockpit was awash with rainwater. There was so much their feet were well and truly in it and they had to open the drain plugs to get rid of it. I took that to read that, in terms of water from above, it leaks like a sieve. In terms of water ops (i.e. on the water) it lifts of a 65 knots (my Renegade gets of at 60, so that's pretty good that this big monster can get off at about the same). I didn't see the Rathmines touch and go (or splash and dash as we like to say) but he said it was exciting. Rathimes doens't offer that much space even for smaller seaplanes so when he told me he had to come in pretty low over the trees to the west and get down quickly to then start accelerating on the water again I could imagine what it would have been like. He said it took a while to get off again as it was pretty heavy and at one stage he thought he might have to come down off the step and taxi back for a standing start take-off back close to western shore of the bay there at Rathmines. But with a little turn around the point all was well. It would be great to hear a description from anyone who saw it.

With the world financial crisis Chris isn't sure what his next ATP gig will be. He's off to do another Cat ferry soon but after that not sure. If anyone's reading this and they know of an opening for someone like Chris please contact me be put into contact with him.

Thanks Wags (from Yorkey's Knob; good place I lived there a long time ago) for keeping us all informed on the progress of the ferry flight.

regards

Philip Dartnell
Public Relations Officer
Seaplane Pilots Association Australia
[email protected]
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Old 7th Dec 2008, 15:02
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Congratulations to the Cat team.

Just a quick note to let you all know I have been following your journey from start to finish and would like to congratulate you on a job well done.

Few in aviation can relate to the difficulties of ferrying an old airplane such as a Cat over such a long distance and dealing with all the bureaucratic B.S. along the way.

Great job and I see the engines are runnning real nice just by looking at the pictures.

Chuck E.
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Old 7th Dec 2008, 17:12
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On Saturday I was flying Tiger Moth ASB south past the Gold Coast high rise on a scenic flight when I glanced out to sea and saw the Cat slowly overtaking me. For once I was more excited than the passenger!
Magnificent sight, well done.
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Old 7th Dec 2008, 20:43
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saw the Cat slowly overtaking me.
...that's gotta be the first time a Catalina has overtaken anyone...
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Old 8th Dec 2008, 02:07
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...that's gotta be the first time a Catalina has overtaken anyone...
see my post in the other thread........it has happened twice now........

She overtook me doing a low level flypast at Maitland YMND just as I touched down (today about 1330). Fantastic
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Old 8th Dec 2008, 10:45
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Yes, well done!

At the top of the pile of useless information is an old one re the Cat...


It was said that: " it was the first aircraft who's wingspan in feet exceeded it's cruising airspeed in knots "

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Old 8th Dec 2008, 11:57
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The old girl landing at YCAB on Saturday...

YouTube - PBY YCAB
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Old 12th Dec 2008, 15:29
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Hellow.
Its the 1st time that i post a message in this post, so if im doing something wrong, please forget....

Well, now i can sleep at night......The cat reached his new home....
I am Jose Saraiva from seia, and I worked with the cat to prepare it for ferry, and, Im posting this reply, because, it was a great pleasure to work with such a type of aircraft, and I want to thanks all the people who maked this possible.
Finally I can sleep and think "one more saved from certain junkyard, good job!"
Sadly, I saw the cat departing seia after a long history ( I grew up seeing this aircraft taking off and landing), but I must think that he departed for a good reason, he will be saved!
It was a wonderfull month, and despite all the problems that we had to resolve in very very short time, we did it! The aircraft departed without any major problems...
So I want to say thanks to the "boys":
Cris,
Hal,
Geff,
Bernie,
Richard,
And off course, Jim.

Best regards,
Jose Saraiva
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 09:41
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Thanks

My thanks to all of you who have been following our progress. It has been great to see the interset on PPRuNe. Believe me we have been absolutely amazed at the greetings we have received on our journey down the east coast.
What acharge the splash and go at Rathmines was. Perhaps the first cat to do so in about 60 years?
Full credit to Chris Goezine of the Dutch Cat mob!! Fantastic to be RH seat for him on such a memorable occasion.
Just a shame the usual bullshit kicked in and we were not permitted to go low level up Sydney harbour. I knew for sure that we were then back in OZ.
Wingnuts, I still don't know who you are, but sure wish that we could have gotten pre-flight briefings from you, as you were ahead of the game, and sure knew more about what we were doing than we did!!!
Thanks and regards to all who followerd and encouraged us.
Henry
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 11:16
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GST-Import tax

As the owners, Catalina Flying Memorial P/L, is a registered charity no GST should be payable, or if paid , refundable. A lot of paperwork and angst over (literally)nothing! I knew we were back in Oz. Nowhere in the previous 8000 n.m. were we subjected to so much bureaucratic nonsense. A whole day in 35+ heat achieving precisely nothing.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 11:32
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Residents of Seia

I must add my accolades to those of wingnuts for the people of Seia. I was there for last year's attempted ferry, and can't praise the efforts of the locals enough. Miguel in particular was a gem.His wife also contributed greatly by interpreting for Geoff when dealing with tradespeople and the bureaucracy. Other locals were always popping out to see how things were going. I have a photo of a local lady with a paint roller on the end of a 20' pole painting out the Chilean registration. This year we have to add Jose to the list of people who made it possible, a fully trained LAME who gave his time freely, and his mum did our laundry!!! The local restaurant, the hardware store, Jose's brother with the transport business and workshop, couldn't have left there before the snow set in without them. About 6 lighties flew in on the 15th to watch the test flight and eventual departure to Salamanca, and aircraft buffs drove from Lisboa and Oporto to send us off. Fantastic people! Marvellous mountain area with great walking in the Serra d' Estrella National Park if you are into that sort of thing. Spend a few bucks in Seia if you visit Portugal.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 11:48
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Red tape

Regretably it has kicked in big time since we arrived in OZ. Not allowed to use the seaplane lane up Sydney Harbour as we were "too heavy", so Rose Bay missed out on a low orbit. How the long gone Cat pilots who fought for freedom must be turning over in there (sometimes unknown and sometimes watery) graves. Should have just done it, and gone under the bridge as well and handed in my ticket at Bankstown.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 11:51
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Rathmines

Sssshhhhh!!!!
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 12:07
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Our thanks to YOU!!!

G'day Jose,
We made it mate!! But without you and Miguel we would still be freezing our rear ends off in Seia!! Many thanks again for all your help. Thanks too for translating the menu for the less adventurous eaters in the crew. Personally I just loved the local dishes.
The old lady did not give us any problems at all. A small oil leak from where the left oil cooler thermostatic bypass was bolted to the engine only, but the left actually used less oil than the right. Oil consumption was "book figures" all the way and fuel consumption about 90 gph (360 litres).
She trued out at just under 130 knots at 7500'. We all got very wet when flying in rain, but the hull is tight. No water after our splash and go at Rathmines.
We owe you a great debt! Richard, Chris, Bernie and I raised our glasses of champagne to you and Seia on our arrival.
Thanks mate!
Hal
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 01:28
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SPLASH DOWN, 7/12/08, Rathmines, Lake Macquarie, NSW (Photo Mike Usher)



Not shown on map are the Maroochydore to Bankstown sectors. They are:
Maroochydore (Dec 5), Caboolture, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey (Dec 6), Port Macquarie, Rathmines, Bankstown

Ferry flight video:

https://youtu.be/2QctlmUJQ5Y


Last edited by Wingnuts; 30th Aug 2015 at 02:47.
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 03:31
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I can remember a cat landing at rathmines in the early eighties and using the exit ramp there,does anybody else have recollections of this cause I can't quite remember what the occasion was for?

Regards The Dog
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Old 29th Jan 2009, 10:24
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VH-CAT Update.

She has taken up residence at Bankstown Airport, Sydney and has been granted 6 months complimentary parking by the airport owners. However, access to a hangar at this stage is out of the question.

The next phase is to remove the water tank and install passenger seats and then it is hoped to be issued with a Limited Category COA that will permit the carriage of fare paying passengers. Salt water operations are envisaged. A team of about 20 volunteers has indicated their availability and once the necessary funds are raised and basic facilities in place, work is expected to start.

It will be one of two flying Cats in Australia. Both aircraft made an important contribution to the air fire bombing history of Europe, yet here they are, now in Oz. The wonder is, “Why would Europe let them go?”

BANKSTOWN

Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Aug 2013 at 04:34.
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 13:24
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It's on again!

Plane in Spain to be Qantas
birthday gain!

Michael Madigan, Brisbane Courier Mail, 11-9-09

A plane representing the romance of the early years of Australian air travel will wing its way "home" to Queensland to help Qantas celebrate its 89th birthday.

The PBY Catalina "flying boats" ferried Australian air passengers towards their European adventures in the 1940s.

Now one of the aircraft is expected to be a key exhibit at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach by November.

The museum found a Catalina - a twin engine, high-winged amphibious monoplane built in the 1930s and '40s - working in Spain as a water bomber.

Qantas has sent over a team of aircraft engineers to bring it up to speed for another international trip to join other classic Qantas planes at the museum.
Museum manager Tony Martin says the Catalina won't be flying more than four or five hours each day and could take up to three weeks to get to Australia. But he wants it here well before Qantas celebrates its 89th birthday on November 16.

The Catalina was not only a commercially successful aircraft for Qantas but was a front-line weapon in World War II, with long range missions from bases (including several in far north Queensland) to lay sea mines.

Mr Martin said the Catalina would be a valuable addition to the museum which attracts thousands of visitors every month.
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Old 11th Oct 2009, 11:32
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VH-EAX. Should be departing Spain about now.

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Old 11th Oct 2009, 21:42
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Thumbs up

VH-EAX is halfway home. Spending the night in Ahmedabad as I type.

G'day
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