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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

Old 12th Oct 2009, 01:04
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Oct. 6, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Photo: Roberto Yanez

G'day Feather
There is considerable interest in your ferry by the Catalina fraternity. If you get a chance, any details re your route and progress would be appreciated. Thanks.



Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Nov 2009 at 05:09.
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Old 12th Oct 2009, 22:54
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ex RAAF Catalina A24-372, Qantas VH-EAX washed ashore & written off at Lord Howe Is - June '45

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Old 13th Oct 2009, 20:24
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Kolkata, India

For full tracking details and story, go to here:

Catalina updates


Where is the Catalina?
View Catalina Flight in a larger map or
live with Spot (more detail plotting GPS points during flight)


#7 Ahmenabad to Kolkata
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:30
Refuellers promised to be ready to start at 6.30am so we got to the aircraft at 6.20. Some time later they turned up to tell us they first had to collect the drums. They came back 1hr 30 min later with 18 drums. Now you would think, with 20 "workers" this would be done in no time. They were going to test each drum, then start the fueling, then the pump battery went flat, then the cable to the pump fell apart. Eventually our blokes chased them away and got the job done. Departed around 1030 local instead of the planned 9am. Right engine started playing up at about 500 feet on t/o..backfiring and surging intermittently. Made it to 9000 ft with reduced power on that engine, where it settled down. Appears be running lean with auto-rich selected. Then left engine started cutting out and backfiring, occasionally at first, becoming worse. Turned one magneto off and it ran quite happily on the remaining one. Weather quite good across India, with just the odd diversion around cloud buildups. Sun went down about 90 minutes b4 arrival into KOL. Right engine stopped after we cleared the runway (a known problem usually prevented by keeping the elect. fuel pump running). However the fuel pump circuit breaker popped, and Norm traced and fixed the problem. Got it going (impossible to turn toward the live engine with only 1 going), taxied to the bay, more Indian officialdom and into transport. Drove through grubby streets to the fanciest hotel I've been in.
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Old 14th Oct 2009, 08:23
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Satellite Position

Go to this link for real time satellite position:

SPOT Shared Page


HISTORY:

Bureau #: 46644
Construction #: 2008
Civil Registry:
N6458C
C-GFFH
EC-359
EC-EVK
Model: PBY-6A
Name: None
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 1992

Farmers Air Service, Klamath Falls, OR, 1963.
- Registered as N6458C.
Liston Aircraft, Klamath Falls, OR, 1963-1966.
- Tanker #F46.
Hemet Valley Flying Service, Hemet, CA, 1969-1978.
- Flew as tanker #E83.
Flying Fireman Ltd, Sidney, BC, May 1979-1988.
- Registered as C-GFFH.
- Flew as tanker #8 (later #778).
Atwood Air Ltd, Victoria, BC, 1988-1989.
ICONA, Cuatro Vientos, Spain, 1989.
- Registered as EC-359.
Servicios Aereos Espanoles SA - SAESA, Cuatro Vientos, July 5, 1990-1991.
- Registered as EC-EVK.
- Operated by ICONA.
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Old 14th Oct 2009, 21:50
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The company had a Norseman lose an engine and used this Canso to ferry in a new one. The snow was too deep for the nosewheel, so the pilot landed it on the mains and aft step.

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Old 15th Oct 2009, 11:00
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What are the planned stops from here on in?
I am in Miri WBGR Malaysia.
Come visit - we have cold beer.
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Old 15th Oct 2009, 23:34
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Rayong

#8 Kolkata to Rayong
Thursday, 15 October 2009 16:59

Spent all day working on the Cat in 40 degree + sun. Ray, Norm and Ross W, pulled the right carby and a left engine magneto off the engines......

Story continued here:

Catalina updates

Thanks for sharing your experience and journey.
.....and good luck.
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Old 15th Oct 2009, 23:53
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The Aviators


Chris Goezinne, the Flying Dutchman and skinny one at back of pic, also crewed VH-CAT's ferry.

Speaking of which, CAT has not flown since its arrival at Bankstown.

Work is slowly progressing as funds become available to complete a 100 hrly.

It should be back in air next year.

Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Nov 2009 at 05:25.
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Old 21st Oct 2009, 01:31
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N6458C - EAX in a former life when it had blisters.



Seems she is still grounded, possibly due dead-cut/backfiring L engine, L mag.

Any thoughts?
A mate of mine who reckons he knows about these things, suggests that if the mag. was replaced with an old used one, he’d be replacing it again with an overhauled one. Also, would be looking for an intermittent short in the ground wire which seems to come in at certain power/rpm range due associated increase in engine vibration. Dirty?
Try disconnecting ground wire and running with live mag. (but if does not fix, mag cannot be switched off)
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Old 1st Nov 2009, 04:25
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Still in Thailand...

And so to backup a little, where it all began back in Spain.
For more go here:
waterbomber -




MEANWHILE, VH-PAF DC4 ferry, Brisbane, Australia to Albion Park in New South Wales, is getting close.

For more go here:
http://www.pprune.org/dg-p-general-a...ml#post5288034


Last edited by Wingnuts; 23rd Nov 2009 at 22:32.
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Old 5th Nov 2009, 22:35
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It seems the left engine problem is still unresolved (L. carby AMC change may have fixed it?) but there is no urgency due to the unavailability of avgas.

Two major refineries that supply avgas to the region are out of action and as a consequence the Indonesian government has quarantined all avgas in Indonesia for its military until supplies are back to normal.

It is believed the crew has returned home.

PS There is a good chance the DC4 drivers will begin endorsing themeselves for their ferry at end of this month.

Exxon Mobile to shut down its Singapore refinery for maintenance
By Senthil Kumar | 01/09/2009 |
As per the media reports, its smaller Singapore refinery would be shut down by Exxon Mobile, for its first major maintenance turnaround since 2007.
The time decided for the shutdown is May to June 2010; and it will be in stages such that both crude distillation units in the 296,000 per day Jurong Island refinery can be taken down. Apart from this, secondary units will also be taken.

Shell May Shut Singapore Hydrocracker For Maintenance
SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) may take a hydrocracker with a daily capacity of 34,000 barrels at its Singapore refining complex offline in mid-September for a two-month maintenance, traders said Thursday. A Shell spokesman declined to comment. However, an earlier company publication said the company planned to carry out upgrades and modification work at its hydrocracking unit in Singapore this year, without specifying an exact timing. A hydrocracker generally processes fuel oil into lighter products, such as middle distillates and gasoline feedstocks. -By Max Lin, Dow Jones Newswires; 65-6415-4063; [email protected]

Last edited by Wingnuts; 5th Nov 2009 at 23:01.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 23:11
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The News is Not Good....

Might be able to source an engine from HARS or the right engine from VH-CAT.

For details go here:

Catalina updates
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Old 23rd Nov 2009, 15:37
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Why are both engines removed in the photograph? I thought only right one failed. I see the obligatory drums of water hanging on the nose with engines removed!
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Old 23rd Nov 2009, 16:36
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<"impossible to turn toward the live engine with only 1 going">

You've probably tried it already, but if not raise the wing of the dead engine by up to 5 degrees. This should reduce the required rudder angle, somewhat, and minimise resulting trim drag. Worth 50 ft/min on a PBY-5A, as I hazily recall.

Last edited by twochai; 23rd Nov 2009 at 16:48.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 19:35
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The Cat that was rebuilt/repaired at Lee-on-Solent.left today bound for the USA I believe
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 10:16
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Update

EAX has not yet arrived in Oz and is assumed to be still in Rayong.

Right engine problems that caused its grounding on 18th November appear to have been rectified and she was test flown on 30th Nov….but still not without issues.

Go here for details:
http://www.qfm.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:adventure-delayed&catid=5:catalina&Itemid=7

Eventual planned route form Rayong is believed to be Singapore – Bali – Broome – Mt Isa – Longreach – Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Cat ferry from Rand in South Africa to USA is imminent.

For more go here:
http://avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59134

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Old 3rd Jun 2010, 11:25
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The Courier Mail, Brisbane, 3 June, 2010

An Australian aviation gem has struck turbulent climes, writes Ross Thompson

IT has become the victim of a bizarre round of setbacks befitting an aircraft with a colourful war-time career.

A historic Catalina amphibian, bound for a new life as a star attraction at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, has now been stranded in Thailand for almost eight months.

Located by a dedicated team of aircraft historians and flying buffs in Spain, the Catalina represents a significant era in the story of Australia's national airline, Qantas.

But it is probably better known to a wider audience through Humphrey Bogart's movie Casablanca.

Although the three Catalina flying boats operated by Qantas as far back as 1939 have long since disappeared, the operators of the Founders Museum had been search¬ing world-wide for a similar craft suitable for restoration in Qantas livery.

In 2008, Peter Elliott, a former Qantas engineer and enthusiastic volunteer for the museum, tracked down the Catalina DH61 still working as a water bomber out of a base south of the Spanish capital of Madrid and listed for sale.

It took four months of intense bartering, often through convoluted translation, be¬fore agreement was reached for the museum to buy the Catalina and a spare engine, for $500,000 and a deposit was paid in July last year.

Rodney Seccombe, the managing director of the non-profit organisation Qantas Foundation Memorial, says the funds needed to complete the purchase, plus another $500,000 to bring it back to Australia, were in the bank at the time.

Working Qantas pilots Ross Kelly and John Daley, who had to undergo specific training and testing to be certified to fly a Catalina, were teamed with qualified volunteer pilots and engineers from Sweden and Holland to make the long flight from Spain to Longreach.

The aircraft, which holds a never-to-be-broken record for the longest non-stop flight - 33 hours - was making its last flight in a series of short legs, hopping across southern Europe, Africa, Asia and eventually to Australia.
It had been decided to respect the age and career history of the bright yellow aircraft by limiting flights to four or five hours a day and, while the flight went smoothly in its early stages, one engine eventually began to suffer complications.

A decision was taken to head for a military airfield in Thailand, about 220km from the capital Bangkok.

This is when the problems really began. Drums containing about 900 litres of aviation fuel - in short supply in many countries - mysteriously disappeared from the hangar. This was enough fuel for about two hours' flying to the next scheduled stop in Singapore and there was only enough in the aircraft to carry out test flights when the engine was repaired.

Seccombe eventually sourced replace¬ment fuel, but then engineers discovered the other engine had developed faults. This meant two engines had to be replaced on an aircraft that was essentially a museum piece.
A similar engine was sourced from a company operating joy flights near Melbourne. A second has been found and should arrive in Thailand next month.

Efforts are now being made to find a friendly aircraft operator, such as the RAAF, to take the replacements. Air or sea freight charges will be costly.

The final stage of the journey will then depend on the availability of Avgas for the piston-engine aircraft, with Indonesia a doubtful source. There maybe some at Denpasar in Bali. The possibility of shipping fuel from Australia to a suitable Asian port is also being considered, but this will only further delay the trip.

In the meantime, those in charge of the Qantas Founders Museum have to sit tight and await their precious cargo.

General manager Tony Martin has a scale model of his new acquisition on display in the purpose-built hangar beside the airport, and is frustrated by the delay. The spot that will eventually be the Catalina's final resting place has been prepared.

Martin is aware of the incredible interest the aircraft will receive. It joins an already impressive display, including a restored DC3, an early Boeing 707 - previously owned by a Saudi oil millionaire - and the Qantas Boeing 747 City of Bunbury.

After more than two decades, the museum that started almost by accident is now a multimillion-dollar, not-for-profit operation dedicated to preserving Australia's incredible aircraft history.

Martin is now in his third year at Longreach and has plans to source another 14 iconic aircraft for the museum.

Seccombe, a retired grazier who learned to fly while still at school, admits the Catalina project has already exceeded budget but is confident the community will continue to support the ambitious plans.

At the top of his wish list is the acquisition of a Lockheed Super Constel- lation, the aircraft introduced by Qantas in 1954 for twice-weekly flights from Sydney to San Francisco and Vancouver, through Fiji, Canton Island and Hawaii.

He also plans to raise funds to put a huge cover over the two Boeing aircraft that now sit on an open tarmac, subject to the incredible heat and the violent storms which plague the western plains.

Although the Qantas name appears on the museum, the carrier's only commitment is a $1 million sponsorship over five years for naming rights, funding of specified projects and the placement of two directors on the board of the foundation.

The company donated the 747 that stands out like a beacon on the plains around Longreach but all other aircraft exhibits have been purchased or donated by generous benefactors.

Longreach Shire Council, which has provided generous support in infrastructure, leases the land where the museum stands to the foundation and there are profits made through catering, souvenirs and guided tours.

But Seccombe's wish list stretches well beyond that income and he is counting on the public, business community and various levels of government to weigh in.
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Old 11th Mar 2011, 10:30
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There was movement at the station for the word had passed around …that, one way or another, EAX might resume her journey in a few months time.

Both engines are to be removed, a replacement for the left coming from QFM’s DC3, VH-AES, and the right engine is expected to emerge, in April, from the HARS engine workshop following repair and full rebuild.

If the engine issues are still unresolved, plan B has been investigated and costed. That is, disassembly of the airframe and shipping her home.

Meanwhile, work on VH-CAT at Bankstown is progressing. Her water tank has been removed and she could be back in the air by year’s end, depending on funds.

And HARS’ Blackcat, VH-PBZ, successfully completed water operations last weekend on Lake Boga. (WW 2 Catalina base, about 300 kms north of Melbourne.) It is believed the water trials are in preparation for a flight to, and sea landing at Lord Howe, a Pacific island 800 kms east of Sydney, and home of Dick Smith, entrepreneur, aviator and major sponsor of PBZ.

Last edited by Wingnuts; 11th Mar 2011 at 22:00.
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Old 11th Mar 2011, 13:49
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You lucky people to have a fabulous Cat arrive safely. My wife and I flew on the one in NZ 4 years back - truly incredible experience.
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Old 13th Mar 2011, 18:08
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PBZ at Lake Boga

11 March, 2011 3:36PM AEDT
Catalina returns to make a splash

By Lara van Raay and Charlotte King

Lake Boga's community cheered as they witnessed a restored Catalina complete a touch-and-go on Monday, an event that enthusiast Dick Peel has been waiting 63 years to see.

Video here:
Catalina returns to make a splash - ABC Mildura - Swan Hill Victoria - Australian Broadcasting Corporation



Lake Boga was an integral part of allied defence during World War II, operating as a Flying Boat Repair and Service Depot from 1942 to 1948.

Located over 300 kilometres inland, it seems like an unlikely place to find a depot intrinsic to the Australian war effort; countless flying boats would land here, riddled with bullets from the Phillippines and the South Pacific.

But Dick Peel, from Lake Boga's Flying Boat Museum, says it made for the ideal spot. "Perfectly round, you got no stumps, no trees no mountains to worry about - and it was far enough inland that to be attacked by the enemy, they'd have to come off an aircraft carrier, and they'd have to be well down in the Southern Ocean or nearly half way to New Zealand not to be detected - and they were out of range."

Recalling his first trip on a Catalina at the tender age of 12, Dick, now 78, has had a lifelong love of this unique flying boat - and it shows.

Dick has waited 63 years to see a Catalina complete a touch-and-go here, and judging by his reaction - and that of the community who showed up to witness the event, organised by the Historical Aircraft Resoration Society (HARS) - it seems it was worth the wait.
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