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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

Old 19th Nov 2008, 05:13
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Merged: Catalina Ferry to Oz is On

A Catalina (N160AT) departed Seia, Portugal, on 16th November for its new home in Oz.

It's route so far, Salamanca in Spain, Cannes, Naples and it is now in Rhodes, Greece.

As funding for ferry fuel is still a critical concern, it is uncertain as to how and when our Catalina will reach Australia.

The Crew:

Jim Hazelton
Richard Purdy
Chris Goezinne
Bernie van Surksum
Geoff Hazelton
Hal Griffiths

The route (dictated by availability of avgas) and the arrival date are at this stage uncertain. We do not know that we can get as far as Dubai (dictated by dollars).

Negotiations with a major sponsor have stalled.

Any donations to Catalina Flying Memorial would be appreciated and are tax deductible.

First stop Salamanca, Spain. So far, so good!



The beginning...she's towed from the fence where she'd sat for about 8 years.



On test flight take off, left engine failed at about 30 kts. It was decided to change both engines.


Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Aug 2013 at 02:45. Reason: Update with more accurate info.
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 10:54
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I wish these guys well, what with our now obstructive CASA & the fact that OZ pays little attention to it's history re war time planes it will be an amazing feat for these dedicated guys to get this fine bird back to OZ.
It makes me cringe when the Govt can find money for some obscure art project (Blue poles comes to mind all those years ago) whilst our boys stuggle to find the money just to buy fuel to ferry it out here. Congrats guys, we think you are doing a terrific job



CW
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Old 19th Nov 2008, 23:14
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Wally - Devil's advocate - re Gov't funds, how is one self interest group different to another ?
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 08:28
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Smile Good luck!

Good luck guys!! Hope the trip goes well and that more people decide to support the cause!!

Will pass the website onto some colleagues.

N.
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Old 21st Nov 2008, 15:37
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Catalina Ferry

With Jim involved, it will most likely get to Australia safe and sound.

Tmb
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 01:30
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The Cat arrived in Luxor, Egypt on Wednesday and is currently sitting in Bahrain.

The big bird is chugging along nicely at 7500', 110 kts and burning 90 GPH.

The freshly overhauled 1830s are running like well oiled Singer sewing machines, burning 'a smell of an oil rag' 1/2 gallon of oil per hour each. Speaking of which, each oil tank holds 55 gallons, 2 &1/2 44s total, and there is no change out of $3000 to fill them up.

Cash is the issue.

At Luxor, the volunteer crew passed around the hat and dug deep into their sub prime savaged super funds to keep the thirsty Pratts turning, paying
US$4.58 per litre.

So unless Father Christmas comes early, Bahrain is the end of the road.

Thanks for your donations.

Last edited by Wingnuts; 24th Nov 2008 at 00:28. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 06:03
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Has sufficient fuel for Muscat, Oman. Departs Bahrain tomorrow.

Thanks.
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 06:14
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bad investment?

Captain Wally, you remember what they paid for blue poles, something like several million? It's worth maybe 20 million now? That would pay for a few litres of avgas, even at todays prices. Haven't been following this one, is it the same mob from Wollongong getting another or a different mob? Anybody any idea how many trips young Jim has made?
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 11:21
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This one has nothing to do with HARS. The HARS Cat is under major overhaul including installation of rear blisters and nose turret.
Wunwing
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 11:49
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'SC' my ref to Blue Poles' was just an Eg. of a waste of public money. Oh sure at the time some thought it was fantastic, bit like the 'yellow peril' we had to endure in Melb & it ended up as scrap i think or in some backwater park. Hate to imagine how much that cost & for what?
Our Govt wastes squillions every year on useless rubbish, just p1sses me off to see this project struggle.
The 'worth' of Blue Poles now is just what some fool is willing to pay for it, (like anything that silly) it's real worth to me would be about 10 bucks!
Anyway good to read that the big Cat is 'slowly' getting here
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 18:52
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Heaps !

Super Cecil:

Jim has made "heaps" of ferry flights and hope he makes heaps more. I would not even try to count.

Tmb
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 02:08
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Mumbai India, Tue. 7.30 am. local time, a Catalina just departed Rwy 27 BOM, I guess that this is "the one"....
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 02:37
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Thanks Zlin.

Next stop, Colombo.
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 02:43
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make sure you keep that video rolling

it's a great story

AT
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 22:41
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Tmb:

Too true. Jim lost count and stopped counting 50 years ago.

Wunwing:

Again, too true. VH-CAT (N160AT is a temporary rego to facilitate ferry) is owned by the Catalina Flying Memorial, Lake Macquarie, New South Wales. As you say, nothing to do with VH-PBZ, the HARS cat at Albion Park, New South Wales.

But the long and individual histories of the old girls are intertwined and tell a colourful story. (PBZ includes a sinking, salvage after 2 years and, more recently, a gear collapse on landing.)

A bare bones outline:

- Both built as PBY 6As for US Navy, World War 2.
- 1957, both to Chile, regos CC-CNP (46665) & CC-CCS (46679) for passenger/freight service to Chilean Pacific islands.
- 1970, CAT converted to a firebomber in Canada followed by PBZ in 1980.
- 1988, CAT ferried to Spain followed by PBZ in 1991.
- 2001, both replaced by Canadair CL415s and parked on the fence at Seia, Portugal.
- 2002, PBZ purchased by Nev Kennard (Storage business) and Dick Smith (Aviation adventurer)
- 2003, PBZ ferried to Australia.
- 2007, CAT purchased by Catalina Flying Memorial. (Funded by Nev Kennard)
- Subsequently, PBZ with HARS, converted to World War 2, RAAF Blackcat.
- The plan is to also convert CAT to a Blackcat.

Today, a 10 hr. leg should have CAT at Medan, North Sumatra.

After having successfully negotiated the Northern Hemisphere winter with zero ice protection (configured for summer fire fighting, that is a 3500 litre water tank, no autopilot, no cockpit heating, “Gets a bit cool after 7 hours.”) she is now eye-balling the wet of the tropics. The cockpit “leaks a bit” so the concern is water damage to radios.

Funding for fuel is not yet home and hosed but with a little help from an early North West Monsoon, Darwin is not out of the question.

Jim Hazelton

Last edited by Wingnuts; 30th Nov 2015 at 23:50.
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Old 28th Nov 2008, 00:51
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CAT landed at Banda Aceh, North Sumatra yesterday for Indonesian entry processing, customs etc.

Also picked up some fuel.

Will proceed to Medan today, about 400km SE, to top up fuel.

Sourcing, transporting to aircraft and hand pumping from 44s (23 equate to 1000 gals) is time consuming... as is sourcing the necessary notes in US dollars.

Machine is running like a Swiss watch on steroids.

Last edited by Wingnuts; 16th Dec 2008 at 06:58.
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Old 28th Nov 2008, 01:09
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Well done

The crew and organisers of this venture are doing the impossible. They deserve our respect.
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Old 28th Nov 2008, 01:21
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Tailwind

Good NW inflow at the moment so is she coming to DN???
I wanna look see.
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Old 29th Nov 2008, 01:44
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Due to the variables involved, details of the route to Darwin are sketchy. However, the tentative plan is to overnight Palembang, southern Sumatra, tonight, Bali tomorrow then arrive Darwin late Monday. (There is an outside chance of a detour via Dili, Timor which would have them in Darwin on Tuesday.) But at this stage, it is Darwin Monday night…which brings us to the Darwin Catalina connection.

Based at Doctors’ Gully and East Arm, Darwin Harbour, Catalinas are integral to the wartime history of Darwin. The following, written by Attie Wearne, is an extract from this site: 20 Squadron RAAF, in Australia during WW2

“In September '44, 20 squadron was relocated to a new base, East Arm at Darwin, from where it operated until the end of the war. At the same time 11 Squadron was relocated to Rathmines. Meanwhile 43 Squadron had been formed at Karumba, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and relocated in April '44 to Darwin. At Darwin the unit was first housed on the Airfield but then moved to facilities at Doctor's Gully. A third squadron, number 42 also equipped with Catalinas, was formed about this time and located at Melville Bay on Arnhem Land just East of Darwin. The three squadrons formed number 76 Wing with Headquarters located at Doctor's Gully.

After the introduction of mines in April '43 the bombing effort of the Catalinas would gradually decrease until the three squadrons were virtually totally committed to the minelaying campaign with singular success. However, the General Reconnaissance role was not lost and the occasional supply drop, sea reconnaissance, and sea rescue was undertaken.

From Darwin the Catalinas of the Wing ranged over the whole of the then Netherlands East Indies (NEI) from Sourabaya and Banka Straits in the West, to Irian Jaya in the East and North to Borneo, the Halmaheras and the Celebes. All mineable harbours and roadsteads were sowed with mines and Japanese shipping was dislocated to the extreme. To reach some of these targets it was often necessary to refuel at forward staging bases such as West Bay and Yampe Sound. In addition American seaplane servicing ships in forward areas were used for this purpose. Towards the end of the war our aircraft staged north through the Philippines, at Leyte Gulf and Lingayen, to mine ports on the China coast including Hong Kong the Pescadores and Wenchow, 28 degees north latitude - the most northerly penetration of any RAAF aircraft in the war in the Pacific, and so made history.

One particular highlight of the campaign was the mining of Manila Harbour when 27 Catalinas left Darwin to rendezvous in Leyte Gulf for the task. On this occasion the Wing was augmented by 6 aircraft of 11 Squadron flown up from Rathmines. The object of the operation was to bottle up the Japanese Fleet in Manila pending General MacArthur's invasion of Mindoro. This operation was completely successful and the object achieved.”

Rathmines, on Lake Macquarie is to be the ultimate destination and home base for VH-CAT.
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Old 29th Nov 2008, 23:26
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The cat pushed on from Palembang (fuel stop only) yesterday and is now in Semarang, Java. On to Bali today. A rest day here on Monday will give the two Dutch crew members, Chris and Bernie, (on loan from the Amsterdam based Cat, PH-PBY, Home of the Catalina PH-PBY - Home ) an opportunity to savour the delights of the former Dutch colony.

The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, was the Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II.

From 1941 till 1957 the Dutch Royal Marine used in total 78 Catalinas, which operated mostly in the Dutch East Indies.

The rest day will also provide the Australian contingent an opportunity to sharpen their PR skills for their Darwin media reception, an event they look forward to with eager anticipation.

A 10 hour leg will have them arrive Darwin Tuesday evening.
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