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Australian AviationAustralian Aviation

Australian Aviation November 2018

For over 40 years readers have been enjoying Australian Aviation magazine's unique blend of insight, opinion and great photography from Australia's best aviation writers and photographers, 11 times a year.

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well played

‘Qantas can trade off its – deserved – reputation for pilot training.’ Is there a pilot shortage? It’s a question that seems to confront the aviation industry with semi-regularity every decade or so. And in the past while there have been cyclical pressures on pilot numbers, invariably the airline industry, at least in Australia and New Zealand, could rely upon the next economic downturn, with the consequent effect on pilot recruitment and global pilot demand, to ease that pressure. It wasn’t all that long ago, after all, that Qantas had its last pilot recruitment freeze in place. But, as they say, follow the money, and the money now being invested in pilot training in Australia is not insignificant, especially the $20 million Qantas is now dropping on its two new pilot training…

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DEFENCE NEWS The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of its ninth F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the first to be taken on strength by its first operational flying unit to fly the jet, No 3 Squadron. F-35A A35-009 was delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona where it was accepted by 3QSN in early September. The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) new Joint Helicopter School has graduated its first course of Australian Navy and Army pilots, aviation warfare officers and helicopter aircrew. The 28 graduates of No 1 Pilot, Aviation Warfare Officer and Aircrewman Courses were presented their wings by Commander Fleet Air Arm Commodore Chris Smallhorn at Nowra on August 31, after 37 students comprising the first intake began their training in mid-January. Boeing Defence Australia was the prime…

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making the call

‘Despite all of this planning and forethought, situations can still occur en route.’ Even before the morning coffee had been brewed, social media and website forums were abuzz about an unfolding drama at Sydney Airport. United Airlines flight 839 inbound from Los Angeles had declared a fuel Mayday and the city was on high alert. Emergency services were being scrambled from nearby stations and roads were being closed to clear them of traffic. At first glance one could be forgiven for thinking that the United Airlines Boeing 787 was already a glider, silently descending to earth with empty tanks and without engine power, its fate unknown, as its crew struggled to reach the benchmark set by Sullenberger on the Hudson River some years before. Doesn’t the media and internet just love a mid-air…

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coming to a crescendo

‘The only issue is, we’re in third and seven points behind the leader.’ The 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster for our team. We began the year in Abu Dhabi with a heavy race plane, yet still netted a solid fifth place. Then we scored back-to-back wins in France and Japan with an improved and slightly lighter paint job on the plane. From there it was third in Hungary, then seventh in Russia – and this one hurt. We had what we think was the fastest plane, but a pylon hit cruelled our chances in the Round of 8… But that’s racing, and you move on. Three weeks later in Austria we narrowly missed winning, only to be third with the top three pilots…

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airport pressures

‘There is a widespread desire to attract general aviation back.’ Ownership, management and oversight A significant number of airport owners are thinking hard about the costs and benefits of owning and operating an airport, and vigorously debating their tolerance for operational risk, establishing expectations about compliance, trying to formalise their vision for its future and considering appropriate management and ownership models. A current example is Moira Shire Council in Victoria, which is consulting the community on the proposed sale of Yarrawonga aerodrome, with a final decision due to be made in mid-December. This proposal has generated much interest in the general aviation community, which has expressed fears of increased fees and charges. Some councils have a very firm view, or are at the very least querying that they should not be acting as a…

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ship shape

‘We’re too small to have just one unit ready all the time.’ MAJGEN GUS MCLACHLAN The development of the Australian Army’s amphibious capability took a major step forward recently when its 16 Brigade aviation component was certified for combined air operations from the Navy’s two Canberra class amphibious assault (LHD) vessels. The certification came at the conclusion of a series of exercises off the Queensland coast near Bowen in early June involving HMAS Canberra and the Bay class landing ship dock (LSD), HMAS Choules. The first of these, Exercise Sea Explorer, was designed to test Navy’s ability to deploy an amphibious force in a controlled environment in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), noncombatant evacuation and joint combat operations, and involved the constant employment of aircraft and landing craft to move…