the only time in the past eight years when VH-CAT went near any water was when
we touched down at Rathmines on
On Wednesday 4 February a small team of volunteers led by Ben Hunter went through the aircraft and removed all the tools and excess baggage of the ferry crew. Would you believe all this mounted up to about one ton?
In mid-February, we had a final visit from Quarantine and not surprisingly, they cleared the aircraft.
It is our intention to work towards an “Experimental” C of A which will allow us to fly around in circles, all over the place but not take paying (commercial) passengers. We can give “Adventure Flights” only to club members and volunteers who will become part of the crew.
At this stage we need volunteers and engineers to work towards getting this C of A. This should not be too difficult because the aircraft is in remarkably good condition with practically NIL corrosion.
Whilst the engines are new we cannot leave them idle so they have to be run up to temperature every few weeks or inhibited. A decision has been made to run the engines regularly as this gives our crew(s) experience and practice in operating the aircraft and also provides an opportunity for our patron, members and enthusiasts to visit during run up periods.
With the aircraft now cleared by Quarantine, we must start on the 100 hourly inspection and work towards getting our C of A. Along with this, we need to fix the oil leak on the left engine and fit tailor-made covers to the engines and cockpit windows.
We are in the process of assembling two teams to carry out the required work to get our C of A. One team will be the Airframe Team, the other the Engine Team. The roles required for each team, along with a brief description of the prerequisite qualifications and experience are illustrated below.
We will aim to establish regular meeting times to carry out the required work – one week day and one day on the weekend each week (at this stage, will aim for Wednesday and Saturday). However, this will depend on the availability of volunteers. A meeting of volunteers will be arranged as soon we know exactly what we need to do to the aircraft to get the required C of A.
The engine run ups will be arranged to occur during these times. We have already had a response to our call for volunteers, but we need two suitably qualified people – one to lead the Engine team, the other the Airframe team. It may be the case that the CFML will need to pay these people a nominal fee for their services, but ideally the provision of these services on a voluntary basis is preferred. Without qualified supervisors, the C of A will not be obtained.
You will be able to help us by any one of the following means:
In addition to bodies, we also need the following items to assist in the safe and efficient execution of the work:
So, if you would like to:
1. help as a member of one of the teams,
2. help through the provision of items such as those listed above, or
3. pay us a visit during the next engine run (or any other time for that matter),
please contact the office at 02 9870 7277.
Directions will be provided for those wishing to visit or help out at
We are still searching for a corporate sponsor to help ensure the viability of the project. A corporate sponsor would benefit greatly from the unique flying/splashing/floating advertising billboard VH-CAT would provide. Much P.R. would be gained because the Cat is so photogenic when touching down on the water. We can guarantee maximum exposure on TV and Radio.
Ideas and introduction sought!
Director Phil Dulhunty wrote to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 10 February
offering the services of VH-CAT as a fire bomber during this and all future
bush fire seasons, given the tragic events in
In addition, we have been informed that a representative of the NSW Rural Fire Service has expressed interest in the possible use of our Cat as a fire bomber.
Our plans had been to convert this aircraft back to its wartime configuration and to do this we have would need to remove the special water bombing tanks and hydraulic pick up snorkel. Before removing these items, it was thought that we should inquire of the desirability to leave it as is – a standby fire fighting water bomber. This would be at the expense of adding passenger seats to pay for its operation as an active wartime museum.
Naturally, we would need to understand what sort of assistance we might expect from the appropriate authorities before removing all the necessary water bombing equipment. This information has been requested in Phil’s letter to Mr Rudd. In the off season the aircraft could still remain a flying memorial to the RAAF Catalina Squadrons, albeit with fewer “passenger” seats.
In the meantime, the water tanks will remain and we await a response from Mr Rudd’s office and to hear from the NSW Rural Fire Service representative.
Nancy Bird’s “downfall” was caused by the infamous La Cucaracha – a cockroach!
In the last
On the second day, she was resting peacefully there when a mighty big cockroach came from under her bed and started to head for the wardrobe.
girl of action she was,
A reward is being posted for its arrest.
“Just do it” was her policy!
It was her
policy that goaded us into getting that PBY Catalina. She was thrilled when on
7 December 2008 our Catalina arrived at Rathmines for a quick landing and then
came on to
News or comments
If you have any news or comments regarding the website, please forward to
Colin Cool (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Jill Brandon (email@example.com).
Newsletter and Web Content edited By : Colin Cool
Feb 18th 2009
Volume 3 Issue 2
A $1000 donation will get you a seat as a crew member on a flight. $5000 will get you a number of flights including water landings and some instruction. This reward will be available some time in the future once the Catalina is established in Australia.
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Editor - Colin Cool
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