AviationWA

Airbus A350 development aircraft F-WWYB (MSN 005) to visit Perth on 9 – 10 August 2014

F-WWYB Airbus A350-941 (MSN 005), the fifth of the Airbus development aircraft, taking off on its first flight at Toulouse, France, on 20 June 2014.  This is the aircraft which will visit Perth on 9/10 August 2014 as part of route proving flights leading to EASA certification later this year.  Photo copyright Airbus SAS/Master Films/A Doumenjou.

F-WWYB Airbus A350-941 (MSN 005), the fifth of the Airbus development aircraft, taking off on its first flight at Toulouse, France, on 20 June 2014.
This is the aircraft which will visit Perth on 9/10 August 2014 as part of route proving flights leading to EASA certification later this year.
Photo copyright Airbus SAS/Master Films/A Doumenjou.

18 July 2014 (UPDATED 27 July 2014)

Airbus will fly F-WWYB, the fifth of its new Airbus A350-900 development aircraft, from Doha, Qatar to Perth and return, as part of a series of route proving flights all over the world.

The A350 is scheduled to arrive in Perth from Doha at 3pm on 9 August 2014, departing back to Doha on 10 August 2014 at 11pm.

This will be the first visit of this new type to Western Australia, but will not be the first visit by the type to Australia – the same aircraft is to visit Sydney on 4 August and continue to Auckland on 5 August.

F-WWYB is one of five test aircraft and one of two (the other is F-WWCF, MSN 002) with a fully functional passenger cabin, containing 42 business class and 223 economy class seats. The A350 will be operated by Airbus flight crews, with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) pilots aboard as observers.

The flight test programme has already completed over 540 flights and 2,250 flight hours. Type Certification is scheduled for the third quarter of 2014.

Launch customer Qatar Airways will take the first delivery, in late 2014. Qatar Airways has ordered the 80 A350s (43 A350-900 and 37 A350-1000), and their CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, has declared that the A350 will be used on Perth services from early-2015. Qatar Airways had previously intended to use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on Perth services from 1 February 2013, but electrical problems grounded the 787. Although the 787 grounding was later lifted, the airline decided that Perth is at the extreme end of the Boeing 787-8’s capabilities when flown from Doha. Currently, Qatar uses Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR on Doha-Perth services.

F-WWYB took off from Toulouse on the morning of 24 July 2014 on the first of the Route Proving test flights. Airbus says “The tests will demonstrate readiness for airline operations and will include high airfield performance, auto-landing trials, and airport turnaround and handling services. Some flights will have passengers on board. The A350 world tour itinerary includes 14 major airports worldwide and one route via the North Pole.”

The route proving trials include four trips over a period of three weeks, as follows:

  • Trip one: Toulouse-Iqualuit-Frankfurt-Toulouse
  • Trip two: Toulouse-Hong-Kong-Singapore-Hong-Kong-Toulouse (Hong Kong to Singapore several times)
  • Trip three: Toulouse-Johannesburg-Sydney-Auckland-Santiago de Chile-Sao Paulo-Toulouse
  • Trip four: Toulouse-Doha-Perth-Doha-Moscow-Helsinki-Toulouse
Map showing A350 route proving trials

Map showing A350 route proving trials. (Copyright: Airbus)

NOTE: This information could be subject to change.


WA State Aerobatics Competition to be held at Murrayfield on 18 & 19 October 2014

The WA Chapter of the Australian Aerobatics Club is hosting the WA State Aerobatics Competition at Murrayfield (near Mandurah) on 18 and 19 October 2014.

Adam Gibbs, President of the WA Chapter Australian Aerobatics Club advised AviationWA that there will be five categories, based on difficulty (Graduate, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited), plus a Cessna 152 trophy for the highest placed Cessna 152 pilot in the Graduate category.

For every category, the pilots must fly a Known aerobatics sequence in a ‘box’ of airspace measuring 1000 metres x 1000 metres x 1000 metres. Participating pilots are provided with the sequence at the start of the calender year, so the pilots have plenty of time to practice for it – hence the term ‘Known’.

Each manoeuvre is given a score out of 10 by judges on the ground, and this is multiplied by a difficulty factor (“K”).  Zero scores may be awarded for completely messing up the manoeuvre, flying too low, flying it in the wrong direction, etc. The total score for all the manoeuvres is tallied up along with any penalties and a score for positioning, and the pilot given an overall % score for the sequence.

In the Graduate category, pilots fly this Known twice, and then pilots are ranked on overall score to determine the winner. The current sequence is here: http://www.aerobaticsaustralia.com.au/sequences/2014/graduate2014.pdf (loop, half cuban, roll-off-the-top, 1-turn spin, stall turn, slow roll, 180 degree steep turn, 270 degree steep turn)

In every category above Graduate, the pilots must also fly a ‘Free’ sequence (a sequence they’ve designed themselves, that meets certain criteria and overall difficulty/K factor) and an ‘Unknown’ sequence (a sequence that is given to pilots the day before, that they cannot practice).

The scores from the Known, Free and Unknown are combined to give an overall percentage, and the contestants are then ranked.

At the end of the competition, there is usually a 4-minute freestyle flight, either a demonstration or an actual competition. This is for the pilots with the highest skill level and is more air-display type flying with tumbles, smoke and noise. The pilots are judged on extra things like creativity, positioning, energy, variety, etc.

The competition is open to any pilot with a General Flying Progress Test (GFPT) and Aerobatics endorsement. For insurance purposes, participating pilots must be at least a State member of the Australian Aerobatics Club, which is only $35 and can be sorted out that morning. If the pilot does not have a low level waiver, they can fly the sequence down to their normal 3000 feet AGL (Above Ground Level) or they can fly down to 1500 feet AGL with a safety pilot aboard who has the appropriate waiver.

There should be plenty of Cessna 152s and a Super Decathlon available, so pilots shouldn’t have any problems getting an aircraft to participate in. There will be a briefing at the start of each day to go over the rules, conditions, procedures, etc.

Adam Gibbs will also be available for coaching from the air or ground, if people want to get into it before the competition.

Any pilots interested in taking part can contact Adam Gibbs mobile: 0439 468 299, or email admin@wacaac.org. More details are available on the club’s website, http://www.wacaac.org/ .

Aircraft expected to attend (subject to change) include:

  • VH-IXN Extra EA-330LX
  • VH-WMX MXS Technologies MXS
  • VH-JKR Stephens Akro Laser 230 “The Joker”
  • VH-NBX Extra EA-300L
  • VH-WFX Extra EA-300L
  • VH-BQO Christen Eagle II
  • VH-NQX American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon
  • VH-AAZ American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon
  • …and some RACWA Cessna 152s.
VH-IXN Extra EA-330LX (MSN LC-007) of Awesome Asset Securities Pty Ltd/Awesome Aviation at Jandakot Airport - Sun 27 October 2013.

VH-IXN Extra EA-330LX (MSN LC-007) of Awesome Asset Securities Pty Ltd/Awesome Aviation at Jandakot Airport – Sun 27 October 2013.
This aircraft was built in 2011, and registered on 13 December 2011.
Photo © David Eyre

VH-NBX Extra EA300L (cn 082) of Neville Bergin at Jandakot Airport – Sun 26 May 2013 – ACFT Open Day

VH-NBX Extra EA300L (cn 082) of Neville Bergin at Jandakot Airport – Sun 26 May 2013 – ACFT Open Day
Built 1999 in Germany. Ex D-EXEA, G-EXEA.
Photo © Keith Anderson

VH-JKR Stephens Akro Laser 230 (MSN 1) of Aeros Casino Pty Ltd, 'The Joker', at RAAF Pearce Air Show - 19 November 2005.  The Laser 230 was the predecessor of the Zivko Edge 540, which later gained fame during the Red Bull Air Race series. Built in 1983, ex N388D, ZS-VAC.  Photo © David Eyre

VH-JKR Stephens Akro Laser 230 (MSN 1) of Aeros Casino Pty Ltd, ‘The Joker’, at RAAF Pearce Air Show – 19 November 2005.
The Laser 230 was the predecessor of the Zivko Edge 540, which later gained fame during the Red Bull Air Race series. Built in 1983, ex N388D, ZS-VAC.
Photo © David Eyre

VH-AAZ American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon (MSN 752-95) owned by Inverted Pty Ltd, at Jandakot Airport, Mon 9 December 2013.

VH-AAZ American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon (MSN 752-95) owned by Inverted Pty Ltd, at Jandakot Airport, Mon 9 December 2013.
Built in 1995.
Photo © David Eyre

VH-BQO Christen Eagle II (MSN V81) Eagle Magic Pty Ltd at Jandakot Airport 50th Anniversary, Jandakot Airport - Thu 21 November 2013.

VH-BQO Christen Eagle II (MSN V81) Eagle Magic Pty Ltd at Jandakot Airport 50th Anniversary, Jandakot Airport – Thu 21 November 2013.
Parked outside the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, as part of a static display to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jandakot Airport, which officially opened on 1 July 1963.
Photo © David Eyre


Opening of Virgin Australia Pier at Perth Airport delayed to June 2015

Virgin Pier at Terminal 1 under construction at Perth Airport - Wed 16 July 2014. Photo © David Eyre

Virgin Pier at Terminal 1 under construction at Perth Airport – Wed 16 July 2014.
It has just been revealed that this is now 12 months behind schedule and will not be in use until June 2015. Virgin Australia and its shareholder and strategic partner Etihad Airways will use this pier, relocating operations from Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Photo © David Eyre

In an article in The West Australian newspaper, Geoffrey Thomas writes that construction of the $190 million Virgin Australia Pier and terminal at Perth Airport is now 12 months behind schedule and will not be in service until June 2015.

The Virgin Australia Pier, also know as the Domestic Pier, is an extension of the International Terminal (Terminal 1).

Virgin Australia is currently operating out of three terminals – Terminal 1 for international services and Terminal 2 for Virgin Australia Regional Airlines on the east side of the airport, plus Terminal 3 on the west side of the airport for mainline domestic services. Repeated delays in finishing construction of the Pier have cost the airline money and affected customer service.

In addition, Virgin Australia stakeholder and strategic partner Etihad Airways intends to co-locate its operations with Virgin Australia at the new Pier, to ease transfers between Virgin and Etihad flights and share airport facilities.


Surf Life Saving WA to upgrade facilities at Fremantle Heliport

VH-ELR Eurocopter AS350BA Squirrel (MSN 2151, ex JA9790) of Surf Life Saving Western Australia Inc, (leased from Surf Life Saving Queensland Inc), at Fremantle Heliport (YFTL) - Sat 14 September 2013.

VH-ELR Eurocopter AS350BA Squirrel (MSN 2151, ex JA9790) of Surf Life Saving Western Australia Inc, (leased from Surf Life Saving Queensland Inc), at Fremantle Heliport (YFTL) – Sat 14 September 2013.
This 1988-build Squirrel seems to have replaced the previous SLSWA Squirrel,VH-FLL, which departed Perth on 7 September to Kalgoorlie, Bankstown, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.
Photo © Matt Hayes

Surf Life Saving WA is to build an emergency service hub and proper hangar for their helicopters at Fremantle Heliport, at Rous Head, Fremantle, with completion scheduled for early 2015.

The two helicopters – an AgustaWestland A119 Koala (VH-FOI), and a Eurocopter AS350 Soloy Super D (VH-ELR), are used for search and rescue, beach patrols, and shark spotting during the summer.

As seen in the above photo, the helicopters are currently housed in an open-ended, arch-shaped tent, resting on two shipping containers, which provides little protection from weather. The staff currently use a temporary demountable building.

The facility will be revamped to include a proper helicopter hangar, specialised surf life saving training facilities and a communications tower.

It will be funded through a $1.3 million Lotterywest grant, $490,000 of SLSWA’s reserve funds and a $50,000 donation from BlueScope steel for the building.

VH-FOI Augusta A119 (MSN 14523) of Surf Life Saving Western Australia at Fremantle Heliport – Sat 14 June 2014

VH-FOI Augusta A119 (MSN 14523) of Surf Life Saving Western Australia at Fremantle Heliport – Sat 14 June 2014
Photo © Keith Anderson

 


Etihad commences daily Abu Dhabi – Perth services

A6-EHH Airbus A340-642 (MSN 870) of Etihad Airways at Perth Airport - Wed 16 July 2014. Photo © Kirk Christie

A6-EHH Airbus A340-642 (MSN 870) of Etihad Airways at Perth Airport – Wed 16 July 2014.
The first service by Etihad is welcomed by a water cannon salute by the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service as it taxies in. Flight EY486 departed Abu Dhabi 45 minutes late and landed on runway 21 at Perth at 13:41 local (scheduled to be at the gate by 13:10), after a flight of 10 hours 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi. Although the first service was operated by an A340-600, the service is to be operated by A330-200 aircraft.
Photo © Kirk Christie

16 July 2014

Etihad Airways commenced its new daily service between Perth and Abu Dhabi on Wednesday 16 July 2014, with the first service operated by Airbus A340-600 A6-EHH.

Flight EY486 departed Abu Dhabi 45 minutes late and landed on runway 21 at Perth at 13:41 local (scheduled to be at the gate by 13:10), after a flight of 10 hours 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi.

Upon arrival, the aircraft was greeted by a water cannon salute by two fire trucks of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, before it parked at Bay 51 at Terminal 1.

The return flight EY487 took off from runway 21 at 16:44 (scheduled departure from the gate was 15:55), landing at Abu Dhabi 10 hours 28 minutes later.

Perth is the Etihad’s fourth Australian destination after Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Etihad is a stakeholder in Virgin Australia and codeshares on Virgin flights to 13 Australian airports. The two airlines will both eventually operate from the new Domestic Pier at Terminal 1, when it opens in 2015.

The new Etihad service marks international option for WA travellers since Qantas all but abandonded the capital and putting 30 destinations within a one-stop reach.

The daily service will be normally operated by Etihad’s A330-200 aircraft, which have 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats.

Etihad is the third Middle Eastern airline to operate Perth services, along with Qatar Airways (to Doha) and Emirates (to Dubai) with fast connections through to the UK and Europe.

Etihad has also announced its intention to use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Perth services, sometime in 2016/2017.


Philippine Airlines to restart Manila-Perth services from 27 October 2014; direct flights using Boeing 757-200s

RP-C8619 Airbus A320-214 (MSN 5315) of Philippine Airlines (leased from AWAS) at Perth Airport – Mon 2 September 2013.

RP-C8619 Airbus A320-214 (MSN 5315) of Philippine Airlines (leased from AWAS) at Perth Airport – Mon 2 September 2013.
The original PR219/PR220 service between Manila and Perth via Darwin started on 3 June 2013, but on 8 August 2013 the airline announced that the service was to cease, with the last service operated 2 September 2013. Flight PR220 is seen here taxying out to runway 03 at 09:39 (scheduled time of departure was 08:50) for the final departure to Darwin and then Manila. The airline will restart services from 27 October 2013, this time with direct flights using leased Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
Photo © David Eyre

9 July 2014

At a press conference Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said that PAL will restart services between Manila and Perth from 27 October 2014, this time with direct flights four times per week using leased Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Yet to be confirmed are an additional three services per week, operated via Darwin.

Philippine Airlines originally operated Manila – Perth services four times per week using Airbus A320s via Darwin from 3 June 2013, but the original service was ceased on 2 September 2013, perhaps because the indirect service via Darwin offered only a minor timesaving compared to other airlines operating via Jakarta and Singapore.
The airline will acquire a fleet of five former Shanghai Airlines Boeing 757-200 aircraft for this route, leased from Boeing Capital Corporation. These will be replaced from 2016 with Airbus A321 NEO (New Engine Option) aircraft.

PAL and Etihad used the press conference to announce the launch of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Etihad Airways’ strategic partnership agreement, which covers codeshare flights, loyalty programs, airport lounges, joint sales and marketing programs, cargo, and the coordination of airport operations.

Planned schedule is as follows:

DAILY: PR216 arr Perth 04:50 / PR217 dep Perth 05:50.


Emirates A380 medical diversion is first A380 to use dual aerobridge at Perth, 8th A380 to visit Perth

A6-EEU Airbus A-380-861 (MSN 147) Of Emirates at Perth Airport – 2 July 2014

A6-EEU Airbus A-380-861 (MSN 147) Of Emirates at Perth Airport – 2 July 2014
1st visit to Perth after a medical emergency seen here departing off a wet runway 21
to continue its flight to Dubai at 11:54 am
Photo © Matt Hayes

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Emirates Airbus A380-861 A6-EEU which visited Perth today due to a medical diversion and became the first Airbus A380 to use the dual aerobridge at Perth Airport’s Terminal 1.

A6-EEU is the eighth A380 to visit Perth, but none of the earlier aircraft has used the dual aerobridge at Bay 51.

The first A380 to visit was a promotional (non-revenue) flight by Qantas’ A380 VH-OQA on 14 October 2008, every A380 since then has visited due to a medical emergency diversion. Six of these A380 diversions were from Emirates (A6-EDE, A6-EDA, A6-EEH, A6-EEO, A6-EDP and today’s A6-EEU), plus one from Qantas (VH-OQB).

A6-EEU was operating flight EK415 from Sydney to Dubai, and departed Sydney at 4:15am (Perth time). A passenger aboard the aircraft fell ill and when the A380 was about 55 kilometres SSE of Port Hedland at 8:09am, the crew declared a medical emergency and obtained clearance to divert to Perth.

A6-EEU landed on Perth Airport’s runway 21 at 9:50am and parked at Bay 51, with the dual aerobridge being used to access both decks of an A380 for the first time.

After offloading the ill passenger, A6-EEU departed Perth, taking off from runway 21 at 11:57am, arriving at Dubai at around 10:52pm (Perth time), around 2 hours 22 minutes late.

Medical Diversion Procedures

An estimated 44,000 in-flight medical emergencies occur worldwide each year.

Airlines bear the cost of medical diversions as part of the cost of doing business - it is not the passenger’s fault that they became ill, and some may not be aware that they have a health condition.

Flight Attendants are required by law to be trained in First Aid and they are the first responders. They notify the pilots that there is a medical emergency in the cabin.

On the majority of flights there will be a doctor, nurse or paramedic aboard as a passenger, so the crew will ask them to assist, or the pilots may communicate with doctors on the ground.

Airliners carry emergency medical kits, including defibrillators, intravenous fluids, medicines, bandages, and various other equipment.

The medical professional in the aircraft or on the ground, the Flight Attendant and the pilots will consult with each other on whether a medical emergency diversion is required.

If a medical emergency is declared, the airline’s operational ground staff, as well as air traffic controllers and airport emergency medical crews will then follow their procedures.

Once an in-flight medical emergency is declared, air traffic controllers give the aircraft priority in the airspace. The pilots will change course to the nearest suitable airport, based on the medical facilities near that airport, whether it can handle an aircraft of that size, and weather.

The pilots may also need to dump some fuel, in order to reduce the weight of the aircraft below the maximum landing weight (MLW) and at an appropriate time, they will commence a descent.

The airline’s operational staff will need to allow for the diverted aircraft arriving at its destination late, which may have further impacts if that aircraft is flying multiple sectors that day. They will also coordinate refuelling and any other resources needed.


Malaysia Airlines to shift Kota Kinabalu Boeing 737-800 services to afternoons from 6 August 2014

9M-MXL Boeing 737-8H6 (MSN 40139/4246) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport - Wed 19 February 2014. Photo © Keith Anderson.

9M-MXL Boeing 737-8H6 (MSN 40139/4246) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport – Wed 19 February 2014.
Making a rare daylight visit – this flight operated on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons during February 2014, as both runways were closed for one hour due to runway works during its normally scheduled late night arrival and departure time. Landing on runway 03 at 13:47 as MH121 from Kota Kinabalu.
Photo © Keith Anderson.

Malaysia Airlines’ Kota Kinabalu – Perth services will shift to a daytime schedule from 6 August 2014.

The services are operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, of which Malaysia Airlines has a fleet of 56, with more awaiting delivery.

OLD schedule: WED/SUN MH121 Arr Perth 23:35 / Dep Perth 00:45 on MON/THU

NEW schedule: WED/SUN MH121 Arr Perth 14:05 / Dep Perth 15:15

 


Japanese Prime Minister to visit Perth in Boeing 747-400 on 9 July 2014

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a business delegation are to visit Perth and the Pilbara region of Western Australia on 9 July 2014.

Mr Abe and the delegation should arrive in Perth aboard a Boeing 747-400 of the Japanese Government.This will be the first visit to WA by a Japanese Prime Minister since 1974.

The business delegation includes executives of Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corporation and the Chairman of the Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee. Japan has been an investor and buyer of Australian LNG, iron ore and coal for several decades, and is a key investor in the Browse floating LNG project off WA.

During the visit, the delegation will visit Karratha, accompanied by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and WA Premier Colin Barnett. Whilst in Karratha, they will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the North-West Shelf project to Tokyo, and they will inspect Rio Tinto’s driverless iron ore trains which use Japanese technology.

Other talks will focus on defence cooperation and the potential purchase of Japanese-designed submarines to replace the Collins Class fleet.


Perth Airport Master Plan 2014 released for comment

Perth Airport Master Plan 2014 cover

Perth Airport has released its draft Master Plan 2014 for public comment.

Perth Airport is required to update its Master Plan every five years, detailing how the airport will develop over the next 30 years.

Highlights of further planned developments include:

  • a third 2,700-metre runway (03R/21L) parallel to the east side of Horrie Miller Drive, expected to cost $600 million, to be operational by the end of the decade;
  • new terminals, centralised around Terminal 1 (International), with a new international pier extending north of Terminal 1;
  • airport rail link
  • airport hotel

The timeline for redevelopments is as follows:

  • 2015: Virgin Australia’s domestic pier to open.
  • 2014-16: Multi-storey car parks around the air traffic control tower.
  • 2016-17: A hotel at the centre of the airport, next to the tower
  • 2016-18: An international pier (extending north of Terminal 1).
  • 2019: Construction of the third runway completed.
  • 2019-20: Forrestfield Airport Rail Link, including two railway stations, to start operating.
  • 2020-23: A new terminal alongside east side of Horrie Miller Drive
  • 2024-2029: Further enhancements as passenger numbers hit 30 million per year.
  • 2034: Automated passenger shuttle looping the airport, similar to those at major international airports such as San Francisco, Heathrow and Singapore.
  • 2044: New terminal opens to replace the existing Terminal 2

Passengers, airlines, resources companies and the WA Government have criticised the airport for failing to keep up with demand. $850 million has already been spent on building Terminal 2, building the domestic pier at Terminal 1 for Virgin Australia, as well as expansion and refurbishment of the international arrivals and departures areas in Terminal 1.

The Preliminary Draft Perth Airport Master Plan can be downloaded and the public can submit written comments until 5pm on 15 September 2014.