AviationWA

Aircraft related to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (9M-MRO)

27 March 2014 – Copyright © David Eyre

A list and photos of the aircraft related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRO, is now available under the Aircraft Photos section of the menu.

This includes aircraft directly involved in the search as well as support and other aircraft, visiting Perth Airport and RAAF Base Pearce.

AAWA wishes to extend our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of those aboard this tragic flight.


Jandakot Warbirds Aircraft Display Day to be held on Sunday 23 March 2014

On Sunday 23 March 2014, Jandakot Warbirds Aircraft Display Day is being held at Jandakot Airport, Northern Apron.

The event is being organised by WA Billboards to promote General Aviation, running from 11AM to 3PM and is open to the public

Draft list of attendees:

  • Aero L39C Albatros Jet Trainer (VH-ITN)
  • T­28 Trojan (VH-PFM)
  • Nanchang CJ-6A
  • SOCATA TB10 Tobago
  • Pitts Special
  • Boeing Stearman
  • NZAI CT4A Airtrainers
  • Robin R2160
  • De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth
  • De Havilland Chipmunks
  • PZL-104 Wilga (VH-ONN)
  • PiperSport (VH-EZT)
  • and others

The event will be taking place at the Northern Apron near HeliWest on Aztec Drive, Jandakot – just before Maule Rd. Look for the large collection of planes and people – map of location:

Jandakot Warbirds Display map


US Navy P-8A Poseidon, four RAAF AP-3C Orions & an RNZAF P-3K2 Orion to deploy to Pearce in search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Boeing 777-200ER

9M-MRO Boeing 777-2H6ER (MSN 28420/404) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport - 1 October 2006. Photo © Keith Anderson

9M-MRO Boeing 777-2H6ER (MSN 28420/404) of Malaysia Airlines, at Perth Airport – 1 October 2006.
Landing on runway 21 as flight MH125 from Kuala Lumpur. This aircraft was declared missing on 8 March 2014, whilst operating flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard (227 passengers and 12 crew).
Photo © Keith Anderson

167430 / LF-430 Boeing P-8A Poseidon of VP-16, US Navy

167430 / LF-430 Boeing P-8A Poseidon of VP-16, US Navy.
(U.S Navy photo by Personnel Specialist 1st Class Anthony Petry/Released)

A9-751 Lockheed AP-3C Orion (MSN 5657) of RAAF, 10 Sqn, Edinburgh, South Australia, at RAAF Pearce Air Show – 19 May 2012.

A9-751 Lockheed AP-3C Orion (MSN 5657) of RAAF, 10 Sqn, Edinburgh, South Australia, at RAAF Pearce Air Show – 19 May 2012.
The AP-3C is demonstrating its ability to loiter with one engine shut down to save fuel, extending time on station or range.
Ex 160751.
Photo © Keith Anderson

NZ4202 Lockheed P-3K Orion (MSN 185-5192) of 5 Sqn RNZAF, based at Whenuapai, NZ, at RAAF Pearce Air Show - 19 November 2005. ex USN 152887.  Photo © David Eyre

NZ4202 Lockheed P-3K Orion (MSN 185-5192) of 5 Sqn RNZAF, based at Whenuapai, NZ, at RAAF Pearce Air Show – 19 November 2005.
ex USN 152887.
Photo © David Eyre

AviationWA, Mon 17 March 2014 (UPDATED 18 March 2014) – Copyright © David Eyre

Australia has assumed responsibility for coordinating the search effort for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

Flight MH370, operated by Boeing 777-2H6ER registered 9M-MRO, was en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China when reported missing on Saturday 8 March 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The aircraft turned off course after someone on board deliberately switched off the ACARS system and transponder and, according to the Inmarsat satellite, it had flown for several hours after that.

A massive multi-national search operation has so far been unsuccessful, having initially been tasked with searching the South China Sea, and later adding the Bay of Bengal and Straits of Malacca, before being extended even further to cover two “corridors” over southern Asia and the southern Indian Ocean.

A media statement from the Prime Minister’s Office stated that:

“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will take the lead in coordinating the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean through its Rescue Coordination Centre – Australia, supported by the Australian Defence Force and other contributing agencies.

The two RAAF AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft which since last week have been assisting the search effort off the coast of Malaysia are being re-tasked to search in the southern Indian Ocean. One Orion commenced searching the Indian Ocean to the north and west of the Cocos Islands yesterday. The next sweep will take place this evening as an AP-3C Orion transits from the Cocos Islands to RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.

Australia would make additional maritime surveillance aircraft available to extend the effort to locate MH370. Defence has commenced planning to provide two additional AP‑3C Orions within the next 24 hours.

In assuming overall responsibility for coordinating the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, Australia is preparing to work with assets from a number of other countries, including surveillance aircraft from New Zealand and the United States.

Since Sunday 9 March, the two AP-3C Orions assisting the Malaysian search effort have flown more than 60 hours on mission.”

One of the two RAAF AP-3C Orions later moved to Cocos Island before redeploying to RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth on the night of 17/18 March 2014. The first RAAF AP-3C search sortie from Pearce was flown on 18 March 2014, taking off at 11am Perth time and would reach the search area about 3 hours 40 minutes later. It would be able to search for only about two hours before having to return to base. Three additional RAAF AP-3C Orions are relocating to RAAF Base Pearce near Perth to bring the total number of AP-3C aircraft to four.

The RNZAF deployed a P-3K2 Orion to assist in the search, which was initially based from 11 March 2014 at Butterworth Air Base near Penang (Malaysia) alongside the two RAAF’s Orions, but this later redeployed to RAAF Pearce.

The US Navy contributed a Boeing P-8A Poseidon of Patrol Squadron VP-16, serial number 168429/LF-429, which arrived at Perth Airport from Subang (Malaysia) on the afternoon of 18 March 2014.

AMSA said China was in discussions with the other partners about what aircraft it could usefully contribute.

Up to five sorties are expected to be flown on Wednesday 19 March 2014, using AP-3C, P-3K2 and P-8A aircraft.

AMSA has used satellite ACARS information on the possible position of the aircraft and taken into account the ocean currents in designating the initial search area, which is located over 3,200 kilometres south west of Perth. The area to be search is massive – some 600,000 square kilometres – and AMSA expects the search to take a number of weeks.

AMSA MH370 search area - 18 March 2014-1

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23 Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft of 2 FTS, RAAF in ‘Thunderbird’ formation over Perth area for No.234 Pilots Course Graduation

23 Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft of 2 Flying Training School (2FTS), RAAF, based at Pearce, WA, in Thunderbird formation over the northern suburbs of Perth – Wed 12 March 2014. Photo © David Eyre

23 Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft of 2 Flying Training School (2FTS), RAAF, based at Pearce, WA, in Thunderbird formation over the northern suburbs of Perth – Wed 12 March 2014.
The ‘Thunderbird’ formation was performed as a salute to the eight Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) students of number 234 Pilots Course who graduated as military aviators in a ceremony held the next day, on Thursday 13 March 2014 at RAAF Base Pearce, after their 38-week course with 2 Flying Training School (2FTS).
The Thunderbird formation is also treated as a formation flying training activity for the student pilots.
After taking off from RAAF Pearce, the aircraft gathered into their formation to the west of Gingin, before heading south west to pass over Rottnest Island at approximately 3.54pm, heading east over Fremantle at approximately 3.57pm, the follow the Swan River to pass in front of Perth city at approximately 4.00pm. They are seen here over the north eastern suburbs at 4.15pm before passing over RAAF Pearce for a flypast at 4:17pm.
Photo © David Eyre

12 March 2014 © David Eyre

23 Pilatus PC-9/A aircraft of the RAAF 2 Flying Training School (2 FTS) were flown in ‘Thunderbird’ formation over Perth and surrounding areas today to celebrate the graduation of pilots on number 234 Pilots Course (plus one extra PC-9 in trail – possibly with a photographer aboard).

Eight Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) students of number 234 Pilots Course graduated as military aviators in a ceremony held on Thursday 13 May 2014 at RAAF Base Pearce after their 38-week course with 2 Flying Training School (2FTS).

The Thunderbird formation is also treated as a formation training activity for the student pilots.

After taking off from RAAF Pearce, the aircraft gathered into their formation to the west of Gingin, before heading south west to pass over Rottnest Island at approximately 3.54pm, heading east over Fremantle at approximately 3.57pm, the  follow the Swan River to pass in front of Perth city at approximately 4.00pm, and over Upper Swan (as seen here at 4.15pm) before passing over RAAF Pearce for a flypast at 4:17pm.

MORE PHOTOS:- see MARCH 2014 section under Aircraft Photos


Garuda Indonesia officially joins SkyTeam airline alliance

5 March 2014 © David Eyre

PK-GMH Boeing 737-8U3 (MSN 30142/3213) of Garuda Indonesia, in SkyTeam livery, at Perth Airport - Wed 5 March 2014. Photo © David Eyre

PK-GMH Boeing 737-8U3 (MSN 30142/3213) of Garuda Indonesia, in SkyTeam livery, at Perth Airport – Wed 5 March 2014.
Garuda became the 20th airline to formally join the SkyTeam airline alliance at a signing ceremony held at 4:30pm today, at The Mulia resort in Nusa Dua, Bali. This Boeing 737 was repainted in SkyTeam livery in late February 2014, and entered service by 1 March. This was its first visit to Perth in this special livery. Flight GA727 to Denpasar, Bali, after takeoff from runway 03 at 07:18.
Photo © David Eyre

Garuda Indonesia today became the 20th airline to formally join the SkyTeam airline alliance, and the second Asian airline, at a signing ceremony held at 4:30pm today, at The Mulia resort in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Boeing 737 PK-GMH, which was recently repainted in SkyTeam livery (in late February 2014), visited Perth today – the same day as the airline officially joined SkyTeam. PK-GMH arrived at 12.35am as flight GA728 from Denpasar, Bali, and departed at 07:18 as GA727 back to Denpasar.

Airbus A330-300 PK-GPF has also been repainted in SkyTeam livery, but will not visit Perth.

Garuda’s President and CEO Emirsyah Satar, said “For the past 3 years, Garuda Indonesia has been actively forging cooperation with the other 19 member airlines of SkyTeam with this objective in mind and it has been an incredible journey.” He explained that “With Star Alliance, Singapore Airlines and Thai are already in there; if your put in Garuda, covering Indonesia, we don’t really add value. In Oneworld you got Malaysia, you got Qantas and you got Cathay – again, if you put in Garuda there, you really cannot add value or benefit much. When looking at Skyteam, there is only Vietnam Airlines, we can add more to the alliance.”


Qantas to cut 5,000 jobs; retiring and deferring aircraft; ceasing international services from Perth

28 February 2014 – Copyright David Eyre

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce yesterday announced a record loss of $235 million for the first half of the 2013/14 financial year.

On the same day, Air New Zealand, which faces similar issues to Qantas, announced a 40% increase in interim net profit to $NZ140 million ($A130 million).

Industry analysts, Qantas staff and unions hold Alan Joyce and the Qantas Board accountable for the loss, which they say was caused by years of poor management decisions. These decisions include a number of costly and ill-conceived attempts to establish a presence in Asia; failure to update the widebody fleet, withdrawing from many international routes, the Emirates partnership arrangement, and the costly October 2011 grounding of the airline by Alan Joyce. Qantas has not paid a dividend to shareholders since 2005 and the share price has dropped significantly. The airline’s credit rating has been downgraded, making it more costly for the airline to borrow money, and Qantas has lobbied Canberra for the Government to guarantee its loans.

The Federal Government has indicated that it is considering changes to the Qantas Sale Act, but is unlikely to provide loan guarantees, saying that it is not the Government’s role to bail out troubled companies.

Whilst acknowledging that the loss was ‘unacceptable’, Alan Joyce did not accept responsibility and intends to stay on. He blames the losses on domestic overcapacity, competition from international airlines, record fuel prices, and high labour costs. To address the problem, he announced the following actions, in an attempt to cut $2 billion in costs over the next three years:

Reduction from eleven aircraft types to seven by mid 2016, with an average fleet age of eight years.

  • Airbus A320: Jetstar A320 orders have been ‘restructured’.
  • Airbus A330: A330s will focus on services between Perth and the Eastern States, as well as peak services between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Some A330-200s will also be used to replace Boeing 747s on international services.
  • Airbus A380: Eight remaining A380 orders (VH-OQM through VH-OQT) will be deferred, with delivery dates undergoing regular review to meet possible future requirements
  • Boeing 737: Increased utilisation of 737-800s on domestic services to replace 767s and to free up A330s. The remaining two Boeing 737-400s (VH-TJS & VH-TJX) were retired this month.
  • Boeing 747: Retire six Boeing 747-400s by mid-2016: VH-OEB, VH-OJA, VH-OJC, VH-OJI, VH-OJL, VH-OJM – these are the six which have not yet received a cabin upgrade. This will leave three 747-400s in service: VH-OJS, OJT & OJU, and all 747-400ERs will remain in service.
  • Boeing 767: All 15 remaining 767s will be retired by March 2015. These had just completed a costly cabin upgrade.
  • Boeing 787: The last three of 14 Boeing 787-8s on order for Jetstar will be deferred.
  • Quit underperforming routes and better match capacity to demand. This includes ceasing the Perth-Singapore service, with the last services operating on 22nd July 2014 – this marks the end of Qantas International services from Perth for the first time since the Second World War. The WA Government last September signed a $7.65 million marketing deal with Qantas involving advertising in tourism markets such as Singapore, and was not informed of the service ending until the day of the announcement.
  • Reduce employee numbers by the equivalent of 5,000 full-time equivalent staff, and a freeze on wages. Etihad Airways recognised this as an opportunity – less than 24 hours later they placed job advertisements in Australian newspapers looking to hire hundreds of experienced airline staff.
  • Restructured line maintenance and catering operations

Bond Helicopters take delivery of two Airbus Helicopters EC225LP helicopters at Jandakot – VH-NWC & VH-NWG

22 February 2014 Copyright David Eyre

VH-NWC (MSN 2826) & VH-NWG (MSN 2879) Airbus Helicopters EC225LP of Bond Helicopters Australia Pty Ltd at Jandakot Airport – Sat 22 February 2014. Photo © David Eyre

VH-NWC (MSN 2826) & VH-NWG (MSN 2879) Airbus Helicopters EC225LP of Bond Helicopters Australia Pty Ltd at Jandakot Airport – Sat 22 February 2014.
Bond Helicopters recently established a headquarters in Perth. VH-NWC and VH-NWG are seen being delivered brand new to Jandakot for modifications prior to entering service. They were shipped from Merignane, France aboard the ship Morning Champion and trucked to Jandakot. Each helicopter (weighing 6 Tonnes empty) was lifted off the flatbed truck by crane, so that the truck could drive out from underneath, before the helicopter was lowered onto the ground. Bond Helicopters Australia just won its first major contract in the region – a multi-million dollar, five-year contract with the PTTEP Australasia Group of Companies for offshore oil support in the Timor Sea. The EC225s will be based at Darwin, NT and Truscott, in the far north of WA. Built in 2013.
Photo © David Eyre

In 2013, Bond Helicopters Australia won a multi-million dollar, five-year contract with the PTTEP Australasia Group of Companies, part of Thailand’s national petroleum exploration and production company for offshore oil and gas operations in the Timor Sea. This was Bond’s first major contract in the region, and they have established a headquarters in Perth.

To service the contract they ordered three new Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) EC225LP helicopters, which will be based at Darwin, NT and Truscott, in the far north of WA.

The first two EC225s, VH-NWC (MSN 2826) and VH-NWG (MSN 2879) were shipped from Merignane, France aboard the ship Morning Champion, and trucked from Fremantle Port to Jandakot.

Each helicopter (weighing 6 Tonnes empty) was lifted off the flatbed truck by crane using a special rig connected to the rotor head. Once lifted, the truck drove out from underneath, before the helicopter was lowered onto the ground.  The helicopters will be at Jandakot for some time whilst modifications are made prior to entering service.

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Royal Flying Doctor Service to take delivery of two more Pilatus PC-12 aircraft

VH-OWJ Pilatus PC-12/47E (MSN 1411) and VH-OWS Pilatus PC-12/47E (MSN 1428) owned by Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations), at Jandakot Airport, Tue 17 December 2013.

VH-OWJ Pilatus PC-12/47E (MSN 1411) and VH-OWS Pilatus PC-12/47E (MSN 1428) owned by Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations), at Jandakot Airport, Tue 17 December 2013.
VH-OWJ: First registered 24 April 2013 as HB-FSK to Pilatus in Stans, Switzerland, registration cancelled 11 October 2013 as exported to Australia.
Registered VH-OWJ on 18 October 2013. It was delivered from Switzerland via a number of destinations before flying from Denpasar (Bali) to Port Hedland on 3 November 2013, and Port Hedland to Jandakot on 4 November 2013. It was then fitted with medical equipment at Jandakot, and at the time of this photo had yet to enter service.
It is the first WA-based aircraft to wear the nationally-adopted RFDS livery.
VH-OWS: RFDS Western Operations’ newest aircraft. First registered 30 July 2013 as HB-FQB to Pilatus in Stans, Switzerland, registration cancelled 19 November 2013 as exported to Australia. Registered VH-OWS on 21 November 2013. It was delivered from Switzerland via a number of destinations before flying from Lombok to Broome on 9 December 2013, and Broome to Jandakot on 10 December, one week prior to this photo. It was then fitted with medical equipment at Jandakot, and at the time of this photo had yet to enter service.
Photo © David Eyre

Copyright © 2014 David Eyre – 20 February 2014.

Two new Pilatus PC-12/47E aircraft are soon to be delivered to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations) base at Jandakot Airport.

The two new PC-12 aircraft are:

  • VH-OWU (MSN 1433, ex HB-FQG)
  • VH-OWX (MSN 1439, ex HB-FQM)

Like the previous two new aircraft, VH-OWJ (delivered 4 November 2013) and VH-OWS (delivered 10 December 2013), the two additional aircraft will wear the nationally-adopted RFDS livery,with bright red on the lower fuselage.

As the aircraft are used in the mining areas, BHP Billiton donated $4.5 million towards the $22 million acquisition cost of the four aircraft.

An article by Claire Tyrrell in The West Australian newspaper, RFDS chief executive Grahame Marshall said “Over the past five years patient demand has increased 8 per cent, which means another 600 to 700 people.”

He also mentioned that “There are 14 PC12 aircraft in our fleet and we hope to bring that to 18 in the next 10 years.”

The RFDS replaces its aircraft every 10 years, and each one accrues approximately 1500 to 1600 flying hours each year.


Emirates Airbus A380 services to Perth: commencing 29 March 2014?

10 February 2014 – Copyright © David Eyre

A6-EDE Airbus A380-861 (cn 017) of Emirates, lining up for take-off from runway 21 at Perth on 15 August 2009.

A6-EDE Airbus A380-861 (cn 017) of Emirates, lining up for take-off from runway 21 at Perth on 15 August 2009.
The aircraft had been en-route from Dubai to Sydney was forced to divert to Perth Airport at 6am, after a female passenger was thought to have suffered a stroke (later found to be a virus). This was the second visit by an A380 (first was a promotional visit by VH-OQA of Qantas on 14 October 2008) and the first by an Emirates A380. The Airbus departed for Sydney at 4:37 pm.
Photo © John Krepp

Further to reports in June 2013, the start date for Emirates’ Airbus A380 services is shown in slot allocations as 29 March 2014, with the aircraft replacing Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the evening EK420/421 service between Dubai and Perth.

However, Emirates itself has not yet confirmed a start date for the services, and the A380 is not yet showing on the airline’s flight booking system.

The slot allocations show that the airline will use 489-seat Airbus A380s on the EK420/421 service from 29 March 2014, with seating configured as 14 First Class suites, 76 Business class seats, and 399 Economy seats. From 1 June 2014, A380s with a denser seating arrangement of 517 seats will be used – these are configured with 14 First Class suites, 76 Business class seats, and 427 Economy seats.

Perth Airport’s runway and taxiways have been capable of taking A380s for a number of years.

The first A380 to visit Perth was a special promotional (non-revenue) flight by Qantas’ A380 VH-OQA on 14 October 2008.  A further five A380s have visited since then, but only because of medical emergency diversions – four of these from Emirates (A6-EDE, A6-EDA, A6-EEH, A6-EEO) and one from Qantas (VH-OQB).

Emirates had been waiting for Perth Airport’s $700 million redevelopment program, including the construction of A380-capable dual split-level aerobridges – these are required to enable passenger loading to both decks simultaneously. The first of these A380 aerobridges was constructed at Bay 51, at the southern end of Terminal 1 (International). It was planned to be completed in June 2013, but delays during construction and technical issues posponed its opening until December 2013.  A second A380 aerobridge is being constructed adjacent to Bay 51 on the new International/Domestic Pier, which is currently under construction for completion late in 2014. Additionally, Emirates’ new business class lounge would not be completed until March 2014.

The A380 is popular with passengers, who prefer its quieter and more spacious interior. The A380 has a 10-abreast seating configuration as used in the Boeing 777, but the 777 is narrower, making it somewhat less comfortable. Business class passengers also prefer the fully flat beds in the A380, compared to the angled lie-flat seats in the Boeing 777.


Thai Airways International to introduce Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on Bangkok-Perth service from 1 July 2014

Thai Airways International is to introduce their new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner into service from 1 July 2014, commencing with daily trips between Bangkok and Perth.

The proposed Boeing 787 schedule is:

  • TG483 departs Bangkok at 23:59, arrives Perth at 07:45 / TG484 departs Perth at 09:15, arrives Bangkok at 15:15

This will be Thai Airways’ first ever service using this type. It will later introduce services between Bangkok and Tokyo Haneda from 1 August 2014.

Thai is adding its first four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners to their fleet in 2014, with two more being delivered in 2015. Two Boeing 787- 9 aircraft will be added in 2017, bringing their total 787 fleet to eight aircraft, all of which are being leased from ILFC.

The Dreamliners will be configured with 24 Royal Silk business class seats and 240 economy seats. Currently, Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 36 business class seats and 263 economy seats are used on the route.