VH-NMO Grumman Albatross leaves Perth for friendlier skies in Victoria
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VH-NMO Grumman G-111 Albatross (MSN G-464) of Catalina G111Airlines Pty Ltd, at Jandakot Airport – 22 Decenber 2016.
This was the last Grumman Albatross built. A total of 466 Grumman Albatross aircraft were built between 1947 and 1961. Built in 1961, ex Bu No 148329, 9056 (JMSDF), N88999, PK-PAM, N26PR, N42MY. Since arriving at Jandakot in April 2012, it only made a few flights in February 2013. With a maximum take-off weight of 13882kg, it exceeds the weight limits for operation from Jandakot, and had to apply for special dispensation to be parked here. The owner, Mack McCormack, initially planned to base the Albatross in Broome and use the aircraft to fly tourist and charter flights in and around the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Mr McCormack later announced that he intended to begin flying boat flights Perth’s Swan River to the Abrolhos Islands, off the coast of Geraldton from April 2013, with operations to be expanded into the Kimberley region later. Despite some promotional flights from Geraldton to the Abrolhos Islands in February 2013, the aircraft has since remained on the ground at Jandakot Airport. Recently moved to Casair’s hangar to be prepared for a flight to Avalon in Victoria, as there was apparently too much State Government red tape in trying to launch large seaplane operations here in Western Australia.
The plan was to have the aircraft rolling at 5.00 am, before the day warmed up too much, there was a slight delay and the aircraft lifted off at approximately 6.20 am and headed for its first stop at Kalgoorlie.
Many thanks to Mack McCormack and the guys from Casair for allowing us airside to have a look inside this beautiful aircraft and to be on the tarmac for the start up. Great stuff indeed.