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Australia aviation news

Qantas plane flies with an extra engine on the wing

You've probably never thought too much about how to quickly transport a 10-tonne plane engine, but Qantas has the answer. Just strap it to the wing of a Boeing 747. Qantas Flight 63 took off from Sydney with an extra Rolls Royce turbofan attached to the left wing between an inner engine and the plane's body. The engine was not powered; it just came along for the ride to Johannesburg,...

Air force spending $90 million to convert luxury corporate jets into spy planes

The Royal Australian Air Force is spending more than $90 million to convert luxury corporate jets into state-of-the-art spy planes. PM can reveal the high-tech surveillance aircraft are due to come into service at the end of next year. Here's defence reporter Andrew Greene. ANDREW GREENE: The Gulfstream G550 is a luxury corporate jet boasting the ability to fly more than 12 hours nons...

Hobart Airport masterplan approved

Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss approved the latest masterplan for Hobart Airport in the days before Christmas. Central to the plan, under which the airport maps out how it will address forecast passenger growth over the next 20 years, is the planned extension of the airport’s runway (12/30) to 2,751 metres. “Approval of this plan allows for the construction of the...

Cobham lands new resource contracts

Cobham Aviation Services says it has been awarded two new contracts for one existing and one new fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) client. The new contract is with Karara Mining, providing eight flights a week in support Karara’s iron ore operations 105nm south-east of Geraldton in mid-west Western Australia. The short 30 minute flight from Perth features a reduced cabin service, reducing the we...

SQ to bring premium economy to Melbourne with seasonal A380 flights

Singapore Airlines’ new premium economy product will debut on the Singapore-Melbourne route from late June when the airline resumes seasonal Airbus A380 flights. The A380 returns to Melbourne on the SQ217/218 rotation as part of a seasonal capacity increase during the holiday peak and will operate three times a week from June 26 until September 3, Singapore Airlines said. “U...

Special missions Gulfstream 550s for the RAAF?

L-3 Communications will modify an unspecified number of Gulfstream G550 aircraft for Australia under a US$93.6 million foreign military sales deal announced by the US Department of Defense on December 28. “L-3 Communications Mission Integration, Greenville, Texas, has been awarded a $93,632,287 firm fixed-price undefinitised contract action task order (1648) for Australia Government...

Challenger arrival heralds new era for Australian SAR

The first of four Bombardier Challenger 604 special missions jets which Cobham Aviation will operate under a 12-year contract to provide search and rescue aircraft for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has arrived in Australia. The aircraft, currently registered to Canada’s Field Aviation as C-FIDT, arrived into Adelaide around midday on Wednesday after d...

Malaysia Airlines pilot starts flying in the wrong direction

An investigation has been launched after a Malaysia Airlines plane took off from Auckland Airport on Christmas Day and surprised the pilot with the direction it started flying. Just eight minutes into the direct flight to Kuala Lumpur, MH132's pilot queried why his Airbus A330 was heading so far south. He wondered why the plane was heading towards Melbourne and not taking a more direct f...

Aviation safety experts urge caution with a popular Christmas gift

Drones are tipped to be one of the most popular presents this Christmas but fledgling pilots have been delivered a stern warning about the potential dangers for new flyers. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is urging people to stick to a handful of basic rules in the wake of a high-profile incident where a pro-skier narrowly avoided having a drone fall out of the sky on his head. Pe...

Airnorth to serve Melbourne and Cairns from Wellcamp

Darwin-based Airnorth will expand out of Northern Australia for the first time when it commences daily services from Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport to Melbourne from next March. The flights will be operated by Airnorth’s 76-seat Embraer E170 jets from March 14, with new three-times-weekly Wellcamp-Cairns services to begin at the same time. “This initi...

Hainan becomes Sydney’s sixth new airline for 2015

Hainan Airlines has returned to Sydney for the first time since 2012 with the inaugural direct seasonal service from Xi’an touching down at Sydney Airport on Thursday morning. Hainan launched flights to Sydney in January 2011, when it served Sydney on a Hangzhou-Shenzhen-Sydney routing. However, it pulled off the route a year later. Its new twice-weekly flights fr...

Successful skydive for Safeskies president and QantasLink CEO

Safeskies President Emeritus Peter Lloyd has made a tandem skydive over Canberra to celebrate his 95th birthday. The December 15 jump from 14,000ft was Lloyd’s fourth in a series of birthday jumps which began in 2000 with a tandem skydive to celebrate his 80th birthday. Lloyd, who is now blind, was attached to jumpmaster Paul Smith, who was making his 11,111th...