Bulletin 12 April 16
The Club had an external visit (also known as a night out) to New Plymouth Airport; firstly to see and show a Consolidated PBY Catalina seaplane that has been recently fully restored by John Emeny and his team over a 4 year period. The aircraft was built in 1943 and has seen many uses in its time, from WWII patrols to flying doctors in Africa. The aircraft can be chartered for events like a day trip to Taupo and holds 16 passengers. The club members’ enthusiasm to climb up the vertical ladder to enter the craft soon became a rescue mission on the way down with limited room and hip flexing of our more senior fellows causing concern with trying to place that first step back on the ladder!
Our second treat was a visit to the Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust Hanger to be shown the recently purchased Cessna 421 Golden Eagle that is currently used as an Ambulance for patients from Taranaki to mainly Hamilton, Wellington and Auckland for specialist treatment/surgery that cannot be currently obtained in our Region.
Trust Manager Shona Glentworth (accompanied by Bruce Findlay) also presented us with any facts we needed to know on the history and background behind the service with the main guideline being that the service does not operate an emergency response but in fact pre-determined bookings from TDHB. Shona also explained that the Trust subcontracts the operation of the aircraft to SkyWest due to the many Aviation rules and regulations needed to operate. There are currently 2 pilots who use the aircraft and Shona also talked on the future hopes of the Service with a fundraising mission to obtain a more modern aircraft that will be more cost efficient to run with fuel, flying hours and patient comfort.
For more information, please visit: www.taat.org.nz