Aviation Feed

Captain Beverly Pakii achieves command

Beverly Pakii is handed her captain's insigniaPNG TODAY

A young, Papua New Guinean female pilot has made history by becoming the first woman to gain command on Dash 8 aircraft under Air Niugini’s pilot cadet program.

Captain Beverly Pakii’s achievement is the first for the airline since Air Niugini’s pilot cadet program started in the 1970s.

From mixed Enga and Morobe parentage, the 29 year old operated her first commercial flight from Port Moresby to Lihir in New Ireland and on to Tokua airport in East New Britain and back to Port Moresby.

Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo congratulated Captain Pakii saying the airline invests a lot of money and resources into training pilots and engineers every year.

“Captain Pakii has come through the system holding a very high standard throughout,” Mr Foo said. “Her dedication, commitment and humble demeanour to achieve command is demonstrated in her professional conducts in all facets.

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Dropping from the heavens: Resupplying the patrol


BACK in my kiap days it was quite common in the more remote districts for long patrols to be resupplied by airdrop. I have been on both the dropping and receiving sides of such operations.

The supplies most commonly dropped were food, usually rice and tinned fish or meat. At other times it might have been medical supplies like penicillin or specialist articles such as radio batteries and ammunition.

To get the food ready for a drop required opening the rice bags, which weighed around 20 kilograms each, and distributing half a dozen tins among the grains of rice. The bag was then tied shut before being placed in another bag, which was also tied shut but with room for movement.

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The young man who just wanted to fly faces another challenge

Richard (Dick) BroomheadKEITH JACKSON

Living on the Edge of the Universe: Paradise can be Hell! by Richard Broomhead, Joshua Books, 256 pp, $29.95, ISBN: 978-0992300142. Also available from Amazon here as an e-book

THE last time I sat down and had a beer with Richard Broomhead was 50 years ago and he was flying nothing bigger than a LandRover.

But he told me then, as he had before whenever we met, that his heart was set on buying a DH84, a twin-engined biplane, at which time he would establish a charter airline business based in Kundiawa.

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PNG aviation’s first woman owner looks to expand her fleet

Niugini Aviation Pacific Aerospace 750XL P2-RNBPACNEWS

AMONG women entrepreneurs from around the Pacific region who met in Fiji last week was business woman Ruth Undi from Papua New Guinea’s resource rich area of Ialibu in the Southern Highlands.

Ruth, 42 likes to call herself a ‘grassroots’ mother and she is the first Papua New Guinean woman to own and operate an aviation company, Niugini Aviation, which has a fleet of three planes.

With no aviation background, Ruth bought her first plane in 2011 because she saw the need to service the remote areas not accessible by road.

“That’s when I bought my first 206 six seater aircraft from the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

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Dreams of my childhood: To fly like a bird


WHEN I was about eight, nine and ten years old in the early 1990s, mum taught at Lumi Community School.

The school catered to children of public servants at Lumi station and children from villages surrounding the station.

Back then, Lumi was a fully-fledged district of West Sepik Province. It is now just a sub district, Aitape being the headquarters of the restructured Aitape-Lumi District.

So it was that our home was right at the station, the centrepiece of which was the Lumi airstrip. The airstrip ran right through the middle of Lumi station, with houses on either side.

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Pioneering family: The story of the audacious Parers of New Guinea

Kevin Parer in New Guinea, 1936MARY MENNIS MBE

THE Parer family, originally from Alella in Spain, were the anchor of the Catalan community in Australia for 50 years.

The first brother to leave Spain was Josep, who decided to migrate to South America in 1851, following his sense of adventure and eye for business. He left Montevideo in Uruguay on board the Alabama and landed in Australia in 1855.

A year later, his half-brother Francisco joined him and they started breeding poultry in Petersham near Sydney, but the business was not successful. They decided to move to Bendigo looking for gold and finally settled on the banks of the Yarra River, a tent town to cope with the rapid expansion of Melbourne during the gold rush.

It was their entrepreneurial character and perseverance, and also a spark of luck, which triggered the start of the Parer Empire in Melbourne. In less than 40 years they invested in more than 30 hotels and restaurants. And they are believed to be the first people to commercialise meat pies in Australia.

Josep and Francisco were the pioneers of the Parer dynasty in Australia. Seven of their brothers and sisters, nephews and friends of the family joined them, which is where the family tree gets complicated.

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In the jump seat. Flying APNG's Dash-8-100 to Goroka

Final approach into Goroka (Bernie Leighton )BERNIE LEIGHTON | Airline Reporter

I HAVE now flown Air Niugini (airline code PX) more than most Americans ever will. The thing is no one I knew remotely well enough at the time worked for Air Niugini, which is rare for me.

However, I did know plenty of people who work for their fiercest competitor –Airlines PNG (code CG). Clearly I needed to take a flight.

After a week of in-country planning, I had selected a destination – Goroka, a small town in the highlands of central PNG. It is one of the highest airports in the country at 5,200 feet. It was also a reasonable airfare and crewed by people who were extremely friendly to an American journalist.

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New Ireland & New Britain on an Air Niugini Q400

BERNIE LEIGHTON | Airline Reporter

P2-PXS at Jacksons Airport (Bernie Leighton)WHILE Port Moresby may not be a holiday treat, it is certainly better than it has ever been since independence. But if you want a tropical holiday, you are going to have to leave the ravenous guard dogs and car jackings of Moresby behind.

Being a huge World War II nerd, I figured my best bet was to head out to either Kavieng (on New Ireland) or Kokopo/Rabaul on New Britain). Both these islands were invaded by the Japanese in 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But first I have to tell you about the fun one can have at the domestic terminal of Jacksons International Airport.

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Flight to Port Moresby - A review of Air Niugini

BERNIE LEIGHTON | Airline Reporter

An Air Niugini 767 at Brisbane Airport (Leighton)SO, YOU’RE dumb enough to decide you want to go to Port Moresby on holiday? Well, first off, you are pretty dumb. Do you know how dangerous Port Moresby is?

The American government clearly knows; they’re building a new fortress-embassy on the highway to the airport. This embassy construction site also houses all its workers behind three 20-foot high fences and a small contingent of Marines.

Having said that, it is still safer than Lae! So, if you have to pick between the two…

It’s not an organised sort of crime, or resistance. It’s something more like a zombie movie. One target sees an opportunity and then, almost like a wave, the rest follows. From what I’ve seen, cricket bats are a popular weapon of late.

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The search for fallen airmen in Papua New Guinea continues


The Grey Ghost B-17 wreckTHE  US NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY (NRL) will lead a team of scientists and engineers to fly a Multi-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (MB-SAR) to gather information to aid in the search and recovery of unaccounted aircraft losses in Papua New Guinea during World War II.

The US Pacific Command and Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is sponsoring the mission.

It is believed many of the downed aircraft sites are located in the Northern, Central, and Morobe Provinces in austere terrain under triple canopy foliage. The goal of the mission is to highlight the effectiveness of remote sensing information to aid JPAC search and recovery efforts.

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Qantas adds freight service between Australia & PNG


Boeing 737-300F freighterQANTAS WILL INTRODUCE a weekly freight service between Australia and Papua New Guinea from this coming Saturday.

The flight between Brisbane, Cairns and Port Moresby will be operated by a Boeing 737-300F (pictured), offering 15 tonnes of cargo capacity each way.

Qantas Freight executive manager Lisa Brock said the export market between Australia and PNG is strong and the new freighter service will provide much needed capacity on the route.

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Port Moresby air connection established to Jakarta

LUC CITRINOT | Travel Daily News

Air_NiuginiINDONESIA’S NATIONAL FLAG CARRIER, Garuda Indonesia, is looking to link Jakarta to Port Moresby with regular commercial services from August.

The Indonesian airline is seeking to serve untapped markets in the Asia Pacific region and this will be the first direct air connection from Moresby to Jakarta.

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The Gordon Steege story 2 – Air war in Papua & Libya

As told to Bill Brown

Gordon SteegeNEW TO THE SEAGULL flying boats, I first took a couple of local flights around the Port Moresby area.

These included the hairy experience of flying Commander Hunt, who headed a small naval surveying detachment, delivering some mail to Yule Island at low level over offshore reefs in a strong south-easterly, when the Seagull appeared to be going as fast sideways as forward.

Then my CO, ‘Alex’ Alexander, asked if I would like to take the Seagull down to Samarai.

I jumped at this, and with a Sergeant Navigator, Wireless Operator and Engineer Fitter we had an enjoyable straight and level flight on a beautiful day, perhaps three hours at 90 knots, along the coast to Samarai.

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The Gordon Steege story 1 – Flying boats in Papua

As told to Bill Brown

Gordon Steege, 1942IN SEPTEMBER 1939, HAVING GRADUATED from Point Cook in Victoria in June 1938, I was a Flying Officer in No 3 (Army Cooperation) Squadron at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Station Richmond NSW, doing my tour as Adjutant.

I was in the officer's mess with other colleagues when the mess president came in. He was a Wing Commander, perhaps in his early forties. The RAAF was more formal in those days and we all stood for him.

It turned out the occasion was to hear Australian prime minister Robert Menzies “melancholy duty” announcement on the wireless that Australia was at war with Germany.

Next morning I was told to go to Station Headquarters and report to a Flight Lieutenant Alexander, then on the staff of the station commander, Group Captain Hipolyte Ferdinand de la Rue.

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British Aerospace trains PNGDF pilots in Australia

United Press International | UPI.com

Flight training over TamworthBAE SYSTEMS HAS SIGNED a contract to provide advanced flight training to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.

The contract builds on a 2011 agreement to provide Papua New Guinean student pilots with basic flying training at BAE's Australian facility at Tamworth City Airport in New South Wales.

Students soon will start an advanced 18-month training course to progress to the next stage of their flying careers.

“We are looking forward to extending and developing the relationship with PNG by providing its defence force with the highest standard of flying instruction," said BAE General Manager Aviation Solutions, John Quaife.

The air operations element of the PNGDF has a small number of light and rotary wing aircraft that support the army with logistics, resupply and medical evacuation as well helping with civilian disaster relief.

The air element also supports army patrols along the country's 700km border with the restive Indonesian province of Papua.

BAE's flight training facility at Tamworth is based around a six-year, $86 million deal signed in 2011 with the Royal Australian Air Force.

The PNG pilots’ courses began in January last year and the first students graduated in mid-2012.