Grant’s out sick but Steve gets Jonesy in to help out and it’s a good thing too ‘cos he’s in Perth, Western Australia and that seems to be where almost everyone with a long range maritime surveillance aircraft is too.
At this stage the search for MH370 is focusing on an area of ocean some 2,000km to the South West of Australia with three RAAF AP-3C Orions and an RNZAF P3-K2 Orion staging from RAAF Base Pearce near Perth. There’s also a USN P-8A Poseidon involved and some civilian jets joining in, including an A319 which is likely to be the SkyTraders aircraft that often flies to Antarctica and back.
A Chinese Il-76 has also joined the search and was reported to have accidentally landed at Perth instead of Pearce when it arrived. Hey, maybe they thought they had to clear customs at Perth instead of a RAAF Base?
In other news, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have released an Airworthiness Directive for the DH-82 Tigermoth covering issues with their fuselage tie rods (PAD DH 82-017). Recently a Tigermoth crashed while performing aerobatics near Brisbane and a camera recovered from the wreckage showed that one of the wings folded up in flight. Subsequent inspections of that aircraft and others indicated that the tie-rods holding the wings to the fuselage were showing signs of cracking. This has resulted in a ban on aerobatics in Tigermoths until the tie rods can be inspected.
That’s about all there was time for on this Australia Desk segment. We’ll save more Qantas reporting for a future episode :)