Friday, 7 September 2018

Amelia Earhart's sad demise

Dozens heard Amelia Earhart's final, chilling pleas for help, researchers say

Distilled from 2 posts in the  Washington Post and the Web

Amelia Earhart waded into the Pacific Ocean and climbed into her downed and disabled Lockheed Electra. The famous aviator started the engine, turned on the two-way radio and sent out a plea for help, one more desperate than previous messages.

The high tide was getting higher, she had realised. Soon it would suck the plane into deeper water, cutting Earhart off from civilisation - and any chance of rescue.

Aviator Amelia Earhart's cries for help were heard by people who just happened to be listening to their radios at the right time.
Across the world, a 15-year-old girl listening to the radio in St Petersburg, Florida transcribed some of the desperate phrases she heard: "waters high," "water's knee deep - let me out" and "help us quick."
A  housewife in Toronto heard a shorter message, but it was no less dire: "We have taken in water . . . we can't hold on much longer."

On July 2, 1937, just after Earhart's plane disappeared, the US Navy put out an "all ships, all stations" bulletin.

That harrowing scene, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) believes, was probably one of the final moments of Earhart's life. The group put forth the theory in a paper that analyses radio distress calls heard in the days after Earhart disappeared.

In the summer of 1937, she had sought to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Instead, TIGHAR's theory holds, she ended up marooned on a desert island, radioing for help.

Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, could only call for help when the tide was so low it wouldn't flood the engine, TIGHAR theorised. That limited their pleas for help to a few hours each night.

It wasn't enough, TIGHAR director Ric Gillespie told The Washington Post, and the pair died as castaways.

But those radio messages form a historical record - evidence that Gillespie says runs counter to the US Navy's official conclusion that Earhart and Noonan died shortly after crashing into the Pacific Ocean.

"These active versus silent periods and the fact that the message changes on July 5 and starts being worried about water and then is consistently worried about water after that - there's a story there," Gillespie said.

"We're feeding it to the public in bite-sized chunks. I'm hoping that people will smack their foreheads like I did."

Some of Earhart's final messages were heard by members of the military and others looking for Earhart, Gillespie said.

Others caught the attention of people who just happened to be listening to their radios when they stumbled across random pleas for help.

Almost all of those messages were discounted by the US Navy, which concluded that Earhart's plane went down somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, then sank to the seabed.

Gillespie has been trying to debunk that finding for three decades. He believes that Earhart spent her final days on then-uninhabited Gardner Island.

She may have been injured, Noonan was probably worse, but the crash wasn't the end of them.

On July 2, 1937, just after Earhart's plane disappeared, the US Navy put out an "all ships, all stations" bulletin, TIGHAR wrote.Authorities asked anyone with a radio and a trained ear to listen in to the frequencies she had been using on her trip, 3105 and 6210 kilohertz.

It was not an easy task. The Electra's radio was designed to communicate only within a few hundred kilometres. The Pacific Ocean is much bigger. The searchers listening to Earhart's frequencies heard a carrier wave, which indicated that someone was speaking, but most heard nothing more than that.

Others heard what they interpreted to be a crude attempt at Morse code.But thanks to the scientific principle of harmonics, TIGHAR says, others heard much more.

In addition to the primary frequencies, "the transmitter also put out 'harmonics (multiples)' of those wavelengths," the paper says. "High harmonic frequencies 'skip' off the ionosphere and can carry great distances, but clear reception is unpredictable."

That means Earhart's cries for help were heard by people who just happened to be listening to their radios at the right time.

According to TIGHAR's paper:

"Scattered across North America and unknown to each other, each listener was astonished to suddenly hear Amelia Earhart pleading for help. They alerted family members, local authorities or local newspapers. Some were investigated by government authorities and found to be believable. Others were dismissed at the time and only recognised many years later.

Although few in number, the harmonic receptions provide an important glimpse into the desperate scene that played out on the reef at Gardner Island."

The tide probably forced Earhart and Noonan to hold to a schedule. Seek shelter, shade and food during the sweltering day, then venture out to the craft at low tide, to try the radio again.

Back in the United States, people heard things, tidbits that pointed at trouble.

On July 3, for example, Nina Paxton, an Ashland, Kentucky, woman, said she heard Earhart say "KHAQQ calling," and say she was "on or near little island at a point near" . . . "then she said something about a storm and that the wind was blowing....Will (or We'll ) have to get out of here," she says at one point. "We can't stay here long."

What happened to Earhart after that has vexed the world for nearly 81 years, and TIGHAR is not the only group to try to explain the mystery. Gillespie is just one member of competing researchers who have dedicated their time and resources to one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

Mike Campbell, a retired journalist who wrote Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, insists along with others that Earhart and Noonan were captured in the Marshall Islands by the Japanese, who thought they were American spies, and died in Japanese custody after being tortured.

Elgen Long, a Navy combat veteran and an expert on Earhart's disappearance, wrote a book saying her plane crashed into the Pacific and sank.

Gillespie said he believes that evidence supporting his Gardner Island theory is adding up.

He believes that the messages sent out over those six days were by Earhart and, occasionally, Noonan. He believes that bones found on Gardner island in 1940 belonged to Earhart, but were misidentified and discarded.

He believes that Amelia Earhart died marooned on an island after her plane was sucked into the Pacific Ocean. But he realises that the public needs more than his tide tables and extrapolations from data that predates World War II.

"We're up against a public that wants a smoking gun," he told The Post.

"We know the public wants, demands, something simple. And we're also very much aware that we live in a time of rampant science denial. Nobody does nuance anymore."

Bones discovered on a Pacific island in Kiribati 'belong to Amelia Earhart'

Amelia Earhart's story is revolutionary: She was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean, and might have been the first to fly around the world had her plane not vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. After decades of mystery surrounding her disappearance, her story might come to a close.

A scientific study claims that bones found in 1940 on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro belong to Earhart, despite a forensic analysis of the remains conducted in 1941 that linked the bones to a male.
The bones, revisited in the study Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones by University of Tennessee professor Richard Jantz, were discarded. For decades they have remained an enigma, as some have speculated that Earhart died a castaway on the island after her plane crashed.

Nikumaroro, or Gardner Island, is part of the Phoenix Islands, Kiribati in the western Pacific Ocean.

The bones were uncovered by a British expedition exploring the island for settlement after they came upon a human skull, according to the study. The expedition's officer ordered a more thorough search of the area, which resulted in the discovery of several other bones and part of what appeared to be a woman's shoe. Other items found included a box made to hold a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant that had been manufactured around 1918 and a bottle of Benedictine, an herbal liqueur.
"There was suspicion at the time that the bones could be the remains of Amelia Earhart," Jantaz wrote in the study.

When the 13 bones were shipped to Fiji and studied by Dr D W Hoodless of the Central Medical School the following year, Jantz argues that it is likely that forensic osteology - the study of bones - was still in its early stages, which therefore affected his assessment of which sex the remains belonged to. Jantz, in attempting to compare the lost bones with Earhart's bones, co-developed a computer program that estimated sex and ancestry using skeletal measurements. The program, Fordisc, is commonly used by forensic anthropologists across the globe.

Jantz compared the lengths of the bones to Earhart's measurements, using her height, weight, body build, limb lengths and proportions, based on photographs and information found on her pilot's and driver's licenses. His findings revealed that Earhart's bones were "more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99  of individuals in a large reference sample."

"In the case of the Nikumaroro bones, the only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart," Jantz wrote in the study.

Earhart's disappearance has long captivated the public, and theories involving her landing on Nikumaroro have emerged in recent years. Retired journalist Mike Campbell, who authored Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, has maintained with others that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured in the Marshall Islands by the Japanese, who thought they were American spies. He believes they were tortured and died in custody.

But Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) spoke to The Washington Post's Cleve R. Wootson Jr. in 2016 about how he too believes the bones found on Nikumaroro belong to Earhart.

In 1998, the group took Hoodless' measurements of the Nikumaroro bones and analysed them through a robust anthropological database. They determined the bones belonged to a taller-than-average woman of European descent - perhaps Earhart, who at 5 feet 7 (170cm) to 5 feet 8 (172.7cm), was several inches taller than the average woman.

In 2016, the group brought the measurements to Jeff Glickman, a forensic examiner, who located a photo of Earhart from Lockheed Aircraft that showed her with her arms exposed. It appeared, based on educated guesses, that Earhart's upper arm bone corresponded with one of the Nikumaroro bones.

Glickman, who is now a member of TIGHAR, told The Washington Post at the time that he understands some might be skeptical about his findings, as they were based 76-year-old medical notes. But the research made clear, he said, that Earhart died on Nikumaroro.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Junker JU 52 Crashes in Swiss Alps

A Junker Ju 52, affectionately known as "Tante Ju" (Aunty Ju) by German troops in WW2, has crashed in Switzerland

The Wreckage of HB-HOT near Flims

HB-HOT in happier days

The 79 year old 3-engined World War II transport workhorse plane crashed in the Swiss Alps in early Augist 2018 while on a sightseeing tour, killing all 20 people on board.

The German-built Junkers Ju-52 (HB-HOT) was carrying 17 passengers, all Swiss except for an Austrian couple and their son, the Swiss authorities said. Three crew members were also killed in the crash on Saturday.

The plane was on an Alpine sightseeing tour from Locarno, in the Italian-speaking region of southern Switzerland, to Dübendorf, an airport near Zurich, when it crashed into the mountainside near the ski resort of Flims, in eastern Switzerland.

An investigation was underway, but explosion on board and in-flight collision as the cause of the crash has already been ruled out.

The Junkers plane struck the Piz Segnas Mountain at an altitude of about 8,000 feet. It plunged down “almost vertically, at high speed,” Daniel Knecht, a spokesman for the Swiss transport safety investigation board, said at a news conference on Sunday 5 August.

The plane was operated by Ju-Air, a Swiss vntage aircraft company that offers tours in  the former Swiss military aircraft. The Ju-52, also known as “Aunty Ju,” was developed by Junkers, a German plane manufacturer in the 1930s, initially with a single engine but then as a three-engine aircraft.The company operates several Vintage Ju 52s. It was a popular airliner and postal aircraft before the war, and used widely.

The aircraft were used by the Luftwaffe during World World II as both transport and bomber. It first came into military use during the Spanish Civil War, notably as part of the German-led bombing of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937, which was later immortalized by Pablo Picasso in his famous painting, Guernica Night.

During World War II, the Germans used the plane mostly as a transport, serving on all fronts, including Russia and North Africa. The Swiss Air Force decommissioned its last three Ju-52 planes in 1982, which were then taken over by a group of Swiss vintage aircraft enthusiasts.

Kurt Waldmeier, a former pilot and the president of Ju-Air, called it “the most tragic day in the history” of his company, but said it was too early to draw conclusions about what had caused the crash. “Nobody has more interest than Ju-Air in clarifying the events, so that such an accident can never occur again,” he said.

Waldmeier told a news conference  that the plane, built in 1939, had flown more than 10,000 hours and had been regularly checked because of its age. The last inspection was in late July, and the aircraft had no history of technical problems, he said. The plane was navigated by using sight and maps rather than modern instruments. All three members of the crew had more than 30 years of professional experience.

The 62-year-old captain, who was not immediately named, had spent three decades as a commercial pilot for the national carrier, Swissair, and its successor, Swiss. He had been flying the Ju-52 regularly since 2004.

Rescue teams and investigators, with the support of helicopters, were sifting through the debris on Sunday. In recent days, Switzerland has been hit by a heat wave that has pushed daytime temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

While flight specialists told Swiss news outlets that intense heat could make it more difficult to fly such an aircraft, they said it was too early to suggest that high temperature played any part in the crash.

(Copyright notice: Original article from The Times, photograph from the net. Happy to attribute (or remove) where not clearly marked to identify comyright material. No infringement intended, simply a aircraft fan blog)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

World's largest aircraft unveiled

Stratolaunch: Largest aircraft in the world unveiled

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been quietly building the world's largest aircraft, Stratolaunch,  in the California desert. Once completed  it will be the world's largest airplane. With a wingspan more than that of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose. It was wheeled out of its hangar for the first time on Wednesday.

 Stratolaunch  has some impressive stats:

Wingspan 117 ms
Height 15m.
Unfueled weight :226 800 kg
Fuel load : 113 400 kg
Total weight: 589 670kg.

Other extraordinary facts:  It has  28 wheels and six Boeing747 jet engines.

97 km of wiring.
It's so big that the county had to issue special construction permits just for the construction scaffolding.

It's so big that to truly get a sense of it, you have to see it from a distance - like a mountain.

Why so big?  Not to carry passengers, but rather low earth orbit payload carying rockets. The bigger the plane, the larger the rockets, or the greater the number.

Allen's Stratolaunch company has partnered with Orbital ATK to "air launch" the company's Pegasus XL, a rocket capable of delivering small satellites, weighing as much as 450kg, to orbit. The rockets would be tethered to the belly of the giant plane, which would fly them aloft, and once at an altitude of 10,668m or so, the rockets would drop and "air launch" to space.

"With airport-style operations and quick turn-around capabilities," the company said it believes "air launch" is a cheaper and more efficient way to get satellites into space than rockets that launch vertically and can be extraordinarily expensive.

For Allen, it's all about LEO, or low-Earth orbit. He, and others, such as Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit, are betting that they can reduce the cost of launching small satellites to space. And that, in turn, will lead to new ways to beam the internet all across the globe, provide better Earth sensing capabilities, better communication, and open up all sorts of avenues.

"When such access to space is routine, innovation will accelerate in ways beyond what we can currently imagine," Allen said in a statement a year ago. "That's the thing about new platforms: when they become easily available, convenient and affordable, they attract and enable other visionaries and entrepreneurs to realize more new concepts."

More than a decade ago, Allen had hoped to spark a revolution in space travel when he funded SpaceShipOne, which became the first commercial vehicle to cross the threshold of space. The project ultimately won the Ansari X Prize, and a $10 million award. He then licensed the technology to Branson and moved on to other pursuits. But with Stratolaunch, he is back in the space business.

"Thirty years ago, the PC revolution put computing power into the hands of millions and unlocked incalculable human potential," he wrote.

"Twenty years ago, the advent of the Web and the subsequent proliferation of smartphones combined to enable billions of people to surmount the traditional limitations of geography and commerce. Today, expanding access to LEO holds similar revolutionary potential."

Jean Floyd, Stratolauch's chief executive, said the company would be "actively exploring a broad spectrum of launch vehicles that will enable us to provide more flexibility to customers."

He added: "Over the coming weeks and months, we'll be actively conducting ground and flightline testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port. This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we're going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff. Stratolaunch is on track to perform its first launch demonstration as early as 2019."

Original Article Washington Post

NASA concept for a similar concept, using a tow-plane 

Monday, 24 April 2017

ANZAC day 2017 Remembering the fallen

In remembrance. For 1915, 1916, 1917, and 2017

and for all the sacrifices before and after
for those who went and served, those who came back, and those who did not

Lest we forget.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon ( For the Fallen)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Start of the drip-feed: Arrival at Ohakea and line-up of NZ choppers

Pictures from an exhibition: 

Ohakea Air Show: New Zealand Choppers

So I've been wondering how to share the literally hundreds of photos I took at the Air Tattoo. Decided to go with themes, and how the day unwound. So the first thing I saw was a line-up of NZ Choppers. So let's start here:

Line-up of active helicopter types in the RNZAF: 
Seasprite SH2-G(I), A109 LUH and NH 90s lined up at Ohakea Air Base

AugustaWestland A109 Light Utility Helicopter

The Helicopter Transition Unit is responsible for the operational testing and introduction of the new A109 training and light utility and NH90 medium utility helicopters which are replacing the Bell Iroquoiss.

The RNZAF has five new state-of-the-art AgustaWestland A109 Light Utility Helicopters (A109LUH). They are a lightweight, twin-engine aircraft with a modern glass cockpit and a retractable wheeled undercarriage.

The A109LUH is part of the Defence Force helicopter training system that includes computer based training, a virtual interactive procedural trainer, a simulator and helicopter. This provides the Defence Force with a cost effective means of training aircrew prior to operational conversion onto the NH90 or SH-2G helicopters. In addition to its training role, the A109LUH will be used in various operational roles.

Manufacturer: AgustaWestland, Italy
Power plant: Two Turbomeca Arrius 2K2 turboshaft engines capable of producing 609 Shaft horse power (SHP) each. The transmission system is rated for a maximum of 900 Shp (normally 450 Shp x 2)
Length: 12.939m
Fuselage Length: 11.429m
Rotor diameter: 10.830m
Height: 3.421m
Empty weight: 2200kg
Undercarriage: Retractable tricycle (wheeled)
Maximum take-off weight: 3175kg (3200kg with external load)
Useful load on cargo hook: 400kg
Rescue hoist: Can lift 270kg or two people
Max cruise speed: 285kph
Normal ferry range: 650km
Normal endurance: 3 hours 30 minutes
Crew: Two pilots, one helicopter crewman
Seating: The A109LUH has two pilot seats and a maximum of six seats in the rear cabin
Equipment: Glass cockpit (fully Night Vision Goggle compatible) with moving map, advanced flight management system, four-axis autopilot, fitted with radios for interoperability with the Defence Force, other military partners and civil agencies, Nightsun searchlight, emergency floats
Armament: Single pintle mounted 7.62mm MAG 58 Machine Gun
Protection: Full cockpit and rear cabin ballistic protection

(Information from RNZAF Official website)

A109 LUH In-flight display

A109 LUH Static display

Grand ol' dame: Bell Iroquis on static display

Bell UH-1H Iroquois

The RNZAF has retired its fleet of 16 Iroquois helicopters as of 1 July 2015
The first delivery was five UH-1D in 1966 followed in 1970 by nine UH-1H and one more UH-1H in 1976. All of the UH-1D aircraft were upgraded to 1H specification during the 1970s.

Two ex-US Army UH-1H attrition air frames were purchased in 1996, one of which is still  in service. Three aircraft have been lost in accidents.

Capacity is nine passengers or five troops with full packs or seven troops in light order. Equipment included a rescue winch, nightsun searchlight and night vision goggle capability. Armament was the M60 7.62mm, replaced by the MAG58 7.62mm.

The NH-90s took over all official duties on 1 July 2015. 10 Bell UH-1H air frames were advertised for sale to domestic and international purchasers and the remaining three air frames will be donated to museums around New Zealand.

On the 2 March 2016, after a successful tender acquisition, the Iroquois helicopter fleet was shipped to Dakota Air Parts International, warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona. Six of the ten helicopters remain in a airworthy condition.

3 Sq RNZAF NH 90's

NH Industries NH90

The NH Industries NH90 was chosen as the primary replacement helicopter for the Bell UH-1H. 

The NH-90 are used to support the NZ Army, NZ Police, New Zealand Department of Conservation, assist with search and rescue, VIP duties, and heavy lifting. 
Nine NH-90 were acquired for NZ $70 million a helicopter in 2007 and deliveries began in 2012 with the first two helicopters arriving at RNZAF Base Ohakea. The NH-90 took over all official duties from the Bell UH-1H on 1 July 2015.

Tail assembly NZ3304 NH90 of 3 Squadron RNZAF

Winching gear

The NH90 is an advanced medium utility helicopter, capable of undertaking a wide variety of roles. It incorporates new and sustainable technologies and represents a substantial improvement on the Iroquois that will provide the NZDF with a contemporary, highly capable and deployable helicopter. The NH90 will be used for frontline military and civil operations.
The RNZAF has eight NH90 helicopters in its fleet.

The NH90 can carry up to 12 fully equipped soldiers or up to 18 lightly equipped troops (allowing for door gunners). It can carry up to 9 stretchers plus medical staff or palletised cargo; it can also lift the Army’s Light Operational Vehicle.

It has the capability to support ground operations, disaster relief, search and rescue, counter-drug operations and counter terrorism. Police, Customs, Maritime NZ, Civil Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZAID and the Department of Conservation all will be able to make effective use of the NH90.

Aircraft: NH90
Manufacturer: NATO Helicopter Industries (NHI)
Power plant: 2 x Rolls-Royce Turbomecca RTM 322-01/9; 2,227 SHP each)
Length: 19.56m (rotors turning)
Width: 4.62m (fuselage and stabilator)
Height: 5.23m (rotors turning)
Max weight: 10,600kg, can be extend to 11, 000kg in certain operational situations
Max underslung load: 4,000kg
Max speed: 300kph (164kts)
Fuel: 2035 kgs (internal), two 500kg external fuel tanks
Range: 780km (420nm) with internal fuel
Endurance: 4.45 hours on internal fuel
Crew: Two pilots and one or two Helicopter Loadmasters (HLM)
Capacity: Eighteen troops in light order (allowing for door gunners)

Tail assembly folded for transport on naval vessels or road

Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite

The Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite is an advanced maritime weapon system and proven day/night/all-weather multi-mission helicopter.  Originally designed to meet the exacting requirements of the U.S. Navy, the SH-2G Super Seasprite has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any maritime helicopter, assuring a safe return-to-ship capability even in single-engine flight conditions. 

It is the largest, most powerful small ship helicopter in use today and is recognized for its mission effectiveness, support, and unmatched performance.  The SH-2G is currently operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Egyptian Air Force and the Polish Navy. 

Its robust design, outstanding stability, and excellent reliability have been proven through more than 1.5 million flight hours. The SH-2G is a multi-mission maritime weapon system designed to fulfill anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), over the horizon targeting, surveillance, troop transport, vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and utility missions. 

The Kaman SH-2F Seasprite, was operated in the first decade of the 2000s  whilst the SH-2G(NZ) Seasprite helicopters were being built to replace these aircraft. In April 2013, the government approved the purchase of an upgraded and expanded Seasprite helicopter fleet for the NZDF - the SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopter.

No. 6 Squadron is one of the force elements under the command of the Air Component Commander HQ JFNZ (ACC) and remains under full command of the Chief of the Air Force.

Operational command (OPCOM) when ships' flights are required to embark, is assigned by ACC to the Maritime Component Commander (MCC), who will in turn assign operational control (OPCON) to the ship's CO. The squadron is located at RNZAF Base Auckland.

Squadron History
The squadron operates Kaman SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopters.
To meet NZDF Naval Helicopter Force requirements, the Squadron provides:
  • operational tasks and training for the RNZN.
  • surface warfare missions and surveillance operations.
  • underwater warfare.
  • helicopter delivery services/logistics.
  • day and night search and rescue.
  • medical evacuation.
  • helicopter operational conversion (Seasprite) training for pilots, observers and helicopter crewmen.
  • assistance to other government agencies.

An increase in the fleet from five to eight allows the helicopters to be embarked on the two ANZAC Class Frigates, HMNZS Te Mana and Te Kaha, as well as the offshore patrol vessels HMNZS Otago and Wellington, and the multi-role ship HMNZS Canterbury with aircrew from the RNZN and maintainers from the RNZAF. 
The Squadron is currently annually allocated approximately 1000 flying hours to achieve the stated tasks.

In July 1998, Naval Support Flight moved from their historic home at Hobsonville to the Whenuapai, Auckland air base and on 31 October 2005, was reformed as No. 6 Squadron, RNZAF.

Naval aviation have been involved in a number of operations:

Multi-nation Interdiction Force (1980's, 1996, 1999)
Bougainville and Papua New Guinea (1990's)
East Timor (1999-2000)
Solomon Islands (2000, 2001)
Operation Enduring Freedom (2002, 2003, 2004)

I always find air show sea rescue simulations a little awkward to watch, and this was no exception. Whilst it does display the aircraft's capabilties, it seems just somehow wrong to see someone sitting on a trailerboat being"rescued" on dry land , and then seeing the boat and trailer then being towed away by a ute.

Oldest of NZ's workhorses, the Bell Sioux 
Bell 47G-3B-2 Sioux

The first helicopters to be flown by the RNZAF, six B47G-3B-1 (NZ3701 -NZ3706) were delivered in 1965. Seven B47G-3B-2 (NZ3707 – NZ3713) were purchased in 1968 and delivered during 1970. All Bell 47G-3B-2 have been retired and replaced by the Agusta A109LUH since 2011.

There was also a display of precision flying from some of the many rescue helicopters that do such fantastic life-saving work all over the country. In this case it is ZK-IPT, a Palmerston North based 
Kawasaki BK-117 B-2. Two or three were present at the event.

Amelia Earhart's sad demise

Dozens heard Amelia Earhart's final, chilling pleas for help, researchers say Distilled from 2 posts in the  Washington Post a...