Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pirated Skies - Kyle and Amanda Franklin

Here is a video of a demo of the Pirated Skies show performed by Kyle and Amanda Franklin.

Not all Airman are Boys or Pilots

Sadly I just received the news that Amanda Franklin died today after a long and painful recovery after an airplane accident during the Air Fiesta air show on March the 12 this year.
Amanda was a wing walker and had a show performance with her husband Kyle Franklin in witch they pay the roles of pirates. "Scandalous Scarlet" Amanda walks on the wings as "Captain Cairo" Kyle flies performing some aerobatic maneuvers to delight of those who watch.
Since the Air Fiesta accident that Kyle has been posting regularly on his Facebook the painful days of Amanda and her fight to resist and recover from her injuries, Amanda had her body burned in about 95% and recovery was very complicated.
Kyle had created a fund so that all of us could somehow help in the relief of Amanda by helping with the treatments and hospital bills so that Amanda could get the best medical care.
Kyle is also recovering from his injuries from the air crash and really needs now of all support from all to recover also from his terrible loss.


Godspeed!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

About Covilhã Aerodrome



This is getting a habit to talk about some of the Portuguese aerodromes for the worst reasons and this time it's about the oldest Civilian Aerodrome registered in Portugal.


Covilhã Aerodrome had the first landing in 1946 and it's ID is ICAO LPCV and IATA COV.
This Aerodrome has revealed strategically situated in the center of Portugal, very close to the "Serra da Estrela" natural park so it has a huge importance for water bombers that operate from there during the fires seasons in the pique of the summer.

But some interests are considered somehow more important to who's in charge than the protection of the forest or the general and commercial aviation in Portugal so the Mayor of Covilhã celebrated a contract with PT, the Portuguese State Phone Company to install a Data Center in the fields occupied by the airfield. Rapidly people came to public protesting about that decision and complaining that the aerodrome was far more important to the region than a data center. In Covilhã is situated the UBI, Universidade da Beira Interior, and this particular University has an Aeronautical Engineering Department which is along with IST in Lisbon one of the two Universities with formation in the aeronautical area and now with a serious risk of not having an aerodrome in the  vicinity.

With the raise of protests against the decision of the Mayor some other voices have raised also saying that the Mayor has a house nearby the aerodrome and with the construction of the data center that area soon passes to a residential area and of course saying that in order to accept the PT proposal he had received some money has a personal benefit. I don't know anything about this tellings and I'm writing them as they were told so I decline any responsibility about them.

The fact is that Portugal will soon lose another aviation facility (see previous post) and general aviation in Portugal seems to becoming more and more an illusion or something that is only to ultralight aircraft. Sad very sad.

This is a link with Covilhã aerodrome information: http://www.pelicano.com.pt/zp_covilha.html

And this is the link to the petition created by the Aeronautical Engineering students against the aerodrome close: http://www.peticaopublica.com/PeticaoVer.aspx?pi=AeroUBIP

About Aveiro Aerodrome


Established in 1917 as a French Hydroplane Base with Portuguese support the Military facility of São Jacinto, has passed through many transformations during it's life.

From 1917 to 1918 the French had the right of use of this Naval Air Station and at the end of the World War I the facility was passed to the Portuguese by the hand of the Naval Aviation of the Portuguese Navy and it was a Hydro and Air Base of the Navy until 1953, one year after the creation of the Portuguese Air Force and had been at that time transfered to the new Air Force. during the Navy years the Air Base had operating the Naval Aviation School named as Admiral Gago Coutinho in the honor of the Portuguese Admiral that along with Commander Sacadura Cabral performed the crossing of the South Atlantic from Portugal to Brasil.
The Air Base passed to the Portuguese Air Force in 1953 and continued as so until 1993 when it passed to the Portuguese Army at the time of the conversion of the paratroops from the Air Force to the Army also. During the Air Force Period São Jacinto Air Base was the base of Paratroops who saw the installation of their training facilities next to the airfield and at 1993 the air side of the base was deactivated as a military facility. With the deactivation of the air side part of the base and the conversion of the paratroops to the Army São Jacinto Air Base had his name changed to Military Area of São Jacinto until 2006 when it changed again to Infantry Regiment Nr. 10.


With the transference of the facility and deactivation of the air side in 1993 the Airfield started to have a Civil use and named as Aveiro Aerodrome.Since then the relationship between military and civil in São Jacinto as been always peaceful and with no problems at all. Until now.
In 2010 by the order of the Commanding Officer of the Infantry Regiment the use of the airfield by civilians was suspended and the Aveiro Air Club who had their aircraft based there had to remove them as quickly as possible. And so there's the end of a story of peaceful living between the military and civilian.
The reasons presented by the Commander were that the airfield and the runway was in a need of refurbishing and the conditions of the facility were getting deteriorated, some say that this decision was taken after a C295M pilot of the Portuguese Air Force complained about the runway condition. Since that day the Aerodrome doesn't receive any civilian aircraft and the number of military ones is very low.


The Commander was complaining about the fact of the Aveiro Mayor not investing in the facility to make it more safe to pilots, and the City Mayor complaints about the fact that he has no responsibility to the Air Base as it is an Army property with the right of civilian use.
Sad thing is that this aerodrome is really a piece of the history of Portuguese Aviation and as it started and it seems that will be destroyed in a matter of few years due to a small misunderstanding between civil and military authorities.



As military from the Navy and specialized in helicopter maintenance I had the opportunity to operate from there during the Navy Day in 2009 and it was very pleasant to operate with a Navy helicopter from such historical Base but the rough conditions were everywhere from the dormitories to the hangar that had no lightning system and was serving as a garage to the Army trucks clearly a picture that São Jacinto had lost it's Glorious Days of Sea and Land Airplanes operated there.
I had the opportunity to land at Aveiro, LPAV, as a student pilot in 2009 and to me I think that Aveiro has all the possibilities to become one great Airfield for general aviation and even for small commercial aviation, it has a good runway and well aligned, it has an apron and space to build more if needed all it's missing is the will to make things to benefit aviation and local tourism which I'm sure it would benefit of the aerodrome use.


Both Lynx in front of the military hangars and control tower (deactivated) 

Air Club hangars and Cessna 152 

Averio Airclub Cessna 152 

Marks of the Air Force presence in early days 

Civilian aircraft shared the apron with our two Lynx with no problem 


Two Navy Lynx in the apron 

Military Hangars ans deactivated control tower 

Naval Aviation Monument

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Dunker!

The worst scenario for an air crew is undoubtedly a ditching specially on helicopters. A helicopter is normally heavier on the top and lighter on the bottom so the probability of capsizing is very almost 100% in order to train that kind of situation Helicopter Operators or training facilities have developed training programs to prepare crews and passengers that fly over the ocean to face that situation and the Portuguese Navy is no exception. By taking the benefit of the intern know how, technical knowledge and man power the PoNavy developed a new Dunker apparatus built as an academic final examination to the new formed naval machinery technicians.

Here is a video of some tests.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Re Born from the Ashes!

Seemed impossible but most likely to happen at any time. The Phoenix will return to the skies.

Even Dead, Osama is news!




Not Osama Bin Laden itself is the news but the operational means used to arrest him or kill him or whatever you like to call it.

Some say that the helicopter shot down was a new prototype a new model flying in the US Navy others do say that it's no more than a modified version of the UH-60 Black Hawk or SH-60 Sea Hawk. So what is it? No one knows officially but one important question has to be made. If the Helicopter crashed on site during a so called "secret and flash operation" where is the rest of it? I don't want to start some kind of conspiracy but this is strange don't you think?


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Monday, May 2, 2011

He's Dead, now what?



America´s enemy nr.1 is Dead. A Navy Seal Team took care of him quite nicely someone told.
But the main responsible for all the changes in security, some of them more comprehensible than others, is really dead? Or do we see now a bit of Bin Laden everywhere? We shall see in a few months.