Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Portuguese Corvettes

Before working with helicopters in the Portuguese Navy I passed a period that I was in comission in one of our ships. In fact I spent 5 years sailing in two different Portuguese Corettes, the N.R.P. João Roby and the N.R.P. João Coutinho.

N.R.P. João Roby

N.R.P. João Coutinho

The reason why I bring this to this blog is because of certain type of operations that does ships do. These ships belong to a fleet of corvettes that are at the moment responsible for tha SAR service in both FIR, Lisbon and Santa Maria. During sea training it's very common to see the SAR Portuguese Air Force Helicopter doing approach training in order to maintain a High level of training and qualification of personnel. I would like to share with you some pictures of this:

But I passed all my time hearing stories about the Portuguese Helicopter Allouette III, landing on this decks, so I've checked out and gess what? I've found a picture of that on the Internet, An Allouette III in the Portuguese Corvette N.R.P. António Enes, same class of N.R.P. João Coutinho.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Red Bull Air Race 2010 Championship Calendar

Back from another mission

It's the End of another successful mission on board the Portuguese frigate N.R.P. "Corte Real", and it's even more successful because my "Flight", the 19th. Helicopter detachment, finally finish the flight deck qualification. There was just one thing to do to finish this qualification, and that was the night flying exercise, in order to practice normal operating procedures and emergency procedures at night. During all days of this mission we had flight operations with "our" Lynx and with the Lynx that was aboard the Portuguese frigate N.R.P. "Bartolomeu Dias", this one operated by the 18th flight, the Bacardi Flight.
The mission was composed by two different parts, first was the internal training only with Portuguese Navy Ships, and then in the second part there was the participation of one Spanish frigate, two French destroyers, one French carrier. About the aircraft used, we had participating in the exercise two Westland Lynx Mk95, some Westland Lynx Mk4, Dassault Rafale, Dassault Super Etendard, Aerospatiale Dauphin and Gruman E2-C Hawk Eye among others. Pictures were all taken by Me, except the one were I stand that was taken by Luís Vitorino.

Me on the right side

Bartolomeu Dias positioning behind Us

Bartolomeu Dias at our side during a rough sea day

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle

Quote of the day!

Esta é "A vida que Eu escolhi!" - This is "The life that I've chose" Tony Carreira

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Huge A330 RC

I think you might need to hold at least a private license to fly one of these.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hey mother look... No Wheels!

This title remembers me old times, when I was a boy and use to ride my bicycle. Most of My falls, accidents or bad landings according to aviation, were preceded by: Hey Watch this... No wonder that my grandmother spent a lot of money in band aids and enormous panoply of pharmacy products to rebuild the skins of my knees and arms.

But this time was different, the wheels were really not supposed to be there. Today was my first flight with a retractable gear aircraft. Felt good!

Ground operation is quite normal and compared to a constant speed propeller version Cessna 172, the real thrill starts immediately after take off.

Positive rate of climb: Brakes Apply
No Runway Available: Gear Up!

Wait a minute! Gear what? Here's the new thing, the retractable landing gear!
After take off we proceeded to Cascais bay area to perform some basics of flight, as normal and increased rate turns, climb and descent, turning during climb and during descent and slow speed flight with landing gear down and flaps full down, 30º. After this we went back to the Airfield in order to perform circuit patterns and touch an go maneuvers. One thing that I felt, was the increase of workload during both, take of and landing phases, we need to be more beyond the airplane to anticipate the next step, and with the increase of speed we don't have much time. Nothing to be afraid, with training I can do it!

credits on photo

Monday, March 8, 2010

Right below us!!!

ATC: CS-AZG Lisboa MIL you have a contact in your direction at your 10 o'clock at 2500 feet less than 2 miles.
Me: Copy traffic information, loocking for traffic and we will maintain 2000 feet.
ATC: C-ZG copy 2000 feet

(later on)

ATC: CS-AZG Lisboa
ME: CS-AZG Go Ahead
ATC: C-ZG Traffic is at you 9 o'clock less than a mile in you direction, 2500 feet, do you have traffic in sight?
ME: Negative C-ZG
FInstructor: Where the hell is he?
ME: Passing right below us now!
FInstructor: S**t!
FInstructor: Lisboa MIL CS-AZG
FInstructor: Confirm traffic at 2500 feet?
ATC: Affirm!
FInstructor: Copy!

Now! with two altimeters on board, both set with Lisbon QNH 1015, and both showing 2000 feet, also with transponder set to mode C, how can this happend?

Simple as that, the other aircraft wasn't flying with mode C on the transponder, using only mode A, without altitude info on the radar, and with a 7000 code, general code for VFR flights, but despite all of that I think that in this type of airspace, G class, we pilots have to be more responsable when in flight.

I'm not an experienced pilot and I'm very far away of beeing a safety authority, but one thing is for sure; I sincerely don't feel to much comfortable sharing the sky with someone who doesn't pay the required attention to the job.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to Lisbon!

Yesterday, Corte Real frigate arrived to the naval base in Lisbon, Urray! Home at last! But there is a strange feeling among all of us... Our job in Madeira wasn't completed, the mission wasn't accomplished as we intended to. We all are quite sure that we could do more in the benefict of the population of Madeira, spatially does who live in the remote parts of the island, but that wasn't the opinion of someone superior so we went back on Saturday evening.

Well at least we came back home and I hope to fly this week. We'll see about that.

Vintage Aero Club

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