Tuesday 28 March 2023

"The Catalina" at New Plymouth on 25-3-2023

 Again thanks to the North Shore Aero Club, we carried on from Peter Vause's hangar to visit the tower and then along to Brett Emeny's hangar for a visit to the Catalina:

Seen through the hangar doors it looks impressive.  Brett explained that the aircraft is actually a Canadian built Canadian Vickers PBY-5A Canso that was built in 1944 (with the constructors number CV 357).  It saw service with the RCAF from March 1944 based out of Nova Scotia.  You can see more of its long history in a photo below.
"The Catalina" ZK-PBY2 at New Plymouth was registered in New Zealand on 23/3/95 to The Catalina Company NZ Ltd of Papakura.  Actually the first ZK-PBY was also a Canso (c/n 22022) that was acquired by a syndicate of 30 members that ditched  in January 1994 on its way across the Pacific between Hawaii and Tahiti while being delivered to New Zealand.  Thankfully all the crew were rescued.

We could climb around inside to see the cabin and cockpit.  Here is the distinctive Port side blister.

And looking out the blister with Brett's Yak 52 ZK-YKA outside.

Here are photos of information on the Catalina from the rear cabin wall.  Click twice to enlarge (I am sorry, they could have been sharper but I think you will be able to read the details)

The all steam gauge panel with the throttles overhead.  Brett told us that the control wheel rotates through one and a half turns which makes it interesting!

Brett in his happy place explaining the cockpit to Rodger Coleclough.

As well as telling us about the aircraft in Peter Vause's hangar Brett also graciously gave us a lot of his time talking about the Catalina, its history, how much work has gone in to keep it flying here and some of the adventures he and others have had in it.  But he said that it is now time for another group of Catalina enthusiasts to carry on into the future so it is for sale.

Thanks very much for your time Brett.

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