Kumul back after repair in Aust, Falcon returned to Air Niugini

National, Normal

The National,Thursday 22nd December 2011

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday welcomed the Kumul – government’s executive plane –  after undergoing maintenance in Australia.
O’Neill said the aircraft was based at the Hawker Pacific maintenance centre in Cairns for an engine overhaul and avionics upgrade.
“With the Kumul’s return, the government will now be using its own jet for official duties and will release the recently-sold Falcon jet back to Air Niugini for its commercial use,” he said.
Hawker Pacific Ltd specialises in operating and maintaining Super King Air and other light aircraft from all over the world.
O’Neill said: “Hawker Pacific has a relationship with the PNG government’s flying unit for more than 26 years. Hawker Pacific actually sold the Kumul aircraft to the government and has continued to maintain the aircraft since.
“The maintenance cycle of the King Air 350 consists of three diffe­rent check-up cycles at the Hawker Pacific Centre in Cairns.
“The first is the phase inspection where after every 220 hours of flying or after every six months, the Kumul is taken in for a routine check-up.
“A second check was the next more intense check up after 800 hours of flying.”
He said the Kumul was flown to Cairns for the major overhaul in April.
“It cost the government a little over K2 million for the maintenance which included the overhaul of the two engines and the installation of the Proline 21 system,” he said.
The governments flying unit also signed an agreement with Hawker Pacific for the long-term maintenance of the government aircraft.
“Proline 21 is a modern flexible avionics system solution which gives the pilot a more user-friendly approach to in-flight information such as weather awareness, terrain awareness and warning systems,” he said.
O’Neill said the Proline 21 enhanced ground proximity warning system and improved reliability.
“With the installation of the Proline 21, the Kumul is the first King Air 350 plane in the world to be modified to facilitate the glass cockpit,” he said.
“The installation of the Proline 21 and the major six-year overhaul signifies the fact that the Kumul now meets all the regulatory requirements of the IATA, CASA (PNG) and CASA (Australia).
He said the Kumul was now the only aircraft in PNG to pass such a high regulatory standard for any twin propeller aircraft.
“It is now the safest aircraft to travel in and can cruise at an altitude of 35,000 feet,” he said.