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bunumuring
Topic Author
Posts: 2531
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:39 am

Hi all,
The RAAF had a high profile maintenance issue a few weeks ago when our Prime Minister and his VIP delegation of state premiers and business leaders was apparently 'stranded' in Tokyo when the RAAF KC-30 they were travelling in developed hydraulics problems. It was in the general media here with Tony Abbott supposedly having 'words' with high ranking RAAF officials over it. I'm not sure what the immediate solution to the travel crisis was, but it was reported that the RAAF sent a C-17 to Beijing as a back up in case the KC-30 again had problems. Airbus and the RAAF apparently couldn't guarantee that the hydraulic problem wouldn't re-emerge before the aircraft returned to Australia.
This raises a few questions in my eyes:
(1) this is the first time I am aware of the KC-30 being used in the VIP role - has it been used in this role before this?
(2) what transported Tony and his entourage to Beijing from Tokyo - was the KC-30 repaired in time?
(3) what exactly was the problem and why couldn't the RAAF and Airbus guarantee it's fixing before the aircraft could return to Australia, assuming that they had cleared it to continue the PMs Asian tour?
(4) where were the RAAFs BBJs? Why weren't the two of them used? Julia and Kev (our previous two PMs) used them all over the world - seeing TV footage of a BBJ arriving in Washington DC with Julia onboard was memorable... Perhaps Tony feels that the BBJs just aren't prestigious enough, or they were in maintenance or something? If Julia can fly in one to Washington DC, surely a much closer tour of Asia would have been easy in a BBJ? Or was it something to do with the size of the delegation?
(5) I can see our PM Tony Abbott (who I picture as the Bear Grylls of world leaders) easily flying in a C-17, but our business leaders like Andrew Forrest? They have fleets of Gulfstreams and Global Expresses between them offering every luxury imaginable. Even some of our state premiers I think might not have coped...

Remember the fallen on this ANZAC Day,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Legs
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:37 pm

RE: Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:55 am

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
(1)

I think, but can't confirm, that this was the first explicitly VIP deployment of the KC-30s. VIPs have certainly been carried before, but as tag-alongs rather than the plane being explicitly tasked for it.

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
(2)

No idea.

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
(3)

Don't know what the problem was, but there's a bunch of reasons there might have been a little lack in confidence; new problem they havent seen before, intermittent fault that was hard to replicate on the ground etc etc. It is a fairly new squadron and they're probably a bit behind the curve, experience wise.

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
(4)

I'd almost guarantee that the delegation was well above the seating capacity of the BBJ's. Payload/range capacity may have also factored in.

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
(5)

Im not sure, but they may have loaded the Distinguished Visitors pod into the C-17 (if the RAAF have one, Im not sure). Failing that, the comfort pallet and palletised seating certainly would have been used, which is far better than the sidewall seating. As for opinions on the flight comfort? Well, if they want to stay with the delegation they'll get on board. Bear in mind, the KC-30 isn't exactly opulent either, the front section has seats that are of slightly lower quality than the Qantas domestic business class seat, for example.
 
bunumuring
Topic Author
Posts: 2531
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

RE: Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:45 am

Mate,
Thanks for the detailed response to my long post, truly appreciated.
I suspected that was the case with the BBJs. Maybe it will highlight the need for a larger, expressly VIP jet for the RAAF. Another A330-200?
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Legs
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:37 pm

RE: Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:54 am

Quoting Bunumuring (Reply 2):

There was some rumbles a little while ago about what, if any, the replacement for the 34SQN BBJ's would be, as their leases are expiring in the not too distant future. Personally, with all the 'budgetary pressures' at the moment, real or otherwise, I can't see much of an upgrade on the horizon. Perhaps a new lease with two new(er) BBJ's, perhaps with an upgraded comms suite to address some of the criticisms levelled at the current aircraft.
 
bunumuring
Topic Author
Posts: 2531
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

RE: Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:18 am

Mate, the latest I have heard which is purely speculation, is that the leases on all VIP jets will be extended until the second term of Tony Abbott's government.
Yes, the leases are dangerously close to expiring, but I think the banks are happy to let them be extended peacemeal.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5558
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Raaf Using KC-30 For VIP

Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:25 pm

Quoting Bunumuring (Thread starter):
where were the RAAFs BBJs?

It is my understanding that the PM's party were travelling in one of the BBJ but the entire delegation numbered in the hundreds with many of those travelling in the KC-30A.
There were many more flying commercial.
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!

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