13 August 2013
Real Tonga's MA60 - the debate continues
Real Tonga's Chinese built MA60 entered service on Saturday... though not without some controversy. There has been some interesting points raised by Peter(?) in the comments section of these two posts... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/tongas-ma60-airborne.html and http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/tongas-ma60-airborne.html
The NZ travel advisory is going to make further problems for Real Tonga as is noted in the latest TravelMemo. Despite the advisory, as an aviation enthusiast, I for one would like to fly on the MA60 and a Y12 for that matter. While I wish Real Tonga all the best in the end my sympathy lies with Chathams Pacific... their operation was working really well. Why fix what's not broken? Only the Tongan government can answer that question
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have posted a warning travel advisory that reads: “Tonga’s domestic airline fleet currently includes an MA-60 aircraft. This aircraft has been involved in a significant number of accidents in the last few years. The MA-60 is not certified to fly in New Zealand or other comparable jurisdictions and would not be allowed to do so without a thorough certification process under Civil Aviation rules. Travellers utilising the MA-60 do so at their own risk" (our emphasis). Southern Cross Travel Insurance confirmed to TravelMemo that such advisories invalidate any insurance cover.
TravelMemo has been told the MA-60 attempted a flight into Ha’apai last week but turned back to Nuku’alofa after reaching the island. Sources believe the pilots saw how short the runway actually was and opted not to land on it.
For the full article see : http://www.travelmemo.co.nz/memos/20130813.pdf
If anyone up in Tonga would happen to have a nice photo of the MA60 in Tongan registration I would love to be able to post a photo of it... Cheers, Steve email@example.com
Posted by Steve L at 10:34 AM