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Seaplanes take off on first flights since crash tragedy

January 18, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Sydney Seaplanes has re-started its famous scenic flights over Sydney, a little over two weeks after the dreadful crash which killed a pilot and five passengers.

Onlookers on the foreshore watched the first flight take off from Rose Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where the company is located.

Sydney Seaplanes’ managing director Aaron Shaw said it was necessary to start operating again.

“There is never a perfect time to recommence flying after an incident of this nature however getting back in the air is a necessary step given the range of people, tourism and hospitality businesses in Sydney that rely on Sydney Seaplanes.

“It’s also what our late colleague Gareth Morgan, a passionate seaplane pilot for all of his adult life, would have wanted.”

Sydney Seaplanes Cessna Caravan Amphibian

Morgan piloted the De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 which went down in the crash into northern Sydney’s Jerusalem Bay on New Year’s Eve.

Strong winds in Sydney prevented Sydney Seaplanes re-starting its flights earlier this week.

The company will not fly its remaining De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 aircraft until the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) preliminary report is released at the end of this month. The company will instead operate services using its Cessna C-208 Caravan aircraft.

The Cessna Caravan Amphibian plane can carry up to 12 passengers. Two pilots will crew all flights for an interim period, though the aircraft are customarily operated by just one pilot and no more than one is required.

“Safety has and always will be our absolute priority and we continue to abide by relevant aviation safety guidelines,” Shaw said.

“Our decision to increase pilot numbers exceeds any safety regulation, but will give our customers additional peace of mind and allow them to concentrate on enjoying their flights around Sydney’s beautiful harbour.”

Until the New Year’s Eve tragedy, Sydney Seaplanes had an unblemished record, carrying out 70,000 flights since it began operating in 2006.

Written by Peter Needham

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