Sunday, April 12, 2015

NAVAID / ILS calibrations at Gladstone and Townsville Airports

Presumably to conduct scheduled NAVAID and / or ILS calibrations, Flight tracking website ‘FlightAware’ indicates AeroPearl / Airservices Australia Beechcraft B350 Super King Air VH-FIZ spent time over the weekend of 11-12 April, 2015 at Gladstone and Townsville Airports. 
VH-FIZ is noted to have ferried from Brisbane to Gladstone on Friday, April 10 where the B350 Super King Air remained overnight before conducting NAVAID / ILS calibrations the following morning on Saturday, April 11. Upon a midday completion, VH-FIZ ferried further north to Townsville during the afternoon where the aircraft remained for another overnight stay.   
During the morning of Sunday, April 12 - the Airservices Australia crew went about the job on-hand however may not have (unconfirmed) completed the task as planned. After some airwork on Monday, April 13 - VH-FIZ eventually departed the Townsville area for Cairns. 
With approximately 500 navigational aids (NAVAIDS) throughout the country, Airservices Australia is tasked with testing and calibrating these vital pieces of equipment on a three-year rotational basis to ensure they remain within the required high tolerances.  
Equipment checked include distance measuring equipment (DMEs), VHF Omni-directional range transmitters, non-directional beacons and approach lighting while instrument landing systems (ILS) are tested every six months. 
Using three-dimensional laser measuring equipment and GPS technology, information from the navaid is relayed to an aircraft and interpreted by specialist aircrew. The data is then analysed by Airservices maintenance engineers to ensure each navaid is operating accurately.

Featured below is AeroPearl / Airservices Australia Beechcraft B350 Super King Air VH-FIZ at Gladstone Airport while performing similar duties in December 2013.