The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

As requested by GAFNomad... Helis on the move
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JetRangerJunkie
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The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby JetRangerJunkie » Wed Aug 8 2012, 11:03

Hi Bladeslappers,
As part of theI research for my forthcoming book I need a bit of background info on the use of helicopters by the Australian media (particularly TV stations)
I am wondering which TV station first used a JetRanger in an E.N.G. role.?
Were any TV station choppers fitted with WESSCAMS ?? If so which ones ?
If Roger Dundas or Tony Scolari are still flying and read this can they contact me.??
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Heli » Wed Aug 8 2012, 11:20

JetRangerJunkie wrote:If Roger Dundas or Tony Scolari are still flying and read this can they contact me.??


Sadnud is too dyslexic to understand ;) Squirrel may be around, he spent 4 months on the Japanese Antarctic gig and still has nightmares about sushi.....

Re the first JR, I'd lean toward Channel 7 in Melbourne but Sydney would have been way earlier and was probably Channel 9. None of the media ships had Wescam, it was far too heavy to be permanently mounted on a TV JetRanger plus too expensive. Most media machines were used more for personnel transport than news gathering, so that allied with the cost of camera mounts meant that we generally trailed the rest of the ENG world.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby SuperF » Wed Aug 8 2012, 11:37

How far back was that. 70's sometime? With those sexy brown interiors?
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Twistgrip » Wed Aug 8 2012, 11:43

I used to work for NBN tv news from 99-2003 in a 206A VH-AAL prior to that machine was VH AND (also a 206 which went to CH10 later on flown by Tom Partridge). and even earlier an AS350 VHNBN in the late 80's i believe. We also operate this rego to this day.

I remember the VH AND used to pick up and drop off the owners of NBN tv everyday from Mona vale to Newcastle and return and that was not withstanding any news ops during the day.

All ops were shot off the shoulder with sliding door. We used to do 2-3 hours a day everyday covering most parts of regional NSW. Then amalgamation came and the majors took over the regionals as far as rotary wing ops go.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby SuperF » Wed Aug 8 2012, 12:00

I'll try to find the pics. Pretty sure I've got a shot of a channel 9 JR they sold in very early 80's.

Then again, could be the memory playing tricks on me.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Beaver » Wed Aug 8 2012, 12:20

I know VH-LEC from Commercial Heli's at mudgee was used for tv work quite a few years ago, how early I don't know. It was also used for the filming of Mad Max back in the day. The old girl is still alive and kicking used mainly for Ag now..
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby reddogsifly » Wed Aug 8 2012, 13:03

i wonder what billy lee {ex ch 10 pilot at nudawading } is up to these days he was a great pilot. :)
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Twin Head » Wed Aug 8 2012, 13:07

Chief Pilot ADA Aviation. He maybe retired from CP but still working there 8)
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Eric Hunt » Wed Aug 8 2012, 20:13

Why don't you just ring the TV stations? The pilots would be glad to talk to somebody normal for a change.

Ch 7 in Sy (F V-R) or 10 (TJH) would know the details as they were in from the early days. Sadly Gary Ticehurst isn't here, he could have given you the good gen, having been with Ch 2 from the very early days.

My swiss-cheese brain sort of recalls that an old rival (now deceased) John Barnao talked Ch 9 Sydney into hiring him as their first helicopter pilot in a Long Ranger, and he had 39 hours total! This was late 70s or early 80s. Converted from a fixed wing licence. Used to strut around the station wearing 4 gold bars.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby docholiday » Wed Aug 8 2012, 21:44

Call Graham Gillies, he'd probably know
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby black duck » Wed Aug 8 2012, 22:10

Twistgrip wrote:I used to work for NBN tv news from 99-2003 in a 206A VHAAL.

If my fuddled brain recalls correctly, I remember Bill Vowell saying that AAL was the oldest and first Jetty on the Australian register. At the time (mid eighties) she was the Mornigton Peninsula Angel of mercy. Sh*t... I broke my avatar.....bugga. :cry:....I fixed it!!!!! woo hooo!! :D
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Heli » Wed Aug 8 2012, 23:32

I started with ABC Melbourne, HSV7 and 10 back in 1984, all were JetRangers then. Seven's JR had an accident when it was a Jayrow operated aircraft in the late 70's/early 80's. ABC Sydney had a single Squirrel (Gary) and before that AFV, which was then pushed over to Melbourne, so AFV would have started in Sydney probably very early 80's.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Twistgrip » Thu Aug 9 2012, 00:01

If my fuddled brain recalls correctly, I remember Bill Vowell saying that AAL was the oldest and first Jetty on the Australian register. At the time (mid eighties) she was the Mornigton Peninsula Angel of mercy.


From memory Black duck it was SN 606, i did a heap of hours in the ol girl she had a few livery changes in her day but sad to say that she passed away a few years ago in a crash up near yamba somewhere.

Ive got a heap of 6X4'S at home but here are a few off the web.
2003 pic Newcastle
Image

2001 at Scone airshow
Image

90's-2000 Paintjob at old heliport a Wickham Newcastle
Image

1971 at Phillip island
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=7347082&nseq=12
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby black duck » Thu Aug 9 2012, 02:44

Tyabb waaaaay back, ya gotta love google. :D
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Twistgrip » Thu Aug 9 2012, 03:59

Wow....thanks Duck... hadnt seen those before :o , she was a good old clunker i have many happy memories in her
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby black duck » Thu Aug 9 2012, 07:45

Twistgrip wrote:Wow....thanks Duck... hadnt seen those before :o , she was a good old clunker i have many happy memories in her

Everyone that new her had a soft spot for her. I was gutted when I saw a Cessna 195 at the 2011 airshow with AAL on the side.That was the first I new about her demise. I told a mate that use to fly her back in the 70's and early eighties. I swear he had a tear in his eye. :(
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby hoverthrust » Tue Aug 14 2012, 02:51

VH-ATS was an early ENG Red Jet Ranger used by Channel 7 in Sydney the famous "chopper that chills me to my feet" in a Redgum song. ATS-Amalgamated Television Services. I would like to know where it is these days. I heard that it went to Commercial Helicopters (maybe its VH-LEC as in a previous post?) but cant confirm that, and took a call sign change.
Long before gimbal mounted cameras were used, the cameraman held in by a harness shooting old style hand held.
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Eric Hunt » Tue Aug 14 2012, 20:26

ATS became JAK, and was owned privately for many years before being traded on a brand new 206.

As JAK it travelled to lots of interesting places around Australia, as well as touring Tasmania, being stuck in a blizzard in Charlotte's Pass, and even flying to New Zealand and back via Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.

Good old bird
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby hoverthrust » Wed Aug 15 2012, 11:52

Is JAK the same bird that was ATS today at Commercial Helis? or is the current JAK a new one?
i think ATS was a 1978 model, a d would have been pretty much up there with the first ENG choppers.
I spent many hours in that bird
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Re: The first Australian media (ENG) Jetranger.??

Postby Eric Hunt » Thu Aug 16 2012, 00:54

Well, if the paint job is the same as above, it is the original ATS. Open the Xmsn cover and see if the inside of the door is still painted Channel 7 Red.

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