Navy's sole flying boat back in skies
After being grounded for about a decade, the Thai navy's only operational flying boat has returned to action.
- Published: 6/02/2013 at 11:05 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Back in action: A Canadair CL-215 twin-engined aircraft, or flying boat, takes part in a rescue operation during annual naval drills at Sattahip naval base, Chon Buri. The navy's two CL-215 planes have been grounded for over a decade. (Photo by Thanarak Khoonton)
The navy decided to bring its Canadair CL-215 twin-engined aircraft back into service to take part in a maritime exercise which began yesterday after engineers confirmed its air worthiness.
The navy obtained two of the planes in 1978, but grounded both more than 10 years ago because of a lack of spare parts.
The navy lacks the budget to buy the new version of the aircraft, the CL-415 (later renamed the Bombardier 415 Superscooper), which has a price tag of 10 billion baht.
Instead, the navy decided to keep one of its CL-215s flying and use the other for spare parts, navy chief Adm Surasak Rounroengrom said while observing the drill at the naval base in Chon Buri's Sattahip district.
The CL-215 is taking part in a two-month exercise as a search and rescue plane, he said.
The naval exercise this year involves more than 3,000 navy servicemen, and 15 warships led by HMTS Ang Thong.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story referred to the navy commander as an Air Chief Marshal, a rank reserved for the air force.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam