Aeronautical Mobile

Flying home Aeronautical

My lucky days at altitude are history, due to retirement
at the age of 63, on August 28, 2017. How it has been:

It is with great joy that I have been able to combine Aircraft Acceptance activities with making QSO's as an Aeronautical Mobile station.
Now that I have retired, I'm no longer active as such.
Since 1995 (first event was taking a 747 out of storage in the Mohave Dessert), I made QSO's as /AM. I was the Acceptance Team Manager in all events.

I worked for KLM Engineering all my professional years. Since October 1976 I was active as Aircraft Systems Engineer, for (in sequence) Airconditioning, Pneumatics, Ice Protection, Starting and Fuel. In August 1995, I moved up to the function of TPE for a period of 32 years...

A TPE is a Type Project Engineer. He is involved in Projects surrounding the Aircraft Type. It starts with configuring, preparing the Engineering & Maintenance departments, and discussions with the Aircraft Manufacturer. During manufacturing, KLM ground engineers inspect the building process continuously.

Managing at 35.000 ft
Managing at 35.000 ft and keeping track of the progress. A cockpit can be drafty... (+/- 2016)

When an Aircraft is completed, and Boeing or Airbus have made the first flights, an Acceptance Team, consisting of the TPE, two pilots and a Cabin Engineer perform numerous Static Checks (on ground), Taxi Checks and finally a Check Flight under responsibility of the manufacturer. Here is no time for Aeronautical Mobile activities! That was kept for the flights home from Seattle (1989 - 1999) and Toulouse (2005 - 2015)

Near the Undercarriage
Near the Left Hand Main Landing Gear of an A330-200 At Toulouse (+/- 2007)

After Heavy Maintenance, similar tests and checks are performed. This has been at Amsterdam's Airport Schiphol, but also in Paris, Lisbon and Xiamen. The trip to home base is the ultimate opportunity to use the on board transceivers and antennas to be Aeronautical Mobile. Depending on the location that can be short, or up to several hours.

During 747-400 delivery flights from Seattle I started in the early 90's with this /AM.
I learned myself to release the PTT switch on the microphone at a regular interval, as otherwise the message RADIO TRANSMIT would appear on EICAS, giving an aural and visual warning and so distrascting the pilots.

But also many QSO's were made, flying from MHV (Mohave) via LAX (fuel!) to homebase AMS. This was with two 'classic' 747-206B's that had been stored in the desert for three years. One of them (PH-BUG) had a modification in TLV and after the check flight we brought
the aircraft to AMS. Starting around 5 PM on 20 meters, later on 40 meters and the last part on 80 meters: During the 4,5 hours flight I made QSO's all the way! And I found an audio recording of that!

KLM's first 737-800 was delivered in February 1999. Due to the number of people on board, and the polar route, a temporary HF transceiver was installed. Here also many HAMs guided us on the way home to AMS. Aeronautical Mobile came into view again in 2005, when A330 deliveries from Toulouse started. But only 1,5 hours of flight is quite short.

After the oxygen presentation
Three fierce aviators, one TPE (it's me) and three observers, Oxygen Mask Deployment completed (2015, XMN)

My A330 involvement lasted until my retirement from KLM in 2017. Xiamen (China) is a great maintenance base by HAECO, and deliveries were always on time. First in 2015 a 747-400 (PH-BFV, named City of Vancouver, photo above), and in 2016 and 2017 three A330 (PH-AOA, AOB and AOC) after Heavy Maintenance.

For HAM's: I have a special page with all logged QSO's: PA0SNY/AM logs

Where are the Transceivers, Antenna Couplers and the Antenna on an Aircraft? Technical details here

But that's over now. What is left are the great memories and some photo's....

Memories of Xiamen (XMN):
Maintenance done by HAECO: great company with great people!

Clean Tarmac
PH-BFV after Engine Run. The TARMAC is always kept clean and free of debris

When PH-BFV flew home as KL9866 to SPL in June 15, 2015, a recording was made of a QSO with EB1CAM on 14.330 kHz USB. 
PH-BFV's location was depicted as well from I found out that my iPad didn't want to play that soundfile
This recording was originally published on LX4SKY's website Luxorion, where more soundfiles can be heard.

Here a picture of how that looks like. And if you click the picture below, you will get the direct link.


The last A330-300 for KLM, with an engineering miracle on static display. Toulouse

The Concorde. Looked like new. We were inside to see a perfect aircraft and cockpit interior

Last activity as Project Engineer: PH-AOC with ship's name Hans Poelgeest. March 2017.

ship with my name on it
A transfer was placed on the fuselage for the occasion of my farewell from KLM

Two more pictures. Oxygen System Reset and occupying an unofficial seat during Approach

SNY/AM in action  Dec 2015   PA0SNY at window

Explanation: there is always time for photo's during Oxygen System Checks: Cabin Pressure is reduced to trigger first the Cabin Altitude Warning and then the Passenger Oxygen Mask deployment. To lower the cabin pressure first, and bringing it to normal values afterwards, takes quite some time as this cannot be done at a too fast rate (your ears!!!). In the beginning and at the end of this test, there is time to make photo's.

A final statement on my activities inside the cockpit as a Technician and Acceptance Team Manager:
During the Ground Checks and Check Flights, in my 32 years as TPE, I have always worked in professional teams, in a good atmosphere and with respect for each other. It has been a great pleasure to have been able to work this way!

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