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Old 21-07-2003, 07:58 AM
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Death Notice - Rob Rachinger - 21st July, 2003 aged 56 last January.

This is to let anyone out there know that Robert Rachinger (Check and Training Captain with Airlines of Papua New Guinea) and an ex Talair Driver, passed away suddenly at his home in the Talair Compound Port Moresby, in the early hours of this morning, 21st July, 2003 from a heart attack.

Sincere condolences to friends and relatives who may happen to read this.
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Old 21-07-2003, 08:01 AM
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Dash 8 Aircraft owned and operated by Airlines of Papua New Guinea, where Rob had been employed since Talair's Closure:
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Old 21-07-2003, 08:08 AM
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Talair Drivers - Rob in the one in the background out of uniform :
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Old 02-08-2003, 10:58 PM
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Tribute to Robert Rachinger by Michael Butler

This afternoon, 2nd August, 2003, saw many of his work colleagues and friends, gather at the Cargo area of Airlines of Papua New Guinea to pay their last respects to Rob who died suddenly aged 56 years of age.

Seeing as you could not be present at the service, here is what Michael Butler had to say :

ROB RACHINGER:

I TOO WOULD LIKE TO OFFER CONDOLENCES FROM MY FAMILY AND MYSELF TO WAYNE AND HIS FAMILY AS WELL AS LINDA HERE TODAY. ALSO ON BEHALF OF EVERYONE HERE AND ALL OUR WORKMATES IN AIRLINES PNG AND OTHER PEOPLE HERE PRESENT WHO KNEW ROB, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR SHOCK AND SORROW AT THE SUDDEN DEATH OF ROB.

ROB WAS ONE OF THOSE FAMOUS PILOTS OF PNG. AS JOHN SAID HE HAS BEEN FLYING HERE SINCE ABOUT 1972 AND IN SOME RESPECTS HE IS A PIONEER IN AVIATION IN THIS COUNTRY. YOU COULD SAY ONE OF THE HEROS OF AVIATION IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

ROBS DEATH REMINDS US OF THE STRESSES THAT WE PILOTS ALL TOO OFEN SUFFER. I HAVE THE FEELING THAT ROB MUST HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW DASH 8 AIRCRAFT AND TO BEING INVOLVED. POSSIBLY PUTTING MORE IMPORTANCE ON HIS WORK THAN HIS OWN HEALTH, I THINK FROM THE SHORT CONVERSATIONS I DID HAVE WITH ROB FROM TIME TO TIME HE DID WORRY QUIETLY AND WAS THIGS AT WORK WERE ALWAYS UPERMOST IN HIS MIND.

TO ME IT IS A REAL HONOUR TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT ROB WHO TO ME HAS ALWAYS BEEN SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO AND HAS ALSO ALWAYS SEEMED SENIOR TO ME. MANY OF US PILOTS HAVE TO ADMIT THAT WE DID NOT KNOW ROB WELL. REALLY I HARDLY EVEN FEEL QUALIFIED TO TALK ABOUT ROB AS ALTHOUGH I HAVE KNOWN HIM SINCE I CAME TO PNG IN 1981, I FEEL THAT I TOO HAVE NOT KNOWN HIM WELL. IN RECENT YEARS HE HAS BEEN A VERY QUITE FELLOW WHO KEPT TO HIMSELF.

IN 1983 IN MT HAGEN I LIVED IN THE SAME FLAT AT SIBERIA THAT ROB HAD PREVIOUSLY LIVED IN. THE REASON I CAN REMEMBER THAT IN PARTICULAR IS THAT THERE WAS A HUGE MURAL ON THE WALL THAT HIS WIFE HAD PAINTED WHEN THEY WERE THERE.

MANY OF US DO NOT KNOW THAT ROB WAS A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER AND FOR MANY YEARS HIS PHOTOS OF PNG HUNG IN THE BIRD OF PAPADISE HOTEL IN GOROKA

WHEN I MOVED TO MORESBY IN 1984 ROB DID MY BARON CHECK. ROSS FIELDUS REMINDED ME RECENTLY THAT EVEN WHILE WE WERE WITH TALAIR, OVER 2000 PILOTS PASSED THROUGH THE COMPANY. SINCE MBA DAYS THAT TURN OVER HAS CONTINUED. MANY MANY OF THOSE PILOTS BENIFITED FROM ROB’S TRAINING AND WOULD BE REMEMBERING HIM AND WOULD BE SADDENED BY HIS DEATH. ROSS FIELDUS SAYS IN THE LAST WEEK, HE HAS HAD MESSAGES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD ENQUIRING ABOUT ROB. I AM SURE MANY OF THOSE MESSAGES WOULD BE FROM PILOTS WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY ROB OVER THE YEARS.

BETWEEN 1985 / 6 ROB. OPERATED THE TWIN OTTER FOR TALAIR IN THE PHILIPINES BASED IN MANILA.

I WAS ACTUALLY THE ONE WHO EMPLOYED ROB TO MBA IN 1983 WHEN HE REALLY WANTED TO COME BACK HERE AFTER FLYING FOR FLIGHT WEST. I THINK ROB FINISHED HIS CAREER WITH ABOUT 21,000 HOURS AND 8,000 ON THE DASH 8. HE HAD A FULL CAO 28 DISPENSATION. IN THE TIME WHEN HE GAINED IT YOU HAD TO HAVE FLOWN IN 5 PROVINCES, 3 OF WHICH HAD TO BE HIGHLANDS PROVINCES. HE HAS 2 MINOR INCIDENTS THAT REMEMBER. I ONLY MENTION THEM IN THAT THEY WERE QUITE HUMOUROUS. ONE WAS WHEN THE TAIL OF THE DASH 8 CONTACTED THE GROUND AT TABUBIL AND THE SECOND ONE WAS AT IOMA IN ORO PROV, WHEN A PASENGER EXITED THE PLANE FROM THE RIGHT HAND SIDE AS WAS HIT BY THE PROPELLOR. THE STORY GOES THAT THE PROP WAS BENT BUT THE PASSENGER ONLY HAD A HEADACHE.

ONCE AGAIN I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER MY CONDOLENCES TO ALL SADDENED BY ROBS DEATH AND OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES TO LINDA AND ALSO ROB’S FAMILY. LET US KEEP THE MEMORY OF ROB AND ESPECIALLY THE WORK HE HAS DONE IN OUR MINDS.

Michael Butler

Michael is third from the left in the photograph above of the Talair Drivers :
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:08 PM
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Tribute to Robert Rachinger by John Thomas who flew with Rob for many years in PNG.

Robert Rachinger

During late 1972 or early 1973, I first became acquainted with Rob Rachinger as our tracks often crossed and when we met after landing at some of the more out of the way airstrips of the Morobe Province.

Rob was flying for Macair based out of Wau and myself for Chee Air from Lae. Mostly we met in either Aseki, Menyamya, Langimar, Kianteba or at Wau where passengers and freight were often collected or dropped as back loading.

In our early 20’s at the time we competed vigorously for the same loads and daily, flew many sectors in the Cessna 206’s operated by our respective companies.

Rob was always a cheerful fellow, often with a good story to tell even during our usually brief encounters as we hurried to get loaded before the weather closed in or someone else arrived to grab our passengers or freight.

Rob had been around a little longer than myself and soon moved on to other bases with Macair before it was taken over by Talair in 1974.

During the ensuing years I often heard Rob’s distinctive “radio voice” as he flew all of the Talair types from their many different ports and also during his time with Air Nuigini on the Dash 7’s, but it was not until 1989 when I rejoined Talair in Port Moresby that we actually physically met again.

I was area manager for Talair at the time and Rob was operating all of the various types from the Baron, through to the Otters and Bandierante’s.

Shortly after that we both trained on the Dash 8, Rob as a Captain and myself as a First Officer. After our training I often flew with him until in May 1991, I moved with the first Talair Dash 8 to their Brisbane operation of Flight West Airlines.

After about 6 months I returned to PNG with Talair and the other Dash 8 went to Australia. Rob transferred to Flight West I think in about November of 1991 and I again flew with him out of Cairns on several occasions when I went there to help crew the Cairns based Dash 8.

Rob was always a wealth of knowledge on the type and his vast operational experience in PNG and the tropics was happily passed on to those who he flew with.

I learned an awful lot from Rob whose professional manner of operation served as an example not only to myself but many dozens of PNG pilots over the years. His training skills and easy – going, though professional manner, as a check captain served both his employers, Flight West and later MBA / Airlines PNG very well as they established their respective operations.

Rob was an aviation enthusiast from the beginning and whilst on leave from Flight West would return to PNG to fly Bandeiante’s for Talair, mostly for the enjoyment and the kind of flying he missed while in Australia.

Talair closed in 1993 but as most of you know the gap was quickly filled by MBA who were awarded all of Talair’s southern routes.

Shortly after that Rob contacted me, as I had already joined MBA and was assisting with recruiting the many crews required for the quickly expanding company.

Rob’s experience and character made him an obvious candidate and he was soon flying for the new organization out of Port Moresby. Firstly on Twin Otters and then on the Dorniers as they came on line.

When the Dash 8’s arrived in September or October of 1996 Rob was appointed fleet captain on that type and ably filled that role with great personal dedication during the next couple of years until he resigned the position for personal reasons.

Still a dedicated line and check Captain on the type Rob trained most of the early MBA Dash 8 crews and those who later gained check and training status themselves.

With well over 4000 hours on the Dash 8 and close to 22,000 hours total flight time, together with his skill, and PNG experience, Rob’s contribution to MBA / Airlines PNG cannot be over stated and he will be sadly missed by his many colleagues, friends and the company that he served so well until the end.

His many years of dedicated service were not without their hardship however, but he always stuck to his convictions and values and usually was proven correct on operational and personal issues that occasionally affected him.

The RAAF motto, “per adu ad astra” which translates, ‘through adversity to the stars’, could very well have been Rob’s own and his mother, and father, himself a long serving RAAF Officer and veteran pilot who was part of the “D Day” assault at Normandy, and also Rob’s brother Wayne can all be very proud of his achievements in aviation as I know Rob was, of their flying endeavors.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to pass on the sincere sympathy felt by all of the APNG staff and Rob’s many friends assembled here to-day, to his family, through Wayne, and also to Linda and her family, many of whom are also here to-day.

John Thomas

Editors Note : John Thomas is fourth from the right and Rob Rachinger is 5th from the right in the above photogrpah of the Talair Drivers :
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Old 05-08-2003, 07:19 PM
Will Rutledge Will Rutledge is offline
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Rob Rachinger

Rob, always remembered and never forgotten. I have always known you as the quiet achiever. Very sorry to hear the terrible news, regards to your family and rest in peace my old mate!!!

Will Rutledge.
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:56 AM
High 6 High 6 is offline
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Rest in Peace Wantok

Goodbye Rob. Had the pleasure of catching up with Rob about a week before his death while I was on annual leave in PNG. We worked together in Talair ages ago, he did my Baron endorsement in 1981.

On behalf of all the National pilots who you worked with and for dedicating your life to PNG Aviation, Bigpela Tenkyu Tru.

Condolences to your family and May You Rest in Peace.

Bamahuta.

Granger Narara
Emirates Airlines
Dubai,UAE
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Old 26-12-2006, 05:40 PM
pogo pogo is offline
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I knew Rob well in Talair in the early 80's..he did my baron endorsement in POM.A quiet,decent,very capable guy who was completely at home in the weather and on the strips of mountain flying in any machinery..with a casual inate ability that simply 'got the job done'.The shock at hearing of hearing of his passing is only surpassed by the incredible sadness of it all.
Rest in peace Rob...keep a coldie on ice until we all get to meet again..Pete
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