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Air Force shoots down Dayasiri’s claim

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

All aircraft used by the Air Force to train pilots were purchased in either the year 2001 or 2018, Air Force Spokesperson Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe told The Island, commenting on claims by SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, alleging that the crashed PT-6 aircraft should have been in an aero museum.

“The aircraft was first manufactured in the late 1950s for the use of the Chinese air force. However, the planes that we use to train pilots were purchased in 2001 and 2018. This is a well-recognised basic pilot training aircraft. Countries like the United States, Australia, and South Africa use the plane for domestic operations including aero-acrobatics and adventure sports,” he said.

Wijesinghe said the aircraft was first purchased by the Air Force in 2001. Ten aircraft were purchased and all of them were manufactured in the year 2000.

“We bought two more in 2009, and they were manufactured in the same year.

We purchased another six in 2018, and they too were manufactured in the same year. We have 18 PT-6 aircraft, and only three have crashed in the last 22 years. These occurred in 2007, 2020, and this week. This is a plane that is widely used across the world. Sri Lankan air force has an aerial acrobatics team called Blue Eagles and they also use PT-6 planes we purchased in 2018,” he said.

The service life of these aircraft is 4000 flying hours, Wijesinghe said. The crashed aircraft had only been used for 857 hours and 22 minutes, he said. The plane was manufactured on 16 May 2018, and Sri Lanka has been using it since 17 October 2018, the Air Force spokesman said. The service life of the aircraft engine is 2,400 flying hours, and it is overhauled every 600 flying hours, he said.

“Even the planes we bought in 2001 have been used only for about 2,800 flying hours.  There is no problem with the PT-6 aircraft. We do not buy ancient aircraft. According to government procurement procedures, we don’t even buy used aircraft, everything we buy is brand new,” he said.



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) sets Serendib World Record climbing Adam’s Peak in record time

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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) of the Sri Lanka Navy achieved a remarkable feat, setting a Serendib World Record for climbing Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) in an impressive time of 23 hours and 46 minutes, using four different routes  (Nallathanniya, Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda.)  as well as becoming the first person to complete the most ascents of Adam’s Peak within 24 hours.

He began his quest to set this record on 08th April, starting from the Nallathanniya Sri Pada entrance at 3:00 a.m all the way to the peak. His journey continued with climbs up and down the Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda routes, ultimately concluding with the challenging trek from Adam’s Peak to Nallathanniya.

The Serendib World Records Committee officially acknowledged Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage’s (Retd) achievement and awarded him the Serendib World Record certificate on 09th April.

(Navy Media)

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