Monday, December 12, 2011

A Quick Look Inside the Nixon Communications Hangar at Gladstone Airport

Recently we ventured to Gladstone Airport, and stuck our head inside a random hangar on the Western edge of the airport. Inside I found John Nixon, who is the owner of Nixon Communications.

Nixon Communications aims to provide innovative and effective solutions to communication problems in remote and non-remote environments, by supplying systems and equipment, and supporting these with fast and reliable repairs and maintenance services.

The business was started by John Nixon in Gladstone, in 1977 as a one-man operation. Today, the business has grown, and Nixon Communciations has Branch Offices in Rockhampton, Mackay, and Blackwater, as well as the Main Office still in Gladstone. Nixon Communications currently provides communication systems to major commercial, construction, and mining projects throughout Central Queensland, Australia, New Guinea, and the Soloman Islands. The company continues to expand, now employing more than 60 people, as well as operating three Company aircraft, a fleet of vehicles, and pilot technicians, to provide fast and efficient installation and back-up service wherever necessary.

Inside the hangar at Gladstone Airport was Nixon's 1974 Cessna 210L Centurion 2 - registered VH-NCG. John welcomed us inside the hangar for a look and a quick chat about the aircraft.

He was also busily preparing the plane for a flight to Mackay and back. John was paying some attention to the propeller - smoothing-out some minor chips caused from unprepared landing-strips. Apparently irregularities in the propeller has the potential to cause stress fractures.

According to John, VH-NCG is capable of flying from Perth to Gladstone with only one fuel stop - usually at Coober Pedy. Going the other way however, more fuel stops are required due to the jetstream winds. John has completed several crossings of Australia, and generally cruises at 23000ft. With oxygen installed onboard, he has the capacity to fly as high as 31000ft thanks to the turbo-charged engine.

On average, VH-NCG is utilised between 35-40 hrs per month - predominately on business work - and is capable of completing the Gladstone to Mackay leg in 70 minutes - which was his planned journey (and return) today, transporting personnel employed by the business.

Readers may remember that another one of Nixon's aircraft - Cessna 150 VH-RXJ - was noted at Mackay Airport not so long ago.

The third aircraft in the Nixon Communications fleet is Cessna 182 VH-STA.

We thank John Nixon for his time and for allowing us to take photos inside his hangar. Readers can learn more about Nixon Communications from their website - LINK.

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