Drought-breaking rains create safety hazard for New Zealand pilots.
First rain for five months creates runway hazard at Hamilton, New Zealand. (NZ is 1,900 km south-east of Australia). NZ pilots are reporting that they are experiencing difficulty in taxiing their aircraft and maintaining directional control during take-off and landing and that wheel braking co-efficient of friction has been reduced to 0.0738. At dawn this morning, Captain Peter (Biggles) Screed, a senior B-1900D Training Captain with the Hamilton-based carrier, Vulture Air, thought his co-pilot was playing a jape on him when he reported that the runway appeared to be moving in a rippling manner. When Capt. "Screedo", as he is known to his chums, looked outside, he was astounded to observe waves of green frogs invading the airstrip to a depth of 25 cm. The frogs have been awakened from their dry weather hibernation phase and were intent on mating which they proceeded to vigourously carry out in full view of the pilots and passengers; some of whom drew down their window blinds to shield their children's eyes from the disturbing spectacle. Frog experts from the nearby Ruakura Research Centre's Amphibian division have identified the lusty creatures as the "Greater-spotted, green-warted, macro-bolled Froggus Kermitus" which thrive in the adjacent bogland and in the dank, turgid and odoriferous Waikato River. The NZ Civil Aviation Authority has issued an urgent "Frog Alert" instructing pilots to adjust their aquaplaning speed calculations thus:
Frog-Planing Ground-speed (FPGS) = 11 X square root tyre pressure (psi) = FPGS in Knots. Flight operations are continuing though engine-wash procedures have been increased and city-dwellers, unused to viewing nature-in-the-raw, are being briefed to avert their eyes by reading their safety cards during the taxi and line-up phase.
dakota67 on standby for more info from Vulture Air.