deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Biographies of participating NZFF members - as featured in monthly banners.

deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby deaneb » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:36 pm

I was born and raised in South Taranaki (Hawera). My interest in aviation was driven because of my Fathers passion for radio controlled aircraft and aviation. (He is still flying R/C aged 82!). Because the local R/C club flew mostly from the local aerodrome I got to see full size machines come and go. In 1981 Dad an I went to the Ohakea Airshow and it further cemented my desire to be involved in aviation in the future.

I joined the RNZAF in 1986 as an aircraft technician and spent 22 years in the RNZAF in a wide variety of roles. During my time I worked at: No.1 Repair Depot at Woodbourne (Orion airframe overhaul), 14 Sqn Ohakea (Strikemasters), 5 Sqn Whenuapai (Orions), Whenuapai Drawing office, Whenuapai prop workshop and then fixed wing engine workshop. In 1998 I returned to Woodbourne as a technical instructor, then did a variety of training related management roles. in 2006 I became involved with the implementation of the RNZAFs new maintenance computer system and I remained as the System manager at Woodbourne until I retired in 2008. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and got to fly in many of the aircraft types P3, C130, 727, 757, Andover, Strikemaster, Iroquois and CT4E. Although I never deployed on any theater of conflict, I travelled to several places overseas including Australia, Singapore, USA and Canada. Since leaving I have continued to work in the maintenance and reliability space and I am currently a self employed consultant.

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My first experience with computers was in 1981 at school with Apple IIs and the first flightsim was about 1987. In the early 90s I had a copy of FS3 on a 3.5" floppy and could play it on any computer I could get my hands on. I got my first PC in 1997 along with Flightsim for windows 95 then 98 and have not looked back since Because of my interest in drawing/art and 3d graphics I started designing aircraft, with some of the earlier designs pushing the boundaries of the 512 polygons allowed for the complete model. When hunting for some thumbnails, I had forgotten just how many models I had done.

FS95
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FS98
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With MS rolling out new versions of flightsim every few years at the time it was soon FS2000 and FS2002. I decided to try my hand at some scenery. I was very ambitious but decided on the whole of Auckland. It was achievable at the time because the level of detail was so much lower.

FS2000 / FS2002 Auckland
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With the release of FS2004 and FSX things slowed down as the models got more complex and started to include virtual cockpits. First up was a more detailed Huey and then then Fletcher and Cresco.

FS2004
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FS2004 and FSX/P3D
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As you can imagine these models take a lot of time due to the increased complexity and level of detail. The Fletcher and Crescos took over 18 months to initially model and have been upgraded. I have done very little modelling or simming in the last few years as I have been too busy. On top of that I spend a lot of time away from home and work most of my day in front of a computer, so spending more time staring at a screen is not always my first choice! I'm am very enthused with the recent release of MSFS and the whole of world scenery. There is plenty of scope with this release.

Besides Flightsim I have a few other interests/hobbies. These include painting (very rarely):
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Making Lego Space models:
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I am also very lucky to have bought my dream car back in 2017 - a 2005 Porsche 911
And of course I love hanging with my family, although both kids have left home. My daughter finishing her diploma in 3d art, gaming and design down in Christchurch, and my son who is in his second year in the Air Force as a trainee aircraft technician!

Lastly I was very lucky in October last year to be involved in the restoration of the John Smith Collection Mosquito. There is quite a story to this amazing plane and his other aircraft. You can read some of it here: Stuff Article
The restoration has been carried out by a very small team of volunteers, and I have worked almost all my weekends and many evenings over the last 6 months. Our main task was to preserve the aircraft and not to renew or replace. So most tasks were limited to cleaning, removing corrosion, repairing/replacing fabric, replacing a very small area of wood and painting. Will it fly? No. Apart from being one of the most original surviving Mosquitos, John smith had to cut the wings off and fuselage in half to transport it to Mapua in the 1950s.
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September 2020 Mapua:
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Easter 2021 - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
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So that a wrap for now. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by deaneb on Mon May 03, 2021 8:44 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby Aharon » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:08 am

That is AMAZING biography and I never knew you were in Royal New Zealand air force!!!

In the photo, is that you flying as pilot on captain seat with aviation chart in front of you?? What plane is that??

Although you said you were never deployed in any theater of conflict, I think you were deployed in emergency relief flights to aid victims of natural disasters in New Zealand. Am I correct?? I think RNZAF was very active in emergency relief flights to help populations of towns or cities in New Zealand after natural disasters. I can imagine their C-130s and Orions being too busy hauling cargo relief aid supplies to victims which required your assistance and your presence. Am I correct?

Regards,

Aharon
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby Charl » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:41 am

The Huey was a Biggie.
I probably spent more flightsim time in that, than any other model.
:cheers:
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby deaneb » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:07 pm

Aharon wrote:
In the photo, is that you flying as pilot on captain seat with aviation chart in front of you?? What plane is that??

Although you said you were never deployed in any theater of conflict, I think you were deployed in emergency relief flights to aid victims of natural disasters in New Zealand. Am I correct?? I think RNZAF was very active in emergency relief flights to help populations of towns or cities in New Zealand after natural disasters. I can imagine their C-130s and Orions being too busy hauling cargo relief aid supplies to victims which required your assistance and your presence. Am I correct?

Regards,

Aharon


Hi Aaron. That picture is in the Orion cockpit. We were in the cruise somewhere between NZ and Honolulu. The Captain had vacated his seat, probably for a break and a feed. I was up on the deck so was allowed to sit in the seat. Plane was on Autopilot and the co-pilot and flight engineer are in charge!
I ended up flying about 200 hours a passenger in the Orion. On overseas trips we could carry up to 21 people, but there was only seating for 15. The remaining 6 had "ditching stations", whereby you sat on the floor (facing rearward) for take-off and landing, with your back to a bulkhead and a lap belt. In the picture below we are just behind the cockpit (to the left) and the off duty flight engineer to the right (whose seat is also facing aft)

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During the remainder of the flight (when not taking off or landing) we were free to wander around the aircraft unless there was turbulence. Below 1000 ft over sea we also had to don life preservers. On fisheries patrols and sub hunting missions you could spend hours at 300 ft.

Obviously the prime role of the Orion is sub hunter, but its systems an capabilities meant fisheries patrol and SAR were significant roles. Additionally reconnaissance (especially after natural disasters) and medivac roles are carried out. As ground crew we launched Orions for many SAR missions and also quite a few medivac flights from the pacific Islands. The Orion was pretty fast and could transport patients at a lower altitude at speed (if required) where higher altitudes could cause issues for the patient.

Deane
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby Adamski » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:27 pm

Great bio Deane!!!! >nzflag< :clap:
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby Aharon » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:44 am

Deaneb,

Thanks for more photos, more great answers, and more great explanations. That is PURE AMAZING!!!

Regards,

Aharon
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby K5054NZ » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:05 am

Top job Deane, I know a lot of people find it hard to write about themselves and their achievements but you rocked it! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Seeing those FS thumbnails brought back a lot of memories. The fact I could fly a Fletcher* on the family PC was amazing! I think you and Ian Standfast are the two people most responsible for my love of Flight Simulator (as well as my Dad, who bought me my 2nd-hand copy of FS98 in the first place). To think we became mates and we got to catch up in person at your house!

*The FS5 Fieldair Fletcher was one of the first fixed-wing aircraft I ever downloaded for FS98 back in 2001. Yesterday I "christened" my new (second-hand) rig with a jaunt around Wairoa in one of your FSX Fletchers. :cheers:
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Re: deaneb (Deane Baunton) - featured April 2021

Postby Splitpin » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:41 am

:bow: Excellent work Mr B , a man of many talents indeed.
Back in the day, you were single-handedly responsible for an addiction I've had for many years ....the Airtruk :wub: I recall asking you when we met at Doug's place years ago, if there was any chance that you might bring the old Truk into the future ...you were very noncommital, but polite.
Now that time has mellowed you....and honed your skills.... do you think ...you know big fella .... :rolleyes:

Again, great reading Deane.

PS. Your work won me my first screen comp back in 2011, featuring ZK-PKB .
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