Talair - Papua New Guinea

Juliette & Graham Chubb

Thanks to Larry Brown in Australia for this - If you are posting the Eulogy and if you are going to acknowledge the source please mention that it is Jean Naug. I was just instrumental in pointing Jean in the right direction to an ex Papua New Guinea Pilot's site that I am a member of. I am not a Pilot but when on a Copra/Cocoa Plantation on Lihir Island that has a short grass airstrip I met many Pilots-like Ren Fenimore, Peter 'Mad Dog' McGrew and 'The Flying Mouth' ex Carrier Pilot Dave Mulford! The Pilots became friends  I have stories of aquaplaning, ground looping, starting stalled Beechcraft  Baron Engines with jumper leads attached to the LandCruiser battery-inches away from the spinning propeller! Dave asking the passengers to help by flapping their arms on take off  as the windsock on our one way take off strip was showing a big tail wind! Being handed the Britten Norman Islander controls while Ren filled in his log- and later skimming just feet above the waves watching migrating Humpbacks proceed through St Georges Channel-great times with great people! In India, Santa came by Elephant. In Papua New Guinea it was by Helicopter


Eulogy - Juliette Chubb - Talair 

Thank you all for coming here to pay tribute to, and remember a remarkable person.


Juliette was born in India just over 65 years ago. In that relatively short period she lived an incredibly varied and interesting life and made a deep impression on those with whom she was involved, who got to know her. She achieved most, of the objectives that she set out to achieve and did not regret the course that her life took. 

Her early education was fairly informal. She was sent to a Catholic Convent in Naini Tal in the foothills of the Himalayas as a day student, when the family was there, in the summer months only. Otherwise she did a correspondent course at home.  At about the age of 12 that she attended the same convent school for a couple of years as a boarder.

On a trip with her family to Europe she was placed in another Catholic convent in England for the remainder of her school years. 

The nuns at this convent soon recognized her talent for language –and, identifying a rebel in their midst -  (she had a non conforming side to her character from an early age) – they shipped her (probably to get her off their hands),  to an associate convent in Italy where she became fluent in Italian. Later she was sent to a convent in France where she came out speaking French. Towards the end of her schooling period she attended a summer recess course at the University of Madrid and added Spanish to her list of languages.  Of course, having been brought up in India, she already spoke Hindi and Urdu like a native.

During this period in Madrid, she enrolled in a Bull Fighting course to become a Matador. Unfortunately – or not – that came to an end when she decided to put her training into practice and climbed over the fence to the real bulls. (I believe she was arrested and put in the cells for the duration of the bull fighting season)  

After school, she was accepted into London University to read philosophy but because of her young age, they required her to take a year off – a gap year here in Australia – so she returned to India for this period.

The Indian government at that time were heavily subsidizing flying training courses for pilots. Juliette found out about this and wangled her way into training in spite of not being an Indian citizen and not even – strictly speaking- being a resident. (she never let these little technicalities get in her way)

Whilst studying for an BA Honors degree at University College of London University she won some money from her savings in Premium Bonds ( I shall not try to explain the system here).  With this money, she bought her own aeroplane.   In order to build up her flying hours and pay the expenses on the aeroplane, she would ferry people across the channel to France (and I am sure, a certain amount of cheap French wine etc.).  She also became a Flying Instructor and started to teach people to fly.

She married and moved to Nigeria as a businessman’s wife, but continued as a flying instructor.  The relationship did not last and she went to the United States and got a commercial pilot’s licence. With that that she moved to Kenya and worked for an American friend who owned aircraft companies both in Nigeria and Kenya.

We met and were married in 1968.  We worked there as pilots until moving to Australia in 1974 where we worked in Port Headland WA.  The cultural shock of living in a caravan park in a mining town in WA was too much for both of us so we moved to Melbourne where I was offered a job.

Juliette was not able to find a full time flying job in the Melbourne area, but when she went to the CES employment agency, they suggested that as the government were encouraging retraining in another field and as she was already a university graduate, they would




See link - flying in Papua New Guinea

Talair had its origins as Territory Airlines, founded in 1952 as a charter company. It operated to towns throughout the country where the only means of communication was by air. Its bases of operations were Lae and Madang. The aircraft used were small Cessna and Beechcraft types.

Territory Airlines was granted scheduled flight rights in 1968 from Goroka. Soon it was serving over 50 destinations in the territory. In 1971 it took over Sepik Air Charters and in 1975 took over MAC Air Charter and now the destinations grew to over 100.

The need to fly to all types of destinations forced Territory Airlines to have a very varied fleet, but the mainstay of the fleet were the Britten-Norman Islander and the DHC-6 Twin Otter.

In 1975 the name was changed to Talair Tourist Airlines of Niugini and soon it took over Panda Air and the network grew to over 150 destinations. In the late 70's the DeHavilland Canada Twin Otters [DHC-6]and then the Embraer EMB110 aircraft were introduced to Papua New Guinea. In 1986 the DHC-8 was placed into service. By 1990 the fleet had grown to over 50 aircraft but the operating costs of keeping such a varied fleet flying resulted in a reduction of flights. With financial difficulties mounting, on May 25, 1993 TALAIR ceased all flights and the aircraft were transferred to Flight West Airlines of Australia.[1]