“Let us not look back in anger or forward in feat, but around in awareness”
African Pilot’s February 2020 edition
The February edition featuring aviation business based at Grand Central Airport as well as all currently manufactured Piston Powered Aircraft. This edition was completed last week and the printed magazine will be ready for national distribution from Wednesday. The digital magazine will be mailed to all subscribers on Friday 24 January.
African Pilot’s March 2020 edition
The March edition will feature aviation business at Rand Airport as well as Business Jets available in southern Africa. The deadline for this edition is Friday 10 February 2020.
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About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen.
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Video of the week: Ukrainian Flight 752: How a Plane Came Down in 7 Minutes
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Airlink to operate under its own flight code
Africa’s largest privately-owned airline, Airlink will operate under its own ‘4Z’ flight code on services operated with effect from 11 June 2020. This decision represents an important milestone in extending the commercial reach of the airline in its own right. Selling seats on flights under the ‘4Z’ flight code will enable Airlink to develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis, as well as extend opportunities to establish new agreements with leading international airlines.
Airlink and South African Airways (SAA) have redefined their partnership by replacing the franchise agreement with a new commercial arrangement. While SAA remains an important strategic pillar in Airlink’s strategy, the new arrangement gives Airlink the freedom to extend its commercial reach, develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis and extend or establish additional agreements with other leading international airlines. From last week all Airlink flights will operate using the ‘4Z’ designator and all tickets for those flights will be available through travel agents, tour operators and online at www.flyairlink.com. Tickets already issued for travel on flights with ‘SA8’ flight numbers from 11 June 2020 will remain valid for travel subject to re-accommodation by Airlink.
Customers holding SAA 083 tickets for flights after 10 June, who do not want to be re-accommodated, may apply to SAA for a refund or through other channels, such as the credit card issuer used for payment or insurance. SAA refunds will be managed in line with its Business Rescue policies. “Marketing and selling flights under our own 4Z code is an exciting development for Airlink as we propagate our business and take advantage of new market opportunities. At the same time, we will be able to strengthen our vital partnership with SAA,” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster. “We sincerely regret any short term inconvenience these changes may cause for our customers. This represents the best way to ensure we continue serving all our passengers in a seamless manner, whilst also securing the best interests of Airlink, its customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders for the future,” added Mr Foster.
“While we intend working with SAA’s business rescue practitioners to find a solution that enables SAA to continue playing its important role in the Southern African market, we have a responsibility to take action to preserve Airlink’s viability as a financially-robust, independent and privately-owned airline. However, should SAA’s circumstance worsen, then Airlink will activate the transition immediately, if necessary,” he said.
Media contact: Karin Murray Tel: +27 11 451 7335 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAAF Oryx rescues man who fell off a cliff
This past week a South African Air Force (SAAF) Oryx helicopter was used to rescue an injured man who fell down a 100-metre cliff near Pietermaritzburg. ER24 paramedics, Life Healthcare, SAPS Search and Rescue and DUT Rescue were alerted after a man fell and slid down a cliff in the Swayimane area of KwaZulu-Natal, ER24 said and immediately began to search the area. “After some time, the man was located near the bottom of the cliff. Despite their best efforts, medics and rescue personnel were unable to reach the patient. A military rescue helicopter was called to the scene for further assistance. A rescuer was lowered down to the patient, who then assisted in hoisting the patient into the hovering helicopter,” ER24 said. Once the patient had been rescued, an ER24 advanced life support paramedic was picked up to treat the man for his serious injuries. The man was airlifted to Greys Provincial Hospital for further care.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
SAPFA rally training on Saturday 18 January By Rob Jonkers
SAPFA held a most successful training event on Rally Navigation on Saturday 18 January as the first SAPFA event of the year. Building on the successful event held last year at the same time, we decided to hold another one, particularly that this year is the year where SAPFA hosts the World Rally Flying Championships in November in Stellenbosch. There were 30 participants for the day, including several of the current SAPFA Protea team members who were assisting the trainees and our media friends. Once again, the AeroSud canteen was the perfect venue due to the number of people attending and the quite setting of the facility.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
Editor’s comment: African Pilot’s aviation calendar is the most accurate combined calendar available and I am happy for any other publication to simply copy and paste this calendar FREE of charge.
African Pilot’s 2020 calendar
We will publish the aviation calendar within APAnews three months ahead, but you can always visit African Pilot’s website: www.africanpilot.co.za if you would like to obtain the full calendar for the entire year.
SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge Rand Airport Germiston
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
SAPFA AGM at Rand Airport at 14h00
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
SAPFA Speed Rally Witbank Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 855 9435
4 and 5 March
Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition Addis Ababa 2020
Contact Tel +44 (0) 170 253 0000
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
4 to 8 March
IADE International Aerospace & Defence exhibition Tunisia
Website: www.expomediatunisia.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Brakpan Fun Rally at Brakpan Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
7 and 8 March
SAC KZN Regionals at Ladysmith Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Speed Rally at Bethlehem Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082855 9435
The Airplane Factory breakfast fly-in at Tedderfield Airfield
Contact Shanelle McKechnie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 066 224 2128
21 and 22 March
FASHKOSH airshow at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact: Anton Theart E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 079 873 4567
31 March – 5 April
Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo. Lakeland, Florida, USA
E-mail: Neil1@telkomsa.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 to 4 April
AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany Global show for General Aviation
Contact Stephan E-mail: Stephanie.email@example.com
2 to 4 April
SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
3 to 5 April
Groblersdal Flying Club fly-in at Groblersdal Airfield
Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 490 6227
Robertson annual fly-in breakfast
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 270 5888
Wings and Wheels Festival at Uitenhage Airfield
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 320 2615
Aero Club of South Africa Centenary Banquet venue TBA
Contact Marie Reddy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 259 7691
Aero Club of South Africa Annual General Meeting EAA Auditorium Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 082 1100
Garden Route Airshow
Contact Brett Scheuble E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 084 418 3836
20 to 26 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Action, education, entertainment and everything in between makes EAA AirVenture Oshkosh your perfect, affordable northern hemisphere summer destination! For seven days from sunrise to well past sunset, your Oshkosh day is filled with dazzling displays of aerobatics, informative programmes and hands-on workshops, diverse aircraft spanning all eras of flight, concerts to keep you rocking into the night and much, much more. Fun for the whole family that you will only find in Oshkosh is waiting for you at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration!
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Ethiopian Airlines to start building new airport this year
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has announced it will start constructing a new $5 billion airport later this year. The airport will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39 km south east of Addis Ababa and it will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year. Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa has a passenger capacity of about 19 million passengers annually. “Bole Airport is not going to accommodate us; therefore, we have a beautiful expansion project. The airport looks very beautiful and very large but with the way that we are growing, in about three or four years we are going to be full,” Tewolde said.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
How Iran changed course on the deliberate killing of 176 people of Flight PS752
After three days of denial, the Iranian authorities eventually admitted that the crash of the flight PS752 was due to a ‘mistake’ from the country’s military (absolute rubbish!). Iran’s responsibility for the deliberate death of 176 people, including 82 Iranians, sparked a wave of protests in Tehran. On 9 January 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the first to officially claim the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile system. Reacting to the declaration, the Iranian authorities had initially ruled out that hypothesis. ‘One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile,’ Ali Abedzadeh, chief of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran (CAO), said during a press conference (what a complete idiot).
However, two days later, on 11 January 2020, Iran eventually admitted their responsibility. “In order to defend the country against possible attacks by the US military, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran were on full alert and unfortunately, human error and shooting by mistake led to a major disaster in which dozens of innocent people lost their lives,” Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, wrote in an official statement, adding “I, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, express heartfelt condolences to the families of victims of this painful disaster.” He announced that those responsible for the accident would face prosecution. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, also apologised but not without putting some of the blame on the United States. These extremists always have to blame another party, because the Iranian military is so ill disciplined that whoever puller the trigger does not know the difference between a commercial airliner and a military threat. The fact is that they ate just stupid!
The flight crew of PS752 was killed instantly when the missile exploded near the cockpit, penetrating the aircraft with shrapnel, Oleksiy Danilov, the Head of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine told CBC. Pictures shared by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Facebook, showing scorched pieces of the cockpit, pierced with distinctive holes, certainly confirm this theory.
Unlike what was initially claimed, it appeared that the flight stayed on course and was not flying towards the missile base of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Malard. The operator, stationed in Bid Kaneh, allegedly mistook the commercial flight for a cruise missile, after several alerts were triggered throughout the night. “That is where the operator made a mistake,” claimed Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “His communications were apparently disrupted. He failed to contact his superiors. He had ten seconds to decide.” While Hajizadeh said he would take full responsibility for the accident, that narrative would only incriminate the soldier that took the shot. It is unlikely that the claim can be verified independently. Plainly stupid people and of course you cannot fix stupid!
The admission of the Iranian authorities sparked a wave of contestation across the country. Spontaneous protests emerged in the capital city Tehran on 11 January 2020 and lasted throughout the weekend. During a police operation to repress the protests, the British ambassador was briefly arrested, causing yet another diplomatic row.
Flight data recorders to be sent to Ukraine
Shortly after the flight recorders were recovered from the crash site by the Iranian search and rescue services, the authorities had announced they would not hand them to the United States. Both flight recorders were damaged by the crash and the ensuing fire, according to the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran (CAO), which said that the memory should be accessible. The CAO intended to download the data of the voice and flight recorders independently. However, its request to receive the necessary technologies and technical assistance from foreign investigators was denied.
Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, eventually told the news agency IRNA that the ‘black boxes’ would be sent to Ukraine and that the data would be extracted with the assistance of specialists from the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA). While the investigation is currently under Iranian leadership, France submitted a formal procedure to open an international investigation through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Iran also answered to the allegations of a cover-up. Pictures of a bulldozer displacing a wing section, as well as reports from western journalists that the crash site was picked cleaned, have surfaced in the days following the accident. “Officials were even accused of lying and a cover-up but, in all honesty, that was not the case,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Iranian state television. Yet another blatant lie and this person thinks the world is filled with stupid people like himself!
How would your family feel if you died on an international flight because some stupid ‘trigger happy’ idiot shot down the airliner in which you were travelling?
Two die in plane crash in New Era, Springs
Two people died instantly after the two-seat Light Sport Aircraft crashed in New Era late on Sunday afternoon. The crash happened close to the Springs airfield from where the aircraft took off. Spokesperson William Ntladi says the Metro’s Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) firefighters, rescuers and paramedics swiftly responded to the scene immediately after getting the call.
Both victims were found inside the wreckage when the paramedics and rescuers arrived on scene. “The call was received around 18h20 and within 10 minutes, the personnel arrived on scene to render necessary rescue and medical treatment to the parties affected. An eyewitness said that a puff of smoke was seen coming from the aircraft, whilst it appeared to be in a spin just moments before impact and just before the aircraft dropped out of view behind trees. The observer heard the bang and saw the smoke, but did not see the parachute deploying, probably because it did not have the required height and time to deploy. Speculation is that this was a classical engine failure after take-off followed by an attempt to return to the runway from which the plane departed. EFATO almost always results in a spin spiral dive, from which there is no chance of recovery close to the ground.
Microlight Trike accident 12 January
A 57-year-old man sustained serious injuries after his microlight aircraft crashed on his farm between Brandfort and Theunissen late in Sunday afternoon 12 January. It is believed that the accident occurred between 17h00 and 18h00. The wreckage was discovered later by a family member who alerted emergency services. Various services responded to the farm from Bloemfontein. The patient was treated on scene for his injuries by paramedics and the decision was made to airlift him to hospital. The Free State Department of Health / HALO Aviation helicopter emergency service was activated and he was flown to Rosepark Hospital in Bloemfontein in a serious but stable condition for further care. The cause of the accident is unknown at this stage and will be investigated by the relevant authorities.
Four fatally injured in Montana accident
On Saturday 11 January a Cessna 182 went down in Yellowstone County, MT, resulting in the fatal injury of all four people on board. The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that on Saturday evening, there was a report of an overdue aircraft in the Billings area. Through the night, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office personnel worked with federal agencies to determine the aircraft’s last position. A radar track determined the aircraft’s last known position was north of Billings near Dunn Mountain. The sheriff Mike Linder flew to the area Sunday morning in a helicopter piloted by Al Blain of Billings Flying Service. Linder and Blain were able to locate the downed aircraft near the bottom of the slope on the west face of Dunn Mountain, which can be seen from Hwy 87 N. They landed and were able to determine there were no survivors. A preliminary visual inspection of the crash scene shows evidence that the plane likely clipped a guy wire of a radio tower at the top of Dunn Mountain.
Pilot injured in accident files lawsuit
The pilot of an airplane that was struck while on a runway at Compton / Woodley Airport (KCPM) in Compton, California, USA has sued the pilot of the T-28 that collided with his Cessna during a training flight. The student pilot on board the Cessna was fatally injured whilst Ryan Davis, the pilot and instructor, was severely injured and spent several weeks in a coma. According to the NTSB’s preliminary report from the accident, the T-28 was operated by Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and the Cessna was operated by the Long Beach Flying Club. Both airplanes were being operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The Cessna departed for a local instructional flight from the Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, California at an unknown time. The T-28 departed for a local personal flight from Whiteman Airport, Los Angeles, California about 18h30 with a planned destination of Compton.
There were multiple video recordings that captured the accident. A review of the footage revealed that the Cessna touched down and continued on the landing roll out. The T-28 crossed over the runway threshold bar about 10 seconds after the Cessna and subsequently touched down. On the landing roll, adjacent to the ‘1/2’ sign (indicates half of the runway remains), the T-28 impacted the Cessna resulting in an explosion.
The T-28 pilot stated that as he turned the airplane left from the base leg to final approach in the traffic pattern for runway 25L, he noticed a layer of haze on the horizon. The bright sun and the haze created a glare on the windscreen that obscured his forward vision making it difficult for him to see directly ahead. As he descended toward the runway, the glare became worse and he realised he was in between runway 25L and 25R. He side-stepped to runway 25L and the airplane touched down on the runway surface. Several seconds later, the pilot observed the Cessna on the runway ahead of him. He felt the impact with the other airplane and resulting explosion immediately thereafter. The T-28 continued about 1,000 feet before coming to rest on the right side of 25L.
Television station KNBC reports that, according to Davis, the 84-year-old pilot of the T-28 did not check to see if there was traffic on the runway and did not notify other aircraft he was landing. According to a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the T-28 pilot, identified as Ross Diehl, said he had not notified other aircraft in the area he was landing “because the radio is so low on the panel and the small numbers are difficult for him to read.” Diehl has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and careless and reckless operation of aircraft. KCPM is an uncontrolled airport. Davis is seeking unspecified damages in the suit.
Flight attendant falls from Finnair A320 in Helsinki
The Finnish Accident Investigation Board (OTKES) opened an investigation after a serious incident in which a cabin crew member was injured after falling from a Finnair Airbus A320 aircraft. The Airbus A320-200, registered OH-LXD, had performed flight AY-450 from Oulu Airport (OUL) to Helsinki (HEL), Finland, uneventfully. The aircraft was at the gate and the passengers had deplaned, when a flight attendant opened the aft door and fell 3.5 meters down onto the apron. The cabin crew member was taken to a hospital after sustaining serious injuries including several bone fractures. An investigation was opened to clarify the circumstances of this fall. The flight attendant reportedly used the same door that the passengers had used to deplane. The main task will be to determine why there was no airstair left by the time the attendant opened the door, Investigator Janne Kotiranta of OTKES told local news agency STT.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
In its 20th edition (22 – 24 June 2020), the world’s largest annual airport exhibition will showcase over 350 leading airport companies and brings together over 8,500 aviation professionals and high-level policy makers in the world. Attending Airport Show is a unique opportunity to discover the latest emerging aviation trends, advanced technologies and cutting-edge solutions that are shaping the future of modern airports. The future passenger experience will be at the core of this year’s event. Technology is changing fast and passengers are demanding the very best connectivity, a seamless journey and more entertainment than ever before. Airport and airlines have no choice but to keep ahead and have the technologies in place behind the scenes to support a new age of consumer.
Contact: Tel: +971 2 4917615 E-mail: email@example.com
Boeing CEOs timeline: will Calhoun bring change?
In March 2019 when the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded by aviation authorities, nobody expected it to last as much as it has. Latest MAX operator schedule changes indicate that the 737 MAX could stay put for at least a few more months and Boeing will see its famous narrow-body, once called a game-changer, grounded for more than a year since the second fatal crash in Ethiopia in March 2019. Since then, significant changes have been made by Boeing: from establishing a permanent Aerospace Safety Committee inside the company to splitting the roles of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to ousting the CEO present at the company since 2015, Dennis Muilenburg.
Just before Christmas, on 23 December 2019, the company’s board said goodbye to Muilenburg. Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith served as the interim CEO before David Calhoun, the new long-term CEO, took the company’s top executive chair on 13 January 2020. With the ungrounding of the 737 MAX nowhere in sight and production at Renton, Washington stopped, Dennis Muilenburg resigned from the company effective immediately. He leaves his role as CEO and President of the company since becoming the top executive of the company in 2015.
Calhoun’s top priority is, of course, to get the 737 MAX back up in the air. The Chicago-based manufacturer’s orders and deliveries in 2019 dwindled to record lows due to the MAX crisis. The narrow-body market for both Boeing and Airbus is a cash cow: the European manufacturer delivered 863 aircraft during 2019. Out of those, 642 were its A320 family members. In 2018, Boeing delivered 806 aircraft, 580 of which were the 737s destined to airlines worldwide. Nevertheless, the 737 MAX crisis not only deepened because of the constantly overly optimistic promises by its former Chief Executive, but daunting reports revealed one underlying issue within the company: its safety culture or the lack thereof. With the change at the helm of the company, the change within Boeing is questionable. Out of the 14 current board members, only six were not present on the Board when the decision was made to launch the 737 MAX.
Boeing reveals orders and deliveries in 2019 – record lows
Last week Boeing announced its Q4 and subsequently full-year orders and deliveries results. Struggling to deal with the 737 MAX crisis and other issues, including the 777X delays and KC-46 safety issues, the once the largest aircraft manufacturer was forced to cede its position to Airbus. In total, Boeing delivered 79 commercial aircraft in Q4 2019 and a total of 380 planes to customers around the world throughout the year. In the last quarter, nine airplanes delivered were of the 737 programme, including the final 737 Next Generation aircraft to the Dutch airline KLM. Other deliveries include two 747s, 11 767s, 12 Triple Sevens and 45 Dreamliners. Boeing’s new long-term Chief Executive Officer, David Calhoun started his term on 13 January 2020. Calhoun replaced the ousted Dennis Muilenburg, as the manufacturer still struggles to cope with the problems following the continuing 737 MAX crisis.
Delta Boeing 777 dumps fuel over school
Delta Air Lines landed in hot water after one of its Boeing 777 aircraft dumped fuel over the suburbs of Los Angeles. To make matters even worse, the location where the fuel landed happened to be an elementary school. About twenty children and ten adults who were in the courtyard of the school were affected. The Boeing 777-200, registered N860DA, was two minutes into climbing out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to carry out flight DL89 to Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG), China, with 149 passengers on board when the crew reported compressor stalls in the right-hand Trent 800 engine. They were cleared for an emergency landing back in their departing airport. To avoid landing heavy, the flight crew dumped some of its fuel and eventually landed without any damage reported.
Minutes later, the Los Angeles Fire Department was called to intervene for an emergency at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy, some 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of the airport. A liquid was reported raining down onto the school playground where 60 people were at the time, including two classes of pupils and several employees. Seventeen children and nine adults complaining of skin irritation were treated on the spot by the emergency services, none required to be transported to a hospital. Fuel dumping is a normal procedure in case of an emergency landing, especially when declared so early after take-off. For safe operations, the aircraft needs to reach a weight within the maximum structural landing weight limits.
Leonardo wins US Navy helicopter trainer deal
Last week the US Navy announced that it had selected Leonardo’s TH-119 as its new training helicopter. A military variant of the civil AW119, the new military trainer (designated the TH-73A) will replace the service’s existing fleet of Bell TH-57s. The initial contract, valued at nearly $176.5 million, is for 32 aircraft with spares, support. Subsequent individual year contracts are expected to bring total deliveries to 130 aircraft by 2024, with a value of $648.1 million.
Leonardo competed with Bell and Airbus Helicopters for the deal and those companies had offered variants of its Bell 407 single and light twin H135, respectively. The aircraft will be assembled at Leonardo’s AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., with delivery ‘expected to be completed in October 2021.’ According to the Navy, the TH-73A will meet advanced rotary-wing and intermediate tiltrotor training requirements for the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard through 2050.
In July 2019, Leonardo announced that the TH-119 received IFR supplemental type certification from the FAA. The TH-119 is equipped with Genesys Aerosystems avionics and a Pratt & Whitney PT6B engine. It is based on the AW119 civil helicopter and features an adjustable observer seat that provides a full view of the cockpit, reinforced skids with removable shoes, and has the ability for ‘hot’ pressure refuelling without shutting the engine down.
Continental issues a service bulletin for multiple engines
Continental Aerospace Technologies has issued a service bulletin that applies to New and rebuilt Continental Aerospace Technologies GTSIO-520-C, D, H, K, L, M, N; IO-550-G, N, P, R; IOF-550-N, P, R; TSIO-520-BE; TSIO-550-A, B, C, E, G, K, N and TSIOF-550-D, J, K, P aviation gasoline (Avgas) engines originally manufactured, rebuilt, or modified with a cross-flow cylinder replacement on or after 1 November 2014.
Several field reports indicate the potential for fracture initiation on engines (exceeding 500 hours of operation) at the radius edge of identified cylinder heads produced on or after 1 November 2014. The affected cylinder casting can be identified by the ‘filled’ top fin flange area above the exhaust port.
According to the document, affected cylinder head castings have a distinguishing feature from unaffected. Affected new and rebuilt engines with serial number 1036883 and later were inspected and corrected at the factory to comply with this Service Document. Additionally, all cylinder heads stamped with the letter ‘S’ (regardless of serial number) meet full compliance and do not require additional inspection.
New or rebuilt engines obtained prior to 1 November 2014 are not affected by the Service Document. In addition, cylinder assemblies obtained prior to 1 November 2014 or stamped with serial number AC18KB277 or later are not affected. The document outlines the procedures for affected cylinders. The actions required to comply with this Service Document are covered, up to the eligible allowance provided for reimbursement. Standard warranty practices apply. Visit the Continental website at www.continental.aero to obtain copies of Continental Warranty Policies.
Radio rant to controller prompts fine and suspension
A private helicopter pilot in the UK has been penalised about $2,000 and has had his pilot license suspended since July for an on-air rant berating an air traffic controller. Businessman Joel Tobias dressed down controller Andrea Tolley for what he alleged was an unreasonable delay in answering his initial radio call to her at Blackpool Airport on 31 July 2019. “Your job is actually to take calls from aircraft and not have two-way chats with other aircraft asking how their day’s going and how fun it is,” a transcript of the exchange presented in court read. “I’m in a helicopter here that costs £550 an hour and I have waited 10 minutes for you to answer the call, it’s absolutely appalling.” He pleaded guilty to an offense under the Air Navigation Order 2016 and was fined about $900 and ordered to pay about $1100 in costs.
Although he threatened to complain to Tolley’s superiors at the time, he didn’t pursue the matter but another pilot who heard the exchange filed a complaint. During the court proceedings, the Civil Aviation Administration prosecutor disputed Tobias’ timeline and noted that Tolley was handling several other aircraft, including a lost pilot, at the time Tobias asked for permission to land at Blackpool. He also questioned the pilot’s airmanship. “He gave Miss Tolley no time to ask him to pass his message as protocol requires,” the prosecutor said. “He did not give his location, altitude, destination or request permission to enter the aerodrome traffic zone. Potentially it caused a serious risk to other air traffic in the area.” His license was suspended when the complaint was filed and the UKCAA will conduct a regulatory review to determine if it will be reissued.
EHang conducts 1st trial flight of its aerial car model
On Tuesday a world leader in autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company EHang, conducted its first-ever trial flight of its two-seat passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, in the United States. The flight was conducted as part of the North Carolina Transportation Summit hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation on 8 to 9 January. The non-passenger flight represented the first time that the EHang 216 had received flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to sources with the Nasdaq-listed company.
EHang has safely conducted over 2,000 trial flights in the United States, China, Austria, the Netherlands, Qatar and the UAE to ensure that its AAVs operate safely and reliably in different areas globally. According to Ehang, pilotless air taxis have the power to transform daily life in urban areas since they can lessen pollution, expedite emergency services and save individuals and businesses time and money through shorter travel times.
EHang, which became a publicly listed company on 12 December 2019 on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol ‘E’, is the first urban air mobility company to realize commercialisation for its passenger-grade AAVs, having already delivered 38 units to customers as of the end of 2019. Prior to this debut flight in the US, on 30 November two EHang 216 AAVs completed simultaneous trial flights of their commercial sightseeing applications in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. These trial flights are part of Ehang’s joint initiative with the government of Guangzhou to develop Guangzhou to be Ehang’s first urban air mobility pilot city. These trial flights will enable EHang to test flight routes and vertiports to implement the initiative.
WORLD DRONES NEWS
Drones used for surveillance in South Africa
One of the topics discussed at the recent Drones and Digital Aviation Conference held at Emperors Palace Convention Centre was that of aerial surveillance. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have applications in multiple industries due to their ability to conduct surveillance and gather data in almost any environment. UAVs are now being used by security companies to keep watch over properties and mines around the country. The talk on ‘Drones in the security sector and the impact on the human element’ was presented by Kim James, the director for Drone Guards, a South African drone security surveillance company. Drones provide the security sector with proactive operations, incident response and post incident data, she said. Proactive operations include prevention of and early detection of crime and intruders on sites leading to a quick incident response that is networked between the drone and the relevant people. The data that drones gather is then used in post incident data analysis allowing for informed mitigation, monitoring and decision support, James explained.
Drone Guards do visible and covert surveillance in residential estates and industrial properties, day and night. Since using drones for surveillance, James said that they have found a reduction in human activity along the drones’ routes. An example of a drone’s security capabilities came when Drone Guard captured footage of criminals trespassing on monitored sites and upon the criminals fleeing the scene, a drone was able to follow and reveal how the criminals entered the premises. James believes that the future of security utilising drones will entail a fleet of UAVs watching over properties, possibly without a pilot.
Jaacie Visagie, manager for safety and security at UAV & Drone Solutions (UDS) said in the mining industry, security is a big issue. “The last thing you want to have is suspects running around, falling in pits and unfortunately this happened.” Safety for guards is another issue, as Protea Coin Group recently had two fatalities on the same mine last year. UDS believe that with more technology in the field, there is less risk and less people equating to less fatalities. UDS has developed a motion sensor device hidden in silicone rocks to pick up any movement and alert the control station, which will send out a drone to evaluate the situation and decide what actions need to be followed. UDS has similar devices that detect smoke, temperature, humidity as well as on/off switches. The device currently detects up to eight metres with 70-degree wide angle. Co-director of UDS, Georges Sayegh, believes the integration of these motion sensor devices with drones in the security sector can be a game changer. “With the size of mining operations, it requires these kinds of devices. It is very important because you are flying the drones within 30-40-kilometre radius areas, therefore now we fly to triggers”.
Drones are increasingly being used for wildlife conservation and anti-poaching missions. Sayegh said UDS was involved in a trial in the Kruger National Park, which was successful in the deterrence of poachers over the two years UDS were in South Africa’s largest game reserve. However, they did not catch any poachers during their time there. “We never found them because they knew we were there; they were told we were there and the bush telegraph is just incredible because of the amount of corruption that went in there at ground level”. UDS currently has another project in the Kruger, flying covertly using thermal sensors at night and with more drones. Sayegh said the new Kruger project is extremely successful as the joint use of drones and sensor devices is a ‘game changer’.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is also using drones for security missions, with the South African Army flying the locally designed and developed Indiza hand-launched drone for border safeguarding and peacekeeping missions. The Army has also experimented with small multi-rotor drones for surveillance.
DJI to reintroduce the Phantom drone
The DJI Phantom line of drones, considered by some to be the industry standard, vanished from store shelves about 14 months ago. At the time, DJI cited a ‘parts shortage’ that prevented it from manufacturing new Phantom drones. According to a report from DPReview posted on its website a statement it received from DJI saying that the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is again available for purchase as of 6 January 2020.
Electric Silent Falcon E1 surpasses 500 hours test flight time
According to an announcement from Albuquerque-based UAS service provider Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, the Silent Falcon E1 UAV has completed 500 hours of successful flight testing and operations. The E1 is a solar electric, fixed wing, Unmanned Aircraft System. It is noise free, emission free and provides long range, low cost ISR capability. With a payload capacity of 20 lbs. and a ceiling of 20,000 feet AGL, the E1 is an ideal platform for data collection in both harsh and peaceful environments.
SFUAS is a leading company in the UAS field, with an application pending before the FAA for type certification of the E1. The full line of SFUAS products, services and support is now available. Silent Falcon aircraft have operated in eight foreign countries and are not ITAR restricted. All SFUAS products, including the E1, are designed, built and sourced to ensure that there are no parts containing Chinese content. The company supports the American workforce by using its own US design and manufactures aircraft, sensors and software in New Mexico.
UAVOS’s Robinson unmanned helicopter extends application range
UAVOS has announced that it has unveiled its converted Robinson manned helicopter into unmanned aircraft R-22 as a cargo and farthest range delivery drone. It features a payload capacity of 180 kilograms or 400 pounds and a travel distance of up to 1020 km (550 nautical miles). R-22 unmanned helicopter is designed for both cargo delivery and humanitarian / disaster relief applications. Failure to deliver vital equipment under austere operating conditions and timelines can incur substantial fiscal costs, making Robinson’s all-weather capabilities particularly valuable. This also opens up new possibilities for safely and efficiently transporting goods in a variety of industries.
Another is the disaster relief mission; where the R-22 can bring food, fuel, water, supplies, medicine, communications and even electrical power to areas that are hard-hit by natural or man-made disasters.
The specific advantages that heavy-lift cargo R-22 unmanned helicopter represents:
• Due to its long endurance capability (six hours) and ability to operate in harsh weather conditions, in both land and maritime environments, the R-22 is a perfect solution for delivery missions
• Ability to operate in high winds, during weather-related disasters, and night operations; carry a cargo load of up to 180 kilograms or 400 pounds
• Cargo dropping at specified location.
• R-22 can be used in numerous missions and scenarios requiring cargo delivery such as providing lifesaving measures (communication device, a bottle of water, floating device, etc.) in search and rescue (S&R) missions, dropping of essential material such as drugs in an epidemic situation, etc.
• Cargo delivery to the most remote parts of the Earth.
Transporting goods taken from a large cargo aircraft. That allows for a ‘pop-up’ distribution center at an airport, where our R-22 can land, cargo handlers can unload the cargo and then R-22 backs haul cargo to the main logistics base transporting goods taken from a large cargo aircraft
• All terrain capable.
Unfortunately, this is not so humours, but it just goes to show the level of intelligence of some of our politicians.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)