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“It is not uncommon for ignorant and corrupt men to falsely charge others with doing what they imagine they themselves, in their narrow minds and experience, would have done under the circumstances.” John Hessin Clarke
African Pilot’s February 2019 edition
The February 2019 edition features most aviation business at Grand Central Airport as well as our annual Piston Engine aircraft over 650Kg feature and the OR Tambo ACSA awards. The magazine was delivered to past week and has entered its distribution phase.
African Pilot’s March 2019 edition
African Pilot’s March edition will feature businesses at Rand Airport as well as Business Jets. The closing date for editorial content is Wednesday 6 February and advertising material Friday 8 February 2019. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is developing at African Pilot?
Now you can download your favourite aviation magazine online
We have re-designed the option for the electronic version of African Pilot to be uploaded via our website. The cost of a single download is R16 (US$2) or R160 (US$20) for a 12-month subscription. In addition, we have created several other options. If you happened to miss out on a particular article or edition, back editions are available.
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Visit APAcom and register yourself as a user
This is easy, just visit www.africanpilot.co.za/apacom and register on the APAcom portal once only.
Video of the week: Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Your last chance to invest in a magnificent Aero Estate
To celebrate that Zandspruit Bush & Aero Estate is 90% sold out, the developers are offering a special deal for the month of February 2019. Any runway stand valued at R 1 250 000 on the sales price list is now offered at the incredibly low price of R 750 000! This will be applicable to the first five signed OTP’s (Offer To Purchase) of Aero stands during the month of February. If you have always wanted to own a property at Zandspruit, but you have not managed to make the decision, now is the best time, because this fantastic deal will not be repeated, so don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Call Brian on 083 525 9890 today to secure an appointment to view the stands available. This price excludes VAT. Hope to see you on Zandspruit soon. Website: www.zandspruit.co.za
SAPFA speed rally at Morningstar Cape Town
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Tidy profit for Denel Aeronautics
Despite liquidity and other challenges within the group, Denel Aeronautics made a R200 million profit for the 2017/18 financial year. Denel Aeronautics contributed 18% of the group’s revenue in 2017/18, which amounted to R1,069 billion, down from R1.645 billion the previous year. Earnings before interest and tax amounted to R215 million, up from an R83 million loss in the 2016/17 financial year. Denel Aeronautics is the new division formed by the consolidation of Denel Aerostructures and Denel Aviation into a single division.
One of the highlights recorded by the company was the November 2017 sale of 12 retired South African Air Force Cheetah multi-role aircraft and accompanying spares package to Draken International. A follow-on order for the support of the aircraft is expected after successful delivery of the aircraft and related spares package.
A considerable portion of Denel Aeronautics’ business comes from a contract for components for the Airbus A400M airlifter. This includes the wing-to-fuselage fairing, top shells ribs, spars and swords structural components as well as cargo hold system. Denel said it was unable to meet all its major A400M deliverables for the 2017/18 financial year, due to the liquidity challenges faced by the group. Of the contracted 22 wing-to-fuselage fairing and top shell contracted ship sets, Denel delivered 14 and 18 respectively. Denel was also unable to fulfil its contractual commitments on the ribs, spars and swords and cargo-hold system work packages. The total programme value of the five work packages amounts to R3.6 billion and revenue of R321 million was recognised during the year. The Airbus contract was historically loss-making and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) previously indemnified these losses up to R1.6 billion. This was not all bad news for the A400M programme, since Denel Aeronautics celebrated its 67th consecutive on-time completion of Top Shell production.
Other highlights during the year under review included the development of a strategic relationship with Boeing in pursuit of new business opportunities and revenue diversification. Denel Aeronautics was invited to a bidders’ conference where Boeing launched a restructured supply chain aimed at developing focused factories for manufacturing and assembly.
Denel Aeronautics said that the positioning of the Small African Regional Aircraft (SARA) is progressing well towards its endorsement as a National Flagship Programme and there is interest from other state-owned entities to participate in the programme.
In June 2016, Safran Helicopter Engines, as a majority shareholder in Turbomeca Africa, announced an intention to restructure Turbomeca Africa based on a depressed world helicopter market. The intention was to exit the manufacturing business, retain the engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business and restructure it to ensure security of supply for the South African Air Force (SAAF), and to retain the front office business (field support for the broader Safran Helicopter Engines Customers). Subsequently the restructured engine MRO business was transferred to Denel to ensure continued support to the SAAF. Effective from 1 September 2017, the restructured Turbomeca Africa is now a 100% Denel-owned company. This capability has been fully integrated into Denel Aeronautics.
Paramount expands UAV collaboration
Paramount Advanced Technologies (PAT) is promoting a range of new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of its collaborative model with other companies. The idea is to collaborate in using other company’s airframes with PAT mission systems since PAT has a wide range of airborne sensors and communications.
At the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition held at AFB Waterkloof in September 2018, PAT displayed a wide range of UAVs from partner companies, including fixed and rotary wing designs from AMS, Threod Systems and SkyX as well as its own designs. One of the local South African companies that PAT is supporting is Aerial Monitoring Solutions (AMS), which manufactures the locally developed Eagle Owl fixed-wing UAV. One of Paramount’s Chinese partners, Dahua Technology Co, which is the world’s second largest provider of video surveillance products and services also exhibited their multirotor surveillance UAVs and has partnered with PAT since the beginning of 2018.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
African Pilot’s 2019 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.
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting at the Dicky Fritz Moth Hall, Edenvale
Contact Kevin Marsden E-mail: email@example.com
Aeronautical Society of South Africa at MATA 17h00 OR Tambo International Airport
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rustenburg Flying Club breakfast fly-in
Contact Mauritz Muller E-mail: email@example.com
BARSA Aviation Summit Registration 07h30 the Polo Room at the Inanda Club
Contact Phushaza Sibiya Cell: 072 870 7085
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting at the Dicky Fritz Moth Hall, Edenvale
Contact: Kevin Marsden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
7 to 10 March
Aero Club Air Week and mini airshow at Middelburg
Contact Richardt Lovett Cell 082 771 8775 e-mail: email@example.com
Aero Club Alan Evan Hanes Tel: 011 082 1100
7 to 10 March
SAPFA Aero Club Speed Rally
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
9 and 10 March
Swellendam Flying Club host Sport Aerobatic Club Regional Championships
Contact Pieter Venter e-mail: email@example.com
12 to 14 March
Saudi Airshow Thumah Airport, Riyadh
13 to 15 March
Ageing Aircraft & Aircraft Corrosion seminar at OR Tambo International Airport
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FASHKOSK at Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Anton Theart Cell: 079 873 4567 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Virginia Fun Rally – Virginia Airport
Contact Mary de Klerk cell: 084 880 9000
Coves airfield fly-in (west of Hartebeespoort Dam)
Contact: JP Fourie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083-625-4804
Thys Kuhn E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082-568-5614
Jan Hanekom E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083-279-6572
Robertson Annual Breakfast fly-in
Contact Alwyn du Plessis Cell: 083 270 5888
Pilot Career Show venue TBA
Contact Greta Senkevie e-mail: email@example.com
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell: 082 320 2615
4 to 14 April
Stars of Sandstone Ficksburg, Eastern Free State
SAPFA EAA Convention Adventure Rally – Vryheid
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: email@example.com
26 to 28 April
EAA National Convention in Vryheid
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy
27 & 28 April
SAC Judges Trophy venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
29 April to 1 May
Airport Show 2019
Be in the know about the next Airport Show
The new theme of Airport Show 2019 will bring together the most influential innovations that are shaping the design, features and day-to-day operations of the modern airport
- Exhibitors who have revolutionary technologies will be highlighted on the show floor
- The new Innovation Hub will present a selection of innovators from across the globe who will be showcasing their breakthrough technologies set to shape the future airport experience
- A new Smart Airports Conference will take place on day 1 GALF.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Air Senegal’s first A330neo arrives in Dakar ahead of delivery
On 1 February Air Senegal’s first A330neo touched down at Blaise-Diagne International Airport in Dakar. The A330neo, painted in the livery of Air Senegal and named ‘Casamance’, was presented during a ceremony attended by His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Philippe Bohn, chief executive officer Air Senegal.
Aviation Africa to host CAA Director Generals and airline heads in Kigali
This year’s annual Aviation Africa summit and exhibition is hosting more Director Generals and airline heads than ever before. The event takes place in Kigali, Rwanda between 27 and 28 February 2019.
Colonel Silas Udahemuka – director general, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority will be hosting VIP guests including the Director General of Togo Civil Aviation Authority, Latta Dokisime Gnama & Simon Allotey, director general of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. Joining the CAA delegates will also be FAA executive Director International Affairs, Chris Rochereau and FAA Director Africa, Grady Stone. From Benin Civil Aviation Authority, Karl Legba Director General and Nathalie Houndeton, Directrice, will also be attending.
Representing the defence industry Major General Charles Karamba, Chief of Staff, Rwandan Defence Force will host Général de Brigade Souleymane BAMBA and Colonel Siaka SOUNTOURA de from the Mali Air Force. Speakers will take to the stage including those from the defence, MRO, Space and Airline industries across the two days.
The event – which is run by Times Aerospace, began in Dubai four years ago. The UAE was selected because of its hub status and ease of visa rulings. This is a philosophy shared by Rwanda, which offers a visa-free entry to African countries and entry on arrival to others, said Times Aerospace managing director Mark Brown. “The beauty of this means that we have visitors, speakers, exhibitors and key government delegations coming from all over Africa,” he said
Aviation Africa features an exhibition alongside the summit with 100 aerospace companies including OEMs Gulfstream, Boeing and Bombardier alongside African exhibitors such as SP Aviation and Bugasera Airport Company. The event’s host sponsors are Nexus & Wyvern. Over 800 delegates are expected to attend the 4th Aviation Africa. Aviation Africa is supported by the Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, Rwanda Development Board and the Rwanda Defence Force and the official airline is Rwandair.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Japan Airlines Boeing 787 skids off runway
On 1 February more than 200 passengers onboard Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 had a scary experience, as the aircraft skidded off an icy runway at Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT). The plane, registered JA870J, was carrying out flight JL740 from Delhi International Airport (DEL) to Tokyo-Narita. Upon landing, its left main gear slipped on a patch of ice present on the runway, leading to the plane skidding into the soft ground. Transport and Tourism, quoted by Japanese news agency Kyodo News. The wheels of the left gear were buried in the mud, making the plane immovable.
The 201 passengers and crew members were able to leave the aircraft unharmed. According to Japanese media footage, the aircraft was not severely damaged during the incident. The captain declared on NHK public television, “It seems that the surface was frozen, I slipped and applied a brake, but I could not prevent it.”
Nepal crash: final report points to pilot's ‘emotional breakdown’
On 12 March 2018, US-Bangla Airlines Flight BS211 carrying 71 people from Dhaka, Bangladesh, crashed on impact with the runway at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), killing 51 people. According to Nepalese investigators, the pilot of a US-Bangla Airlines plane that crashed upon landing in Kathmandu in March 2018 ‘appeared to have an emotional breakdown’. Based on data retrieved from the cockpit voice recorder, the probe suggests the captain was in a disturbed mental state due to ‘stress’ during the flight, ranting to his first officer and smoking in the cockpit during the final approach. Findings also describe the captain being engaged in an ‘unnecessary’ personal conversation in the cockpit as he felt that the female colleague questioned his reputation as a good flight instructor.
In August 2018, a draft of the investigation report compiled by the Nepali government-appointed investigation commission already indicated that the captain, Abid Sultan (52), had been ‘extremely upset and hurt’ by remarks made by a female colleague who questioned his reputation as an instructor for the airline. Due to this stress, the captain apparently began showing erratic behaviour: ‘The captain was ‘crying and sneezing’ on several occasions during the flight,’ the draft said, citing recorded conversation between the cockpit and traffic controllers.
Investigators have released the final report into the crash that took the lives of 51 people, detailing the disturbing behaviour of the captain and the erratic course of the aircraft in its final moments of approach at Kathmandu, Nepal. Another point that is raised is that the captain attempted to coach the first officer, who was operating this flight for the first time, a task that may have distracted him from following the necessary procedures. However, the statements made in the document regarding the captain’s character do seem, at times, rather speculative. According to investigators, the CVR data reportedly showed that the captain ‘was talking almost non-stop throughout the duration of flight’ and that the first officer remained a ‘patient listener most of the time’. Moreover, the inquiry states, the captain reportedly “did try to teach” the first officer on various aspects of flight and operational environment, but at times seemed to be trying to ‘impress FO about his skill and capability.’
Even the fact that the captain allegedly had planned to resign from the company, is illustrated in the findings with the idea that his state of mind might have been affected by the financial insecurity he potentially faced. The inquiry goes as far as to suggest the captain had an ‘emotional breakdown’ during the fatal flight. This stress might have led him to smoke in the cockpit during the flight and this clearly is against the Company Standard Operating procedure. This state of mind with high degree of stress and emotional state might have led him to all the procedural lapses. Finally, the inquiry revealed that the captain had retired from the Bangladeshi Air Force in 1993 after 10 years of duty because he suffered from depression; he was later declared fit to fly civilian aircraft. The captain’s history of depression, as well as his smoking habit, had not been reported in routine annual medical evaluations, the probe states. With the findings, pilot mental health has again come under the spotlight.
Vietnam scrambles to achieve FAA safety rating
Reports indicate the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could grant Category 1 rating to Vietnam allowing the Southeast Asian nation’s airlines to fly to the US and codeshare with American carriers. Vietnam’s efforts to gain the top safety ranking have been backed by U giant Boeing, as the country’s airlines are major customers of both Boeing and Airbus jets.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has been attempting to achieve the top air safety ranking for quite some time and may now be on the verge of obtaining Category 1. According to two US officials cited by Reuters on 31 January 2019, the regulator may be issuing the no. 1 rating for the country ‘within weeks’. Under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention (signed in 1944), each country is responsible for the safety oversight of its own carriers, the FAA states. The agency conducts what is known as the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA), auditing the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of each country that has carriers operating flights to the US. The goal of the assessment is to determine if the foreign CAA meets the safety standards of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). Granting Category 1 rating allows the country’s carriers to initiate or continue air transport services to the US and have codeshare agreements with American carriers.
Boeing receives $2.4 billion P-8A Poseidon contract from US Navy
The contract includes 10 aircraft to add to the current inventory of P-8As in the US Navy fleet, all five jets currently under contract for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the existing United Kingdom contract, bringing the total United Kingdom acquisition to nine aircraft. The United Kingdom and Norway are acquiring the Boeing aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process and will receive a variant designed and produced for the US Navy called the P-8A Poseidon. The United Kingdom will receive its first aircraft in 2019 and Norway will begin receiving aircraft in 2021.
The P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space. The P-8 is militarised with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons (two weapons stations on each wing) and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refuelling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
Collins Aerospace to provide Iridium Certus terminals on Boeing airplanes
Building on its heritage as a premier global aviation communications supplier, Collins Aerospace is collaborating with Iridium and Boeing to provide Iridium Certus terminals on Boeing 737 MAX and 777X airplanes. Collins currently provides the Iridium solution for the 737 MAX. The scalable Iridium Certus solution makes the connected aircraft possible with a high performance broadband solution for long range data and voice communication with truly global coverage.
The Iridium Certus SATCOM terminal will be the first forward-fit Iridium Certus SATCOM terminal to be certified for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X, with certification expected in 2021. In addition to being a value-added manufacturer (VAM) for the designs and production of Iridium Certus service terminals, Collins is also a service provider. As a VAM and service provider, Collins will play a critical role in delivering the next-generation L-band broadband solution to commercial and government aviation customers around the world.
Mitsubishi strikes back: MRJ a ‘threat’ to Bombardier
In the latest development of the MRJ dispute, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is suing back Bombardier. The Japanese manufacturer is accusing its Canadian competitor of wanting to delay or even prevent the development and certification of its regional aircraft, the MRJ. On 29 January the company announced that the legal action follows another complaint filed at Seattle West District court by Bombardier in October 2018. At the time, the Canadian manufacturer was accusing the Japanese company of illegally acquiring some secret documents by hiring its former employees.
On 19 October 2018, Bombardier sued Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States accusing the Japanese company of illegally acquiring some secret documents by hiring former employees of the Canadian plane maker. According to Mitsubishi, the lawsuit was a way for Bombardier to slow down, or even prevent the development and the certification of the MRJ, which the Japanese manufacturer qualifies as illegal practices. According to the Japanese group, the complaint filed by Bombardier is not based on anything concrete but aims to slow down the MRJ’s arrival to the market.
In its October lawsuit, Bombardier claims that more than 92 of its former employees working both in Canada and the United States were hired by MITAC, AeroTEC, two companies supplying and assisting Mitsubishi in the development of the MRJ. The workers are suspected to have given Mitsubishi Aircraft information about the certification process of two aviation authorities: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its Canadian equivalent, Transport Canada. Mitsubishi answered that only nine former Bombardier employees were hired.
The MRJ is marketed as an alternative to Embraer ERJ and Bombardier CRJ. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines, it should have a capacity of 78 to 92 passengers, with a maximum range of 3,380km. The development and certification process for the MRJ have already been delayed for seven years. Its launch customer, All Nippon Airways, now expects the regional plane to be delivered by 2020. In October 2018, a week after Bombardier’s lawsuit was filed, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry had to inject $1.94 billion into its aircraft division as its liabilities exceeded assets.
ANA to buy stake in Philippine Airlines, order 48 narrow-bodies
ANA Holdings, the parent company of Japan’s largest airline All Nippon Airways, has announced it is to invest $95 million to purchase a 9.5% stake in the parent company of the Philippine flag carrier.
The company has confirmed the news on 29 January 2019, adding that the deal is still subject to ‘certain’ closing conditions. The company claims the move is in line with its international group network expansion strategy for FY 2018 – 2022. For Philippine Airlines this should mean ‘The dawn of a new era of growth’, according to ANA Holdings’ statement. ANA operates 14 flights weekly on two routes to the Philippines, whilst Philippine Airlines currently operates 84 flights weekly on nine routes to Japan. The two carriers have codeshare operations on Japan – Philippine routes and domestic routes within Japan and the Philippines, linking a total of 16 Japanese and 11 Philippine destinations.
ANA has also announced a decision to place orders for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 18 Airbus A320neo jets. The 737 MAX 8 order, the ‘first for a Japanese airline’, as the company puts it, includes an option for 10 more aircraft. The 18 A320neos will go to ANA’s subsidiary Peach Aviation. Deliveries are scheduled from FY2021 to FY2025, according to the company.
EASA Certifies A330neo for ‘beyond 180 minutes’ ETOPS
EASA has approved the A330-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) ‘beyond 180 minutes’ diversion time. This significant achievement means that operators of the A330neo, which is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, will benefit from the most efficient, reliable and direct long-range routings. The approval, which includes ETOPS 180 minute capability in the aircraft’s basic specification, now also includes the option for ‘ETOPS 285min’. This extends the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm. The US FAA’s respective ETOPS certification is expected soon.
A330neo operators that choose the ETOPS 285min option will be able to serve new direct ‘non-limiting’ routings. Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180 minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient path and also have access to more (and possibly better equipped) en-route diversion airports if needed.
ASL selects the Sonaca 200 to support training centre development
As a specialised stakeholder in the management and operation of private jets, ASL operates personal and charter flights in Europe. In conjunction with the company JetNetherlands (acquired in 2014), ASL has a fleet of 30 aircraft ranging from four to 30-seat jets. Apart from operating private the group also manages an aircraft maintenance centre based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and recently an ATO training centre.
Several reasons have pushed ASL to opt for the Sonaca 200. “As a Belgian company, we wanted to acquire an aircraft which is locally produced by an internationally renowned aviation stakeholder. We finally chose the Sonaca 200 for its performance and equipment as well as its operational and maintenance costs (announced),” Blockmans said. “After a detailed analysis of the product, it turned out that the Sonaca 200 met the current expectations of the (initial) pilot training sector.” ASL has ordered two Sonaca 200 Trainer Pro EFIS version aircraft 2 (Garmin G500 TXI). The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in October 2019.
Powerful tornado wreaks havoc at Antalya airport
Severe weather outbreak in Antalya, Turkey, last weekend did not spare the city’s airport. Video footage emerged on 26 January 2019, showing a tornado descending over the airport apron, toppling buses, damaging planes and injuring people on site. Reports indicate that up to five tornados accompanied by severe winds and hailstorms swept through the city centre and surrounding areas of Antalya, a city resort on the southern Turkish coast, since 23 January 2019.
One aircraft, an Airbus A321 belonging to Onur Air has suffered damage to its nose. A Boeing 737 MAX 8 (TC-MKS) of Corendon Airlines was hit by a ground services vehicle. Other aircraft seen in the footage include jets operated by SunExpress and Germania airlines. A total of 12 people were reported injured in one of the airport buses. “A tornado has swept through the airport and turned over a bus that was transferring passengers to a plane. Hurricane wind lifted an air stair into the air, which has damaged a plane. As a result, 12 people were injured. However, the full extent of the damage to aircraft and infrastructure is not yet known.
ATR performs on target in 2018
Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR reports that it showed a solid performance in 2018, delivering 76 aircraft, booking 52 firm orders and stabilizing its annual turnover at $1.8 billion. With a total of 165 orders and 154 deliveries between 2017 and 2018, ATR achieved a book to bill ratio above 1. Out of the 52 firm orders, 20 are for ATR 42-600s. In a difficult environment, ATR succeeded in reallocating the aircraft it was unable to deliver to Iran Air. With around 62% of the turboprop orders for the year, the modern ATR -600s continues to be the preferred choice of regional airlines. The 2018 results provide ATR with a solid backlog representing almost three years of production.
In 2018, ATR has sold aircraft in every region of the world, and welcomed three new operators into the ATR family (Silver in the US, Ewa Air in Mayotte in the Indian Ocean and HAC in Japan). ATR also signed the first contracts for aircraft equipped with its new ClearVision system. As the ideal route opener, ATR aircraft created 113 new routes in 2018, serving 1,346 airports worldwide (56 more than in 2017). The market-leading turboprop manufacturer also surpassed three impressive delivery milestones in 2018. ATR delivered its 1,000th ATR 72, its 500th -600 series aircraft, only seven years after the launch of the programme and its 1,500th ATR aircraft. In 2018, ATR has substantially increased its Customer Support activities. While installing a new training simulator in Toulouse, and introducing a brand new 24/7 Customer Service Centre, ATR gained 15% more customers for its tailor-made pay-by-the-hour maintenance programme, the Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA).
The outlook for 2019 and beyond shows a bright future for ATR, as the global turboprop market will require over 3,000 new aircraft before the end of 2037. ATR aircraft will continue to help smaller, local economies expand their horizons while ensuring mature markets continue to thrive, thanks to its unbeatable economics, environmental performance and operational flexibility.
Republic of Korea Air Force receives its first Airbus A330 MRTT
The new-generation A330 MRTT extends the endurance and range of the ROKAF’s fighter aircraft and provides the service with strategic transport capability for passengers and freight. In South Korean service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, be equipped with the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and can be configured in a variety of layouts to carry passengers and freight or for medevac purposes. South Korea becomes the seventh member of the worldwide family of A330 MRTT operators and is one of 12 nations to have ordered the aircraft. This latest delivery brings the total in-service fleet to 35.
First Dutch operational F-35A introduced
Dutch and American officials celebrated the roll out of the first operational F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, commemorating a transformational leap in capability for the future of the Netherlands’ national defence. The ceremony was held at Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Various distinguished government, military and industry guests joined Luyt in attendance at the ceremony including Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson; State Secretary, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer and Special Envoy F-35, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs Maxime Verhagen.
Following the ceremony, the aircraft was ferried to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where F-35A pilot training takes place. The aircraft is the first operational F-35 and the third Netherlands jet delivered to date. The first two Dutch F-35s were delivered in 2013 and are at Edwards AFB, California, supporting operational testing. The RNLAF plans to acquire 37 F-35As.
F-35 programme economic impact in the Netherlands
Dutch industry, including 25 suppliers to date, have benefitted from the F-35 programme with contracts awarded for high technology work. As estimated by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 programme has already generated more than $1 billion USD in contracts for Netherlands industry, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the Netherlands over the life of the programme.
To date, more than 360 F-35s have been delivered and are now operating from 16 bases worldwide. Ten nations are flying the F-35, seven countries have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, five services have declared initial operating capability, whilst two services have announced their F-35s have been used in combat operations.
With stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and increased range, the F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyse and share data, is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace enabling men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safely.
Alsim reports a record-breaking year
As technology advances, worldwide travel growth continues and global aviation shortages persist, more and more flight training organizations (FTOs) are turning to simulation to help fulfill their flight training needs. In a news release, Alsim said that it sold more than 40+ Alsim simulators in 2018, an all-time high. Many were purchased by long-time Alsim family members. Flying their older Alsim devices for thousands of hours each year, year after year, the FTOs returned to purchase one or more of our newer devices in order to provide the best training solutions possible. In fact, Alsim proudly welcomed numerous new clients from around the world in 2018 who put their confidence in our products and team. Sales were announced to FTOs located on six continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe as well as North and South America. The company has expanded into new countries, and for the first-time, there are Alsim simulators in Columbia, Hungary and Ireland, bringing the total to over 50 countries. In addition the latest Alsim device was recently installed at Central Flying Academy based at Rand Airport in South Africa.
Bonanza crashes after unintentional engine start
On Wednesday afternoon an unoccupied Beechcraft V35B Bonanza crashed at California’s Modesto City-County Airport (MOD) after an unplanned engine start. It has been reported that two people had been working on the aircraft’s electrical system and manipulating the propeller. The engine accidently engaged, sending the Bonanza into a parked car and through the airport fence at approximately 40 MPH. A building was also damaged in the incident. No injuries were reported. “When we arrived on scene, we found that a private plane that was being prepared for a trip had some sort of incident within the plane that caused the plane to take-off with no one inside,” said Modesto Fire Department Division Chief Mike Lillie while at the scene. “At that time the plane rolled on the airport grounds until it came to its resting place here by this building and the fence.” The exact cause of the unintentional engine start has not yet been determined.
Arkansas teen admits to trying to steal an airplane
Zemarcius Scott of Texarkana, AR wanted to go to Chicago to see a rapper Famous Dex in concert. For some reason, the 19-year-old music fan thought the best way to get to the show was to steal an airplane and fly it there, never mind he had never flown an airplane before. Scott didn’t try to steal a small, GA airplane either. He was discovered on 4 July at Texarkana Regional Airport in the cockpit of an American Eagle regional jet. The Texarkana Gazette reports that he told authorities that he thought flying an airplane was no more complicated that pushing a few buttons and pulling levers.
According to a probable cause affidavit and psychological evaluation report, Scott jumped the airport fence at about 02h30 on Independence Day last year, leading airport security to immediately contact local police. When he was found in the airplane, he was recognised by two of the three officers who responded to the call. A mental evaluation was ordered and Scott was found mentally competent to stand trial. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to attempted theft of property and commercial burglary. He must pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs and participate in any mental health treatment and probation mandated by the court.
Workhorse SureFly and AirSpaceX MOBi-ONE at Detroit auto show
There were more than cars at the Detroit Auto show earlier this month-both AirSpaceX and Workhorse showed off their respective eVTOL designs. AirSpaceX, the creator of the MOBi-ONE (top), is a subsidiary of the Detroit Aircraft Corp. (DAC). The MOBi-ONE has a somewhat similar design to the Joby S4, with a 65-mile range, a top speed of 250mph and capacity for four passengers plus one pilot. (This capacity is larger than many current designs and iterations).
I AirspaceX plans to both build and operate urban services for its eVTOL. Founder and CEO Jon Rimanelli said, “MOBi-ONE will offer clean, quiet and connected on-demand air mobility to the mass traveling public at an affordable price. Our vision is to mass produce aircraft leveraging lean automotive design and mass production techniques so our vehicles are affordable to the mass traveling public.”
Meanwhile Workhorse SureFly had a full-size prototype to Detroit’s Auto show. Workhorse plans for the SureFly ‘Octocopter’ to be available directly to the public for purchase at $200k, rather than provide flights services like AirspaceX. Unlike many helicopters, the SureFly is semi-automated, making it far easier to fly. Presently the company is preparing for FAA certification to begin production and is hoping that anyone with a Sport Pilot license will be allowed to fly the aircraft.
Jaunt Air Mobility eVTOL
According to Rotor and Wing, Jaunt Air Mobility has bought into the Carter Copter concept and are looking into its feasibility as an Uber air taxi. In April 2017, Carter Aviation partnered with Mooney International Corporation to develop an eVTOL. Carter uses it’s Slowed-Rotor/Compound (SR/C™) technology. This couples the speed, range and efficiency of an airplane with the vertical take-off and landing capability of a helicopter along with the unparalleled safety of a high inertia rotor. Whether incorporated into a jump take-off configuration or a powered rotor variant with continuous hover capability, SR/C technology offers extraordinary cruise efficiencies and quiet operation. Slowing the rotor in flight is the key to this game-changing technology. Operating at 1/3 the usual rpm reduces rotor drag by over a factor of five. This translates to overall fuel efficiencies that have been validated through flight testing that are 2.5 to three times better than today’s worldwide rotorcraft fleet.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Photographs emerge of Russian Okhotnik heavy drone
Janes reports that the first image began circulating on Russian social media on 23 January, with several more showing up the following day. They show an aircraft that looks very much like the MQ-25 being developed for the US Navy. The images were likely captured by a plane spotter near the runway at the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant. When compared to the size of the tractor towing the aircraft, the drone has an wingspan estimated at about 62 feet. It’s landing gear looks similar to the gear installed on Russia’s SU-57 next-generation multirole airplane. In the photos, the turbofan exhaust is unshrouded, which may indicate they are not the final design. There is a single, dorsal-mounted air intake for the engine. TASS reported in July of last year that the Okhotnik was to have made its first flight before the end of 2018, citing unnamed sources. That same report indicated that the drone was constructed using composite materials and treated with a ‘stealth’ coating that can absorb radiation.
Drone delivery Canada begins Falcon drone flight testing
Flight testing is underway for the newest cargo delivery drone under development by Drone Delivery Canada (DDC). The Falcon is capable of carrying up to 50 pounds (22.6 Kg) payload and has a range of 32 nautical miles. “In response to market demand driven by the burgeoning e-commerce industry, our engineering team was given the task of building out our fleet of cargo drones to address the need for a multi-package payload compartment solution which is applicable in many different geographies. The Falcon is the newest edition to DDC’s fleet and meets this particular niche which is being requested by DDC’s customers,” said Tony Di Benedetto, CEO.
The Falcon has been in development for almost a year and has received approvals from Transport Canada to commence testing within Southern Ontario. The Falcon is the big brother to DDC’s Sparrow which is based on an electric propulsion system. The Falcon has a wingspan of approximately 12 feet, according to DDC and is anticipated to travel 32 nautical miles at a speed of 27 knots. The multi-package payload compartment is designed to carry approximately five cubic feet of cargo and will be weather resistant.
Gatwick drone incident had $64.5 million impact
The closure of Gatwick Airport just before Christmas 2018 for 32 hours due to multiple drone sightings cost airlines £50 million, or about $64.5 million. Fortune reports that the number is an estimate from The Independent newspaper, which made assumptions based on EasyJet’s announcement that it lost about $19.3 million due to the closure.
The incident affected 82,000 EasyJet passengers. Overall, about 140,000 people were affected by the closure. EasyJet called the incident a ‘wake-up call’ for airports and Gatwick is currently working on training in an effort to improve its response to any future threat involving a drone. Heathrow closed for about an hour in January due to a drone sighting. A Heathrow employee told the BBC that it was able to recover more quickly because “we are a good airport.”
It has since emerged that not a single drone other than police supervised drones and helicopters were ever sighted at Gatwick airport during the so called emergency. Officials even charged off to a ‘red light’ sighting in the sky near the airport that turned out to be a red safety light on top of a tower crane on a construction site.
Pilot: “Good morning, Frankfurt ground, KLM 242 request start up and push back, please.”
Tower: “KLM 242 expect start up in two hours.”
Pilot: “Please confirm: two hours delay?”
Pilot: “In that case, cancel the good morning!”
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
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