The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
A. A. Milne
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. This edition has now been fully distributed throughout southern Africa, whilst the digital version was uploaded to ALL digital subscribers, including ALL members of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa on 25 January 2019.
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 was on Friday 8 February, but we still have some capacity for marketing material so long as this reaches us by close of business on Tuesday 12 February 2019. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
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.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
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: Engine corrosion tips from RAM Aircraft
This is a most important video for ALL owners of piston engine aircraft to watch.
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Aircraft General Spares opens at Rand Airport
Whilst working on the production of the Rand Airport feature for the March edition of African Pilot, I discovered a new company AGS that deserves mention due to the tenacity of its founders. I understand that they lost heavily with the collapse of Placo and as a result decided to open this business that supplies aircraft general spares to the AMOs and aircraft owners on the airfield as well as other airfields. Located next to Aviation Rebuilders at the side gate, AGS is now open for business.
Contact: Eric Erasmus Tel: 067 154 2147 or Cell: 084 587 6414
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.
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
US halts military assistance to Cameroon
As reported by Reuters the United States is halting some military assistance to Cameroon over human rights violations, with aircraft training, boats and armoured vehicles scratched off the assistance list.
On 6 February a US State Department official said the United States had terminated a C-130 aircraft training programme and halted deliveries of four Defender patrol boats, nine unidentified armoured vehicles and an upgrade of a Cessna aircraft for Cameroon’s rapid intervention battalion (BIR).
An offer for Cameroon to join the State Partnership Programme (SPP) has also been withdrawn.
This was in response to allegations of gross human rights violations by Cameroon’s security forces in the northwest, southwest and far north regions.
Cameroon has cooperated closely with the United States in the fight against Islamist militant group Boko Haram in West and central Africa. Cameroon has been fighting a Boko Haram insurgency that spilt over into its territory from Nigeria several years ago. According to the United Nations, more than 20 000 people have lost their lives and more than two million people have been displaced. Rights groups have accused authorities of using the fight against Boko Haram to crack down on political opponents to make arbitrary arrests and torture people.
Authorities arrested opposition leader Maurice Kamto in January, accusing him of mobilising dissent against President Paul Biya, who has ruled the country since 1982. Biya has been accused by the opposition and rights groups of cracking down in the Anglophone Southwest region to root out armed separatists trying to end his grip on power. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon during Boko Haram’s campaign to carve out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.
The United States has some 300 troops based in Cameroon to assist its military, especially in fighting extremism. Since 2002 the US has trained over 6 000 Cameroonian soldiers and provided millions of dollars’ worth of military aid. Between 2012 and 2016 the US provided $220 million in military aid to Cameroon, much of which went to training and equipping Cameroon’s military and police ($83 million), peacekeeping operations ($74 million), Building Partner Capacity ($24 million) and Counter-Drug Assistance ($11 million). Hardware assistance included the delivery of two Cessna 208 Caravan intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to Cameroon’s Air Force to help it combat Boko Haram militants in the region. The aircraft was officially handed over on 11 May 2018.
Attempted hijack on Sudan Airways flight to Cairo
On 4 February Sudan Airways flight 103 was en route from Cairo, Egypt to Khartoum, Sudan a passenger attempted to enter the flight deck with the aim of hijacking the flight. The passenger was overpowered by crew members and the flight was able to continue to Sudan. The man was among a number of passengers being deported from Egypt back to Sudan.
Embraer and SNC to deliver 12 A-29s to Nigerian Air Force
Embraer Defence & Security and its partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) were awarded a contract to deliver 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force. “SNC is proud to work with our partner, Embraer Defence & Security, to build A-29s in support of the Nigerian Air Force in addressing their on-going training and security needs,” said Taco Gilbert, Senior Vice President of ISR, Aviation and Security (IAS) at SNC. “The combat-proven A-29 is designed and built for the mission in Nigeria. It’s the most reliable and cost-effective solution for basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios.”
“The A-29 Super Tucano has become the global reference for light attack and advanced training with a proven track record in several combat zones around the world”, said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence & Security. “Embraer welcomes Nigeria as the latest member of this true international coalition that is helping bring peace to the world.”
The A-29 is conducting combat missions on a daily basis in theatres around the world. It has more than 46,000 combat hours and more than 360,000 total flight hours. With the Nigeria order, the A-29 is the choice of 14 air forces worldwide. In addition to its combat record, the A-29’s robust landing gear and enhanced clearance enable take-off and landing in even the most austere field conditions. The aircraft also offers dependable and accurate weapons delivery, making it highly effective in the light attack role.
The contract for the Nigerian Air Force includes ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, alternate mission equipment, contiguous US interim contractor support, outside of continental US (OCONUS) contractor logistic support and field service representatives for OCONUS support. The aircraft will be produced in Jacksonville, Florida and modified in Centennial, Colorado. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to Nigeria in line with the contract timelines, as part of a larger more comprehensive training and support package.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Boeing 747 anniversary to be celebrated at AirVenture 2019
The 50th anniversary of the Boeing 747 will be celebrated this summer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 with special programmes scheduled throughout the week. Developed by Boeing during a time when long-distance commercial air travel was becoming more popular, the 747 was designed to carry large numbers of passengers and subsequently held a passenger capacity record for 37 years after its introduction. Over the years, the 747 was also adapted into other roles, including for cargo, aerial firefighting and presidential transport, among others. The 747 officially celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday 9 February 2019.
Airbus creates the first electric airplane race with Air Race E
Airbus has announced a global partnership with Air Race E, the world’s first electric aeroplane race set to launch its inaugural series in 2020. Airbus is the Official Founding Partner of Air Race E. The competition aims to drive the development and adoption of cleaner, faster and more technologically advanced electric engines that can be applied to urban air mobility vehicles and, eventually, commercial aircraft.
Air Race E will follow a format similar to the popular Air Race 1 series of formula one air racing. Eight electric-powered aeroplanes will race directly against each other on a tight five Km (2.7 nautical miles) circuit, just 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport.
“We want to motivate manufacturers to showcase their technologies across the full spectrum of electric propulsion systems and components,” said Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer of Airbus. “This partnership enables us to demonstrate our commitment to staying at the leading edge of electric propulsion and developing a new ecosystem.”
Airbus will work alongside other Air Race E partners, including the University of Nottingham. The University is currently developing a prototype race aeroplane powered by an integrated electric motor, battery and power electronics system. The plane will help shape the model and rules for the inaugural Air Race E race in 2020.
Airbus and Dassault Systèmes embark on a strategic partnership
Airbus and Dassault Systèmes have signed a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to cooperate on the implementation of collaborative 3D design, engineering, manufacturing, simulation and intelligence applications. This will enable Airbus to take a major step forward in its digital transformation and lay the foundation for a new European industrial ecosystem in aviation.
Under the MOA, Airbus will deploy Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which delivers digital continuity, from design to operations, in a single data model for unified user experience, making digital design, manufacturing and services (DDMS) a company-wide reality for all Airbus divisions and product lines. DDMS paves the way for breakthroughs in new product design, operational performance, support and maintenance, customer satisfaction and new business models, as it represents a move from sequential to parallel development processes. Instead of first focusing on product performance, Airbus will be able to co-design and develop the next generation of aircraft with the manufacturing facilities that will produce them, reducing costs and time to market.
ForeFlight’s new airport 3D view delivers next-gen airport familiarisation
ForeFlight now gives pilots and aircraft operators a unique, interactive and global airport familiarisation tool with Airport 3D View. Leveraging ForeFlight’s leading mapping and synthetic vision platform, the Airport 3D View feature combines stunning global aerial imagery with Jeppesen-sourced high-resolution terrain to create a realistic and interactive simulation of the airport environment. From within the ForeFlight app, users can pan and zoom 360-degrees around any airport to see a photorealistic 3D representation of the airport and the surrounding terrain. The ‘camera’ view tilts from a three-degree approach path all the way to a top-down view so users can easily preview the airport or approach path from any angle.
At the top of the 3D View, a data readout contains information about the camera’s current position, including its altitude, distance from the pivot point (airport centre or runway ends) and inclination in degrees, along with the airport and touchdown zone elevations. Buttons for each runway allow users to quickly reposition the camera to one nautical mile from the end of the selected runway, with an inclination that places it on the published glideslope, or at a six-degree approach path angle if no glideslope information is available. Users can then zoom in and out without rotating the camera to get a view of the runway and airport environment from any point along the glideslope. Airport 3D View is also available inflight when customers use the Pack feature during planning on the ground. Pack makes it easy to download all of the current charts, data, weather, fuel prices and NOTAMs for a flight and now includes 3D Views for any airport in the planned route string.
Divers discover bodies in aircraft recovered from the ocean in northeast Florida
On 20 December a plane went down in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeast Florida coast. The wreckage of the PA-46 Malibu located by side-scan sonar in about 40 feet of water off Little Talbot Island just north of Jacksonville. It was floated to the surface by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office divers and towed to a Coast Guard station on the St. Johns River Wednesday. Two bodies were found in the wreckage of the airplane. It was reported that Peter Renzulli (51), of Bridgewater and his 18-year-old son Daniel were traveling from Orlando to New Jersey where they lived when the accident occurred in December. Peter Renzulli had just completed 30 hours of advanced instruction in the Malibu and was returning home. The Coast Guard and other agencies conducted a search for the aircraft, but it was suspended after about 56 hours in which some 1,400 square miles were searched. Aviation attorney Ed Booth said that he believes Renzulli disregarded a forecast of bad weather on his route of flight and had limited experience in the airplane. Booth said the return flight from Orlando to New Jersey was reportedly his first flight without an instructor on board. The NTSB has not yet released a preliminary report on the accident, in part due to the partial government shutdown.
Garmin announces availability of G1000 NXi for Citation Mustang
The G1000 NXi offers a number of new and enhanced features, including wireless cockpit connectivity, split-screen capability, SurfaceWatch, visual approaches, map overlay within the horizontal situation indicator (HSI) and more. The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the G1000 NXi integrated flight deck upgrade in the Citation Mustang is available immediately through Textron Aviation Service Centres.
A robust feature set accompanies the G1000 NXi integrated flight deck upgrade for the Citation Mustang. Aiding in situational awareness, SurfaceWatch runway monitoring technology provides visual and aural cues to help prevent pilots from taking off or landing on a taxiway, on a runway that is too short or on the wrong runway based on flight plan data entered during pre-flight. Visual and audible runway distance remaining annunciations are also available via SurfaceWatch.
Visual approach capability integrated within the G1000 NXi system also offers pilots enhanced guidance in visual flight conditions based on a three-degree glideslope from the threshold of the runway. Pilots can select the runway for which they have been cleared to land, set customized minimums, select vectors or straight-in for the final approach intercept and fly a visual approach coupled with the autopilot. HSI mapping is available on the primary flight display (PFD), which also supports the overlay of SiriusXM aviation weather, Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) weather, weather radar, SafeTaxi airport diagrams, traffic, terrain and more1. For example, pilots can display SafeTaxi on the HSI map while utilising the multi-function display (MFD) for charts or other tasks. Available as an option, the G1000 NXi system also supports the display of various Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS B) In benefits on the flight displays. Customers also have the option to upgrade to a Bluetooth audio panel. Additional G1000 NXi features include the option to view IFR and VFR charts, split-screen functionality and more.
Diamond Aircraft plans to double production
More than a year after Wanfeng Aviation purchased Diamond Aircraft, the company claims to be ready to take production to 150 units worldwide and therefore requires an additional 200 staff members in both Austria and Canada. That production figure would be significant for a company that built 137 piston aircraft in 2017, 132 in 2016 and 144 in 2015. (Sales figures for 2018 are not yet available.) In 2017, production of the DA-40 dominated, with 60 built, followed by the DA-42 (36 units) and the DA-62 (33 units). “In 2018 we added more than 100 employees in Austria,” says Liqun Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria. “We are planning to increase our staff capacity from more than 600 to 800 for 2019.” The job opportunities at the Austrian facility are in research & development, sales and administration. In Canada, where Diamond currently employs more than 300, the company is seeking more workers, especially in the ‘skilled trades.’
Honeywell developing connected black boxes
Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright are collaborating to develop a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) that will give operators real-time streaming and server storage options for flight data and voice communications. According to Honeywell, the new cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, branded as the Honeywell Connected Recorder-25 (HCR-25), ‘paves way for 24/7/365 streaming information to aid aircraft incident investigations.’ The HCR-25 will also exceed the minimum 25-hour cockpit voice recording time required by the upcoming 2021 European Aviation Safety Agency cockpit voice recording mandate.
Honeywell says the HCR-25 was designed to be a form-fit replacement for Honeywell’s HFR-5 series. Several variants will be available including a standalone CVR, standalone FDR and a combined cockpit voice and flight data recorder. Honeywell will be working on the software for the HCR-25 and hardware development will be completed by both companies. Curtiss-Wright’s recently certified Fortress recorder is being used as the foundation for the HCR-25.
Bombardier introduces CRJ550
Bombardier has officially launched its new 50-seat CRJ550 passenger jet. United Airlines is the launch customer for the new model, with 50 aircraft on order. As per a recently executed a letter of agreement, the new CRJs will be operated by United regional partner GoJet for at least 10 years. According to GoJet, deliveries are expected to begin later this year with the first 25 CRJ550s in service by the end of 2019 and the remaining 25 aircraft joining its fleet by the summer of 2020. “The new CRJ550 model is the only solution in North America that can replace the existing fleet of aging 50-seaters, a market of over 700 aircraft,” said Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer. “This is one more example of how we are focusing on creating value for our customers and a very important endorsement from United in regards to the CRJ platform.” According to Bombardier, the CRJ550 will offer more overall legroom per seat than other 50-seat aircraft flown by US carriers, three cabin classes and increased onboard storage space. The aircraft is based on the Canadian manufacturer’s CRJ700 platform.
Delta’s long-anticipated A220 debut finally takes off
On 7 February 2019, Delta took its brand new A220-100 to the skies for the very first time. The introduction of the new aircraft type to its fleet has, of course, now gains its own momentum for the US airline. But the fact that precisely this deal (Delta’s A220s order) had previously sparked a trade war between North American plane makers Boeing and Bombardier, makes the event even more significant.
Flight 744 took off from New York’s LaGuardia airport (LGA) in the early hours of the morning, marking the official debut of the state-of-the-art A220-100. The airline is not only the pleased owner of the aircraft, but also its biggest customer worldwide (based on Airbus order book as of 31 December 2018).
It is also the first airline in the US to take delivery of the A220, after it was rolled out of the painting hangar in Delta’s signature livery at the A220 final assembly line in Mirabel, Québec (Canada), the European plane maker announced in September 2018. Having recently shaken up and expanded its initial order, Delta is now expecting to eventually have 90 A220s of both available variants in its fleet.
Now belonging to Airbus, the aircraft had a different manufacturer and name when the US legacy carrier first ordered it in 2016. Delta placed a $5.6 billion (at list prices) order for 75 Bombardier SC100s around the same time it cancelled another aircraft order from Boeing, sparking a legal war and tariff battle between the two plane makers. Boeing accused the Canadian government of illegally subsidising C Series programme and launched a trade dispute against Bombardier in 2017. Consequently, the US government imposed 300% trade duties on C Series planes, but that decision was eventually overruled in 2018.
SMBC Aviation Capital orders 65 A320neo Family Aircraft
Leading aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has boosted its total order book for the A320neo Family to 181 aircraft after signing a firm order for an additional 65 A320neo Family aircraft (15 A321neo and 50 A320neo). The order was finalised in 2018 and included in the year-end order figures. In addition the agreement includes an upsizing of 15 A320neo from a pre-existing order to 15 of the largest member of the single aisle, the A321neos, taking SMBC Aviation Capital’s total for the type to 30. The order for 65 is in addition to an earlier agreement for six A320neo made in March, bringing the total number of A320neo Family ordered in 2018 to 71.
New UK fast jet training takes off
The UK MoD Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, opened the High-G training and test facility at RAF Cranwell. The £44 million ($57 million) project is used by fast jet pilots in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to replicate flight in aircraft such as the Hawk, Typhoon and new F-35 Lightning aircraft. Pilots are able to experience up to 9G to learn how to use their specialised in-cockpit flying equipment to help them cope with these stresses. The centrifuge can accelerate up to 9G in one second and rotate up to 34 times a minute.
The new facility revolutionizes High-G training. as pilots are not simply strapped into the device and exposed to G-force but are able to ‘fly’ as they would in a flight simulator as the pilot manoeuvres the aircraft and applies the G-force. “By exposing our Typhoon, Lightning and Hawk pilots to High-G forces in a tailor-made and completely controlled environment, we are significantly enhancing safety in the air and making a major contribution to our operational effectiveness,” said Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Hillier. “Today represents another major milestone in the RAF’s impressive modernization programme”. Pilots benefit from a cockpit which closely represents that of their normal aircraft enabling them to carry out multiple training scenarios from air-to-air combat to dealing with in-bound missile threats. The device will also be used to trial and test new equipment to be used on fast jet aircraft and by the pilots. This will also ensure that the testing is done in a benign environment before being trialled in live flight.
The new facility at RAF Cranwell is used by fast jet pilots progressing through the UK Military Flying Training System and into their flying careers. Fast jet pilots will refresh their training at least every five years to keep them as safe as possible and current in the techniques used to handle High-G forces in flight. The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine is using the facility to train aircrew to recognise the effects of G-force, develop awareness of it and learn the physical techniques needed to counter the effects on their bodies during combat missions. Up to 300 aircrew will receive training on the centrifuge each year.
The 39-metric ton centrifuge built by Thales UK has seen the company team up with world-leading centrifuge specialists AMST from Austria to design and build the equipment. Thales has been training RAF aircrew since the 1930s providing over 300 complex simulators for 60 different platforms.
Wreckage of footballer Emiliano Sala’s hired Piper Malibu found
Sala and pilot Ibbotson left Nantes in France for Cardiff on 21 January after the star signed for the Welsh Premier League team and disappeared over the English Channel. The plane that was carrying footballer Emiliano Sala has since been found at the bottom of the English Channel following a crowd-funded sonar search two weeks after it vanished leaving the Argentine striker and his pilot missing feared dead. The specialist search for the missing plane began off the coast of Guernsey and the wreckage was located on the seabed just hours later. The official search was called off after four days but Sala’s friends, family and fans clubbed together to pay for a private search to continue with renowned shipwreck hunter David Mearns. On Sunday morning 3 February, their efforts paid off.
Geo Ocean III left Ostend in Belgium at 09h00 and began combing the area. Within hours it was search vessel FPV Morven which picked up a sonar signal from the depths. The wreckage of the Piper Malibu was formally identified by officials from the Air Accident Investigation Board. The AAIB’s vessel deployed a remote-controlled submarine to examine the plane and tonight confirmed it was the craft carrying the striker. The vessel that made the discovery was lead by marine scientist David Mearns, who confirmed the identity and location of the plane.
Drunk American Airlines pilot arrested just before take-off
On 7 February an American Airlines pilot was been arrested in Manchester, United Kingdom, minutes before taking off. According to the police, the man was suspected to have consumed alcohol over the prescribed limit. “Shortly before 11h00, police received a report that an airline pilot may have been under the influence of alcohol at Manchester Airport”, said a spokesperson of the Greater Manchester police. “Officers attended and a 62-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of performing an aviation function when over the prescribed limit of alcohol”.
The flight AA735 he was supposed to operate an Airbus A330, from Manchester Airport (MAN) to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), was cancelled. The passengers were rebooked on other flights. “Safety is our highest priority and we apologize to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans,” an American Airlines spokeswoman declared, adding “we are fully cooperating with local law enforcement.” The pilot has been bailed, pending an investigation. On 28 October 2018, a Japanese Airlines pilot was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), for being close to 10 times over the alcohol limit. Four days before, a morning flight of All Nippon Airways (ANA) had to be cancelled because a pilot failed to show up for work after a busy night.
Caution, slippery: plane skids runway in Moscow
The slippery winter season in Russia is not only affecting road traffic. It’s barely been a week since a plane rolled away of the stand in Domodedovo airport, when yet another plane was spotted sliding.
On 6 February 2019, Yamal Airlines Sukhoi Superjet 100-95LR plane, flying from Tyumen (TJM) to Moscow (DME), overran the runway and crashed into a light tower in Domodedovo. During the landing attempt, the plane skidded off the runway and hit the airport light tower with a wing. The landing took place in a normal mode, but at some point, the pilot allegedly lost control over the aircraft and could not stop. As a result of the collision, none of 58 passengers on board or the cabin crew were injured. However, a tip and a slat of the right semi-wing were damaged. Moscow Interregional Investigation Department of Transport announced the investigation was ongoing, mentioning the ice on the runway as preliminary reason of the incident.
Hawaiian A330 forced to turn back three times in the same flight
When 207 passengers boarded their Hawaiian Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Maui, Hawaii, on 1 February 2019, they were in for a ride. The pilots had to abort the flight three times for different reasons, before it was finally grounded. The Airbus A330-243, registered N395HA, was supposed to carry out flight HA33 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Kahuilui Airport (OGG) in Hawaii, United States. After taking off for the first time, the plane flew for about an hour before turning to land back in Los Angeles where it had to land heavy.
On its second attempt, the aircraft flew in circles off the coast of Los Angeles for another two hours, probably in order to dump enough fuel to land safely, once more, in its departure airport. On its third attempt, the plane was still taxiing to the runway when it was asked to return to the gate. The flight was eventually cancelled.
All of the turn-backs were due to unrelated technical mishaps with different systems, Alex Da Silva, senior manager at Hawaiian Airlines commented. Passengers of the flight are entitled to a refund as well as a $100 voucher for future flights. On 25 January 2019, another Hawaiian Airlines flight, from JFK to Honolulu, had to divert to San Francisco after a crew member suffered a suspected heart attack. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Germania goes bankrupt, Swiss subsidiary spared
On 5 February 2019, unable to overcome its liquidity problems, low-cost carrier Germania announced that it filed for bankruptcy. On 10 January 2019, the company already declared that it was facing financial difficulties. However, CEO Karsten Balke sounded confident, as discussions with an unnamed potential investor that wanted to support the company financially were ‘positive.’ But it seems that the negotiations were inconclusive, or insufficient. “Unfortunately, we were ultimately unable to bring our financing efforts to cover a short-term liquidity need to a positive conclusion,” said Balke in an official statement. A week before, the company had reported that it failed to pay its employees for January.
Germania also noted that stranded passengers who booked their flights directly with the airline would not be offered an alternative solution. Its last flights departed on the night of 4 February 2019.
Eurowings, another German company, offered a 50% discount for passengers that need to be repatriated by 17 February 2019. For now, the two subsidiaries of Germania, Swiss airline Germania Flug AG and Bulgarian Eagle should not be affected by the bankruptcy. “With us, the business continues as usual. We are on course, i.e. the ongoing winter timetable and the 2019 summer timetable will be maintained as planned and planning for the winter of 2019/20 is already underway,” commented Urs A. Pelizzoni, board member of Germania Flug AG. The Berlin-based carrier founded in 1986 was mainly operating from Germany and Switzerland to tourist destinations around the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East and had recently shifted its strategy from charter flights towards the low-cost market.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Florida County using drones for property appraisals
St. Johns County in northeast Florida is one of the state’s and the USA’s most rapidly-growing regions. In an effort to keep up with appraisals of new construction in the county and ensure compliance by existing property owners, the Property Appraiser has turned to drones to help in its assessment of value. The St. Augustine Record reports that the aircraft are deployed for multiple reasons, including compliance with building permits and tracking lots that may soon be added to the tax rolls. In 2018, St. Johns County added 4,300 new residential properties to its tax base.
Two years ago, the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s office purchased a DJI Mavic Pro for about $1,000. Property Appraiser Eddie Creamer said that more recently, an eBee fixed-wing drone was acquired to scan much larger areas, such as agricultural parcels. The four employees who operate the aircraft are referred to as ‘The Drone Squad’. They schedule flights two or three times a week.
The aircraft capture video which is analysed for changes in residential and commercial properties. If a homeowner has added a pool or a deck, for instance, it can affect the value of the property, It also allows Creamer’s office to check actual structures against plans filed with the county. St. Johns is one of two counties in Florida to use drones for property appraisals. The other is Santa Rosa County in the far west Panhandle region, which includes Pensacola.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
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