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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
CemAir apologises to its customers for the continued disruption to its operations and assures that it is working hard to expedite the restoration of its normal scheduled flights. “I wish to thank our customers for their patience and their loyalty. I am sorry that we have let you down during this period, but we look forward to flying you again very soon,” said Miles van der Molen, CEO of CemAir. “The safety and well-being of our customers, our people and our aircraft is our top priority. For this reason, we are working closely with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to address its concerns”, he said.
“As the first step, last Friday, we initiated a thorough and comprehensive assessment and verification of internal processes and procedures at our aircraft maintenance division. The scope of this exercise includes personnel training, licencing and powers of authority to release aircraft and components into service. In parallel, we have provided the SACAA with full and comprehensive documentation packs relating to the history and status of each of our 12 South African-registered aircraft. We have also hosted and cooperated fully with the SACAA’s additional audit inspections. “While we would like to expedite the restoration of our scheduled services, we must ensure there are no questions over the integrity of CemAir’s safety. For this reason, we have requested the SACAA’s feedback, guidance and recommendations arising from its inspections, together with a defined timeline, against which it will verify our compliance and lift the restrictions currently in place,” explained Mr van der Molen.
CemAir technical personnel all hold valid licences or company authorisation, as required by the SACAA. Our aircraft maintenance engineers undergo TETA-accredited training courses provided by Denel and other SACAA-approved training organisations. CemAir’s safety compliance has also been recognised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which requires all of its members to pass its comprehensive and globally benchmarked biennial IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). CemAir renewed its IOSA accreditation last September and is on the IOSA register of approved airlines.
In the meantime, CemAir is trying to contact as many of its ticket holders as possible but appeals to those who may have booked through online travel agency sites to contact the airline, so that we understand their intentions and where possible, arrangements can be made to re-book them onto alternative flights or refund them. Ticket-holders can contact CemAir central reservations department on 0861 236 247. Since we are experiencing high call volumes, queries can also be emailed to any of our offices at any of the following addresses:
email@example.com : firstname.lastname@example.org : email@example.com : firstname.lastname@example.org : email@example.com : firstname.lastname@example.org : email@example.com
Further updates will be posted on www.flycemair.co.za
Now in its fifth year of deployment with the UN Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), two Rooivalk combat support helicopters notched up a first when manned by all-black crews on an escort mission. “Mission commander on the first aircraft was Major Tlhalefo Moroole with pilot Major Msawenkosi Majova. The second Rooivalk was flown by Major Mashaole Ramoipone with Lieutenant Sipho Mahlangu his weapon systems operator,” said Operation Mistral public information officer, Captain Siboniso Maseko. The third aircraft in the formation was a SAAF Oryx. The escort tasking in South Kivu province saw the aircraft successfully complete a six-hour mission.”
In addition to regular escort flights, the Rooivalk fly’s missions in support of ground troops taking on rebel groups in the eastern DRC as part of UN efforts to stabilise the DRC. While not officially noted by the SAAF, the performance of Rooivalk has been welcomed by senior UN officials as well as senior military officers serving with the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), part of MONUSCO, the UN’s single largest peacekeeping and peace support mission.
Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister, Kobus Marais, received unexpected extra insight into the number of serviceable aircraft types in the SA Air Force (SAAF) when he posed a Parliamentary question on aircraft maintenance contracts. He was informed by Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula “the SAAF has 16 aircraft types in service” and the Department of Defence (DoD) “has maintenance contracts in place for 12 aircraft types”.
There are more than 160 aircraft in the SAAF fleet ranging from fighter jets, lead-in fighter trainers, trainers, transports of various types and three different helicopter types making the Ministerial response erroneous. Her response to Marais’ question where she tells him “maintenance contracts have not been advertised for Cessna Citation, Beechcraft King Air, Cessna Caravan, Boeing Business jet and the Dassault Falcon 50 and Falcon 100”. Mapisa-Nqakula’s response indicated State-owned defence and security acquisition agency, Armscor, will only re-advertise maintenance contracts for air force assets “once in receipt of valid instructions from the DoD”.
SAPFA Rand Airport challenge rally
APAnews promotes ALL KNOWN calendar events several months ahead. APAnews also provides for aviation events banner adverts at a nominal cost of R200 per insertion or R1000 for a package of eight insertions. Our usual price is R600 per insertion, therefore the price for airshow and event organisers is a considerable discount.
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 703226 to 28 February Abu Dhabi Air Expo Website: www.abudhabiairexpo.com/
Contact Tel: (+971) 44312299 E-mail: email@example.com Feb to 1 March HAI HELI-EXPO in Dallas, Texas, USA
Contact: Karen Gebhart E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org March SAPFA Virginia Fun Rally – Virginia Airport
Contact Mary de Klerk E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 880 9000
9 to 11 March Aero Club of South Africa Air Week at Middelburg airfield
Contact Alan Evan-Hanes E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This event will be planning for:
- Spot landing competitions (for everything that got airborne, including hot air balloons and gyrocopters
- Fun rallies for all aircraft types and speeds (short duration introduction navigational rallies)
- Fly markets (sell the aviation things you no longer need)
- On airfield camping. Arrangements are being made for those who want to but do not want to carry a tent – just like Oshkosh, which will be managed by Neil Bowden. In addition, I will be present with my trailer top camper for the two nights.
- Drone racing
- Forums on various topics
- Introduction to Aerobatics – all classes and judging initiation
- Balloon nightglows (needs to be seen)
Anything that flies (except mosquitos) are welcome. This is an aviation event for aviators. Lots of Avgas available. Come showcase your plane and in turn get to look at all the things you wanted to. The sky will be kept as open as possible for you to fly, take a friend for a flip.
Contact Andre van Rooyen E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 417 017412 to 14 April SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally at Brits Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 151614 April Robertson annual Fly-in breakfast
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 270 588817 & 18 April African Aviation Summit Cairo, Egypt Website: www.aviationafrica.aero
Contact Mark Brown E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AERO dedicates itself to offering a significant collection of aviation related products and accessories. Exhibitors will be showing engines, modern ultra-lights, powered aircraft, avionics and related products and services. Over the years, this show has gained a huge reputation from all over the world and the positive reaction from the attendees have motivated the exhibitors to improve the existing range and manufacture more such effective spare parts and products.21 & 22 April SAC KNZ regionals – Ladysmith airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com April to 1 May NAC annual fly-away 10th edition
Contact Deneys Potgieter E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 082 891 435427 to 28 April EAA National Convention Vryheid Airfield over the last weekend in April. Besides a great expected turnout of aircraft, a fantastic venue and a superb function being organised by the Vryheid Wings Club, you can also win a trip to the world’s greatest aviation event – Oshkosh AirVenture! By making sure you are an EAA (South Africa) member, pre-registering and attending the event, you will stand in line to win this exciting prize! The draw will take place at Vryheid at the awards dinner on the airfield. Contact Marie Reddy email@example.com
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 703228 April Wings & Wheels Uitenhage
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 320 26155 May SAAF Museum Swartkops Airshow
Contact Officer Commanding E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 012 351 22907 to 9 May Airport show in Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Contact Reed Exhibitions Middle East E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 151611 to 13 May Battlefields Country Lodge Annual fly-in Website: www.battlefieldslodge.co.za
Contact Dave O’Halloran Tel 079 496 5286 E-mail: email@example.com May Lowveld Airshow at the Nelspruit Airfield Tel: 013 741 6412
Contact Monica Fourie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 619 359712 May Swellengrebel Flying Club 60th birthday fly-in
Contact Pieter Venter E-mail: email@example.com
15 to 18 May NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show near Bothaville, Free State
Contact Wim Venter Tel: 086 004 7246 E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za
16 to 18 May Drone Con 2018 Vodaworld Centre in Midrand
Contact Byron Walters E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 & 18 May 8th Aviation Training and Education Summit Shanghai, China
Contact Josephine Zhu E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org May CAASA Conference to be held at Lanseria
Contact Louise Olckers Tel; 011 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com to 26 May President’s Trophy Air Race Tempe Airfield, Bloemfontein
Website: www.sapfa.org.za E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
Race director Robin Spencer-Scarr: E-mail: email@example.com May Matsieng Airshow
Contact Riaan van Vuuren E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +26 771 66 1201
29 to 31 May European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.
Contact Bianca Dorneanu E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +32 2 766 00 72
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Swoop, a ‘little sister’ of Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet, is set to operate a cross-country service from Abbotsford, Hamilton, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax (Canada). On 20 June 2018 the airline is launching its first flights between Abbotsford and Hamilton and between Hamilton and Halifax. Overall, it plans to operate 45 weekly flights: 24 weekly flights from Hamilton and 27 from Abbotsford.Swoop positions itself as Canada’s first and only ultra-low-cost carrier, meaning that ticket price covers only the bare minimum or ‘only the seat’, as the company puts in, while all other amenities; including a bag and legroom are available for additional cost. “Features for purchase include a bag, movies and Wi-Fi, more legroom or less and buy-on-board snacks and beverages. Bringing a small personal item on board is free,” is noted in a statement by the company. WestJet announced the name and logo for its ULCC arm on 27 September 2017, revealing the plans for Swoop to operate no-frills, lower-fare service in Canada on a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Saudi Arabia denied that it granted permission to Air India to use the kingdom’s airspace for flights into Israel, after reports surfaced stating the opposite. Reuters reported on 7 February 2018, Air India announced plans to begin direct flights to Israel passing through Saudi airspace and said it was awaiting clearance from India’s regulatory body to fly over the kingdom.
A spokesperson for Air India and Israel’s Airports Authority said the flag carrier had requested slots for three weekly flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. According to the Airports Authority, the service would begin in early March 2018. On the same day, Israeli daily Haaretz wrote that Saudi Arabia has granted the airline approval to operate direct flights between India and Israel using the kingdom’s airspace. But a spokesperson for the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia denied granting permission to Indian planes to operate through Saudi territory, Al Arabiya television reported.
El AL Israel Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, offers direct weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai. However, these trips take almost eight hours as the airline has to fly over the Red Sea, past Yemen and around the Arabian Peninsula in order to circumvent Saudi airspace as well as other Arab and Muslim nations such as the UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who also do not allow airlines to use their airspace for flights to Israel. If Air India were given flyover rights by Saudi authorities, the new route from New Delhi to Tel Aviv would shorten the flight time by more than two hours and would save fuel costs.
Eviation Aircraft and South Korean battery manufacturer Kokam have revealed details for a battery supply deal worth over $1 million. These batteries will be used to power Eviation’s Alice aircraft, set to fly by the end of this year. With the goal of making clean regional air travel accessible for all, Eviation is tackling one of the world’s dirtiest industries – aviation. Its zero-emissions solution, the Alice, which debuted at the 52nd Paris Air Show in June 2017, leverages an IP portfolio that includes thermal management and autonomous landing, as well as distributed electric propulsion, industry-leading battery technology provided by Kokam, and cutting-edge composite body frames capable of carrying up to nine passengers on a single charge for 650 miles.
Beginning with its patented manufacturing process, Kokam’s battery solutions feature a compact battery cell design, an industry-leading energy density of 260-Watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and a long cycle life, making them optimised to achieve light, energy efficient solutions meeting the safety demands of an aircraft. While the company’s battery solutions have been used in aerial, ground, surface and underwater drone applications for military, commercial and industrial purposes, this deal with Eviation marks the first time they will be used in manned aerial flights of regional commuter aircrafts.
The front fan has the same number of blades and is the same diameter, at 118 inches, but will run around six per cent faster. The engine core has been scaled up in size to cope with the consequential increased airflow into the compressor and the combustor and turbines will both run at higher temperatures.
Last week at the Singapore airshow Embraer Defence & Security announced the signing of a Letter of Intent with aviation services company SkyTech for up to six new KC-390 multi-mission transport aircraft. The aircraft are earmarked for multiple defence projects and both companies have also agreed on a potential strategic collaboration to jointly explore new business opportunities in training and services. SkyTech is the result of a partnership between two long-standing players in the field of defence services: aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) company HiFly, from Portugal, and Australian aviation services and charter provider Adagold Aviation.
The KC-390 is a tactical transport aircraft developed to establish new standards in its category while presenting the lowest life cycle cost on the market. It is capable of carrying out various missions, such as transporting cargo, troops or paratroopers, aerial refuelling, in addition to supporting humanitarian missions, search and rescue missions, medical evacuation and aerial firefighting. The KC-390 can transport up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), as well as operating in hostile environments, including unprepared or damaged runways.
On 4 February 2018, Reuters reported that Etihad is planning to ground and perhaps sell five of its Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft. The planes are believed to be no longer needed as they were used on flights to the United States on routes that are being reduced.
A week earlier, on 29 January 2018, European Aviation announced an agreement to purchase ten Etihad’s A340 aircraft: seven A340-600 and three A340-500. According to a statement by the company, the aircraft are going to be delivered ‘over the next few months’.
On 24 January 2018, it was also reported that Etihad chose to dispose of five Airbus cargo aircraft. According to Reuters, five A330 freighters were grounded with the intention to sell or lease them, as the carrier opted for an all-Boeing freighter fleet.
In its February 2017 report, Etihad disclosed a fleet of 122 passenger and cargo aircraft and 175 deliveries foreseen between 2017 and 2025. However, the carrier is known to be undergoing a review launched in 2016, which includes a new fleet and network plan.
On 5 February the first Boeing 737 MAX 7 made its debut at the company’s Renton (Washington, U.S.) factory. The airplane, the first of two MAX 7 flight test airplanes, will begin its flight testing programme in the coming weeks. The first MAX 7 will now undergo system checks, fuelling and engine runs on the flight line in Renton. The 737 MAX 7 is scheduled to enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines.
The MAX 7 is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to come down the assembly line. The jet is designed for up to 172 passengers and a maximum range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the longest range of the MAX airplane family. Technology improvements allow the MAX 7 to fly 1,000 nautical miles farther and carry more passengers than its predecessor, the 737-700, while having 18 percent lower fuel costs per seat.
On 6 February 2018, SpaceX successfully launched the first long awaited demonstration flight of the new Falcon Heavy spacecraft. The rocket is now the world’s most powerful operational vehicle. It can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest spacecraft Delta IV Heavy at one-third of the cost. Falcon Heavy’s success marks a huge step forward for a company that has already been shaking up the industry with its trailblazing ventures. Launched on 3:45 EST after a few delays due to weather conditions, the Falcon Heavy successfully lifted off from the launch pad of the historic Kennedy Space Center in Florida, used for Saturn V’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. The rocket is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle which is a variant of SpaceX’s Falcon 9. The first stage of spacecraft is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than five million pounds of thrust at lift-off, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
All three engines of the Falcon Heavy are reusable and two of them successfully returned to landing sites after take-off. However, the center core engine of the rocket crash landed in the ocean near its landing pad. “The center core hit water at 300 mph and took out two of the engines of the drone ship,” said Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, at a press conference. But even with the core engine lost, the test launch has definitely exceeded expectations. The spacecraft is now headed deeper into space carrying an unusual payload; Musk’s own midnight cherry Tesla Roadster. Placed in the car is a dummy wearing a SpaceX spacesuit, a copy of the 1979 novel ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and a towel saying, ‘Don’t Panic’, as Musk previously announced on Twitter. David Bowie’s ‘The Oddity’ is playing on repeat. During the launch live stream, SpaceX also revealed that it placed an ‘Ark’ storage system containing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.
Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space. According to SpaceX, it restores the possibility of flying manned missions to the Moon or Mars. Musk, told Syfy Wire that the rocket’s destination is Mars, but more precisely, the spacecraft will penetrate the low energy elliptical Mars orbit which is called a Hohmann transfer. In space travel, it is the most fuel efficient orbital path requiring the smallest amount of energy. The success of this flight is a game changer for SpaceX and the industry as a whole. Costing approximately $90 million per launch, it is just a fraction of the price of Delta IV Heavy which can cost up to $400 million per launch, according to CNN. SpaceX could use the Falcon Heavy to send larger national security satellites into orbit that its Falcon 9 rocket cannot currently fly. According to Musk, the SpaceX rocket could be a cheaper option for NASA and the government is paying attention. U.S. Vice President’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers tweeted that a successful launch could have major positive ramifications for U.S. space industry.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Chinese ambitions seem to be aiming at seizure of market share from incumbents such as the U.S.’s General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, the manufacturer of the MQ-9 Reaper used by the U.S Air Force (USAF), and Israel Aerospace Industries, which both dominate the killer drone manufacturing industry. Because the Wing Loong UAVs cost about $5 million in contrast with the up to $100 million for a U.S. made system, it can be a viable alternative for less affluent militaries, says Ben Moores, a senior analyst for defence and aviation at Jane’s by HIS Markit. It could also be appealing to countries that have tense relations with the U.S. and Israel.In February 2017, Chinese state news agency Xinhua announced that the country’s home-made military drones had won their largest ever overseas order from an undisclosed buyer. Just recently, in January 2018, Ji Xiaoguang, president of Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute (CADI), told China Daily that “The Wing Loong II has earned the largest order for Chinese UAV in the global foreign military trade. In the future, more series and members of the Wing Loong family are under plan.”However, analysts caution to take China’s claims of such sales with a grain of salt. According to them, China has not yet taken away any business from U.S. and Israeli drone makers and has so far sold to customers that are simply unable to afford the more expensive products. According to Moores, “We’ve not seen any developed leading military get anywhere near to buying Chinese UAV’s.” Nevertheless, he admits that “factors are moving in China’s favour on a daily basis.”Jane’s by IHS Markit now predicts that countries such as Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and the Philippines could be in the market for these drones. It says that Malaysia is potentially seeking 24 units and Indonesia is looking at 20. According to Reuters, Western manufacturers at the Singapore Airshow acknowledged the growing presence of their Chinese rival, but said their advantage is many years of experience. “If you look at the Wing Loong, it looks just like our airplane,” said Joseph Song, vice president for international strategic development at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, the manufacturer of the MQ-9 Reaper. But, “At the end of the day anybody can make an airplane. What’s important is what you do with that platform,” Song said. “We’ve flown five million hours on the MQ-9, which is more than all the UAVs combined in the world.”
Israel’s Aeronautics said it had a 40-year track record with 70 clients across 55 countries. Their drones had been tested through many development cycles and been proven in combat. “When you buy Chinese for now, you pay less, you get less. Less by reliability, less by safety,” said Dany Eshchar, Aeronautic’s deputy chief executive for marketing and sales at Israel Aeronautics, adding that nobody can “shortcut 40 years to five years.” The Western drone manufacturers are therefore counting on their track records and customers’ appreciation of a good product in contrast to the cheaper and perhaps less reliable alternative, even if that means paying a little more.
The Wing Loong is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) and strike-capable UAV developed by Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute (CADI), a division of China’s AVIC. It was developed primarily for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and is intended for surveillance and aerial reconnaissance missions. Development of the Wing Loong UAVs began in 2005 and the first test flight was conducted in 2009. A prototype of the Wing Loong I was showcased during the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai in 2010, while the Wing Loong II was unveiled at the Beijing Aviation Expo in 2015, Air Force Technology writes.The Wing Long I conducted its maiden flight in 2007 and its upgraded version successfully completed its maiden flight in 2017. Now, China is aiming to roll out an improved model; the Wing Loong ID in 2018. “The Wing Loong ID is the first generation of improved reconnaissance-strike UAS in China. With other members of the family, it will help enhance the influence of Wing Loong brand in the global military trade market,” Li Yidong, chief designer of the drone series, told China Daily.
Doctor: Madam, your husband needs rest and peace, so here are some sleeping pills.
Wife: Doc, when should I give them to him?
Doctor: They are for you!
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnewslink on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.