“Success in life is not about luck, it is about managed thoughts, focused attention and deliberate action” Trudy Vesotsky
African Pilot’s March 2019 edition
African Pilot’s March edition is complete and has entered its distribution phase. This edition features business at Rand Airport, Business Jets, Supersonic Business Jets and the famous DH Mosquito. I would like to thank all those businesses that supported this magnificent edition with an incredible cover picture by Gavin Conroy from New Zealand.
African Pilot’s April 2019 edition
It is almost crazy to think that we are about to launch the April 2019 edition of African Pilot – where has the year gone? This edition will feature business at Wonderboom National Airport and Turboprop Aircraft types. For this reason, I will be paying personal visits to ALL the aviation businesses at Wonderboom over the coming weeks to take new pictures and understand the requirements of these businesses first hand. With the launch of APAdigital, I have been filming extensive video footage at the airports in order to produce a video that illustrates the regional airport experience. The closing date for the April edition will be on Wednesday 6 March 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?
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit APAcom and register yourself as a user
This is easy, just visit www.apacom.co.za and register on the APAcom portal
Video of the week: Rand Airport
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Contaminated AVGAS in South Africa
Please accept that this communication is being placed into the public space in the best interest of overall aviation safety to alert all aviators to become far more vigilant when refuelling their piston-powered aircraft.
Some six weeks ago I drew attention to the issue of contaminated AVGAS to everyone in aviation when I personally witnessed a sample of the fuel that had been uploaded by a Gauteng operator at a major airfield in the Northern Cape. When I was walking the ramps of the airport preparing for the feature within the February edition, I discovered and personally tested what was clearly contaminated AVGAS that had been drained from a twin-engine aircraft.
When a crisis of this magnitude happens, we would expect the Regulator to issue an ‘Emergency Aviation Directive (AD)’ to the entire industry, but apart from some poorly edited communications, this has not actually happened. The question is: Do we have to wait for a fatal accident before the regulator does what it is mandated to do?
I have seen several aircraft engine component problems that clearly show cylinder glazing and exhaust valve carbon build up, with the most recent pictures taken at another airport on Wednesday 20 February 2019. The pictures I have provided clearly show a glazed cylinder and carbon build-up on an exhaust valve of a helicopter engine that had done less than 300 hours since complete overhaul. I also saw a high-performance aerobatic aircraft at an AMO where all six cylinders had been removed due to cylinder glazing and other problems.
What are the reasons for this situation?
Whilst there has been considerable speculation within the industry and there may be many reasons for contaminated AVGAS situation in South Africa, so I don’t wish to speculate. But this does leave little doubt that something more sinister is happening within the South African AVGAS supply chain.
What you pilots can you do!
1) Recognise that AVGAS is normally a brilliant, bright blue colour.
2) When you are refuelling take note of the colour and this is easily done by making sure that the supplier pours a sample into the clear glass bottle that ALL AVGAS suppliers should have on site.
3) Carry out a sample test by placing your finger into the AVGAS a checking the evaporation rate, smell and look out for oily contamination.
4) Finally, if you do come across what you suspect is contamination of the fuel you have paid for, please report this immediately to the SACAA.
5) DO NOT be tempted to purchase cheap AVGAS.
Please understand that this serious communication has been sent to all persons on African Pilot’s considerable database with the specific interest of preventing aviation accidents as a result of contaminated AVGAS that may result in tragedy. I would also appreciate any advice regarding the discovery of contaminated AVGAS – please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
AERO South Africa scheduled for 4 to 6 July Wonderboom National Airport
AERO SA is already 63% sold out and set to be Africa’s largest General Aviation trade show. This event will cover the full spectrum of services and products for the General Aviation industry. Confirm your participation at AERO SA today and secure your six sqm stand in Germany at Aero Friedrichshafen as part of the Aero South Africa pavilion (optional), at no additional charge apart from travel and accommodation. There are only three spaces left in Germany and the closing date for stand booking to make use of this once in a lifetime opportunity is 26 February 2019 (T’s & C’s apply). Contact Annelie Reynolds on e-mail: email@example.com for more information.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
O.R. Tambo International Airport named ‘Airport of the Year’
South Africa’s biggest and busiest port of entry, was named African Airport of the Year at this week’s Air Cargo Africa conference and exhibition. This was the fourth time the airport has won the award.
The Air Cargo Africa 2019 event attracted more than 80 international exhibiting companies and more than 3 000 trade visitors from 60 countries including from 30 African nations. The general manager of the airport Ms Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana said: “Winning this award demonstrates our commitment to deliver the best infrastructure for our stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to strengthen trade and commerce in our region.” 82% of South Africa’s total air cargo volume of about 400 000 tons a year is routed through O. R. Tambo International Airport’s Western Precinct Cargo Terminal with 92% of the total being international cargo.
Entries for the 2019 PTAR are open
SAPFA has given the President’s Trophy Air Race a ‘facelift’. The format has been changed to the new and exciting Speed Rally format that has proven to be liked by many Air Racers. Reserve Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 May 2019 at Saldanha Bay. Click on the link below to enter:
Major changes are:
⦁ All aircraft handicaps are set back to zero after each race. If you are happy with your handicap from previous races then you have the option not to undertake a test flight test as this is not compulsory. However, a flight test will be available to determine your new handicap.
⦁ Handicap will not change after day one (Friday) of the PTAR unless the judges see a big discrepancy, which may require an additional test flight
⦁ Pre-printed maps are provided 20 minutes before your take-off time with the route and magnetic headings
⦁ The PTAR 2019 can expect around 12 turn points left and right
⦁ Turn points are given as clear photographs for referencing
⦁ As in the past, PTAR will not allow GPS nor auto-pilot to be used during the race, unlike the Speed Rallies
⦁ The handing out of race numbers is an exciting event on the Thursday evening, not to be missed as all pilots are introduced to the racers with theme songs, video content and great entertainment
⦁ All loggers have been upgraded to provide altitude accuracy of between 5 and 30 feet
⦁ The only way to be excluded is to fly 100 feet or lower on any part of the race route, whilst any other infringement will be given time penalties.
Johnty Esser will be available to chat with the entrants on Cell: 082 855 9435 – If I don’t answer please send me a WhatsApp message or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Ms Sibiya Cell:072 870 7085 E-mail: email@example.com
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting at the Dicky Fritz Moth Hall, Edenvale
Contact Ronel: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Aviation Hangar Talk with the SACAA Durban
RSVP to Mr Mpho Ramoshaba Tel 011 545 1601 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Speed Rally at the Middelburg Aero Club Air Week
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
FASHKOSH 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
Uitenhage Air Festival
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 320 2615
4 to 14 April
Stars of Sandstone Ficksburg, Eastern Free State
10 to 13 April
AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany Global show for General Aviation
Contact Stephan E-mail: email@example.com
The 27th AERO, with its comprehensive range of products and services on offer, will be held on Lake Constance as Europe’s general aviation centre. The spectrum of aircraft exhibited in Friedrichshafen will extend from gliders and ultra-lights to Echo class planes through to helicopters and business jets. Drones for civilian use and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air taxis of the future will play a role at AERO. Electric flight will be even more prominently exhibited at the e-flight-expo. Avionics Avenue, the Engine Area and Be a Pilot are areas that will round out AERO’s specialised exhibits and programming. The Flight Simulator Area will appeal to both beginners and experienced pilots among the trade visitors.
SAPFA EAA Convention Adventure Rally – Vryheid
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 to 28 April
EAA National Convention in Vryheid
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
IATA releases 2018 Airline safety performance showing progress in Africa
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2018 safety performance of the commercial airline industry showing continuing safety improvements over the long term, but an increase in accidents compared to 2017.
⦁ The all accident rate (measured in accidents per 1 million flights) was 1.35, which was the equivalent of one accident for every 740,000 flights. This was an improvement over the all accident rate of 1.79 for the previous five-year period (2013-2017), but a decline compared to 2017’s record performance of 1.11.
⦁ The 2018 rate for major jet accidents (measured in jet hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.19, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 5.4 million flights. This was an improvement over the rate for the previous five-year period (2013-2017) of 0.29 but not as good as the rate of 0.12 in 2017.
⦁ There were 11 fatal accidents with 523 fatalities among passengers and crew. This compares with an average of 8.8 fatal accidents and approximately 234 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2013-2017). In 2017, the industry experienced six fatal accidents with 19 fatalities, which was a record low. One accident in 2017 also resulted in the deaths of 35 persons on the ground.
“Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights. 2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was. However, flying is safe and the data tells us that it is getting safer.
“Flying continues to be the safest form of long distance travel the world has ever known. Based on the data, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 241 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board. We remain committed to the goal of having every flight take-off and land safely,” said de Juniac
Gulfstream to display record-breaking Gulfstream G500 at Aviation Africa
Gulfstream Aerospace will showcase the clean-sheet, record-breaking Gulfstream G500 along with the class-leading, super-midsize Gulfstream G280 at the 2019 Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition between 27 and 28 February in Kigali, Rwanda. Gulfstream’s exhibition will be at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, whilst the aircraft will be on static display at Kigali International Airport.
Five people flying from Kenya nature reserve killed in plane crash
On Wednesday Kenyan police said that five people had died after a small plane carrying them from Kenya’s Maasai Mara nature reserve crashed in the west of the country. Edward Mwamburi, police chief for the Rift Valley region said the Cessna plane was heading from the Maasai Mara to Lodwar, near Lake Turkana. Emergency services have been sent to the scene.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Surya Kiran aerobatic jets collide in India
One Indian air force pilot was killed after two BAE Hawk aircraft collided mid-air. The Surya Kiran aerobatics team was preparing for an airshow at Aero India when the accident occurred. According to reports, Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron Leader TJ Singh both ejected, but Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi was killed. The two surviving aircrew were airlifted with unspecified injuries to the Air Force Command Hospital in nearby Bengaluru in southern India. Eyewitnesses say that the two jets, one with a solo pilot and the other with a crew of two, were performing a manoeuvre with the upper airplane inverted and canopy-to-canopy with the lower, flying in the same direction. The BAE Hawk is a follow-on to the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk jet trainer first flown in the late 1970s. It is still in production by BAE in the UK and built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics in India. In addition to the Surya Kiran team, the Hawk is flown by the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows team.
Jetstream pushes Boeing 787 past 800 MPH
The best way to shorten an international airline flight is to catch a whopping big tailwind. According to radar tracks posted on FlightAware, on Monday night as the Virgin Boeing 787 cruised at 35,000 feet, posted an 801-MPH ground speed. With the jetstream howling over the northeast, flight times west-to-east dipped dramatically. An American Airlines 737-800 ripped along near 700 MPH for almost 20 minutes between Chicago and La Guardia in New York on Tuesday morning. This event coincides with a balloon sounding over New York three hours earlier indicating wind speeds of 200 knots (231 MPH) at 30,000 to 35,000 feet.
Amazon Prime Air Cargo with three on board crashes near Houston Airport
Atlas Air Flight 3591, a Boeing 767 cargo jetliner was en route to Houston from Miami when radar and radio contact with the plane was lost about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Authorities told media they did not believe there were any survivors. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in charge of the investigation, the statement said and FAA investigators were on their way to the crash site.
In a Facebook post, the Chambers County Sheriff’s office said the plane had been located in Jack’s Pocket, at the north end of Trinity Bay near the small city of Anahuac. “The ongoing investigation of the commercial airplane crash of the Boeing 767 in Trinity Bay near Anahuac has resulted in the recovery of one body thus far,” Chambers County Sheriff’s office said in the post. “The joint operation between the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, the National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI will continue to attempt recovery of victims and the aircraft,” the post added. The company, a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide has been operating Boeing 767 freighters on behalf of Amazon following a 2016 deal.
BRS releases parachute for Van’s RV-10
After 18 months of development, BRS Aerospace says it’s ready to accept orders for the Van’s RV-10 ballistic parachute. BRS already offers a kit for the Van’s RV-7 and RV-9 aircraft as well as other experimental types. Priced at $25,990, the system can be retrofitted to flying aircraft or built into airplanes currently under construction. To ease the latter option, BRS is offering the kit in two parts to better incorporate into the build process; first comes the installation hardware then, once the airplane is ready to fly, the builder can purchase the parachute assembly and rocket.
BRS says the RV-10 installation consumes 82 pounds of payload and the right side of the RV’s baggage compartment, opposite the baggage door. The parachute and deployment rocket fit into a box roughly 20 inches on a side, which consumes about a third of the RV’s baggage-bay volume and approximately half the floor area. Builders should watch weight and balance, because the bulk of the system weight is in this area. When deployed, the chute exits the airframe on the right side, eventually engaging straps connected to the rear rollover structure and the upper edge of the firewall. The straps are run under thin exterior fairings. Installation is slated to take 48 hours to complete as a retrofit.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 breaks into tarmac at Tel Aviv Airport
It is not every day that an aircraft sinks into tarmac and ends up getting stuck there. That is exactly what happened to an Airbus A350 operated by Cathay Pacific. The plane got stuck in the tarmac on a taxiway at Tel Aviv International Airport in Israel. The A350-900 (B-LRX) operating flight CX676 to Hong Kong was scheduled to take-off from Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv at 14h30 on 15 February 2019, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 data, but things did not go according to plan. Apparently, the A350 got stuck in the tarmac after its left main landing gear broke into the asphalt during push-back.
USS Hornet found in South Pacific
The crew of the R/V Petrel research vessel announced that they have located the wreck of the USS Hornet, a World War II aircraft carrier that sunk in October 1942 during the Battle of Santa Cruz Island. As shown in the video below, the wreck was discovered in late January nearly 17,700 feet below the surface on the floor of the South Pacific Ocean close to the Solomon Islands. 140 of the Hornet’s crew of almost 2,200 were lost in the ship’s final battle. The expedition team aboard Petrel is part of a historic ship-finding project put together by Microsoft co-founder and aviation entrepreneur Paul Allen, who passed away in October 2018. “We’ve done a number of these explorations to try and find sunken warships,” Allen once said of the project. “We try to do these both as really exciting examples of underwater archaeology and as tributes to the brave men who went down on these ships.” The USS Hornet is best known for launching the Doolittle Raid and for its crew’s role in the Battle of Midway, for which its Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism. The carrier was commissioned on Oct. 20, 1941, and was in service for just over one year.
uAvionix introduces installation network
ADS-B designer and manufacturer uAvionix has launched a Qualified Installers (QI) programme for its skyBeacon and tailBeacon ADS-B Out products. The programme, which is aiming to expand the company’s mobile installation network, is open to A&P IAs and includes training videos and uAvionix TSO and STC manuals. The company says that completion of a 30- to 60-minute online training course is mandatory to join the QI programme. “We created the Qualified Installer programme in response to the intense demand from avionics shops and independent A&Ps who want to represent our product,” said uAvionix President Christian Ramsey. “They recognised the potential for supplemental capacity and income; products like skyBeacon and tailBeacon represent in the current backlogged environment leading up to the 2020 deadline.”
uAvionix also announced that it is actively recruiting repair shops and individual A&P IAs for the programme. The company lists average installation time for either skyBeacon or tailBeacon units as about one hour. For certified applications, installation requires a sign-off by a FAA IA. As previously reported skyBeacon was certified in September 2018 by the FAA and is designed to replace an aircraft’s wingtip navigation or nav / strobe lights. uAvionix says it is expecting its tailBeacon aft aircraft position light ADS-B replacement to be similarly certified by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Last European operator gives up on Sukhoi Superjet 100?
CityJet, the last European operator to have Sukhoi Superjet 100 in its fleet, has returned the aircraft to the owner, Vedomosti reported on 18 February 2019. According to the publication, the reason for the decision a huge lack of spare parts, which caused long groundings of the aircraft.
In response to the publication, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) has released a statement, refuting the information that aircraft were returned to their owner by claiming it ‘contradicts the reality’. However, SCAC also adds that ‘Currently CityJet is reconsidering its business-model and therefore SCAC and CityJet are being under active cooperation as far as SSJ100 is concerned’.
But CityJet claims it is ‘certainly not reconsidering its business model’, neither it is in ‘active cooperation’ with SCAC, according to the company’s statement. As for the aircraft in question, the company refused to comment on whether or not is has returned the aircraft due to confidentiality obligations, but did confirmed that it is not using SS100 for commercial flights for over a month.
CityJet’s final commercial operation of a SSJ 100 was on 7 January 2019. CityJet received seven Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in 2016-2017 and was wet-leasing them to Brussels Airlines. However, of the seven aircraft, six appear to be stored, while one has changed hands at the end of 2018, based on planespotters.net data.
SSJ100 in Europe
In November 2018, the only European airline, which regularly operated SSJ 100 renounced the use of the aircraft. Brussels Airlines, opted of not prolonging wet-lease contract with CityJet after it expired at the end of 2018. On another hand, also in November 2018, Slovenian airline Adria Airways signed a letter of intent for 15 SSJ100 Jets. As per it, the total order would be a combination of new and second-hand aircraft, with the first deliveries expected in 2019. The airline and SCAC also made an agreement to establish the airliner maintenance and repair company in Slovenia.
Flybmi bankruptcy: Loganair takes routes, Ryanair after pilots
Flybmi (formerly BMI Regional), a regional airline based at East Midlands Airport, announced on 16 February 2019, that it would cease operations with immediate effect the following day. Several companies have since expressed interests in the airline’s assets. Following the announcement of Flybmi bankruptcy, its sister airline Loganair said it would take over at least five routes from Aberdeen, Scotland and Newcastle, England. Some pilots, flight attendants and even maintenance technicians could be recruited as Loganair operates regional Embraer jets like Flybmi.
Another regional airline, Danish Air Transport (DAT), announced it would take over the route between Esbjerg and Aberdeen in Scotland. Ryanair voiced its interests into Flybmi employees, particularly pilots, engineers and support employees based in East Midlands Airport. According to Ryanair director of operations Peter Bellew, Flybmi former employees were met by recruiters from the Irish LCC on 18 February 2019. Like several European airlines that went into bankruptcy these past months (Germania in February 2019, Primera Air, SkyWork Airlines, NextJet AB, etc. in 2018), Flybmi partly blamed rises in fuel and carbon costs for its demise. But Brexit was also an influential element, according to Flybmi. “The uncertainties created by the Brexit process have also had a significant impact on current trade and future prospects,” said the airline in its press release, adding that it “has prevented us from securing valuable flight contracts in Europe and has created a lack of confidence in bmi to continue flying between European destinations.”
Founded in 1938, Flybmi was operating a fleet of three Embraer ERJ-135 and fourteen ERJ-145 regional aircraft, whilst serving 25 European cities. Since August 2015, it was part of Airline Investments Limited, along with Loganair.
Seamless flow will be experienced with Cathay Pacific passengers
Passengers traveling with Cathay Pacific can now participate in a trial of facial recognition self-boarding at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This trial is part of the first phase of Seamless Flow, the program that intends to make paperless travel possible in the long term. After checking in, passengers are invited to take part in the trial. Participants are escorted to one of the special registration kiosks. At this moment, the passport and the boarding pass are scanned, while a high-quality face image is captured, in order to generate the traveller’s single token.
This will allow passengers to self-process through a boarding gate without having to show any documents. At the departure gate, they use a dedicated biometric-enabled eGate, where they simply have to look at a camera that scans their face. The live photo is automatically compared with the scan that was made at the registration process. When the face is identified, the gate opens and the passenger is boarded on the airline system. This only takes a few seconds.
“It’s all about the passenger. The whole idea of Seamless Flow is to modernise the airport landscape to improve the convenience, simplify the processes, propose modern interactions and deliver effective value to passengers. We are very excited to continue working with our partners in this landmark programme, offering Cathay Pacific customers with a pioneering seamless travel platform that will absolutely reshape how we travel.”, says Miguel Leitmann, Vision-Box CEO
By making self-boarding available, Schiphol is closer to achieving a completely Seamless Flow, which aims at offering passengers more convenience and a frictionless flow across the airport. “For passengers, the journey from arrival at the airport to boarding becomes easier and more efficient”, says Wilma van Dijk, Schiphol’s Safety and Security Director. “Now you have to show your passport, your boarding card or both at various checkpoints at the airport, for example, when dropping your luggage, at the entrance to the security check, when passing the border and when you go boarding. In the future you can pass these control points more smoothly because you are recognised by your face. You can leave your passport and boarding pass in the bag. ”
In the coming months, scanning of the face, passport and boarding pass will be experienced during registration and boarding. The next phase will add passport control to the trial. To bring this programme to life, a partnership has been established by the Dutch Government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Cathay Pacific, KLM and Vision-Box, who is responsible for the seamless flow technology platform.
Southwest in ‘operational emergency’ as dozens of airliners are grounded
If the delay of the FAA’s authorisation for Southwest’s Hawaii service launch as well as the fallout from the shocking in-flight tragedy in which a passenger was killed last year were not enough, Southwest has now been hit with another major setback. On Friday, 15 February 2019, news emerged that Southwest has declared an ‘operational emergency’ after a significant number of aircraft were taken out of service for maintenance, leading to cancellation of flights and aggravating tensions between the company and its employees. Due to the grounding of an unusually high number of its planes, Southwest was forced to declare a maintenance ‘emergency’, demanding all scheduled mechanics and inspectors to show up for work.
Contract negotiations between Southwest and its mechanics, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), have been going on for several years and currently involve a mediator. The key issue is Southwest’s idea to outsource some maintenance. I an official statement Southwest said “To take care of our customers, we are requiring all hands on deck to address maintenance items so that we may promptly return aircraft to service. At the same time, our operational planners have been working in the background to minimise the impact to our customers.”
WORLD DRONES NEWS
FAA establishes restrictions on drone operations over DOJ and DOD facilities
At the request of its federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations ‘Special Security Instructions’ to address concerns about drone operations over US national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary unmanned aircraft system (UAS) specific flight restrictions. In cooperation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Defence (DOD), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of Federal facilities.
Why does our South African regulator (SACAA) not learn from the considerable experience of the FAA and EASA as far as Drone regulations are concerned? South Africa has the most restrictive commercial drone requirements in the entire world, where the regulator treats every commercial application for a licence to operate in the same way that an airline would be required to operate. Then I don’t want to go into the so-called safety oversight where it has been reported to me that Part 101 inspectors have no idea about what they are regulating. At the same time the very function of the regulator is to provide ‘safe skies’, but to date, there has been absolutely no public campaign to provide information about the danger of flying drones close to airports. It seems that the regulator is far more interested in apprehending persons flying drones for the good of society than actually understand the greater problem that exists in South Africa.
Highly experienced pilot can’t believe people start flying drones with no instruction whatsoever
One of the RAF’s former top instructors is on a new mission … to make the skies safer.
Squadron leader Andy Holland used to fly ground attack Tornadoes at speeds of around 650 mph and is now a British Airways pilot responsible for the safety of 469 passengers each time he is at the controls of the giant double-decker long-haul Airbus A380. But when he is not doing flying the 48-year-old father-of-four is teaching people how to fly drones. This is a role he and colleagues at Flyby Technology (https://www.flybydronetraining.co.uk) take very seriously. The company’s instructors have 600 YEARS flying experience between them and are all either former RAF or Royal Navy pilots and instructors or else highly qualified civilian flying instructors.
Andy saw action flying Tornadoes with 1X (B) Squadron in the Second Gulf War in 2003; describing his role as ‘neutralising threats so our ground forces could move towards Baghdad.’ In short, that involved bombing and strafing missions and he went through the trauma of losing two of his flying colleagues during that conflict. Andy went on to become one of the RAF’s top instructors during his time in the service from 1990 to 2008. This involved teaching new pilots flying, weapons and tactics.
Andy has taken this ethos into his instructing with Flyby, amazed that people would think to try to fly drones without any training. “You wouldn’t get into a car and start driving without any instruction or taking a test,” he says. “So why would you buy a drone and start flying it without doing the same? I would argue the consequences could be catastrophic if a drone came into conflict with an aircraft cruising at speeds over 150mph. “The basic mistakes made by people who buy drones and have no flying experience are that they don’t fully understand the controls or the capabilities of their drones. They are small but very complicated pieces of kit. Untrained drone pilots also think they can fly their aircraft without being able to see it which is a big no-no. The golden rule is that you must always be able to see your drone.”
Andy added: “It’s important drone pilots; especially those who want to operate them commercially are trained to the highest standards and are fully aware of all the legal requirements that come with operating a drone, including the serious implications they could face if they breach the Air Navigation Order which, in extreme cases, could lead to prison. “The two watchwords behind all our training are safety and control. Our job is to educate both drone pilots and hopefully, the general public about the importance of safety in the air. Drone pilots are responsible for the aircraft they are flying and the consequences should anything go wrong.
“We are trying to ensure that as many people as possible get an exceptional level of training.”
Andy, who lives near Guildford and teaches Flyby students in the London area, revealed that drones have countless commercial uses these days ranging from the police using them to help find missing people through to the oil and gas industry deploying them to inspect rigs at sea. Professional photographers and estate agents use drones to get eye-catching aerial shots. When flying RAF Tornadoes Andy could jet across England from the east coast to the west in well under 10 minutes which meant he had to think, as Andy succinctly puts it, ‘ahead of the plane.’ This is what drone pilots need to do, be aware not only of their drone but any potential hazards it could suddenly face.
Mega Airlines hired a new CEO. Like all airline CEOs, he was certain that all his employees worked too little and made too much money. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.
On a tour of the company’s considerable maintenance hangar, the CEO noticed a man leaning against the wall. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know he meant business. He walked up to the man and asked, “How much money do you make a week?””
A little surprised, the young man looked at him and replied, “I make $500 a week. Why?”
The new CEO dug in his pocket and came out with a wad of cash. He counted out $2,000 and slapped it into the clearly confused young man’s hand while screaming, “Here is four weeks pay, now GET OUT and don’t come back!” The startled young man darted for the door.
Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?” From across the room came a voice, “Pizza delivery man”.
Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link 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’.
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