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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
The pilot, Doug de Lange who operated his Cessna 210 ZS KOM did not have a Private Pilot’s Licence, but only a Student Pilot’s Licence. This man who was previously an attorney and became an advocate had a long history of non-compliance, because he had been sentenced to a four-year jail term for embezzling clients trust funds. He was subsequently dis-barred from the legal profession and he lost his PPL licence due to it lapsing whilst he was in jail. He was the owner of Fisantekraal airfield in Cape Town, which he acquired under suspicious circumstances many years ago. De Lange recently took over a flying school when the owner got into financial difficulties and at the time he was trying to get his PPL back. However, it is believed that people in his flying school knew that he was flying without the correct qualifications, but what did they do about this situation? He flew from Mossel Bay on Saturday afternoon to his farm in Graaff Renette through the George controlled airspace in cloudy weather with his radios and transponder turned off. Sadly, one of his employees was killed when the Cessna 210 spiralled out of control and hit the ground some five kilometers outside Oudtshoorn.I met de Lange in his office at Fisantekraal in October last year when I was preparing for African Pilot’s November 2017 Cape Town Airports feature. Naturally I knew all about de Lange’s background, but I did not let on. Seldom in my life have a met a man who through complaining about everything from the regulator, aviation business, training in aviation, his competitors and much more that I had to leave his office within 10 minutes. Such a negative person, who still referred to himself as ‘advocate’.Now why am I bringing this disaster to everyone’s attention? Whilst I certainly feel very sorry for his family who now have to deal with the outcome of this tragedy as well as the family and friends of his employee, one needs to remember that the wheel turns – albeit very slowly sometimes. Dishonesty is not acceptable in aviation, but we all know that it happens much of the time. In my lifetime I have seen the ‘wheel turn’ on several dishonest people who either died or has their businesses dissolved as a direct result of the way they lied and cheated on their fellow colleagues in aviation.
The summit held on Friday 2 March offered a unique opportunity to look at a broad range of subject matters encouraging the value chain of aviation to achieve the next level of growth, whilst working diligently to achieve this. Aviation business will thrive in countries where healthy rules of engagement specifically with regulators. Amongst other issues the panels discussed the theme ‘Aviation accelerates tourism, breaking down barriers and unlocking growth’. From an observer’s perspective it was encouraging to listen to the deputy Minister for Transport in South Africa: Ms Sindiswe Chikunga speak about how this sector could create more direct and indirect jobs. Minister of Energy and head of Policy Planning Mr Jeff Radebe spoke about economic infrastructure and a spirit of unity that will certainly deliver a prosperous South Africa. Minister Derek Hanekom, back as the Minister of Tourism received a warm welcome from the audience as he spoke about the number of people employed within the sector in South Africa. Jun Crawford CEO of BARSA spoke about “Aviation accelerates tourism by breaking down the barriers”.
Having witnessed the changes in government, I believe that this BARSA summit was scheduled at exactly the right time in South Africa’s political history. It was most encouraging that the two ministers and deputy minister did not allow themselves to become embroiled in party politics, whilst at the same time, it was clear that they have a sincere respect for the various portfolios that they head. More about this conference in the April edition of African Pilot.
Contact Alan Evan-Hanes E-mail: email@example.com
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 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org April Ermelo Airshow
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.
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 29 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 theme ‘Our Indomitable Spirit’
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 to 18 May NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show near Bothaville, Free State
Contact Wim Venter Tel: 086 004 7246 E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za16 to 18 May Drone Con 2018 Vodaworld Centre in Midrand
Contact Byron Walters E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org & 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 120129 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
The Kenyan Air Force’s (KAF’s) plan to acquire 12 Air Tractor AT-802L counter-insurgency aircraft may have fallen through after Kenya missed two US government deadlines to enter into a binding transaction agreement with the manufacturer. Publicised in January 2017, the deal was only cleared by the US Senate Congressional Committee on Oversight later in the year. It involves the sale, by US aircraft manufacturer L3 Technologies, to Kenya of 12 armed versions of the AT-802L complete with rocket launchers, machine guns and guided bombs. According to information from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Kenyan government was required to enter into a binding transaction agreement with the vendor (L3 Technologies) before the sale could go through.
However, Nairobi has since missed two deadlines to sign the binding transaction agreement. GAO Director for Acquisition, Sourcing and Management William Woods said the deal was now being held in abeyance because Kenya missed two mutually agreed deadlines in July and September 2017. To finalise the sale, Kenya was required to sign a formal agreement of acceptance to the offer. This would lay out the administrative and technical details of the deal, including specifications on the number of aircraft to be bought, arms and ammunition configurations, timelines for equipment delivery and final costs per equipment.
On 23 February Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has become an Airbus A350 XWB full-flight training simulator operator, whilst the simulator is the first of this kind in Africa. The A350 XWB simulator is fitted with a full electrical motion system which delivers improved performance while providing energy savings and environmental benefits. The airline states it has already invested over $125 million in the last seven years to expand and upgrade its training capabilities. It aims to ‘bridge the aviation skills gap in Africa’, making the continent ‘self-sufficient for aviation professionals’.
The A350 XWB simulator will be used by the training division of the airline; Ethiopian Aviation Academy, which is an ICAO designated training center that offers full range of Aviation Training Programmes. The airline first launched its pilot training school ‘close to’ 50 years ago and since then has trained pilots from over 52 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The largest carrier on the African continent, Ethiopian Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding on 13 February with Chad to help the country set up a national carrier five years after the last one ceased to exist. Chad had a national carrier (Toumaï Air Tchad) until 2012. However, the Chadian authorities suspended it after the international aviation body IATA revealed serious safety problems the carrier had.
The Ethiopian flag carrier already has code sharing agreements with Asky Airlines in Togo and Air Malawi in Malawi. Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines are in talks about founding regional division in Zambia and is planning to become a part of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national operator Congo Airways. The moves would further insure Ethiopian’s domination in the African continent. According to Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, presently 80% Africa’s market is served by non-African carriers.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
The families of the victims who died in the FlyDubai Flight 981 crash at Rostov-on-Don Airport in Russia in March 2016, filed a lawsuit against the airline for $ 10 million. The plaintiffs’ lawyer Vsevolod Sazonov told Interfax news agency that the claim for compensation was sent to the court of Dubai. The Board for Civil Aviation in UAE has already begun to consider the claim. The lawyer explained that the preliminary conclusions by the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) have found that a pilot mistake could be at the fault in the plane crash.
FlyDubai Boeing 737-800, departed from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don on 19 March 2016. Because of the difficult weather conditions with strong side winds and rain, the aircraft had to re-enter the landing runway. During the second attempt to land, the aircraft crashed. Seven crew members and 55 passengers died. The IAC concluded that the pilot lost his orientation, so instead of gaining altitude, the aircraft began descending. IAC experts also suggested that the experienced pilot had somatogravic illusions, so he ignored the information from the flight instruments and acted relying on his physiological sensations.
A project of the new training aircraft L-39NG, the successor to the legendary Albatros, has reached another important milestone. The pre-series production line construction advanced to the stage that allows the launch of the aircraft’s airframe assembly. Aero Vodochody has launched production of four L-39NGs and first assembly for the fuselage and the wing are being built. The first and the fourth aircraft will be used for flight tests, the second one for static tests and the third for fatigue tests. The aircraft will not be prototype but built according to serial production standard further confirming the good progress of the programme. The first flight of the new pre-series L-39NG is planned to happen before the end of this year.
A favourable opportunity opens up for the training aircraft segment in the world market. A large part of all training fleet must undergo major modernisation in the upcoming years as the existing aircraft are about to retire or they do not meet today’s flight training requirements. A view to the 10 to 15-year horizon shows that there will be a need to replace up to 3,000 training aircraft. The target is to deliver more than 100 L-39NGs in the next 10 years. It is a great chance for the Czech export that has, thanks to the good reputation of Aero Vodochody aircraft and the L-39NG, an opportunity to play a significant role in the world’s aviation market once again.
Textron Aviation company, announced that, for the second consecutive year, the Cessna Citation Latitude earned the title as the category’s most delivered business jet. Citation Latitude 2017 deliveries increased by 30 percent from 2016, to 54 deliveries, further cementing its position as one of the world’s best-selling business jets since its entry into service in 2015. Since its entry into service in 2015, the Citation Latitude has redefined the expectations of a midsize business jet, delivering large-cabin comfort and best-in-class operating costs. Today, the aircraft is certified in 43 countries and the global fleet of 112 aircraft has surpassed 65,000 flight hours.
Throughout 2017 the Citation Latitude programme reached multiple milestones, including increased operational capability with steep approach certification, delivery of the platform’s first medevac configuration and delivery of the 100th aircraft. The Latitude, with a four-passenger range of 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km) at high-speed cruise, is set apart from the competition by its combination of comfort and efficiency. The aircraft’s class-leading take-off field length of 3,580 feet provides operators with greater range out of short fields. Inside, the Latitude offers an unrivalled cabin experience featuring the most open, spacious, bright and refined cabin environment in its category. With a flat floor and six feet of cabin height, innovation abounds with exceptional features designed throughout the aircraft.
Airbus’ flight test A350-1000 jetliner is back home after a demonstration tour to Middle East and Asia-Pacific destinations, a three-week trip that underscored all the attributes this largest A350 XWB version brings in upsized efficiency, maximum reliability and unique passenger comfort for fast-growing regions of the global airline marketplace. More than 10,000 persons had the opportunity to visit the A350-1000 during its 12 stopovers during a tour that logged 87 hours aloft while covering 64,000 kilometres; the equivalent to traveling around the Earth 1.6 times.
The demonstration tour provided airline customers, VIPs, journalists, social media personalities, industry influencers and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to discover the latest member of the A350 XWB Family ahead of its upcoming entry into service. The tour’s first stop was in Doha since Qatar Airways is the A350-1000 launch customer. Retaining significant commonality with the successful in-service A350-900 version, the A350-1000’s fuselage has been stretched by seven metres; providing greater capacity (40 more seats in a typical three-class cabin configuration) and perfectly matching airlines’ needs on their busiest long-haul routes while giving the flexibility to provide a larger premium seating area.
ICAO council has adopted a new aviation safety measure by prohibiting all shipments of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger planes. Although the batteries are banned to be shipped as cargo, in checked luggage, they are allowed in personal electronic devices, within carry-on luggage by passengers or crew, as long as they are turned off. Some U.S. airlines have banned smart luggage suitcases with USB charging stations, GPS tracking, built-in hot spots and other high-tech features on their flights because of the potential risk posed by non-removable lithium-ion batteries as of 15 January.
In March 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that passengers flying onboard U.S.-bound flights from airports in certain Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa are banned from carrying large electronic devices, including laptops in hand luggage. The controversial ban was lifted in July 2017.
On 19 February flying officer Avani Chaturvedi made history, becoming the first female pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to complete a solo flight in a fighter aircraft. Chaturvedi, who is posted to IAF’s No. 23 Squadron ‘Panthers’, completed a half-hour-long solo flight in the MiG-21 jet over IAF’s Jamnagar Air Base in the state of Gujarat, north western India. According to The Indian Express, Chaturvedi had undergone strenuous training programme to fly fighter jets. After completing her basic training on a Pilatus PC-7 turboprop aircraft at the Air Force Academy, Chaturvedi went on to train on Kiran and Hawk jets. She now has two more years of training before being deployed as a fully operational combat fighter pilot.
Three women pilots – Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh were commissioned as flying officers in the IAF in 2016, after the Indian government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis for an initial period of five years. Sources in the IAF called Chaturvedi’s solo flight a significant moment marking a breakthrough in providing a ‘real’ combat role for women in defence operations.
The fighter jet has become one of the star performers of the IAF. The IAF acquired 300 MiG-21 Bisons in the 1980s. In time, 175 of these were upgraded and integrated in the IAF’s inventory with a host of improvements over its predecessor. Since 1960s, the IAF has operated over 800 MiG-21s and over 1,200 MiGs in general. The 4th generation MiGs are now up for replacement by a 4-4.5 generation fighter by 2022-2025.
News site Axios is reporting that President Donald Trump is promoting his long-time personal pilot as the next administrator of the FAA. Quoting unnamed administration sources, Axios, a relatively new news service made up mainly of ex-newspaper staff, said John Dunkin, who flew Trump’s personal Boeing 757 during the 21-month campaign, has been interviewed and impressed those doing the selection. He said to be up against GA caucus chairman Rep. Sam Graves, R-Missouri and current Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. Trump has referenced Dunkin’s opinions on aviation matters in the campaign and after the election, particularly in regard to the function of the National Airspace System. He is also being promoted by administration officials who cite his management experience.
Among the issues the next administrator will likely tackle is the possibility of turning over the air traffic control system to a not-for-profit corporation run by a board of directors appointed from various sectors of the industry. Trump is a proponent of the idea, so it follows that his appointee for the FAA job would share that view. Trump has quoted his pilot as being dissatisfied with the current system. Graves, the chairman of the House General Aviation Caucus, outraged many GA groups last year when he threw his support behind a bill that would give ATC to a private entity. Some critics speculated at the time that Graves was then being considered as the next chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Elwell is a former employee of Airlines 4 America, which represents airline interests in Washington and is a driving force behind the ATC initiative.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Canadian authorities are investigating after a Cessna 172 on a training flight suffered about $4,000 (USD) in damage when it collided with an airborne object near a British Columbia Airport. The aircraft, owned by Abbotsford-based Chinook Helicopters, was turning final to land at nearby Chilliwack Airport when its left wing struck the object, which ‘left blue bits on the wing,’ according to flight school owner Cathy Press. “We are just lucky it didn’t go through the windshield.” Her company offers both fixed-wing and rotary training and the plane was being flown by a student and instructor when the collision occurred at about 500 feet AGL. “They heard it, but they didn’t see it,” she said.
The instructor took over, aborted the landing and the duo returned to Abbotsford. Maintenance personnel examined the wing and found the plastic wingtip fairing destroyed, a significant dent in the sheet metal and enough damage to the outer rib that it had to be replaced. “By the time it’s painted and all finished I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill will be $5,000 (CAD),” she said. Press will have to foot the bill herself because it’s less than her insurance deductible. She said it’s impossible to know if the object was a drone, but she doesn’t think it was an RC aircraft because those hobbyists normally know they can’t fly near airports. The incident was reported to Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. If the culprit was a drone, it would be one of a handful of airborne collisions between aircraft and drones and the only one that has so far been reported to have caused significant damage.
Small drone aircraft the US Army is using are proving their worth as a useful tool for battlefield reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. Infantry units are seeing the advantage of small unmanned aircraft systems, which are an integral part of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center at 7th Army Training Command’s Hohenfels Training Area here.
Army Sgt. Christopher Curley, the small unmanned aircraft systems master trainer assigned to Company B with the regiment’s 1st Battalion, said drone aircraft can account for up to 60 percent of intelligence gathering during exercises. “We typically can cover large areas of the ‘box’ in rapid succession with our small unmanned aircraft systems teams,” Curley said. “We paint a large portion of the intelligence picture with minimal risk to men and equipment. What may take a scout team a day to do may only take three hours for us.”
The battalion is using three types of small drone aircraft: a commercial-off-the shelf quadcopter, an RQ-20 Puma unmanned aerial vehicle and an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. The quadcopter can be used in a variety of roles to replicate current and potential threats for the purposes of the rotational units training here. Under perfect conditions, it offers short-range collection capabilities up to 4.3 miles, with a high-resolution camera sensor and can carry a small payload of up to three pounds about six-tenths of miles in distance, Army officials said.
The Raven, currently used by the U.S. military and several NATO and partner nations, has a much longer battery life of up to 60 minutes and a cruising distance of about 6.2 miles, but it is not as versatile as the quadcopter with its hovering ability. The Puma has arguably the longest battery life — about two hours and a 12.4-mile range.
“The quadcopter is a great tool for quick recon,” Curley said. “I relate it to fishing: you cast your reel, check that area and then move on. With the quadcopter you are more agile, but you lack the range of the Raven and some of the great tools it has. With the Raven, you get a lot of those tools, but you lack the agility and it takes more time to master it and train soldiers to use it.” The Puma, on the other hand, “has the real ability to get out there and touch someone, with its extended battery life,” he said.
According to instructors from Fort Benning, Georgia, Army Pfc. Lucas Bria, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment is now the Army’s youngest SUAS master trainer after receiving a waiver for his rank to enroll in the course. “SUAS gives us a unique view in the sky,” Bria said, “where we can view objectives and targets from above, and the enemy usually doesn’t account for this view. They’ll usually set up camouflage and defences linear to their position, not vertically.”
The soldiers here share their gathered intelligence and methods of collecting it with the units they are opposing during rotational exercises after they have concluded. Their intent is to relay how successful SUAS operations can be and how all Army units should start implementing them into their repertoire of tactics, techniques and procedures. During Exercise Allied Spirit 8, Curley said, a quadcopter was launched from a remote area deep in the wooded training area and within 15 minutes an enemy’s position was spotted and grid coordinates were accurately reported to the team’s higher command. “Having this capability allows us to paint the big picture,” Bria said. “We can provide information for indirect fire, for enemy movement and anything our higher command may use it for. We are giving them a new view and new information that they weren’t able to get as quickly as before.”
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’.