“An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself.” Joseph Pulitzer
African Pilot’s May 2019 edition
The May edition features most Helicopter Types and Helicopter Operations as well as HAI Heli-Expo, which is the largest helicopter exhibition in the world, organised by Helicopter Association International. At the same time, our team has completed our annual African Pilot Service Guide to be distributed together with the May edition. This edition is printing and will be ready for distribution later this week. I would like to thank all our valuable advertisers that supported this exciting edition as well as our annual aviation services guide.
African Pilot’s June 2019 edition
African Pilot’s exciting June edition will feature business at Lanseria International Airport, the South African Power Flying Association’s (SAPFA) President’s Trophy Air Race (PTAR) to be staged in Saldanha (Western Cape), South Africa’s EAA National Convention in Vryheid (KZN) and the Lowveld airshow (Nelspruit airfield), scheduled the weekend before this edition goes to print. In addition, we will be featuring US EAA’s Sun ‘n Fun staged in Florida as well as the annual AERO Friedrichshafen European trade show staged in Germany. Indeed this is a very busy time within the South African aviation calendar. African Pilot continues to be the foremost aviation publication that continuously brings the most important aviation events to its readers every month. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
Information about APAnews
I started African Pilot’s weekly Monday morning Aviation News service 18 years ago with just a handful of subscribers for the following reasons:
- To fill the gaps with breaking news as it happens between monthly magazines
- To present the aviation calendar to African Pilot’s audience, because the only constant is ‘change’ and the dates of scheduled events do change from time to time
- To communicate with African Pilot’s considerable audience what to expect in future magazines
- Interaction with African Pilot’s audience is remarkably consistent within the busy world of publishing
- APAnews has been a highly successful marketing exercise with African Pilot’s advertisers
Where does the information come from?
At no time has it ever been suggested that the content of the weekly APAnews is all original material from my keyboard. In fact, 80% of the content is cut and pasted from various other aviation news blogs and newswires, mostly from the USA and Europe. Also, some of the content arrives on my desktop as press releases from aviation companies. All I do is correct the English to take out Americanisms, edit out some of the waffle and look for a suitable picture before presenting the news in the format you have become accustomed to every week. The fact is that this takes considerable effort from the entire African Pilot team and is probably the reason why other aviation magazines do not make the effort to copy this established process.
Who receives APAnews?
Presently APAnews reaches an audience of more than 100 000 individuals per month, mostly in South Africa (75%) and the remainder throughout the world. African Pilot introduced its in-house digital service 18 months ago and we are in a position to track exactly where APAnews goes. The overall design and functionality have also improved over the past year to be available on any electronic device Apple or Android because market research shows that these days up to 70% of all people read content on their smartphones. APAnews has also been designed with a ‘read more’ key meaning that any reader can simply read the first paragraph and if interested go to the full article or skip to the next article.
African Pilot’s magazine distribution
The monthly magazine is distributed by On the Dot throughout southern African countries to approximately 1 000 retail stores: CNA, Exclusive Books, Pick ‘n Pay, PNA, selected Spar stores, garage convenience shops, Checkers Hypermarkets, selected bookshops, Fascination and Incredible Books as well as to neighbourhood convenience shops. Own distribution to specialist pilot shops at airports as well as to key decision makers within the aviation industry. Back editions are distributed free to African countries, airport lounges, charter companies, the South African Air Force and selected flight schools. Altogether 5 500 copies of African Pilot are printed each month. The magazine also has online readers from all over the world and is available on the Magzter platform. African Pilot is the only African aviation publication that is available on PressReader with a worldwide audience of over 300 million in more than 6 000 hotels worldwide and over 16 000 libraries, universities, cruise ships, airlines, government and corporate offices, hospitals and cafes around the globe. The first pages, up to and including picture of the month of African Pilot may be downloaded free of charge by visiting www.africanpilot.co.za
Please remember that this is a FREE service to all persons involved in aviation, whilst the costs for production and mailing are recovered from banner advertisers. Please let me have your thoughts on this FREE service in the coming weeks e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Why is African Pilot your finest aviation advertising platform in Africa?
1) Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent
2) All major advertisers have digital enhancement as a click through to their websites within the digital edition of the monthly magazine
3) APAnews is the only FREE weekly communication delivered by a printed publication in the entire world that has an audience in excess of 100 000 readers per month
4) APAcom attends to your aviation communication and public relations requirements
5) APAdigital is the video service available to ALL aviation customers of the monthly magazine
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: The Coves Flying Carnival
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
South African Air Force helicopter crash in Centurion, Pretoria
The South African National Defence Force can confirm that at about 13h40 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, a SAAF Agusta A-109 Light Utility Helicopter was involved in an accident near the R101 North (Old Johannesburg Road). The aircraft was on its way from the Rand Easter Show in Nasrec to Air Force Base Swartkop in Pretoria for refuelling when the accident occurred. There were two pilots on board and they were safely evacuated to Unitas Hospital where they are receiving further medical attention and observation. The cause of the accident is still unknown and the aircraft accident investigation team together with the accident recovery units were deployed to the scene for further investigation.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is concerned about inaccurate news currently making rounds on different social media platforms about its members who were involved in a helicopter accident on Thursday, 18 April 2019 in Tshwane. The SANDF can confirm that both members are in a stable condition in hospital and wishes to state categorically that the news suggesting that one of our members has passed on is not true. The SANDF would like to caution the public not to spread incorrect and irresponsible information. Furthermore, we would like to state that at all times when our pilots are assigned to any task, undergo a pre-flight medical check-up before flying any aircraft as a strict requirement for all pilots.
Aero South Africa 4 to 6 July 2019
After months of planning and preparations, the Aero South Africa team is excited to announce that visitor registrations to Africa’s inaugural trade show for the general aviation are now OPEN. Exhibitors will cover the full spectrum of services, so this is the ideal place to source new products, view the latest technology and even sell or buy new aircraft. Daily seminars will be FREE to attend. Secure your FREE visitor pass online now and get ready to discover the latest industry innovations available to the African market: https://www.tisevents.co.za/Event/AERO/Default.aspx?id=3651
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.
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
10 and 11 May
Lowveld airshow at Nelspruit airport
Contact Monica Fourie Tel: 083 619 3597 E-mail: email@example.com
10 to 12 May
Contact Dave O’Halloran E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 to 12 May
NAC annual fly away Letsatsi Game Reserve
Contact Deon Wentzel Cell: 082 458 5719 E-mail: email@example.com
14 to 17 May
NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show near Bothaville, Free State
Contact Wim Venter Tel: 086 004 7246 E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za
SAPFA Sheila Taylor Fun Rally – Krugersdorp Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 & 19 May
SAC Free State Regionals Tempe Airport
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
Botswana International Airshow Matsieng Aerodrome (FBMA)
Contact Hentie de Wet E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Johan Pieters E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 923 0078
6 and 7 June
Africa Drone Conference – Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact Simon Mkitlane E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 886 0433
SAPFA Bethlehem Speed Rally – Bethlehem Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser e-mail: email@example.com cell: 082 855 9435
10 to 16 June
SAPFA World Precision Flying Championships – Castellon Spain
Contact Hans Schwebel cell: 082 656 3005 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 to 8 June
Zimbabwe Air Rally
Mel Cooper Cell: + 263 773 218426 E-mail: email@example.com
20 to 23 June
SAC National Championships venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 to 23 June
EAA Chapter 322 flight training Boot Camp at Mwala Lodge
Contact Neil Bowden Cell: 084 674 5674 E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Relibile Mofokeng E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 073 837 0162
Reefsteamers train, plane, vintage car event from Krugersdorp to Magalies
Contact Ian Morrison e-mail: email@example.com
23 to 28 June
South African Hot Air Balloon Championships Skeerpoort North West Province
Contact Richard Bovell e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 to 30 June
SAC National Championships Malelane airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
ACUNIS completes Africa’s largest air cargo terminal
ACUNIS, the cooperation between Unitechnik and AMOVA both from Germany, planned and implemented the new air cargo terminal in Addis Ababa for government-owned Ethiopian Airlines.
The air cargo facility covers 38,000 m², an area as large as five soccer pitches and is divided into refrigeration and a dry storage zone. 600,000 tons of fresh food and dry goods can be transhipped at the installation. The cargo terminal is pioneering both in regard to throughput and logistics processes as well as its security standards.
To attract investors and the business world to the country, Ethiopia as a classic landlocked country without a port of its own had to guarantee that local goods can be exported and transhipped rapidly and efficiently. The government and national airline Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) laid the foundation with the new air cargo terminal. In doing so, they are also making a sustainable investment in Ethiopia’s general infrastructure. Dry goods and fresh products like coffee, meat, flowers, fruits and vegetables are now shipped around the world from Addis Ababa. Particularly in the transport of perishables, professional storage, seamless documentation and rapid transhipment play a decisive role and are also important prerequisites for trading with industrialised nations. The new air cargo facility expands the capacity of the existing air freight terminal which was planned and built by the ACUNIS Group and creates the conditions for the efficient transhipment of fresh goods. Ethiopian Airlines has increased its previous throughput capacity with the new facility from 350,000 tons per year to nearly one million tons.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
AERO Friedrichshafen – record attendance
According to the organisers of AERO, attendance at the annual show in Friedrichshafen was slightly up on the previous year, whilst a record 757 exhibitors displayed their products and services, a 7% improvement over 2018. AERO is Europe’s largest exhibition for general aviation and with regard to innovations and premieres, this exhibition is probably the aviation industries foremost exhibition in the world, said Roland Bosch, head of AERO.
US-based companies were well represented at AERO, with major exhibitions by Cirrus, Garmin, Piper and the recently renamed Continental Aerospace Technologies. (Cirrus and Continental are owned by Chinese interests; Piper is owned by the Brunei government). Conspicuously absent for the second year in a row was Cessna’s giant stand. Bosch said that although AERO markets aggressively in the US, Textron Aviation, which owns both the Cessna and Beechcraft brands declined to exhibit in 2019.
A full AERO report will be published within the June edition of African Pilot.
AOA sensor malfunction prompts Vision Jet emergency AD
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet on Wednesday in response to three reports of the stall warning and protection system (SWPS) or Electronic Stability & Protection (ESP) System ‘engaging when not appropriate.’ According to the AD, ‘Cirrus and Aerosonic (manufacturer of the technical standard order AOA (Angle of Attack) sensor) have identified the probable root cause as an AOA sensor malfunction due to a quality escape in the assembly of the AOA sensor at Aerosonic.’ The AD requires replacing existing AOA sensors with improved AOA sensors before further flight.
The AD notes that the SWPS or ESP systems could engage even when the aircraft is operating with sufficient airspeed and at a proper AOA for normal flight, including activation of the stall warning alarm, stick shaker, stick pusher, under speed protection and colour-coded airspeed awareness ranges displaying the stall band, ‘regardless of actual indicated airspeed.’ It warns that the potentially erroneous indications derived from a malfunctioning AOA sensor could result in ‘unintended automatic flight control activations; the flight crew having difficulty controlling the airplane; excessive nose-down attitude; and/or possible impact with terrain.’
“In early April of this year, one of our company pilots experienced the engagement of the Stall Warning and Protection System when not appropriate during a flight at altitude,” Cirrus said in a statement. “The pilot followed the published Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) procedures and landed the aircraft safely. Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately began working with the FAA and our internal teams to determine the root cause and began our operator communication process. With the benefit of detailed feedback from our company pilot about the April event, we were able to identify service histories that pointed to a probable similar occurrence in November.” The company issued Service Advisories on 8 April 8 and 12 April followed by a mandatory Service Bulletin on 16 April requiring that operators replace the AOA sensor. Cirrus emphasised that the root cause of the malfunction is an AOA sensor hardware issue, not a software problem.
International committee to review the 737-800MAX
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the safety certification of the Boeing 737 MAX will be reviewed by an international committee, a large group of representatives from most of the major aviation regulators in the world. The panel, which is led by former NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart and includes delegates from Canada, China, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union and Brazil, will also do a detailed examination of the software fix proposed by Boeing and the FAA to address issues with the MCAS automatic stall prevention system that is implicated in two fatal crashes. The group’s first meeting is planned for later this month.
The international involvement is unprecedented. Normally, the FAA would have sole control over the process and the resulting certification would be accepted by other jurisdictions under bilateral agreements between the US and those entities. The Journal says the FAA hasn’t given the other agencies veto power but agreed with Boeing that the process needs buy-in from all of them if public confidence is to be restored in Boeing and the FAA’s certification system. “We both invite and welcome scrutiny as a necessary element of continuous improvement,” an FAA spokesman said. “Our recent and planned outreach efforts are a demonstration of this commitment to enhance the safety of the flying public.”
What is not clear is whether the committee approach will speed up or slow down the return to service of the MAX. All of the regulatory agency reps will come with an army of tech experts who will do the analysis of the mountains of data that will be generated. The FAA and Boeing seem to have accepted the inevitability of consensus as part of the return to service and if they didn’t the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reminded them. It has said it will end its grounding “only once there is complete reassurance that it is safe.”
Boeing is demonstrating updated MAX software
According to remarks made by CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Thursday at the George W. Bush Presidential Centre Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, Boeing has begun demonstrating software updates for the 737 MAX. Muilenburg said the company has made 96 flights totalling a little over 159 hours with the updated software, which aims to prevent ‘erroneous angle of attack sensor readings from triggering the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.’ MCAS activation in response to faulty angle of attack sensors has been spotlighted in the fatal accidents of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 last March and Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018.
“I joined our Boeing test pilots last week aboard a 737 MAX flight for a demonstration of this updated software,” said Muilenburg. “During the flight, the crew performed different scenarios that exercised the software changes in multiple flight conditions. The software update functioned as designed.” He also stated that 67 percent of MAX operators worldwide have now participated simulator sessions that included the software update.
A date has not yet been given for when the new software will be approved and rolled out. The FAA met with three US airlines that operate MAXs on Friday in Washington, D.C., to review the ‘anticipated software enhancements’ along with the preliminary findings of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accident investigations and MAX pilot training. According to FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell, he “wanted to know what operators and pilots of the 737 MAX think as the agency evaluates what needs to be done before the FAA makes a decision to return the aircraft to service.”
FAA posts updated MAX training requirements
The FAA has posted a draft report from the Boeing 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board (FSB) covering updated pilot training requirements for the aircraft. The draft adds the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to the list of areas which must receive special emphasis during ground training, but does not require flight simulator training for the system. The FSB only reviewed ‘training aspects related to software enhancements to the aircraft’ for the report.
According to the draft, “MCAS ground training must address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions and flight crew alerting. These items must be included in initial, upgrade, transition, differences and recurrent training.” The new requirement is based on a March 2019 evaluation of the ‘modified’ MCAS conducted by the FSB. The report states that the board found the MCAS to be ‘operationally suitable.’
The FAA says that it is still expecting Boeing to submit the final software package for certification in the coming weeks. The updated software is expected to address MCAS activation in response to faulty angle of attack sensors, which is widely considered to be a significant factor in the fatal accidents of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March and Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018. The FSB report is open for public comment until 30 April 2019 and further revisions may be made based on comments received.
Multiple certifications announced for Embraer E195-E2
At a ceremony held on Monday at the Company’s facilities in São José dos Campos, Embraer received the Type Certificate for the E195-E2 from three regulatory authorities: ANAC, the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil), the FAA and EASA. The E195-E2 is the largest of the three members of the E-Jets E2 family of commercial airplanes and the largest commercial aircraft Embraer has ever made.
The E195-E2 will enter service in the second half of 2019 with Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. Binter Canarias, of Spain, will also receive its first E195-E2 in 2019. Embraer used two prototype aircraft in the E195-E2 certification campaign, one for aerodynamic and performance tests, the other for the interior and validation of maintenance tasks. The E195-E2 is the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class. It has the lowest levels of external noise and emissions. The cumulative margin to ICAO Stage IV noise limit ranges from 19 to 20 EPNdB, 4.0 EPNdB better than its direct competitor.
Like the E190-E2, the E195-E2 has the longest maintenance intervals in the single-aisle jet category with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit for typical E-Jet operations. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilisation over a period of ten years compared to current generation E-Jets. The E195-E2 features new ultra-high bypass ratio engines, a completely new wing, full fly-by-wire and new landing gear. Compared to the first-generation E195, 75% of aircraft systems are new. The E195-E2 has three additional seat rows. The cabin can be configured with 120 seats in two classes, or up to 146 in single class.
E195-E2 Performance Improvements:
- E195-E2 performance targets were to be similar to the E195 but with more payload (12 more passengers). However, the final results show significant improvements in many areas.
- Maximum range is 2,600 nautical miles with a full passenger load, 600 nm more than the E195.
- The E195-E2 can serve more markets from limited airfields. From Denver, the aircraft’s range is more than 900 nm longer than the E195.
Team SpaceIL to receive $1 Million ‘Moonshot’ award
All eyes were on Team SpaceIL last Thursday as they attempted to soft-land on the surface of the Moon. Their robotic lander, Beresheet, Hebrew for ‘Genesis,’ came very close to touching down, but ultimately failed to soft-land during its final descent. As it prepared for landing, Beresheet experienced a main engine failure and lost communication with mission control in Tel Aviv, suggesting the lander crashed into the surface. Despite the technical challenges, they still managed to accomplish the unimaginable; a feat never before achieved by a privately-funded entity. Team SpaceIL’s successful entry into lunar orbit and their attempt to soft-land on the lunar surface captured the public’s imagination, inspired the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers and has propelled the commercial space industry forward. XPRIZE has decided to recognize SpaceIL’s achievement with a $1 million Moonshot Award for its ground breaking achievements. Congratulations to Morris Kahn, SpaceIL’s primary benefactor and the entire team for all of their accomplishments.
Cirrus expands training initiatives
While Cirrus’ sales success with the SR line and now the VisionJet is obvious, less well known is that the company is becoming a force in the aviation training market. At Aero Cirrus revealed that it has staffed up and is investing in significant in-house training resources and video and that all of this information is available to all comers, not just Cirrus owners.
“Cirrus Approach encompasses all the training that Cirrus aircraft does. It’s everything from our VisionJet type rating programme, which has a level D simulator, all the way through to cirrusapproach.com, which has over 25 individual courses and hours and hours of content that anyone can access, both Cirrus owners and operators or anyone in aviation,” Kowalski said.
In the two decades since Cirrus delivered the first customer SR20, the company has had training in-house, contracted it out and brought back in again and Kowalski says with Cirrus’ new customer service centre in Knoxville, Tennessee, it’s likely to remain in-house for the foreseeable future. “We’ve got a media production team in-house and we are doubling the size of that team this year,” Kowalski said.
Cirrus continues to expand the Knoxville Vision Centre and opened a fourth building this summer, a factory service centre with nine bays for servicing the entire line, including the VisionJet. The Knoxville centre also serves as Cirrus’ main delivery centre for customers accepting new aircraft.
Unique in general aviation, in 2017 Cirrus announced a free training programme for buyers of used Cirrus aircraft called Embark. The training is conducted by Cirrus’ 500 Cirrus Standardised Instructor Pilot instructors and consists of transition or initial training. Embark requires from one to three days. Kowalski says Cirrus has completed more than 730 Embark training sessions. About 90 percent of those are transition training for pilots coming out of another model aircraft.
Electric airplane racing starts next year
Formula 1 racing is a popular event at the Reno Air Races, among other sites and beginning late next year, it will evolve into something new: electric airplane racing. Jeff Zaltman, CEO of AirRaceE, says airplanes are being designed and constructed for the first scheduled air race late next year. No venue has been selected yet, but Zaltman says discussions are underway with several countries to host the first race.
Zaltman said electric airplanes will be constructed along similar lines as Formula 1 aircraft, meaning a 66-square foot wing area, 500-pound minimum weight and fixed gear. But while piston Formula 1 aircraft are restricted to the Continental O-200 engine, e-racers will be opened up to all manufacturers. “It’s very much geared toward accelerating innovation and accelerating the technology that will eventually find its way into the airplanes we fly as passengers 30 years from now,” Zaltman said.
Power will be supplied by a 150-KW motor which, as electric airplanes go, is quite powerful, about the equivalent of 230 to 240 HP race ready, but with neck-snapping torque delivery. While batteries still limit electric aircraft endurance. Zaltman said the races will last about five minutes, compared to eight minutes for piston F1 races. “Right now in Formula 1, they get about 250 MPH. We expect it to go above that, but I’m hesitant to give a number,” Zaltman said. However, it is it going to be any fun watching airplanes quietly whir around a closed course? Zaltman says much of the noise airplanes make is from props and electric airplanes will have those. “The noise is going to be there in terms of the spectator understanding the racing, but it will be quieter,” he said.
Piper’s M-class sales are strong and the factory increases production
Even as it announced new a new initiative into the piston training market last week, Piper reports that sales of its big-ticket M-Class airplanes continue to show growth, with strong interest coming from Europe. At a press conference on the opening day of the AERO exhibition, Piper CEO Simon Caldecott said sales of the M-Class airplanes; the turbine M500 and M600 and the piston-powered M350 are up 36 percent over the previous year.
Piper has had a European sales network for some years, but has announced that a new company, called FlySmart, will begin marketing aircraft in France starting this year. Meanwhile, Piper said it has received EASA approvals for Garmin’s NXi EFIS system, the follow-up to the original G1000 for the M500.
Caldecott said Piper had a record year in 2018, with 229 aircraft delivered totalling $263 million in sales, which was a 48 percent increase over 2017 and was driven significantly by trainer sales, including 151 Archers. Caldecott said Piper expects to deliver 180 Archers in 2019. Growth in 2020 will be boosted in part by the recently announced Pilot 100 and 100i trainers, a low-cost variation on Piper’s venerable PA-28 type certificate announced at Sun ‘n Fun. Caldecott said response to the Pilot programme has been ‘overwhelming’ and although the factory has the capacity to produce more aircraft, finding trained workers continues to be limiting. Nonetheless, Piper has invested in new production equipment and technology, including a new line devoted specifically to trainers.
NTSB: dog in cockpit contributed to fatal accident
The NTSB has released a probable cause report from an accident which occurred on 1 July 2017 which fatally injured 90-year-old commercial-rated pilot Jerry Naylor. Naylor was making a personal flight in a Flight Design CTSW registered to Mooney of Monticello Inc. Naylor had departed from the Montecello, IA municipal airport with his dog, which weighed between 70 and 75 pounds, in the passenger seat of the airplane. According to the report, a witness, who was piloting another airplane in the traffic pattern, reported that, while he was on the downwind leg, he saw the accident airplane on final approach to the runway. The witness subsequently lost visual contact with the accident airplane as he turned onto base leg. The witness did not see the accident airplane on the runway or taxiway after he turned onto final approach. The witness conducted a go-around and then saw the accident airplane in a cornfield adjacent to the runway. After the accident, the witness saw the pilot’s dog running out of the cornfield where the airplane had crashed.
Based on available ground track and engine data, the airplane crossed the runway 27 threshold at a calculated airspeed of 48 knots. About three seconds later, the airplane turned right away from the runway heading and the engine speed increased to take-off power. The airplane subsequently descended right wing down into the cornfield about 250 feet north of the runway centre line. The final calculated airspeed was about 44 knots. Although the airplane’s wings-level aerodynamic stall speed with the wing flaps fully extended was 39 knots, the stall speed would have increased exponentially with the bank angle as the airplane turned right.
According to the pilot’s son, the pilot routinely flew with his dog. He added that the pilot had installed a homemade, removable, plywood device to prevent the right-seat passenger (or his dog) from inadvertently contacting the rudder pedals during flight. Although the device was not approved to be installed in the airplane, there was no evidence that it interfered with the full movement of either control stick or the pilot-side rudder pedals. Post accident examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Given the ground track and engine data, it is likely that the dog contacted the aileron and / or stabilator controls during landing, which resulted in the pilot’s loss of control and a subsequent aerodynamic stall at a low altitude when the airplane exceeded its critical angle of attack.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s decision to fly with his large dog in the two-seat, light sport airplane and the dog’s likely contact with the flight controls during landing, which resulted in the pilot’s loss of control and a subsequent aerodynamic stall when the airplane exceeded its critical angle of attack.
Six die after plane hits house in Chile
A picture released by Aton Chile shows firefighters working at the scene after a light aircraft crashed into a house in Puerto Montt after taking off from La Paloma aerodrome, about 1000 km south of Santiago on 16 April 2019. The pilot and five passengers where killed when the aircraft plunged into a two-story house setting it on fire. Local television pictures showed the house, which caught fire completely gutted, after being hit by the plane. The plane’s tail could be seen on television images lying in the garden of the destroyed house. Authorities did not reveal the identity of the victims but said the pilot was amongst the dead. No one was in the house when the plane hit. The aircraft was owned by the ‘Archipielago’ company, which operates commercial flights in a region that is difficult to access.
PteroDynamics receives patent for ‘Transwing’
California-based PteroDynamics has developed a patented aircraft design it calls ‘Transwing’, which folds and unfolds its wings during flight. The result is a transition between a multicopter and a regular fixed wing airplane and the company says it is unlike any aircraft design you have ever seen. The result is that the PteroDesign aircraft are smaller and able to fly much further, faster and longer, carrying heavier payloads using less energy than other VTOL aircraft, which is critical for everything from drone delivery to air taxis with extensive government / military applications the company says. The concept is scalable for wingspans ranging from four to 34 feet and weighing between three and 75,000 pounds, according to information provided by the company.
According to the company website, the Transwing aircraft design has the highest performance metrics of any VTOL aircraft. Given any aircraft footprint size and payload requirements, Transwing aircraft will fly several times as far as any VTOL competitor. Transwing aircraft combine the precision and flexibility of a multi-rotor aircraft with the efficiency and endurance of a fixed-wing platform. Transwing aircraft take-off and land vertically and transition seamlessly to a fixed-wing aircraft, making it an incredibly versatile tool for users that need the endurance and range of an airplane but the footprint of a helicopter. The patented Transwing design can be scaled to meet mission requirements from tactical ISR to large payload delivery, making this an ideal platform for tactical and operational levels.
PteroDynamics says Transwing aircraft would be suitable for a variety of uses and customers.
The company received its US patent on 9 April 2019.
MetaVista breaks world record of multi rotor UAV flight time
A flight time of 12 hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds was officially recorded by South Korean company MetaVista as it successfully broke the multi rotor UAV world record of flight time. The MetaVista team used a six-liter (1.5 gallon) liquid hydrogen cylinder and Intelligent Energy’s 800W fuel cell power module to power the UAV. The previous record held stood at 2 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds. The substantial difference in flight time achieved demonstrates the impact fuel cells could have on the commercial UAV industry, breaking through the limited flight time constraints of traditional batteries.
Last month UK-based fuel cell engineering company Intelligent Energy and MetaVista signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to commit to a long-term partnership and collaboration after a previous test flight achievement of more than 10 hours.
There is a medical distinction between Guts and Balls. We have all heard colleagues referring to men with Guts and Balls. However, do they know the difference between them?
Here is the official distinction straight out of the British Medical Journal: Volume 323, page 295.
Guts: is arriving home late after a night out with the lads. Being met by your wife at the front door with a broom and having the guts to ask “Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”
Balls: is coming home late after a night out with the lads, smelling of perfume and beer, with lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the butt and having the balls to say: “You are next chubby.”
Medically speaking there is no difference to the outcome, because both are fatal.
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’.