“Voting is not only our right, but it is our power. The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. The future of the Republic is in the hands of all South African voters. The result of this election will be determined by the people who show up on Wednesday 8 May”
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 African Pilot’s annual African Pilot Service Guide to be distributed together with the June edition. The printing of this edition is complete and the distribution is also almost complete. 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 the 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: email@example.com. Thank you.
Why is African Pilot your finest aviation advertising platform in Africa?
- Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent. Remember no publisher can distribute or sell more magazines than the publisher prints
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Video of the week: EAA National Convention Vryheid 2019
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
CemAir wins Civil Aviation Appeals Committee (CAAC) ruling against SACAA
Just to understand this ruling / judgement: The CAAC is a completely separate committee that reports directly to the Minister of Transport and is funded directly by the treasury. In my opinion, this was very bad judgement for the SACAA, because as an administrative body, The regulator failed comprehensively in its duties and the appeal committee picked them to pieces. There were five notices against CemAir all five were challenged and all five were set aside. Consequently, the damage the management of the SACAA has already done and continues to do by victimising professionals within the aviation industry in South Africa is alarming.
Clearly, the SACAA abused its position as the regulator and acted completely unlawfully. Reading the judgement it is abundantly clear that the appeal committee comprehensively found that this was the case for all action taken by the CAA in December 2018 and January 2019. Personally, I am grateful for the protection afforded to the citizens of the Republic of South Africa by the Constitution. Abuse of administrative power is nothing less than a precursor to a dictatorship, which is fast becoming the norm at State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
In my opinion, the SACAA is a deeply flawed organisation that has become bloated with the hiring of many people who are neither technically or academically qualified. This has been exacerbated by internal politics that has created an organisation that serves to an extent its own power as well as the primarily the interests of its management. Safety is subordinate, a convenient catchword for justifying the unjustifiable. Certainly, very few SACAA employees have any real interest in developing aviation in South Africa.
The idea that you need to keep the regulator ‘happy’ to continue operating in the aviation environment is something that is very African. When you read the judgement it is abundantly clear that CemAir did not break any regulations, whilst certain ‘officials’ within the inspectorate who are named in the report clearly have no idea about what they are regulating. This story is far from over and I personally believe that the CemAir case will become a catalyst to call the entire aviation industry to action so to stop the rot and return the SACAA to the authority it should be by performing to its clear mandate. Your input about this matter will be most welcome. Please send me an e-mail: email@example.com with your observations and comments. Thank you.
The judgement can be found here: http://autobleep.com/cemair%20judgment.pdf
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 happened in aviation over the past week?
President’s Trophy Air Race (PTAR)
This past extended long weekend the PTAR took place in the West Coast seaside town of Saldanha hosted by the Saldanha Flying Club. I arrived early on Friday morning to pretty poor weather conditions that deteriorated through the day and eventually at around 13h00 the first-day race was called off for safety reasons, due to the fact that some of the turn points were still under cloud and where rain was being experienced. Although very cold with a stiff onshore wind, Saturday’s conditions improved significantly and the race was on. In all about 46 teams started the race, which was very well handicapped, because most competitors crossed the finishing line overhead the runway within five minutes.
Perhaps the real heroes of the 2019 PTAR are the SAPFA team and chairman Rob Jonkers in particular. After the serious problems that the SAPFA committee faced after the 2018 PTAR staged in Bloemfontein, they had to pull out all the stops to rescue the annual PTAR. Providing a new improved format with relaxed rules especially as far as disqualification is concerned, the atmosphere amongst the competitors at this year’s event was something special. Generally speaking, the competitors were most satisfied with the eventual results as having been fair, whilst almost all teams I spoke to commented on the challenging wind conditions that probably favoured the slower aircraft in the race.
The first ten places were recorded as follows:
- Race 60 ZS-EUB Mooney M20F Kobus van der Merwe and Sarel van der Merwe
- Race 91 ZU-FNV Pipistrel Virus SW 100 Kobus Nel and Martin Grunert
- Race 3 ZS-FVV Piper PA-28-235C Johan Whiteman and Quintin Kruger
- Race 21 ZS-IJL Beech K35 Bennie du Plessis and Barry de Groot
- Race 5 74 ZU-KAI Flight Design CTSW Kai-Uwe Neckel and Ross Leighton
- Race 65 ZS-DVK Beech S35 Carel Hoffman and Alexandre
- Race 76 ZU-JHA Vans Aircraft RV-6 Alewyn Burger and Charles Peck
- Race 33 ZU-IOK Airplane Factory Sling 4 Andrew Lane and James Pitman
- Race 1 ZU-SFA Vans Aircraft RV-7 Rufus Dreyer and Joggie Prinsloo
- Race 18 ZS-ECK Cessna 182H Eduard du Plessis and Hubert Wentzel
A full report with pictures will be published in the June edition of African Pilot. In addition, we will produce a video showing some of the special moments of PTAR 2019 that will accompany next week’s APAnews as the Video of the Week.
Chris Zweigenthal receives Ato Girma award
CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), Chris Zweigenthal, received the Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award for services to aviation and air transport in Africa. The award was presented at the AviaDev Africa 2019 summit in Cape Town last week by the International Air Transport Association’s Special Envoy to Africa on aero political Affairs, Raphael Kuuchi. Ato Girma Wake, after who the award is named, is the former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines (2004-2011), during which time it achieved 25% annual growth and expansion.
Business rescue underway for AHRLAC
AHRLAC is an acronym for Advanced, High-performance, Reconnaissance Light Aircraft, is a high-wing, push propeller, single-engined aircraft designed as a lower cost alternative to unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and attack missions. It first flew in 2014. Ivor Ichikowitz’s Paramount Group is said to be the launch customer for AHRLAC on behalf of another client.
The Aerospace Development Corporation (ADC), which is developing the AHRLAC aircraft, is currently undergoing business rescue proceedings in order to ensure the sustainability of the company.
Paramount Aerospace Holdings and the Potgieter family each have 50% stakes in the Aerospace Development Corporation (formerly AHRLAC Holdings). On 28 February Paramount made an application to the North Gauteng High Court for the company to be granted Business Rescue status.
After a deadlock between Paramount and ADC, the board of the Aerospace Development Corporation on 20 March adopted a resolution to voluntarily commence business rescue proceedings, with Stefan Smyth from Price Waterhouse Coopers appointed as business rescue practitioner. Documents state that ADC “is financially distressed in that it appears to be reasonably unlikely the company will be able to pay all of its debts as they become due and payable within the immediately ensuing six months.
“The company has become financially distressed due to a dispute raised with a third party licensor, which has resulted in the cessation of loan funding. Furthermore, the company has faced delays in completing the first two aircraft on order, which is a pre-requisite for the activation of further aircraft orders. This has adversely affected the company’s cash flow and which has therefore caused the company to become financially distressed. The belief of the majority of the [ADC] board is that there appears to be a reasonable prospect of rescuing the group in that the company’s 50% shareholder (Paramount Aerospace Holdings Pty Ltd) is prepared on business rescue proceedings commencing, to advance post-commencement finance to the company on terms as agreed with the appointed business rescue practitioner.”
ADC has subsidiaries which include the AeroSud Innovation Centre (Pty) Ltd, which offers engineering design and development services to other subsidiaries; AHRLAC (Pty) Ltd, which focusses on production of the AHRLAC aircraft; ADC Aeroswift (Pty) Ltd, which is responsible for laser additive manufacturing in partnership with the CSIR’s National Laser Centre; ADC Surveillance Systems (Pty) Ltd, which is a focus point for all activities related to AHRLAC mission and payload installations; Mwari (Pty) Ltd, which is an inactive shell company established for the colocation of weapon system-related activities for the AHRLAC aircraft; and ADC Logistics (Pty) Ltd, which was set up to provide maintenance, overhaul and logistics services for the AHRLA.
AHRLAC Logistics was placed under business rescue on 12 April; AeroSud Innovation Centre on 4 April; AHRLAC on 4 April and ADC Surveillance Systems on 12 April. It was earlier reported that the AHRLAC factory at Wonderboom airport has been shut since at least the beginning of the year, with around 140 employees sent home. They did not receive their January or February salaries. Earlier allegations suggested a conflict between the Potgieters and Paramount stemmed from the misappropriation of intellectual property and funding obligations from Paramount.
In March, Paramount said that “over the past nine years, Paramount Aerospace and its affiliated companies have significantly invested their own capital, as well as supported and underwritten the raising of third-party funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of Rands. This was done in support of what is a truly unique global aerospace project and we remain dedicated to supporting the programme and seeing it through to fruition.” Paramount added that it “fully supports the company and we believe very strongly in the programme. We are therefore fully committed to the Business Rescue process. The Business Rescue Practitioner will be supported to raise immediate funding so that the employees and creditors of ADC can be paid.”
CSIR continues to refine active aerostat
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed what is most likely a completely unique active aerostat which it hopes to offer for security and surveillance purposes.
An aerostat is a lighter than air balloon that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant gas. Although tethered, the CSIR’s active aerostat has control surfaces to allow it to better withstand the elements and provide better stability than traditional aerostats. The helium-filled wing shaped balloon is fitted with rigid control surfaces, allowing it to be stabilised and trimmed to maintain its position in high wind conditions through the additional lift created by the shape of the envelope. This results in improved coverage from sensors fitted to the aerostat, as conventional aerostats would be pulled back and buffeted by the wind. The aerostat features an active control system, with an autopilot controlling pitch, roll and yaw.
The CSIR said the active aerostat can be rapidly deployed to its required heights for maximum surveillance. Line tension is maintained within pre-set limits by the active control system. The system has application in all areas where persistent aerial surveillance is needed and isn’t required to meet the strict civil aviation requirements governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems. Applications could include military and security, farming, wildlife monitoring, crowd control, border surveillance, mining surveillance, shark monitoring, advertising and communications relay.
The active aerostat first flew in April 2016 and in its second generation model was flying in mid-2018 after some modifications to the control surfaces where the fins were moved outwards and canted for better aerodynamic efficiency. The aerostat was designed by the CSIR in collaboration with Dr Ralph Katzwinkel, a vet who wanted a persistent surveillance capability to help protect rhinos. The project was later joined by South African company Zeppelin Inflatables.
The CSIR is pursuing additional funding to continue with active aerostat development and to build a useable demonstrator because potential customers will be more receptive to a fully working model. Further developments will include a gas feed pipe integrated into the tether to maintain helium pressure, allowing the aerostat to stay up for weeks. The CSIR is seeking R1.5 million in investment for a trailer, weather system development and new envelope. The active aerostat is also planned to be fitted with a stabilised sensor gimbal, camera system and datalink so far it has only been flown with a GoPro camera for demonstration purposes. CSIR engineer John Monk believes the active aerostat is quite unique and could be the first and only of its kind in the world.
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.
10 and 11 May
Lowveld airshow at Nelspruit airport
Contact Monica Fourie Tel: 083 619 3597 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 to 12 May
Contact Dave O’Halloran E-mail: email@example.com
10 to 12 May
NAC annual fly away Letsatsi Game Reserve
Contact Deon Wentzel Cell: 082 458 5719 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
18 & 19 May
SAC Free State Regionals Tempe Airport
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Botswana International Airshow Matsieng Aerodrome (FBMA)
Contact Hentie de Wet E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Johan Pieters E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 923 0078
5 to 8 June
Zimbabwe Air Rally
Mel Cooper Cell: + 263 773 218426 E-mail: email@example.com
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
20 to 23 June
SAC National Championships venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
21 to 23 June
EAA Chapter 322 flight training Boot Camp at Mwala Lodge
Contact Neil Bowden Cell: 084 674 5674 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Relibile Mofokeng E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 073 837 0162
Reefsteamers train, plane, vintage car event from Krugersdorp to Magalies
Contact Ian Morrison e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
23 to 28 June
South African Hot Air Balloon Championships Skeerpoort North West Province
Contact Richard Bovell e-mail: email@example.com
27 to 30 June
SAC National Championships Malelane airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Delivery of Kenyan AW139s imminent
Since the new AW139 helicopters are conducting test flights in Italy, soon Kenya will be taking delivery of new AW139 helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters. Photos emerged of two AW139s in Kenya Air Force markings undergoing test flights from Varese-Venegono Airport, Italy, in March and early April.
The Kenyan acquisition was revealed in June 2018 in a parliamentary report that stated an undisclosed number of AW139s were acquired through a Sh6 billion ($59 million) loan advanced to Kenya’s Treasury by Italy’s UniCredit SpA. Based on the cost, it is estimated that Kenya has ordered four AW139s.
Kenya also obtained a Sh20 billion ($196 million) loan from the same bank for three C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, also manufactured by Leonardo. The acquisitions were made between November 2017 and February 2018. The Spartans are expected to be delivered this year and replace four DHC-5 Buffalo transports.
The Kenyan National Police Service Air Wing already operates AW139s, having received two in June 2018 and one in April 2016; the latter was subsequently lost in a crash in September 2016. The police air wing has been growing of late bolstered by the delivery of a Mi-17V-5 in March 2017 and an SW-4 in June 2018.
The Kenya Air Force will be new to the AW139, as it currently flies a squadron of SA330 and IAR330 Pumas and a squadron of UH-1H Huey II Helicopters. Other models in service include MD500s, AH-1F Cobras, Mi-171Es and Z-9Ws. Eight ex-United Arab Emirates AS550 Fennecs were delivered around September last year while six MD530Fs are on order from the United States.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Boeing CEO defends 737 MAX design
Addressing shareholders in Chicago on Monday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg spoke to reporters about the 737 MAX’s troubled MCAS (Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System). “The MCAS system as originally designed met our design and safety analysis criteria,” he said. When asked if the MCAS was the cause of both Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents, Muilenburg sidestepped a direct answer, saying, “There were multiple contributing factors, there are factors we can control and in this case that common link in the MCAS and its activation. We are going to break that link and prevent accidents like this from happening again.” The accidents were the result of a “chain of events,” he said, “there is no singular item, it’s a chain of events. It is not correct to attribute the accidents to any single item” he said. “We know there are some improvements we can make to the MCAS and we will make those improvements. However, the reason this industry is safe is that we never stop on making safety improvements. We never claim we have reached the end point. We are continuously, across all of our airplane programmes, improving safety every day. We always look for opportunities to improve.”
As part of his update to the media, Muilenburg said that nearly all of the 50 airlines that fly the 737 MAX have “experienced the software updates themselves” in simulators. Total test flying so far is up to 246 hours over 146 flights, according to Boeing. While admitting that Boeing has been speaking to the airlines economically impacted by the grounding of the MAX, he said, “The first focus here is safely getting the Max up and flying and then we will address the follow-on issues.”
Muilenburg himself has faced challenges in the wake of the two fatal accidents and subsequent grounding. Shareholders had attempted an ouster of the CEO, but less than half of the investors voted for his removal. Boeing’s income was down to $2.8 billion from $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2018 largely on the downturn of deliveries of 737 aircraft.
Southwest looking at Airbus
Southwest Airlines and Boeing have been inextricably linked but maybe not so much anymore. Southwest officials have reportedly been asking questions about the Airbus A220, the highly regarded former Bombardier CSeries single-aisle programme acquired by Airbus last year and now being operated by Delta, Korean Air and Swiss, among others. Last week Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC his airline may no longer be exclusive with its only aircraft supplier thus far. That shot across the bow came as Boeing’s leadership girded for its annual shareholders’ meeting Monday, in which former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was expected to join the board of directors. The ongoing grounding of the 737 MAX will dominate discussion and the company’s biggest customer’s boss had some other words of encouragement for Boeing. “We have a great, historic partnership with that company and I would expect that would continue going forward,” Kelly said. “But, yeah, we have to work through this MAX issue. When we launched the MAX airplane, we felt like it was the best single-aisle airplane in the world and we still feel that way.” He also said Southwest plans to go ahead with its order for 200 737 MAX airliners. He also said sending a delegation of Southwest executives to Europe to view first-hand an airline’s operation of the A220 earlier this month was ‘coincidental.’
Airbus ACJ319neo completes record flight
Airbus has been flying the ACJ (Airbus Corporate Jets) 319neo for only a couple of days, but has already set an endurance record. Thanks to additional fuel tanks compared to the airline version of the A319, the ACJ-neo was able to make a 16-hour, 10-minute test flight. A combination of more economical engines (the aircraft can be fitted with either CFM Leap-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1121G1 engines) and a lot more fuel capacity (from five additional centre tanks) over the airline-spec A319 gives the aircraft up to 6800-NM range, something it’s capable of with eight well-heeled passengers aboard. The total tankage amounts to 37,400 litres, which still sounds like a lot when converted to 9880 US gallons. Airbus claims to have 200 jets in corporate service.
U-Haul International takes delivery of first of two Pilatus PC-24s
Last week in a ceremony at Pilatus Business Aircraft Limited’s facility in Broomfield, Colorado, the Swiss aircraft manufacturer delivered the first of two PC-24 Super Versatile Jets to US customer U-Haul International. With a stylish paint scheme featuring the distinctive U-Haul orange livery, the 27th production PC-24 aircraft took to the skies for its new home base in Phoenix, Arizona, where it will join a U-Haul fleet that includes two PC-12s. With the aircraft now in operation, the global fleet of PC-24s has accumulated over 4,000 flight hours, with the fleet leader already clocking up more than 1,100 flight hours. The PC-24 Super Versatile Jet will be on display at Pilatus’ static exhibit during the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva between 21 and 23 May.
Cathay pilots lose sight in flight
Cathay Pacific and various authorities are investigating the mysterious ‘loss of visual acuity’ experienced by two long-serving captains on separate flights in different aircraft types in January and February of this year. In the first instance, a 777 skipper with 4,000 hours in that left seat (27,500 hours total) had trouble seeing for about 30 minutes while on the way from Sapporo to Hong Kong. He stayed in his seat and handed off to his FO for the uneventful approach and landing in Hong Kong after getting priority with a Pan Pan.
The more recent incident was somewhat more dramatic and the 25,000-hour recently qualified A350 captain announced he was having trouble breathing and couldn’t see properly. He was given oxygen, and the crew asked for help from a medical professional travelling as a passenger and flew about half the flight at a lower altitude to increase cabin pressure. Both incidents were gleaned from incident reports published Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department and so far no conclusions have been reached.
Sling Pilot Academy formed to meet challenges of 21st Century Aviation Industry
A new flight training academy, based on an already successful flight school that has been serving the flight training community for the better part of a decade, has arisen to meet the increasingly difficult demands for training tomorrow’s aviation transportation professionals. The Sling Pilot Academy, based in Torrance CA, is the brainchild of three aviation entrepreneurs, Wayne Todden, Jean d’Assonville, and Matt Liknaitzky, who have been working in a number of aviation disciplines for decades and are more than well-acquainted with what will be required to be competitive and SAFE as the aviation industry continues to evolve in the coming years.
Equipped with all new Next-Generation Sling training aircraft, using the latest in modern powerplant and glass cockpit display technology, Sling Pilot Academy effectively wields the double-edged sword of combining proper expert preparation for tomorrow’s airline pilots, as well as providing cost-effective quality training. Complete Professional Flight Training programmes that may be undertaken in under nine months, from first flight to course completion, are available now for under $63,000. While the price of the programme is less than many other such courses, the company leaves nothing out.
A student working the entire programme completes the curriculum with more than a basic Commercial Pilot’s license with an Instrument rating, but is equipped to go right to work in today’s challenging aviation industry. They also leave SPA with a multi-engine rating as well as the three Primary Instructor ratings: Certified Flight Instructor/Airplane, CFI/Instrument-Airplane and CFI/Multi-Engine. SPA’s new programme is already training tomorrow’s airline pilots in picturesque Southern California.
Bye Aerospace rebrands electric airplane as eFlyer
George E. Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said eFlyer more accurately represents the aircraft’s high-tech all-electric propulsion system. “We originally thought solar cells would be standard on the airplane’s wings,” Bye said. “However, with eFlyer’s primary markets being flight training and air taxi services, it makes more sense to make the price of the airplane as reasonable as possible.”
The eFlyer family of aircraft, including the 2-seat eFlyer 2 and the 4-seat eFlyer 4, aims to be the first FAA-certified, practical, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.
To date, Bye Aerospace has received 298 total customer commitments for both aircraft, including a recent agreement with OSM Aviation Academy to purchase 60 eFlyer 2s. “It is important that the airline industry steps up to the challenge of developing more environmentally friendly transportation, said Espen Høiby, CEO of OSM Aviation Group, a leading provider of air crews for the international airline industry. “We are committed to a socially responsible and sustainable business.”
Norwegian partner, Elfly AS, has also added 10 new eFlyer deposits, for a total of 18 deposits. “Bye Aerospace has a strong team and I think they will be the first to mass produce a certified FAR 23 and EASA 23 all-electric airplane,” said Eric Lithun, CEO of Elfly AS. “This is the game changer of aviation for small airplanes. The Bye Aerospace eFlyer will be the Tesla of the general aviation industry.”
Bye Aerospace is working with Garmin’s engineering team to implement the G3X integrated flight display onto the eFlyer 2. Siemens will provide electric propulsion systems for the eFlyer 2; the 57 lb. SP70D motor with a 90kW peak rating (120 HP) and a continuous power setting of up to 70kW (94 HP). The eFlyer 2 successfully completed the first official flight test with a Siemens electric propulsion motor on 8 February at Centennial Airport, south of Denver, Colorado.
Drugs and cash found in Kentucky crash
According to local authorities, a Bellanca Viking that crashed mysteriously overnight this past week at the Henderson City, Kentucky, airport had cocaine and cash on board. Police say that the two aboard, Barry Hill (47) and George Tucker (48), both from Sanford, North Carolina, were carrying a duffel bag of cash and suspected cocaine. “Investigators believe Tucker and Hill were likely in the Henderson area looking for a fuelling stop to continue their journey,” said Corey King of the Kentucky State Police. “The Bellanca 17-30A aircraft ran out of fuel causing the engine to quit. The plane fell nose first to the ground ultimately killing both men.” Neither man aboard the Bellanca had permission to use the aircraft and Tucker, the suspected pilot, wasn’t legal for the flight; he held just a student-pilot certificate. The crash occurred late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning but the wreckage was not found until just after 07h00 the next morning.
P-51 tribute to Bud Anderson at AirVenture 2019
AirVenture is amplifying its fighter theme for the 2019 show by including a call for all flyable P-51s to pay tribute to one of the type’s most honoured pilots. AirVenture will host a tribute to legendary Mustang pilot Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson in a mass flyover on 25 July. “Bud Anderson is well known and lauded for his courage and abilities as a flying ace from World War II, so EAA wants to bring together as many P-51 Mustangs as possible to salute him,” said AirVenture coordinator Rick Larsen. “His entire aviation career is also one for the record books, deserving of recognition at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration and another ‘Only at Oshkosh’ moment.” Anderson was a triple ace in the Second World War and flew for the Air Force until 1972. He was most famous for his Mustang ‘Old Crow’ that he used to down 16 victories while serving with the 357th Fighter Group based in England.
Eviation selects magniX motor for electric Alice
Eviation has announced that it has selected the magniX magni250 propulsion system to power its all-electric Alice aircraft. According to Eviation, the 375-horsepower magni250 will be one of two propulsion options on the nine-passenger composite commuter. The company says magniX motors have undergone more than 1,500 hours in test facilities and have been tested ‘for quite some time’ with the Alice aircraft propeller. With a maximum take-off weight of 6,350 kg (about 14,000 pounds), the Alice aircraft is designed for a range of up to 650 miles, cruise speed of about 240 knots and service ceiling of 30,000 feet. Eviation hopes to begin flight testing this year and plans to begin commercial customer deliveries in 2022. The company intends to debut the first ‘fully operational’ Alice at the 2019 Paris Air Show, which will be held between 17 and 23 June at Le Bourget, France.
USAF may order 80 F-15s
Boeing is preparing its St. Louis F-15 factory for an order of 80 of the almost-50-year-old-design jets from the US Air Force. The order is tucked into the Defence Department’s most recent appropriations request and Boeing says it wants to be ready if the Air Force needs the big twin fighters sooner rather than later. “With all the improvements we’ve done to the F-15 over the years, there is more interest in the F-15,” Andy Stark, manager of F-15 assembly, told The Associated Press. “We would rather get ahead of the need versus waiting for the need to happen. So we are doing these studies so that way when the need occurs we have already got the business case and we are ready to pull the trigger.”
The St. Louis plant has been kept busy supplying orders from foreign military powers for the tried and true Eagle, which now bristles with modern features and weapons capabilities. Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia continue to take deliveries. The factory is now building about one fighter a month but Boeing is looking at tripling that for the USAF order. The F-15 order proposal has annoyed politicians in states that build components for the F-35, which is assembled by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth.
Spencer Suderman makes emergency landing at Whiteman Field
On Saturday 27 April veteran aerobatic pilot Spencer Suderman made an emergency landing at Whiteman Field Airport (KWHT) in California when the propeller departed from his Pitts Special whilst flying at 7,500 feet. He landed safely, although the aircraft sustained some damage.
NASC TigerShark-XP UAV receives FAA experimental certification
Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation (NASC) received a Special Airworthiness Certification in the Experimental Category from the FAA for two of its NASC TigerShark-XP aircraft, the N1740X and N1750X. The TigerShark-XP is a variant of the US Navy RQ-23A Group III Unmanned Aircraft System. The RQ-23A saw service in both Iraq and Afghanistan with over 100,000 flight hours.
The TigerShark-XP has been assigned to research and development projects such as aircraft anti-ice and de-ice projects, detect-and-avoid development, National Airspace integration, weather detection and avoidance and numerous payload operations for NASA and Academic R&D programs. As experimental aircraft, they are also utilised as autopilot development platforms evaluating denied GPS environments and other command and control innovations.
Both the TigerShark-XP and its larger NASC stable mate, the NASC Teros, offer a ‘plug and play’ capability and can be equipped with a variety of payloads including onboard weather radar, detect-and-avoid radar, 4G LTE data links, Iridium satellite and an expanded Silvus MIMO radio network.
“Having the TigerShark-XP approved as FAA Special Aircraft Category-Experimental Certification (SAC-EC) allows for expanded research and flight crew training in the National Airspace System (NAS), “said Richard Leverich, Senior Programme Engineer, NASC. “This opens innumerable opportunities for further development leading to FAA type certification and even further integration into the NAS.”
In addition, NASC recently announced the opening of a TigerShark-XP training centre at the Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York. This training centre focuses on TigerShark-XP flight and maintenance operations as well as Cloud Cap Piccolo Command Centre (PCC) training.
Raytheon System helps pilots fly drones beyond line of sight
Raytheon’s Ground Based Detect and Avoid (GBDAA) system is now operational at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and will be used to test the safety and efficiency of small drone operations in the 200 square mile drone test range. “GBDAA allows drone pilots to make safe decisions about flight manoeuvres beyond visual line of sight without using ground observers or chase planes,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “The data gathered at this test site will go a long way toward ensuring the safe integration of drones throughout the national airspace system.”
Contracted by the US Air Force through the Department of Transportation’s VOLPE center, GBDAA is a key component of SkyVision, the only mobile beyond visual line-of-sight system certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to provide drone operators with real-time aircraft display data, satisfying a key ‘see and avoid’ requirement. SkyVision operators inside the mobile unit will give drone pilots situational awareness and proximity alerts by syncing their display with the drone pilot’s display, allowing for safe passage through the airspace by showing airborne tracks from multiple sensors.
GBDAA is based on Raytheon’s Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, which is used by air traffic controllers at more than 400 FAA and military locations to provide safe aircraft spacing and sequencing guidance for departing and arriving aircraft. GBDAA comes in numerous configurations to meet varying mission needs; the US military uses a fixed version to manage larger unmanned systems like the Predator, Reaper and Global Hawk.
AiRXOS participates in UAV delivery for successful organ transplant
AiRXOS, a part of GE Aviation, participated in the world’s first unmanned aircraft (UA) flight that delivered a donor kidney to surgeons in Baltimore, Maryland for successful transplantation into a patient with kidney failure. The momentous flight was a collaboration between transplant physicians and researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in Baltimore; aviation and engineering experts at the University of Maryland (UMD) and collaborators at the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (The LLF). While organ transport by drone has been previously tested successfully between medical facilities by the University of Maryland UAS Test Site in St. Mary’s County, this is the first time the flight operation was used to deliver an organ for transplant.
The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flight operation was monitored by AiRXOS’ Air MobilityTM Platform, a rich, cutting-edge grade framework enabling unmanned traffic management applications, operations and services. The Air Mobility Platform manages the volume, density and variety of unmanned traffic data, while coordinating and integrating that data within a secure, FAA-compliant, gated cloud environment to ensure safe unmanned operations.
Among the many technological firsts of this effort include: a specially designed, high-tech apparatus for maintaining and monitoring a viable human organ; a custom-built UAS with eight rotors and multiple powertrains to ensure consistently reliable performance, even in the case of a possible component failure; the use of a mesh network radios to control the UAS, monitor aircraft status and provide communications for the ground crew at multiple locations, as well as aircraft operating systems that combined best practices from both UAS and organ transport standards.
On Friday, 19 April a human donor kidney was loaded onto the UMMC drone. The flight, led by the University of Maryland UAS Test Site at St. Mary’s County, commenced. The vehicle travelled 2.6 miles and flew for approximately 10 minutes. The human kidney was successfully delivered to University of Maryland Medical Centre (UMMC) and was scheduled to be used for a transplant surgery.
Maryland faculty and researchers believe this prototype organ transport blazes a trail for the use of UAS to expand access to donated organs, improving outcomes for more people in need of organ transplants. Currently organs are transported by commercial aircraft or charter flights. Organ transplants have a limited window of cold ischemia time (CIT) in which an organ can be chilled and then have blood supply restored. As of January 2019, almost 114,000 individuals were on the US national transplant waiting list and every day approximately 80 people receive organ transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing – the non-profit that manages the transplant system. For sensitive medical deliveries, reducing the amount of travel time in urban settings, as well as vibration during travel can help lead to better outcomes.
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’.