“So long as men hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force and that some alleged ‘good’ can justify it, there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations.” Ayn Rand
African Pilot’s June 2019 edition
African Pilot’s exciting June edition features business at Lanseria International Airport, the South African Power Flying Association’s (SAPFA) President’s Trophy Air Race (PTAR) that was staged in Saldanha (Western Cape), South Africa’s EAA National Convention in Vryheid (KZN) and the ABSA Lowveld airshow (Nelspruit airfield). In addition Divan Muller covered the USA’s Sun ‘n Fun staged in Florida. We also have published a comprehensive report on the AERO Friedrichshafen the premier European aviation trade show staged in Germany. 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. The printing and distribution of the June edition is complete and African Pilot’s June digital edition was released on Friday 24 May. Should you wish to receive your copy of the digital edition, please visit the African Pilot website: www.africanpilot.co.za and sign up using the button provided. Thank you.
African Pilot’s July 2019 edition
The July edition of African Pilot will feature our annual Aviation Careers Guide as well as Flight Training Schools in southern Africa. African Pilot specifically plans to prepare the comprehensive aviation careers guide for the July edition so as to provide matric students with the opportunity to review their options within the July school holidays. At the same time there is no point in publishing this type of information in November when learners are busy with their matric exams. This edition will also carry a report on EBACE to be staged in Geneva, Switzerland between 21 and 23 May 2019 and the brilliant Botswana, Matsieng airshow. The closing date for editorial submissions is Wednesday 5 June and advertising material on Friday 7 June. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is developing at African Pilot?
Now you can get your favourite aviation magazine online
We have re-designed the option for the electronic version of African Pilot to be uploaded via our website. The cost of a single download is R18 (US$2) or R180 (US$20) for a 12-month subscription. In addition, we have created several other options. If you happened to miss out on a particular article or edition, back editions are available.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
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: AMS / Bose
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana resigns
He is prepared to work a three-month notice period until 31 August 2019. According to his resignation letter to SAA board chairperson JB Magwaza, the CEO unpacked how uncertainty about funding and slow decision making processes were delaying the airline’s turnaround strategy. “The strategy is being systemically undermined and as the Group Chief Executive Officer, I can no longer be able to assure the board and the public that the LTTS (long term turnaround strategy) is achievable,” he said.
Jarana was appointed CEO in November 2017 and had the challenging task of bringing back the airline to financial health. At the time of his appointment, SAA had R9.2bn in debt that was maturing on 28 November 2017. The airline also had a turnaround plan, which had not yet been implemented, Jarana said in his resignation letter. Under Jarana’s watch, a revised corporate plan was developed and approved by National Treasury in March 2018. This plan required funding of R21.7bn and would see SAA break even.
Comair purchases Star Air Cargo
On Friday 31 May South African airline group Comair announced that via a Stock Exchange News Service release at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, that it was acquiring the ‘shares and claims’ of Star Air Maintenance and Star Air Cargo. The deal involves paying the sellers R75-million, plus profit share payments. “Comair has acquired the assets to extend its diversification strategy into the leasing of aircraft, while also providing Comair with the expertise and systems to establish a base for heavy maintenance checks on its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft,” stated the release. Star Air Maintenance provides maintenance for Star Air Cargo’s own fleet as well as for third party operators.
Gilbert Do Nascimento appointed Managing Director of Airbus South Africa
Airbus Southern Africa supports over 350 civil helicopters operating with customers in the region. Prior to his appointment as Managing Director, he served as the Chief Commercial Executive and subsequently as Operations Executive and Accountable Manager for the maintenance and repair organisation (MRO), new helicopter deliveries, technical support as well as quality, safety and regulatory compliance. Gilbert holds a Bachelor in Engineering (Industrial & Systems) and Masters in Engineering from the University of Pretoria. He joined Airbus in 2010 after a successful career in the South African aerospace industry where he held senior management and executive positions in Denel’s aerospace division. Gilbert had been Acting Managing Director at AHZA since late last year when his predecessor, Arnaud Montalvo, was promoted to Head of Region, Africa Middle East for Airbus Helicopters.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
By Charlie Hugo
Ever since the demise of the Virginia airshow held in Durban, the Newcastle airshow, now in its ninth year is the only airshow held in KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Champ Marketing, led by Johan Pieters must be congratulated on their continued success in organising and hosting this airshow. As before, a strong contribution from the South African Air Force (SAAF), as well as the participation of heavy metal airliners is instrumental to the continued success of this airshow. The early winter’s day saw beautiful clear blue skies making for a pleasant days viewing. With the backing of the KZN Department of Tourism the entrance fee to the airshow was free to all attendees.
It is a great pity that the scheduled opening display by an Airbus A320 from South African Airways, along with the SAAF’s Silver Falcon display team did not materialise due to technical issues. The crowd were still treated to a full day’s entertainment. Johan Pieters has been taking note of some of the other successful South African airshow displays and has included the daytime smoke pyrotechnics. It must be said that the ‘whistlers’ were a bit of a shock to all. Airlink made up for the disappointment of the missing Airbus as they once again displayed their impressive Embraer E-190. A comprehensive report will be published in the July edition of African Pilot magazine.
Gordon Dyne’s Mirage F1
Many years ago when I was engaged in a photographic sortie for the South African Air Force at a forward station, I saw one of the Mirage F1AZ decoys that had been built in an effort to ‘fool the US’ who at that time were using high altitude spy planes such as the U2 and the Black Bird on photo sorties. There was this immaculate replica standing on the ramp, but somehow it did not seem right and on walking up to the plane I could see that it was made of fibreglass. There is very little information on the number of Mirage F1 decoys that were built, but I suspect they were built by then Atlas Aircraft Corporation now Denel Aviation.
Gordon Dyne, my good friend and African Pilot’s proofreader has been looking for a Mirage F1 for some years to relocate at his Brakpan airfield Mancave. He discovered this particular Mirage F1 decoy in Heidelberg on top of a building, but the ‘airframe’ has deteriorated due to external weather conditions over many years in the harsh South African sun. Gordon intends to refurbish this decoy airframe and paint the aircraft in SAAF camouflage colours to become a permanent exhibition item outside his hangar and magnificent Mancave, a mini museum that houses hoards of aviation history. We will publish more on this story and the refurbishment progress in a future edition of African Pilot.
However, if any of our readers can come up with more information on how many Mirage F1 decoys were manufactured and where they were made I will appreciate this information, thank you. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAAF Museum airshow at AFB Swartkop cancelled again!
Three weeks ago we were told that due to the elections on Wednesday 8 May the annual SAAF Museum airshow was postponed from its usual date at the beginning of May to Saturday 31 August. However, I have since found out that the annual AFB Swartkop airshow had been cancelled yet again, this time the excuse was apparently due to the fact that there was not enough time to plan and prepare for the airshow. Despite numerous attempts to contact the SAAF to obtain information, there appears to be a serious communication problem. However, if the situation changes, now that the presidential inauguration is complete, African Pilot will try to keep you advised of any new date announced.
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.
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
SAPFA Pietermaritzburg Fun Rally
Contact Frank and Cally Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
10 to 16 June
SAPFA World Precision Flying Championships – Castellon Spain
Contact Hans Schwebel cell: 082 656 3005 e-mail: email@example.com
Maputo airshow in Mozambique
Legend Gold and Safari Resort fly-in Sterkriver
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
4 to 6 July
AERO South Africa Wonderboom National Airport, Pretoria
Contact: Tel +27 120 599 6151 E-mail: Konstantin.vonVieregge@za.messafrankfurt.com
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
CAASA AGM at CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Tel: 011 659 2345 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 to 14 July
Taildraggers Fly-In at Nylstroom
Contact Richard Nicholson Cell: 082 490 6227 e-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Hoedspruit Fun Rally Hoedspruit Civil Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 to 28 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Action, education, entertainment and everything in between makes EAA AirVenture Oshkosh your perfect, affordable northern hemisphere summer destination! For seven days from sunrise to well past sunset, your Oshkosh day is filled with dazzling displays of aerobatics, informative programmes and hands-on workshops, diverse aircraft spanning all eras of flight, concerts to keep you rocking into the night and much, much more. Fun for the whole family that you will only find in Oshkosh is waiting for you at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration!
25 to 27 July
SAPFA Air Navigation Race (ANR) Nationals at Brits airfield
Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: email@example.com cell: 083 269 1516
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
France donates two Epsilon trainer aircraft to Senegal
Senegal’s Air Force has taken delivery of two Epsilon trainer aircraft from France, which will be used to train pilots at its Air Force School outside the capital Dakar. France has donated other aircraft to Senegal in the past and in 2014 received four Epsilon trainers. Kaba said these aircraft were used to train around 15 pilots between 2014 and 2019 marking a major turning point in the history of the Air Force. They have accumulated over 3 300 flight hours. The Socata TB 30 Epsilon is a light tandem seat military trainer aircraft that first flew on 22 December 1979. It is powered by a Lycoming O-540 piston engine giving a maximum speed of 380 km/h. Its biggest operator is the French Air Force, but it has also been exported to Portugal and Togo.
Third Nigerian AW109 spotted
Leonardo Helicopters has flown a third AW109E Power helicopter destined for the Nigerian Air Force, with the rotorcraft undergoing pre-delivery test flights in Italy. On 20 May the helicopter was spotted at Varese-Venegono airport, painted in desert camouflage and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) roundel. The previous two AW109s delivered were in dark green camouflage.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
FAA offers update on 737 MAX progress
Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told a recent meeting of global aviation regulators that it is waiting for Boeing to complete its update of software for the MCAS used on the 737 MAX airplanes, and that several things need to happen before the US regulator will return the airplane to service.
In his closing remarks to the assembled regulators, Elwell said the meeting had been “both comprehensive and constructive. While the tragic circumstances that brought all of us together might be considered extraordinary; there is nothing extraordinary about the level of commitment to safety shared by all of us. Our sense of mission that makes aviation the safest form of transportation runs strong and deep and binds all of us. If not in one meeting in Fort Worth, we are comparing notes in symposiums around the world, we are in web-based conferences, or we simply pick up the phone.”
The subjects covered at the meeting included:
- How the FAA responded to the MAX accidents and how we’re supporting the two international accident investigations
- How we plan to certify Boeing’s MCAS changes and how we have been sharing information with all the regulators here
- The latest status on the Technical Advisory Board, or TAB, which is reviewing Boeing’s MCAS software update and system safety assessment. As you know, the TAB is tasked with identifying any issues where further investigation is recommended before we approve the MCAS design change.
- Details of the Boeing’s proposed changes to the MAX; both to the flight control system and pilot training
- A review of the technical steps and sequence of events that we anticipate would be involved in ungrounding the MAX fleet here in the United States.
- A discussion of international considerations for returning the MAX to service outside the United States.
“What happens next is that, here in the US, we await Boeing’s completed for changes to the MAX. Once received we perform our final risk assessments and analyses, taking into account findings of the TAB and any information we receive from our international counterparts. We will also take part in test flights of a modified 737 MAX and weigh all the information together before making the decision to return the aircraft to service,” Elwell said. “Internationally, each country has to make its own decisions, but the FAA will make available to our counterparts all that we have learned, all that we have done and all of our assistance under our International Civil Aviation Organization commitments.
In a statement released following the meeting, Boeing said the company “appreciates the FAA’s leadership in taking this important step in bringing global regulators together to share information and discuss the safe return to service of the 737 MAX. Our team, our airline customers and regulators place the highest priority on the safety of the flying public. Once we have addressed the information requests from the FAA, we will be ready to schedule a certification test flight and submit final certification documentation.”
Bird strike considered as a factor in Ethiopian 737 MAX accident
According to unnamed US aviation officials, the Ethiopian Boeing 737 MAX which crashed in April may have been involved in a bird strike. Multiple media outlets are reporting that ‘industry and government officials familiar with the investigation’ told the Wall Street Journal that the plane may have struck a bird, resulting in damage to a sensor which then fed erroneous data to the plane’s MCAS. However according to Investor’s Business Daily, Ethiopian officials say there was ‘no evidence of foreign-object damage’ to the sensor and that they have found no evidence of a bird strike. According to the report, the possibility of a bird strike was also discussed and later dismissed in the Lion Air accident involving a 737 MAX in October 2018.
Rumours concerning Boeing’s new midsize airliner
While Boeing is playing it close to the vest, rumours are swirling about its plans to announce its New Midsize Airplane (NMA), perhaps as soon as the Paris Air Show in June. CNB reports that according to the research firm Jefferies, among the biggest rumoured changes in the so-called ‘797’ is the possibility that it will be flown by a single pilot on board, with a second ground-based pilot that would be able to ‘monitor several aircraft’ at the same time. A note from the analysts made public Sunday indicates that technology allowing for single-pilot operation is still at least 10 years in the future. Reducing the number of pilots on staff could save airline’s millions and would be one way to address the looming pilot shortage that is a major concern for the industry.
However in a statement to CNBC, Boeing said the NMA would not push technological boundaries in that way. “Should we launch, the NMA flight deck is being designed for two pilots and we don’t see NMA as a technology push airplane.” It is unclear how Boeing’s recent issues with the 737 MAX airplane might affect the announcement of the NMA.
Germany becomes the first government customer for ACJ350
The German government has placed a firm order for three ACJ350-900 XWBs, becoming the first government customer for the type, which has already been ordered by private customers. The aircraft are destined for a mix of government, troop transport and medical evacuation roles. Delivery of the first aircraft is planned for 2020 and the other two in 2022. Cabin outfitting will be facilitated by ACJ’s Easyfit cabin-outfitting concept, which features pre-installed attachments and standardised interfaces that greatly simplify installing walls and furniture in a carbon fibre fuselage. The A350 XWB is the first Airbus aircraft to feature a carbon fibre fuselage and wings, which are immune to fatigue and corrosion, as well as saving weight. Its technological features also include the greater comfort of a lower cabin-altitude, simpler and faster transition-training for pilots through the newest version of Airbus’s common cockpit, and aerodynamically efficient wings that adapt their shape in flight. Total A350 XWB orders stand at around 900, more than 250 of which are already in airline service. The ACJ350-900 XWB can fly 25 passengers 11,100 nm or more than 22 hours in its ultra-long range version.
Rolls-Royce delivers first Pearl 15 production engines
Rolls-Royce announced that the first sets of Pearl 15 production standard engines were delivered to Bombardier and have been fitted to the first Global 6500 aircraft that is now in completions in readiness to power its latest business jet, into service. Whilst Bombardier has started interior completion work on the first customer aircraft, the Rolls-Royce site in Dahlewitz, Germany, is ramping up the Pearl 15 production. Flight testing is on track to support the aircraft certification and a smooth entry into service later this year. The Pearl 15 is the newest addition to Rolls-Royce’s market-leading business aviation engine portfolio, exclusively powering Bombardier’s Global 5500 and 6500 aircraft. The engine was carefully designed and optimised in partnership with Bombardier to complement the Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft.
Two aircraft involved in mid-air collision in northeast Florida
Radio station WOKV reports that one of the two pilots involved in the collision was fatally injured. That pilot has been identified by the Florida Highway Patrol as Robert Wolley. The surviving pilot, who has not been identified, told authorities he had just departed Haller Airpark when he banked into the other aircraft. He was able to bring his aircraft down relatively safely and is said to have non-life-threatening injuries. He was also the person who alerted authorities about the accident. One airplane came down in an open field near the airport. The other impacted terrain in a tree line near a lake.
Sebring Aviation Expo 2020 has been cancelled
The long-running Sebring Aviation Expo has been officially cancelled. The brainchild of the late Bob Woods, who worked tirelessly to position the event for pilots looking to enjoy aviation as cost-effectively as possible, whilst centring around the Light Sport Aircraft programme. Sebring has been an annual event since 2003 and has been an occasionally tough gig over the years with major weather issues, some organisational and staffing problems, as well as the normal industry politics to contend with.
Red Bull pulls the plug on air race series
Red Bull has decided not to continue the Red Bull Air Race World Championship beyond the 2019 season. The remaining races this year will be held in Kazan, Russia (15 and 16 June), Lake Balaton, Hungary (13 and 14 July) and Chiba, Japan (7 and 8 September). There have been more than 90 races since Red Bull Air Race began in 2003. These have given the world’s most exceptional pilots the opportunity to compete in high speed flying at low altitude with extreme manoeuvres. The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world. Red Bull thanks the pilots, their teams, partners, the host cities as well as the Red Bull employees for all they have done to make these enjoyable and memorable events.
FAA grounds Cessna Citations with Tamarack winglets installed
The FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive (AD) that grounds all Cessna Models 525, 525A, and 525B airplanes with Tamarack active load alleviation system (ATLAS) winglets installed in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA03842NY. The AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as malfunction of the ATLAS. The MCAI states that The active load alleviation system (ATLAS), when operational, deflects the Tamarack active control surfaces (TACS) on the outboard wings. Recently, occurrences have been reported in which ATLAS appears to have malfunctioned, causing upset events where, in some cases, the pilots had difficulty to recover the airplane to safe flight. Investigation continues to determine the cause(s) for the reported events.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a fatal accident involving a Model 525 airplane with the ATLAS STC installed. The NTSB investigation focuses on the role the ATLAS may have played in the accident. In addition to the accident, five incidents of aircraft un-commanded roll events with the ATLAS activated have been reported to EASA and the FAA. In each incident, the pilot was able to recover from the event and land the aircraft safely. The FAA indicates in the AD that product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to bilateral agreements with this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. The agency is issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by the State of Design Authority and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 76 aircraft on the US registry. It further estimates that it will take about two work-hours per product to revise the Operating Limitations section of the AFM and to fabricate and install a placard. The AD prohibits flight until the incorporation of an FAA-approved modification. At this time, a modification does not exist; therefore, we have no data to use for estimating the cost of the modification.
Landing in A350’s wake turbulence suspected in Dubai DA62 crash
Investigators believe wake turbulence from a landing Airbus A350-900 may have contributed to the fatal crash of a light aircraft at Dubai in May. The Thai Airways International A350 had been arriving on runway 30R on 16 May, following a service from Bangkok, at around the time that the Diamond Aircraft DA62 crashed. French investigation authority BEA, citing United Arab Emirates counterparts, says the DA62 was engaged in inspection activities for ground navigation aids and had been carrying out an approach to runway 30L which runs parallel to 30R. The two runways are separated by just 380m although the threshold of 30R is displaced some 1,900m beyond of that of 30R. “Video footage showed the DA62 encountered possible wake turbulence at about 1,100 feet, following an Airbus A350. Sadly none of the four occupants of the DA62 survived the crash. The aircraft was UK-registered as G-MDME and was operated by Flight Calibration Services.
Blue Angels retire ‘Fat Albert’
The US Navy Blue Angels announced the retirement of one of their most visible assets the C-130 known as ‘Fat Albert’. The transporter served the Blue Angels for the past 17 years, flown more than 30,000 hours in support of missions and represented the United States Marine Corps to millions of fans. This current airframe, BUNO 164763, has been with the team since 2002 and was the last C-130 to conduct a jet-assisted take-off (JATO). The team will be transported via USAF fleet-provided logistics, until a permanent replacement aircraft is identified. Fat Albert will enjoy her retirement as a ground-based training aid in Fort Worth, Texas.
First quarter aircraft deliveries up: GAMA
It’s a mixed bag as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) disclosed its first quarter 2019 aircraft shipment and billings report. Fixed-wing aircraft saw a boost over the same quarter from last year while rotorcraft were down. A surprise to those industry watchers expecting turbines to lead the way, fixed-wing piston aircraft saw an impressive 24% bump, with 248 deliveries in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 200 this time last year. Turboprops accounted for 123 deliveries, a 7% increase from last year. Bizjets were up 6.8% with 141 shipments. Overall the fixed-wing segment saw 14.5% more deliveries in 1Q19 than last year, accounting for billings of $4.24 billion, a 10.5% increase. Rotorcraft were down, as mentioned; piston-powered craft accounted for 66 deliveries, down 14.3% and turbines accounting for 170 deliveries, a drop of 22.4%.
Cirrus delivered 80 aircraft in the first quarter, including 34 SR22Ts. Piper delivered 58 aircraft total, including 35 Archers. Tecnam delivered 51. Cessna delivered 35 piston singles, mostly the 172. Diamond delivered 31 aircraft, led by the DA40 (17), while Icon delivered 14 A5s. Mooney delivered two Acclaim Ultras.
Delta passenger sues airline over ‘service dog’ attack
A lawsuit has been filed against Delta Airlines by a passenger who was allegedly attacked by a dog brought onboard by another passenger as a service animal. Fox News reports that the attack allegedly occurred in June, 2017 on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego. Passenger Marlin Jackson says that the dog, described as a ‘chocolate lab pointer mix’ owned by Ronald Mundy Jr. of North Carolina, broke free from its owner and mauled Jackson’s face. He reportedly required 28 stitches and ‘bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane,’ according to the lawsuit.
Jackson says the attack led to ‘severe physical pain and suffering’ and the partial loss of sensation to his face. ‘His entire lifestyle has been severely impaired by this attack,’ the suit claims. The suit claims that the dog was pulled back by its owner after it growled at Jackson, but then broke free and attacked him, according to a police report. The suit goes on to say that Delta took no action to verify or document the behavioural training of the large animal,” to assure that it would behave appropriately on an airplane.
Mundy was unavailable for comment and Delta said that it would not comment on pending litigation. But the incident did lead the carrier to change its policies on support animals and the federal government is reviewing such policies as well.
First flight for Lilium electric air taxi
Start-up company, Lilium which is developing a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service, has taken the ‘wraps off’ its new five-seater air taxi prototype. The unveiling of the new Lilium Jet came as the all-electric aircraft completed its maiden flight in the skies over Germany earlier last month. The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically, whilst achieving remarkably efficient horizontal or cruise, flight. The simplicity of the aircraft design, without a tail, or rudder, or propellers, or gearbox and only one moving part in the engine not only contributes to the safety and affordability of the aircraft, but it has also allowed the design team to focus its efforts on creating a magical customer experience in the cabin, from panoramic windows to gull-wing doors.
Alaka’i Technologies launches hydrogen-powered air mobility system
Alaka’i Technologies has unveiled Skai, which the company says is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered air mobility solution. The aircraft has been designed with a simple and safe electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle and a fuel system that runs entirely on hydrogen fuel cells. Skai’s core team members are nationally-recognised aerospace experts, engineers and veteran pilots who have served in top-level positions at NASA, Raytheon, Beech, Cirrus, DayJet and the Department of Defence who collaborated on the vision of solving some of the world’s most-pressing global challenges across transportation, energy and the environment. Skai is co-designed by Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group, to leverage its creative expertise to help shape a world-class vehicle. The result is Skai, stripped away of all unnecessary complexity, waste and possible points of failure, leaving the most essential elements for the craft and optimising them for the most intuitive experience.
FAA announces more access to airspace to fly drones
More than 100 control towers and airports are being added to the hundreds of FAA air traffic facilities and airports that currently use the Low Altitude Authorization and Capability (LAANC) system. LAANC is a collaboration between the FAA and industry that directly supports the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into US airspace. LAANC expedites the time it takes for a drone pilot to receive authorisation to fly under 400 feet in controlled airspace. By adding contract towers to the number of LAANC-enabled facilities, drone pilots will have access to more than 400 towers covering nearly 600 airports.
Contract towers are air traffic control towers that are staffed by employees of private companies rather than by FAA employees. LAANC provides air traffic professionals with visibility into where and when authorised drones are flying near airports and helps ensure that everyone can safely operate within the airspace. The expansion to more than 100 contract towers means the FAA has further increased drone pilots’ access to controlled airspace safely and efficiently. LAANC is currently used by commercial pilots who operate under the FAA’s small drone rule (Part 107). The FAA is upgrading LAANC to allow recreational flyers to use the system and in the future, recreational flyers will be able to obtain authorization from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace. For now, recreational flyers who want to operate in controlled airspace may only do so at fixed sites.
DHL Express and EHang entered into a strategic partnership in China
DHL Express and EHang have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China. The launch ceremony was held at the EHang Command and Control Centre in Guangzhou, with the attendance of senior executives from both companies.
This cutting-edge solution takes its inaugural flight for a DHL customer, making DHL the first international express company to provide such a service in China. It marks a new milestone in both companies’ continuous efforts to bring innovative and intelligent solutions with greater automation to the market. The new customised route, which has been exclusively created for a DHL customer, covers a distance of approximately eight kilometres between the customer premises and the DHL service centre in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Using the most advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in EHang’s newly-launched Falcon series, featuring the highest level of intelligence, automation, safety and reliability, the new intelligent drone delivery solution overcomes the complex road conditions and traffic congestion common to urban areas. It reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to only eight minutes and can save costs of up to 80% per delivery, with reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint compared with road transportation.
The EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup and smart and secure flight control modules. Its high-performance features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling. As a fully-automated and intelligent solution, the drones, which can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight, take-off and land atop intelligent cabinets that were specifically developed for the fully autonomous loading and offloading of the shipment. The intelligent cabinets seamlessly connect with automated processes including sorting, scanning and storage of express mail and will feature high-tech functions such as facial recognition and ID scanning.
This smart drone delivery solution will enhance DHL’s delivery capabilities and create a new customer experience in the logistics sector that opens up even more opportunities for sustainable growth and greater economic contribution. Given the growing prominence of B2C business operations and delivery in China, employing drones in express delivery services offers an innovative solution for meeting the increasing demands for time-sensitive delivery, particularly for last mile delivery in urban areas. Building on the launch of its first fully automated, intelligent drone delivery solution in China, DHL will continue to identify new routes that can be developed for clients in need of tailored customer services and logistics solutions and will work closely with EHang to create a second generation of drones in the near future that will further improve capacity and range in drone-operated express delivery.
Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.
Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)