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African Pilot’s July 2019 edition
The July edition of African Pilot featuring our annual Aviation Careers Guide as well as Flight Training Schools in southern Africa has been fully distributed. This edition provides 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 also carries a report on EBACE staged in Geneva, Switzerland between 21 and 23 May 2019 as well as the brilliant Botswana, Matsieng airshow.
African Pilot’s August 2019 edition
This edition will feature Light Sport Aircraft types up to 600Kgs as well as our annual Nelspruit Airports feature. In addition this edition will provide extensive coverage to AERO South Africa to be staged at Wonderboom National Airport between Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 July. The closing date for editorial submissions was on Friday 5 July, but we still have some space for late advertisers, so long as we receive your material by close of business on Tuesday 9 July. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
AERO South Africa – a resounding success
Modelled on the famous European trade show AERO Friedrichshafen, the first edition of AERO South Africa took place at Wonderboom National Airport from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 July. About 80 aviation companies exhibited and when speaking to nearly all exhibitors over the three days, I heard excellent reviews about this new initiative. The airport was opened to all aircraft and helicopters on the Saturday and in all I counted more than 60 visiting planes. Apart from excellent workshops where qualified speakers delivered interesting subjects the overall atmosphere was one of absolute professionalism. All visitors were warmly welcomed as they entered the terminal building where they received their entry tags free of charge. The airport’s restaurant Villa San Giovani, presented an outstanding atmosphere where visitors and exhibitors could meet over a meal and liquid refreshments in comfortable surroundings. As the first dedicated aviation trade exhibition, African Pilot was privileged to be the first media partner and we were appointed to produce the official Exhibitors Catalogue, which was handed out FREE of charge to all visitors and exhibitors. My personal take on the first edition of AERO South Africa is that next year the 2020 edition will double in size to 160 or more exhibitors. Well done to the Messe Frankfurt team who were responsible for marketing and managing this outstanding exhibition. A full report with pictures will be published in the August edition of African Pilot.
Air to air with the new Cirrus Vision Jet
On Sunday we undertook an air to air photo shoot with the new Cirrus Vision Jet north-west of Lanseria International Airport from CDC Aviation’s Beechcraft Baron flown by the CDC Aviation Cirrus Training School CFI Alex Smith. I have always admired the style of this personal single engine jet, but in the sky where the aircraft belongs, she is a beautiful sight. African Pilot’s readers can look forward to a story on the ferry flight back to South Africa by Tony Forbes and John Brownrigg.
Bose donates headsets to SAN Parks Air Wing
On Monday 1 July I flew to and from Skukuza airport for Bose and Century Avionics on Airlink’s Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets. The purpose of this was to attend the donation of 34 Bose A20 aviation headsets to the Air Wing for use in the helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
South African National Parks has always been at the forefront of the fight against poaching, which over the past 10 years has been particularly tragic within the Kruger National Park and this is the reason why the majority of the SAN Parks Air Wing fleet is based at Skukuza. The headsets handed over by the Bose representative Garmir Da Costa and Century Avionics Clinton Farla will be used to improve communication between pilots and other ranger crew members whilst in anti-poaching operations.
Thank you to everyone involved, because this project is very close to Christine and my hearts. African Pilot will be doing more with SAN Parks Air Wing in the months to come.
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.
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
3 & 4 August
SAC KZN Regionals Ladysmith airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 to 31 August
SAC Unlimited World Championships in France
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 to 28 August
Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Contact Tel 011 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
SAAF Museum Airshow – AFB Zwartkops, Pretoria
The date has been changed for the third time
SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally – Grand Central Airport
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vans RV Fly-in to Kitty Hawk
Contact Frank van Heerden e-mail: email@example.com
25 to 26 September
MEBAA show Morocco Marrakech Menara Airport, Morocco
Contact Matthew Cunliffe Tel: +971 4 603 3323 Cell +971 56 171 5734
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mebaamorocco.aero
Wings & Wheels in Matjhabeng – Welkom airport
Contact Dirk Smit 082 558 3914 or Ian Buchanan 083 388 1678
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Nigerian Air Force reactivates L-39s, locally overhauls C-130
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has officially taken into service three L-39ZA aircraft that were made serviceable again by Aero Vodochody with assistance from Nigerian engineers and technicians. The aircraft were handed over during a ceremony on 21 June at NAF 403 Flying Training School (403 FTS) in Kano. In attendance was the Czech Ambassador to Nigeria Marek Skolil and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. Abubakar said the handing over of the three aircraft marked another milestone in the Air Force’s efforts to ensure that 403 FTS continues to operate optimally. He said the in-country reactivation of the aircraft was also done in pursuit of the overall objective of doing all maintenance and training locally, thereby resulting in huge foreign exchange savings which could be channelled elsewhere.
The Commander 403 FTS, Air Commodore Nnamdi Ananaba, said the reactivation of the L-39ZAs came months after the graduation ceremony of Basic Flying Course 18 (BFC-18), when the school did not have enough aircraft to accommodate the increased demand for fighter pilot training that has come with the acquisition of new aircraft, notably the JF-17 Thunder and A-29 Super Tucano. The NAF is also receiving Mi-35M and A109E Power helicopters. (On 20 June the NAF graduated 26 ab ignition student pilots.)
In addition, on 24 June the Nigerian Air Force celebrated the first successful in-country completion of periodic depot maintenance (PDM) on a C-130 Hercules transport (NAF 917). PDM is a calendar inspection conducted at six year intervals or after 5 000 flying hours. The aircraft was accepted during a ceremony at the 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (631 ACMD) in Ikeja, Lagos, during which periodic depot maintenance began on anther C-130 (NAF 913). The latter is being maintained with help from the Pakistan Air Force Technical Assistance Group.
The local reactivation of NAF 917 was carried out by Sabena Technic in conjunction with NAF engineers and technicians and involved extensive disassembly of the aircraft as well as inspection, repair and overhaul of components. The involvement of NAF personnel in the reactivation was to further expose them to every stage of the in-depth maintenance process, with a view to building the NAF’s inherent maintenance capabilities, the NAF said. The NAF said it was trying to do as much work locally as possible in the maintenance, reactivation and life extension of its aircraft. It said maintenance efforts were being carried out with partners on the Alpha Jet, L-39ZA, Mi-35P, EC-135 and C-130H.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
UAE releases preliminary report on DA62 fatal accident
According to a report from the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, the accident involving a Diamond DA62 on approach to Dubai International Airport on 16 May was probably caused by wake turbulence. The plane went down about 2.6 nautical miles south of the airport and the four people on board the DA62 were fatally injured.
The report said that the airplane was following a Thai Airways A350-900 at a distance of 3.7 nautical miles. The aircraft, operated by a third party hired by Honeywell, was conducting airport ground lighting calibration checks following the refurbishment of Runway 30L, which is south of Runway 30R. The checks involved a number of approaches and low passes over the runway. The accident occurred just before 19h30 local time on the 10th approach. The A350 was flying an approach to Runway 30R. The report indicates that the DA62 ‘rolled slightly’ but recovered, but then ‘abruptly rolled to the left until it became inverted and it then entered a steep drive.’
According to the report; Observations of previous approaches during the same calibration flight indicated that the DA62 consistently followed preceding traffic on approach to the parallel runway 30R at distances which were below the specified minimum separation and less than the distances discussed during the pre-departure meeting. The radar monitor recording indicated that there was an air traffic control (ATC) inconsistency in advising the DA62 of the expected occurrence of hazards caused by wake turbulence from traffic on approach to the parallel runway 30R. Based on these observations, the investigation believes that there is sufficient reason to issue a prompt safety recommendation to re-emphasise to pilots and air traffic controllers the importance of maintaining a minimum safe distance and issuing essential traffic information such as advising aircraft of the expected occurrence of hazards caused by wake turbulence.
The four occupants of the DA62 were identified as three British citizens and a South African. Flight Calibration Services is referring all of its pilots to a Eurocontrol document ‘European Wake Turbulence Categorisation and Separation Minima on Approach and Departure’ to raise their awareness of minimum separation criteria and reviewing its calibration processes and procedures. A training course on wake turbulence during take-off and landing, as well as practical upset recovery training is also in development.
Honda Aircraft Company delivers first two HondaJet Elites to Hawaii
Recently Honda Aircraft Company celebrated the delivery of the first two HondaJet Elites to Hawaii during a special ceremony at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The HondaJet Elite is the first light jet to enter service in Hawaii. A newly-established company, Wing Spirit will provide luxurious and convenient charter services for inter-island transportation, has taken delivery of two HondaJet Elites. They also are exploring using HondaJets as air ambulances and for aviation education opportunities throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The aircraft serving as air ambulances will be outfitted with custom medevac configurations, marking the first time this design has been implemented in the programme’s history. The most delivered aircraft in its class for two consecutive years; the HondaJet fleet is currently comprised of more than 125 around the globe. Honda Aircraft Company’s sales and service footprint spans territories in North America, Europe, Middle and South America, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, India and Japan.
FAA certifies G5000 Integrated Flight Deck for Cessna Citation Excel / XLS
The G5000 integrated avionics suite modernizes the cockpit, significantly reduces operational costs, addresses airspace modernisation requirements and solves long-term concerns related to parts obsolescence. The G5000 integrated flight deck for the Citation Excel and Citation XLS features three landscape-oriented flight displays with split-screen capability, allowing pilots to simultaneously view maps, charts, checklists, TAWS, TCAS, flight plan information, weather and more. Electronic charts and Garmin SafeTaxi airport diagrams are geo-referenced and can be viewed across all three displays. Intuitive touchscreen controllers serve as the pilot interface to the flight deck and contribute to the ease of operation and seamless transition between various pages.
The G5000 installation on the Citation Excel/XLS includes a fully digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), offering precise performance throughout the aircraft’s flight envelope. New to the Citation Excel, Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) is available as a standard feature with the G5000 and is enabled by the autopilot in the event of a loss in aircraft pressurization. Safety enhancing underspeed protection (USP) is an optional feature that allows the autopilot to assist with airspeed management, while also enabling fully coupled go-arounds, greatly reducing pilot workload.
The G5000 upgrade for the Citation Excel/XLS comes with a fully integrated, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) rule-compliant Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out solution. Additionally, operators gain access to more airports and lower approach minimums throughout the world as the G5000 has PBN/RNP 0.3 with LPV/APV approach capability. With the G5000, pilots can receive departure clearances faster using FAA Data Comm. Controller Pilot Data Link Communication-Departure Clearance (CPDLC-DCL) automates Clearance Delivery operations at over 60 of the busiest airports in the US and enables wireless receipt and automatic loading of the departure clearance into the G5000. Additionally, the G5000 supports En Route CPDLC capability, which allows the exchange of data link messages with Air Route Traffic Control Centres (ARTCCs) in the US. This capability is expected to be available at all ARTCCs by the end of the year. European operators can also meet Link 2000+ requirements using this same technology. FAA Data Comm and Link 2000+ require optional equipment and services.
UPS aircraft helping EAA AirVenture Oshkosh celebrate 50th anniversary of Boeing 747
UPS is bringing one of the world’s most iconic commercial aircraft, the Boeing 747, to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to celebrate the airplane model’s 50th year in flight. The year this revolutionary aircraft took to the sky also marked the same year that the world’s largest fly-in convention, EAA AirVenture, declared its permanent home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. With 16 percent more cargo capacity than the previous largest UPS aircraft, the 747-400, the 747-8F is the largest plane UPS has ever flown.
The 747-8F will be flying in to AirVenture on Tuesday, 23 July and will remain on the grounds through to Thursday 25 July. The nose of the aircraft will be open and tours will be available with UPS staff and flight crew members on board to further educate attendees about the features and functions of Boeing’s newest 747 model. With over 10,000 aircraft and more than 600,000 people attending, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will once again transform Wittman Regional Airport into the world’s busiest airport between 22 and 28 July.
Wheels ground off on United A319
A United A319 crew had their hands full on Saturday after the brakes on the left main gear apparently locked up either as they were taking off from La Guardia or shortly after. According to the Aviation Herals, they diverted immediately to Newark instead of taking the 128 passengers and three cabin crew to Houston. It’s not clear how the issue manifested during take-off from La Guardia but the crew declared an emergency due to hydraulic problems. They headed straight to Newark and the left mains blew on touchdown. The tyres shredded and the wheels scraped down to the hubs on the rollout. The airplane stayed on the pavement. The occupants evacuated on the slides and Newark reopened in about an hour. La Guardia traffic was briefly disrupted for a debris inspection on the take-off runway but nothing was found. The passengers took off for Houston from Newark about five hours later on a replacement plane.
US Navy flight demonstration squadron to receive ‘Fat Albert’ replacement
Scheduled for delivery in spring 2020, the $29.7 million contract was awarded to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (U.K. MOD) for a divested C-130J Super Hercules. Cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements is approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft. In March 2018, PMA-207 received congressional approval to proceed with acquisition of the UK MOD C-130J with funding from Foreign Military Sales proceeds. The final dedicated Fat Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired May 2019 and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas. Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron will continue flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules assets until the replacement aircraft is complete.
FAA certifies Gulfstream G600
The FAA has awarded type and production certificates to Gulfstream for new G600 business jet, clearing the way for the first completed G600 deliveries to customers as scheduled this year.
“Receiving both authorisations on the same day is evidence of the maturity of our G600 production processes and speaks to the safety and reliability of the aircraft’s design,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns. “Even more remarkable is the fact that we achieved these simultaneous certifications less than a year after completing another major programme, certifying and delivering the Gulfstream G500, another testament to the engineering expertise and manufacturing excellence that are hallmarks of Gulfstream. The hard work by our team, including nearly 100,000 hours of flying in our labs and more than 3,200 hours of flying in the air, shows our dedication to safety and our customers.”
The G600 flies 6,500 nautical miles at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85. At its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90, the G600 travels 5,500 nm. The aircraft has already earned 11 city-pair speed records, all at Mach 0.90. Its maximum operating speed is Mach 0.925. The G600 features the Symmetry Flight Deck, which includes active control sidesticks and 10 touchscreens, both industry firsts. The aircraft’s new interior earned top honours in Private Jet Design at the 2018 International Yacht & Aviation Awards. Along with a cabin that can be configured for three living areas and a crew rest, the G600 has industry-leading cabin sound levels, the lowest cabin altitude and 100 percent fresh air, which reduce fatigue and increase mental awareness. The G600’s 14 panoramic oval windows let in an abundance of natural light.
Embraer delivers its first new Praetor 600
Embraer has completed the first delivery of its new Praetor 600 super-midsize business jet to an undisclosed European customer. The delivery ceremony was held at the company’s production facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, where the first Praetor 600 rolled off the hybrid assembly line that also produces the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500. Assembly of the Praetor 600 will soon also occur at Embraer’’ production facility in Melbourne, Florida, where the company has produced more than 360 Phenom and Legacy aircraft since 2011.
Announced at NBAA-BACE in October 2018, where it also made its debut, the Praetor 600 was certified in April 2019, just six months after its announcement, becoming the only super-midsize business jet to be certified since 2014. Leading the way, the Praetor 600 is an aircraft of many firsts, including the first super-midsize jet with full fly-by-wire technology, which powers turbulence reduction that not only makes every flight the smoothest but also the most efficient possible.
Pipistrel Alpha to play a key role in USAF training programme
According to the US Air Force, the programme is ‘an inclusive, comprehensive and low-cost solution to address the ‘warfighting imperative’ of increased diversity and pilot shortage through deliberate development of the next generation of USAF officers prior to and shortly after commissioning.” The programme provides mentorship, motivatio and multi-faceted benefits by identifying and attracting high school students, cadets and junior officers from all demographics and backgrounds, then providing them critical tools proven to increase rates of success. A.C.E. is specifically focused on promoting and developing future USAF leaders and aviators in a holistic manner (i.e., beyond aviation knowledge) and its success centres upon robust engagement with Total Force role models and mentors.
Pipistrel Master Distributor Michael Coates said that the programme kicked off last week in Tuskegee, AL with 20 students who will progress through solo flight in about three weeks. They will be flying the Pipistrel Alpha trainer both in Tuskegee and later when the students shift to Compton Airfield in Los Angeles. Use of the Alpha trainer was cited by the USAF as one of the reasons that Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum was selected for the programme. Four Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft will be used in Tuskegee Alabama and seven Pipistrel Alpha Trainer aircraft will be used in Compton to bring 50 new Air Force students to the solo flight stage.
The high altitude flight campaign of the new H145 starts in Chile
The prototype of the five-bladed H145, which Airbus Helicopters unveiled at Heli-Expo in Atlanta in March, has just arrived in Chile where the aircraft will start a high altitude flight campaign. EASA certification is expected in early 2020, with deliveries following later that year. The new H145 is ready to take on the Andes, with altitudes up to 20,000 feet above sea level, after having already performed some altitude tests in the French Pyrenees during the summer of 2018. The objective of this campaign is to expand the flight envelope of the new helicopter and demonstrate its capabilities at high altitudes.
Due to its multi-mission capacity and excellent performance in hot and high conditions, present in many countries in Latin America, the H145 family is one of the region’s favourite light twin engine helicopters. The flight campaign will provide some operators with the opportunity to fly the new version and experience first-hand the improvements brought by the new five-bladed rotor, an increased useful load of 330 pounds and new levels of comfort.
The H145’s new five-bladed rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance, with a maximum take-off weight raised to 8,400 pounds and a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas. The new H145 introduces new levels of on-board connectivity to customers and operators through the integration of the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS), allowing seamless and secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter in real-time, including in-flight.
UK F-35s complete first operational missions
The UK’s newest and most advanced fighter jet, the Lightning F-35B, has successfully completed its first operational missions. F-35s have flown alongside Typhoon aircraft on operational flights over the skies of Syria and Iraq, as part of the ongoing fight against Daesh, the Defence Secretary has confirmed. It follows a successful training period in Cyprus, known as Exercise Lightning Dawn, aimed at building capability for the aircraft and supporting elements.
Due to the exceptional performance of the aircraft, pilots, and support staff during this time, it was decided that they were ready to make their operational debut from RAF Akrotiri, alongside the Typhoons. Speaking at RAF Akrotiri, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said “The F-35s are the most advanced jets our country has ever possessed and will form the backbone of British air defence for decades to come. They have passed every test their training has thrown at them with flying colours and their first real operational mission is a significant step into the future for the UK.”
The first RAF F-35B operational sorties were flown on Sunday 16 June in support of Operation Shader, the UK contribution to the Global Coalition’s counter Daesh mission in Iraq and Syria. The two aircraft conducted a patrol over Syria and UK F-35s have flown a further 12 sorties since then. The F-35 is the first aircraft to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings.
The Lightning force is jointly operated by the RAF and Royal Navy. With the ability to operate from land and sea, the F-35 forms a vital part of delivering a ‘carrier strike’ capability to the UK when combined with Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. “This first operational mission for the UK’s F-35 Lightning confirms the impressive progress which we have made in introducing this formidable new capability into service,” said Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier.
Later in the year, 617 Squadron will embark in HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. The UK jets will conduct Operational Tests, alongside 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron, onboard the carrier in the USA during the WESTLANT 19 deployment, proving their capability at sea. This is a vital step on the path to the first Carrier Strike Deployment planned for 2021.
The UK currently owns 17 F-35B aircraft with the reformed 617 Sqn arriving back in the UK last year. More jets are due in Britain over the coming years, including the imminent arrival of 207 Sqn at RAF Marham and there is an overall plan to procure 138 aircraft over the life of the programme. The programme has already generated $12.9 billion worth of orders and at peak production will support thousands of British manufacturing and engineering jobs.
Textron Aviation delivers 300th Cessna Citation CJ4
Textron Aviation company, celebrated its leadership of the light jet segment with the delivery of the 300th Cessna Citation CJ4, the industry’s top performing aircraft in this segment. “The Citation CJ4 continues to be a standout in the light jet segment due to its combination of high performance, low operating costs and class-leading cabin amenities,” said Rob Scholl, Textron Aviation senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Our light jet product range, led by the Citation CJ4, continues to pace this segment globally in terms of deliveries, primarily because customers appreciate what they get in terms of productivity and value.”
The Citation CJ4 was introduced in 2010 and is the largest of the Cessna light jet family of aircraft that includes the Citation CJ3+ and the Citation M2. The CJ4 allows customers to go further with the leading range-to-payload ratio and a best-in-class IFR range of 1,926 nautical miles (3,567 km) with a maximum cruise speed of 451 knots (true airspeed). The CJ4 is certified for single pilot operation, has seating for nine passengers and includes a notable 1,040-pound baggage capability. Other features include single point refuelling, an externally serviceable lavatory and excellent range, delivering what crew and cabin passengers appreciate.
757 heavily damaged in Newark landing mishap
The runway incident that briefly closed Newark Liberty Airport is now being termed a hard landing that may have written off the United Boeing 757-200 involved. The aircraft was on a flight from Denver with 166 people on board when it bounced on landing and porpoised, coming down hard on the nose gear. The nose gear was partially pushed into the cabin. The aircraft came to rest with the gear still on pavement on the left side of Runway 22L and did not ‘skid’ off the runway as was initially reported. At least four tyres on the mains were flattened but the two on the heavily damaged nose gear held.
The wind was right on the nose at 15 knots gusting to 22 at the time of the incident. The passengers and crew got off the plane using stairs and were bused to the terminal. The airport reopened quickly but more than 100 flights were either delayed or cancelled because of the incident. United has not commented on the mishap. The 757 was formerly operated by Continental before the two airlines merged under United’s name.
Airbus tests ‘flapping’ wing tips
Airbus is testing a scale model of an A321 with ‘flapping’ wing tips it says may lead to lighter and less draggy wing designs. The AlbatrossOne remote control aircraft has been fitted with semi-aeroelastic hinges on the wing tips. The hinges allow the tips to move in response to wind gusts and turbulence, reducing stress on the wing structure and reducing drag. If they work as hoped, engineers will be able to take weight out of the wing structure because of the reduced aerodynamic stresses on them. Airbus engineers said they took their cue from the birds with the biggest wingspan in designing the system.
“We drew inspiration from nature, the albatross marine bird locks its wings at the shoulder for long-distance soaring but unlocks them when wind-gusts occur or manoeuvring is required,” said engineer Tom Wilson. The engineers will test with the model plane with an eye to scaling up to a full-size demonstrator. “The next step is to conduct further tests to combine the two modes, allowing the wing-tips to unlock during flight and to examine the transition,” Wilson said.
ICAS endorses Bob Hoover commemorative postal honour
An effort announced by the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation, just weeks ago, to petition the US Postal Service in honouring the late Robert A. ‘Bob’ Hoover with a commemorative postage stamp on or about the time of his 100th birthday, is gaining serious momentum among the aviation organisations, professionals and luminaries that populate the aviation world.
The International Council of Air Shows, the preeminent organisation overseeing the airshow profession and its community, has already stepped up to voice its support for the effort. “Bob Hoover was arguably the best pilot who ever lived. He was an American patriot and national legend who preached the gospel of aviation for nearly three-quarters of a century and at the International Council of Air Shows, we were fortunate to know Bob as an air show colleague, consummate professional and inspiration to millions. While much of the world learned about Bob as one of the best test pilots in aviation history and even more so as a hero of World War II, the airshow community saw him as one of aviation’s best ambassadors to rest of the world. Of all the men and women ICAS has been privileged to work with in its history, Bob Hoover stands out as being an exceptional choice for US Postal Service recognition, both for the amazing history he represents, as well providing an inspirational example for future aviation professionals. On behalf of the men and women of the air show community, it is our pleasure to endorse and support the efforts of the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation to issue a commemorative stamp in honour of the 100th birthday of Bob Hoover in January of 2022,” noted John Cudahy, the President/CEO of ICAS.
Deadly plane crash at Texas airport
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said 10 people (two crew and eight passengers) died in a small plane crash which started a fire at a Dallas-area airport on Sunday morning 30 June. The FAA said the twin-engine Beechcraft BE-350 King Air crashed into an unoccupied hangar at the Addison Municipal Airport shortly after 09h00. Edward Martelle, a spokesman for the town located just north of Dallas, said the plane crashed during take-off and the resulting fire was quickly extinguished. The Federal Aviation Administration says the twin-engine Beechcraft BE-350 King Air crashed into a hangar at the airport.
National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said the plane had recently changed hands so it’s not clear what the proper tail number currently was. The plane’s activity log from the previous 10 days shows that the aircraft made numerous flights to Eagle, Colorado, Denver and Aspen. Martelle said the plane was taking off at the south end of the airport and had just lifted off the runway when it veered left, dropped its left wing and flew into the hangar. Witnesses who saw the plane crash say it struggled on take-off and appeared to lose power.
US Army deploys howler counter-UAS capability into the battlefield
Howler, a name coined by the US Army, combines the capabilities of Raytheon’s Ku band radio frequency system multi-mission simultaneous radar and Coyote unmanned aircraft system. The KuRFS advanced electronically scanned array acquires and tracks all size UAS threats. Coyote works with KuRFS using its advanced seeker and warhead to identify and eliminate UAS threats. In addition to providing advanced situational awareness, precise discrimination and mobility to successfully counter UAS threats, Howler gives the Army singular flexibility to adapt to the quickly changing, multidimensional threat environment.
Drones are patrolling South African residential estates
Drone Guards (a South African company) is moving into the new market of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to secure residential estates and has ambitious plans to employ hundreds of UAV pilots over the next ten years to monitor estates, mines, farms and other assets. Drone Guards’ Kim James said that their company has a ROC (Remote Operating Certificate) that allows it to fly over suburban environments. It took more than two years to receive its license from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), which authorises it to operate over people, buildings and roads during day and night operations.
Drone Guards at present uses commercially available multi-rotor UAVs fitted with thermal cameras for day and night operations. Aerial surveillance footage is streamed live to a control room. The company is busy developing its own multi-copter UAV and mission specific software for the security industry. All drones are fitted with parachutes for extra safety and have redundancy in batteries, flight controller and control systems. The company has a fixed wing vertical take-off and landing UAV in the planning stages, which is more efficient than multi-rotors for larger sites. Drone Guards is part of the UAV Aerial Works group of companies, which is licensed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)