“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
African Pilot’s aircraft of the week identification quiz
Once again, I was amazed at how soon after APAnews was published that my inbox was filled with so many correct answers, which are increasing every week. Thanks to all African Pilot’s readers that identified this unique aircraft correctly, but why do ladies not enter this quiz?
Those persons that identified the aircraft correctly this week: Bernard Stander, Selwyn Kimber, Erwin J.W. Stam, P. Rossouw, Mark Cope, Ari Levien, Greg Yatt, Rennie van Zyl, Kevin Farr, David Plew-Chisholm, Gavin Phelps, Greg Pullin, Dirk de Vos, Steve Zohos, Brian Melmoth, Johan Venter, Hilton Carroll and Righardt du Plessis. It seems that this was a challenging aircraft identity quiz this week, since fewer correct answers were received.
What does MORA stand for?
The loss of two friends in aviation
This past week has been one of the saddest of my life, having to say goodbye to two wonderful friends.
Kim Bell-Cross from Sling Aircraft passed away a few days ago in his bed due to what is believed was a heart attack. Kim was the marketing manager at Sling Aircraft and I had so much to do with him over the past few years – what a gentleman who was larger than life!
Andrew Pappas was my friend from way back in the old EAA Margate days when we flew together. Andrew gained the Bantam LSA dealership in South Africa and when that company shut down, Andrew founded the BatHawk LSA aircraft that was a considerable improvement on the original Bantam. Andrew contracted COVID-19 and although I understood he had partly recovered, sadly his heart was damaged by the virus and heart failure took him from us on Tuesday 13 April. To both of you, I wish your journey to that Great Hangar in the blue yonder is filled with exciting aviation experiences.
Public enterprises boss Kgathatso Tlhakudi has launched a scathing attack on white SAA pilots, accusing them of greed and maintaining a self-enriching apartheid-era labour agreement. Having read the report published by Times Live this week about the ongoing ‘war of words’ between the two parties, it is disappointing that the Department of Public Enterprises has become publicly vocal in the media about a situation that should have been sorted out more than a year ago.
In the words of Grant Back, SAAPA chairperson “We are disappointed that a government official has resorted to this level of race-baiting and blatantly false assertions. The director-general knows full well that in October 2020 SAAPA agreed cancel the Regulating Agreement in recognition of the global crisis facing aviation.” He continued “Pay us what we are lawfully owed. The association and its pilots would not be used as scapegoats for the DPE-led failure of SAA. This is basically the same as what Dudu Myeni tried unsuccessfully in defence of her delinquent actions and the state capture of SAA’s procurement.”
In terms of the business rescue plan, the new, restructured SAA will retain only 88 of more than 700 pilots. The report quoted the association as saying that during negotiations last month, the business rescue practitioners had tried to get them to agree to accept retrenchment packages based on proposed new salaries which would see their current salaries cut by 50%. The document stated that “SAAPA has to decide whether they are going to be part of the solution for the restoration of SAA as a world-class African airline or if they are going to be an obstruction to the attainment of this objective”.
Tlhakudi goes on to state: “It is unaffordable and risks a new airline.” He accused SAAPA of being interested in extracting unaffordable concessions from the airline, for the purpose of attaining more benefits for their members at the expense of the old and the new airline that is being envisioned.
Editor comments: This is a developing story and clearly there is much more at stake. However, having spoken to several SAA pilots who have not received a salary for the past year, it is clear that they have been dealt an unreasonable blow and of course collectively they have the right to fight for the salaries they have not been paid. Tlhakudi talks about a ‘world-class African airline’. Whilst this certainly was the case many years ago, the systematic theft and corruption of SAA’s directors and management over the past 25 years certainly reduced the viability of the airline. The first question is: Would you ever fly with the ‘new SAA’ when and if it is launched again at significant cost to the taxpayer? The second question is ‘Does South Africa really need a national airline?
African Pilot’s April 2021 edition
The April edition featuring Business Jets, FBOs and Jet engines worldwide was completed during the final week of March and sent to the world before the end of the month. This edition also features companies involved in the Charter and Maintenance of Business Jets not just in southern Africa, but throughout the world. In the past, advertisers have reported excellent reaction resulting in sales due to the African Pilot aircraft features, since the magazine provides genuine information, with excellent editorial content accompanied by superb pictures.
African Pilot’s May 2021 edition
The exciting May edition will feature helicopters from all over the world as well as helicopter operators and training schools. Within the same edition we will also feature Insurance and Financing of all aircraft types. With its extended reach throughout the world, African Pilot as set the benchmark for aviation publishing, not just in South Africa, but all over the world. Without dedication, perseverance and a deep understanding of aviation matters, no aviation publication will be in a position to provide world-wide coverage of a significant range of aviation subjects.
African Pilot Digital Calendars
Wallpaper calendar for the months of March and April
Since we are not printing the paper magazine any longer, African Pilot is making digital calendars available to all its readers. We will be releasing a new one each month to download, print or use as your computer’s background wallpaper. Go to our website to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa.
The African Pilot team is positioned to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers.
The monthly magazine is available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen or tap on any smart phone device.
Then of course this APAnews service has been part of African Pilot’s line-up since the inception of the magazine 20 years ago.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2020 editions.
Click on the covers below.
The mystery of Flights to Nowhere
AERO South Africa 2021 exhibition cancelled for this year
Due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Messe Frankfurt South Africa has taken the decision to postpone the AERO South Africa exhibition and conference to July 2022. The three-day event will take place at Wonderboom National Airport and is supported by AERO Friedrichshafen, organisers of the largest General Aviation event in Europe. The launch event in 2019 was extremely well received by the General Aviation sector and exhibitors are excited about the date change in the hope that the new dates will allow sufficient time for the impacts of the pandemic to settle. “Faced with the global unpredictability around event restrictions and international travel, we believe that we made the best decision for the event. This way we can provide a platform that is safe for exhibitors, visitors and staff and encourages high participation,” said Annelie Reynolds, show director for AERO South Africa.
The event planned for July 2022 will cover the full spectrum of General Aviation products, technology and services and already has commitment from some of the leading manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. Exhibitors and visitors wishing to fly to the show will benefit from FREE landing, approach and ground handling fees, making AERO South Africa the most cost-effective General Aviation show on the continent. Running alongside the exhibition are high-quality workshop sessions, a park & sell area, allowing private sellers the opportunity to be a part of the show and engage with potential buyers looking to purchase pre-owned aircraft, as well as demonstration flights allowing exhibitors to demonstrate aircraft first-hand to prospective buyers.
The African show for General Aviation, AERO South Africa presented in corporation with Messe Friedrichshafen, will take place in July 2022 at the Wonderboom National Airport, Tshwane. For more information about the event, please visit www.aerosouthafrica.com. For media related inquires queries out contact: Amanda Dube on +27 10 599 6170 or E-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com.
2021 Sling Africa Tour invitation
Feel free to share this as you wish:
Aero Club Communique March 2021 - Update on Airweek
There is less than 10 days to Airweek, taking place between 23 and 27 April, with final planning in progress. Programme updates on what will be happening at the airfield over the four days are as follows:
- EAA will be holding its annual convention
- Sports Aerobatic Club will be holding multiple displays
- Balloon flights daily with night glows
- SAPFA Speed Rally taking place 27 April
- Sling Aircraft will be bringing a build project for demonstration.
Please visit the website for more details. https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek/
Registration is also open for attendance: https://forms.gle/fNu45vALTcrRGzQMA
Those who wish to camp and hire tents: https://forms.gle/jHhK9t2PGQvVWSvB8
For Exhibitors wishing to book exhibition space, visit the website https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek-events-pg-2/ for details and exhibitor forms.
If you have any queries or require information, please e-mail: email@example.com
Presidents’ Trophy Air Race (PTAR) newsletter #3
By Rob Jonkers
Hello fellow Air Racers, this our third newsletter of the year in the run up to the PTAR which is less than two months to go. The following is important information. Firstly, entries are still open. Please go to the SAPFA website for the entry link.
Date: Friday and Saturday 21 & 22 May 2021
Where: Ermelo Airfield, Mpumalanga
Fees are as follows:
- Entry fee R3 850 per aircraft as the early bird fee (this amount can be paid into the SAPFA bank account – First National Bank – Account No: 62879279307. Fees will increase after 30 April to R4 500
- Membership fees Aero Club and SAPFA R900 per crew member – to register or renew https://aeroclub.blueboxonline.com
- FAI licence R260 per crew member (can also be purchased online on the Aero Club Bluebox payment system)
If neither of the crew are SAPFA members then the total fee per crew is R2320. If preferred, this total amount can be paid to SAPFA, SAPFA will apportion to Aero Club the membership fees.
- Additional banquet tickets R 450 each (the two crew members get a banquet ticket each as part of the entry fee of R 3 850)
- Accommodation: we have negotiated rates at Ermelo Inn for the competitors and guests (see website for details) – please mention PTAR in your booking
- Car hire: Options for the hire of vehicles will follow
The race format will follow what was established in 2019 in Saldanha, which has also been successfully executed in the Speed Rally series. Organisation of the event in Ermelo is progressing well, the Race Committee have conferred and have held meetings with the club, have prepared the proposed airfield layout, and are busy getting the necessary approvals in place.
Home page for PTAR – http://www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/presidents-air-race (watch this space)
Further details of the planning and run up to PTAR 2021 will be communicated in due course. Your comments are most welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, fly safely,
Rob Jonkers (race director)
Aero Club coffee table Centenary Yearbook
The AeCSA Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase from the online shop. Please visit www.aeroclub.org.za/shop.
Aero Club support
SACAA revised application for authority to fly document for NTCA aircraft
SACAA launches new card licence
Please note the spelling highlighted on this important document. One would have thought that with such an important announcement a competent proof-reader would have corrected this embarrassing error.
15 Squadron Oryx performs mountain rescue mission
A 60-year-old hiker with head injuries was rescued from a precarious site in the Drakensberg thanks to the efforts of the provincial nature conservation agency, the Mountain Club of SA, Westline Aviation and the South African Air Force (SAAF). The rescue started on Friday 9 April when the Mountain Club’s mountain rescue team was on the receiving end of a distress call. According to Gavin Raubenheimer, the club’s KZN search and rescue convener, the hiker fell and sustained head injuries after taking a wrong route when descending Gray’s Pass in the Monk’s Cowl area. A joint operation started with two experienced rangers, one a paramedic, airlifted to the top of Gray’s Pass. Descending by torchlight they could not reach the injured hiker and stopped, starting the descent again at first light. On reaching the patient immediate medical assistance was given while waiting for a 15 Squadron Oryx.
What is scheduled for this weekend?
15 to 17 April
SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally – Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
Robertson Flying Club annual breakfast fly-in with spot landing competition
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 2705 888
17 & 18 April
Sports Aerobatics Club Eastern Cape Regionals Wings Park Airfield, East London
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
Africa gets its first Level D helicopter simulator
The Thales Reality H full-flight simulator, which is one of the most advanced commercial helicopter simulators in the world, is now operational with Caverton in Nigeria. The AW139 helicopter simulator has been installed at Caverton’s brand-new training centre at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Nigeria. The simulator allows pilots to train in complete safety for a variety of complex situations (adverse weather conditions, helicopter failures and emergencies), that could occur in the during actual flight operations. With this new training centre, soon to be certified by the Nigerian and European civil aviation authorities (NCAA and EASA) at the highest level, Caverton will provide state-of-the-art training, including initial type rating, continuous training and proficiency checks, for offshore and onshore missions as well as VIP transport operations. This training is intended for Caverton’s pilots as well as AW139 helicopter operators based on the African continent.
Sun ‘n Fun 2021: The world is ready for an aviation event
At the briefing for the media at the Sun and Fun Press Building, CEO and President of the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace John Leenhouts said, “The world is ready for an aviation event” after working with government and health agencies, the Sun n Fun team came up with protocols that made the event a reality. Leenhouts noted that their social media hits are over 1.1 million and current revenues for the event are 1.2 million in pre-event sales. Leenhouts also noted the campgrounds are full and aircraft clubs such as the Cessna 195 and Piper Comanche clubs are flying to Sun n Fun in numbers those organisations have never seen. Leenhouts also told the media present of not only a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the event but the unveiling of the worlds most advanced mobile “Air Boss Stand.” Made of container boxes standing three stories high, the unit can accommodate controllers, camera crews and media teams internally.
Leenhouts also discussed how this event helps to keep the expansion of the ‘Skylab’ facility on the airport grounds, that teaches STEM to teach the science portion using aviation as the delivery vehicle. When asked about crowd densities in the Hangar exhibit areas in this COVID-19 environment, Leenhouts said they have a 1000-person limit per building. However, safety personnel in the hangars will monitor the size of the crowds and will throttle that back to a maximum number of 500 people. He also said the current number of exhibitors is 385 and that is down 21% which is not that bad, all things considered.
After airport fire Hong Kong Air Cargo bans VIVO smartphones
On 10 April 2021, a pallet awaiting shipment at Hong Kong airport (HKG) caught fire. It was extinguished approximately 40 minutes later. There were no casualties, but adjacent pallets were severely damaged. It was reported that the pallet was loaded with VIVO Y20 model smartphones. According to local media, lithium-ion batteries are the most likely cause of the fire, although the real reason for the combustion is yet to be determined. The pallet was supposed to be shipped to Bangkok via Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier just an hour later.
On 11 April 2021, the carrier distributed an internal memo announcing an embargo on all VIVO mobile phones, as well as all cargo from CargoLink Logistics HK and CargoLink Logistics HK, with ‘immediate effect’ due ‘until further notice’. Lithium-ion batteries are known to sometimes combust due to damage, high temperature, or improper handling. In 2016, ICAO banned transportation of such batteries as cargo on passenger flights, a move followed by similar bans from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and several airlines. Such bans were prompted by scores of fires aboard aircraft, started by combusting lithium-ion batteries. According to the FAA, in 2021 alone, six minor incidents were linked to combusting batteries, mostly used in consumer electronics carried by passengers.
United Airlines opens its own flight school
United Airlines says it will train 5,000 pilots over the next 10 years at its own Arizona flight academy and half of the graduates will be women and people of colour. The airline purchased Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix last fall and is turning it into its own private pipeline to fill its cockpits. Many of the candidates will enter the academy with no flight experience and possibly be in the right seat of its single-aisle aircraft in five years. United says it will continue to hire from its traditional sources, such as the military and from charter and cargo airlines, but academy graduates will be groomed from day one to be airline pilots.
CEO Scott Kirby said the training in Phoenix will be ‘even more focused on safety and preparing people to become commercial airline pilots instead of just pilots of their own airplanes.’ However, the school will also directly challenge the status quo in pilot demographics by targeting women and minorities for recruitment. Half the instructors will also be female and from minorities. About seven percent of United’s pilots are female, whilst 13 percent are people of colour, statistics that have remained stubbornly static despite well-publicised efforts by a handful of advocacy groups to move the needle. United will work with three historically black universities, Delaware State, Elizabeth City State and Hampton University, to recruit candidates.
Second wave of COVID-19 casts a cloud over fragile aviation sector
Domestic passenger traffic has been rising every month since airlines returned to the skies in June 2020. However, in the week ended 3 April, fewer Indians flew than the week before, the second straight weekly fall in passenger numbers. According to a report by ICICI Securities, an average of 239,000 people took domestic flights every day during the week, less than the 251,000 people who travelled in the previous week. According to data collated by independent aviation analyst Ameya Joshi, founder of aviation website NetworkThoughts, the total number of domestic air passengers during the first seven days of April stood at 17,16,834.
South Korea confirms first KF-X prototype to be rolled out in April
On 1 March South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced that assembly of the first prototype of the Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) fighter aircraft is almost complete, with manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) set to formally roll out the platform in April. Jung Kwang-sun, head of the KF-X programme at DAPA, said the planned rollout event of the twin-engined multirole fighter will be a ‘landmark moment’ for the country and the aerospace industry.
The KRW8.8 trillion (USD7.8 billion) KF-X fighter project is meant to provide a replacement for the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) fleet of F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II combat aircraft. Development of the KF-X began in 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2026, with the RoKAF set to acquire 40 units by 2028 and another 80 units by 2032, according to Yonhap. Images released by DAPA show the first prototype has already been fitted with the F414-GE-400K engines provided by US manufacturer General Electric (GE) Aviation. The prototype, which will be painted in dark grey prior to the rollout event, is expected to make its maiden flight in 2022.
Lockheed Martin to supply 12 MH-60R helicopters to South Korean navy
Lockheed Martin has secured a USD447.2 million contract for the production of 12 MH-60R Seahawk multirole naval helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN). The US Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 12 April that work on the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, which includes the delivery of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-capable rotorcraft, will be performed in Owego, New York (52%); Stratford, Connecticut (40%); and Troy, Alabama (8%) and is expected to be completed by December 2024.
The announcement comes after South Korea’s Defence Project Promotion Committee selected the MH-60R Seahawk in December 2020 to meet an RoKN requirement for 12 additional anti-surface- and ASW-capable rotorcraft. The country’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced at the time that the twin-turboshaft helicopter, which was chosen over the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat and the NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH), was being acquired under the RoKN’s Maritime Operation Helicopter Batch II (MOH Batch II) programme. According to DAPA, Seoul has earmarked a total of KRW960 billion (USD854.3 million) for the programme, which is slated for completion in 2025 and aimed at ‘improving the long-distance surface and underwater detection and attack capabilities of naval vessels’.
Special Edition celebrates Bonanza’s 75th anniversary
Textron Aviation has unveiled a special edition 75th anniversary option for its Beechcraft Bonanza G36, distinguished by its custom interior and paint scheme inspired by Olive Ann Beech’s signature blue colour. The order book is open for the limited-edition model that will be delivered in 2022, the 75th year since it first entered the market for the longest continuously produced aircraft in history. The Beechcraft Bonanza continues to be a cornerstone of the company’s piston line-up. More than 18,000 Bonanza aircraft have entered the market since deliveries began, 15 years after Walter and Olive Ann started Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas.
The 75th anniversary special edition Beechcraft Bonanza G36 is inspired by ‘Mrs Beech Blue a custom colour Olive Ann adopted on the advice of fashion designer Oleg Cassini. The colour became her brand and could be found on everything from her dress suits and office furnishings to her automobile’s paint and personal aircraft interiors. The commemorative Bonanza G36 stylishly incorporates the colour on the exterior paint scheme and the interior’s window panels, carpet and accents. Other details include a ‘Bubble B’ logo registered in 1954 on the carpet entry and her signature used as a metal piece above the cabin table and as an exterior graphic below the pilot window.
Grecian Air to launch seaplane service connecting islands
On Monday 12 April Grecian Air Seaplanes said it will launch seaplane flights in September, connecting islands to the mainland after the first seaports were licenced to operate after years of bureaucratic delays. The company said it plans to start flights with three 19-seater seaplanes from seaports at the Ionian Sea in western Greece and gradually grow its fleet of aircraft. With its Polynesian geography and a 16,000-kilometre coastline, Greece is an ideal place for seaplane service. Operators can improve access to many holiday resorts and poorly connected islands, a potential boost to its tourism industry.
Grecian Air Seaplanes said its flights will fill a void, helping to connect islands to one another and to the mainland by air. Its business plan calls for a mixed fleet of owned and leased aircraft as the cost of a seaplane is about $7 million. The company said it plans to grow the business as more seaports get licenced in the Cyclades, in Crete, the Sporades and Dodecanese islands and others in the northern Aegean Sea.
United Airlines passengers demand US$5 million in compensation
A group of passengers of the United Airlines flight UAL328 has filed a lawsuit claiming that the incident in which the carrier’s Boeing 777-200 suffered an uncontained engine failure while en route from Denver, United States to Honolulu, Hawaii, caused them to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the lawsuit handled by the Chicago-based Clifford Law Office, travellers claim that the explosion of an engine of the Boeing 777-200, registered as N772UA, significantly affected their mental health causing them severe emotional distress, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Passengers accuse United Airlines of improper inspection of its aircraft leading to an emergency and seek to get compensation reaching $5 million. ‘The 231 passengers on board UA328 were lucky to escape with their lives, as the flight managed to land with no serious physical injuries; however, it left these passengers in fear for their life for nearly 20 minutes. Nearly all of them experienced the emotional distress that would be a natural human emotional response to a near-death experience,’ the lawsuit reads.
The emergency occurred when the United Airlines aircraft was operating a regular flight from Denver International Airport (DEN) to its intended destination of Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on 20 February 2021. Shortly after departure, the right-hand jet engine suffered an uncontained failure and started scattering engine parts over several neighbourhoods around Denver. Due to the emergency, the aircraft was forced to turn back to its departure airport.
Arguing with a lawyer is like wrestling a pig in mud… Sooner or later you realize that they like it.
Twice 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 Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)