“A society that puts equality… ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.”
African Pilot’s September 2019 edition
The exciting September edition featuring the 50th anniversary of EAA AirVenture that was staged in Oshkosh. This was my 19th visit in a row to the largest General Aviation show in the world where I am always surprised by the new developments within aviation. This edition also features some of the British airshows as well as African Pilot’s annual Avionics and Instrumentation feature. The reason why we feature the avionics and instrumentation within the September edition is because most avionics companies wait for AirVenture to announce their new products. The September edition is presently at the printers and will be ready for nationwide distribution later this week.
African Pilot’s October 2019 edition
The October edition of African Pilot will feature Aviation Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Aviation Refurbishment companies in southern Africa. The closing date for all editorial and advertising is Wednesday 4 September 2019. Please contact Lara Bayliss Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
Some facts about African Pilot:
1) Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent.
2) All major advertisers have digital enhancement as a click through to their websites within the digital edition of the monthly magazine
3) APAnews is the only FREE weekly communication delivered by a printed publication in the entire world that has an audience well in excess of 100 000 readers per month
4) APAcom attends to your aviation communication and public relations requirements
5) APAdigital is the video service available to ALL aviation customers of the monthly magazine
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
Video of the week: Aeronav Academy
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
What is changing at African Pilot?
Like any business, as a monthly aviation magazine that has been successfully published for the past 19 years, African Pilot must introduce changes. The first of which will be introduced in a new series from October onwards for the next year. Researched by Commercial Pilot Wouter Botes the first in the 12 part series ‘Flights to nowhere’ will feature the South African Airways Vickers Viscount ‘The Rietbok’, which crashed in stormy conditions off Kaiser beach near East London on 13 March 1967. Between Wouter and African Pilot we will also be making a series of videos where these mysterious flights to nowhere will be reconstructed as best possible. For the first of this series, I wish to thank the members of the South African Airways Museum Society for assisting me with pictures and also a cut away scale model of the Rietbok’s sister plane also a Viscount.
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Brakpan Woman’s day fly-in
On Saturday I flew to Brakpan with one of our shareholders to spend part of the day with the Brakpan Aero Club’s ‘Woman’s day’ celebrations. Of course most people visit Gordon Dyne’s splendid Man Cave at the southern end of the airfield, which is an amazing aviation museum filled with collectables from all phases of aviation history. Thank you to Gordon and Sue for your wonderful hospitality where you always welcome any person who shares your passion for aviation. Brakpan airfield is also the home of the A1 Skyraider project, which is estimated to take another five years to complete to flying condition.
African Pilot invited to view LATAM Airlines brand new Airbus A350-800
On Friday, together with several other journalists, I was invited to view the brand new LATAM Airlines Airbus A350 airliner, before its flight to Brazil later in the morning. It is not often one has the opportunity to see a brand new airliner and discuss the advantages of this aircraft type with representatives from the airline. A full feature will be published in the October edition of African Pilot.
However, I would like to use this opportunity to suggest that Airports Company South Africa review the manner in which they treat the media for specific events of this nature. It appears that ACSA simply does not have the protocol to deal with the media, whilst at the same time in this the 21st century one questions the fact that everything has to be written down in long hand! Is this just to waste people’s time and are those responsible at OR Tambo’s so called security department doing themselves any favours? Most airports around the world have a specialist team ready to deal with members of the media so as to ensure the best possible outcome from the work we do in aviation. When it takes two and a half hours and costs R550 per one day permit to go onto airside, then I believe there is something dreadful wrong with ACSA’s management. However, thanks to the patience of the client in this case we eventually managed to board the aircraft and we were even give the opportunity to photograph the aircraft whilst it was parked on the ramp.
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.
21 to 31 August
SAC Unlimited World Championships in France
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guardians of the Aviation Industry safety evening at RAW Aviation Cape Town
Contact Courtney Kirby +27 (0) 79 296 1585 Mark Miller +27 (0) 82 894 7531
Starts at 18h00, all welcome to this safety evening, but please RSVP.
Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: email@example.com
SAAF Museum Airshow – AFB Zwartkops, Pretoria
Contact Mark Kelbrick Cell 082 413 7577 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally – Grand Central Airport
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: email@example.com
Vans RV Fly-in to Kitty Hawk
Contact Frank van Heerden e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com Website: www.mebaamorocco.aero
26 to 27 September
Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Contact Tel 011 659 2345 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barnstormers MFC Warbirds Day airshow
5 & 6 October
SAC Western Cape Regionals – Swellendam airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
10 to 13 October
Airlines Association of Southern Africa 49th Annual General Assembly – Reunion Island
15 – 16 October
Drone Con International Convention Centre Durban
SAPFA SA Landing Championships at Brits Airfield
Contact Ron Stirk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell:082 445 0373
23 to 25 October
AVI AFRIQUE Innovation Summit 2019
E-mail: AviAfrique@atns.co.za Website: www.atns.com
22 to 24 October
NBAA-BACE Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
SAPFA Baragwanath Fun Rally – Baragwanath Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Rally Championships – Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
8 to 10 November
EAA Sun ‘n Fun at Brits airfield
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA EAA Sun & Fun Adventure Rally
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA Awards Ceremony venue TBA
Contact Tel: 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards Venue TBA
Contact AeCSA office 011 082 1100 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 to 24 November
NBAA- BASE convention and exhibition in Las Vegas Convention Centre, Nevada, USA
SAPFA Springs Speed Rally – Springs Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser cell: 082 855 9435 e-mail: email@example.com
30 November – 1 December
SAC Ace of Base Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Zahira Bouaouda becomes first woman to manage an aerospace company in Morocco
Zahira Bouaouda has been appointed President of MATIS Aerospace, a 50/50 joint venture between Safran Electrical & Power and Boeing, specialising in electrical wiring interconnection systems. She is the first woman to manage an aerospace company in Morocco. Bouaouda began her career in 1997 as an auditor with Dorlian and Associés and then MCA and Associés. She joined KPMG Morocco in 2001 as a senior manager and joined MATIS Aerospace in 2006 as finance director, before becoming operations director in 2017.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Ural Airlines Airbus crash lands in a cornfield near Moscow
A Ural Airlines Airbus A321 has made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after flying into a flock of birds, suffering multiple bird strikes in its engines. According to local news sources, some twenty-three people have been injured in the crash landing and are described as being ‘in serious or fair condition’. The local health authority says that five children are included in those taken to hospital.
The jet was carrying 233 passengers and crew onboard operating a flight from Moscow to Simferopol in Crimea when the incident took place. The Russian Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia said the plane landed in a cornfield about a kilometre (0.62 miles) from the runway at Zhukovsky International Airport, with its engines off and landing gear retracted.
A passenger on the flight told local state-run media how the aircraft started to shake not long after take-off, “Five seconds later, the lights on the right side of the plane started flashing and there was a smell of burning. Then we landed and everyone ran away”.
Ural Airlines issued the following statement: “When the plane taking off a flight to Simferopol from Zhukovsky took off, there were numerous birds falling into both engines. Both engines failed. Board made an emergency landing. Thanks to the professionalism of the crew and their coordinated actions, the landing took place without tragic consequences. There were 226 passengers in the cabin, no one was injured during boarding, passengers were evacuated and are currently in the airport terminal. Passengers at the time of flight delay are provided with all the required services in accordance with the Federal Aviation Rules. The airline makes maximum use of all reserves for the speediest departure of passengers to their destinations and the restoration of flight schedules.” translated from Russian. A full investigation is already underway and many are praising the skills of the pilots for bringing the aircraft safely down, without a fatality. Some in the local media are comparing it to the US Airways jet that landed on the Hudson River in New York following a bird strike that took out both engines in 2009. Local media is calling this emergency crash landing as ‘miracle over Ramensk’.
GAMA publishes 2019 second quarter aircraft shipment data
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has published a mid-year industry update with the release of preliminary second quarter 2019 aircraft shipment and billings data. Piston and business jet deliveries increased through the first six months of 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018, while turboprop airplane and rotorcraft shipments were lower.
“While the year-to-date aircraft shipments are mixed, this should not obscure the outlook for a bright future for general aviation. Our mid-year report shows new aircraft reaching entry into service milestones with additional models expected to enter into service before the end of 2019,” said GAMA’s president & CEO, Pete Bunce. “Our members remain focused on bringing safety enhancing new technology to the general aviation fleet and upgrading aircraft to meet fast approaching global mandates for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and datalink communications. Additionally, our industry’s continued emphasis on developing airframes, engines and avionics that improve fuel efficiency, our aggressive pursuit of hybrid and electrically propelled air vehicles, and promotion of the build out of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel infrastructure, should make us all proud of our collective commitment to environmental sustainability.”
The piston market continued to lead the increase in deliveries at 567 units, up 15.2% from the same period in 2018. Business jet shipments increased by 12.5% in the first six months of 2019 to 316 airplanes delivered. Turboprop airplanes, however, declined in deliveries from 260 to 231 units from the same reporting companies. The value of airplane deliveries through the first six months of 2019 was $9.0 billion, an increase of approximately 12.9%.
Rotorcraft deliveries slowed in the first six months of 2019. Piston rotorcraft shipments declined from 149 units to 110 units. The industry delivered 299 turbine rotorcraft, a reduction by 11.3% compared to 2018. The value of rotorcraft shipments was $1.5 billion, a decline of approximately 13.1%.
GAMA notes that second quarter shipment data was not available from three airplane manufacturers at the time of publication. GAMA will update the report online when the data has been released by the companies. The above comparison table does not include second quarter 2018 data from these three manufacturers.
Aircraft Type 2018 2019 Change
Piston Airplanes 492 567 +15.2%
Turboprops 260 231 -11.2%
Business Jets 281 316 +12.5%
Total Airplanes 1,03 1,114 +7.8%
Total Airplane Billings $8.0B $9.0B +12.9%
Piston Rotorcraft 149 110 -26.2%
Turbine Rotorcraft 337 299 -11.3%
Total Rotorcraft 486 409 -15.8%
Total Rotorcraft Billings $1.7B $1.5B -13.1%
China targets Cathay Pacific as Hong Kong Airport cancels flights
As protests in Hong Kong continue, tensions have risen further between the autonomous region and mainland China. On Friday, 9 August 2019, Beijing targeted one of the most well-known brands in Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has notified the carrier that any staff participating in the ongoing protests would be banned from working on flights to mainland China or flights operating in Chinese airspace. In a statement issued on 9 August 2019, the aviation authority justified the move citing ‘the principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards, in order to maintain air transport order, protect passenger safety and prevent airborne activities from causing damage to third parties in the air, on the ground and on the surface of the water’.
Complying with the order, which came into effect on 10 August, Cathay Pacific submitted lists identifying flight crews that would operate within Chinese air space. If the airline failed to provide the identification, the flight would not be approved to fly over or into mainland China. Cathay Pacific will also have to provide details on how the airline will ‘strengthen internal control and improve flight safety and security’ to Chinese authorities by Thursday, 15 August.
In a press conference discussing Cathay Pacific’s H1 2019 financial results, the company’s chairman, John Slosar, said that the airline would not prohibit staff to participate in the protests, further adding that the company “certainly wouldn’t dream of telling them what they have to think about something”.
The order from the CAAC forced Cathay to change its stance. According to SCMP, a memo was sent out to staff on 12 August 2019, indicating that the airline is willing to take action towards employees who ‘support or participate in illegal protests’. Potentially, staff may face ‘termination of employment’.
One Cathay Pacific pilot was already arrested during the riots on 28 July 2019. Subsequently, the airline suspended him from flying. The pilot was released on bail. The airline had no choice but to cave in, as Cathay Pacific operates 23 routes to mainland China, with many more flights going through Chinese air space. Cancelling or diverting these routes would potentially hit the already fragile finances of the airline – Cathay is trying to get back to long-term profitability, after posting a profitable 2018 and H1 2019. Hong Kong and mainland China is by far the biggest revenue stream for Cathay Pacific, as the region accounted for $3.3 billion (HK$ 26,352 billion) out of the total $6.8 billion (HK$ 53,547 billion) revenue earned in H1 2019. Cathay Pacific has previously indicated that the airline group expects the trend of achieving better results in H2 of this year to continue, but the difficult climate surrounding Hong Kong might change the plan of completing the transformational process at the end of 2019.
The airline is already looking at a downturn of bookings and Cathay’s stock is at the lowest trading point in 10 years. This comes as Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) has cancelled flights on 12 August after protesters organised a sit-in at the airport due to police violence on Sunday, 11 August. While the amount of bookings lost so far is unclear, the company is due to reveal their results for July 2019. Potentially, July can end up being the first month of decreased passenger numbers for Cathay Pacific in 2019 as the protests in Hong Kong further escalate.
Norwegian Boeing 787 engine fragments rain down on cars, houses
Engine fragments of a Norwegian Boeing 787 fell from the sky shortly after take-off from Fiumicino airport in Rome, Italy, damaging houses, roofs and cars. One person was injured in the incident. Norwegian Boeing 787-8 (reg. LN-LND) operating flight DY-7115 from Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) to Los Angeles (LAX) suffered engine failure after take-off on 10 August 2019, forcing the aircraft to turn back to the airport and perform an emergency landing.
The Dreamliner landed safely and none of the 298 passengers on board the flight were injured. However, fragments of one of the engines spilled over an area of the city of Fiumicino, damaging houses, roofs and cars. One person was injured by the falling debris. The victim said that he got slightly burned, as reported in AdnKronos. Norwegian spokesperson said “Flight DY7115 from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Los Angeles (LAX) experienced a technical issue a few minutes after take-off. The aircraft returned to the airport where it landed safely.”
The Boeing 787 in question is powered by Trent Rolls-Royce 1000 engines, according to Planespotters.com data. The company also provided an explanation for the incident: “We are aware of the event and are working with our customer to provide support and technical assistance. We are committed to working closely with the airline, aircraft manufacturer and the relevant authorities to support their investigation,” the Rolls-Royce’s spokesperson said.
General Dynamics announces first Gulfstream G600 delivery
General Dynamics announced today the first customer delivery of the all-new Gulfstream G600 aircraft. The milestone follows the aircraft receiving FAA type and production certificates on 28 June. A US customer took delivery of the aircraft at Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia. The G600 received both FAA type and production certificates on 28 June 2019. The aircraft entered service after a design and test programme that included flying nearly 100,000 hours in the company’s labs and more than 3,200 hours of flying in the air.
The G600 can carry passengers nonstop from Paris to Los Angeles or Hong Kong at an average speed of Mach 0.90 in an interior that won top honours in Private Jet Design at the 2018 International Yacht & Aviation Awards. The aircraft is equipped with the revolutionary Symmetry Flight Deck, which includes active control sidesticks and 10 touchscreens. The advanced technology has earned Gulfstream several awards, including Aviation Week’s 2017 Technology Laureate Award, Business Intelligence Group’s 2019 Innovation Award and Avionics Magazine’s 2015 Technology Company of the Year.
The G600, which already has more than 10 city-pair speed records, flies 6,500 nautical miles at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85. Its maximum operating speed is Mach 0.925, the same as the company flagship Gulfstream G650ER.
Eglin AFB pilots receive type ratings for new helicopter
Test pilots from the 413th Flight Test Squadron from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida became the first Air Force pilots to receive a type rating on the AW-139 helicopter in Whippany, New Jersey on 29 July. Maj. Zach Roycroft and Tony Arrington completed the five-week contracted course on the civilian counterpart to the Air Force’s new MH-139 helicopter. The helicopter will replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N Huey. “This puts our team one step closer to flight testing the new aircraft when production is completed,” said Maj. Roycroft, 413th Flight Test Squadron MH-139 lead test pilot. “Ultimately, it puts the Air Force one step closer to delivery of a much-needed increase in capability.”
As the test pilots were in flight training, 413th FLTS and Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen were completing the maintenance technician course for the same aircraft. Those Airmen are also being trained on the unique systems included in the MH-139 like the hoist and cargo hook. The knowledge gathered from the training will allow the Airmen to safely operate the aircraft systems, perform effective developmental testing and teach their counterparts, according to Tech. Sgt. Joe Kendall, 413th FLTS special mission aviator.
The MH-139 delivery marks the first time in recent history the Air Force will receive a rotary wing asset not previously used in another branch of the military. “Every engineer, pilot and SMA is dedicated to ensure the UH-1N community receives the most capable replacement aircraft to defend our nation’s assets,” Roycroft said. The US Air Force plans to purchase 84 MH-139 helicopters over the next decade. The first aircraft delivery to the 413th FLTS is scheduled for late November.
Swift Fuels’ unleaded avgas UL94 to be offered at San Carlos, California
Rabbit Aviation Services at San Carlos Airport (KSQL) has completed a planned upgrade to its aviation fuel tank facility and will be the first airport with a fully-dedicated Unleaded Avgas storage system in California to sell Swift’s unleaded UL94 aviation gasoline for its piston aircraft customers. Pilots can expect to resume purchasing UL94 unleaded avgas at KSQL starting 15 September 2019.
The US nationwide transition away from 100LL (leaded) avgas to unleaded aviation gasoline continues to increase momentum for Swift Fuels, which produces and sells the only commercially available unleaded avgas in the US. This latest announcement marks yet another milestone for Swift Fuels, with Rabbit Aviation Services as California’s only commercial fuel provider (FBO) to join the campaign to-date. “Swift Fuels’ UL94 is the only commercially-available unleaded avgas in the US, it’s sold nationwide, it’s commercially insured for aviation and pilots who use it – love it,” said Chris D’Acosta, CEO for Swift Fuels. Dan DeMeo has been a champion of this effort working with many local community leaders to join the progressive nationwide movement toward unleaded avgas. In fact, similar news on fuel expansions is expected soon in Texas and Florida.
Swift Fuels’ Unleaded UL94 Avgas is sold nationwide, priced competitively with 100LL and is expected to remain low subject to oil market volatility. Over 110,000 aircraft are already FAA-authorised to use the UL94 Avgas as a ‘drop-in ready’ fuel. Note that UL94 is not a full replacement for 100LL, therefore, only those aircraft with engine / airframes requiring 94 motor-octane fuels or lower are compatible, which represents 65% of the US piston fleet.
Continental announces standard Titan Experimental Engine configurations
Developed specifically for Van’s Aircraft these engines are fully compatible with Van’s installation kits and may be installed in Van’s aircraft kits without any modification, thereby providing ease and predictability of installation. The different configurations were designed to fit the airframe perfectly, using the standard Van’s initial configuration, baffles, accessories, or fittings. Builders that require a more customised Titan engine will continue to benefit from Continental’s expert team to build and price a customised configuration that meets their unique requirements. “With the availability of these engine configurations, we offer simple options to Van’s kit builders. Titan Experimental engines are reliable, trouble free performers. With very competitive pricing, they offer builders an economical alternative, while keeping the build simple. Furthermore, the Titan Experimental engines are built by an OEM manufacturer with a great reputation for standing behind its products,” said James ‘J.B.’ Ball, Sales Manager, Continental Titan.
BendixKing to install integrated flight deck on Pipistrel trainer aircraft
BendixKing, a business unit of Honeywell, will install its xVue Touch Integrated Flight Deck onto Pipistrel’s Alpha King training aircraft, which is already available with deliveries expected later this year. Designed specifically for trainer and experimental aircraft, xVue Touch is a versatile and intuitive cockpit solution with state-of-the-art technology that helps students learn to fly safely.
“We want to ensure that students and instructors can take advantage of all the advancements afforded by new technology while still delivering a high-quality aircraft, which makes the Alpha King an ideal solution for flight schools,” said Ivo Boscarol, founder and president, Pipistrel. “We recognise the unmatched value in BendixKing avionics, which enables us to offer an extremely cost-effective and affordable new generation of training aircraft and build upon our existing, ongoing relationship with Honeywell as a whole.”
Student pilots wanting to learn to fly aircraft with modern avionics usually confront complex avionics systems designed for experienced pilots flying under instrument flight rules. This steepens student pilots’ learning curves, delays their ability to earn their pilot certificate and increases training costs. xVue Touch eliminates all those barriers by providing a high-quality, touchscreen primary flight display with advanced capabilities in an intuitive package. The streamlined, simple software menus make all functions accessible within two to four touchscreen touches, decreasing student pilots’ time to learn the avionics, thereby making it quicker and easier for them to learn to fly.
xVue Touch also comes with several advanced software features enhanced by connectivity that increase pilot awareness, especially when navigating around bad weather, flying and landing at night, or approaching unfamiliar airports. Features include Honeywell’s SmartView synthetic vision system that shows the aircraft flight path over terrain and display of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast weather. Flight schools can also use Wi-Fi to easily update databases, charts and system software in less than 10 minutes.
“With the xVue Touch, we can help Pipistrel deliver advanced technologies while keeping flight schools’ operational costs low,” said Gregg Cohen, president, BendixKing. “Aspiring pilots can train using sophisticated technology that’s easy to use, enabling them to get their pilot licenses in significantly less time. Plus, our advanced flight deck is simple to maintain and lightweight, saving flight schools money in the long run.” The xVue Touch can be customised and quickly installed to fit new aircraft or as a replacement for traditional mechanical instruments. The lightweight displays are panel-mounted and don’t have cooling fans or moving parts, making it easier and less costly to maintain over time.
Enstrom obtains certification of the Garmin GTN 750
Enstrom is pleased to announce that the FAA has certified the Garmin GTN 750, a GPS/NAV/COMM multifunction display system in the Enstrom 480B. The GTN 750 features graphical flight planning, terrain mapping, air traffic viewing, detailed geo-referenced charting, satellite weather reporting and tons more. These features are all available on a tall touchscreen display that allows for easy access menu options, quick and effortless navigation, and high detailed graphics. “The GTN 750 is great alternative for customers who are looking for the functionality of a GTN650, but want a larger screen. The touchscreen is very intuitive and easy to use. We have already received a number of orders for GTN750 equipped helicopters and we expect it to be a popular option going forward.”
LX7 gives new life to old Lancair types
RDD Enterprises, a company that was created to modify Lancair IV-P airplanes into a safer, longer-range bird, provided the media an update about the program at AirVenture a few weeks ago. According to David McRae, the owner of RDD Enterprises, the LX7 is designed to be a faster and safer aircraft than the IV-P from which it is built. The company will help a buyer find a suitable donor airplane, from which the wings and tail are removed. The company installs an entirely new wing and tail, as well as new avionics and other upgrades. McRae said that the work is considered a ‘Major Modification’ by the FAA, so the original builder of the IV-P is still listed as the manufacturer in the FAA records.
The LX7 carries 180 gallons of fuel, which the company says gives it a coast-to-coast range without refuelling. It has a full-airframe parachute, Garmin GTx avionics and side-stick controls, climbs at 2,000 fpm and cruises at 260 knots true airspeed for the piston version and 280 knots for the turboprop variant. The stall speed is 63 knots.
The piston airplane costs about $850,000, depending on what the owner pays for the donor airplane, while the turboprop variant will set you back about $980,000. McRae says that they are only piston IV-Ps for the conversion and there are some 250 potential donor aircraft available. He added that the company may look into building an entirely new airplane in the future, but for now, they will be concentrating on the conversions and gauging the market acceptance of that product.
Crash pilot produced a video of his rescue
A Minnesota pilot who pulled the parachute on his Cirrus SR22 over a wilderness area of Quebec says he hopes his well-documented account of his experience can help others if they find themselves in similar straits. Matt Letinen, the CEO of a Minnesota mining company, was flying back from a mine his company operates in Labrador when the engine failed in the Cirrus. He glided away from a lake and pulled the handle over dense bush with the nearest airport, Sept Iles, about 60 miles away. The aircraft settled on a large tree that pierced the cabin and tore his shorts. He emerged out of the wreck and was able to contact rescue services and his family with a personal tracking device and suddenly had time on his hands.
He said he felt “very compelled to document the experience” and started shooting video with his cell phone. What resulted was an edited video, complete with soundtrack, that points out the things that went right and wrong with his crash. It also showed how RCAF search and rescue personnel coordinate a successful rescue. All in all, Lehtinen scored pretty highly on the survival test and earned praise from his rescuers for his equipment and deliberate efforts to aid the rescue. Lehtinen criticised himself for not carrying any food, water or other supplies that would have been handy and eventually necessary if he hadn’t been plucked out of the woods within a few hours.
Louisiana woman arrested after shooting at mosquito control airplane
A woman in Monroe, LA has been arrested after admitting to firing three shots at an airplane that was conducting mosquito abatement flight near her home. But she justified the act by saying she thought the aircraft was a drone, rather than a manned aircraft. Television station KLFY reports that Stacy Nguyen Rogers, 40, was arrested and charged with illegal use of a weapon. She was released after paying a $500 bond.
According to the arrest report, Rogers said the ‘drone’ was flying over her property and she shot at it three times with a pistol in an attempt to bring it down. A witness captured video of the incident on a cell phone, which showed the aircraft was actually a manned airplane. On the video, Rogers can be heard saying “he’s coming back to taunt us,” and then talking about shooting at the aircraft.
Laura Mcgowan, Spokesperson for Clarke Environmental Mosquito Control, which is the contractor that conducts the flights, said that the crew was not aware they were being fired on during the flight and were informed about the incident after landing. Mosquito control aircraft often fly at altitudes of around 300 feet. According to the Mosquito Abatement District, residents of Ouachita Parish were notified multiple times that the flights would be taking place.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Amazon formally applies for drone delivery services
Amazon has formally applied to begin limited drone delivery of packages in the US and comments are being accepted until 28 August. Amazon wants to use drones to deliver packages weighing less than five pounds (2.27Kg) directly to customers within 30 minutes of its distribution center. The aircraft would fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), which is currently banned for all drones in US airspace and the application seeks specific relief from that ban. However, the packages will need to withstand a sizeable drop.
Amazon doesn’t envision landing the drones to release the packages. Instead, the drone will identify the correct delivery location by the existence of a ‘unique marker’ and send the package on its way for the last few feet. Amazon’s application came a week after the FAA announced the first sanctioned BVLOS flight in Alaska by the University of Alaska Fairbanks along an oil pipeline. Amazon says more than 75 percent of its deliveries weigh less than five pounds and could be delivered by drone under this application. The FAA says it’s not predicting how long it will take to assess the application
Croatia to use Camcopter S-100 for Coast Guard functions
Beginning this summer, Croatia’s maritime safety directorate will deploy an unmanned Schiebel Camcopter S-100 for Coast Guard functions, according to a mobilisation request the country sent to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The unmanned, remotely-piloted S-100 rotorcraft will assist the government of Croatia with activities including search and rescue, monitoring and surveillance, ship and port security, vessel traffic, environmental protection and response, ship casualty assistance and accident and disaster response. The S-100 will be equipped with an L3 Wescam electro-optical / infrared camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch payload and an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver.
EMSA awarded a multi-year surveillance contract for a vertical take-off and landing, remotely-piloted aircraft system to Schiebel in November 2018, through which Schiebel provides maritime surveillances to numerous EU bodies and member states. “The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is the perfect Vertical Take-off and Landing UAS to perform these Coast Guard functions,” notes Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group. “Backed by an impressive service record in the maritime domain, the S-100 has established itself as the best choice whenever sophisticated maritime surveillance is required.” The S-100 is widely used by military and government bodies around the world, primarily navies, coast guards and armies.
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)