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It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. Jerome K. Jerome
African Pilot’s September 2018 edition
The September edition contains African Pilot’s annual EAA AirVenture 2018 report, a brief report on the Farnborough airshow as well as our annual Avionics and Instrumentation feature. The reason for this is that most Avionics OEMs launch their new kit at AirVenture every year. Thank you to all those aviation companies that supported this edition, which will be widely distributed to all aviation businesses at AAD2018 in September. The September edition is at the printers and will be ready for national release later this week. In addition, African Pilot has engaged many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) into the process of receiving the monthly magazine as a digital copy.
African Pilot’s October 2018 edition
The main feature of the October edition will African Pilot’s annual AMOs and Refurbishment section. In addition, this edition will carry a report on the Rand airshow and the Royal International Air Tattoo. The closing date for this edition is on Wednesday 5 September.
For advertising positions, please contact Lara Bayliss Cell: 079 880 4359 Tel: 0861 001130 or e-mail: email@example.com for inclusion into this edition. Thank you.
What is changing at African Pilot?
Now you can get your favourite aviation magazine online
As our digital capability has grown substantially, we have also developed aviation news blasts within the week. We have re-designed the option for the electronic version of African Pilot to be uploaded via our website.
The cost of a single download is R18 (US$2) or R180 (US$20) for a 12-month subscription. In addition, we have created several other options. If you happened to miss out on a particular article or edition, back editions are available. In an effort to increase our digital footprint, African Pilot’s digital edition has now been made available on just about every digital device in production today, including iPads and iPhones through the iTunes Store, all Android devices through Google’s Play Store, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, Nook and Web. We have achieved this by partnering with a multitude of digital publishing platforms, the most noteworthy of which is Magzter, the world’s largest digital magazine newsstand with over 10 000+ magazines in its catalogue. Subscribers through our own website will still be able to enjoy the magazine as a download at:
Video of the week
Pilatus PC12 shortest takeoff Locher Airfield
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
World class attractions expected at AAD2018
The 10th edition of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD2018), now exactly one month away, is raising its profile on the global exhibition calendar. Already hosting a record number of 16 country pavilions this year, Africa’s premier exhibition is expecting higher numbers of official delegations and trade visitors from more than 100 countries compared to the 2016 event. Whilst some major exhibitors have indicated attendance of their aircraft, the exhibition organizers still expect further confirmations.
“As of this week, we have been informed of the presence of the giant C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, the Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules (stretched version) and the LC-130 Snowbird,” explained Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA). “These aircraft are likely to be displayed with vehicles inside, showing their interoperability with the equipment of the SANDF and local companies. We also expect a Boeing P-8 Poseidon and KC-135 Stratotanker, aircraft that show maritime patrol and aerial refuelling capabilities.”
In addition, CAASA confirmed the presence of the latest Dassault Falcon 8X business jet from France, numerous South African registered helicopters and civilian fixed-wing aircraft, as well as the innovative locally designed AHRLAC from Paramount Group. From elsewhere in Africa there will be a trainer aircraft from Sudan, two K8 aircraft and one Casa from the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AZF), two Diamond aircraft from Austria, as well as large business jets from Gulfstream and Canada based Bombardier.
“Further updates will be given as and when we get confirmation of expected aircraft,” CAASA’s Dillman stated.
In light of the threats posed by cyber-attacks and the increasing prevalence of drones in both military and civil applications, Dillman said AAD2018 will feature seminars on such key issues. Seminars are
used worldwide nowadays to convey focused information to top-level decisionmakers and the media. This constitutes a new feature of AAD that will run over the three trade days. The organisers have once again provided small theatres with seating capacity of 50 (fifty) for product launches and media briefings, which have been utilised well at the last event.
Media accreditation is now open and bona fide journalists are requested to apply for accreditation as soon as possible. The organisers have also signed up media partners from local and overseas media houses, which will attract more than 450 journalists, videographers and photographers to cover the
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Flippie Vermeulen speaks at the EAA Auditorium
On Thursday evening 16 August Captain Karl Jensen hosted the delightful illustrated talk that Captain Flippie Vermeulen presented to a packed audience in the EAA Auditorium at Rand Airport. Flippie spoke about his recent trip flying a Beech 18 twin radial vintage aircraft through the Caribbean, Cuba, parts of Latin America, Panama and back to the USA. What an incredible story from an incredible man who loved older round engine aircraft.
Grand Rand Airshow 2018
The annual Rand Airport Airshow started on a rather brisk late winter morning although the day heated up to a very comfortable temperature, and that was just the weather. The Gauteng crowd that thronged this historic airport came to be entertained and thrilled. They were not to be disappointed as South Africa’s top aerobatic pilots and teams delivered. The appreciative crowd gasped and wowed as the pilots performed and displayed their skills during the day. A full report will appear in the October edition of African Pilot magazine.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
24 & 25 August
Contact Stefan Fourie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Sheila Taylor Fun Rally at Krugersdorp Airfield
Contact Grant Rousseau Cell: 082 329 3551 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally Grand Central Airport Midrand
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
RV Day at Kitty Hawk
Contact Irmarie Jooste Tel: 012 802 0942
SAPFA Secunda Fun Rally Secunda Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 855 9435
20 & 21 October
SAC North-West Regionals Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
23 & 24 October
Avi Afrique 2018 Africa Aviation Innovation Summit CSIR
Contact ATNS Percy Morokane E-mail: email@example.com
24 to 27 October
Marrakech airshow RMAF Military Base, Marrakech, Morocco
Contact Houda Medkouri e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 to 8 November
Dubai Helishow Royal Pavilion Al Maktoum Airport
Contact Mr Abel Bajamunde E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Fun Rally at Springs Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 855 9435
1 & 2 December
SAC ACE of Base Brits airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
We will be opening the 2019 aviation calendar shortly, so please start thinking about the most suitable date(s) for your planned events or airshow.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Ethiopian Airlines raises the bar for African and Gulf competitors
On 9 August Ethiopian Airlines announced it has registered record success in the 2017/2018 fiscal year that ended last month. The state-owned carrier has outpaced regional competitors to become Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit and is now buying shares in other carriers on the continent, the latest being a planned Nigerian national carrier. According to the state-owned airline, during the 2017 / 2018 fiscal year, Ethiopian Air’s operating revenue grew by 43% compared to previous fiscal year and reached $3.2 billion (89.1 billion Ethiopian birr (ETB)); the group‘s net profit rose to $245 million (6.8 billion ETB). During the period Ethiopian introduced 14 new aircraft to its fleet, passing the 100th aircraft in service milestone, the first African airline to do so. In addition, the company states that the number of passengers carried grew by 21% topping the 10 million mark for the first time in the airline’s history with 10.6 million passengers.
With an average growth rate of 25% in the past seven years, Ethiopian has been trying to position itself as an airline up to par with global carriers. To that end, it is currently implementing a 15-year strategic growth plan called ‘Vision 2025’. However, the strategy has already been revised from the previous plan to more than double its fleet to 120 and become Africa’s biggest airline by 2025, as it already has 100 aircraft in its fleet. “We have expanded more than we planned,” GebreMariam told Reuters back in May 2018. “We had to revise the objective to make it 150 airplanes or more by 2025.”
Now that the Addis-Ababa based airline has also outpaced regional competitors like Kenya Airways and South African Airways, it is also ready to take on bigger rivals, particularly the Gulf carriers, by buying stakes in other African carriers. In January 2018, Ethiopian signed an agreement with Zambia’s government to relaunch that country’s national carrier. In May 2018, the Ethiopian‘s GebreMariam said the group was in talks with Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to set up carriers there through joint ventures. The chief executive also expressed intentions in creating a new airline in Mozambique, that his airline would fully own.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Xiamen Air jet badly damaged after runway excursion in Manila
A Boeing 737 of Chinese Xiamen Air operating flight MF8667 skidded off the runway on the night of 16 August 2018. The plane landed under heavy rain at Ninoy-Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila, Philippines. No injuries were reported among the 165 people on board. Eric Apolonio, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority of Philippines reported that the plane which departed from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN), China, was on its second attempt after a first rejected landing when it skidded off the runway into the grass. The aircraft was carrying 157 passengers and eight crew members. Evacuation was carried out using emergency slides due to the muddy terrain.
According to the news agency Xinhuanet, the wings and engines of the Boeing 737 were badly damaged in the incident. Pictures released by AFP show that the left landing gear seems to have failed during the excursion while the left engine was severed from the aircraft. The airport’s main runway remained closed through the night, leading to several delays and cancellations. Chinese and Filipino civil aviation authorities opened a joint investigation into the incident.
Spate of bomb threats grounds nine passenger planes in South America
Nine passenger planes were forced to make emergency changes to their flights within Chilean, Argentine and Peruvian airspace on 16 August 2018, after multiple bomb threats were issued to Chile’s civil aviation authority. Meanwhile, one European passenger airliner was forced to make an emergency landing in Greece following an alleged bomb threat onboard. All of the incidents occurred on the same day. The director general of Chile’s civil aviation authority (DGAC), Victor Villalobos Collao, said a total of 11 threats were made on 16 August 2018, two of which were ‘fictitious’ and nine of which related to existing flights. Some of the planes were reportedly operated by Chilean carriers; at least two by LATAM Airlines and three by the low-cost carrier Sky. According to the director, bomb threats onboard flights were issued to LATAM’s offices and the DGAC.
US airport traffic to grow at more than 25% in the next ten years
The 2018-2027 Airports USA forecast, developed by Boyd Group International, covers traffic and air service trends at 146 of the US’s airports, encompassing over 95% of all passengers. The key findings of the forecast are in a brief report, The Seven Top Airport Trends, 2018-2027 and include:
Airline strategies will affect growth patterns within airport categories. The 22 airline connecting hub airports will see 25.7% growth.
Large non-hub site airports, those with over two million enplanements today, will experience 32.0% expansion.
Airports today with between 250,000 and two million enplanements, will see 34.9% expanded traffic.
New International Access. ‘New-generation airliners now present strong potential for trans-Atlantic service from East Coast airports such as Providence, Manchester, Albany, Charleston and Jacksonville.’
‘Regionalized air access’ to expand – with many small airports losing traffic to mid-size airports within regions. “At many small communities, efforts to attract flights at the local airport are futile,” the forecast notes. “Often, it’s non-competitive with other airport options – even with as much as a 90-minute drive.”
Globalization: by 2027, over 36% of all US airport enplanements will be the direct or indirect result of international travel.
There will be sharp enplanement swings as ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs) enter and exit some mid-size airports. These corporate decisions cannot be anticipated by any forecasting methodologies. The spike and decline in 2018 traffic at Islip, New York is referenced as an example. “However, such entry whether successful or not, is positive for the airport,” the forecast notes. “At least pro-tem, it generates new revenues.”
Airport Capacity Issues
The projected additional enplanements in 2027 is the equivalent of the traffic today at all five of the nation’s largest airports, combined. The forecast will be presented to aviation leaders from across the globe at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver, 19 to 21 August.
Survivors sue Aeromexico over crash
The law firm Corboy & Demetrio announced that 15 of the US passengers that survived the crash of Aeromexico Flight 2431 on 31 July 2018 filed a lawsuit against the airline. The Aeromexico Embraer 190, registration XA-GAL, crashed shortly after take-off in Durango state, in northern Mexico. 85 people were injured, no fatalities were reported. The plane was operating connecting flight AM2431 between Durango International Airport (DGO) and Mexico City International Airport (MEX) with 103 passengers and crew members on board. Describing the weather conditions at the time of a crash as ‘a heavy storm including severe wind, rain and hail’, the law firm questions the decision of the airline to operate under such condition.
Vintage airliner crash injures five
For the second time in less than a month, a vintage airliner carrying passengers has crashed but this time there were no fatalities. The 1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide biplane took off from Abbotsford International Airport in British Columbia about 17h30 on Saturday 11 August just after the close of the annual airshow for the day. Two weeks ago, a Junkers Ju-52 crashed in the Swiss Alps killing all 20 on board. The Dragon Rapide, carrying a pilot and four passengers, was recently acquired by the Historic Flight Foundation at nearby Paine Field in Washington State. It ran into trouble on take-off and crashed just off the runway. Three passengers suffered relatively minor injuries, one injury was described as serious and the pilot was taken to hospital in critical condition but has since been upgraded to serious. HFF founder John Sessions was checked out in the aircraft but none of those on board have been identified by Canadian authorities and it’s not confirmed he was the pilot.
The museum was offering rides to the public at the airshow but it’s not clear if the passengers were paying customers or museum staff and volunteers. The aircraft is one of about 10 in airworthy condition, including one in South Africa. Images from Abbotsford showed significant damage, particularly to the right set of wings and cockpit, but it’s not clear if it can be repaired. The aircraft was developed in the early 1930s in England and was used as an airliner and as a military transport. At total of 781 were built. The aircraft in question was one of the last ones built in 1944 and first delivered to the Royal Air Force. It was converted to an airliner after the war and used in revenue service and as a survey aircraft in the UK until 1971 when it was bought by the EAA Museum, which displayed it until 1997. HFF founder John Sessions bought the plane in 2017 from the estate of a California collector.
Production issues cause logjam on Boeing 737 assembly lines
Some production snags are forcing Boeing to anticipate a slowdown in deliveries of their workhorse 737 airliners in the third quarter of this year before the pace picks up again by year’s end. Problems in the supply chain on fuselage components and engines are being cited for the slowdown as Boeing deals with a large number of orders and its fastest-ever production rate of 52 single-aisle jets per month. The snags can stem from problems that might seem small, such as airframes being shipped by Spirit AeroSystems late by only a few hours or out of sequence. Shipments of the LEAP engines produced by the Engine Alliance are also a few weeks behind schedule.
According to industry analyst Ron Epstein, Boeing has airplanes valued at some $1.8 billion sitting on the tarmac at Renton, Washington. He said that the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Airbus is facing similar supply chain problems for its A320neo, according to the report. Still, positions for Boeing’s 737 MAX and the A320neo are essentially sold out through 2024 and both plane makers are considering additional increases in their production rates. Airbus has publicly discussed an output of as many as 75 airplanes per month, while Boeing has been more conservative, according to the report.
Lancair intends competing against the big fast aircraft
Probably the oddest thing about the Lancair Mako and Barracuda is the fact they fly with only two of their three gear legs hanging out. Is that thinking out side of the box or a marketing ploy? According to Lancair’s young, engineering minded President, Conrad Huffstutler, “retracting the nose gear adds about 12 knots to the cruise speed because it takes the gear leg out of the prop turbulence which is a high drag area.”
With both the Mako and the Barracuda customers have options as to how they want their airplane constructed. Fuselage options include a right-side door, ballistic parachute, the auto-retract nose gear, air conditioning, ice protection and electric speed brakes. You have the choice of either the Lycoming IO-540 or the Continental IO-550 engine with either the Hartzell or MT / Whirlwind propeller, avionics and even which side you want your control stick to be on, whether it be on the sides or in the middle.
Lancair’s Builder Assist Programme was created in 1999 and highly encouraged for the new buyer. No previous experience is needed. Can’t turn a wrench, drill a hole, or put air in your tyres? No problem. In Lancair’s facilities in Uvalde you are closely watched by factory experts who hold your hand each step of the way. Spend a couple of weeks getting the project started, then leave the heavy lifting to the factory personal. Come back a couple of times for a two week visit over the next six months and fly your new airplane home. Lancair can fast-build your engine and panel for you as well.
The first prototype Barracuda was displayed at Oshkosh and has many of the same options available as the Mako. Their slogan is 2/2/2 or 2 Place/200 knots/$200K. The Barracuda answers the question for those who like the performance and looks of the Legacy but not the cost. Costing $200K to $250K depending on options and engine selection and offering the same factory build options as the Mako the Barracuda hits that sweet spot. The one-piece wing saves 30 to 40 pounds over a two-piece wing.
Blue Angels upgrade to Super Hornets
The US Navy has awarded Boeing a contract to configure nine F/A-18E and two F/A-18F Super Hornets for the Blue Angels demonstration team. Since the team’s first performance in 1946, the Blue Angels have used eight aircraft models, including the F11F-1 Tiger, F-4J Phantom II and A-4F Skyhawk II. They have been flying F/A-18C/D Hornets since 1986.
The contract for getting the eleven Super Hornets ready for their debut with the Blue Angels, which is worth approximately $17 million, was awarded to Boeing on Monday. Although not specifically stated what changes would be made to the aircraft, conversions on the team’s currently flying Hornets included removing the aircraft nose cannons, installing smoke-oil tanks and adding a spring on the sticks. Overall, the Super Hornet is bigger by about four feet in both length and wingspan than the Hornet and heavier by roughly 10,000 pounds. At a maximum speed of Mach 1.6, the Super Hornet is slightly slower than the Hornet’s max of Mach 1.8. According to a Department of Defence release, the Blue Angels Super Hornet conversions will be performed at Boeing’s St. Louis, Missouri, facility. The scheduled completion date for the project is December 2021.
Privateer amphibian makes first flight
After more than ten years in development, the Privateer amphibian made its first successful flight last week. The single-engine pusher from Privateer Industries was designed by John Meekins and Bill Husa. As seen in the video below, the flight went well, although it has been reported that minor instrumentation issues prevented some of the planned testing. The aircraft was flown out of Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX) in Titusville, Florida, by test pilot Harvey Cleveland.
Meekins, who is now CEO of Privateer Industries, described seeing the aircraft fly for the first time as a highlight of his life. He began designing the Privateer after a search for a seaplane to purchase didn’t turn up any results he was happy with. After coming up with the initial design, Meekins brought Bill Husa of Orion Technologies onto the project as Chief Engineer. Husa passed away in 2012 before the prototype was finished.
The Privateer is powered by a 724-HP Walter 601 turbine engine. The prototype’s empty weight is 3,600 pounds, with plans for the production version to be lighter. Performance numbers have not yet been finalized, but the Privateer is expected to cruise at 215 knots, have a service ceiling of 25,000 feet and have a useful load of 2,000 pounds. The goal is for the aircraft to have a 1,000-mile range, with seats for five to six passengers plus the pilot. The company has previously said that it plans to make the Privateer available in both kit-built and, later, certified versions. Expected prices have not yet been announced.
AirVenture: The Diesel Dance
Diesel engines perennial appearances at AirVenture and this year was no exception. This year, the Wisconsin-based start-up EPS, had a press conference. The EPS engine is a high-output diesel capable of up to 450 HP, so it targets high-performance singles and twins, utility aircraft and the UAV market. The company claims to have provisional orders for more than 1000 engines, without saying who the customers are. It’s an innovative 180-degree V-8 configuration with one crankpin sharing two rods, so the engine is shorter. But at 657 pounds installed, it’s still heavier than a gasoline engine on a power-to-weight basis. If the company’s numbers are accurate, it has stunning fuel specifics: 0.32 BSFC compared to 0.35 for the diesels already out there and 0.42 for typical gasoline engines.
Without occupying the minds of the people who buy these engines—and that’s OEMs, not aircraft owners—it’s hard to know how much such sunny numbers sway them, if at all. Consider Cessna’s on-again-off-again but mostly off-again flirt with diesel. It pulled the plug on a Skyhawk diesel in 2007 just as Thielert was about to sink. Then it announced the 182 JT-A in 2012 with the SMA SR305-230 diesel, only to flatline that project in 2015. This spring, Cessna killed the diesel Skyhawk using Continental’s CD-155. Piper is hanging in with its CD-155-powered Archer DX, but it doesn’t appear to be a strong seller. We know Cirrus has flown various diesels in the SR22; we don’t know if they are remotely interested in offering a diesel model.
Along with a few conversions, Diamond still owns what there is of the diesel market, which by my estimation, is about 7 to 9 percent of total new GA piston aircraft. Like the EPS engine, the Austro four-cylinders Diamond developed have impressive fuel specifics and are, bar none, the smoothest running powerplants in piston GA. But they are heavy and more expensive than gasoline engines. But this may not matter to a buyer who can afford a $1.4 million DA62.
Fears about the extinction of leaded avgas were once driving the diesel revolution, especially in the US, but even as the FAA has all but surrendered on an unleaded replacement, I don’t sense much concern. Therefore, diesel engines, especially new, unestablished ones will have a steep uphill slog to gain market share.
Indonesian student pilot attempts to bribe flight examiner
A pilot trainee and a flight examiner in Jakarta, Indonesia have been arrested in connection with an attempt by the trainee to bribe the examiner to obtain a pilot certificate. The Jakarta Post relays a report which indicates that the trainee, identified as GS, offered the examiner, identified as BC in the report, 0.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine in exchange for passing marks on his tests. Both were arrested at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta on 2 August. To obtain a pilot certificate in Indonesia, a trainee must graduate from a flight school, apply to an airline and pass several tests: theory, simulator and real flight.
Air France-KLM woes deepen as Dutch pilots threaten with strike
Like their colleagues at sister company Air France, the pilots at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines threatened to take industrial action if their claims were not satisfied by 17 August 2018. Vereniging Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers (VNV), the main pilot union at KLM, sent a letter to its members explaining that if measures were not taken by parent company Air France-KLM to lighten the workload of its pilots, a strike would be called on 17 August 2018. The letter was published in Dutch media De Telegraaf.
The decision follows failed negotiations on 10 August 2018, after which KLM recognized the situation reached a ‘difficult phase’ resulting in a deadlock. “KLM takes the objections and wishes of its pilots seriously,” says the company in an official statement. “KLM believes that, in combination with the previously negotiated agreement in principle, this package should bring about the desired reduction in work pressure and improvement of the work-life balance of pilots.” The airline refused to disclose the content of the package in order not to interfere with the negotiations. KLM previously tabled a draft agreement including a 4% raise in wage and an increase of holidays starting in 2019. However, the union rejected the proposal, demanding for the measures to be enforced retroactively on the whole year of 2018.
Australia implements new General Aviation maintenance rules
The first step is being taken to develop a set of streamlined new maintenance regulations for Australia’s General Aviation sector. New maintenance regulations will minimise the regulatory burden on General Aviation, keep compliance costs as low as possible and be based on the best practices of other leading aviation nations. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) is commencing development of the new general aviation maintenance regulations by asking the aviation community for views on current challenges and opportunities. Feedback is also sought on existing regulations in the United States, New Zealand, Europe and Canada.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, who announced these reforms recently at a summit in Wagga Wagga, said the approach CASA is taking to the new general aviation maintenance regulations is good news for the aviation community. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said CASA was not seeking to re-invent the wheel with the new General Aviation maintenance regulations. “We know there are tried and tested sets of maintenance regulations used by other leading aviation nations and we want to base our new rules on these as far as is possible,” Mr Carmody said. “These nations have a strong safety record underpinned by well-regarded safety regulation. “I encourage the general aviation community to provide feedback on maintenance issues and the overseas models so we can move forward as quickly as possible in developing the new rules.” The proposed new regulations will cover maintenance for aircraft used in private and aerial work operations. The air transport sector, including charter and regular public transport, is not included.
EPIC world tour helicopter circumnavigation completed
Ninety-seven days from their date of departure, pilots Ruben Dias of Whistler, Vancouver Canada and his co-pilot Mischa Gelb landed their Robinson R66 helicopter back at Whistler Municipal Airport completing the world’s fastest antipode circumnavigation in a helicopter. The Vancouver Courier newspaper reports that the pair landed back at Whistler Municipal on 5 August. The trip was dubbed the EPIC World Tour, for Empowering People Inspiring Change. In geography, the antipode of any spot on Earth is the point on Earth’s surface diametrically opposite to it; the antipodes of a region similarly represent the area opposite it. Dias told the paper that the trip also represented the longest distance trip around the world ever in a helicopter. He said that they are still calculating the exact distance, but he estimates that it will exceed 23,400 nautical miles. During the trip, they visited 42 countries.
Along the way, the pair faced multiple challenges, such as getting a permit to enter Pakistan. That was eventually secured through a conversation between a bellman at a hotel Dubai and a high-ranking Pakistani diplomat who was also staying at the hotel. The purpose of the tour was to promote entrepreneurship and healthy lifestyles. Along the way, Dias and Gelb conducted a series of free, open-to-all conferences targeted at future entrepreneurs. “The helicopter was no random choice. Inside any helicopter cockpit one finds a precise fine-tuned environment with no room for mistakes and little tolerance for blurred focus. Pretty much the same environment you should be grooming inside your own business. Our conferences will show exactly how you can achieve that corporative state of mind,” the team said on its website.
Dias’ venture capital and plant-based food lounge companies sponsored the tour. “It’s important to understand from the get-go that there’s much more to be gained in a world filled with happy, accomplished, healthy people,” Dias said on the website. On their return to Whistler, Dias said the pair was pleased to be home.
Qantas sets new speed record for Perth to London non-stop flight
Qantas Airways has set a new speed record for its QF9 non-stop flight on Boeing 787-9, slicing almost an hour off the scheduled time. The Perth to London and return service, launched earlier this year, has been consistently beating the set schedule in both directions, thanks to favourable summer weather patterns. The new record time of Flight QF9 was set on 20 July 2018 and was just 16 hours 23 minutes instead of the scheduled 17 hours 20 minutes, Airline Ratings reports. Since it was launched in March 2018, Qantas’ non-stop service from Perth to London has consistently logged in at least 45 minutes better time than scheduled.
For instance, the latest flight on that route on 13 August 2018, took just 16 hours 35 minutes to complete. That is compared to the inaugural flight on 24 March 2018, which took 17 hours and 12 minutes for the Qantas Dreamliner to complete. According to Airline Ratings, the inbound Flight QF10 from London to Perth is also setting record times; logging in 15 hours and 45 minutes and slashing an hour off the scheduled time. For instance, on 12 August 2018, the journey took just 15 hours and 47 minutes to complete.
The average speed for Flight QF10 is about 582 m/h (936 km/h) with ground speeds topping out at over 696 m/h (1120 km/h). The typical cruise speed for the Qantas Boeing 787 is 559 m/h (900 km/h) or Mach 0.85 at maximum cruise altitude of 13,106 ft (4 km). Currently Qantas has five 787-9s in its fleet with the sixth being in pre-delivery.
Brazilian Congress must be consulted about Embraer-Boeing union
Rodrigo Maia, president of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil said that the Congress of this country should be consulted about the negotiation between Embraer and Boeing for their possible commercial alliance. “I always defend the idea that, when any state asset is going to be sold, the society has to be heard by the Parliament ,” Maia said in an interview with the Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico.
The preliminary agreement between both parties would result in the creation of a new joint aviation business, of which Boeing would have 80% of the shares, while Embraer would have 20%.
Brazil’s presidential candidates have criticised the agreement for various reasons such as the loss of national jobs and that Embraer’s military and executive divisions that would remain outside the union and would be less competitive. The Brazilian and American companies seek to compete in the market of 100-passenger aircraft with the alliance between Airbus and Bombardier, which officially joined in July 2018 with the acquisition of the C Series programme by the European company, which it renamed as a family A220.
Auxdron Lifeguard Drone rescues swimmers from Spanish beach
As part of the Lifeguard team and now ever present on the beach in the port of Sagunto, Spain, the Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was ready and waiting as one of the Lifeguards sounded the alarm that there were people caught in an undertow and looked like they needed help. This event happened on Wednesday 15 August on a beach known to have strong undertows under certain conditions. The Lifeguard team are well aware of the danger and are trained for these specific situations. One of the most important parts of such a rescue is the response time to the victims. Adrian Plazas and Enrique Fernandez were two Lifeguards who knew this more than most. Together they started a company to design and build a Drone that was capable of saving lives. Three years later their vision was realised when the drone, they developed, saved the life of a woman caught in an undertow that could have cost her life.
Earlier on that afternoon a group of swimmers about 70m from shore realised that they were in an undertow, rapidly being swept out to sea and were unable to return. They managed to signal the Lifeguard in the watchtower and the alarm was sounded. On hearing the alarm the pilot of the Auxdron deployed the drone to the scene.
Communicating with the lifeguard in the tower via radio, the pilot was able to find the distressed swimmers and assess the situation. The pilot Diego Torres told us “Once I heard the alarm I was off, I had a general location but with the help of the lifeguard giving me instructions and the video feed from the drone, we were on top of then within the minute”
The Auxdron has three main functions within a rescue situation. The first is to locate the victims and assess the situation in the least amount of time possible. The drone has the capability, if needed, to deploy two flotation devices that inflate on contact with the water and can be immediately used by the potential victim. Its second function is to clearly identify where the victim is located. By hovering near the victim, the now in transit lifeguards can move towards the location of the drone, knowing that the victim will be nearby. The third function is as a provider of information to the incoming lifeguards as well as the medical team and local police who all have their distinct roles within a rescue. They are all on the same channel and have the same information. The drone can communicate information such as; the number of victims, there perceived condition and their most likely exit point.
As the Drone approached the group the pilot could clearly see that they were in distress. In particular, a lady who was being helped by the other members of the group. The pilot decided to deploy the flotation device. The life vest inflated on contact with the water and because the life vest is attached to the drone, the pilot was able to manoeuvre the life vest directly to the victim. On taking the Life vest, it disconnected from the drone and the victim was able to place it over her head. It was plain to see that she was in a much calmer state once the life vest was placed, she clearly was relieved to know that help was on its way. Moments later two lifeguards on a jet ski was on location and the lady was taken back to shore where the police had already made some space on the beach and medical staff were en route. However, the drones work was not done yet. The pilot remained with the other swimmers in the group who were still in the undertow current and continued to relay information about their condition unit all were safe. The drone is now an integral part of the Lifeguarding team. This rescue was only possible thanks to the Lifeguard team and the hours of training needed to work together so symbiotically. So although this article is about a Drone I would like to show my appreciation to all who risk their lives to save people like us.
Workhorse Group Inc. closes $10.35 million public offering of its common stock
Workhorse Group, which is developing the SureFly hybrid VTOL aircraft and HorseFly drone delivery system, has closed its previously announced underwritten public offering of 9,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $1.15 per share. In addition, Workhorse has granted the underwriter a 45-day over-allotment option to purchase up to 1,350,000 additional shares of its common stock at the public offering price. All of the common stock was offered by the Company. National Securities Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Holdings Corporation acted as sole book running manager for the offering. The gross proceeds from the offering, excluding the exercise of the over-allotment option, were approximately $10.35 million, excluding underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering-related expenses. Workhorse intends to use the net proceeds from the offering primarily for inventory, working capital and general corporate purposes. The prospectus supplement relating to this offering was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 9 August 2018.
Control: “AF1733, You are on an eight mile final for 27R. You have a UH-1 three miles ahead of you on final; reduce speed to 130 knots.”
Pilot: ‘Roger’, Frankfurt. We’re bringing this big bird back to one-hundred and thirty knots fer ya.’
Control: (a few moments later): ‘AF33, helicopter traffic at 90 knots now one and a half miles ahead of you; reduce speed further to 110 knots.’
Pilot: ‘AF thirty-three reining this here bird back further to 110 knots’
Control: ‘AF33, you are three miles to touchdown, helicopter traffic now one mile ahead of you; reduce speed to 90 knots’
Pilot (a little miffed): ‘Sir, do you know what the stall speed of this here C-130 is?’
Control: ‘No, but if you ask your co-pilot, he can probably tell you.’
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
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