“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”
African Pilot’s July edition
The distribution of the July edition of African Pilot is complete and already my inbox is filled with e-mails from readers who are enjoying this new method of online publishing. This edition features Aviation Training Organisations and Flight Schools. In addition to the aviation training feature, this bumper July edition has more than 40 feature articles within 124 pages to keep you entertained. African Pilot is also the only southern African monthly aviation magazine that fully supports the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) by providing a FREE full-page advertisement in every edition.
I also wish to thank our advertisers for their continued support through this terrible COVID-19 lockdown period. Since African Pilot is no longer printing, the digital magazine is available FREE of charge anywhere in the world. However, through this period of just over three months, we have grown African Pilot’s footprint four times over and this will continue as the monthly magazine reaches new dimensions as we continue to grow African Pilot’s influence further.
African Pilot’s August edition
The August edition of African Pilot will feature all the aviation businesses at Lanseria International Airport. Next week Adrian and I will start visiting Lanseria to take pictures and obtain information from as many aviation businesses based at the airport as possible. The material deadline for the August edition is Friday 17 July. For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at e-mail: email@example.com or Cell: 079 880 4359. All editorial material should be sent to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You.
The following are links to all the magazines that African Pilot produced this year so that you can download all the 2020 editions in magazine view format:
WhatsApp your questions or concerns to
+27 (0)60 012 3456
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position 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. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have 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.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
Video of the week: B-1 Bomber in action with stunning footage
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
NOTAMN from the SACAA
Once again, the regulator has sent out an unintelligible NOTAM written in CAPITAL LETTERS, ridiculous abbreviations, spelling errors and repeated text. For this reason, I have translated the most recent NOTAM so that it makes sense to all pilots and operators.
A) FAJA FACA FAJO B)2007031041 C)2007311800 EST
1)The following General Aviation flights are permitted including maintenance related flights as per applicable regulations:
A) Agricultural spraying, cloud spraying seeding and dusting
C) Construction related to aviation
E) Aerial harvesting
F) Aerial patrol, observation and survey
G) Search and rescue
H) Aerial recording by photographic or electronic means
I) Fire spotting, control and fighting
J) Essential services flights
2) Aviation training operations are permitted as Part 141 operations specifications:
A) Full stop landing away from base is allowed providing that no embarkation or disembarkation occurs except in an emergency. After vacating the runway, the aircraft is required to return to the holding point immediately for take-off
3) Skills tests, revalidation checks and six-monthly proficiency checks are permitted
4) All above operations to submit COVID-19 protocol to SACAA for approval prior to operations:
A) COVID-19 signed procedure checklist for aviation training organisation operations to be submitted to personnel licencing e-mail: email@example.com
B) COVID-19 signed procedure checklist for General Aviation operations to be submitted to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
C) Aerial work AOC operations to submit COVID-19 procedure to SACAA for approval prior to operations e-mail: email@example.com
D) All examiners and instructors are required to conduct tests or checks independently of aviation training organisation or operations shall submit COVID-19 signed procedure checklist to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for once off authority.
5) All flights listed above to ensure a copy of the NOTAM, along with the associated documentation to be carried abord the aircraft.
6) Recreation aviation operations are prohibited, except for maintenance related flights and proficiency test flights.
7) Approval for operations defined in 6 needs to be obtained from SACAA, please consult guidance material on SACAA website.
Proficiency (recency) flight requests
Published jointly by CAASA and the Aero Club of South Africa
The webpage will provide access to applications to allow for flights in our various GA / RA disciplines to take place for the maintenance of our flying proficiency, or more specifically ‘recency’, as it will be expected that you are sufficiently proficient to fly in the first place.
The process to be followed will be defined within each discipline as listed below in the header, prior to completing the application. In terms of flying disciplines, all Aero Club sections have been catered for as well as General Aviation. This process supports the intent of the Government Gazette No 43493 dated 2 July 2020 as well as the SACAA General Notice # GAD-2020/003 dated 3 July 2020. Submitting the application will result in an approval e-mail notification, valid for the next seven days with no flying limits (to be printed and available when you fly), after which you can apply for a repeat application as necessary.
Of importance to note is that flying within the constraints as indicated is to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained, thus the protocols you agree to are to be complied with. In this regard proficiency flying will only be allowed to take place from a single airfield or base, i.e. no destinations other than the same airfield or base of operations you departed from. Out landings for touch and go’s will be permitted.
Please go to the following website: www.caasa.co.za/proficiency-recency-flight-requests/
Application for Powered Aircraft (TCA & NTCA) Recency flights
Application for Glider Recency Flights
Application for Hang & Paragliding & Powered Para-gliding Recency flights
Application for Ballooning Recency flights
Application for Parachuting Recency
Application for Para-drop Flights in Support of Parachuting Operations
For Model Flying – visit the SAMAA website
CAA General Notice # GAD-2020/003
A short history of NOTAMS
The term NOTAM came into common use rather than the more formal notice to airmen following the ratification of the CICA, which came into effect on 4 April 1947. Notices to airmen were normally published in a regular publication by each country’s air authorities. A number of developments and amendments to the CICA have resulted in the more automated system available today. A notice to airmen (NOTAM) is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. NOTAMs are unclassified notices or advisories distributed by means of telecommunication that contain information concerning the establishment, conditions or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel and systems concerned with flight operations. NOTAMs are created and transmitted by government agencies and airport operators under guidelines specified by Annex 15: Aeronautical Information Services of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (CICA).
In July 2017, Air Canada Flight 759 nearly crashed into four other airliners as it attempted to land on a San Francisco taxiway misidentified as a runway: the next runway was closed but the information was buried in the NOTAM. In September 2018, the NTSB stated NOTAMs were unintelligible and ignored, and recommended a more effective information presentation for better relevance. Flight planning applications for electronic flight bag can help decipher and better organize NOTAMs. The following describes ICAO NOTAMs. NOTAMs are published using all upper-case letters, which are claimed by some to make NOTAMs difficult to read. Note that some countries such as the United States may diverge from the following ICAO standards.
Since NOTAMs were developed around the older telex systems back in 1947, is it not about time that ICAO and regulators around the word adopted a modern, readable and intelligible system to works for today’s aviators?
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Henley Air – independent South African HEMS partner of choice
As a uniquely non-aligned HEMS provider, we offer the EMS industry in South Africa a totally unaffiliated and independent helicopter ambulance service of unmatched quality. Our in-house call centre is standing by to render immediate round the clock assistance in any situation.
ROCKET HEMS has more than five years’ worth of HEMS experience, in South Africa’s three major cities. To date we have flown 3,460 air ambulance missions amounting to over 5,000 flight hours.
With a proven track record of a safe and reliable HEMS service, innovative and unique service offerings and highly trained crew, ROCKET is your HEMS provider of choice in South Africa. The Bell 222 UT’s have set a new standard in the industry with regards to twin engine safety, internal space and long range, in excess of 320 nautical miles.
Current flight hour requirements for flight crew appointments are:
• Co-pilot night: 1,000 hours total, 20 hours on-type and 150 hours night, 10 training flights and NVG conversion of five hours.
• Commander day: As per co-pilot, as well as 1,500 total, 50 hours on type, 500 hours turbine and 50 HEMS flights as co-pilot.
• Commander night: As per day command, including ATPL / IFR with 2,000 hours total time, 100 hours on type and 150 hours at night.
All pilots have to conform to six-monthly OPCs, annual line checks and licence revalidations, along with a further requirement for IFR rated pilots to comply with 90-day recency training in our very own in-house SACAA approved simulator. In 2017 we became the first HEMS operator in South Africa to establish a SACAA approved NVG training programme for night flying. This not only dramatically improved the safety of night flight operations but also increased the number of night flights by 75%. ROCKET is proud to be the trendsetter with regards to NVG operations in South Africa.
Contact Cell: 087 288 5555 We would love to hear from you!
HENSOLDT South Africa acquires Tellumat’s ATM and Defence business units
HENSOLDT South Africa and Tellumat have business areas that complement each other, including sensors and communications, particularly for unmanned aerial vehicles and other airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. The acquired activities represent a workforce of more than 100 people across offices in Cape Town and Pretoria, with demonstrated expertise in a range of capabilities complementing HENSOLDT South Africa’s offering. Tellumat’s defence and security portfolio covers identification friend or foe (IFF) systems, tactical communications (including radio and video links) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, including a full suite of data links and avionics. Its Air Traffic Management portfolio includes the supply, installation and maintenance of radar, navigational, voice communication and runway lighting systems for military and civilian airports.
Tellumat was established in 1963 as Plessey South Africa and became Tellumat in 1998. Over the decades it has built up vast skills and experience that have created a rich history and heritage. “While this new relationship advances the legacy of Tellumat’s well-proven and innovative products, services and solutions, it also further expands the sales reach of the acquired business units through the global footprint of the HENSOLDT Group,” Connold said.
The transaction is in line with HENSOLDT South Africa’s aims to see targeted growth and expansion as the company focusses on both the local and international markets. Since HENSOLDT South Africa was formed in September 2019 as the brand housing HENSOLDT Optronics and GEW, it remains deeply committed to investing in the growth of its footprint in South Africa and the acquisition of the Tellumat business units is an example of that commitment.
Celia Pelaz, HENSOLDT Group Executive responsible for South Africa said that, “This acquisition is a further step in the HENSOLDT Group’s commitment to continue to invest in South Africa and to grow HENSOLDT South Africa as one of its home countries”. Pelaz added that, “We are leveraging the power of the HENSOLDT brand to expand its global footprint and open new market opportunities for the South African business.”
The Tellumat transaction proves that HENSOLDT South Africa is well positioned to achieve its goal of becoming the leading sensor solution and defence electronics house in the region. HENSOLDT believes that international investment and cooperation utilising local infrastructure, skills and capacity is a proven recipe for local economic growth and business success.
What is scheduled for the next few months?
African Pilot’s 2020 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.
In view of this dreadful COVID-19 situation, I have decided to suspend the publication of aviation events for the present, since there is no point in repeating what we have published over the past two months. Instead we will concentrate on the 2020 aviation events that have not been scrubbed at this stage.
Airport Show is hosting a series of free to attend webinars. This is the opening session of Airport Show Insights at 15h00 UAE time. Sign up today: https://bit.ly/2YwPndy
#AirportShowWebinar #freetoattend #CPDCertified #AirportShow #AirportSecurityME#ATCForum July
10 and 11 July
EAA Taildraggers at Warmbaths airfield
Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 490 6227
Due to the continued COVID-19 situation this event has been postponed by a month. African Pilot will keep everyone advised when the ned date has been set by the organisers.
CAASA Association or Southern Africa Aerospace Traders and Allied Industries AGM
This is to be a Zoom meeting Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 063 717 3460
EAA Flying Legend Talk Show 18h30 with Karl Jensen
EAA of SA Auditorium Team E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 259 7691
Eventually, we will be able to enjoy an interview of Karl Jensen hosted by Scully Levin. We have been waiting for this Talk Show long before the March 2020 date that was set for the event before lockdown. Even with the current restrictions, we have joined the revolution and for the time being, will be hosting Talk Shows virtually, until such a time that we are able to gather at the Auditorium in person. Diarise now and we will keep you informed and circulate the meeting details to all members at a later stage.
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting to be a zoom meeting
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 and 7 August
SAC National Championships New Tempe – Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
Due to the continued COVID-19 situation this event has been postponed by a month. The provisional new dates have been set as 29 September to 3 October
SAC full day airshow New Tempe – Bloemfontein
Contact Conrad Botha E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 465 4045
Due to the continued COVID-19 situation this event has been postponed until Saturday 3 October.
8 to 10 August
SAPFA Rally Training Camp at Brits airfield
Contact Mary de Klerk E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 880 9000
11 to 14 August
NAMPO Harvest Day at NAMPO Park outside Bothaville new date!
Contact Bennie Zaayman, Wim Venter: E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za Cell 082 414 8099
Due to COVID-19 this event has been cancelled for 2020
Contact Stephan Fourie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the continued COVID-19 situation this event has been postponed by a month. African Pilot will keep everyone advised when the new date has been set by the organisers.
21 & 22 August
SAPFA Middelburg Speed Rally Middelburg airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 855 9435
27 and 28 August
Africa Drone Conference virtual conference by means of a webinar
Contact Tel: 011 886 0433 Website: www.vukanicomms.co.za
Sling Aircraft breakfast fly-in at Tedderfield airfield
Contact Shanelle McKechnie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 066 224 2128
4 to 6 September
EAA Sun ‘n Fun and Fun Rally Groblersdal airfield
Contact Karl Jensen E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 331 4652
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
Rand Airshow E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Stuart Coetzee Tel: 011 827 8884 Cell 082 444 0407
Due to COVID-19 and the problem of social distancing this airshow has been cancelled
11 and 12 September
SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally at Secunda airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 855 9435
16 to 20 September
Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition AFB Waterkloof Pretoria
Contact Leona Redlinghuis E-mail: email@example.com
Due to the continued COVID-19 situation this event has been cancelled for 2020 and will be re-scheduled in 2022.
Great Train Race and Fly-in to Heidelberg airfield – Heritage Day
Contact Van Zyl Schultz E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 560 2275
Garden Route airshow at George Airport
Contact Brett Scheuble E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 418 3836
SAPFA Witbank Fun Rally at Witbank airfield
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
3 and 4 October
SAC Western Cape Regionals Swellendam airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
3 and 4 October
Newcastle airshow at Newcastle airfield
Contact Johan Pieters E-mail: Johan@champ.co.za Cell: 082 923 0078
18 and 19 October
Aviation Mena 2020 Hilton Cairo Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt
Contact Alison Weller E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aviationmena.aero
24 and 25 October
SAC North West Regionals at Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
26 to 28 October
Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC Forum DWTC, Dubai
Registration is now open for Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC
Forum. FREE registration: https://bit.ly/2SnJ33S
SAPFA Landing Championships at Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Ron Stirk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 445 0373
9 to 14 November
SAPFA World Rally Championships Training week – Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
CAASA Awards at CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 659 2345
15 to 20 November
SAPFA World Rally Flying Championships in Stellenbosch
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
Or Mary de Klerk E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Cell 084 880 9000
27 and 28 November
SAPFA Speed Rally at Springs airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082855 9435
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards at Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 082 1100
5 and 6 December
SAC Ace of Base at Baragwanath airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
African Pilot’s 2020 calendar
As further dates are sent to me, I will continue to update the aviation calendar.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Rwandan Air Force to receive two Caravan aircraft
Within the next 18 months the Rwanda Air Force will take delivery of two Cessna C208 Caravan aircraft, which will be used for medical evacuation and other tasks. In September 2019 the United States issued a draft request for proposals for the acquisition of medical evacuation aircraft for Rwanda and on 24 June this year the Department of Defence announced that ATI Engineering Services of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, had been awarded a $10 million contract for Rwanda’s Grand Caravan EX acquisition. In September 2018, the US Air Force first announced that Rwanda was to receive two new aircraft for medical evacuation and light transport, primarily during United Nations international peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. Rwanda’s first peacekeeping contribution was to Sudan in 2005. According to the United Nations, Rwanda contributes more than 6 500 military and police officers to UN peacekeeping missions.
Missile protection system for African presidential Boeing 737
Israel’s Bird Aerosystems delivered its Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) to a VIP customer in Africa. On 24 June the company said the AMPS system includes an AeroShield POD and MACS sensor. It did not specify which country had ordered the missile protection system, but only around half a dozen African nations fly Boeing 737s (mostly in Boeing Business Jet configuration) for presidential and VIP transport. According to the Scramble aviation society’s database, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia fly presidential / government Boeing 737s, with most of these being operated by their respective air forces.
Bird Aerosystems said the AeroShield POD is designed to be fitted onto wide-body aircraft and includes a Missile Launch Detection Sensors (MILDS), Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS), Flare Dispensers and an inertial measurement unit (IMU). It can be easily transferred between different aircraft. The AeroShield pod can use both Bird’s SPREOS directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system and flares. The Bird Aerosystems Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS) inputs data from passive electro-optical sensors to confirm a missile is approaching and slews to the direction of the incoming threat and verifies the threat’s validity. MACS also collects relevant information on the target (velocity and distance) and calculates its time-to-impact.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Jetstar 787 biocide treatment led to dual engine thrust roll-back
Japanese investigators believe biocide treatment of fuel on a Jetstar Airways Boeing 787-8 led to the aircraft’s losing thrust in both engines during a service to Osaka’s Kansai airport two days later. The aircraft (VH-VKJ) had departed Cairns on 29 March last year. As it descended through 16,100 feet (4,900m) towards Kansai, the crew started to receive instability indications from the right-hand General Electric GEnx-1B engine. These were followed by a failure message for the left-hand engine a few minutes later, at about 11,800 feet (3,600m) and then a similar failure message for the right-hand engine. Both messages subsequently disappeared. But the aircraft systems recorded that the left engine had been operating below idle thrust for 8s and the right engine for 81s. As a result of the right engine’s unstable performance, the crew disengaged the right-hand autothrottle and set the right-hand thrust lever to ‘idle’. The jet landed safely at Kansai about 20 minutes later and none of the 313 occupants was injured.
Japan Transport Safety Board investigators found that an accumulation of magnesium salts had impeded the movement of spools within the engines, destabilising the fuel metering and leading to engine speed oscillations sufficient to dip temporarily below idle. Similar oscillations, not large enough to be detected had been occurring on the aircraft since it underwent biocide treatment at Auckland two days before the incident. The biocide was introduced by uplifting 25,000kg of fuel to the centre tank, plus 4,000kg to the left-wing tank and 3,500kg to the right-wing tank. Owing to differing quantities of residual fuel already present in each wing tank, the concentration of biocide for this additionally uplifted fuel had to be individually calculated in order to achieve the 100ppm required.
The inquiry says a concentration of 250ppm was needed for the left tank and 285ppm for the right. But it says there was ‘no record’ of the actual calculation made, or the dosage used, during the treatment. “It is desirable to keep these records because they are considered to be important for traceability of maintenance work,” it points out. The investigators also believe that the added fuel, with the higher biocide concentrations, “did not mix evenly” with the residual fuel in the tanks before being fed to the engines.
This failure to achieve even distribution could have been influenced by fuel temperature and density, as well as the interior structure of the tanks, but the inquiry could not determine how much of the fuel was not mixed. All three fuel tanks were treated with Kathon FP 1.5, a biocide which has since been withdrawn from aviation use following other engine thrust incidents.
Pilot hits post during go around
The pilot decided to land on a gravel strip in Cantwell, Alaska, to wait out weather ahead. During the landing roll, the tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-18 became airborne after passing over a low spot on the gravel. The pilot increased engine power to full to perform a go-around, but the right wing hit a 10-foot-tall post, which he had not seen and the airplane hit the ground.
NTSB factual report: Piper PA-38
The pilot reported that after a stabilised approach to land, during the touchdown a gust of wind caused the left wing to raise and go ‘vertical’ or ‘knife edge.’ He immediately applied full power to go-around. However, the airplane was banking and drifting to the right and before the airplane could climb, it impacted terrain to the right of the runway and skidded down a ravine. The left and right wings sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane. About the time of the accident the weather observation at the airport included wind from a heading of 320° at 9 knots, gusting to 18 knots. The calculated crosswind component for the landing on runway 5 was 14 knots.
Jet blast bends Piper
The pilot reported that, during the landing roll at the airport in Hillsboro, Ohio, the tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-22 exited the runway to the left, hit a runway light and hit a ditch. The left main landing gear separated from the airplane and the plane came to rest nose down. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left lower fuselage and left wing. The pilot sustained minor injuries in the crash. The pilot added that, while he was at the departure airport before the flight, due to jet blast, he was blown off a ladder during the pre-flight inspection and that the airplane’s tail section was ‘picked’ up and slammed several times onto the ground. He examined the airplane and did not find any anomalies. He said there was no control issues or anomalies during take-off but that, during the flight to the accident airport, he felt the airplane was out of trim. The FAA inspector reported that, during a post-accident examination, he could not determine if the damage to the tailwheel was sustained before the accident or when the airplane hit the ditch.
Pilot’s recklessness fatal for two
The Cessna 172 had completed an aerial photography mission with a pilot and passenger aboard and was en route to the destination airport. Video and photographic evidence obtained from two devices; a Garmin Aera 560 portable GPS device and a GoPro Hero 4 action camera located in the wreckage near Rotan, Texas and an online social media post indicated that the pilot was operating the airplane at high speeds and low altitudes during the accident flight. Photographs taken from within the airplane showed the canyon, wooden poles and suspended power lines that the plane eventually hit. In the final image retrieved from the GoPro camera, the airplane was in a moderate left bank at a similar altitude as the surrounding canyon and power lines and was heading toward the power lines.
Given the image timestamp, the recorded time of the final GPS point and the relative distance from the final GPS location and the accident site, it is likely that the final image from the GoPro camera depicted the canyon and wires that were struck. The airplane then hit terrain and came to rest in a canyon about 900 feet from the location where the power lines crossed the canyon. Both people on board the plane died in the crash. A large portion of power line cable was found wrapped around the engine’s crankshaft about 15 times, indicating that the engine was operating at considerable power output when the crash occurred.
Toxicological testing showed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, as well as the inactive metabolites of cocaine in the pilot’s blood and urine specimens. No active cocaine was found in the pilot’s blood specimens, so it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired by cocaine. Although the pilot likely had a low level of active THC in his system, it is unlikely that impairment from this low level of THC contributed to the circumstances of this accident. The available evidence indicated that the pilot intentionally conducted low-level flight through a canyon without recognising that power lines crossed the canyon, which led to the airplane’s impact with power lines and subsequent impact with terrain.
Paper towel left in engine results in catastrophic engine failure
The private pilot reported that, as he approached the airport in the Beech V35, he noted ‘sudden and severe noise and vibration’ and ‘a stream of grey smoke from under the right side of the engine cowling,’ followed by a loss of engine power. He made a forced landing near Katy, Texas and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing.
Post-accident engine examination revealed two holes in the top of the crankcase near the Nos. 3 and 4 cylinders. A teardown examination of the engine revealed that the No. 4 connecting rod had failed due to oil starvation, which resulted in a catastrophic engine failure. Foreign debris, which was similar to a paper towel, was recovered from the engine oil sump and the oil pickup screen. Most of the screen area was obstructed by the debris, which had interrupted the oil flow from the sump to the engine.
The airplane maintenance records noted that the alternator and alternator drive gear were replaced about eight weeks before the accident. The engine had been operated about 24 hours since the alternator replacement. The starter and starter adapter were replaced the day before the accident flight. The engine had been operated about 15 minutes since the most recent maintenance work was performed. It is likely that maintenance personnel left the paper towel in the engine during the recent maintenance work, which resulted in oil starvation, the failure of the connecting rod and the catastrophic engine failure and subsequent total loss of engine power.
Cross-country flight fatal for two in Alaska
The commercial pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight in the Piper PA-18-150 with a passenger. After the airplane failed to arrive at the intended destination, an extensive search was launched. The plane was located on a knoll consisting of trees and muskeg near Delta Junction, Alaska, three days after it took off from a private airstrip. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. Both the pilot and passenger died in the crash.
A review of archived weather information for the area about the estimated time of the accident revealed a ceiling between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet above ground level with forward visibility between 6 and 10 statute miles. Post-accident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Based on the available evidence, the investigation could not determine the exact cause of the accident. The emergency locator transmitter was found in the ‘OFF’ position, which prevented the beacon from activating and producing an audible signal and may have contributed to the length of the search.
SAAF C130 involved in runway excursion at AFB Ysterplaat
On Sunday morning a South African Air Force (SAAF) C-130BZ Hercules ended up off the runway after landing at AFB Ysterplaat. The 28 Squadron aircraft, believed to be serial 405, had just landed in a northerly direction at the Cape Town airbase and was turning around at the end of the runway in order to taxy to the apron. During the turn, the nose wheel went off the runway, its main wheels creating furrows parallel to the runway. Rain during the previous few days resulted in the ground becoming soft and the wheels sank into the soil.
Fortunately, the cargo aircraft was not damaged, but photos show the propeller of the number four engine in the feathered position. Two Rosenbauer fire engines were used to pull the aircraft back onto the runway. It was reported that the aircraft subsequently took off from AFB Ysterplaat at 18h00 for its return flight to AFB Waterkloof.
After 57 years in service, 2020 is turning into a difficult year for SAAF Hercules aircraft. Hercules 403 ran off a wet runway in the DRC in January this year, causing it to catch fire, resulting in the aircraft being the first Hercules to be written-off in SAAF service due to an accident. Then in April, whilst Denel was returning Hercules 405 after major servicing to the SAAF, the nose wheel retracted during engine start-up, resulting in the nose of the aircraft settling onto the ground. It appeared that no damage was caused as the aircraft re-entered service a short time later.
Operated by 28 Squadron, the SAAF currently only has the budget to keep one C-130 Hercules operational at any time. The transport aircraft is in high demand, supporting Operation NOTLELA, the SANDF mission in support to Government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as the SANDF contingent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Boeing 737 MAX resumes flight testing
Boeing completed the first of the three expected test flight sessions today on the road to lifting the 737 MAX’s grounding, in place for 15 months. Last week’s three test flights took a 737 MAX from Boeing Field in Seattle to the company’s test facility in Moses Lake, Washington. The 1 hour, 21-minute flight included manoeuvres to the south of Moses Lake, below 15,000 feet. A second, 37-minute flight remained in the area at low altitude and with a groundspeed as low as 142 knots, according to flight data visible on FlightAware. The third flight of the day left Moses Lake and maneuverered in the area for more than an hour before the flight turned northwest and returned to Boeing Field.
According to the FAA, “The certification flights are expected to take approximately three days. They will include a wide array of flight manoeuvres and emergency procedures to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards. The tests are being conducted by test pilots and engineers from the FAA and Boeing.” “Over the past several weeks the FAA has been reviewing the system safety assessment submitted by Boeing,” the agency continued in a statement. “The FAA’s Type Inspection Authorisation Board has completed its review, clearing the way for flight certification testing to begin. While the certification flights are an important milestone, a number of key tasks remain. The FAA is following a deliberate process and will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work. We will lift the grounding order only after we are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.”
Boeing has tested changes to MCAS programming already; these flights were to prove to the FAA that the changes were effective. Among the alterations from original specification, the new MCAS software is said to require agreement between the two separate angle-of-attack sensors on the aircraft, whilst it is supposed to have limits on the amount of stabiliser trim it can bring to bear. Other MCAS changes are said to make it easier for flight crews to disable the system in the event of a malfunction.
Norwegian cancels all remaining Boeing orders
Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it would cancel its pending order for 92 Boeing 737 MAX and five Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. The airline reiterated its will to receive compensation for the losses generated by the 737 MAX grounding and the 787 Dreamliner Rolls-Royce engine problems.
“Norwegian has engaged in a commercial dialogue with Boeing with a view to resolving its 787 and 737 MAX issues and obtaining compensation for its losses,” the carrier revealed in a statement. “The dialogue has not yet led to an agreement with reasonable compensation for the Company.” In addition to the disruption of its operations, Norwegian wants to be reimbursed of the deposits already paid for the cancelled planes.
The airline had announced as early as March 2019 that it would ‘send the bill’ to Boeing after it had been forced to ground its fleet of 18 737 MAX 8s. Previously, after seeing its Dreamliners affected by engine problems, Norwegian also managed to reach an agreement with Rolls-Royce in late December 2018. The engine manufacturer was due to repay the carrier €100 million for the technical challenges it faced.
Already in great financial difficulties at the beginning of 2020, Norwegian was also hit hard by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As it was on the verge of bankruptcy, the company secured $300 million in state aid guarantee in May 2020, along with the conversion of part of its existing debt and its financial commitments into new shares.
The news came on the same day that Boeing successfully carried out the first test flights for the recertification of its 737 MAX, in the lead-up to the plane’s return to service after 14 months of global grounding. The three-day flight campaign aims at testing the updated MCAS that initially caused the two crashes that killed 346 people.
Airbus job cuts imminent
With production cuts at Airbus of around 40% coming, as indicated by the company’s chief executive officer, unions stated that job cuts at the manufacturer are imminent. Airbus’ CEO Guillaume Faury expects the company to deliver 40% fewer aircraft in the next two years, as airlines are dealing with the financial fallout of COVID-19. Faury expects 2019-levels of production to return only in 2025, based on market studies and discussions with customers.
Faury added that job cuts would only be announced in late-July, as the company wished to discuss the situation with its unions first. However, union representatives warn that redundancies might be imminent. “Airbus will announce measures that could have strong employment consequences,” Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) union official Xavier Petrachi told Reuters. Petrachi added that the manufacturer’s employees would refuse involuntary layoff schemes.
The French government introduced a $16.8 billion (€15 billion) aid package to the industry to save over 100,000 jobs, according to France’s Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire. Despite the massive package, including local governments supporting businesses in countries where Airbus also operates, Faury stated that “no one can compensate for the failure of hundreds of aircraft that are not delivered every year.” Previously, it was rumoured that Airbus was looking to cut as many as 10,000 jobs at its factories throughout Europe to preserve cash.
NBAA cancels 2020 NBAA-BACE
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced the cancellation of its 2020 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which was scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida between 6 and 8 October. The cancellation is based on clear guidance from public health officials at all levels of government addressing the unique, complex COVID-19 related challenges associated with large indoor venues. For example, the Florida Department of Health has recently issued an advisory recommending that individuals avoid participation in gatherings of more than 50 people. In addition, numerous states, including Florida, have onerous travel restrictions in place, and flights to and from many international countries are banned. These restrictions make it not only difficult, but in many cases impossible, for individuals and companies to participate in the world’s largest business aviation event. The 2021 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition will take place from 12 to 14 October in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Embraer delivers 1,600th E-Jet, Helvetic Airways to resume operations with milestone E190-E2
Last week Embraer celebrated the delivery of its 1,600th E-Jet, an E190-E2. Helvetic Airways of Switzerland received the milestone aircraft on 1 July 2020. Airlines and leasing companies from some 50 countries have added Embraer E-Jets to their fleets since the first-generation jets entered revenue service in 2004. The new, highly fuel-efficient second-generation E-Jets family, the E2s, started flying with airlines in 2018. Helvetic Airways is currently transitioning from a fleet of first-generation E-Jets to E2s. The carrier received its first E190-E2 in October 2019 and has added four more since as part of its fleet renewal programme. Helvetic flies the airplanes in a 110-seat single-class configuration on domestic and international routes. The carrier has firm orders for 12 E190-E2s and purchase rights for a further 12 E190-E2s with conversion rights to the E195-E2, bringing the total potential order to 24 E2 aircraft.
UV 20 gathers 250 participants from twelve NATO nations
NATO Allies joining this year’s Unified Vision (UV) event concluded the second week of the operational evaluation of Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities across the Alliance. This year’s event UV 20 is using geographically dispersed capabilities and virtual assessment teams to demonstrate that NATO is taking steps to improve its strategic anticipation and situational awareness. The UV series is NATO’s main event to practice and evaluate technical and operational concepts for conducting Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in NATO operations. Using networks that NATO and Allies operate to connect collective and national Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities, the results of the UV 20 operational evaluation will guide further development of NATO capabilities in this domain.
Linking data from various resources such as maritime surveillance assets, airborne synthetic aperture radars, full motion video from aircraft and commercial satellite imagery, up to twenty intelligence cells from participating countries across Europe and North America are able to receive the UV 20 data live, or in near real time. Participants are using intelligence processing, exploitation and dissemination systems in a collaborative and dynamic manner, in order to create analytical insights and to put into practice lessons learned during the last decade of operating together.
“Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance is a critical capability, now more important than ever, as we face multiple threats. UV 20 is a unique contribution to the development of our capabilities, providing the opportunity to connect with other Allies, to analyse data and to share information to a maximum effect. It demonstrates the value of burden-sharing among Allies and the value of coordinating the use of intelligence analysis and distribution capabilities from across the Alliance”, said Camille Grand, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment. UV 20 was held from 15 to 26 June. Unified Vision events take place on a bi-annual basis to evaluate challenges in how Allies collect and share ISR data. The first Unified Vision event was in 2012.
Space Perspective to offer very high-altitude balloon flights
Space Perspective has announced plans to fly passengers and research payloads to the edge of space with its Spaceship Neptune, a high-performance balloon and pressurised capsule. The human ‘space flight’ company plans to launch from the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, with the first un-crewed test flight scheduled in early 2021. Flown by a pilot, Neptune takes up to eight passengers called ‘Explorers’ on a six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back, where only 20 people have been before. It will carry people and research payloads on a two-hour gentle ascent above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet, where it cruises above the Earth for up to two hours allowing passengers to share their experience via social media and with their fellow Explorers. Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers, the capsule and the balloon. Neptune’s commercial human spaceflight launches are regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.
Science and education are also core to Space Perspective’s mission and the company is working with researchers, educators and students from academic institutions and organisations. Payloads are already being manifested to fly on the first test flight in 2021. Neptune is suited for research areas of interest including:
• Atmospheric science that could shed light on Earth’s climate and air systems
• Astro- and solar-physics to illuminate understanding of the universe
• Astrobiology to explore the limits of life on the planet and beyond
Space Perspective has signed a lease agreement with Space Florida, the state’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, to locate its first Operations Center at the Midline Building at the Launch and Landing Facility (LLF), formerly known as the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). Space Florida currently operates and manages the LLF and accompanying facilities under a 30-year property agreement with NASA.
Space Perspective and NASA have entered into a Space Act Agreement under which NASA may provide uniquely capable services available at KSC to Space Perspective on a reimbursable basis. In addition to launching from KSC, Space Perspective will launch from Cecil Spaceport in Florida, and is planning to have future launch sites around the world, including Alaska, Hawaii and several international spaceports.
Virgin Australia has new owners
Virgin Australia’s woes are seemingly over, as the airline that entered administration in April 2020, found its hero to save it from liquidation. US based investment firm, Bain Capital announced that it entered into an agreement with the carrier’s administrators to become the new owners and operators of Virgin Australia. The debt-ridden carrier entered administration during the peak of the COVID-19 in aviation when the majority of airlines around the world were grounded. Despite the very unfriendly environment for investors, Deloitte, the administrators of Virgin Australia, indicated that they received over 20 bids for the airline. The finalists of the bidding process were the newly enacted owners Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners, another investment firm based in the United States.
Virgin Australia’s unions, including the Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA) and Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association (ALAEA), have publicly expressed their support for Cyrus’ bids. The company was “not dipping their toes in aviation,” stated FAAA secretary Teri O’Toole. Cyrus Capital was one of the firms involved in the Connect Airways consortium that purchased the now-bankrupt regional airline in the United Kingdom, Flybe. Furthermore, Cyrus was also involved in Virgin America’s operations. In 2018, Virgin America merged into Alaskan Airlines’ operations.
AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle performs its maiden flight
The Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) T-5 Brave Eagle, a supersonic advanced jet trainer, performed its very first flight. On June 10, the first prototype of the Brave Eagle took off from the Ching Chuan Kang air base near the city of Taichung, Taiwan. The sortie lasted 20 minutes, in which, as Taiwanese media reports, the T-5 did not raise its landing gear.
The official first flight of the aircraft was expected to be carried out on 22 June this year. Should the operation of the aircraft be as expected, the pre-production of it is to begin in November 2021. Three years after the full production begins in 2023, it is predicted that 66 copies of AIDC T-5 will be delivered either to the Taiwanese Air Force or to the ROCAF. The jet is inspired by the twin-set version of the F-CK-1 and shares the same engine. However, it does have its own unique genesis. Comparing to the F-CK-1, among other changes, the T-5 is a little larger, has an increased fuel capacity and thicker wings to ensure better stability at low speed and altitude.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Airflow unveils eSTOL cargo concept
On Wednesday, Urban Air Mobility (UAM) start up Airflow introduced its new electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) cargo vehicle concept. According to the company, the unnamed fixed-wing aircraft will require less than 150 feet to take-off and land and will be capable of carrying up to 500 pounds of cargo. The single-pilot eSTOL is aimed at the middle-mile logistics market and is expected to have a range of 250 miles plus reserves. “The demand for same-day e-commerce continues to rise, and we’re building a new low-cost aerial capability to enable that growth,” said Airflow co-founder and CEO Marc Ausman. “Our approach from the beginning is to focus on a simple aircraft design with well-defined new technology. In doing so, the team believes development and certification costs will be approximately $200MM versus more than $700MM for an eVTOL aircraft, making for more efficient use of capital.”
Airflow says it intends to pursue certification for its eSTOL aircraft under Part 23 regulations. The company is targeting 2025 for the start of production. Based in California, Airflow was founded in 2019 by a group of five former members of Airbus’ Vahana eVTOL team.
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until Thursday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)