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African Pilot’s October 2018 edition
The main feature of the October edition is African Pilot’s annual AMOs and Refurbishment feature. In addition, this edition carries a report on the Rand and Bethlehem airshows, the Royal International Air Tattoo and Airvan 8 operations at Maun International Airport, Botswana. I had the opportunity to spend valuable time with many Cape Town aviation businesses over the past week and I was encouraged by the interest that African Pilot received in this part of South Africa. There is no doubt that a well designed and superbly produced monthly aviation magazine has significant popularity and I wish to thank the many people with whom I interacted over the four days for their valuable input to ensure that African Pilot is the ‘most respected’ and best produced monthly aviation magazine in the African market.
African Pilot's November 2018 edition
This edition will feature Cape Town airports as well as Gifts for Pilots. In addition we will feature a report on the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition that was staged at AFB Waterkloof last week. The closing date for this edition is on Wednesday 3 October 2018.
For advertising positions, contact Lara Bayliss Cell: 079 880 4359 Tel: 0861 001130 or e-mail: email@example.com
What has changed 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
FlyDOO Light Sport Balloons
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Bat Hawk zipline accident
On Friday morning Bat Hawk ‘Mafolodi’ flew into the Sun City zipline. Fortunately pilot Peter and wife Mary were not hurt in the accident, but apparently the aircraft was ‘hung up’ by one engine propeller bolt for several hours. The pilot of the plane and his spotter, both in their 60s, were carrying out an anti-rhino poaching patrol. They were left dangling at 330 feet above the terrain after the cable lodged itself on a bolt under the propeller. Rescuer Rob Thomas (51), climbed down the zip wire on his own and pulled the terrified couple out alive. It is understood that the Bat Hawk will be recovered later.
Hangar fire at Pietersburg Civil Airfield
It was reported that five aircraft and a boat were completely destroyed in a hangar fire at the airfield. It is understood that one of the aircraft was being refuelled at the time inside the hangar, which very dangerous and should never happen. The risk of a static spark is always present and whilst refuelling pilots should always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach. In addition, refuelling from a plastic container is extremely dangerous due to the static build up and the fact that it is almost impossible to earth a plastic container. African Pilot will undertake some research on refuelling hazards for a feature article to be published in the November edition of the magazine.
The world’s leading trade show for General Aviation comes to South Africa
African Pilot has partnered with AERO South Africa to promote and market this show for General Aviation in southern Africa, therefore we will be bring you regular updates and information about the exhibition as they come to hand.
The AERO South Africa 2019 exhibition will be hosted at Wonderboom National Airport between 4 and 6 July 2019 and is poised to be Africa’s largest general aviation trade show. The event will expose visitors to the latest advances, developments, products and services from exhibitors in the aviation industry. From ultralights and gliders to business jets, helicopters and electric aircraft, as well as avionics and maintenance, companies will be afforded the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge products and services.
AERO South Africa gives your company the opportunity to:
- Interact with industry professionals and buyers
- Generate new sales leads
- Nurture relationships and interact with your customers
- Create brand awareness
- Launch new products and services to the industry
Meet with leading industry experts, enthusiasts, aviation companies, flight training schools, pilots, business jet owners and private aircraft owners over three days of excitement, demonstrations and face-to-face business meetings.
What are the FOUR focus areas for AERO South Africa?
- Test flight facilities that will also enable fly-in of visitors
- An affordable, engaging and diverse platform for manufacturers and suppliers
- Visitors can keep abreast and get acquainted with the latest products available to the industry
- Workshops and experimental zones to showcase industry developments whilst experiencing the latest innovations.
Interested in booking space at AERO South Africa?
Please contact one of our team members below should you have any questions.
Shaun Swart e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +27 10 599 6167
Jan-Paul Nel e-mail: email@example.com Tel: +27 82 511 6501
King Shaka airport a hive of activity as bees ground plane
The King Shaka International Airport in Durban was abuzz with flying creatures of a different kind after a swarm of bees moved into an aircraft engine on Sunday. According to Mango spokesperson Sergio dos Santos, the bees populated the engine of one of its passenger airplanes in less than 25 minutes. The ground crew reported the hive of activity and beekeepers were summoned to relocate the insects.
The situation resulted in three flights being delayed, said Dos Santos.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
EAA Chapter 322 meeting. Dicky Fritz Moth Hall, Edenvale.
Contact Clive King Cell: 082 850 4141
Neil Bowen and Athol Franz will present EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh 2018
SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally Secunda Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 855 9435
EAA Flying Legends Talk Show Frans Grotepos EAA Auditorium, Rand Airport
Contact Marie Reddy 083 259 7691
20 & 21 October
SAC North-West Regionals Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
23 & 24 October
Avi Afrique 2018 Africa Aviation Innovation Summit CSIR
Contact ATNS Percy Morokane E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 to 27 October
Marrakech airshow RMAF Military Base, Marrakech, Morocco
Contact Houda Medkouri e-mail: email@example.com
EAA Chapter 322 meeting. Dicky Fritz Moth Hall, Edenvale
Contact Clive King Cell: 082 850 4141
EAA / SAPFA Sun ‘n Fun Adventure Rally Brits Airfield
EAA contact Marie Reddy 083 259 7691 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
16 & 17 November
Sandstone Estates Cherry Festival steam weekend
Contact Alina Tel 051 933 2235 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aero Club of South Africa awards dinner Wanders Club 17h00 onwards
Contact 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
African Pilot has started populating the 2019 aviation calendar, so please contact me to reserve the most suitable date(s) for your planned event or airshow: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Nigerian air force pilot killed in crash outside Abuja
On Friday Nigeria’s air force said that one of its pilots was killed in a plane crash during a rehearsal for the nation’s independence day anniversary. Air force spokesperson Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola initially said two jets were involved in an ‘incident’ outside the capital Abuja as they prepared for Monday’s event. “It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on.” No further details were given but witnesses said the two jets were flying at a low altitude when one crashed into a hill at Katampe, on the outskirts of the capital. Motorists stopped their cars on the side of the road as thick smoke billowed into the sky from the burning plane. Firefighters and other relief workers helped with emergency operations.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Air Niugini B737 lands in a lagoon
On 28 September 2018 a Boeing 737-800 of Air Niugini registered P2-PXE was performing flight PX-073 from Pohnpei International Airport (PNI) to Chuuk International Airport (TKK) in Micronesia, in the North Pacific, when it missed the runway upon landing. During its approach, the aircraft flew too low and touched water, dropping into the lagoon. It took only a few minutes for local residents to rescue the passengers and crew with small boats. The company confirmed that the aircraft landed ‘short of the runway,’ adding that there were no serious injuries. The 35 passengers and 12 crew members on board were all rescued and taken to the hospital for medical care.
The plane was flying from Pohnpei, capital of Micronesia, to Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, where Air Niugini is based, with a planned stopover in Weno’s Chuuk International Airport, in Micronesia. A special flight was scheduled for passengers to complete their trip. Air Niugini stated that “the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident”. The Papuan authorities opened an investigation. The runway at Weno’s Chuuk International Airport (TKK), as other airport in the North Pacific region, is only 1,831 meters long on an artificial plot of land. It is surrounded by water on three sides. Air Niugini operates a fleet of 20 aircraft, mainly Fokker regional jets. The Boeing 737-800 was one of two owned by the company.
F-35B down in South Carolina
Military officials confirmed that a USAF F-35B crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina. The pilot managed to eject and was transported to a medical facility for evaluation. There were no other injuries reported, whilst the scene of the crash has been secured. Residents and guests were asked to temporarily avoid Little Barnwell Island and the Grays Hill Boat Landing, while emergency services personnel assess the area for safety. The Marine Corps Times reports that the base is the home for the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 and training for new F-35 pilots is conducted there. But Defence News indicates that there have been issues with spare parts and logistics related to the jet. Some airplanes are on the ground for long periods of time due to delivery delays for parts ordered through the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS). The accident is the first to involve an F-35 Lightning II aircraft, though there have been other issues with the airplane, including engine fires and malfunctioning equipment.
F-35 flown in combat for the first time
On 27 September the Marine Corps F-35B, Lightning II, conducted its first combat strikes in the US Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan. During this mission the F-35B conducted an air strike in support of ground clearance operations and the strike was deemed successful by the ground force commander. “The F-35B is a significant enhancement in theatre amphibious and air warfighting capability, operational flexibiliy and tactical supremacy,” said Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander, US Naval Forces Central command. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is the first combat-deployed MEU to replace the AV-8B Harrier with the F-35B Lightning II. The F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 are currently embarked on the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) as part of Essex Amphibious Ready Group. “The opportunity for us to be the first Navy, Marine Corps team to employ the F-35B in support of maneuverer forces on the ground demonstrates one aspect of the capabilities this platform brings to the region, our allies and our partners,” said Col. Chandler Nelms, commanding officer, 13th MEU.
Bombardier delivers first 90-seat Q400 aircraft to SpiceJet
Last week Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced the delivery of its first 90-seat Q400 aircraft. The aircraft was handed over to India’s SpiceJet Limited, the launch operator for the extra-capacity, 90-seat aircraft. The increased passenger capacity allows 15 per cent reduction of seat cost compared to the previous standard Q400 aircraft and provides an enormous benefit for airlines.
E-190 E2 'shark' finds a loyal customer months after Farnborough
Embraer has been stirring up attention to its E-Jet E2 aircraft series every way it can; from rolling out animal-themed livery on its E190-E2 jet, to completing a six-country tour in Africa in an almost celebrity-like manner. However, the real fanfare was brought to this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, where the Brazilian plane maker first unveiled the shark-faced regional jet and displayed some major order activity. One of its customers, Helvetic Airways (Switzerland), has just made good on its intentions, firming up an order for 12 E-190 E-2s. As of 26 September 2018, the Swiss carrier had finalised its contract for the 12 E190-E2s. The Farnborough Airshow has proven to be successful for Embraer, particularly in light of a rivalling partnership between two other European and Canadian manufacturing giants. Just days before the start of the event, Airbus debuted the A220 jet, following its acquisition and rebranding of Bombardier’s C Series programme. Meanwhile, Embraer has established its own transatlantic alliance with Boeing. The $4.8 billion worth joint venture saw the US plane maker take a controlling stake in Embraer’s commercial aircraft business, essentially buying the new E2 Family of regional jets.
Airbus A330-900 receives EASA type certification
The A330-900 has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines the aircraft’s type certificate was signed by EASA’s certification director, Trevor Woods, whilst FAA certification is expected to follow shortly. In agreement with TAP Air Portugal, its first built aircraft served as a demonstrator for route proving around the world visiting more than 12 countries. Together with the two A330-900 flight test aircraft, the certification flight test campaign was successfully completed in around 1,400 flight test hours in under a year since the first flight on 19 October 2017. Airbus says the A330-900 in particular is the lowest seat-mile cost 300-seater which incorporates highly efficient Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing and new Sharklets with use of lighter composite materials. Together, these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 per cent compared with older generation aircraft of similar size.
Polish medical air rescue orders fleet of Tecnam P2008JC MkII aircraft
The Polish Medical Air Rescue (PMAR) has placed an order for three Tecnam P2008JC Mk II airplanes. PMAR has transferred more than 116,000 patients since its inception in 2000, utilising its fleet of two fixed-wing aircraft and 27 helicopters, performing nearly 10,000 flights this year alone.
The introduction of the Tecnam P2008JC MkII will enable PMAR to meet internally its growing training needs as it attracts more pilots to its operation. The single-engine Tecnam P2008’s versatility and ease of use has established it as both the aircraft of choice for Flight Training Organisations worldwide. With its carbon-fibre fuselage, metals wings and stabilator, the Tecnam P2008 JC has a vast number of advantages over traditional aircraft. This combination of both composite material and metal has resulted in a more fuel efficient and much quieter aircraft.
The Tecnam P2008JC MkII version features a number of significant enhancements. These include a new avionic suite, including a new design of both the dashboard and glare shield, thereby enabling the introduction of the Garmin’s innovative G3X Touch display with a MD302 attitude instrument and is also available as VFR Night. “We were delighted to be invited to participate in Polish Medical Air Rescue’s rigorous selection and evaluation process and that we were selected above a number of other competitors. PMAR not only valued the overall benefits the P2008JC MkII affords them as a training aircraft, but particularly appreciated the on-going services and support that Tecnam have firmly established a great reputation for,” said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO.
Boeing wins US Air Force T-X pilot training programme contract
Soon US Air Force pilots will train for combat with T-X jets and simulators from Boeing. $9.2 billion award funds 351 jets, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment. Boeing and its risk-sharing partner Saab designed, developed and flight tested two all-new, purpose-built jets, proving out the system’s design, repeatability in manufacturing and training capability. Boeing is now clear to begin placing orders with its suppliers, including Saab. More than 90 percent of Boeing’s offering will be made in America, supporting more than 17,000 jobs in 34 states.
Boeing MH-139 to replace USAF UH-1N Huey fleet
Boeing will provide its MH-139 helicopter and related support to the US Air Force to replace the more than 40-year-old UH-1N ‘Huey’ helicopters used to protect America’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases. Awarded on 24 September 2018 the programme is valued at $2.4 billion for up to 84 helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment. The MH-139 derives from the Leonardo AW139, which is used by more than 270 governments, militaries and companies worldwide. Leonardo will assemble the helicopters at its northeast Philadelphia plant, with Boeing integrating military-specific components at its facility south of that city.
The contract also includes operations, maintenance, training systems and support equipment for the MH-139 aircraft.
Two killed in Falcon 50 accident
A Falcon 50 jet slid off of the runway after landing at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in Greenville County, South Carolina, killing the pilot and co-pilot. The two passengers onboard were injured in the accident and remain hospitalized. Airport director Joe Frasher said in a media briefing that he saw the aircraft land and that the touchdown appeared normal. No emergency communications were received from the crew.
The accident occurred at about 13h40 local time on Thursday . The aircraft reportedly overran the runway, crossed a grass safety area, went over an embankment and came to rest on the airport road. One of the engines remained running until first responders were able to break into the cockpit to shut it down. A hazmat team was called to the scene to deal with fuel leaking into the watershed via a roadside drainage ditch. Frasher said he believed the aircraft was stopping in Greenville to pick up additional passengers, but that its airport of origin and planned destination were not yet known. The aircraft is registered to Delaware-based Global Aircraft Acquisitions.
Incident at San Francisco on 7 July 2017 when Airbus lined up with taxiway
An Air Canada Airbus A320-200, registration C-FKCK performing flight AC-759 from Toronto (Canada) to San Francisco (USA) with 140 people on board, was on final approach to runway 28R in night conditions being cleared to land when a short time after reading back the landing clearance the crew queried tower to confirm they were cleared to land advising they were seeing lights on the runway. The tower advised the runway was clear and they were cleared to land. However, another voice said that they were lined up with the taxiway, tower immediately instructed AC-759 to go around as result commenting it looked like they were lined up for taxiway C. The aircraft went around from below 100 feet AGL. Other flight crew taxiing their aircraft on taxiway C commented the A320 was flying straight over them. The A320 positioned for another approach and landed safely about 15 minutes later.
The FAA investigated this serious incident since there were four aircraft on taxiway C, which runs parallel to runway 28R to the right of the runway. On 2 August 2017 the NTSB released first preliminary updates on the investigation into the occurrence stating, that runway 28L was closed, approach and runway lights were off, a large flashing X was active at the runway threshold. The runway closure had been NOTAMed, ATIS also included the information that runway 28L was closed and its lightings were out of service. Runway 28R and associated approach lights, including 2400 feet approach lightings, runway edge and centre line lighting, runway threshold lighting, runway threshold lighting and PAPIs, were set at default intensity. Taxiway C also was set at default lighting including the green taxiway centre line lighting and blue edge lighting.
The captain of AC-759 (ATPL, more than 20,000 hours total, 4,797 hours on type in command) was pilot flying, the first officer (ATPL, more than 10,000 hours total, more than 2,300 hours on type) was pilot monitoring. On taxiway C there were four aircraft waiting for departure. AC-759 had been cleared for the FMS bridge visual approach to runway 28R. FDR data indicate that AC-759 was aligned with the taxiway C 3nm out and maintained runway heading. About 0.7nm before the runway threshold the crew queried tower whether they were cleared to land, they saw lights on the runway. The aircraft flew too far right for the airport’s ASDE-X, so that the aircraft was not displayed on the controller’s display over a period of 12 seconds. When the aircraft was 0.3nm from the threshold the controller confirmed the aircraft was cleared to land.
UA-1 radioed first “where is this guy going” followed by “he is on the taxiway”. The flight crew of PR-115 (second in queue) switched on their landing lights. The flight crew of AC-759 advanced their thrust levers when they were at 85 feet AGL, the lowest height before the aircraft began to climb was 59 feet AGL about 2.5 seconds after the thrust levers were advanced. The aircraft was already climbing again when the controller issued the go-around instruction. In post flight interviews, the NTSB reported that both pilots of AC-759 reported they were convinced the lighted runway to their left was runway 28L and they were lined up with runway 28R. They did not recall seeing aircraft on taxiway C, but something did not look right to them.
On 25 September 2018 the NTSB reported that the crew initiated the go around at 89 feet AGL, after the go around was initiated the aircraft descended to a minimum of 60 feet before climbing again, the minimum distance to one of the aircraft on the taxiway was 13 feet. The crew had missed to tune the ILS frequency for runway 28R. The crew was in possession of the NOTAM indicating runway 28L was closed. However, this information was buried in the middle of page 9 on a 28 page flight release package and thus was less than optimal, The crew was provided with three pages of NOTAMs and five pages of other information within the release package. When the information was needed, it could not be recalled by the flight crew. The visual impressions of runway 28R and taxiway C, while on approach to taxiway C, were clearly different. However, confirmation bias is a strong human factor overriding such visual impressions. The flashing X on runway 28L was not properly recognised, had the crew been able to identify the runway surface it is likely they would have identified the flashing X correctly, the crew reported in post flight interviews it was all black to the left, the investigators stated therefore it remained unclear whether the crew had seen the flashing X at all. The ASDE-X (ground movement surveillance) was not designed to predict a taxiway landing, therefore system thus worked as designed, but did not issue an alert.
The captain had been up for 19 hours since the last rest he had taken, the first officer was up 12 hours since his last rest. Initially the severity of the incident was not recognised, but after a review by the FAA and assessment the severity, which the NTSB chairman rated a ‘close call’, was recognised. There was only one controller on the tower staffing all frequencies, as such there was frequency congestion with the controller being distracted on other frequencies. The board voted on and accepted the following proposed probable cause: “The NTSB determine the probable cause of this incident was the flight crew’s misidentification of taxiway C as intended landing runway that resulted from the crew members’ lack of awareness of the parallel runway closure due to their ineffective review of NOTice to AirMen throughout the flight and during the approach briefing. Contributing to the incident were:
1) the flight crew’s failure to tune the instrument landing system frequency for backup lateral guidance, expectation bias, fatigue and break downs in crew resource management and
2) Air Canada’s ineffective presentation of approach procedure and NOTAM information”
Commercial Aviation Forum AIR convention 2018 officially launched
On 26 September the Commercial Aviation Forum AIR Convention 2018 was officially started. Positioning itself as one of the most promising aviation events, AIR Convention commercial aviation forum brought key players from airlines, airports, aviation training companies and most prominent aircraft manufacturers, like Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier; all in order to allow participants share expertise and network with aviation leaders.
Commercial Aviation Forum was opened by the speech of Gediminas Ziemelis. The Chairman of the Board at Avia Solutions Group warmly welcomed the participants, and expressed his wish for the conference to create an effective network between specialists, professionals and experts who want to input solutions to the changing aviation environment.
The overview panel was continued by Jim Freitas from Boeing, who evaluated general aviation market performance mentioning its strong profits and saying profit will only continue through 2018. He also briefly discussed existing and upcoming service market trends with LCC increase, big data and analytics growing significance and new technologies alongside with innovation on top of everything else. Andrew Gordon, the Director of Strategic Marketing & Analysis at Airbus, also highlighted that 2018 was the year of high profitability for the global aviation, defined by more movements, more connectivity and more seats filled. However, considering the further aviation market growth, as Marta Sabin de Imperial from Bombardier noticed in her presentation, the long term strategies is where the growth will be.
Delivery of first G500
On Thursday Gulfstream announced the delivery of its first G500 midsize business jet to an unnamed customer who took delivery at Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia. According to Gulfstream, the G500 has already established more than 20 new city-pair speed records and its five test aircraft have flown more than 5,000 hours.
The G500 was introduced in 2014 and first flew in May 2015. The aircraft received both its FAA type certification and production certificate in July. The G500 has a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85, 5,200 -NM range and maximum take-off weight of 79,600 pounds. It can seat up to 19 passengers. Other features include a third-generation Enhanced Vision System, active-control sidesticks, 10 touchscreens and a head-up display. The company has previously stated that it expects to certify the longer-range G600 later this year.
Ryanair to open two new French bases at Bordeaux and Marseille
On 27 September Ryanair announced significant expansion in France, launching two new bases at Bordeaux and Marseille as part of its Summer 2019 schedule, with two new based aircraft for each airport (a total investment of $400m) and 27 new routes (connecting 12 countries), which will deliver a total of 3.5m customers p.a. across both airports.
OOPS! Cathay Pacific mis-paints new 777
When Cathay Pacific’s latest 777 was delivered, there was a glaring error in the plane’s livery. ‘Pacific’ was spelled without the ‘f’. Incredibly the airliner made it all the way to Hong Kong Airport before the error was noticed. The carrier was quick to acknowledge the error, if not own it. “Oops this special livery won’t last long! She’s going back to the shop!” the company posted, along with photos of the mistake on Twitter.
SpaceX introduces the first passenger for moon flight
SpaceX has announced that Japanese fashion entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has purchased a flight around the moon on the company’s still-conceptual Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). Maezawa, who is also an avid art collector, says he will be offering six to eight artists free seats for the flight in the hope that they will be inspired to create work based on the trip. According to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, the deposit Maezawa has already made will go toward the development of the rocket.
Musk said that although the amount Maezawa paid for the flight will not be disclosed, it is enough to make a material impact on BFR development. The trip is tentatively scheduled for 2023, but Musk called that a ‘things go right’ date, saying that it wasn’t even 100 percent certain that they could get the rocket flying, let alone on time for 2023. Development of the BFR is expected to cost roughly $5 billion.
Diamond Aircraft set to double production next year
Diamond plans to double production at its London, Ontario, Canada facility next year bringing the number of airplanes produced to 150 and adding about 100 workers to the payroll. The London Free Press reports that the plant will manufacture about 75 airplanes this year. Diamond’s CEO in London Scott McFadzean told the paper that the market in China is about to ‘explode’ and other demand is growing worldwide.
McFadzean said that the company is now building for the global market like it did previously for the North American market. He said that the Chinese market is ‘huge compared to Western countries.’
McFadzean also said that the demand for pilot training is growing rapidly in the face of a projected pilot shortage over the next 20 years. Recently Diamond announced its largest aircraft order to date. Republic Airways’ Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy has ordered 110 airplanes from Diamond. The contract is valued at over $35 million, McFadzean said. The first 50 of those airplanes are scheduled for delivery through 2019. McFadzean said that the company is in the process of opening another factory in China due to the anticipated demand for GA airplanes in that country.
First Boeing 777X rolls out
The first Boeing 777X widebody airplane has been rolled out of the factory in Everett, but this airplane is not destined for delivery to an airline, or even a flight test fleet.
Instead, the first of the new variant of the airplane will undergo 12 months of static testing to evaluate the load-bearing components of its airframe and wing. The wings of the new Triple-7 are manufactured at an automated composite wing centre.
Boeing has the first test flight aircraft under assembly. For additional 777X airplanes are being produced for the full flight test programme. Boeing says it is on track to delivery the first 777X to its launch customer in 2020. The plane was first introduced at the Dubai Airshow in 2013 and Boeing has 326 orders for the new variant.
Unlicensed pilot arrested for offering flight instruction
A pilot from Queens, New York who had his airman privileges revoked following a fatal accident in 2016 has been arrested for offering flight instruction to students. The New York Post reports that Nelson Gomez has been charged with giving flight instruction without proper certification. Gomez, 39 from Howard Beach, New York, was the instructor during a flight in February 2016 that went down, resulting in the fatal injury of 23-year-old Gerson Negron. The Piper Archer had two other students on board. All four survived the initial impact with the water and Gomez and the other students were rescued by Suffolk County Police, but Negron’s body was not found until April 2016. Gomez surrendered his pilot certificate as required by the FAA in May 2016, but court documents indicate he continued to offer instruction until May 2016, when the credentials expired.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Schiebel Camcopter S-100 impresses with flight display at Red Bull Air Race
Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) entertained an international audience with a flight display at the prestigious Red Bull Air Race in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The Red Bull Air Race returned to its Austrian roots for the sixth race of the season and teamed up with Schiebel in Wiener Neustadt, a city with rich aeronautical history and home to the Camcopter S-100 production facility. As the market leader for Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) UAS, Schiebel was a perfect sponsor and partner for the globally renowned Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The Camcopter S-100 had two starting slots per race day. In addition to an impressive flight display, it also provided the audience with a breath-taking aerial overview of the venue, which was simultaneously broadcasted on big screens. A wide range of exciting side acts rounded off the entertainment programme.
Bell demonstrates distributed propulsion aircraft
Last week Bell Helicopter demonstrated its unmanned Hybrid Drive Train Research Aircraft (HYDRA) at the first Tech Demo edition of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Centre of Excellence in Alma, Quebec. According to the company, HYDRA uses distributed propulsion technology and a circular wing to ‘sustain wing-borne flight at reduced power consumption, while increasing its speed and range over a traditional multi-rotor aircraft.’ The demonstration flight lasted for 40 minutes and ran through automated manoeuvres including take-off, conversion into wing-borne flight, conversion into hover mode and landing.
Bell hopes the research undertaken with HYDRA will eventually allow the company to develop passenger transports and large unmanned aircraft that use distributed propulsion technology. “HYDRA has already proved to be a great teacher,” the company said. “Our team has discovered the unexpected stability of a circular wing in flight and certain control laws that allow aircraft stability in VTOL mode, airplane mode, during transition and even in the event of a system failure.” HYDRA is also being used to study new hybrid propulsion technologies such as electric and fluid dynamic power systems.
At a travel agency in Shanghai, I asked the Chinese girl behind the counter if she could escort me on a city tour and I asked her for her mobile number so I could call her to make arrangements.
She gave me a big smile, nodded her head and said:
“Sex sex sex, wan free sex for tonigh”.
I replied, ” Wow, you Chinese women are really hospitable!”
A guy standing next to me overheard, tapped me on the shoulder and said:
“What she really said was: 666136429”
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
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