“The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery.” Sir Winston Churchill
African Pilot’s November 2019 edition
Within the November edition of African Pilot, we have promoted the various Cape Town Airports and the businesses based at these airports are exposed on our various media platforms. In addition, this edition features ‘Gifts for Pilots’. The November edition has completed its distribution phase and is now in the various retail stores around South Africa. In addition the digital edition of African Pilot went out to subscribers on Friday 25 October.
African Pilot’s December 2019 edition
The final magazine for this year will feature business at OR Tambo International Airport as well as our annual Drones / UAV’s feature. The closing date for all editorial and advertising was last Friday 8 November, but we still have some capacity for late advertisers until close of business on Monday 11 November. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
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.
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Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
Video of the week: Misfuelling
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
Neil Bowden’s Sun ‘n Fun tour to Florida USA
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Captain Scully Levin honoured with master air pilot accolade in London
The Honourable Company of Air Pilots, an international Guild founded 1929 in order to represent pilot and navigator interests within all areas of aviation, has honoured South African pilot Captain Scully Levin with a Master Air Pilot Certificate, an award in recognition of long service and consistently high standards in one or more branches of professional flying.
This certificate, signed by HRH The Duke of York Prince Andrew, the Grand Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, was presented to Captain Levin in London last week. It honours the esteemed few within the aviation industry globally who, over several years, have displayed those qualities of pilotage, air navigation, airmanship and character which have brought honour and respect to the profession. Captain Levin’s nomination for this tribute was unanimously accepted by the board of Trophies and Awards committee as meeting the standards of excellence required for this most deserved accolade. In congratulating Captain Levin and awarding him his certificate, Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, Malcolm White OBE, said that this was a recognition for his splendid record as a pilot, reflecting on an aviation career of achievement and distinction.
Levin qualified as a pilot in the South African Air Force in 1964 and has since amassed over 29 600 hours of flying time on over 180 different types of aircraft, a feat met by very few in the aviation industry globally. He was a pilot on SAA’s local, regional and international routes for over 38 years and since his retirement from SAA, has continued to make a valuable contribution to the South African airline industry as consultant and display pilot. Captain Levin’s achievements in aviation have long been recognised in South Africa and in 2012 he was awarded The Order of the Baobab in Bronze by the Presidency for his immense contribution to and achievement in aviation, both as a pilot and trainer, in South Africa and internationally.
Crisis at Wonderboom National Airport
This past week I read a damning report by Sarah Evans of Media24 who had sight of report submitted to the City of Tshwane council has revealed the shocking state of the Wonderboom National Airport, including allegations of ‘irregularities, maladministration and governance lapse’ at the facility. The report was compiled by the City of Tshwane’s oversight committee for roads and transport and was tabled in the City Council on 31 October 2019. It includes allegations of embezzlement, non-compliance with international and domestic aviation standards and states that Wonderboom ‘is an asset in serious need of attention by an authority higher than the City’. The committee has recommended a full forensic investigation into the state of the airport.
Without going into the details of the report, for many years l have been aware that the various tenants at Wonderboom are becoming increasingly frustrated with poor management, lack of refuelling facilities and what appears to be a complete breakdown of communications at the airport. Over the coming month, I will be looking into the allegations that have been presented by investigators who are dealing with the problems of the airport.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
EAA Sun ‘n Fun at Brits Airfield
Once again, this year, many EAA members enjoyed this past weekend at the annual EAA Sun ‘n Fun hosted by the Brits Flying club. Although the SA Weather Services had forecasted stormy weather, once again their predictions were completely incorrect. There was some wind, but fortunately through the day the wind turned from an easterly cross wind to a more northerly straight down runway 02. In all I counted more than 65 aircraft and helicopters that flew to the venue, but most only stayed a few hours enjoying the fun and friendship of their fellow EAA members. Thank you to Neil Bowden and Dave Lister for providing their respective aircraft for an air-to-air photo shoot in the region taken from my Cessna 182.
Also, to Rob Jonkers for flying in the right seat whilst I took the pictures out of the open left side window. I would specifically like to thank the two Air Traffic controllers: Mbali Mndebele and Benji Phukubje who are both from Lanseria Tower and Nigel Musgrave as the safety officer. To the Brits Flying Club and EAA organisers, well done on splendid planning with excellent comradeship. The event was always safe and was most enjoyable for everyone who attended. A full report with pictures will appear in the December edition of African Pilot
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
African Pilot’s 2019 calendar
We will publish the aviation calendar within APAnews three months ahead, but you can always visit African Pilot’s website: www.africanpilot.co.za if you would like to obtain the full calendar for the entire year.
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards Rand Airport
Contact AeCSA office 011 082 1100 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 to 21 November
Dubai Airshow DWC Dubai airshow site
CAASA Awards Ceremony venue CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Tel: 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Springs Speed Rally – Springs Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser cell: 082 855 9435 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 and 29 November
Drones and Digital Aviation Conference Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.bussynet.co.za
Elders Flight at Rand Airport
Contact Felix Gosher Cell: 066 485 0407 SMS only
SAA Museum airline collectables fair at Rand Airport
Tel: 076 879 5044 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.saamuseum.co.za
30 November – 1 December
SAC Ace of Base Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
African Pilot has started preparing the 2020 aviation events calendar
Do you have an aviation event planned for 2020? If so please let me have the details so that I can add this information to the 2020 aviation calendar that has already started. Information is shared with the following organisations:
Air Show South Africa (ASSA)
The Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA)
South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA)
Sports Aerobatic Club of South Africa (SAC)
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA)
Capital Sounds – Brian Emmenis
Nearly ALL other aviation media use this calendar for the information they publish
Several other organisations both in South Africa as well as abroad.
Please send details to: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Kenya Airways flight forced to return to OR Tambo after maintenance engineer ‘stowed away’
Aircraft go through a number of safety and maintenance checks before take-off, in fact technical safety and consistency in standards are crucial as the recent Comair and SAA grounding due to SAAT issues highlighted. So, you can imagine the surprise, when crew aboard Kenya Airways Boeing flight B788 discovered they had a maintenance engineer ‘stowed away’ on board.
Aviation Herald reports the Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8, registration 5Y-KZC had just taken off from Johannesburg on Tuesday 5 November when the crew was informed ‘a maintenance engineer should have been left in Johannesburg’. The plane returned to OR Tambo and eventually made a safe landing, before it taxied to the apron. Crew confirmed the engineer had been found, where exactly on the plane remains unclear, by they are quoted saying, “He’s here and conscious!”
The flight was delayed by about an hour, following the incident, before taking off again for Nairobi. Traveller24 has reached out to both Kenya Airways and the South African Civil Aviation Authority and is awaiting a response. Aviation expert Vincent Lessing says Kenya Airways contracts in its maintenance support. We wanted to know how possible it was that the ground crew member was forgotten about? “Once the aircraft is being loaded and all the ground activities have taken place the engineers ensure the release of the aircraft, after performing mandatory checks that include pre- and post-flight inspection.
While it remains unclear where the maintenance engineer was found after the return landing, because of the reference to consciousness, it is suspected he could have been in ‘one of the aircraft compartments’ and not the pressure-controlled cabin. “A number of activities take place on the ground to have the aircraft ready for its scheduled departure time. As an example, if a technical item requires an engineer’s attention, it will be attended to whilst all other activities continue. Question then is that the proper checks were conducted before push back or the ‘doors closed’ call was made. There was either a rush or loss of situational awareness,” says Lessing.
New pilots graduate in the Ugandan Air Force
Recently 18 cadet pilots graduated at the Ugandan Gulu Air Base, which has been upgraded with new training facilities and equipment, including additional trainer aircraft. President Yoweri Museveni, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, visited the facilities at Gulu Air Base on 6 November where confirmed the status of the 18 cadet pilots and 20 technicians under a pilot training programme that has been running since 2011. In July 2016, 34 pilots and aircraft technicians graduated at Gulu after a five-year training course.
The ceremony featured flight demonstrations of Cessna 172 piston trainers and L-39 jets. The Air Force had around three L-39s but six were seen during Museveni’s visit, with at least one fitted with rocket pods and a 23 mm twin-barrel cannon. These aircraft function as lead-in trainers for Uganda’s five Sukhoi Su-30MK2 multirole fighters. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Bulgaria delivered three second-hand L-39ZA jets between 2010 and 2012. The Cessna 172s also appear to be newly acquired. As part of enhancements to Uganda’s training facility, the Air Force acquired a flight simulator that forms part of its training centre. The training centre was supplied by Bulgaria’s Jotov & Son, which has been providing training, maintenance and infrastructure services.
Nigerian Air Force breathes new life into Albatros
Three stored Aero L-39ZA Albatros advanced jet trainers have been brought back into service to help provide an increased stream of combat pilots for Nigeria’s air arm, which has been heavily involved in ground attack duties against the terrorists. Although most L-39s were built in the 1980s, the Czech-built jet remains in service with several African Air Forces. Its relative simplicity, sturdiness and ease of maintenance, makes it a popular choice, with differing variants being used for training and light attack roles. Nigeria’s examples are understood to have been used for both types of missions.
Nigeria is thought to have around 19 L-39s in its inventory, although unserviceability has considerably reduced the number available for use in recent years. The three aircraft, identified in the Nigerian media as bearing the serials NAF 352, 354 and 364, were handed over during a ceremony on 21 June at the service’s 403 Flying Training School (403 FTS) in Kano, northern Nigeria. The aircraft were reactivated by technicians from manufacturer Aero Vodochody, assisted by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel. Nigeria needs to ensure a steady pipeline of new pilots to help fill the cockpits of new aircraft that are being inducted to boost the service’s frontline units, such as a dozen Embraer Super Tucano ground-attack turboprops and PAC/CAC JF-17 Thunder lightweight multirole fighters developed jointly by China and Pakistan. Although Nigeria has, so far, only ordered an initial batch of three JF-17s, more are expected to follow. The NAF is also buying 12 Mil Mi-35 combat helicopters from Russia.
Senior officers at 403 FTS are understood to have complained in recent months that they had insufficient aircraft with which to train the number of new pilots needed for the NAF’s frontline units. Restoration of the three L-39ZAs can be seen as part of the efforts to solve that problem. The Czech ambassador to Nigeria, Marek Skolil, told the handover ceremony that Aero would be prepared to provide Nigeria with the latest-generation L-39NG (new generation). Senegal has already ordered four of the latest variant; although whether this will appeal to the NAF when its finances are committed to the new types already ordered is perhaps doubtful.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
False hijack alarm disrupts flights at Schiphol Airport
Holland’s Schiphol airport was put on high alert after a ‘suspicious situation’ was declared aboard a plane. Fortunately, the passengers and crew on board were safe: the airline Air Europa later explained that the hijacking signal was sent by mistake. On the evening of 6 November 2019, multiple gates were closed down in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), the third busiest airport in Europe where 70 million passengers transit per year. All flights departing from terminal D and part of those from terminal E were suspended.
The Royal Marechaussee, a Dutch military unit, was deployed. On Twitter, it reported that ‘a suspicious situation onboard an aircraft’ was being investigated. The situation declared was a ‘Grip 3’, meaning that large groups of people could be at risk. Reports of a hijacked flight started emerging. The flight in question was Air Europa UX1094, from Amsterdam to Madrid. The 27 passengers and crew members onboard the Airbus A330 (EC-LQP) were safely evacuated by the military police, which started investigating. About an hour later, Air Europa published an apology where it revealed the reason for the emergency: a pilot mistakenly triggered the hijacking alarm, most likely by sending a transponder code 7500 by accident. The investigation is ongoing.
Air Europa is the third largest airline in Spain, with a fleet of 68 aircraft. The company was founded in 1986 and flies to 69 destinations, including European and long-haul routes to Latin America, the United States of America, the Caribbean and North Africa. On 4 November 2019, International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and low-cost carriers like LEVEL and Vueling, has announced that the group was set to acquire Air Europa in order to create a mega-hub in Madrid to compete with other major hubs in Europe. The move is yet to be approved by regulatory authorities.
Epic aircraft achieves FAA type certification
Concluding a rigorous seven-year programme that establishes a new industry standard for performance, price and ramp appeal in the personal aircraft marketplace Epic aircraft achieved FAA certification this past week. The E1000 all carbon fibre aircraft design is based on the company’s experimental Epic LT model, which was introduced to the market in 2005 through an owner-assist build programme based at Epic headquarters.
Epic has more than 80 confirmed E1000 reservations from around the US, as well as Canada, Mexico, Central / South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. The first seven E1000 customer aircraft are in various stages of fabrication, bonding and assembly, with initial deliveries slated to begin this year. All Epic manufacturing, engineering and administration operations are based in the US. Epic has doubled its composite fabrication capacity, invested heavily in tooling, equipment, curing ovens, and refined workflows to accelerate E1000 production ramp. The company is currently running two production shifts, with plans to further expand operations. Production Certification is targeted for the first quarter of 2020.
Republic Airways E-175 loses control during climbing
A Republic Airways Embraer ERJ-175 with six people and four crew members on board was affected by a trim runaway just after taking off from Atlanta. After being in a stalling situation, the pilots managed to regain control of their aircraft and land back in their departing airport. The aircraft registered N117HQ was operating flight AA-4439 for American Airways from Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to New York La Guardia Airport (LGA) on 6 November 2019. While climbing from Atlanta, the flight crew declared an emergency to ATC, as they were experiencing a trim runaway. They interrupted their climb at 14,000 feet and were cleared to land back at the airport. However, they reported being in a stalling situation, unable to get their pitch down. The crew had to fight the aircraft for a while before they finally received a system warning. Going through checklists, they managed to regain control of the plane and landed safely on runway 10.
Norwegian sells six Boeing 737s and shares to raise funds
Since winter is coming in the Northern Hemisphere, Norwegian Air Shuttle is resolving to selling aircraft and company shares as it tries to raise funds to survive the harsh upcoming season. The airline is selling six Boeing 737-800 aircraft to a leasing company to raise cash for debt repayment with an extra $55 million left to increase the company’s liquidity. The aircraft are still flown by the airline and should be delivered in late 2019 and early 2020.
In October 2019, the airline signed agreement for similar sale of five Boeing 737-800 planes to Aircraft Recycling International. The rationale behind the deal was also to repay debts, with hopes to have an extra $50 million left. The aircraft were still flown by Norwegian and deliveries foreseen in the same period of Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.
In its Q3 2019 financial presentation, Norwegian has revealed having already sold two Boeing 737-800 and two more planes of the same type were sold in April. According to planespotters.net data, Norwegian group has a fleet of 158 aircraft, 103 of which are Boeing 737-800s. In 2019, nine aircraft of the type have already left the fleet. On 5 November 2019, Norwegian Air Shuttle has announced a discounted sale of its shares to raise up to $300 million (NOK 2.75 billion) in capital. The airline is striving to secure enough funds to survive the coming winter as its management expects ‘challenges’ in the season. The funds from the share sale are expected to last through 2020, while the airline continues to work on its strategic transformation.
Rolls Royce postpones Trent 1000TEN HTP issue fix to 2021
Rolls Royce reports progress solving technical issues affecting three variants of its Trent 1000 engine. The company states it is making good progress with eight out of nine fixes needed. However, as more issues were found with the proposed Trent 1000TEN blade fix solution, the improved blade is now expected a year later than previously; in the first half of 2021. Three variants of Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines have been affected by corrosion issues. The problem, which results in early wear and cracking of blades, was first detected in 2016 on Package C engines, followed by detection on Package B in 2018 and early wear of the high-pressure turbine (HPT) blade of Trent 1000 TEN in January 2019.
Rolls Royce estimates that nine fixes are required for Package B, Package C and TEN engines. So far, the manufacturer has designed eight and got certified seven modifications, that are now being incorporated into the fleet. The company has reiterated its previous estimation that the number of grounded aircraft will go down to a ‘single digit levels’ by the end of the second quarter of 2020.
However, the ninth, final, solution remains a challenge. Rolls Royce has found that its proposed redesign of high-pressure turbine (HPT) blade for Trent 1000 TEN engine would not ‘deliver a sufficient level’ of durability. Consequently, the company is now expecting the upgraded blade not to be ready before the first half of 2021. It means over a year of delay, as it previously expected to start incorporating improved blade into the fleet in early 2020.
Qatar Airways confirms partnership with IndiGo
The Doha-based airline officially announced a codeshare agreement with IndiGo, the biggest airline in India. Following the agreement, Qatar Airways will place its flight codes on the low-cost carrier’s flights between Doha International Airport (DOH) and Delhi International Airport (DEL), Mumbai International Airport (BOM) and Hyderabad International Airport (HYD), allowing Qatar Airways to increase capacity between its base hub and key Indian cities.
Qatar Airways has had its sights on a partnership or a potential stake in IndiGo since 2015 when it denied rumours of investing in another Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet and the Qatari flag carrier reinstated that they are only interested in IndiGo. This is the first time that the two airlines shook their hands on a deal. The Indian market is crucial for the airline, as a lot of Indian expatriates are residing in Qatar. However, Qatar Airways was unable to increase frequencies to the South Asian country, something that was hinted in Al Baker’s speech.
First Dutch F-35A grounded for three weeks after welcome blunder
As the Koninklijke Luchtmacht, the Dutch Air Force, was receiving its first operational F-35A fighter jet in Leeuwarden Air Base, on 31 October, the whole country had eyes on the new aircraft. However, not everything went as expected. The arrival of the first operational F-35A fighter jet in the Netherlands was described as ‘historical’ by the Dutch Ministry of Defence in a statement. More than 2,000 people / quests had been invited to the welcoming ceremony. The aircraft took off from Cameri, Italy, where it was assembled. Before landing, Ian Knight, commander of the 323 Test and Evaluation Squadron, saluted the audience by flying an honorary round accompanied by three predecessors: a F-16, a Hawker Hunter and a Spitfire.
But once the F-35A fighter jet landed on the runway of Leeuwarden, the ceremony took an unexpected turn. The aircraft was welcomed by the traditional ‘water salute’ from two fire trucks. However, one of them did not spray water but doused the aircraft with firefighting foam instead. This error should ground the aircraft for two weeks, as it will now be inspected for damages. “Extinguishing foam can have a corrosive effect, so we are in consultation with the manufacturer as to what we should check, for example, certain openings or the engine,” a spokesperson from the Defence Minister told Dutch media NOS. The special coating of the F-35A supposed to absorb radar waves could have been damaged. Moreover, technicians will need to check for foam in the engine.
Several Dutch media have reported that an F-16 from Volkel Air Base, had to land in Leeuwarden due to smoke in the cockpit, shortly before the arrival of its successor. The base firefighters might have simply forgotten to switch back to water mode for the salute, as the two switches are next to each other, according to the Defence spokesperson. So far, eight Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets were delivered to the Netherlands, out of the 46 the country ordered to replace its aging fleet of F-16s. They are currently remaining in the United States for training purposes. A second fighter jet is expected in three weeks.
TSB: Air-Taxi industry, Transport Canada and stakeholders should work together
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has published its safety issue investigation report raising the bar on safety: Reducing the risks associated with air-taxi operations in Canada. The Board has issued four new recommendations aimed at improving safety in this vital sector of Canadian aviation; a sector that continues to have more accidents, causing more fatalities, than all other sectors of commercial aviation in Canada combined.
“We found that accidents in this sector of aviation boil down to two underlying factors: the acceptance of unsafe practices and the inadequate management of operational hazards,” said Kathy Fox, Chair of the TSB. “Although overall, commercial aviation in Canada has shown improved safety performance over the past 10 years, air-taxi operations remain at higher risk.” Air-taxi operations in Canada involve aircraft (excluding jets) and helicopters that, by regulation, carry fewer than 10 passengers. These aircraft provide a wide variety of services throughout Canada, often in remote environments with less infrastructure than is available at large airports and where access to basic weather information and the latest technology may be limited. “It is this unique operating context; the diversity of both operations and environment that exposes air-taxi companies to very different risks,” said Fox.
Air-taxi operators must balance several competing pressures, each with its own consequences, in order to deliver a service, stay safe and remain economically viable. To address this problem and raise the bar on air-taxi safety, the TSB recommends that operators, their clients and Transport Canada (TC) work together to eliminate the acceptance of unsafe practices and to promote both proactive safety management and a positive safety culture. The TSB also recommends that TC close known safety gaps in the regulations and require all commercial operators to collect data on hours flown and aircraft movements by type of operation, in order to measure whether risk mitigation measures are effective.
Moving forward, the TSB will follow up on this investigation by communicating its results to TC, air-taxi operators, their clients and passengers and industry associations. The TSB will also reach out to these stakeholders to help them understand their role and responsibility in creating a culture where unsafe practices are unacceptable and operational hazards are adequately managed.
Crippled SmartLynx A320 nursed home after runway strike
Investigators have described the extraordinary effort to control an airborne SmartLynx Airbus A320 using stabiliser trim and thrust from its badly damaged engines, after the aircraft struck the runway with its engine pods during a failed touch-and-go exercise. The A320 suffered elevator failure as it rolled out after touchdown at Tallinn and did not respond to side-stick rotation commands as it accelerated for take-off.
Estonian investigation authority OJK found that a brief rebound of the landing gear during the touchdown (performed without the spoilers being armed) combined with a ‘weakness’ in a particular aspect of system logic resulted in a loss of pitch control by both spoiler elevator computers. Seven people were on board for the series of exercises: a student pilot in the first officer’s seat, an instructor in the captain’s seat, plus a safety pilot and a civil aviation authority inspector in the jump-seats. Three other students were in the passenger cabin.
These three students had already undergone touch-and-go practice, whilst the fourth was carrying out his third touch-and-go cycle, accelerating for take-off on runway 08 with the engines at full thrust. But the aircraft failed to respond to a rotation command from the sidestick at about 130 knots. The centralised aircraft monitor showed a left and right elevator fault and warned of manual pitch-trim only. Although the elevators were locked at neutral, the horisontal stabiliser was slightly nose-up and the aircraft became airborne at 152 knots. The instructor took control from the student and found that there was no response in pitch from the sidestick.
The inquiry says that, as aircraft reached a height of 19 feet, it was 950m from the far end of the runway. Its thrust levers were retarded to ‘idle’ the flap setting was reduced and the captain ordered the landing-gear retracted. Loss of thrust meant that, after reaching 48 feet, the aircraft started to descend and, with its landing-gear still in transit, the A320 struck the runway about 200m from the end with its engine pods, damaging the powerplants substantially. The impact caused the jet to pitch up and it started to climb away at 6,000feet / min, pitched nearly 20° nose-up, with its right-hand engine on fire.
From the jump-seat the safety pilot remarked that the aircraft needed ‘manual pitch-trim only’ and the crew began to control pitch, lowering the nose by turning the horizontal stabiliser’s pitch-trim wheel and selecting different engine thrust settings. The aircraft reached a maximum height of 1,590 feet and entered a dive at nearly 26° nose-down; reaching 7,200 feet / min and descending to 596 feet, before the instructor moved the thrust levers to a higher setting and trimmed the stabiliser nose-up.
OJK says multiple warnings sounded in the cockpit, including the master alarm and several terrain-awareness cautions including ‘sink rate’ and ‘pull up’ alerts. But the instructor managed to stabilise the A320 at about 1,200 feet and 155 knots, using side-stick roll input and a combination of trim and thrust to handle the pitch, despite the damage to the engines. “Do we have engines?” the instructor asked, about one minute after the runway impact, to which the safety pilot responded: “We have engine two fire.” The aircraft was not only operating in mechanical back-up mode for pitch control, following the elevator failure, it was also flying in direct law in the roll axis and alternate law in the yaw axis, with its flaps locked.
Having achieved relative stability at 1,300 feet for about 30 seconds, despite pitch varying between 8° nose-down and 16° nose-up the crew declared an emergency and agreed to attempt a right turn for a visual approach back to the opposite-direction runway 26. The safety pilot took the first officer’s seat, with the student and the inspector retreating to the cabin. Tower controllers were informed of the decision and asked to summon the emergency services.
Although the safety pilot suggested reducing power from the fire-hit right-hand engine, the instructor chose instead to maintain thrust and keep the engine operating as long as possible, given the deterioration in other flight controls. The engine began to fail and shut down about 30 seconds later. The crew extended the aircraft’s landing-gear and set landing flaps.
About 20 seconds after the right-hand engine shut down, the left-hand engine also failed, the result of seizure from low oil pressure following impact damage to the accessory gearbox. Several electrical systems ceased to function and the ram-air turbine deployed automatically. “Gear is down, we don’t have engines,” the safety pilot stated and the aircraft glided towards the runway, touching down heavily about 150m before the threshold, bursting all of its tyres before coming to a halt close to the left edge of the runway. The damage resulted in the A320 being written off but only minor injuries were suffered by those on board. OJK credits the crew with having followed the ‘golden rule’: aviate, navigate, communicate during the accident, on 28 February last year. It says the safety pilot’s initiative, the quick turn-back and the decision to keep the engines running, enabled those in the cockpit to keep the jet under control and land without casualties.
Airbus reveals LOUT, a German secret stealth drone demonstrator
During the 2019 edition of its Trade Media Briefing on 5 November 2019, Airbus Defense and Space unveiled the existence of its ‘Low Observable UAV Testbed’, or LOUT. The LOUT is a four-ton diamond-shaped aircraft of 12×12 meters, which makes it slightly bigger than the nEUROn, another European stealth drone developed by Dassault Aviation. The testbed features an internal weapon bay, diverterless low-RCS engine inlets and an integrated thrust-vectoring flat exhaust nozzle to reduce the risk of detection from ground sensors.
According to Airbus, the programme took a ‘holistic approach’ of stealth, simultaneously focusing on three aspects: reducing radar, IR, visual and acoustic signature, controlling electromagnetic emission of sensors and using electronic countermeasures for jamming and deception. Initial studies by Airbus started in 2007. In 2010, the manufacturer received a contract by the German Ministry of Defence for a very low observable (VLO) ground testbed to experiment on reducing radar, infrared and sound emissions. Airbus defined its development at the two sites of Manching and Bremen as a ‘Skunk Works approach’, after the name of Lockheed Martin design bureau responsible, among others, for the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Nighthawk, both developed in secrecy.
The LOUT has served to test stealth technologies that could later be used on the Next Generation Fighter, part of the Future Air Combat System (FCAS) programme conjointly developed by Airbus and Dassault. The technologies developed using the LOUT may be used by Airbus to gain leverage in the program, whose direction was awarded to Dassault. The two manufacturers are still waiting for the green light from the French, German and Spanish governments to start developing their demonstrators.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market worth $45.8 billion by 2025
A new report ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Vertical, Class, System, Industry (Defence & Security, Agriculture, Construction & Mining, Media & Entertainment), Type, Mode of Operation, Range, Point of Sale, MTOW and Region – Global Forecast to 2025’, published by MarketsandMarkets, is estimated at $19.3 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $45.8 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2019 to 2025.
The increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles in commercial and military applications is one of the most significant factors expected to drive the growth of the UAV market. Improvements in flight control systems, owing to the development of sense and avoid technology, are expected to fuel the growth of the UAV market. The commercial vertical segment of the UAV market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Based on vertical, the commercial vertical segment of the UAV market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2019 to 2025. This growth can be attributed to the increased adoption of UAVs for various commercial applications, such as inspection, monitoring, surveying, mapping, product delivery, and remote sensing. Aerial delivery drones are expected to replace conventional freight forwarding services in last mile delivery over the next few years due to their higher speed of operation and greater levels of cost control.
Based on range, the beyond line of sight (BLOS) segment of the UAV market is projected to grow at the highest growth during the forecast period due to the relaxation of restrictions imposed on the commercial use of UAVs.
Based on mode of operation, the fully autonomous UAVs segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the advantages associated with fully autonomous UAVs that require no human intervention and pre-programmed features that aid in their smooth operations.
The UAV market in the Asia Pacific region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the high demand for UAVs from the commercial and military sectors of countries such as China, India, and Japan. The military budgets of the above-mentioned countries are increasing on a yearly basis, which has subsequently led to the adoption of military UAVs, as they assist in the collection of battlefield data. Key players operating in the UAV market include General Atomics (US), Northrop Grumman (US), Boeing (US), DJI (China), Parrot (France), Lockheed Martin (US), Textron (S), 3D Robotics (US) and Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel)
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)