“Every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
African Pilot’s August edition
The August edition of African Pilot that features all the aviation businesses at Lanseria International Airport that took part in this feature is complete. The August edition has entered its circulation phase and will be fully circulated by early next week. Apart from the Lanseria feature, this bumper edition of 174 pages has more than 34 fully illustrated articles published. It has also become abundantly clear that African Pilot is the only South African aviation publication that has being interacting with its clients and readers on a regular basis throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period.
African Pilot has made significant changes to the August edition
Someone once said the only thing that is sure is that things will change. Over the past 19 years that African Pilot has been publishing its monthly aviation magazine, we have been fixated on the printed version. Now that the magazine is being published in the digital format, we will be increasing the font size by 50%, adding many more pages and preparing several other changes that will greatly enhance the reader’s experience on digital platforms. The August edition will probably land up as a 160 to 170-page edition, because as a digital publication, the number of pages does not affect the production. The fact that readers will be positioned to access the August edition on any device means that the African Pilot will become far more user friendly. This will be the first of a series of enhancements that will culminate in an interactive publication with provision for picture galleries and short videos by the end of this year. The August 2020 edition will be the first magazine to adopt some of these changes, with others to follow from September onwards.
African Pilot’s September edition
The September edition of African Pilot will feature Avionics and Instrumentation, which is normal since I usually bring the newest developments of the exciting developments announced at AirVenture in Oshkosh each year. However, this year I will have attended several online webinars during the AirVenture week to find out as much as possible about what is to be launched to the aviation world.
The material deadline for the September edition in on Wednesday 19 August 2020.
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.
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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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
SACAA DCA reply to CAASA
Letter to the CEO CAASA- FIU 29 July 2020
I have read the above letter sent to the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa from the Director of Civil Aviation with interest. Notwithstanding the delays and excuses for the resumption of calibration flights, which will happen at the earliest only towards the end of August there are several other issues with the manner in which this contract was awarded:
• I understand that the contract was awarded to a South African company that does not have the required aircraft, trained pilots or calibration equipment to undertake the work.
• This means that the foreign company will have to bring in its aircraft, pilots and suitable equipment to South Africa.
• The result of this situation is that the money paid for this work will be going out of South Africa.
• I have been told that five companies tendered for the work, but I only know about three South African companies.
• I understand that the South African companies that tendered all have suitable aircraft, trained pilots and access to the required calibration equipment.
• The fact is that this calibration work should have been undertaken by a South African company months ago during the COVID-19 shutdown period as a matter of being an ‘essential service’.
• Is the new normal in South Africa that smacks of we see happening in most government departments within our country?
Due to the aforesaid, one questions why it has been necessary to engage a Ukrainian calibration company that will certainly not be familiar with South African airports and will have undergo a two-week quarantine period before the work can commence.
Sling Aircraft service bulletin #0018
Release date: 28 July 2020
effective date: 28 July 2020
Subject: Insufficient swaging of oval sleeves on the rudder
Models affected: All Sling Aircraft – Manufactured before effective date 2020/07/28
Compliance time: At the next MPI (Mandatory Periodic Inspection)
Labour time: Two hours
Description: The Service Bulletin provides the instructions for the inspection of crimp widths on the rudder cable oval sleeves as internal quality checks have shown that some cables may have been insufficiently swaged. Insufficient swaging of oval sleeves could result in the rudder cable slipping out of the oval sleeve and subsequent loss of directional control of the aircraft. The Service Bulletin requires that inspections be carried out on all kit-built aircraft still under construction prior to first flight.
E-mail Our Technical Team: email@example.com
News from the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA)
Attached, please find Government Gazette 43543 GNR 810 and 811 relating to proposed amendments to the SA-CATS and CAR’s. Interested persons are hereby invited to submit written comments on these draft amendments on or before the 24 August 2020 to the Chairperson: CARCom.
The Minister of Transport intends, in terms of section 155(1) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2009 (Act No. 13 of 2009) and on the recommendation of the Civil Aviation Regulations Committee (CARCom), to amend the Civil Aviation Regulations, 2011, by the amendment of the following Parts:
• Part 1 (Definitions & Abbreviations relating to Part 108)
• Part 1 (Abbreviation and Definitions relating to Regulation 139)
• Part 21 (Certification Procedures for Products and Parts)
• Part 106 (Paragliding & Hang-Gliding)
• Part 108 (Air Cargo Security)
• Part 139 (Aerodromes and Infrastructure)
• Part 171 (Aeronautical Telecommunication Service Providers)
The Director of Civil Aviation intends, in terms of section 163 of the Civil Aviation Act and on recommendation of CARCom, to amend the Technical Standards by the amendment of the following parts set out in the Schedules below:
• SA CATS 24 (Airworthiness: Non-type Certificated Aircraft)
• SA CATS 106 (Paragliding & Hang-Gliding)
• SA CATS 139 (Aerodromes and Infrastructure)
• SA CATS 171 (Aeronautical Telecommunication Service Providers)
Please also find attached the consolidated Aviation directions and regulations.
Thank you to Craig Wood (Aviation4SA) for sending this through.
SAPFA events for 2020 - Part 2
It has been a while since we have sent a SAPFA communique in May, much has happened in the last two months related to aviation and the pandemic, at least we have got back to flying to an extent with a positive engagement with the DoT and the SACAA and as per the Aero Club regular communication you have been kept informed of the status. As of 3 July we have been able to fly under proficiency guidelines and as of 20 July, we have been granted permission to fly events under the guidelines of a COVID-19 SOP, which was developed in the previous week for consideration by the SACAA.
The SAPFA committee held a meeting on 22 July to review options on our events, which up until now were all cancelled for 2020. It was decided to hold a small event initially at Brakpan in the form of an ANR, which is a short event and can accommodate a cross section of our competitive crews. The date for this is 15 August and Frank Eckard will be the event organiser. This event will also exercise our COVID-19 SOP to iron out any protocols and procedures to support it. Essentially it will be a closed to the public or spectator type event, only participants and officials will be present – like what has been done in F1 racing. We will rely on good media presence and reporting for our supporters to enjoy it afterwards. Furthermore the Secunda Speed Rally will be held on the original planned date of 12 September and essentially it will be a single day event (as no leisure stay-overs are allowed at this point), Secunda is close enough to the GP area to enable the event to take place in a single day. However, test flights will not be possible, thus handicapping will somewhat be curtailed. Event entries are open on the Speed Rally website and ensure that all participants familiarise themselves with the COVID-19 SOP on the SAPFA website.
Virtual flying competitions
While we are restricted from enjoying the freedom of flight, SAPFA has been hard at work to find a way of flying without the risk of infection and have been partially successful in our endeavours. More on that later. We have also developed a way of flying without restriction, without leaving your home and without burning avgas!
Welcome to VIRTUAL FLYING! Please visit our High-Speed Server at http://www.worldrallyflying.com/ (You can also access this from Virtual Flying links on the SAPFA website and the World Rally Flying Championships 2020 website). We have been working with Aeroworx to bring you the enhancements to X Plane 11 that will allow you to fly a realistic competition and enjoy the freedom of virtual flying. So far, we have uploaded the scenery files for Stellenbosch and Brits. While this will require a small investment and a good internet connection, this will be the cheapest aircraft you even own and flying. If you are interested in joining our VIRTUAL FLYING COMPETITIONS, please send Frank Eckard an e-mail with your cell phone number: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
SAAF C-130BZ that crashed in the DRC is coming back to SA
According to Brigadier General Hilton Smith, Director: SA Air Force (SAAF) Corporate Staff Services, which includes corporate communication, the 28 Squadron C-130BZ Hercules (tail number 403) involved in a runway excursion in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in January will be brought back to South Africa. He said that the complete aircraft will be recovered to South Africa later this year adding there was no indication of when the 56-year-old military transporter will be disassembled and returned.
The pandemic was cited as a reason for delaying the arrival date of a South African forensic team in the eastern DRC city of Goma earlier this year. Travel regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 meant the SAAF technical team’s departure for the central African country was also delayed. According to Smith, the aircraft has been moved from where it ended up ignominiously alongside the Goma runway. It has been moved from its original position to facilitate ground support equipment access for further disassembling. After viewing photographic evidence of the aircraft he said: “Even if it is repairable, I doubt the SAAF will be able to afford it on their meagre budget, especially with the difficulty of replacing an outer wing section in an austere location such as Goma”.
Comair BRPs request extension
Comair’s business rescue practitioners have asked creditors to extend the date for the publication of a business rescue plan by a month. The request for an extension until 28 August 2020 is so the practitioners can negotiate short-term bridging funding as post-commencement finance and advance two offers from potential investors. Of the two recent investment offers received, one is binding but contains several conditions that need satisfied. The other is non-binding and further negotiation is required to progress it to the point where it could be included in the business rescue plan. The short-term bridging finance is urgently required to ensure Comair can meet its limited operational overheads and for the business rescue process to continue. Creditors had granted a previous extension for the publication of the plan to allow time to advance an earlier non-binding offer. The practitioners were subsequently informed that this could not be taken forward. Creditors have until noon on 29 July to grant the extension.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Bell 505 receives type acceptance in Tanzania
The Bell 505 has been accepted by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) for airworthiness certification in the United Republic of Tanzania, making it the sixth country in Africa to certify the aircraft. “The Bell 505 is renowned the world over for delivering best-in-class value to our customers, and now, with TCAA’s type acceptance, we are excited to serve the needs of Tanzania with the latest in helicopter technology. With superior visibility from every seat, low cost of operations, and the availability of multi-mission configurations, the Bell 505 is the perfect platform from which to explore Tanzania’s natural beauty, while also serving the daily needs of charter and tourism operators, search and rescue, and para-public organizations,” said Sameer Rehman, Managing Director for Africa and Middle East. “The Bell ownership experience is coupled with our award-winning and industry-leading aftermarket support.” Type certified for operations up to 22,500 feet density altitude following the completion of high-altitude testing in Nepal in mid-2019, the Bell 505 has seen more than 260 worldwide deliveries with more than 45,000 flight hours logged since its first delivery in March 2017. With a speed of 125 knots and a useful load of 1,500 pounds, the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing significant value to the operator.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Trigana Boeing 737 skids off runway after unstabilised approach
After carrying out an unstabilised approach, a Trigana Air Boeing 737 freighter skidded on the runway of Wamena Airport (WMX), Indonesia, damaging its left wing. The Boeing 737-300, registered PK-YSZ, was arriving from Sentani International Airport (DJJ) in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, transporting 14 tons of mixed goods. According to video footage, the aircraft carried out an unstabilised approach and skidded on the runway of Wamena Airport, (WMX), also in the Papua Province. As a result, the plane damaged the flap track fairing of its left wing. “There were no fatalities in the incident and the crew was evacuated to Wamena Regional Hospital to check their health condition,” a spokesperson of the Papua Police said. An investigation was opened by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) and airport authorities.
NTSB preliminary report: Cessna 188
On 9 July 2020 a Cessna 188 airplane, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pembina, North Dakota. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) Subpart 702 aerial work flight. About 0745, a US Customs and Border Protection officer observed the airplane spraying fungicide on a canola field in Canada adjacent to the US border. Following each southbound spray pass, the airplane would fly into the US and make a left turn back toward the Canadian field. After observing a post-crash fire about 1.5 miles north of his position, the officer responded to the accident site and rendered assistance to the pilot. Due to his injuries, the pilot did not recall events of the accident. Examination by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors revealed the airplane impacted the canola field left wing down and came to rest with the right wing laying over the left wing. The debris path was oriented toward the southeast and about 150 feet long. The airplane was retained for further examination.
NTSB preliminary report: Cessna 150
On 8 July 2020, Cessna 150H airplane, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Port Orchard, Washington. The pilot was seriously injured. There were two witnesses to the accident, one near the approach end of the runway and one near the departure end. The airplane approached the airport from the east and entered the left traffic pattern for runway 02. One witness described final approach as un stabilised, high and fast. The airplane continued to descend and when it was about ¼ of the way down the runway the airplane disappeared behind a berm. A few seconds later, the airplane came back to view and was at about 30 feet above ground level. The engine sounded as if it was at ‘full power’ and one witness observed the flaps were still extended. The airplane appeared to be flying slowly and struggling to climb, as if it was ‘hanging onto a stall.’ The airplane began a right bank towards rising terrain and trees. The airplane’s bank angle increased before the airplane impacted the trees in a ‘knife edge’ attitude and dropped to the ground. Both witnesses further reported that the airport has very tight margins and is a one-way airport. The north end of the runway is 50 feet higher than the south end; therefore, landings are limited to the north (uphill) and take-offs to the south. Go-arounds are very difficult in all but high-performance aircraft.
NTSB preliminary report: Cessna 172
On 7 July a Cessna 172N airplane was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near South Lake Tahoe, California. The pilot sustained fatal injuries; the passenger sustained serious injuries to which she succumbed to five days later. The airplane departed Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL) South Lake Tahoe, California, shortly before the accident. A witness observed the airplane flying at about 200 feet above ground level and heard the engine producing a sputtering sound consistent with losing and gaining power. The left-wing tip struck a tree and the airplane aggressively yawed while continuing to fly low in a southerly direction until it disappeared from the witness’s line of sight. The airplane wreckage was discovered about 2.5 nautical miles southwest of the departure end of runway 18.
Piper PA-32 plane crashes into a resident’s backyard
A small airplane crashed into a resident’s backyard in West Jordan, Utah, on Saturday afternoon. The plane was carrying six passengers, including three adults and three children. One adult male, one adult female and a nine-month-old baby were confirmed to have died. One adult, a two-year-old boy and a 12-year-old child were taken to the hospital with injuries. The elderly homeowner was injured in the crash, as were an unknown number of others. The owner of the home, an unidentified elderly woman who was inside at the time of the crash, sustained injuries and is also currently in critical condition. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a small Piper PA-32 that took off from the South Valley Regional Airport and went down just two miles away a local airport Saturday afternoon.
Three dead after small plane crashes into house in Germany
The roof of the apartment building in the town of Wesel, in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, caught fire after the microlight plane crashed into it, a police spokesperson said. Witnesses told local media that they had seen the aircraft collide with a hot-air balloon shortly before the crash, which also injured a child. The injured child is thought to have been living in one of the five apartments in the building, the spokesperson said. Emergency workers found a parachute close to the site, which is believed to be the plane’s emergency rescue system.
Low flight over river ends badly
The pilot departed on a cross-country, personal flight in a Kitfox IV. During the flight, he chose to fly at low altitude over a river near Loma, Colorado. After passing over a group of river rafters about 500 feet above ground level, he ‘dropped low to the river.’ Shortly after descending, the airplane’s vertical stabiliser struck a cableway that crossed over the river. The pilot lost control, and the airplane hit the side of the river canyon and then came to rest partially submerged in the river. The cableway was supported by two fixed A-frame structures located on the sides of the riverbank and the cable height at its center above the water’s surface was 32 feet. The pilot likely was not properly monitoring the environment during the low-altitude operation, which resulted in his failure to see and avoid the cableway.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Airbus completes autonomous airliner experiment
Airbus has flown a new A350-1000 without the help of pilots 500 times in a research project that involved equipping the huge airliner with a form of machine vision it calls ‘image recognition technology.’ The system uses external cameras and processes the resulting images to make the myriad adjustments necessary in the various phases of flight. Those cameras are the same ones used by pilots for moving around on the ground without bending or scraping anything. Passengers can also see them on the entertainment system.
Early in the programme, which began in 2018, pilots were partners with the computers and did the taxi and runway line-up. By the end of the programme, the widebody taxied, took off and landed all on its own. There were pilots on the later flights, but they did not touch anything. The big question is where does the technology go from here? Actually, flying without pilots aboard or, perhaps with just one in a supervisory role, would involve a lot of paperwork and discussion, not to mention selling the public on it.
AD: Airbus SAS airplanes
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes, Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320 series airplanes and Model A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of main landing gear (MLG) torque link apex pin rupture in service. This AD requires replacement of certain MLG torque link apex pins and for certain other pins, a one-time magnetic particle inspection (MPI) for cracking and replacement if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0130, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD becomes effective on 7 August 2020.
Garmin hacked $10M ransomware reported
Several computer media reports are providing details behind the massive Garmin ransomware attack that appears to have started last Thursday and brought many aviation services to a standstill. The most recent reports assert that Garmin is being hit up for a $10M ransom (or a few bucketloads of G5000s…) via a ransomware strategy known as ‘WastedLocker.’
A Garmin staff member confirmed the severity of the attack, the amount of ransom and provided details that the company has heretofore refused to provide, despite the fact that Garmin’s perils also have the potential to put others in harm or at hazard. Numerous pilots and aviation operators hampered or stymied by Garmin’s security breach have complained vociferously online and many wonder how a company providing such critical services could allow its servers to be breached this way. ‘WastedLocker’ is a vicious bit of programming, since it encrypts files all across the affected server making their access and utility pretty much impossible until a code is sent by the criminal blackmailers (when the ransom is paid) to allow those files to subsequently unlock. If they receive those codes at all. It is hard to trust a crook to do what they promise to do, even after they get paid the $10M. Failing a ransom payment, Garmin’s thoroughly embarrassed IT department now has its work cut out for it, restoring backups (if current) and then reassembling whole systems and programs to complete functionality. As of late Sunday, Garmin is reporting the restoration of some features and functionality, though the system, according to users posting online, still has several shortcomings to work out.
Garmin said “We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin Connect and as a result, the Garmin Connect website and mobile app are down at this time. This outage also affects our call centres and we are currently unable to receive any calls, e-mails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience.”
This matter also took down flyGarmin: Garmin’s primary web service hub supporting data and services for several its navigation, communication and data systems for thousands of aircraft, worldwide. Pilots reported, online, they have been unable to access and download their Garmin databases, effectively crippling those pilots with a need for their databases to be in compliance for certain legal flight requirements, as defined by the FAA or other applicable regulatory agency. The Garmin Pilot app was also reported down, further victimising the customer base.
How long this situation will go on before completion of all necessary fixes (or payment of the ransom) is unknown, but the manner in which this has been handled has been roundly criticised online and extensive questions are being raised about the security of Garmin’s online operations. There is also a far more critical question as to whether those attempting to access Garmin servers may also be potentially infected by the ransomware infestation, as some variants are known to do.
Ryanair records first net loss in its history
Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair reported 95% less revenue and 99% less passengers in the first quarter of their financial year (April-June) compared to the same period of 2019 and registered the first net loss in the airline’s history. The airline’s report released on 27 July 27 confirms that the airline expects to operate 60% of its normal August schedule and up to 70% in September, as well as clear 90% of customer cash refunds by the end of July. According to The Sunday Independent and the Business Post, Ryanair owes over €1 billion in refunds. Ryanair’s optimistic outlook is fuelled in part by the net loss of €185 million being substantially smaller than previously forecasted €232 million, yet the airline is cautious about the expectations of annual profit. In another stroke of optimism Ryanair lays out its view of COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to grow its network, expanding into empty space left by other, less fortunate airlines. The company also places a lot of hope into Boeing 737 MAX, expecting renewal of deliveries in late-2020 while calling the long-grounded aircraft a ‘gamechanger’. Such an expectation comes in contrast to other airlines shrinking their MAX orders due to the pandemic.
Two astronauts prepare for homecoming after spacewalk and cargo mission
The Expedition 63 crew is enjoying their weekend following a spacewalk and a same-day delivery this week to resupply the International Space Station. Two NASA astronauts are also getting ready to return to Earth after a two-month stay in space. Commander Chris Cassidy cleaned water loops inside the US spacesuits he and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken wore during Tuesday’s five-hour and 29-minute spacewalk. The skilled astronaut has chalked up 10 career spacewalks gaining nearly 55 hours of external lab maintenance experience. This was also the tenth spacewalk for Behnken netting him just over 61 hours of service outside the station. Behnken is now turning his attention to readying the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle that will return he and fellow NASA astronaut Doug Hurley to Earth at the beginning of August. They will undock from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter on 1 August. The duo will splashdown on 2 August ending NASA’s first crewed mission aboard a commercial spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley packed clothing, personal items and other gear today inside the Crew Dragon. The two astronauts also tried on a specialised suit to help their bodies adapt to the conditions of Earth’s gravity upon their return.
Five spaceships are parked at the station after Thursday’s arrival of Russia’s Progress 76 (76P) resupply ship less than three-and-half hours after launch. Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin has begun unpacking some of the nearly three tons of cargo delivered aboard the 76P. Fellow Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner assisted with the cargo transfers and updated the station’s inventory management system.
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.
Until next week Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)