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“Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.” Dr Benjamin Rush
African Pilot's December 2018 edition
The December edition features the various General Aviation and Airlines based at OR Tambo International Airport. In addition, this edition features an illustrated report on the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) annual general assembly staged in Livingstone, Zambia at Victoria Falls and business at OR Tambo International Airport. In addition this edition features the ATNS Avi Afrique conference, the world’s first commercial flight, Comair’s launch of Nacelle, the arrival of South Africa’s first Pilatus PC-24 Business Jet, NBAA 2018 report, the cover story about the magnificent Bell 430 helicopter, Team Xtreme’s trip into Africa, EAA USA’s incredible initiative at changing the FAA’s mindset with regard to amateur manufactured aircraft, Spitfire simulator in the UK, the strange Eclipse 550 accident report as well as many other interesting features.
African Pilot’s January 2019 edition
The final magazine that our team will prepare in 2018 will be the January 2019 edition, is complete and printing to be ready for distribution this week. This edition contains our annual drones in South Africa feature as well as a report on the EAA Sun ‘n Fun weekend in Brits, Aero Club awards, the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) awards and the first South African Civil Authority (SACAA) awards.
African Pilot’s February 2019 edition
The February 2019 edition will feature business at Grand Central Airport as well as our annual Piston Engine aircraft over 650Kg survey. The closing date for this edition is Wednesday 9 January 2019. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is changing at African Pilot?
Now you can get your favourite aviation magazine online
As our digital capability has grown substantially, we will be developing daily aviation news blasts within the next 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 R16 (US$2) or R160 (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.
Video of the week - Opening of NAC and Ultimate Heli's new heliport
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
ICASA notice from the Aero Club of South Africa – Alan Even-Haynes
ICASA has issued a notice in the Government Gazette 42080 on 4 December 2018 requiring all radio frequency users to apply for a permit.
This could effect the following aviation frequencies:
- VHF Navigation (108.000Mhz – 117.950Mhz)
- VHF Communication (118.000Mhz – 136.975Mhz)
- Transponder / Traffic Collision Avoidance System (1030 Mhz / 1090 Mhz)
- Airborne Weather Radar (9375Mhz)
- Radar Altimeter / Ground Proximity Warning System (4200Mhz-4400Mhz)
- Distance Measuring equipment (962Mhz-1213Mhz)
- Global Positioning System (1176Mhz – 1575Mhz)
- Doppler Radar (8800hz-13300Mhz)
- FLARM (868Mhz)
- Others (2.4Ghz, 5.8Ghz and 35Mhz)
The Aero Club has established confirmation that previous regulation Government Gazette Vol 630 No 41321 15 December 2017 applies, which states that these regulations are NOT APPLICABLE to aeronautical mobile, aeronautical radio-navigation and radiolocation services operating in the frequency bands allocated to these services in the National Radio Frequency Plan published by ICASA in terms of section 34 (2) of the electronic Communications Act, 2005. We support the SACAA and DOT in their initiatives to ensure flight safety prevails and promote full compliance with the ICAO Conventions in this respect. Aviators are therefore NOT required to apply for a permit should you be operating in these frequencies for aviation purposes. Also SKA are finally acknowledging the need for genuine stakeholder engagement. We shall keep all aviators appraised of developments as they occur but will endeavour to ensure the freedom of flight for all.
ACSA comments on conviction of OR Tambo International Airport robbery
Airports Company South Africa applauds the South African Police Services and the National Prosecuting Authority on the conviction of three men responsible for the armed robbery at OR Tambo International Airport in March 2017. Following their conviction in the South Gauteng High Court, the three men received sentences of 15 years, 30 years and 45 years respectively. Airports Company South Africa is most appreciative of the tremendous work of the investigative team and the prosecutors in bringing to justice those responsible for this serious crime. The sentences imposed are significant and we hope that they will serve as a deterrent to those seeking to disrupt one of South Africa’s main ports of entry.
The company’s security executive has followed both the investigation and trial. Important insights have been gained into the planning of the robbery. We do appreciate that even the best security systems can be compromised when individual links fail to do their jobs or become corrupted. Shortly after the robbery, certain procedures were changed and ACSA has expanded monitoring of every part of the security system considerably both inside and outside of the airport environment.
SAPFA National Landing Championships by Rob Jonkers
The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) held the annual National Landing Championships at Brits airfield on Saturday 8 December 2018, as the final SAPFA fixture for the year. The weather was a factor throughout the week, but by Thursday it looked like Saturday would be a clear day with the usual summer convection weather systems around with isolated thunder showers forecast after 16h00.
The interest in the competition did not bring many new competitors this year therefore the pilots were mostly experienced SAPFA members some of them have been world landing champions in the past. The competition was run by the SAPFA chief landing judge Jacques Jacobs, who with his team of marshals, set up the landing scoring system on runway 02. After briefing at 08h30, the fun class of new pilots took part and their task was to do four normal landings as standard powered approaches with flaps as required.
On completion of the fun class it was the turn of the open class, who were organised into three groups and had to do two rounds of four landings each, the four landings had to be a standard powered approach with flaps as required, a barrier landing also as a standard approach (the barrier is a line of flags two metres high placed 50 m from the line), then two glide approach landings, one with and one without flaps with the power closed at 1000 feet abeam the landing line.
The wind was mostly under 10 knots with a right hand cross-wind and as the competition gathered pace a thunderstorm cell started brewing from the northwest and the wind got stronger to around 15 knots, with gusting conditions and turbulence. It was around 11h00 when the thunderstorm was closing in and Hans Schwebel on his last landing to complete round one when the rain started where the downdrafts upset his last glide approach and he landed short. Within five minutes the heavens opened with a cloudburst lasting around 15 minutes, clearing up again with good flying weather. It was decided to complete the competition with the round one results and Jonty Esser took first place.
ACSA Feather Awards
Staged at the Sandon Convention Centre on Friday evening 7 December the Feather Awards are an opportunity for Airports Company South Africa to recognise those aviation and non aviation companies involved at OR Tambo International Airport that have excelled with customer service over the past year. Whilst most awards were welcomed, it was a surprise to see two government departments: SARS and Home Affairs receive awards. Also the fact that South African Airways, which is technically bankrupt received two awards was surprising. More about this glittering evening in the February 2019 edition of African Pilot.
Opening of Ultimate Heli’s new heliport
On Sunday 9 December Ultimate Heli and National Airways Corporation (NAC) opened the brand new Ultimate Heliport situated south of Grand Central airport and adjacent to the M1 highway. This new state of the art facility is just inside the Grand Central CTR, but much lower than the airport itself. I was told that this heliport cost somewhere between R65 and R70 million to develop and build. There is no doubt that a facility such as this, which is well positioned to all the major access routes and superbly designed will attract plenty of helicopter owners to get away from normal airport politics. More about this facility in the February 2019 edition of African Pilot.
International Civil Aviation Day 2018 By Charlie Hugo
The 2018 iteration of ICAD was held on 7 and 8 December at Nelspruit Airfield, home of the Aero Club of South Africa’s 2018 best airshow in South Africa. The event consisted of a career expo and a small airshow. The aim is to show case aviation as well as the various career opportunities in the aviation industry. All the government aviation bodies had career stands manned by staff to assist the learners with potential career choices. Little Annie, an Antonov An-2, flown by Mark and Jon-Mark Hill provided a number of very lucky learners with their first experience of flight ever. On the Saturday, the Minister of Transport attended the event and this was followed by a short airshow. The crowd were wowed and thrilled by the daring aerobatics displays by the various teams that supported the show. It is most unfortunate that the adverse weather conditions on the weekend prevented two Johannesburg teams from attending. A comprehensive report will be published in the February edition of African Pilot.
We will publish the aviation calendar within APAnews four 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.
African Pilot’s 2019 calendar
19 & 20 January
SAC Gauteng Regionals at Vereeniging airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge – Rand Airport
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Cape Speed Rally – hosted by the Morningstar Flying Club
Contact Hans Potgieter e-mail: email@example.com
BARSA Aviation Summit Venue TBA
Contact Phushaza Sibiya Cell: 072 870 7085
7 to 10 March
Aero Club Air Week and mini airshow at Middelburg
Contact Richardt Lovett Cell 082 771 8775 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aero Club Alan Evan Hanes Tel: 011 082 1100
9 and 10 March
Swellendam Flying Club host Sport Aerobatic Club Regional Championships
Contact Pieter Venter e-mail: email@example.com
12 to 14 March
Saudi Airshow Thumah Airport, Riyadh
13 to 15 March
Ageing Aircraft & Aircraft Corrosion seminar at OR Tambo International Airport
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FASHKOSK at Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Anton Theart Cell: 079 873 4567 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Virginia Fun Rally – Virginia Airport
Contact Mary de Klerk cell: 084 880 9000
4 to 6 April
SAPFA Rally Nationals & Fun Rally – Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robertson Annual Breakfast fly in
Contact Alwyn du Plessis Cell: 083 270 5888
Pilot Career Show venue TBA
Contact Greta Senkevie e-mail: email@example.com
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell: 082 320 2615
4 to 14 April
Stars of Sandstone Ficksburg, Eastern Free State
10 to 13 April
AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany Global show for General Aviation
Contact Stephan E-mail: email@example.com
Rand Airport Easter fly-in
Contact Carolle Olivier Tel: 011 827 8884
SAPFA EAA Convention Adventure Rally – Vryheid
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 to 28 April
EAA National Convention in Vryheid
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy
27 & 28 April
SAC Judges Trophy venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
29 April to 1 May
Airport Show 2019
Grab this opportunity to take part in Airport Show, the world’s largest annual gathering for the airport community on 29 April – 1 May 2019 Dubai. BOOK YOUR STAND (https://bit.ly/2P2PyVZ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or via mobile at +971 50 662 6371
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
YallaFly - new private charter airline is entering the market
YallaFly airlines is a new private air charter airline which is in its formative stages. It said it has been organised to take full advantage of a specific gap in the mid-haul international travel market. The gap exists in private charter services between North Africa, Europe, USA and Near East. The airline added it wants to ‘solve problems’ that have been overlooked by other airlines.
- Private aviation market (especially in North Africa) is still immature and emerging, so local businesses do not have enough experience in the industry of professional air services.
- Most of carriers operating on these markets have small fleets of planes made of two to four jets, the majority of which were manufactured in the 20th century.
- Due to weak competition and underdeveloped market, air transport companies do not follow strict safety rules.
A representative said: “Our company is built by professionals with extensive experience in the airline industry. We offer highly comfortable, safe and cost-effective way of travelling, which can be a good alternative to the traditional means of transport. Security is our priority, we have made it a priority by having modern fleet of planes and also meeting all new safety standards.”
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Airport Show 2019 in Dubhai
Grab this opportunity to take part in Airport Show, the world’s largest annual gathering for the airport community on 29 April – 1 May 2019 in Dubai.
BOOK YOUR STAND (https://bit.ly/2P2PyVZ )
Airport Show is the perfect platform to position your company in front of top airport project leaders in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and be part of the unprecedented aviation developments taking place across this market.
Benefits of exhibiting at Airport Show 2019 include:
✔ Opportunity to showcase your smart innovations to the airport community
✔ Access the exclusive business connect platform to meet relevant decision-makers in the region from Airline, Airports, Airport Authorities, Cargo/Freight Companies, Construction Industry Suppliers, Air Navigation Services Provider, Governments, Ground Handlers, Civil Aviation Authorities, Maintenance/Facilities Management, Military/Defence/Police
✔ Company listing on the website exhibitor directory with a total page view of over 245,000
✔ Personalised e-invitations and banners for you to distribute to your clients
✔ Nominate your top clients to be VIP and offer special networking opportunities
To book your stand or to discuss your customised participation at Airport Show, please email@example.com or via mobile at +971 50 662 6371
Boeing delivers 2,000th airplane to China
Last week Boeing confirmed the delivery of its 2,000th airplane to a Chinese operator, a 737 MAX for Xiamen Airlines. The milestone and the pace at which it was reached reflect the accelerating growth in the world’s largest commercial aviation market. Boeing delivered its first 1,000 airplanes to Chinese airlines over four decades. The next 1,000 Boeing jets have now been delivered over the past five years. The rapid pace continues as one in four Boeing-made commercial jet goes to a Chinese operator, either through direct purchase or lease. Xiamen Airlines is one of Boeing’s more than 30 commercial customers in China. In all, Boeing-made jets comprise more than half of the greater than 3,000 jetliners flying in the country.
China’s commercial fleet is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. Boeing forecasts that China will need 7,690 new airplanes, valued at $1.2 trillion, by 2038. Boeing also forecasts China will experience strong growth in the commercial services market with demand growing $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years, accounting for 17 percent of world demand.
China also plays a major role in building the world’s jetliners. The Chinese aerospace manufacturing industry supplies parts for every Boeing jet, including the 737 MAX, 777 and 787 Dreamliner. In December, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) are set to deliver the first 737 MAX airplane from a completion and delivery centre in Zhoushan, China. The facility will handle interior work and exterior painting of 737 MAXs for the Chinese market. Final assembly work will continue to be done at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington. Boeing activity in China is valued at more than $1 billion in economy activity in China. This includes procurement from Boeing’s extensive supply base, joint venture revenues, operations, training, and research and development investment.
No pilots, less routes: Jet Airways woes deepen
Between 2 and 3 December 2018, the second largest Indian airline; Jet Airways was been forced to cancel fourteen flights due to several pilots taking a sudden sick leave. But the disease has been festering for a while within the company. On 30 November 2018, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube was confident that the recent financial trouble in which its company finds itself would not affect the operations of the airline. However, the following weekend, pilots reported sick, prompting Jet Airways to cancel fourteen flights. The airline blamed the cancelled flights on ‘unforeseen operational circumstance’. However, flight crews were, in fact, protesting unpaid salaries.
Some managers, pilots and engineers have not been paid since September, with some receiving only part of their wage in August, according to local media NDTV. The flight crews also pointed at the National Aviator’s Guild (NAG), which seems reluctant to bring the matter to their management. Jet Airways had previously promised it would pay employees their August salaries over the next three months, which it seemingly failed to do. The airline has let 36 people go since then.
On 3 November 2018, Indian Media the Telegraph reported that Jet Airways planned on closing several routes towards the Gulf countries. In total, about 39 weekly flights should disappear. “Jet Airways has decided to withdraw its services to Doha from Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram as well as to Abu Dhabi from Lucknow and Mangalore. Besides, the airline will also not operate on Mangalore-Dubai route,” a source said, adding “All these services are being taken out of operations from 5 December.”
Meanwhile, the airline announced that it would add 65 new weekly flights mainly on its domestic network.
In its latest financial report, released in September 2018, Jet Airways reported a loss of approximately $170 million (INR 12.97 billion) after tax. The airline expects Etihad Airways, which owns 24% stake, to acquire more shares in order to generate some cash. It will also stop providing free meals to domestic economy class passengers from January 2019.
Air Astana receives leopard Embraer E190-E2
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana expanded its fleet by getting new Embraer of the E-Jet E2 series. On 3 December 2018, Air Astana press service reported receiving the first of five Embraer 190-E2, which is to replace current E190s. The leasing period for Air Astana E190 aircraft expires in 2019 and new models are expected to bring more economical effectivity, as said by airline president, Peter Foster. E190-E2 is a new generation of Embraer E-Jets family. Air Astana is the second airline to receive and operate E190-E2s, after the Norwegian Widerøe.
Flydubai B737 attempts take-off without clearance at Sheremetyevo
Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport makes the headlines again. In what could be called a severe misstep by Flydubai’s pilots, on 2 December 2018, the airline’s Boeing 737-800 attempted take-off without clearance from the air traffic control (ATC). The plane was halted to avoid a possible ground collision with another incoming aircraft. Air traffic controllers had to instruct the Dubai-bound Boeing 737-800 (registration A6-FEQ), which had not received clearance, to abort its take-off roll from runway 06R at Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) as another arriving aircraft, an Aeroflot Airbus A330 (registration VQ-BBF), was crossing the runway at the same time. The separation between the two planes at that point was about 2,050 meters (6,725 feet). Flydubai did not comment on the circumstances of the incident, nor whether the pilots of flight FZ918 were disciplined. Spokesperson for the airline, Evgeniya Akimova, went on to say that the jetliner eventually departed from Sheremetyevo at 08:57 local time, making it a delay of a total of 3 hours and 12 minutes.
Spaceflight launches 64 satellites on first dedicated rideshare mission
SmallSat Express mission, the largest single rideshare mission from a US-based launch vehicle to date. The company successfully launched 64 spacecraft to sun-synchronous low Earth orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 that launched Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Spaceflight launched 15 MicroSats and 49 CubeSats from government and commercial entities including universities, start-ups and even a middle school. The payloads vary from technology demonstrations and imaging satellites to educational research endeavours.
One research payload includes the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s CubeSat, SeaHawk-1 carrying the HawkEye Ocean Colour Imager. UNCW has been funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and NASA serves in an advisory capacity to ensure the maximum scientific utility of the science data. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and UNCW have created a partnership to expand accessibility to the data.
To accommodate the large number of payloads, Spaceflight built an integrated payload stack that was nearly 20 feet tall. Once the launch vehicle reached orbit, the upper and lower free flyers separated from the vehicle. The free flyers then successfully deployed all spacecraft, dispensing one payload every five minutes over five hours. With the success of SSO-A, Spaceflight has now launched more than 210 satellites since its founding in 2011. In addition, the company is contracted to launch nearly 100 satellites in 2019. Among the upcoming launches is Spaceflight’s next dedicated rideshare mission, which will occur in 2019 on a Rocket Lab Electron.
The mission also marked the first time SpaceX launched the same booster a third time. Falcon 9’s first stage for the Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission previously supported the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission in May 2018 and the Merah Putih mission in August 2018. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ drone ship, which was stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
Branson is ‘pretty confident’ Virgin Galactic will fly to space this year
Sir Richard Branson says that Virgin Galactic will be flying astronauts to space by the end of the year, but the people on board will be test pilots, not paying passengers. Branson said that after SpaceShipTwo (named VSS Unity) is proven, he will be the first passenger to take a flight to the edge of space. “I’m not allowed up until the test pilots have broken it in a few times, first,” he said. “I would love to have gone on this very first flight, but pilots are incredibly brave people.” Unity make a powered test flight in July, reaching an altitude of 32.3 miles above the Earth. To receive astronaut wings from the US Government, the spacecraft and its crew must reach an altitude of 50 miles. The flights will offer passengers a few minutes of microgravity before returning to Earth. It is not known when Virgin Galactic will be declared fully operational. Branson had initially predicted that he would be flying paying customers to space by 2007. There are some 600 people who have already paid for trips to space at a cost of $200,000 to $250,000 per seat.
uAvionix gets SkyBeacon STC
On 28 November 2018 uAvionix announced that it received an approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML STC) from the FAA, which authorises installation of its TSOed skyBeacon wingtip-mounted Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) hardware with integral position light and strobe.
The skyBeacon received five TSOs on 4 September: ADS-B (TSO-C154c, Class B1S); GPS position source (TSO-C145d, Class Beta 1); barometric altitude sensor (TSO-C88b), position light (TSO-C30c, Type I) and anti-collision light (TSO-C96a, Class II). Since then, aircraft owners interested in the skyBeacon’s streamlined installation (which uAvionix estimates as one hour for many aircraft) have been awaiting an STC to authorise installation. During the STC process, the company made some minor enhancements to the product and also expanded the STC from two aircraft to 272, the company said.
The skyBeacon is a universal access transceiver that provides ADS-B Out capability on 978 MHz. ADS-B uses satellites instead of ground-based radar to determine aircraft location and is a key technology behind the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System. The FAA has mandated ADS-B Out for flights after 1 January 2020, in airspace where a transponder is required today. In addition, the FAA brought back its $500 ADS-B Out rebate in October and the TSOed skyBeacon qualifies for the rebate.
The STC covers a wide array of American Champion, Aviat, Beechcraft, Cessna, Piper, Maule, Mooney, and other models; a complete list is available online. The company will offer wingtip fairing adapters to simplify installation on some specific Cessna models; uAvionix said these will cost $100 each and should be shipping by the end of the year.
For aircraft not covered by the AML STC, the FAA issued a tech paper last year. The referenced ‘Installation Approval for ADS-B Out Systems’ memorandum explains how certified ADS-B hardware can be approved as a follow-on installation, based on a previously approved STC. Because an initial STC exists, uAvionix said, subsequent skyBeacon installations can be performed on any ‘suitable aircraft’, which is any aircraft allowing installation without airframe modification as a minor alteration, without an additional or airframe-specific STC.
uAvionix said it is progressing with TSO certification of its tailBeacon product, very similar to the wingtip-mount skyBeacon but intended for installation on the aircraft’s tail. The company still expects to receive the tailBeacon TSO by the end of the year, but said the STC probably will push into the first quarter of 2019.
In addition, with the skyBeacon STC in hand, uAvionix said it will follow up with starboard-side options for owners who want matching position lights. The company already offers skySensor, a right-side ADS-B In receiver and position / strobe light, for experimental and light sport aircraft. It has decided against producing a certified skySensor, but said it will produce a certified, matching starboard-side position and strobe light during the first quarter of 2019.
A lawsuit filed by Garmin International against uAvionix in June, claiming that uAvionix is infringing on a Garmin patent with technology in the skyBeacon and other ADS-B hardware, is winding its way through US District Court in Missoula, Montana, where multiple motions have been filed and answered; a jury trial currently is scheduled for February 2020. uAvionix disputes the allegation and said in a statement that the suit will not affect its certification or delivery of ADS-B hardware.
Boeing meets with pilot unions on 737MAX questions
Attempting to tamp down pilot concerns about its 737 MAX following the Lion Air crash, Boeing technical representatives met with at least two pilot unions this week. Industry sources say the company is considering a software revision to the airplane’s anti-stall autotrim system. Lion Air JT610, a 737 MAX with only 800 hours on the airframe, crashed into the Java Sea off Jakarta on 29 October, killing all 189 people aboard. The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee released a preliminary report this week showing that the crew experienced continuous stick shaker activation shortly after take-off due to a faulty angle of attack sensor. Because its engines are heavier and mounted farther forward, Boeing equipped MAX airplanes with an autotrim system called MCAS. It’s activated at high angles of attack and automatically applies nose-down trim as an anti-stall protection.
Pilot unions have complained that Boeing didn’t document the existence of MCAS—Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System and crews weren’t trained on it. MCAS hasn’t been implicated in the crash, but the NTSC’s preliminary report showed that it was active during the crash flight and the pilots continually trimmed manually against its nose-down trim input. A previous crew that encountered the same problem addressed it through the standard runaway trim procedure, which is to use the airplane’s two stabiliser trim cut-out switches to disable electric pitch trim. All models of the 737 are still equipped with manual trim wheels.
Boeing set up urgent meetings with pilot unions from Southwest and American Airlines, although what was discussed hasn’t been reported. “We were appreciative that Boeing reached out to us,” said Mike Trevino, spokesman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. A spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the American Airlines union, said the organisation was looking for the Boeing outreach. “They brought in their A team,” said Dennis Tajer of APA. At least one airline that operates the MAX, Southwest Airlines, says it’s discussing with Boeing the option of adding an angle-of-attack indication to the MAX’s primary flight display. Currently, the airplane has an AoA disagree flag that warns pilots if the two vane-type AoA sensors are providing inconsistent data. The option may be available on future MAX deliveries. Meanwhile, a report in the Daily Globe and Mail said Boeing may consider software revisions to the MAX, although the details were not revealed.
Controllers work through quake at Anchorage
Air traffic controllers at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage were off the air for less than a minute when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shattered the morning routine at the busy polar route crossroads at 08h30 local time on Friday. “FedEx go around! FedEx, go around,” an agitated controller shouts as the shaking starts on recordings supplied by LiveATC.net. The pilot first inquires if the order is for his particular aircraft and then complies. Then other controllers chime in that the TRACON is being evacuated because of the quake. There is a short pause and a controller gives the surprised FedEx crew and all other traffic a common frequency to use to sort out their own separation but that only lasts a minute. With a calm “We’re back,” active control resumes at 08h32 but it was far from normal operations.
The runways needed to be inspected for damage and that meant sending all arrivals into holds, which the controller started doing within a few seconds of resuming his post. Meanwhile, the facility itself was heavily damaged by the quake, according to social media posts issued by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association late Friday. “Anchorage Centre NATCA Facility Representative Rob Kindred reports this earthquake caused significant damage to the facility. “Traffic is moving but we have a lot of damage inside the facility,” he said. “Two different water lines broke on the second floor; one directly above a couple sectors and the other above the (training lab). There are tarps hanging to divert the water to the floor and try and save the equipment. Our staff support area is in pretty rough shape from all the water damage and ceiling tiles that fell out.”
Cowl comes loose on Frontier A320
A Frontier Airlines A320 returned to Las Vegas immediately after take-off on Friday after the right cowl flipped up on take-off. The flapping aluminium met a predictable demise and passengers recorded the mishap with their phones. The short climb out and the quick return were reportedly routine but the plethora of smartphones at the ready made appealing video for the news cycle. The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely.
Small fish among big sharks: PrivatAir goes bust
The 266 employees and several major European partners of PrivatAir will not be in a festive mood this holiday season. On 5 December the Swiss company announced it has filed for insolvency in Switzerland and Germany due to multiple events that have recently affected its businesses.
Founded in 1977 in Switzerland, PrivatAir had operated a fleet of Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s between its Swiss and German businesses, leasing these aircraft to other airlines. The company mostly provided ACMI services for Lufthansa, Swiss and KLM its biggest known European customers.
PrivatAir was on contract with Swiss since 2005 operating an upgraded Boeing Business Jet, the Boeing BBJ2, on the Zürich – New York Newark route. The service was operated six days per week with the aircraft configured with 56 lie-flat seats in a single business class cabin.
In 2005, PrivatAir was also contracted by KLM to provide a six days per week service on the Amsterdam-Houston route, after the Dutch airline replaced its 767-300 fleet in favour of the Boeing Business Jet. But PrivatAir’s long-standing partner and perhaps largest customer was Lufthansa. The company used to provide the German carrier with long-haul narrow-body aircraft (since 2002). The first was a Boeing Business Jet operated on a wet lease basis on the Dusseldorf – New York route.
A year later, PrivatAir added two more 737s to Lufthansa’s fleet flying the jets on a wide range of routes. Most recently, the Swiss company operated three 737-800s on behalf of Lufthansa.
Two USMC planes crash near Japan, one dead, five missing
Two aircraft belonging to the United States Marine Corps were lost during a training mission near Japan. Two of the seven Marines were recovered, whilst one was reported dead. A two-seat F/A-18 Hornet and a refuelling plane KC-130 Hercules were on a refuelling training mission on 5 December 2018, when they crashed a hundred kilometres away from the coast of Shikoku, in the south-west of Japan. No official information was released as to what exactly the two aircraft were doing at the moment of the accident.
The two crew members on board the Hornet managed to eject. They were successfully recovered by respectively a helicopter of the Japanese Self Defence Force (JSDF), and a Japanese military ship. They were transferred to a hospital at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, near Hiroshima. The first one was reported in ‘fair condition’ and the other has been declared deceased. The joint effort between the JSDF, the Japanese Coast Guards and the United States Military continues to find the Marines that were in the KC-130 Hercules.
The fighter belonged to the Marine Aircraft Group 12 and the tanker to the Marine Aerial Refueller Transport Squadron 152. Both units are based at MCAS Iwakuni, and are part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force which operates mainly in Japan but also around Asia.
Volvo: self-driving cars will compete with air travel
Volvo showed off its latest autonomous-car design, the 360c, at a recent auto show in Los Angeles, and noted that the fully self-driving vehicle, expected to be ready in 2021, would compete not only with other automobiles, but with short-haul aviation options. “Several busy domestic air routes, such as New York to Washington D.C., Houston to Dallas and Los Angeles to San Diego, are more time-consuming by air than by car when including things such as travel to the airport, security checks and waiting times,” Volvo noted in a news release. The car will come in several versions; a sleeping pod, mobile office, living room and entertainment space, enabling travellers to spend their time en route as they wish. “Domestic air travel sounds great when you buy your ticket, but it really isn’t,” said Marten Levenstam, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Volvo Cars. “The 360c represents what could be a whole new take on the industry. The sleeping cabin allows you to enjoy premium comfort and peaceful travel through the night and wake up refreshed at your destination. It could enable us to compete with the world’s leading aircraft makers.” The 360c “represents a potentially lucrative competitor to short-haul air travel, a multibillion-dollar industry comprising airlines, aircraft makers and other service providers,” the company said.
First responders testing Volocopter
According to an announcement from Volocopter, air rescue organisation ADAC Luftrettung will be conducting a feasibility study on the use of a manned version of the Volocopter VTOL multicopter in air rescue and emergency service operations. The project will start with computer simulations and move to research flights within a few months, with a focus on whether the Volocopter can get emergency personnel to patients faster than current rapid response vehicles. ADAC, which is based in Munich, Germany, plans to begin testing in spring 2019.
“The Volocopter is based on a technical platform permitting its diverse and reliable use as an air taxi, heavy lifting drone or in rescue missions,” said Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter. “I firmly believe in the Volocopter’s potential for large-scale use as an air shuttle for emergency doctors, and I look forward to our joint systematic validation with ADAC air rescue.”
The study is scheduled to last for a year and a half and cost approximately €500,000 ($570,000). “Our goal in supporting this project is to improve emergency medical care, thereby making an important contribution to the future of the EMS system,” said ADAC managing director Andrea David. Other project participants include the German Aerospace Centre and the Institut for Notfallmedizin und Medizinmanagement (INM, Institute for Emergency Medicine and Medical Management) at Ludwig Maximilian University.
Workhorse Group signs research and development agreement with US Military
The CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) will enable a collaborative R&D programme focused on military applications of the Workhorse’s SureFly eVTOL personal air vehicle.
“This CRADA will enable Workhorse to validate and test real time use cases of the SureFly and related designs, including potential applications for the US Military,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse.
The SureFly is a two-place hybrid eVTOL multi-copter aircraft developed by Workhorse in Loveland, Ohio. It is designed to carry about 550 pounds of payload approximately 70 miles, at a speed of about 70 miles per hour, day or night. It has been designed to create a new type of aircraft that is easy to operate, safe to fly and is moderately priced, relative to a conventional helicopter
The girlfriend asked me what I was doing on my lap top computer. I said I was “looking for cheap flights”. She became very excited and said that she loved me and then she gave me an amazing kiss. This surprised me, because she has never been interested in darts before!
Weekly News from African Pilot
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African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
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