“The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”
African Pilot’s September 2020 edition
The September edition of African Pilot featuring Avionics and Instrumentation is complete and will go into its distribution phase this week. For African Pilot, this is a record edition consisting of 226 pages with 46 articles and features. At the same time, the new software program I purchased has allowed for 14 embedded videos and two photo galleries. Now that the digital magazine is FREE to anyone in the world, African Pilot has now become a serious international aviation magazine, with features from all over the world. On behalf of African Pilot’s dedicated staff, I would like to thank those advertisers that supported the September edition during these difficult times.
African Pilot’s October edition
Work on the production of the October edition has already started. This edition of African Pilot will feature Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Aircraft Refurbishment. Once advertisers see the benefits of marketing their products and services to a vast audience with short videos and picture galleries, they will realise that marketing is most important for future profitability. In South Africa and the African continent, only African Pilot has the latest software to provide digital enhancement to any advertiser at this time.
The material deadline for the October edition is Friday 18 September 2020.
For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 079 880 4359. All editorial material should be sent to me at: email@example.com.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
Launch of new ‘picture of the week’ from readers
Something exciting for African Pilot’s readers to enjoy is the launch of the ‘Picture of the Week’. Please send any aviation related picture to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org at a resolution of at least 500 Kb. There is no payment or prize offered, just editorial recognition. However, all photographs submitted will be considered for the ‘Picture of the Month’ within the monthly magazine and I will be looking for a sponsor to cover the cost of a monthly fee. Thank you to those readers who have already sent their pictures.
The following are links to all the magazines that African Pilot produced this year so that you can download all the 2020 editions in magazine view format:
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
South African government engages investors keen on state carrier
Despite South African Airways having faced a rather turbulent decade, the South African government has initiated discussions with private investors who have shown an interest in buying into the state carrier. The Director General of the Department of Public Enterprises, Kgathatso Tlhakudi together with advisers from FirstRand Ltd’s Rand Merchant Bank commenced negotiations with as many as four potential private investors, who have not been named but have relayed proposals for South African Airways. In the past, the government has revealed that private entities and potential partners have engaged them for discussions on the carrier. According to Bloomberg, among them is Ethiopian Airlines Group, which would be a favourable suitor with its attractive track record in the sector and Ethiopian Airlines standing at the most profitable and dominant African airline.
In an interview last Wednesday Tlhakudi stated that the South African government aims to resume the carrier’s operations by the end of the year, this venture requiring a minimum of R10 billion ($583 million). However, Tito Mboweni, South Africa’s Finance Minister has reiterated that any new capital injections must ideally come from private entities as the National Treasury has already committed to providing debt guarantees amounting to R16.4 billion ($983 million), raising concerns on the amount of taxpayer money being funnelled into the airline.
As part of the carrier’s revival, the state has shown an interest in adopting the approach implemented in the privatisation of former state monopoly Telkom, in which the telecommunications firm was partially sold to external investors prior to its listing on the Johannesburg stock exchange.
In detailing SAA’s plan Tlhakudi stated: “That proved to be a very good model for Telkom as it brought into the company management discipline and the important discipline of delivering a product on time to the market.” This highlighting the potential listing awaiting South African Airways if negotiations are successful. By the end of September, SAA’s administrators together with the government and labour groups, have agreed that the process of sliming the airline’s workforce from more than 4000 to 1000 employees will be complete.
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CAASA Gear Down pub re-opening
On Friday (tomorrow) CAASA will be opening its Gear Down pub for the first time since lockdown. CAASA will have the fires going if you would like to bring and braai and make a day of it. SleepOver Motels are having a special for the day, so we do not drink and drive. R450 for the night. If you are interested please contact Gail: 082 859 0801
The Aviators South Africa
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Minister of Transport announcement:
All international passenger flights are prohibited, except those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport. Domestic passenger flights are permitted to the following airports:
• Bram Fischer International Airport
• Cape Town International Airport
• East London Airport
• George Airport
• Hoedspruit Airport
• Kimberly Airport
• King Shaka International Airport
• Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
• Lanseria International Airport
• Margate Airport
• Mthatha Airport
• OR Tambo International Airport
• Phalaborwa Airport
• Pietermaritzburg Airport
• Port Elizabeth International Airport
• Richards Bay Airport
• Skukuza Airport
• Upington International Airport.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Nico Bezuidenhout quits Mango for European role
The driving force behind South Africa’s Mango Airlines, CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, has resigned. He is to join a European airline with an announcement expected soon. Bezuidenhout, grew Mango into a successful profitable airline before being appointed Acting CEO of South African Airways (SAA). After implementing a turnaround plan at SAA, he returned to Mango. Two other members of the senior leadership team of Mango have also quit in recent months. In an interview with Travel News, Bezuidenhout said, “I have been looking for international exposure for a number of years and this has now come across my path. Recent happenings in the aviation industry may have contributed to a small extent, but it has been my plan all along.” He said that his decision was 100 percent and categorically not a reflection on the financial state of Mango. He is expected to begin his new role on 1 November.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Sad news just in Cessna 172 ZS OET involved in fatal accident
On Wednesday evening, whilst the Safety-First Aviator training session was on a flight school Cessna 172 ZS OET crashed at Springs airfield killing the student, whilst the instructor is said to be in a critical condition. It appears the crash that happened shortly after 19h00, occurred within the boundary of the Airport. ER24 paramedics, along with the Provincial Services, arrived on scene to find the wreckage on the side of the field. Two people were found lying inside the light aircraft. Medics assessed the patients and found that a woman had sustained numerous fatal injuries. Nothing could be done for her and she was declared dead by another service.
The second patient, a man, was assessed and found to be in a critical condition. The man was extricated, treated and provided with several advanced life support interventions before being transported to a nearby hospital. The details surrounding this incident are not yet known, but local authorities were on the scene for further investigations. Initial investigation reveals that this was a landing accident when the plane hit the trees at the perimeter of the airfield. RIP aviator.
Loose bolt leads to total loss of power
The private pilot reported that, about 35 minutes into the personal cross-country flight, the experimental, amateur-built airplane’s alternator field toggle switch / circuit breaker tripped. He reset the switch and all systems appeared normal. About five minutes later, the switch tripped again and he cycled the switch. About two minutes later, he noticed that the engine manifold pressure was dropping, along with the airplane’s airspeed, consistent with a partial loss of engine power. The engine then experienced a total loss of power when he was manoeuvring for an emergency landing to a nearby airport. The Glasair Super IIS landed short of the runway in Yuma, Arizona, sustaining substantial damage to the aft fuselage.
The engine had been installed about 91 flight hours and five months before the accident and a condition inspection was completed the same month of installation. Maintenance records indicated that during the period between the engine installation and the accident, maintenance was limited to routine oil changes, magneto timing adjustments, the replacement of exhaust gas temperature and cylinder head temperature probes and the installation of a replacement alternator.
Post-accident examination of the engine revealed that the throttle linkage had detached from the throttle arm of the fuel injection servo. The rod end bearing for the linkage and the throttle arm were intact and undamaged, but the connecting bolt and its associated washers, castellated nut and cotter pin were missing. The butterfly valve within the throttle body was in the closed position, whilst the throttle lever in the cabin was in the full forward (open) position. It is likely that the bolt securing the linkage had not been sufficiently tightened and secured with a cotter pin during the installation and that the error was not detected during the subsequent condition inspection. The investigation determined that the electrical system malfunction was unrelated to the loss of engine power.
NTSB preliminary report: Piper PA31
On 1 August 2020, a Piper PA-31-325 was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Sumter, South Carolina. The pilot and co-pilot sustained minor injuries. According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), he and the co-pilot had been flying mapping flights for the United States Geological Survey group. The PIC stated they had scanners weighing about 800 lbs on board and they would fly about 300 feet above ground level in a grid pattern while mapping. He further stated that he personally fuelled the inboard and outboard fuel tanks the day before the accident flight. On the morning of the accident flight, the PIC was seated in the right seat and the co-pilot was seated in the left seat. They departed Santee Cooper Regional Airport (MNI), Manning, South Carolina about 06h30 and planned on returning to the same airport. After two hours of flight time, they switched from the inboard fuel tanks to the outboard fuel tanks. After another 1.5 hours of flight time, while the co-pilot was flying, the left engine started ‘surging’ and rapidly began to lose power. The airplane immediately began to lose altitude and shortly after they had descended below the tree level. The PIC took control of the airplane and turned to a field just ahead of them. The airplane stalled just above the ground and the right wing contacted the ground first. The PIC stated both side windows shattered during impact and within two seconds the right outboard fuel tank exploded and a postimpact fire ensued. Both pilots egressed through the rear door.
The co-pilot stated he was training in the airplane and did not have a multiengine rating. He stated he did not have any official hours flying the airplane with an instructor but has flown the airplane for about 200 hours. His description of the accident flight was consistent with that provided by the PIC. He further stated that when he turned over control of the airplane to the PIC during the last few seconds of flight, he looked at the inboard fuel tank quantity gauges and they were both reading ‘zero.’
Post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane impacted the ground with the right wing first and slid sideways through the field. Both engines were fractured off and neither engine showed signs of power at the time of impact. The fuselage and right wing were consumed by fire. The left wing was still attached to the fuselage and not damaged. The left outboard fuel tank was completely full of fuel, whilst the inboard tank was empty.
NTSB preliminary report: Sportine Aviacija Lak17
On 7 August 2020 a Sportine Aviacija Lak-17B, motorised glider was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Lake Port, California. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed from runway 28 at Lampson Field Airport (1O2), Lakeport, California about 1200 on a local flight. According to family members, the pilot was based out of 1O2 and had recently purchased the glider. They continued by stating he was still in the certification process and could only fly the glider within 20 miles of 1O2. After the pilot had not returned home from the flight, family members were able to check a SPOT device which indicated his last position. The wreckage was located on steep and wooded terrain about one mile west from the departure end of runway 28 at 1O2. According to photos supplied by first responders, the glider was found in multiple sections. There were no witnesses to the accident.
NTSB preliminary report: Robinson R44
On 8 August 2020, Robinson R-44II helicopter sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Logan, Iowa. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The pilot was assigned to spray a 380-acre cornfield. The pilot had just completed several spray runs and was turning to line up for another run, when he heard the engine emit a ‘pop’ noise and the engine then accelerated. The pilot pulled pitch to slow the engine with no avail. The pilot reported he had control of the helicopter, but he did not have control of the engine speed as he attempted to flare and land the helicopter. However, the helicopter impacted an area of rising terrain and came to rest on its right side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, the main rotor system, the tail boom and the tail rotor system. The helicopter was recovered from the accident site for a future examination of the airframe and engine.
One dead in firefighting helicopter crash
On Monday a pilot was killed when the helicopter he was flying conducting firefighting operations over Oregon’s Mt. Hood National Forest. According to the US Forest Service, the helicopter was a Type 1 Kaman K-MAX conducting bucket drops on the White River Fire, approximately 20 miles west of Wamic, Oregon. The identity of the pilot has not been made public. The Forest Service reported that the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and Forest Service air and ground resources responded immediately to the crash. The cause of the accident is not yet known. The NTSB is investigating.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Wizz Air slashes and caps seniority pay for all its pilots
Despite the fact that Wizz Air keeps expanding, opening up new bases and taking in new aircraft deliveries, the company cited ‘changing market reality’ as it further slashed the pay and seniority bonuses for its pilots. The new salary structure introduces significant cuts to seniority bonuses, as the company will now cap seniority bonus scale to 5,000 flight hours. If previously a pilot with over 12,000 flight hours, for example, could have earned over €36,000 ($42,515) as a seniority bonus, now the bonus will stay capped at €10,000 ($11,811) and 5,000 flight hours. In comparison, the seniority bonus of having 5,000 flight hours used to stand at €20,000 ($23,627). “For existing employees above 5,000 hours; seniority pay will stop at 5,000 hours,” reads the announcement by Wizz Air. Effective 1 August 2020, the new scale has been applied to new hires and existing employees that had fewer than 5,000 flight hours. Furthermore, the base salary was cut all across the board. If a first officer prior to the current crisis earned a base salary of €21,000 ($24,816), now they earn €15,750 ($18,612). If a first officer is freshly hired, however, their base salary starts at €17,000 ($20,088).
Fire and rehire
Wizz Air has been one of the rare exceptions throughout the pandemic, as the airline expanded into new bases and accepted new aircraft deliveries. Its fleet has grown to 123 aircraft in Q1 FY2021, while a year earlier the airline had 114 aircraft to its name. Throughout the quarter, the low-cost carrier accepted its first A320neo narrow bodies, of which it now has three, according to planespotters.net data. The Hungary-based company also reiterated plans to launch its Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-based subsidiary called Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. To facilitate the start of operations, it has launched a recruitment campaign to employ pilots at Abu Dhabi and other newly established bases.
For its recently fired employees, in an internal letter the company indicated that ‘redundant pilots will have to follow the same application process as a new joiner.’ However, the new salary scale will also apply to new hires and rehires, according to the message. Currently, employed pilots’ salaries will ‘be brought back to the pre-COVID salary levels as of 1 April 2021.’ Newly hired pilots will see a significant reduction in pay compared to the flight crews which stayed with the company throughout 2020.
Emirates conundrum: Boeing 777X or 787?
As Emirates reportedly decided to switch up its Boeing orders to put more emphasis on the smaller Boeing 787, rather than the larger yet-to-certified 777X, could it also mark a future where less emphasis is marked on its Dubai hub? Whenever someone mentions Emirates airlines, the sight of luxury, behemoth aircraft and the ever-growing Dubai International Airport (DXB) hub appears on the horizon. Ever since it was established in 1985, it bullied and muscled its way into the spotlight of airline brands and became a powerhouse in aviation. DXB, as a hub and an airport, grew together with its home airline: from five million passengers in 1990 to 86.4 million in 2019. While the airline had faced its fair share of criticism and concerns of anti-competitive behaviour from US airlines, alleging that it had received illegal state subsidies to fuel its growth, Emirates has managed to stay profitable, unlike some of its neighbours.
However, the current pandemic seemingly ripped its business model apart. With international travel in constant limbo, coupled with no narrow-body or smaller wide-body aircraft in its fleet and no domestic network to fall back on, the company saw its traffic numbers plummet. In March 2020 alone, the airline lost AED3.4 billion ($925.6 million) due to the COVID-19 crisis. In FY2020, the company earned AED90 billion (24.5 billion) of revenue, of which AED75.5 billion ($20.5 billion) was attributed to passenger revenue throughout the year.
“Emirates will and have to look at expanding its point-to-point services. In other words, they cannot rely on that previously successful operating model over the past 15 years anymore,” stated Linus Bauer, Founder and Managing Director of Bauer Aviation Advisory, an aviation and strategy consultancy. If the airline wanted to remain competitive in the coming years, it had to shift more towards point-to-point traffic, rather than rely on the competition-intense transfer traffic, he added. It still operates a downsized network. Pre-COVID, Emirates marked 157 destinations in its network. As of 19 August 2020, the number was 75, according to a press release issued by the carrier.
More emphasis on point-to-point
Its profile of operations, at first glance, has already changed. Adel Al Redha, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Emirates, noted that prior to the breakout of the virus, 70% of its traffic was transfers. Now, it is a 50% split between transfers and point-to-point operations, as Al Redha told Bloomberg. “Foundations to further increase demand for local traffic into Dubai have been laid out, as the city is an attractive ‘destination for tourism, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), business and the EXPO2020 next year, which was postponed due to COVID-19,” noted Bauer.
The COO also indicated that the airline is in active discussions with Boeing to swap more 777X orders for the smaller 787 Dreamliner, as the latter ‘offers better seat capacity.’ Emirates has previously engaged in such an ordeal, as it swapped the order for 777X for 30 Boeing 787-9s during the 2019 rendition of the Dubai Airshow. 24 777Xs were crossed off Emirates’ backlog back then. Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries data showcases that it still has 115 unfilled 777X orders from the Dubai-based airline.
Timeline for the folding-wingtip wide-body and the start of deliveries of the Dreamliner to Emirates is very similar. After Boeing once again pushed back the 777X entry date, it is expected that a Dubai-bound 777X would happen in 2022. Meanwhile, the first 787s are set to join the carrier’s fleet in 2023. But Al Redha stated that the airline was still wary of the industry’s ability to return to demand levels that would facilitate the largest twin-engine wide body by that time. “We don’t want to dump capacity in the airline when the airline can’t absorb capacity.”
Operational pause of CT-114 Tutor fleet lifted
The Commander of 2 Canadian Air Division, Brigadier-General Denis O’Reilly, has lifted the operational pause on the CT-114 Tutor fleet. The operational pause was implemented following a Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor accident in Kamloops, B.C. on 17 May, which resulted in the death of Captain Jennifer Casey, the Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer. “The risk analysis for the CT-114 Tutor fleet undertaken by the airworthiness authorities and their teams of experts was detailed and thorough. I have the utmost confidence in their work and the mitigation measures developed. These measures will enable the fleet to return to flying operations,” noted Brigadier-General Denis O’Reilly, Commander 2 Canadian Air Division.
The return to flying operations follows a thorough technical and operational risk analysis that has outlined a series of risk mitigation measures. Due to the fact that there were two CT-114 Tutor accidents within eight months, the scope of the analysis was designed to be deliberate, detailed and broad to enhance the general safety of the CT-114 Tutor operations. The risk mitigation measures being implemented place some restrictions on flying operations and focus on increased maintenance requirements.
A Directorate of Flight Safety (DFS) investigation into the Kamloops accident continues. Once the DFS investigation is complete, the RCAF will determine if further mitigation measures are required. Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, Commanding Officer 431 Air Demonstration Squadron stated that, “The Snowbirds continue to mourn the loss of Captain Jennifer Casey. The best way we can honour her is to get back into operations in a safe and deliberate manner. While we are saddened that the 2020 air demonstration season is officially cancelled and that we will not be completing Operation INSPIRATION, the team is looking forward to getting back in the air and starting to train for next year’s season.”
The remainder of the Snowbirds 2020 air demonstration season has been cancelled and the team will now focus on gradually returning to flying operations. With the operational pause lifted, the aircraft in Kamloops, B.C. will return to 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask., which is expected to happen over the next two weeks.
The DFS investigation into the Kamloops accident is focusing on environmental factors (bird strike) as well as the performance of the escape system, as is the case in all ejection-related accidents. A preliminary From the Investigator report was published on 1 June 2020. The DFS investigation into the Georgia accident, which occurred on 13 October 2019, determined that the most probable cause of the accident was a fuel delivery system failure within the engine. The Flight Safety Investigation Report was publicly released on 29 June 2020. The RCAF has a total of 23 CT-114 Tutor aircraft, including 18 at 431 Squadron. There are also five at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., which are on the verge of retirement and storage.
AD: Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes with wing lightning protection panels installed. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as insufficient electrical bonding of the wing lightning protection panels. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective 14 September 2020.
Supplementary Information: The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) has issued AD DCA/750XL/21, dated 15 December 2017 (referred to after this as ‘the MCAI’), to correct an unsafe condition for Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes with wing lightning protection panels installed. To accompany the MCAI, the CAA issued Notification of Airworthiness Directive issued for New Zealand Aeronautical Products IAW ICAO Annex 8, dated 15 December 2017, which states: This [CAA] AD with effective date 22 December 2017 mandates an electrical bonding inspection of the wing lightning protection panels per the requirements in Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) PACSB/XL/092 issue 2, dated 15 December 2017, or later approved revision.
Remember Winston Churchill’s wisdom:
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last”.
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)