On a FALA RNAV Approach, what do the following mean?
LA1MP is the Missed Approach Point.
African Pilot’s October 2020 edition
The amazing October edition of African Pilot was completed in the final week of September and has been fully distributed. This edition of African Pilot features Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Aircraft Refurbishment. This edition has been tailormade to be read on any laptop computer or any other electronic device such as a smart phone, iPad or desktop computer.
African Pilot’s September edition was the first utilising the new 3D software that greatly enhances your reading experience. Within that edition African Pilot became an international aviation magazine publishing on an international stage and not just an African aviation magazine.
This October edition, with 48 illustrated articles is available to anyone throughout the world FREE of charge, whilst this magazine has set the standard for digital publishing, not just in South Africa, but throughout the world. At 224 pages this edition has 24 embedded videos and 12 embedded picture galleries. Several of the videos were created by the African Pilot team, which again sets this magazine apart from ALL other aviation publications, especially South African aviation publications.
Advertisers can now see the benefits of marketing their products and services to a vast international aviation 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, African Pilot is the only aviation publication that has purchased the latest software to provide digital enhancement to any advertiser anywhere in the world.
African Pilot’s November 2020 edition
As we get closer to the end of this year, the November edition will feature ‘Gifts for Pilots’ as well as international news about all aspects and developments in aviation.
The material deadline for the November edition is on Wednesday 21 October 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 aviation media reach in Africa and now the world.
We are positioned 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.
The monthly magazine is available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers 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 or tap on any smart phone device.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
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:
Video of the week:
GreatFlyer Aviation - cockpit videos, plane spotting, airshows, gliding, flight simulators and more!
Launch of Wouter Botes’ e-book ‘Flights to Nowhere’
Wouter Botes’ E-book on Flight to Nowhere is available by visiting www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the button provided on the home page. We have provided an option for payment of R60 per download on the page.
AERO South Africa news
Take your business to NEW HEIGHTS this August at the one-stop business to business platform. The platform will be active for 12 months, allowing you to market your products and services to a targeted global General Aviation market and engage with visitors and other exhibitors on the portal. Want to book your booth on the AERO South Africa Virtual Marketplace or simply find out more? Contact one of our team members below to take your business to new heights.
African Pilot’s picture of the week
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: email@example.com 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.
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
SAA Museum Society AGM
On Saturday I attend the SAA Museum Society’s Annual General Meeting and I am happy to report that John Austin Williams ‘JAWS’ and his committee: Vice Chairman Mathew Harvey, Treasurer Ian Cruickshank, Secretary (vacant) were unanimously re-elected. I was significantly impressed at the overall layout and preservation of the museum’s aircraft that the many member volunteers look after all the time. The AGM was held in the economy class section of the SAA 747SP Maluti. Membership is only R150 per annum and I certainly encourage interested parties to join the team.
The full museum history is at the link below – all indexed:
I took many pictures and this will result in a full article to be published in the November edition of African Pilot.
Emirates cancelling SA flights immediately due to crew entry requirements
Dubai-based Emirates is cancelled its flight to Durban on Sunday and is also cancelling, with immediate effect, its other just-resumed flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town. According to a report from news agency AFP out of Dubai and carried by local broadcaster eNCA on Saturday afternoon, this is due to regulations announced this week that treat airline crew the same as passengers in relation to health regulations and entry requirements. The AFP report says that other international airlines have also cancelled all their inbound and outbound flights from Durban. Flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town are also expected to be cancelled, it adds.
At the time of writing, details remain sketchy, with no announcement on the Emirates website or via the airline’s Media Centre, other than previous statements that flights to South Africa have resumed. There appears to have been no announcements by other airlines to this effect, either. Carla da Silva, Chairperson at the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa, told eNCA in an interview that the organisation was aware of the problem and had escalated the matter to the Department of Transport and the necessary stakeholders, with the request that they urgently review that matter, as the crew requirements were not practical. She said all airline crews were already subjected to the necessary testing and test cycles. They were also already in quarantine and in a safe bubble environment.
“Unfortunately, that element was overlooked. They have not been able to distinguish between passengers and crew. Crew are really essential services,” she said.
In its most recent press statement, issued on 24 September, Emirates announced it would resume flights to Johannesburg on 1 October, to Cape Town on 1 October and to Durban on 4 October.
“Customers flying in and out of Emirates’ three South African gateways can safely connect to Dubai and to an array of onwards connections to Europe, the Far East, Middle East, West Asia and Australasia,” the press statement said.
At Cape Town International Airport on Thursday 1 October there were cheers and flag-waving just after 13h00 as the first Emirates flight to land in the city since lockdown arrived. It was followed shortly afterwards by an Ethiopian Airlines flight. Other returning airlines include Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and Swiss International Airlines.
Former procurement head at SAA Technical to testify at Zondo commission
Former SAA Technical procurement head was previously questioned on her handling of a components tender worth R1.4bn which was awarded to US-based aviation company AAR Corporation and SA-based JM Aviation. Memela had appeared at the inquiry earlier this year. The five -year contract was awarded in 2016 and worth R1.4 billion. Investigations revealed that Memela had purchased a property in Bedfordview for R3.8m. Of the total amount owed R2.5m was paid by JM Aviation towards Memela’s property.
When asked about the transfers, Memela explained that there was nothing untoward about the payment. She claimed that JM Aviation director Vuyo Ndzeku had purchased land from her mother and it was decided that instead of the funds being paid to her mother they would go towards her Bedfordview property purchase. She maintained that she was not conflicted when she worked on the contract and that her decision making was not influenced by the payment. She said the two issues were separate. She said: “No chair. There is no way where I had influenced the decision by anyone at SAAT because I received a payment from JM Aviation. I played my role to the best of my ability. But where I have to answer on behalf of the acting CEO as if I have the power to influence, no I did not have any influence,” she said.
Memela was also questioned on why SAAT had decided to make an upfront deposit to AAR of R60m when the contract had been concluded and work had not been done. Memela insisted that if SAAT had not paid that upfront payment then AAR would have justified in not delivering components. North West Premier Job Mokgoro is also expected at the commission.
AERO South Africa Insurance webinar
AERO South Africa has partnered with DJA Aviation to bring you an Aviation Insurance webinar
Theme: The Right Approach to Aviation Insurance
Date: Wednesday, 7 October 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought on many questions and concerns within the aviation insurance industry and we have started looking at our businesses and insurance decisions in a different light.
Join the DJA Aviation team as they unpack the current market conditions, looking at the impact of this global pandemic on the General Aviation Industry and specifically aviation insurance. The DJA team will also explain the life cycle of a claim and the role an assessor plays in this process. Other points of discussion will include insurer security, the importance of the careful selection of your insurer, service and relationships, what to expect from your broker and Insurer as well as the common misconceptions of insurance vs air law.
What is scheduled for the next few months?
African Pilot’s 2020 calendar
We will publish the aviation calendar within APAnews three months ahead, but you can always visit African Pilot’s website: www.africanpilot.co.za if you would like to obtain the full calendar for the entire year.
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting Venue TBA
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 and 25 October
SAC North West Regionals TBC
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
26 to 28 October
Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC Forum DWTC, Dubai
Registration is now open for Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC
Forum. FREE registration: https://bit.ly/2SnJ33S
EAA Chapter 322 AGM Venue TBA
Contact Neil Bowden Cell: 084 674 5674 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA AGM to be a virtual meeting from 11h00
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 659 2345
13 to 16 November
Battlefields now in Mossel bay fly-in view poster for details
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 446 9916 or 082 875 5419
27 and 28 November
SAPFA Speed Rally at Springs airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082855 9435
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards at Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 082 1100
5 and 6 December
SAC Ace of Base TBC
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
As further dates are sent to me, I will continue to update the aviation calendar
I have started preparing the 2021 calendar with assistance from Air Show South Africa and the various sections of the Aero Club of South Africa. Please send me your planned aviation event fixtures for next year so that I may accommodate them on the calendar. Thank you.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Mauritius announces a phased easing of travel restrictions
As from 01 October 2020, borders will be opened to Mauritian nationals, residents and to tourists travelling for long stays. Following this announcement, Air Mauritius is opening for sales two weekly flights from Paris and one weekly flight from Reunion Island in October 2020. Travel exigencies and required documents for passengers travelling to Mauritius. All prospective passengers travelling to Mauritius for the month of October 2020 must possess the following documents: a certificate of a negative PCR test administered not more than seven days prior to the date of embarkation, a valid air ticket to Mauritius and a proof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on full board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.
Quarantine accommodation package: Upon arrival in Mauritius, a 14-day in-room quarantine will be mandatory in a hotel approved by the authorities. A quarantine accommodation package is available online for passengers which would include, among others, accommodation on a full board basis for the 14-day in room quarantine. For information on the available Quarantine Accommodation Package: https://booking.mymauritius.travel/
Ethiopian Airlines introduces COVID-19 global insurance cover
The largest aviation group in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines Group, has announced that it will cover the medical insurance costs; including repatriation, evacuation and quarantine, related to COVID-19, as of 1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021. The coverage is applicable on all Ethiopian’s international flights booked with the airline’s tickets. The global cover dubbed Sheba Comfort is part of the airline’s extra security measures to protect passengers and ensure that they travel with peace of mind.
Passengers will have their medical expenses up to EUR 100,000 covered if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel in addition to quarantine costs up to EUR 150 per day for a maximum of 14 days. Sheba Comfort also includes repatriation and evacuation services whenever needed besides 24/7 assistance through the airline’s hotline. The Sheba Comfort insurance scheme, introduced in collaboration with AXA Partners and Awash Insurance Company, is valid for 92 days for round trip and 31 days for one-way trip.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Qantas flights near-miss incident caused by confusing taxiway
On 28 April 2018, two Qantas Boeing 737s were involved in a near-miss incident in Perth airport, Australia. As it was about to begin its take-off run, one of the aircraft came within 15 meters from the other that had failed to stop at a holding point. In its final report, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the captain’s ‘incorrect mental model’ of the airport taxiways and the design of the taxiway itself contributed to what the authority qualified as a ‘serious incident.’ The first Qantas Boeing 737-800, registered as VH-XZM, was accelerating for take-off from runway 06 of Perth Airport (PER) to carry out flight QF-582 to Sydney Airport (SYD). In the meantime, another Qantas Boeing 737-800, registered as VH-VZL, was taxiing away from runway 03 after carrying out flight QF-567 from Sydney Airport. But as it was about to come across runway 06 through taxiway J2, the aircraft did not stop at the holding point.
A controller was informed of the trespassing through an automatic signal and ordered the flight crew to abort the take-off run. The crew of VH-VZL became aware of their mistake and applied brakes right at the edge of the runway. The report states: ‘VH-VZL’s wingtip passed about 15 m from the nose of VH-XZM at low speed before stopping’. The investigation carried out by the ATSB found that the captain was not expecting to cross runway 06 and thought the taxiway would take him directly to the apron. At the time of the incident, the captain was under increased workload due to his first officer’s low level of experience and ATC’s request to carry out a high-speed descent as another aircraft was following them.
Antonov AN-26 aircraft crash
“Fire, destroyed plane, darkness and bodies all around,” Ukraine’s president Volodymir Zalensky retold the recollection of the sole survivor of the Antonov AN-26 aircraft crash on 25 September 2020. The Antonov AN-26 aircraft, belonging to Ukrainian armed forces crashed and subsequently caught on fire in the Kharkov region of Ukraine, near the city of Chuguev, about 2 kilometres to the military airport.
The aircraft was transporting 27 military pilots and cadets, of whom 25 were killed on the spot during the crash. One person died from life-threatening burns in hospital the following day, leaving one person, a 20-year-old cadet the sole survivor of the accident. The country’s authorities have opened an investigation into the accident causes, the State Service of Ukraine for Emergencies confirmed via statement on 27 September 2020.
Cessna 310 vs. cow
The pilot reported that, during landing on a private dirt airstrip on his ranch in Marathon, Texas, the Cessna 310 hit a cow. The pilot added that he did not see the cow during the approach or on the runway during touchdown. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and right engine mounts. The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
NTSB preliminary report: Robinson R22
On 6 September 2020, a Robinson R22 Mariner helicopter was involved in an accident at Page Field (FMY), Fort Myers, Florida. The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Both pilots submitted written statements, and their versions of events were consistent throughout. The preflight and engine-start procedures were completed by the checklist with no anomalies noted. As the engine was accelerated to near its operating rpm, each pilot heard a loud ‘bang.’ The student leaned out his door and announced that ‘the tail was hanging off the back of the aircraft.’ The engine was stopped and the event was reported to the helicopter’s owner and his mechanic. Examination of photographs revealed damage to the tail rotor gearbox, tail rotor blades and the tail cone’s section forward of the tail rotor gearbox. These areas and components were sectioned and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC for examination.
Serbian MiG-21 crashes during training
A MiG-21 fighter jet of the Serbian Air Force crashed in Brasina, near the Serbian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pilots of the two-seater aircraft were both reportedly killed, while one person was injured on the ground. The MiG-21, registration number 16185, was part of the 101st Fighter Aviation Squadron ‘Knights’ of the Serbian Air Force, based at Batajnica Airport. The 34-year-old aircraft was the last of its type in the Serbian arsenal, according to local media N1. Scheduled to perform ‘a regular flight task’, the Soviet-era fighter jet had been ‘inspected before the flight this morning, in accordance with all procedures and after the inspection it was determined that it was in good working order and ready for flight,’ the Defense Ministry said in a statement. ‘Competent investigative bodies are at the scene of the accident.’ The aircraft crashed in a private property, injuring one person on the ground. The man was hospitalized in stable condition.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
FAA administrator completes Boeing 737 MAX flight
FAA Boss Steve Dickson fulfilled his promise to pilot the Boeing 737 MAX before the Federal Aviation Administration approves the aircraft’s return to service. Dickson’s flight took two hours and included a number of scenarios to demonstrate the proposed software and design changes to the aircraft’s automated flight control system. Dickson, along with FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell, completed the new recommended pilot training for the aircraft on Tuesday.
While Dickson’s flight is an important milestone, a number of key steps remain in the FAA’s evaluation of Boeing’s proposed changes to the aircraft’s flight control system and training. The FAA will not speculate about how long it will be until the aircraft is returned to passenger service. As we have stated throughout our work on the 737 MAX, the agency is following a deliberate process and will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work. We will lift the grounding order only after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.
The remaining tasks include:
Flight Standardisation Board (FSB) Report: A Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) recently met for nine days to review Boeing’s proposed training for 737 MAX flight crews. The JOEB was comprised of civil aviation authorities from the United States, Canada, Brazil and the European Union. The results of this evaluation will be incorporated into the draft FAA Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report, which will be posted for public comment in the near future. The FAA will publish a final FSB report after reviewing and addressing public comments on the draft FSB Report.
Final Design Documentation and Technical Advisory Board (TAB) Report: The FAA will review Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all FAA regulations. The multi-agency TAB will also review the final Boeing submission and issue a final report prior to a final determination of compliance by the FAA.
Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) & AD: The FAA will issue a CANIC providing notice of pending significant safety actions and will publish a final AD that addresses the known issues for grounding. The AD will advise operators of required corrective actions before aircraft may re-enter commercial service.
FAA Rescinds Grounding Order: This marks the official ungrounding of the aircraft, pending completion by operators of the work specified in the AD, along with any required training.
Certificates of Airworthiness: The FAA will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates for all new 737 MAX airplanes manufactured since the grounding. The FAA will perform in-person, individual reviews of these aircraft.
Operator Training Programmes: The FAA will review and approve training programs for all Part 121 operators.
These actions are applicable only to US air carriers and US-registered aircraft. While the processes will inform other civil aviation authorities, they must take their own actions to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service for their air carriers. The FAA will ensure that our international counterparts have all necessary information to make a timely, safety-focused decision.
Ryanair to order between 150 and 200 737 MAX aircraft?
The Irish Independent reported that Irish low-cost carrier, which has 135 firm Boeing 737 MAXs on order, is looking to increase its order book by another 150-200 aircraft. The order would be by far the biggest by any airline throughout 2020, as every single carrier suffered throughout the current pandemic-induced crisis. According to the report, the airline is looking to finalise the contract by the end of the year, as the grounded aircraft inches closer to its return to the skies.
Ryanair was one of the few resilient companies, as it went into the crisis with €2.1 billion ($2.4 billion) of cash reserves as of 31 December 2019. Its latest financial update showcased that its cash reserves stood at €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion) as of 30 June 2020. In addition to vast cash reserves, 333 out of its 439 Boeing 737s are debt-free.
“Boeing are indicating a late Q3 2020 return to service in the US for the B737-MAX, allowing Ryanair to, hopefully, accept delivery of its first MAX-200 before the end of 2020 and potentially up to 40 MAXs ahead of S.2021,” commented the airline on the aircraft’s situation on 27 July 2020. “We remain committed supporters of these “gamechanger” aircraft.”
In May 2020, the group’s chief executive Michael O’Leary commented that the 737 MAX was key to improving its market position in Europe, as it would “transform Ryanair’s cost base in the next 10 years.” Ryanair responded that it does not comment on rumours or speculation.
What to be left in Everett after Boeing 787 Dreamliner moves out?
Boeing has officially confirmed the decision to consolidate the 787 Dreamliner production in the company’s factory of North Charleston. This means that from mid-2021, the birthplace of the Dreamliner, Everett, will no longer produce the aircraft, but what will be left in Everett following the displacement?
Besides the Dreamliner, for which Everett is famous for, the site is also a place where the 747, 767, 777 families’ airliners are built. 60 kilometres south of Everett, Boeing also operates the Renton factory where the Boeing 737 MAX is assembled. “Our team in Puget Sound will continue to focus on efficiently building our 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplane families and both sites will drive Boeing initiatives to further enhance safety, quality and operational excellence,” Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is cited in the company’s statement.
As for the Dreamliner, the plane maker expects the 787-production line to close in mid-2021 at best. The transition to North Charleston is tied-up with a previously announced production rate slow-down. Manufacturing of the smaller 787 models would continue in the Washington site until the aircraft programme is decreased to a production rate of six airplanes a month. Nevertheless, the move did not pass the eyes of local authorities, who were concerned about the jobs that Boeing’s move to another state might threaten. On 2 October Reuters reported, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said that Boeing’s decision necessitated a review of their partnership and the company’s favourable tax treatment,
Everett, Washington, is the first Dreamliner manufacturing location. Boeing began assembling the first 787-8s and 787-9s at the location in 2007. In 2010, when Everett was becoming overcrowded with 787s, the company opened the second Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina.
However, the importance of the secondary site grew incredibly when it became the only location where all three of the Dreamliner versions were assembled. The Boeing 787-10 is the largest aircraft of the 787 family and its fuselage parts are too big to fit on a Dreamlifter to be transported to Everett.
Singapore Airlines turning parked A380 jet into a restaurant for a travel-starved population
The Discover Your Singapore Airlines programme aims to create unique aviation experiences while the population is largely grounded. The airline has severely cut its international flying schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with visitors from most countries barred from entry without quarantining for 14 days. Singapore Airlines just unveiled its take on the ‘flight to nowhere’ that airlines have been offering in lieu of actual travel amid a pandemic: an exclusive dining experience aboard its largest aircraft that might finally put to bed the age-old question of ‘what’s the deal with airline food?’
Restaurant A380@Changi will be Singapore’s most exclusive restaurant for a weekend in late October as Singapore Airlines turns to on-the-ground experiences to satisfy a travel-starved population while Covid-19 has stripped flying of its appeal. Diners-turned-passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal aboard a Singapore Airlines A380 the weekend of 24 October crafted by chef Shermay Lee.
Patrons can choose from international cuisine or traditional Singaporean meals as they settle into the airline’s extravagant A380 seats. Just as if flying across the Pacific Ocean, the airline will provide complimentary alcohol and soft drinks. Entertainment will be primarily provided through the seat-back entertainment screens, as guests will be treated to a history of Singapore Airlines’ cabin crew. Passengers will also learn the secrets of the A380 with a tour of the aircraft that includes the hidden rest areas for cabin crew.
Singapore Airlines, which only flies international routes, has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, and has parked most of its long-range jets. Most foreign visitors to Singapore are forced to quarantine for 14 days at their expense, limiting tourism and business opportunities, whilst forcing the suspension of the world’s longest flight, between Singapore and Newark. Singapore’s flag carrier has the longest relationship with the A380 out of any airline, as the launch customer and operator of Airbus’ largest aircraft. The date 15 October will mark the airline’s 13 years of flying the plane, but will not be cause for celebration as the aircraft has wound up a short-lived status symbol for international carriers that will likely disappear from the skies in the next few decades.
Garmin chief test pilot wins prestigious award
Garmin’s director of flight operations and chief test pilot Tom Carr has received the prestigious Society of Experimental Test Pilots 2020 Iven C. Kincheloe Award for his ‘outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing.’ According to Garmin, the award was established in 1958 in memory of the veteran flight test pilot and US Air Force Korean war ace. It honours test pilots who have made ‘exceptional contributions to an aerospace programme’ and is the ‘most honourable recognition among the society,’ Carr was honoured with the award in recognition of his achievements as an experimental test pilot during the Garmin Autoland flight test programme.
Having served as director of flight operations and chief test pilot at Garmin for 17 years, Carr has more than 42 years of experience in experimental flight test. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with 14 type ratings and is rated for single-engine and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes and gliders. His flight experience spans 192 different aircraft types ranging from gliders to four-engine jets. Carr has more than 12,000 hours as Pilot-in-Command (PIC), including more than 5,000 hours conducting experimental flight tests.
Cheap finance boosts aircraft sales in the US
One unforeseen benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic is historically low interest rates, including those applied to aviation loans. As a result, banks and lenders are reporting an unprecedented volume of loan activity. As cautious investors parked cash during the spring downturn, banks are sitting on more money than they know what to do with and are ready to make deals. “When the Fed pushed down the rates, we saw a significant up flow in activity for refinancing. March, April and May did not show much new business, but in June, we started to see a huge uptick in new business, whilst loan inquiries have not slowed since.” said Jim Blessing of Airfleet Capital, a leading brokerage house.
In its report, the magazine found a market shift: Buyers who used to write a check for a new or used airplane are now leveraging loan money so they can let their own cash work harder. Second, the inventory of desirable used aircraft is tighter than ever with cheap dollars chasing too few airframes. According to GAMA’s recent market summary, new sales have not rebounded yet. Also, banks are more willing to loan money for the entire cost of an upgrade such as avionics or refurbishment.
India’s Prime Minister receives new VVIP Boeing 777
The government of India announced the arrival of the first specially equipped Boeing 777 that was added to the Air India One fleet. The plane will operate on the government flights to transport its Prime Minister and other senior officials of India. After completing a 15-hour flight from Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas, the first specially modified Boeing 777-300ER landed in New Delhi Airport (IGI) on 1 September 2020. According to the Hindustan Times, the aircraft will operate VVIP flights for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. The government is currently waiting for the second Triple Seven to be refurbished for VVIP flight missions. The local media stated that the first special Boeing 777 was scheduled to arrive in September, but the delivery was delayed due to unspecified operational issues.
A newly modified aircraft was reconfigured to include generous office space, which includes wide meeting rooms and a medical center. The government of India stated that the aircraft is equipped with the Self-Protection Suites (SPS) as well as the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), a special system designed to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles.
ISS crew troubleshoots small leak
Late Monday night, the Expedition 63 crew was awakened by flight controllers to continue troubleshooting a small leak on the International Space Station that appeared to grow. Ground analysis of the modules tested overnight isolated the leak location to the main work area of the Zvezda Service Module. Additional work is underway to precisely locate the source of the leak. The leak, which has been investigated for several weeks, poses no immediate danger to the crew at the current leak rate and only a slight deviation to the crew’s schedule.
NASA astronaut and station commander Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were instructed to move into the Russian segment to collect data at various locations in the Russian modules. The size of the leak identified overnight has since been attributed to a temporary temperature change aboard the station with the overall rate of leak remaining unchanged.
Previous leak checks were conducted in the US, European and Japanese modules in the US segment of the station.
One by one, the crew closed hatches between Zvezda’s aft and forward sections and Zvezda’s passageways to the Pirs Docking Compartment and the Poisk module while using an ultrasonic leak detector to collect data. Throughout the night, pressure measurements were taken by US and Russian specialists to try to isolate the source of the leak. At the completion of the overnight checks, the crew opened hatches once again between the US and Russian segments and resumed regular activities.
The crew is preparing for this weekend’s arrival of the uncrewed Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft which is scheduled for launch Thursday night from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, as well as the upcoming launch of the next trio of residents for the station. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, preparing for launch to the complex on 14 October.
SAMAD Aerospace unveils Q-Starling personal air vehicle
The British hybrid electric VTOL aviation company, SAMAD aerospace is pleased to launch its concept for Q-Starling, a high-end Personal Air Vehicle (PAV). Combining the benefits of traditional flight with VTOL capabilities, the Q-Starling will seat two passengers and can be flown by pilots with an anticipated appropriate class rating. The cockpit has been designed to automotive standards of comfort and will include additional transparencies and synthetic vision to enhance situational awareness. Q-Starling will be powered by a hybrid-electric turbogenerator which will provide power for a large diameter hover fan and a fly-by-wire controlled ‘Reaction Control System’ (RCS). The turbogenerator will then provide forward thrust once the aircraft has transitioned from vertical flight.
Controlled by a comprehensive electronic flight system, the Q-Starling will have numerous and extensive safety systems in-built to prevent the aircraft from departing the flight envelope. In keeping with other ultra-light aircraft, it will feature a ballistic recovery system. The traditional rudder pedals have been absorbed into the flight system and present the pilot with a simplified side-stick control. The Q-Starling will maintain full authoritative control but having the benefit of a simplified control interface.
The aircraft is expected to offer a low entry barrier to private flight with an expected conversion requirement of around 10 hours for the average PPL.
All materials used in the aircraft are made of ultra-light carbon fibre giving a higher performance capability and enabling semi-aerobatic manoeuvres due to the increased strength of the composite material and design. Speaking from his UK Head Office at Cranfield Technology Park, Dr Seyed Mohseni, CEO of SAMAD aerospace, said: “The Q-Starling will give owners the ultimate luxury in personal hybrid-electric flying. The efficient sustainable Q-Starling will give passengers unparalleled point-to-point mobility options.”
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Drone Delivery Canada flies Condor
Drone Delivery Canada Corp. is pleased to provide an update on the Condor drone from successful testing in Foremost, Alberta, Canada. The Company successfully tested numerous critical aspects of the Condor, including: triple-redundant communications system (satellite, cellular, 900MHz RF); triple-redundant navigational guidance system; triple-redundant autopilot system; monitoring of unmanned flights remotely from DDC’s Operations Control Centre in Vaughan, Ontario; general flight stability and performance; and fuel consumption characteristics. The Company expects to complete further Condor testing in Q4 2020 in preparation for commercialization. A Condor unit is also being prepared for future commercial customer operations. The Company currently has three Condor units. The Condor is currently the Company’s largest drone with an expected range of 200km and payload capacity of 180kg and is fully integrated with the Company’s patented FLYTE software system. The solution is marketed in a managed service SaaS business model in Canada and as a licensed managed service internationally.
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Until Thursday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)