micro burst / wind shear
African Pilot’s November 2020 edition
As we get closer to the end of this year, the November edition features ‘Gifts for Pilots’ as well as many international newsworthy aspects and developments in aviation. The November edition is complete and once again I would like to thank our valuable advertisers for their support, because the only way that any magazine exists these days is through advertising expenditure. The November edition of African Pilot is the third magazine where we have used the new 3D software to publish a superb digital magazine.
This bumper edition consisting of 252 pages, has 53 illustrated articles, 16 videos and nine picture galleries embedded within the magazine. This is yet another record for African Pilot showing that the ‘new normal’ digital method of publishing has placed African Pilot onto the world aviation map. Therefore, whilst our small team continues to innovate within the digital space, other aviation magazines and weekly newsletters have been left behind.
Advertisers can now see the benefits of marketing their products and services to a vast international aviation audience including short videos, picture galleries and actual virtual shops, 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. At the same time African Pilot is also the only aviation magazine that is easy to read on any digital smart device, because our team understands the importance of ensuring the ease of use in this ‘new normal’ digital age. It is now quite obvious that ALL the other aviation publications are attempting to copy what African Pilot has pioneered, but this was to be expected. However, at least African Pilot publishes correct aviation information such as the calendar of events on a regular basis.
African Pilot’s December 2020 edition
The December edition will feature Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones, Flying Cars and Urban Connectivity. These subjects have fascinated me over the past few years as more ambitious projects come to market. There is no doubt that our future world will be highly connected and far more robotic that ever before as mankind explores opportunities to improve service delivery. The research I conducted for the compilation of this feature has been a fascinating as I unpacked so many interesting concepts and ideas. Over the years during my annual visits to EAA AirVenture I have personally seen several of the concepts that have been developed internationally.
All editorial content should be sent to me Athol Franz e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa.
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View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2020 editions.
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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
AERO South Africa is proud to be part of the third installment in the series of Safety First Aviator Webinars with the theme ‘PROP CLEAR’
Theme: Safety First Aviator – Fatigue Risk Management
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2020
Register Now >>> https://zoom.us/webinar/register/3816045839958/WN_qeqqG-wzTn2Co9mKNRTMew
The 2020/2021 Safety First Aviator campaign’s theme of “Prop Clear”, ensuring that engines are ready for take-off, following the Covid-19 Lockdown. The underlying theme for the campaign is “Resilience”, focused on how we will adapt to the change and the “new normal” to ensure flight safety in preventing accidents.
As part of this third installment in the series of SFA webinars, Wynand Serfontein will be focusing on personal fatigue management and how fatigue impacts the daily decision-making process and impact the quality of the decisions we make.
Mr Serfontein will cover strategies to manage personal fatigue to assist Aviation Safety. Ari Levien will share recent statistics from Mayday-SA that indicates how COVID-19 is currently impacting aviators and touching on how Mayday-SA can provide support in dealing with the stressful time that aviation is experiencing at present. Carl Bollweg looks forward to discussing the ALPA-SA proposal for amendment of part 121.02.13 which covers the Flight and Duty Period Scheme.
Aero Club of South Africa’s Centenary Yearbook
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.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
27 and 28 November
SAPFA Speed Rally at Springs airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082855 9435
CAASA Symposium Aviation’s recovery plan
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: email@example.com
5 and 6 December
Sport Aerobatics Club Ace of Base TBC
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA year-end function and award ceremony
Contact Sam Keddle Boon E-mail: Sam@caasa.co.za
On behalf of the CAASA Board, CAASA members are cordially invited to attend the CAASA Year End Function and Awards Ceremony:
Venue: CAASA House, Gate 9, Lanseria International Airport
12h00 Arrival (cash bar)
12h30 CAASA Award Ceremony
13h00 Networking: The braai will be available if you want to bring some food
Kindly ensure that you register in order to arrange for access to Lanseria International Airport.
Send confirmation email on or before 27 November 2020 to Sam Keddle on Sam@caasa.co.za
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
South African start-up Lift set to launch in December
The airline’s website shows it is selling tickets on flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and George from 10 December. Wet-lease operator Global Aviation has a fleet of six A320s and three A340s. Lift will operate three Airbus A320s and is a collaboration between South African wet-lease operator Global Aviation, former Comair co-chief executive Gidon Novick and Jonathan Ayache, whose Linked In profile shows he has been serving as Uber’s head of operations for sub-Saharan Africa.
“The industry is undergoing a fundamental change and new business models are emerging in the industry where stronger customer orientation and more competition are evolving,” Lift says on its website. “The airline has developed a unique flexible model where flights and routes can be quickly added based on demand.” Lift plans to launch at the same time that South African carrier Comair aims to resume services after a period in formal restructuring. Comair, which operates British Airways franchise flights and under the Kulula budget brand, will initially operate 15 aircraft across the two units when it restarts flights from 1 December.
Johannesburg-Cape Town is by far the busiest route in the South African market. Cirium schedules data shows South African Airways, its budget arm Mango, Airlink, Comair, Safair and Cemair are all scheduled to fly services on the route in December. South Africa’s beleaguered airline sector has endured a tough past 12 months, in which flag carrier SAA and SA Express had already entered formal restructuring even before the pandemic brought a halt to all flights in the country earlier this year.
Army exercise in Northern Cape included SAAF squadrons
According to reports, the South African Air Force (SAAF) is an active component of the Ukuthula force preparation exercise currently underway at the SA Army Combat Training Centre (CTC). The exercise, along with its immediate predecessor Amabutho, aims at validating the combat readiness of South African forces pledged to the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) initiative. The SAAF contribution sees 70 personnel from air and ground crews as well as support personnel based at the Lohathla training area until 27 November when their two-month Northern Cape flying and training contribution ends. Except for Hawk Mk 120 lead-in fighter trainers providing air to ground support in the form of bombing missions, other SAAF assets deployed are helicopters. Three helicopter types currently in SAAF service: Agusta A109 (visual reconnaissance), Oryx (trooping and hot extraction) and Rooivalk (close air support) are working the exercise.
SAAF air component commander, Colonel Sly Matshaka, said their mandate is to provide battlefield surveillance in a conventional warfare scenario and tactical training for aircrews in conventional warfare and peace support operations. He pointed out the importance of exposing military aircrews to ground operations commanded by the SA Army. This, according to a SANDF LinkedIn post confirms and tests of Air Force doctrine in conventional warfare and renews aircrew competencies and currencies in a tactical environment.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
COVID-19 false or not? Opinion by Athol Franz
Having travelled from OR Tambo International Airport to George Airport on Friday last week and returned to Johannesburg on Monday, the constant COVID-19 propaganda blaring through the sound announcements systems was akin to living in a communist state. What is so disheartening is how so many people have absolutely no idea about the level of destruction this lockdown nonsense is to South Africa’s economy. Unemployment is now at 43%, meaning that almost one out two people no not have any formal income. COVID-19 is a fake pandemic but is a money spinner and power grab for pharmaceutical companies, governments, the United Nations and others in positions of power.
A fake pandemic?
Much like the 2009 H1N1 Swine flu pandemic was faked and how much money was made by the pharmaceutical companies from that pandemic? Whilst I agree that we all need to be careful and sanitise, cover our nose and mouth with cloth masks when in public and respect social distancing, medical scientists all over the world are proving that this pandemic is nothing more than a bad flu that is highly infectious.
How COVID-19 infected the world with lies
Misinformation has exploded during the coronavirus pandemic, spreading faster and further than ever before. How do we slow the deception down?
How fast does a lie travel?
By Jackson Ryan 21 October 2020
Cordell Hull, the longest-serving US Secretary of State and ‘father of the United Nations,’ thought he had worked it out. “A lie will gallop halfway round the world,” he proclaimed in 1948, “before the truth has time to pull its breeches on.”
Hull shared his adage in a time before social media, before satellites and smartphones. There were no tweets. No Facebook posts. He could not have known the rise of the internet and a worldwide pandemic would expose a critical flaw in his aphorism some 70 years later.
In 2020, a lie circles the world countless times before the truth has a chance to hit ‘Post.’
At no time has that been more obvious than during coronavirus pandemic. Since it emerged in December 2019, COVID-19 has infected 33 million people and killed more than 1 million. It is also revealed significant failures in the way we consume and share information. At the center of this fight: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube; the most popular digital platforms in the world. “There has been this explosion of mis- and disinformation spreading via social media,” says Axel Bruns, a digital media researcher at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. On one front, we have battled a virus. On the other, we have battled misinformation. Technology enables the spread of misinformation in a way that was not possible before.
Military Ombud to be part of Cuban COVID-19 drug investigation
The medical arm of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was reported to have spent R215 million on importing an apparently unregistered COVID-19 drug / vaccine, resulting in a call for the Military Ombud to investigate. Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais will ask retired general Vusi Masondo to look closely at what has been termed ‘the debacle’ around the large scale acquisition of Hebron Alpha R2B, also known as Interferon. Ombud to be part of Cuban COVID-19 drug investigation.
A call has been made for the Military Ombud to investigate the reported R215 million spent importing an apparently unregistered COVID-19 drug by the medical arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais will ask retired general Vusi Masondo to look closely at what has been termed ‘the debacle’ around the large scale acquisition of Hebron Alpha R2B, also known as Interferon. “A scathing preliminary report from the Auditor-General (AG) painted a dark picture on procurement of this drug,” Marais said.
“Not only did the Department of Defence (DoD) not provide the AG with the necessary information to complete the investigation, it appears the DoD did not comply with legislation regarding importing non-registered pharmaceuticals before, during or after the fact. Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s department also seemingly failed to follow proper protocols related to monitoring cold chain storage and transportation of imported drugs. There are serious concerns around the integrity and subsequent usability of many the imported vials yet to be addressed.”
Marais maintains the preliminary AG report ‘shows a corrupt SANDF that tried every trick in the book to waste taxpayers’ money on illegally importing non-registered pharmaceuticals. In his opinion the military medical health service displayed ‘only subterfuge and indulged in illegalities’ bringing Interferon to South Africa from Cuba. Apparently, Interferon not registered for use as a COVID-19 treatment by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). SAMHS reportedly had permission to import 10 vials of the drug to treat a patient with the regulatory authority rejecting an application for large scale treatment. According to the Sunday Times, the AG is auditing some of the R147 billion government COVID-19 expenditure at the request of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
French Jetman Vince Reffet killed in training accident
Vince Reffet, who wowed the world early this year with spectacular jetpack flights from a pier in Dubai, was killed in a training accident on Tuesday, according to his team. “It is with unimaginable sadness that we announce the passing of Jetman pilot, Vincent Reffet, who died this morning during training in Dubai,” Jetman Dubai spokesman Abdulla Binhabtoor told AFP news. No details on the accident were immediately available but it took place at the team’s desert base outside of Dubai. “We are working closely with all relevant authorities,” Binhabtoor said in a statement referring to the investigation.
Along with Yves Rossi, Reffet (36) was among a select few skydivers and wing pilots who have flown jet-powered carbon-fibre hard wings. Reffet’s version, as shown in the video here, was equipped with four small jet engines. Although public displays of jetpacks have typically launched from helicopters or aircraft, Reffet stunned the world by taking off from a pier in Dubai, hovering briefly at low altitude and landing under jet power. He then took off again and soared over the city skyline before landing under a skydiving canopy.
Jet hits bear on Alaska runway
For decades, people have wondered who would win in a battle of jetliner vs. bear. Over the weekend, we finally got an answer and it might just break your heart. On Saturday night 14 November, a Boeing 737-700 hit a brown bear on the runway at the Yakutat Airport in Eastern Alaska. According to protocol ground crews followed proper procedures to check the runway before an Alaska Airlines flight touched down. But at the last minute, the pilots saw two bears crossing in the plane’s path. Alaska Airlines said that the pilot ‘felt an impact’ and a brown bear sow was later discovered lying dead about 20 feet from the center of the runway.
Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment and it is unclear how many passengers were aboard the plane. There were reportedly no injuries and passengers who were on their way to other destinations were eventually able to get seats on other flights. While it is a relief that everyone on board was fine, witnesses said that it appeared a bear cub became an orphan. Sam Dapcevich, a public information officer for the state’s Department of Transportation, told reporters that the cub was discovered on the side of the run, was believed to be about two years old and was unharmed.
Damage to the plane was reportedly isolated to the left engine cowl and a spokesperson for the airline told the Anchorage Daily News that it would take a few days to repair. Dapcevich told the outlet that crewmembers at the airport undergo annual wildlife hazard training and while collisions with various animal species have occurred sporadically in the past, he believes this is the first instance of a jet running into a bear.
Crash during World War II enactment fatal for two
The commercial pilot was participating in a World War II educational re-enactment programme with a passenger onboard the P-51. The plane was supposed to perform four to five passes in front of an amphitheatre in Fredericksburg, Texas, where the re-enactment was being conducted. Witnesses at the amphitheatre stated that the airplane performed a low pass before entering a climb. The airplane then entered a turn, followed by a steep descent from which it did not recover before disappearing from view behind trees. The airplane hit the ground in a near-vertical attitude. The propeller blades exhibited abrasions and leading-edge gouges consistent with the engine producing power at impact. All observed flight control separations exhibited features consistent with overload. Both the pilot and passenger died in the crash.
NTSB preliminary report: Aero Commander 100
On 13 October 2020, an Aero Commander 100 was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Citra, Florida. The student pilot was fatally injured. The sister of the pilot who resided at the private airport property where the airplane departed reported that the pilot was in Ocala, Florida all day on personal business and after he had driven back, the pilot informed her that he was going to take a ‘quick flight.’ The airplane departed about 19h30 and about 15 minutes later, the pilot called on the phone to ask her to take her car to the runway and light it up with the headlights. The pilot informed her that he had lost sight of the runway and the airplane was low on fuel. She further stated that the pilot sounded like he was in a ‘panic.’ Additional neighbours arrived and attempted to light up the runway with their vehicle’s headlights, but the airplane appeared to fly towards the east, away from the runway. She lost contact with the pilot about 20h14 and attempted to call him several times but was unable to reach him.
The airplane was subsequently located about two miles southeast of the airport. It impacted a swampy area in five feet deep water with dense brush. It was inverted in a nose down attitude and partially submerged. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office documented the accident site with photographs and drone footage which revealed significant compression damage and buckling of the airplane’s fuselage aft of the cockpit. The empennage remained relatively intact and all control surfaces remained attached to their respective locations. The cockpit and engine compartment were submerged.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
SpaceX crewed launch flawless
Four astronauts, three Americans and one from Japan, are on their way to the International Space Station courtesy of the first operational manned launch by a private company. The four occupants of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, named Resilience, rode a perfect launch from the Kennedy Space Center early Sunday evening after sitting out a one-day weather delay. The postponement set the launch to almost coincide with the ISS’s orbit over the Cape. After about 8.5 minutes, the capsule safely reached orbit and will chase down the space station until about 22h30 Eastern on Monday. The first-stage booster was recovered safely on a barge off the coast. If all goes according to plan, all four astronauts will be passengers but they can take over from the autonomous system if necessary.
The launch marks the US’s return to manned orbital launches, almost ten years after the Space Shuttle programme ended. The capsule’s name of Resilience is in response to the extra challenges prompted by the pandemic. SpaceX founder Elon Musk was in isolation with a ‘moderate’ case of COVID-19 and could not attend. Everyone involved in the launch followed strict virus protocols. “By working together through these difficult times, you have inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” Commander Mike Hopkins said right before lift-off.
COVID-19 vaccine offers hopes and distribution challenges
Pfizer’s vaccine trial, resulting in more than 90% effectiveness in protecting from the COVID-19 virus, offered a glimmer of hope. Its distribution though, could offer a logistical nightmare. On 9 November 2020, German biotechnological company BioNTech and US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced that their ongoing trial of a coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. After the news about the breakthrough, a lot of airlines witnessed a rise in their shares.
Most of the vaccines are fragile and need to be kept in a cold environment (in around two to eight degrees Celsius). Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine needs to be stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius and requires an elaborate cold-chain distribution. Governments would need to buy special equipment, such as ‘ultra-low temperature freezers’ (prices going up to $15,000 for one). The vaccine also must be injected within five days after reaching the hospitals. “The new two-shot vaccine from Pfizer has to be maintained at minus 80 degrees Celsius and nowhere on the planet does the logistical capacity exist to distribute vaccines at this temperature,” said Toby Peters, a professor at Britain’s University of Birmingham.
Limited air cargo capacity
Around 4.2 billion people live in countries where vaccines would have to be transported from other parts of the world, according to supply chain consultant from Europhia Consulting. “For example, to illustrate the massive scale of capacity required, the current population of the United Kingdom is 62 million people,” said consultant. “Around 100 B777 freighters would be needed to transport a vaccine (double doses per capita) to vaccinate the UK’s entire population from a faraway manufacturer. That’s just to serve the needs of one country.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) calculated that eight billion doses to vaccinate the entire global population would require around 8,000 Boeing 747 aircraft. That number would double if two doses per person are required as in the case of Pfizer’s vaccine. “Even if we assume that half the needed vaccines can be transported by land, the air cargo industry will still face its largest single transport challenge ever. In planning their vaccine programmes, particularly in the developing world, governments must take very careful consideration of the limited air cargo capacity that is available at the moment,” said IATA’s director general, Alexandre de Juniac. The industry was preparing for the distribution of vaccines that need to be kept at temperatures ranging from two to eight degrees Celsius. Pfizer’s vaccine would require a more complicated storage and a bigger deep-freeze warehouse capacity.
Air carriers getting ready
Avia Solutions group, an integrated aviation service provider which controls the operations of Chapman Freeborn, Bluebird Nordic and Avion Express, offered a $2 million budget to the World Health Organisation in April 2020. “The support money shall be dedicated to transporting COVID-19 vaccines to highly infected places using the company’s aircraft fleet, Boeing 747-400F, B737-400F and Airbus A321,” Vygaudas Usackas, Ambassador and Member of the Board of Directors of Avia Solutions Group, explained at the time. Finland’s flag carrier Finnair established a dedicated pharma area located in Helsinki–Vantaa Airport, Finland. Its Cool Terminal has 2600 m² of controlled room temperature space, 208 m² of refrigerated storage and 50 m² of freezer space with constant checks on temperature. Emirates SkyCargo plans to set up the largest airside facility for cold chain storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. The air cargo carrier has already set up a rapid response team to coordinate requests for the movement of the vaccine. Ethiopian Cargo, Ethiopian Airlines’ cargo division, announced it was ready for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across Africa and the rest of the world. With a capacity of one million tons, the company has the largest cargo terminal in Africa as well as temperature-controlled storage facilities at its Pharma Wing. Air France KLM Martinair group along with Air Cargo Netherlands, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and with Aéroport de Paris established two task forces to prepare both airports communities for upcoming vaccine transport operation. Amsterdam Schiphol Pharma Hub opened a 1,118 m² climate-controlled storage facility and is building a cool room of 2,061 m². Charles de Gaulle Pharma Hub is finishing its new climate-controlled storage area too.
Other potential vaccines, still undergoing trials, such as those from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, can be stored at between two degrees and eight degrees. If effective, they could mean simpler logistics for ground and air transport.
Experimental Aircraft accidents decline in the US
Despite a difficult month of September, the number of fatal accidents involving experimental aircraft in the US fell over the last year. From 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020, there were 44 fatal accidents. Most involved experimental /amateur-built aircraft, they make up the bulk of the fleet, but this number is an improvement over the previous year’s tally of 38. Six fatal accidents involved experimental light sport aircraft, one each in racing and R&D categories and four in the exhibition subcategory. In However, in September alone, there were 11 fatal accidents in the experimental category, up from a peak of eight in June and an average of 2.6 accidents a month for the first eight months of the fiscal year. July is typically the highest-risk month.
“This is outstanding news as far as the continuing trend of lower accident totals in experimental category and amateur-built aircraft, especially as total flight hours increased over the past 12 months,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “The FAA continues to challenge our community by lowering the not-to-exceed number each year and we have met that challenge over the past decade, as we have seen fatal accident totals drop by nearly 40 percent for both experimental and amateur-built aircraft over the past decade.”
The EAA and homebuilt community have been pushing to reduce fatal accidents in the category and those efforts have been me with success. In fiscal year 2011, there were 73 total fatal accidents in the category, with 51 of those involving amateur-built aircraft. According to EAA, “The drop in experimental category accidents mirrors and, in some cases, exceeds the decline in overall general aviation fatal accidents over the past decade.” The ‘not to exceed’ line is a moving target aimed at reducing fatal accidents over time and was developed between the FAA and EAA as goal-setting for the industry.
Aviation sector set for clearer skies
The devastated airline industry has seen some light at the end of the COVID-19-induced horror story of thousands of grounded aircraft, as Boeing’s top-selling 737-Max aircraft reportedly has cleared the US Federal Aviation Administration’s review of its various safety issues and could be released from the ‘no-fly’ restriction by 18 November. The ‘un-grounding’ of the aircraft will give a welcome boost to both Boeing and the various airlines that have taken delivery of the aircraft, but which have been prevented from flying for the past 19 months since the fatal crashes by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines. In the midst of a pandemic, which wipes out economic growth and leaves scores of scattered bankruptcies, it takes brave minds to produce a fresh 20-year forecast.
However, that is exactly what Boeing has just released, forecasting an accelerated economic growth overcoming the current chill brought on by Covid-19. It is forecasting a robust 20-year growth track for the Chinese commercial aviation sector. Despite the gutting of global commercial aviation demand by the pandemic and the changes it has forced on personal and business travel, Boeing claims this does not alter the long-term potential for expansion, particularly in the Chinese market.
Not only has China’s recovery from COVID-19 outpaced the rest of the world, but also continued government investments toward improving and expanding its transportation infrastructure, large regional traffic flows, and a flourishing domestic market mean this region of the world will thrive.
These hopeful projections do, of course, bring into focus the escalating trade war that the Trump administration has been waging against China. It is increasingly looking more likely that China may be the kingmaker, not only in determining the future of the aviation industry, but also the dictator of the wider terms of trade with both the EU and the US and beyond.
Boeing forecasts 2,430 more freighters required by 2039
According to Boeing’s biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF), global freight operators will need approximately 2,430 additional aircraft over the next 20 years. The company projects that the demand for additional aircraft will include 930 new freighters and 1,500 converted passenger aircraft. Boeing says the forecast was designed to reflect the ‘impacts and opportunities’ created by the COVID-19 pandemic along with long-term freighter demand. The WACF (PDF), which was released on Tuesday, forecasts a four percent growth in world air cargo traffic over the next two decades. The report noted that approximately 200 airlines have used more than 2,000 passenger widebody aircraft for cargo-only operations so far in 2020. The forecast also stated that, as of September, express carrier traffic has increased 14 percent this year and traffic for all-cargo carriers saw a six percent increase over the same time period.
First Airbus-trained pilot cadets have graduated
Proudly wearing their newly pinned wings, a group of pilot cadets have become the first to graduate from Airbus’ Ab-Initio Pilot Cadet Training Programme. These cadets underwent their first phase of training at Airbus Flight Academy Europe in Angoulême, France, which included over 750 hours in ground school, plus 200 hours of flight instruction. They will now transfer to the Airbus Training Centre in Toulouse, for jet orientation and multi-crew cockpit cooperation courses, where they can follow up with a Type Rating.
Thanks to the full Airbus training programme, a cadet with no flying experience can be trained and qualified as a pilot. Airbus Flight Training has the advantage of providing a single and harmonious curriculum from beginning to end, applying Airbus flight training standards, training concepts and technologies, such as competency-based training and assessment. With the launch of the programme in 2018, the Ab-Initio Pilot Cadet Training programme currently has two partner schools: Airbus Flight Academy Europe in Angoulême and the “Escuela de Aviación México” in Mexico City. Today, there are over 70 cadets at the two locations.
By adding the ab-initio programme to Airbus Training activities, the company supports airline customers to prepare the future generation of pilots, ensuring cadets benefit from the company’s high levels of safety, reliability and expertise. The pilot cadet programme is open worldwide for high school graduates over 18 years old.
Looking to air traffic recovery in the coming years
Airbus has been offering training courses for airline customers since its creation 50 years ago and has always taken a comprehensive and innovative approach with the introduction of the latest technologies and learning concepts. Continuing with this strategy, the cadet training helps prepare the pilots of tomorrow, contributing to the air transport industry’s readiness for the air traffic recovery that is anticipated during 2023-2025 timeframe. With the onset of COVID-19 the cadets followed their training through video conferencing classroom instruction, prior to progressively returning to school with all the necessary health and safety measures in place. This remote instruction was developed by the Airbus Flight Training operation, with approval provided by Europe’s EASA airworthiness authority one day after the COVID-19 lockdown was applied in France.
Levil Aviation introduces new digital instrument App
The new App is a customisable digital instrument panel that seeks to bridge what the company sees as the gap between emerging wireless avionics and limited compatibility with Advanced Navigation Apps. The new iOS-based App is designed to display information from wireless devices such as the iLevil3 series, the B.O.M, or other GDL90 devices, simultaneously, while using navigation tools such as Foreflight, iFlyGPS, WingX Pro and many more side by side. They see it as something of an ‘App for all’ so that no matter what part of the world you fly in, or what your preferred navigation app is, the App should have you covered.
“We ran into a hardware-software compatibility road-block,” explains Ananda Leon, Product and Software Developer at Levil Aviation. Levil Aviation’s App uses plug-in-based modules. Each module or window is configured to display a certain instrument or feature and the pilot has the power to select which modules will be displayed at any given time. Modules can range from primary flight display to auto-pilot control, to an interface for a new gadget from third party companies.
The Levil Aviation App utilises iOS multi-tasking features to work side-by-side, full screen, or slide-over, where modules can be shown on top of your navigation app of choice. The current version includes interfaces for traffic avoidance, engine monitoring, EFIS, angle of attack monitoring, automatic flight upload to Wyvern, or FliteScore’s cloud-based flight analysis software, AeroPath’s radio control interface, the beta interface for Levil’s patent-pending wireless autopilot and much more.
Wisk, NASA partner on autonomous aircraft integration
Urban air mobility (UAM) company Wisk has announced that it is partnering with NASA to explore the ‘safe integration of autonomous aircraft systems into Urban Air Mobility applications at a national level.’ According to the company, its work will initially focus on safety scenarios related to autonomous flight and contingency management including collision avoidance and flight path management. The partnership is part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign. Wisk is developing the Cora autonomous, all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi. The company, which has facilities in California’s San Francisco Bay area and New Zealand, reports that it has conducted more than 1400 eVTOL test flights since 2010. As previously reported, Wisk signed an agreement with the New Zealand government last February to establish a passenger transport trial in Canterbury.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Martin UAV, SouthCom successfully complete counter narcotics operations demo
In support of United States Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) counter narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific, Martin UAV successfully demonstrated the shipboard integration of its V-BAT UAS, as well as its maritime capabilities, from 6 October 2019 to 31 July 2020. Support for the mission included the highly visible Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations, which began on 1 April and was kicked off by the President of the United States. A demonstration of the V-BAT’s small footprint, quick set-up, rapid deployment and true Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities kicked off the 10-month mission. Once the shakedown was successfully completed, a technology assessment to support the USSOUTHCOM Exercises and Coalition Affairs Directorate, Long Duration, Long Dwell (LD2) began. LD2 is looking to enhance the execution of the Department of Defence’s strategic objectives by leveraging commercial off-the-shelf technologies. Over the course of the demonstration, the V-BAT flew 273 sorties for a total of 1340.7 flight hours, which Martin UAV describes as ‘unprecedented.’
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)