“Character assassination is at once easier and surer than physical assault and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to commit the same deed over and over again and may, indeed, win him the honours of a hero in the country of his victims.”
African Pilot’s aircraft of the week identification quiz
No prizes, but can you identify this aircraft? Last week’s aircraft proved to be difficult for some readers. Please send your answers to me and not to other African Pilot e-mail addresses – Thank you: email@example.com. I will publish the names of all those that identified the aircraft correctly in the Thursday edition of APAnews.
What does 61.02.1 in the CAR’s refer to?
What was once the only profitable part of the South African Airways government owned airline, Mango has been effectively closed down. During the ten years that the airline was managed by Nico Bezuidenhout, Mango always returned a healthy profit to SAA, whilst the parent airline SAA and South African Express airlines made losses. Of course this begs the question as to why are people appointed to senior positions throughout aviation when they clearly do not have the correct qualifications or ability to manage the position to which they have been appointed?
African Pilot’s December 2021 edition
The December edition featuring Drones, UAVs and Urban Mobility is complete and will enter its circulation phase later this week. Over several years African Pilot has consistently covered the exciting developments within the drone and urban mobility industry since these developments will change everything we know in aviation’s future. Although there are some people who say ‘flying cars’ will not be with us for decades, my belief is that they are just around the corner and like the drone industry, regulators all over the world need to start preparing for the explosion of aerial vehicles in our cities.
African Pilot’s January 2022 edition
The final magazine to be published this year, well before the end of year holidays will be the January 2022 edition that will feature Aviation Insurance, Aircraft Finance and Aircraft Sales. African Pilot has prepared the full year’s schedule for next year, which is available to ALL advertisers via Adrian Munro E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. African Pilot is also the only African aviation magazine that publishes its schedule well ahead in order for advertiser’s to prepare for the year ahead. African Pilot is the ‘only aviation magazine’ that provides its advertisers with coverage within a well-designed publication that has South African, African and International reach.
Video of the week
The Children’s Flight held at Orient Airfield on 5 November 2021
African Pilot Digital Calendars
Wallpaper calendar for the months of October and November. Go to our wallpaper page to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2021 editions.
Click on the covers below.
SAMAD Aerospace signs MOU with Aerosud Aviation
SAMAD Aerospace is pleased to announce that it has signed an MOU agreement with Aerosud Aviation for the development and manufacturing of its fully electric VTOL Starling Cargo aircraft.
Aerosud Aviation is a South African aerospace engineering company specialising in commercial aerostructure part design and manufacturing for international Tier 1 suppliers. The Starling Cargo aircraft will be remotely piloted with auto pilot capability. It will have a cruising speed of 83 knots, flight ceiling of 10,000 feet and a range of up to 117 nm. The electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft will enable flexible point to point air cargo of up to 60 kg payload.
Dr Seyed Mohseni, CEO of SAMAD Aerospace, commented: “We look forward to working with Aerosud Aviation to bring our eVTOL Starling Cargo aircraft to market for delivery during the next couple of years. The Starling Cargo aircraft will make air cargo faster, greener and more sustainable.”
Rob Jonkers, Director of Programmes at Aerosud Aviation, added: “We look forward to working with SAMAD Aerospace to bring to market this unique Starling Cargo eVTOL, which has particular advantages in the South African and African context given sparse infrastructure to move cargo at medium to long distance at speed. The flexibility of Starling Cargo operations will bring a new dimension to delivery turnaround times country and continent wide”
The SAMAD Aerospace team have seen interest in its Starling Cargo aircraft from a number of industry sectors that need to transit high value cargo. These include oil and gas corporations, gemstone mining companies, medical logistics and emergency response companies. The Starling Cargo aircraft will also be utilised to deliver humanitarian critical cargo of food, medicine and equipment to often remote regions of the world with underdeveloped or damaged local infrastructure. SAMAD Aerospace is now one of the top ten VTOL companies in the world. It has built and tested multiple prototypes of its eVTOL aircraft.
What is scheduled for the next few months?
African Pilot’s 2021 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.
SAPFA Springs Speed Rally at Springs Airfield
Contact David Le Roux E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 073 338 5200
Sports Aerobatics Club Western Cape regionals at Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting virtual via Zoom
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 674 5674
2 & 3 December
Security Drone Conference at Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact Tawanda Mandaza E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 063 580 6400
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards venue TBA
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
Cancelled due to very few international events
Sports Aerobatics Club ACE of Base Baragwaneth Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steady Climb fly-in and expo at Rhino Park airfield
Contact David Le Roux Cell: 073 338 5200
2022 Aviation calendar
I have started compiling the 2022 aviation calendar, so if you would like to reserve a specific date even if this is provisional, please send the details to me. What I require is the date, venue, contact person(s) and contact details such as Cell number and e-mail. Thank you.
22 and 23 January 2021
SAC Gauteng Regionals venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon Email: email@example.com
29 January 2021
SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge Rand Airport
Contact Frank Eckard Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
12 February 2021
SAPFA Committee Bosberaad Venue TBA
Contact Rob Jonkers Email: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
15 to 17 February 2021
Routes Americas 2022 San Antonio, Texas, USA
Contact Jennifer Roberts Email: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
15 to 20 February 2021
Singapore Airshow Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore
Contact Tel: +65 6542 8660 Email: email@example.com
22 and 23 February 2021
MRO Middle East Dubai, UAE
Contact Jennifer Roberts Email: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
26 and 27 February 2021
SAC North-West Regionals venue Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon Email: email@example.com
2 to 5 March 2021
AERO ASIA Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Contact Jana-Marie Roth Email: jana-marie.roth@·messe-fn.de Tel: +49 7541 708 371
18 to 20 March 2021
SAPFA Precision Nationals Brits Airfield
Contact Tarryn Myburgh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org cell: 074 182 3589
Mack Air expands Botswana-Victoria Falls route
Due to high demand, Botswana’s Mack Air has expanded its service between the city of Kasane and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. With land borders remaining closed, the air connection between the two neighbouring countries has become popular. Mack Air launched its inaugural scheduled flights in May using a 14-seater Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft shuttling between Kasane and Victoria Falls.
“Since Mack Air launched, we have grown considerably. Since borders were closed, we expected a dip, however support from tourism industry and cross border transfer companies has been phenomenal,” said Michael Weyl, the Mack Air, Managing Director. “We ended up with two scheduled flights per day. We fly daily and on demand. If there is demand for one, we only dispatch one aircraft if there is demand for the two aircraft, we dispatch another one.”
Weyl said the airline was grateful for support from the Victoria Falls community, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and other stakeholders. He said traffic is low at the moment as expected especially going into the low season until around February. Presently, there is no link between Victoria Falls and Namibia after Air Namibia suspended flights last year.
Leonardo sells four AW169s to Bestfly in Angola
Leonardo announced it has sold four AW169 light intermediate twin engine helicopters to Bestfly of Angola. This contract marks the entry of the AW169 into the African market with the first purchase from major local operator. The introduction of the 4.6 / 4.8 tonne AW169 is a significant boost to Bestfly’s air operations in Angola. It will be conducting passenger and equipment transport in the energy industry by leveraging latest technology and navigation/mission avionics, latest certification and safety standards, outstanding performance, the largest cabin in its category and a modern maintenance approach.
Orders and options for nearly 290 AW169 helicopters have been signed by over 90 customers in more than 30 countries around the world to date for a wide range of applications, including air ambulance, law enforcement, executive / corporate and offshore transport, electronic news gathering, training, military and utility roles. In the energy industry sector, by supporting oil and gas or wind farm, the AW169 has already proven successful in Europe and the Middle East. More than 130 units have been delivered worldwide and have logged more than 90,000 flight hours.
British F-35 jet crashes into Mediterranean
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that a British F-35 pilot flying from the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier had to eject during a routine operation over the Mediterranean. The pilot was picked up but the £100m stealth jet crashed into the sea during the incident, which took place at about 10h00 UK time. The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.” No other vessels or aircraft were involved, defence sources said.
The accident took place shortly after the F-35 took off, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said, but despite the incident other operational and training flights involving the jets were carrying on for the moment. The immediate priority is recovery of the wreckage, with the UK keen to ensure the lost aircraft does not end up in the hands of a hostile state such as Russia. HMS Queen Elizabeth is returning to the UK after a long deployment that has taken it through the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and back. Eight British and 10 US F-35Bs were deployed onboard before Wednesday.
Britain agreed to buy 48 F-35Bs from the US military company Lockheed Martin, at a cost of £6bn by 2025. Of those, 24 have been delivered. It is the first accident involving an RAF F-35B, although there have been a handful of previous accidents involving the fighter jets in the past three years. The most similar crash happened in September 2018, involving an F-35B, when the pilot, a US Marine, had to eject in South Carolina. Faulty engine tubes were blamed.
Jets from HMS Queen Elizabeth previously participated in strikes against the remnants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The crash will be investigated by the Defence Accident Investigation Branch, which usually takes several weeks before producing an initial report. A final report typically takes about a year to complete.
Pilot calls sister-in-law five-minutes before crash outside her Wisconsin home
Five minutes after calling his sister-in-law on the phone, a pilot crashed an airplane outside her Wisconsin home and died. Aaron Mika (29) took off from Ashland on 23 October in a small, two-seat, single-propeller plane, with his 21-year-old sister, Aleah Miller. Though an engineer by education, Mika worked in California and Alaska as a float plane pilot and flight instructor beginning in 2020. Fresh out of high school, Aleah Miller joined the National Guard before pursuing further education in Eau Claire, followed by an 18-month church mission in Utah. She returned home to Wisconsin in May and married her husband, Kenneth, on 8 October two weeks before the crash.
It was a little after 14h30 when Mika called his sister-in-law, telling her to step outside her house in Marengo, to see him buzz overhead. The airplane overflew her position multiple times at a low altitude, and then went into a ‘loop manoeuvre,’ which was captured on video taken by an unidentified witness. The plane climbed, flying upside down toward the top of the loop and righting itself as it descended. But there was not enough clearance to complete the loop and during the descent, the right wing clipped the roof of a nearby house and the plane crashed ‘nose-down’ into the ground. Both wings were torn off by the impact and found 20 feet from where the fuselage came to rest. NTSB investigators sorted through the pieces and found no problems with the plane itself, nothing that would have caused or contributed to the crash. Mika and Miller were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office. No one on the ground was hurt.
United Airlines aircraft catches fire at Boston Logan International Airport
A United Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft has been grounded after it caught fire at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) on the morning of 16 November 2021. The aircraft was parked at an airport gate at Terminal B of BOS when a fire broke at the auxiliary power unit in the rear of the aircraft, which was scheduled to travel from Boston to San Francisco. There was no one onboard the plane at the time of the incident. The aircraft has been removed from service while maintenance crews evaluate it.
Icon A5 as a rescue plane for ditched Mooney in Florida
When Genesah Duffy, chief pilot and senior director of flight operations for Icon Aircraft, took off for a return-to-service shakedown flight in one of the company’s A5 amphibians, she was not expecting it to turn into an air-sea-rescue mission. With the little two-place seaplane just out of a 100-hour inspection, Duffy took off from the company’s owner-training and sales center at Peter O. Knight Airport (KTPF) in Tampa, Florida, on Monday morning 15 November. She heard a Mooney pilot announce on the Unicom frequency that he was inbound for the airport. After she completed a water landing for a routine bilge-pump check a few miles south of the airport, she picked up a radio call from another aircraft. “Usually, I can’t get reception from the surface,” she said, “but I heard someone on the frequency saying the Mooney had gone into the water.” So, she took off and flew toward where she estimated the aircraft might be. “The water is pretty shallow there and I could see the outline of the airplane; completely submerged.” The Mooney was later reported to be on a flight from Lakeland Linder International Airport when it developed an engine problem.
Flying at around 200 feet, Duffy announced her position on the radio and said she could see one person in a yellow life jacket. Before landing, she made one circle of the area to assure herself she would not hit anyone in the water. She said the winds were gusting at about 15 knots and the surface looked choppy, but when she touched down, it was not as bad as it looked and she was able to taxi over to where the aircraft had sunk. That was when she saw another man without a life jacket struggling in the water. Even though the occupant in the life jacket was drifting from the site, she focused on the man without the flotation device, who turned out to be the pilot-owner of the Mooney.
“I taxied over and he grabbed the tail and even though he was already tiring, he pulled himself along the left side of the airplane.” Duffy helped him put on one of the life jackets on board the A5 and pulled the inflation handle. They maneuverered him around to the passenger side and got him in the airplane. “This was a full-grown man,” she said. “Helping him in took some effort.” He told her he had owned the Mooney for several years and said his engine was overheating and he was trying to land at KTPF, “but it must have quit on the approach,” she said.
Meanwhile, a Tampa Police rescue boat had arrived, so Duffy pointed in the direction of the passenger who was drifting away. She followed the police and transferred the pilot to their boat after the second man was picked up. Duffy said the configuration of the Icon A5 actually made the rescue relatively easy, with the fatigued pilot able to climb aboard using the stub Seawings on the hull as a platform.
A Navy veteran who served as a communications tech on Guam working on submarines, Duffy took a discovery flight after her 2012 discharge and realised that aviation was the career she was looking for. She has an associate degree in flight technology and is ‘about 75 percent’ on her way to a bachelor’s in aerospace management. She holds commercial multi engine ratings in land and seaplanes as well as helicopters. She also has her instructor rating and 950 of the 1,850 hours’ total time in her logbook are in the Icon A5.
Icon A5 as a rescue plane for ditched Mooney in Florida
A father and daughter were found alive in the woods in Luzerne County after their small plane crashed on Sunday evening a week ago hours after their single-engine plane crashed in Pennsylvania, but investigators say they were able to locate them thanks to a signal from his daughter’s iPad. The pilot (58) and his daughter (13) were the only persons in the two-seat, single-engine Cessna 150. A five-hour general search ensued, a joint effort with the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, according to police. The plane and its passengers were found in a heavily wooded area about seven miles southeast of Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.
After pinging the last known location of the plane, rescue teams and about 30 other people started doing a grid search in the woods, being careful to not spread out too far since it was evening time, cold and snowy, but their search came up short. Once rescue crews identified the pilot, they contacted his wife, who had been waiting for her husband and daughter at their destination, Serafin said and got the man’s cell phone number. The rescue team was able to ping the cell phone and they found out that the daughter had an iPad and with certain iPads, you are able to ping signals to it and once we got that coordinate, that is when they were located. The pair were found in a pre-hypothermic state and suffered minor injuries, police said. Due to their injuries, the two are still recovering in the hospital.
First Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty bizjet sold to private customer
Kabir Mulchandani, founder and CEO of FIVE Holdings, became the first private customer of the Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty business jet. He will receive the first production TwoTwenty and one of the jets that have been purchased by Comlux, the launch customer of the model. According to Airbus, the cost of the jet is between $75-80 million. The identity of the purchaser was announced at a closed ceremony in Dubai, AirInsight reports. The aircraft, outfitted in one of the three classical cabin styles by Comlux will be delivered in 2023. The Indianapolis-based company will be working on six TwoTwenty aircraft, delivering them to customers or using them for charter.
Airbus TwoTwenty is the latest aircraft in the line of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ). It is based on the successful A220 airliner, originally designed as Bombardier CSeries. In comparison with the regular passenger version of the A220, the TwoTwenty sports heavily increased range (5,650 nautical miles / 10,464 kilometres), greater cruise altitude and an assortment of interiors that include options for conference rooms, lounges and bedrooms.
The aircraft can carry up to 18 passengers and is the smallest in the line-up of Airbus corporate jets. However, it is much larger than models offered by most business jet manufacturers, such as Embraer, Dassault, Bombardier, Cessna or Gulfstream. The TwoTwenty was launched in October 2020. According to Airbus data, six jets of this type have been ordered so far. Presumably, all six were ordered by Comlux, whilst some of them will be eventually sold off to private customers.
Airbus and CMA CGM Group sign for four A350F freighters
World-leader in shipping and logistics CMA CGM Group and Airbus have signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of four A350F freighter aircraft. The order, which is subject to finalisation in the coming weeks, will lift CMA CGM’s total Airbus fleet to nine aircraft, including five A330-200F. The aircraft will be operated by CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the recently launched air cargo activity of CMA CGM Group.
The A350F is based on the world’s most modern long range passenger jet features a large main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations. More than 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials resulting in a 30t lighter take-off weight, generating an at least 20% lower fuel burn over its current closest competitor. With a 109-ton payload capability the A350F serves all cargo markets and is in the large freighter category the only new generation freighter aircraft ready for the enhanced 2027 ICAO CO₂ emissions standards.
Taiwan deploys the F-16V, its latest and most advanced jet to date
A fleet of 64 upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V fighter jets have been commissioned into service by Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen. The ceremony took place at the Republic of China Air Force’s Chiayi Air Base on 18 November 2021. Taiwan began looking for upgrades to its fleet of F-16A/Bs in 2011, after attempts to purchase newer aircraft of C and D variants fell through. Lockheed Martin began retrofitting its first aircraft with upgrades in 2017 and plans to complete the transition of Taiwan’s 141 F-16s by 2023. According to Lockheed Martin, the aircraft features new radar, a vastly updated cockpit and avionics and a host of other notable upgrades. The new variant was unveiled in 2012. Since then, numerous countries, including Turkey, Greece, South Korea and Bahrain, have ordered newly built aircraft of this type or decided to update existing F-16s of older models to the V standard. In addition to upgrading its entire fleet, Taiwan has ordered 66 brand new F-16Vs that will be delivered by 2026.
The strengthening of Taiwan’s Air Force comes as tensions in the region continue to increase. China, which considers the island its own territory, has been flying military jets in Taiwan’s airspace on a near-daily basis. In October 2021 Taiwan requested that the US expedite the delivery of F-16s as the Chinese incursions reached an all-time high with 149 military aircraft entering the island’s airspace.
Formally, the US does not recognise Taiwan’s independence. The situation dates back to 1949, when the island became the last refuge for China’s Nationalist government following the Communist revolution. However, this has not prevented the US from providing military assistance to Taiwan as well as conducting weapons sales with the island nation. On 17 November, US president Joe Biden said that Taiwan must decide if it wants formal independence and that the US remains committed to supporting the Taiwan Relations Act, which outlines unofficial communication with the island’s government. In China, Biden’s remarks were met with fury by the press.
The Lockheed Martin F-16 remains the backbone of Taiwan’s Air Force. The country also possesses a small number of vintage Northrop F-5s, several dozen French Mirage 2000 fighters and more than 100 domestically designed AIDC F-CK-1 multirole jets. However, the country’s ageing fleet of F-16s has caused some problems in recent years, including the island-wide grounding in 2020, after several aircraft of this type were lost in crashes.
Otto Aviation makes headway on Celera
Otto Aviation has completed testing of its Celera 500L Aircraft, marking 51 hours of flight time across 55 successful flights. The aircraft’s final phase one test flight was flown entirely on sustainable aviation fuel, furthering the brand’s goal of sustainable but commercially viable business aircraft.
The Celera is designed to merge ‘the convenience of private air transportation but at a significantly lower cost and a dramatically reduced carbon footprint,’ according to Otto’s website. Citing expected fuel economy of 18-25 miles per gallon against a private jet’s equivalent three mpg and hourly operating cost under $330 an hour, Otto sees their plane as the future of green intercontinental private travel. With a 4,500 nm range, seating for six, first-class cabin accommodations and a maximum cruise over 460 mph at 50,000 feet, the Celera is shaping up to be a powerful contender if it can meet its targets.
Phase 1 testing sought to compare the prototype against industry standards and refine the design of the Celera with real-world data. Throughout a few test flights, the team visualised the laminar flow state with a precision infrared camera mounted on a chase aircraft, quantifying extensive laminar flow capability over all external surfaces. Wing and fuselage surfaces were gauged for robustness and gathered additional data for use in strengthening the upcoming production vehicle.
Working with Cal Poly’s Boundary Layer Data System, Otto was able to go further than regular friction analysis, quantifying the exact friction state of the aircraft to customise a series of tailored boundary layer rakes and find the cumulative effect of laminar friction in flight. The optimisations are important to reach their milestones, reaching similar performance figures to light jets using a liquid cooled, V12 with 550 horsepower. The Celera boasts drag about 41% of similar sized, conventional aircraft and a 22:1 glide ratio. Otto’s timeline plans to offer a B Round of funding, while they begin FAA certification and find a home base. As development continues and orders are accepted, a C Round is expected to run from 2023 to 2025, when they will build a manufacturing facility and complete initial commercial deliveries.
Cathay fires three Covid-infected pilots
Cathay Pacific fired three of its pilots reportedly infected with Covid-19, citing a breach of company procedures while on overseas layovers. The company was taciturn as to the details involved in the decision to terminate flight crews, with little official information to fill in the gaps. Other Cathay staff who stayed at the same hotel in Frankfurt since 1 November were ordered into a Hong Kong government-mandated quarantine upon their return home.
Rumours around the Hong Kong approach to Covid policy have assumed the country’s top priority is to reopening travel with China as soon as possible. While the region has recorded few active cases in the area but increasingly tightening restrictions anyway. The discovery of infections within the Frankfurt hotel employees led to the forced quarantine of 150 employees along with their households and community contacts. Those held in quarantine are said to be spending three weeks in government facilities, which may thankfully not require out-of-pocket hotel reservation.
Once reported, Cathay announced it would increase the frequency of its compliance checks to ensure safety protocols were strictly and absolutely followed, leading to some analysts questioning whether the firings were done for effect in the hopes of scaring employees into compliance. Hong Kong has cratered its tourism activity since instituting a policy that includes mandatory three-week quarantines for arrivals, while cargo demand has remained and even increased the point of breaking even for the airline from July to October.
Woman faces up to 20 years in prison for assaulting a United Airlines cabin crew
A 50-year-old woman from Texas has been charged by the San Francisco federal court with interference with an aircraft flight by assault upon a flight attendant. If convicted, this could land her up to 20 years in prison. It is the latest incident in a concerning trend of unruly passengers onboard aircraft. The rise in cases has prompted calls from airlines and unions for more to be done and harsher punishments to be meted out to serve as a deterrent
The first hearing in Houston federal court, which occurred on 12 November 2021, initiates the first steps in a procedure to obtain an order directing Debby Dutton of Cypress, Texas to appear to face the charge against her in San Francisco federal court. According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California, the incident occurred on 29 June 2021, when Dutton and her husband were passengers on a United Airlines flight from Alaska to San Francisco. As is customary on flights during the pandemic, flight attendants broadcasted several safety announcements over the plane’s intercom, including about the federal mask mandate on commercial flights. The flight attendants also announced that passengers must wear their masks at all times and should a passenger’s mask fall while they are asleep, they (passengers) will be woken up and be told to put their masks back on.
According to the complaint affidavit, almost three and a half hours into the four and a half-hour flight, a flight attendant walked down the aisle to collect trash and check passengers for face mask compliance.
The flight attendant noticed one passenger was asleep and that his face mask had fallen from his face. Using two fingers, the flight attendant tapped the passenger on the shoulder to advise him to adjust his face mask. The passenger complied with the request.
Sitting next to the passenger was his wife, Debby Dutton. According to the complaint affidavit, Dutton got up from her seat and angrily shouted at the flight attendant, who had already continued down the plane aisle. The flight attendant then tried to explain that the passenger, Dutton’s husband, had not been wearing his face mask, but Dutton continued to scream and walked towards the flight attendant.
The complaint affidavit describes that Dutton pushed the flight attendant on the right arm with force enough for the attendant to step back to maintain balance. Dutton then pushed the flight attendant once more on the flight attendant’s right arm. The flight attendant told Dutton to stop. At this point, Dutton’s husband asked her to return to her seat, which Dutton eventually did. The flight attendant immediately reported the incident to the captain.
The flight attendant, as described in the complaint, was caught off guard and felt threatened. The flight attendant further described the assault as painful and forceful. The pushes left bruising on the flight attendant’s right bicep. The flight attendant sought medical attention after the flight. Law enforcement officers subsequently interviewed multiple passengers who witnessed parts of the incident.
Dutton has been charged with one count of interference by assault, threat, or intimidation with flight crew members or attendants, in violation of Title 49, United States Code, Section 46504. The charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine.
On 10 November 2021, the FAA fined 10 passengers more than $225,000 for alleged unruly behaviour involving assault. While the FAA can issue civil fines, it cannot pursue criminal prosecution. For that, it has to refer passengers to the Justice Department. Just the previous month in October 2021, a passenger was also charged for allegedly assaulting an American Airlines cabin crew member. Unruly behaviour among passengers has been a cause for concern over the past year. According to the FAA, since 1 January 2021, the organisation has received more than 100 reports of passenger disturbances involving physical assault.
NASA selects intuitive machines for new lunar science delivery
NASA has awarded Intuitive Machines of Houston a contract to deliver research, including science investigations and a technology demonstration, to the Moon in 2024. The commercial delivery is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and the Artemis programme.
The investigations aboard Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander are destined for Reiner Gamma, one of the most distinctive and enigmatic natural features on the Moon. Known as a lunar swirl, Reiner Gamma is on the western edge of the Moon, as seen from Earth and is one of the most visible lunar swirls. Scientists continue to learn what lunar swirls are, how they form, and their relationship to the Moon’s magnetic field.
Intuitive Machines will receive $77.5 million for the contract and is responsible for end-to-end delivery services, including payload integration, delivery from Earth to the surface of the Moon and payload operations. This is Intuitive Machines’ third task order award, the first of which is a delivery to Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon during the first quarter of 2022. This award is the seventh surface delivery task award issued to a CLPS partner. The four investigations Intuitive Machines will deliver to Reiner Gamma are collectively expected to be about 203 pounds (92 kg) in mass and include:
Lunar Vertex is among NASA’s Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) selections. It is a combination of stationary lander payloads and a rover that will make detailed measurements of the magnetic field, plasma environment and regolith properties. The lander and rover data will augment observations collected in orbit. Combined, the observations will help show how these mysterious lunar swirls form and evolve and how they connect to local magnetic fields in the same regions. Lunar Vertex is funded through the agency’s Science Mission Directorate and is led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE) consists of mobile robots programmed to work as an autonomous team to explore the lunar surface, collect data and map different areas of the Moon in 3D. CADRE uses its inertial measurement unit, stereo cameras and a Sun sensor to track the position of each robot as they explore the lunar surface. CADRE is funded by NASA’s Game Changing Development programme under the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
MoonLIGHT retroreflector is a laser retroreflector, which reflects laser beams sent from Earth directly back from the Moon to receivers on Earth. This allows very precise measurement of the distances between the reflector and the ground station. This technique can be used to investigate relativity, the gravitational dynamics of the Earth-Moon system and the deep lunar interior. MoonLIGHT is managed by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Lunar Space Environment Monitor (LUSEM) uses a pair of apertures to detect high-energy particles on the lunar surface. LUSEM will monitor variations in the near-surface space environment when the Moon is inside and outside Earth’s magnetotail, the trailing end of the magnetic fields surrounding our planet, which can serve as a buffer for incoming radiation. LUSEM is managed by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in South Korea.
As NASA continues plans for multiple commercial deliveries to the Moon, future payloads that may be delivered with CLPS could also include other rovers, power sources, and science experiments, including technology demonstrations to later be infused into the Artemis programme.
AYR Logistics partners with Elroy Air to deploy aerial delivery service for humanitarian aid
Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo systems, has partnered with AYR Logistics, an aircraft owner and operator with over 20 years of hands-on experience providing logistics support to the humanitarian community, including the United Nations, World Food Programme (WFP), Governments and NGOs. At the Dubai Air Show, Elroy Air and AYR Logistics announced plans to develop an autonomous aerial cargo delivery service for humanitarian use. In an agreement signed in October, AYR committed to purchase up to 100 of Elroy Air’s Chaparral aircraft to augment and expand its humanitarian logistics business.
Speaking from the company’s headquarters in London, Serge Sergeef, CEO of AYR Logistics, said, “We are very excited to be working with Elroy Air as their Humanitarian Partners. Our aircraft need to operate in incredibly challenging and austere conditions, frequently without basic airport infrastructure, so we are very particular about the equipment we use. We need highly efficient and cost-effective aircraft with excellent dispatch reliability that provide 24-hour, all-weather operations and perform vertical take-off and landing with pinpoint accuracy. We believe Elroy Air will provide us with that capability. For us, these Cargo-UAVs are heralding a new era in logistics and will undoubtedly become the new workhorse for humanitarian agencies.”
“The humanitarian deliveries that AYR Logistics performs represent some of the most important, and challenging logistics work in the world. We are honoured to have the opportunity to partner with the AYR team and to provide them with a new modality of safe, reliable aerial delivery for any environment. It’s an ideal deployment for our Chaparral systems with a world-class partner,” said Elroy Air Co-founder and CEO David Merrill.
Delta Drone International’s RocketFarm pilot Africa’s first concentrated solar plant
Delta Drone International has demonstrated its expertise in tailored done solutions, with its agriculture specialist brand, RocketFarm piloting Africa’s first concentrated solar power plant survey. The survey, which is a first in Africa and possibly the world, is extremely complex due to the constant movement of the tracking panels that move with the sun and the reflective nature of the plant’s mirrors that would produce a false reading if they were to reflect the sky or the ground.
By creating a 100 per cent custom solution that included a deep dive into code and re-training the thermal AI detection formula, RocketFarm was able to fly at the height and angles and take the images required to detect broken mirrors, defective heat elements and provide the customer an analysis on future performance and optimisation.
RocketFarm Project Lead, Zander Van Pletzen said: “With no existing guide, RocketFarm’s survey and data acquisition involved our crew flying a sample of the site at different angles, heights and speeds to conduct the survey and collect the data. Equipped with a multi-spectrum sensor (RGB & Thermal) provided the team with multiple points of data to analyse. While flying is the simplest aspect of the mission, the interpretation of the data and analysis for the CSP plants owners and stakeholders has been a complex and insightful undertaking that will provide long-standing benefits in maintenance, profitability and possibly greater uptake of CSP plants.”
Delta Drone International CEO, Christopher Clark said: “Many of our enterprise customers trust us to perform the surveys required to keep their multibillion-dollar operations functioning. These concentrated solar power plants cost billions to build and only the most experienced pilots with specialist expertise in agriculture, could code the complex algorithms required for this project. “This ground-breaking survey is no doubt set to transform the global energy sector for years to come.”
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa.
The African Pilot team is 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.
Then of course this APAnews service has been part of African Pilot’s line-up since the inception of the magazine 20 years ago.
A farmer saw a plane full of politicians crash near his farm. When the police arrived, they asked the farmer what happened.
Farmer: They crashed near my farm and I buried all of them.
One of the police men asked with shock; “are you sure they were all dead”?
Farmer: Some of them were screaming, “we are still alive”.
“But I could not believe them. You know, these politicians. They can lie”.
Wouter Botes new TV series Plane Wreck Hunter
Aero Club coffee table Centenary Yearbook
The AeCSA Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase from the online shop. Please visit www.aeroclub.org.za/shop.
Aero Club support
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.