Midweek Update 19 March 2013

By Willie Bodenstein

In Midweek Update we will be looking ahead to what's happening on the weekend and report on international and local news. Feel free to let us know if you or your club has got anything planned and we will gladly publish the details here. News snippets are also most welcome. E-mail all material to:
willieb@pilotspost.com . The only condition is that it must be aviation related. (Obviously we reserve the right to decide what to publish).

What's happening this weekend?

We are promoting this as a family day for anyone from anywhere - bring your kids and grandkids! Breakfast will be available at the club. There will be an Easter egg hunt put on for the kids. For those wishing to stay a bit later, they are welcome to pack a picnic lunch and fires will be made available for those wanting to bring n braai. There will be liquid refreshments available all day.

Saturday 23 March SAPFA Fun Rally and 2nd Precision Qualifier Virginia Airport, Durban. Contact Mary de Klerk:

Saturday 23 March TMG fly-in Kitty Hawk Airfield.Contact Marietjievan Niekerk:

Events to diarise:

Breakfast at Robertson Saturday 13 April 2013

Robertson Flying Club is hosting our annual fly-inn breakfast on 13 April 2013 from 9:00 to 11:30 @ R50 per person. (The same price as 8 years ago, so we really want you to come!!)
Come and enjoy a morning (or day) in the valley of wine and roses. Bring your tent and sleep over on the clubhouse lawn or we will take you to one of our B&B's. You can even do a tandem skydive, if you dare.
Spotlanding competition as you arrive, with avgas and wine as prizes.
Airfield information:
Fars - licensed
Altitude: 640 feet
Runways: 10/28 1600m x 15m tar 15/33 grass
Frequency: 124.8
Fuel: avgas
Contact: Alwyn 083 270 5888

Phone Alwyn if you are uncertain of the local weather conditions.

Local and International News

Lightning strike destroy ATC Tower at NAMPO Airfield

NAMPO Airfield might not be the best known field in South Africa but each year during the second week of May hundreds of aircraft from all the country arrive on a daily basis turning the remote strip into one of the busiest in the country. The reason for this is the annual National Maize Producers (NAMPO) exhibition. NAMPO is probably the biggest exhibition of agriculture related products if not in the southern hemisphere, definitely in Africa.

The wood and thatch control tower is manned by volunteer Air Traffic Controllers for the duration of the five day event. On Friday 15 March it was hit by lightning and completely destroyed. A new tower will be erected and will be completed in time for NAMPO 2013 which is set to start on 15 May. (Photos courtesy Cliff Lotter)

Bizjet crashes in South Bend Neighborhood

Four people were killed, including two on the ground, when a Beech Premier 1 crashed into three houses in South Bend, Indiana Sunday evening. Reports say the pilot of the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the plane, which was on a flight from Tulsa to South Bend, clipped one house, plowed through a second and came to rest inside a third house. A small boy in one of the houses apparently escaped with a scratch on his head. Two others in the plane and another person on the ground were taken to hospital. The injured reportedly did not have life-threatening injuries.

The aircraft is registered to a Montana company and operated by a Tulsa business. The neighborhood had to be evacuated because of a gas leak. By late Sunday it appeared that not all the occupants of the houses had been accounted for.


Eclipse Aerospace maintains schedule for first aircraft delivery, projected to occur in Q3 2013

Albuquerque, NM, March 18, 2013 - Eclipse Aerospace, Inc. celebrates a major production milestone - the first power up of the new production Eclipse 550 Twin-Engine Jet. The first production Eclipse 550 aircraft successfully powered up its two Pratt & Whitney PW610F engines, and the aircraft systems came on line today at the company's facility in Albuquerque, N.M.

Eclipse Aerospace officially restarted the Eclipse Jet aircraft production line last June and continues to track for delivery of the first new Eclipse 550 series aircraft in the third quarter of this year. Built upon the same proven airframe as the Eclipse 500 aircraft, the new Eclipse 550 series is enhanced by additional technologies including a dual and redundant integrated flight management system and independent standby displays all powered by advanced microprocessors.

"What a great accomplishment by our entire team at Eclipse," said Mason Holland, CEO of Eclipse Aerospace. "This event is another key signal to the world that we continue on our methodical and well executed plan to reintroduce production and delivery of the Eclipse 550 Jet this year."

Wrights likely to retain title of "First" In Flight

Famed aircraft authority Jane's All the World's Aircraft says there's convincing evidence that Gustav Whitehead, not the Wright brothers, was the first to achieve powered controlled flight, but critics may be unmoved. In the foreword of the 100th edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, Jane's editor Paul Jackson cites the work of Australian aviation historian John Brown. Brown's evidence includes a 1901 article describing Whitehead's sustained flight in a controlled powered aircraft flown from a field in Connecticut, ahead of the Wrights' 1903 flight. Unfortunately, although one picture of a Whitehead flight was reportedly taken, observers who require any direct visual evidence will be disappointed. And Whitehead is not without his detractors.

While other pioneers may have preceded the Wright brothers in briefly achieving controlled flight in a powered airplane, a lack of clear convincing evidence and successive development of an airframe have likely stunted their notoriety. And that may be the case for Whitehead.

The first written account cited by Brown that is descriptive of Whitehead's pre-Wright flights was published by the Bridgeport Herald in August of 1901. That story states that an unnamed representative of the Herald witnessed the flight. According to Brown, the Herald published the story on page five of a subsequent issue and did not include a photograph. Jackson writes that existence of a photograph is supported by written accounts that describe it as blurry and identify it as part of an exhibition that showcased aviation in 1904 and 1906. Whereabouts of the original photograph, or any copies, are unknown. Jackson adds that Brown's work found multiple "affidavits and statements" that exist "on tape and film or video" of individuals who "bear witness to the many powered flights made by Whitehead between August 1901 and January 1902." There are no taped, filmed or video records available to provide visual confirmation of Whitehead's flights. Jackson appears satisfied by the evidence presented by Brown.

Cessna TTX First Production Test Flight

"The flight was a great success. The aircraft handled well. The engine performed without any hiccups. The G2000 is extremely impressive. The avionics system is new technology and very exciting for us. It's a nimble, top-of-the line aircraft that will provide everything our customers need and want in a high performance aircraft" Test Pilot Bob Lott


Continuing in the tradition as the fastest commercially-certified fixed-gear aircraft on the market, the Cessna TTx achieves a maximum cruise speed of 235 knots. Combine this with the fighter jet responsive controls enabled by the TTx's pure aerodynamic qualities, true side-stick controls and you get an unparalleled flight experience. Every antenna, outlet and exterior feature has been designed and positioned to shave drag coefficient and attain an aerodynamic purity from nose-to-tail.

The Intrinzicô Flight Deck powered by the Garmin G2000 is the first touch screen controlled glass flight deck ever designed for piston aircraft. Information is clearly displayed on two HiDef 14" LED screens. These displays feature a 60/40 split screen capability giving the pilot access to the right information, at the right time.

Unlike competitive aircraft, our standard avionics features include:
3D Digital Audio
Integrated traffic advisory system
Electronic standby Instruments

The GTC 570 touch screen controller is an intuitive interface enabling easy access to virtually everything: instrumentation, navigation, weather, terrain, traffic, engine operations, airway charts, approach plates and climate controls. The G2000 is built on the same backbone as the Garmin suite of avionics found in our new Citation business jets to be delivered later this year, featuring identical displays and touch screen interfaces.

Total flights to date: 275 flights
Total hours flown to date: 339 hours
Three aircraft are in the development and certification program

Over 12 aircraft have started line flow in Independence, KS with eight of these aircraft in the final stages
Certification of the G2000 continues to progress
Completed avionics cooling and electromagnetic interference ground tests
Beginning final TSO software ground and flight tests
Starting final certification testing of the GSR 56 Iridium system

Did you know there are 42 exterior color combinations? We encourage you to create the ramp appeal that best suits your style. The interior is designed to elicit second looks with its sleek sports car styling. You can spec yours in four new interior options.

Cessna is marketed in South Africa by Comair. For more information go to:
www.comairsales.co.za or E-mail: Comair@comairsa.co.za Tel: 011 548 3000

Helicopter prison escape in Quebec

Police in the Canadian province of Quebec said late Sunday they had arrested three men and had another cornered in connection with the helicopter escape of two of the men from a prison in Saint-Jerome, about 25 miles northwest of Montreal. Police are releasing few details but witness accounts gathered by various media sources suggest two of the men commandeered a helicopter at gunpoint and forced the pilot to hover over the prison yard. "At that point, two of the inmates came out and appeared to attach themselves to cables that were attached to the helicopter," CTV News reporter Derek Conlon reported. "The helicopter then took off with these two men suspended underneath and it flew away, much to the surprise and astonishment of everyone in the area."

It's not clear how long the men, identified as Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, and 33-year-old Danny Provencal, hung underneath but Barbeau and the two alleged accomplices were arrested 30 miles from the prison. Provencal was located nearby and reportedly phoned a Montreal radio station saying he'd been shot in the leg. The station released a recording of Provencal who, speaking in French, said: ""I don't want to hurt anyone. I just don't want to stay in prison, and I'm ready to die."

Midweek Update

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