Midweek Update 24 April 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?

27 April. Skydive. NON Nationals Rustenburg. E-mail skydiversity@gmail.com

Events to diarise.

4 May. Warbirds, New Tempe, Bloemfontein. Lucas Wiese 082 566 0656

11 May. SAPFA Fun Rally & Precision Qualifier, Krugersdorp. E-mail:
11 May. FASHKOSK Fly in, Stellenbosch. E-mail polis@iafrica.com
11 May. SAAF Museum Airshow, AFB Waterkloof. E-mail:

17-18 May. Botswana International Airshow. E-mail
18 May. Battlefields Fly in. E-mail bookings@battlefieldslodge.co.za
18 & 19 May. Sports Aerobatics Free Sate Regionals, Parys. E-mail change@mweb.co.za
22-26 May. Presidents Trophy Air Race, Oudshoorn. E-mail roblena@mweb.co.za
25 May. Baberton Airshow. E-mail cc@bushair.co.za
28 May. Kalahari Bundu Bash. E-mail kalaharibundubash@gmail.com

Beleaguered SAA gets another CEO
Mark Mansfield reports

South African Airways (SAA), the state owned airline recently announced the appointment of Mr. Monwabisi Kalawe as its acting chief executive officer (CEO), who never made the media briefing announcing his appointment as CEO, as he was engaged in other matters.
This comes after the challenge laid down to the SAA board of directors to by the minister of Public Enterprises, Mr. Malusi Gigaba, to continue to focus on improving SAA's governance.

“ The Board worked tirelessly to find a suitable leader who will lead by example and stabilise the internal environment whilst working towards ensuring good corporate governance within the airline,” said Ms. Dudu Myeni, acting Chairperson of the SAA Board of Directors. “Mr. Kalawe will also lead SAA, as a strategic national asset, towards contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the continent.”

Mr. Kalawe began his career at the state owned company, Eskom, before joining Nestle South Africa for a few years and then returning to Eskom for three years. No stranger to the aviation industry,Kalawe also worked at Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) for six years before leading Total Facilities Management Company (TFMC) as Chief Operating Officer and Denel as Chief Executive Officer.

After concluding his role as Country Managing Director of Compass Group for five years and more recently as Executive Chairperson, Mr. Kalawe will join SAA in the next few weeks.

NAC - first aircraft operator in the world to receive GOLD BARS status from the FlightSafety Foundation

NAC is delighted to announce that after having undergone three successful annual audits, they are the first operator in the world have been awarded GOLD BARS status from the FlightSafety foundation.
The Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) is the single aviation safety standard for the resource sector. Aircraft operators working for BARS member organizations worldwide will be required to adhere to the new standard, which supplements and frequently exceeds existing national and international regulations. The BAR Standard is based on best practice aviation safety principles and tailored to the needs of the resource sector. The BAR Standard uses a new risk-based model framed around the actual threats to aviation operations and directly linking these to associated controls and recovery/mitigation measures. The standard was developed by the Flight Safety Foundation in collaboration with the resource sector and has drawn from the collective experience of numerous companies, including some of the major global resources companies.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been the first operator to achieve this exciting GOLD standard. Our excellent team of people at NAC has worked extremely hard to meet and exceed the most exacting safety standards demanded by our customers across our operations. Customers can use our services with full confidence that they are in the safest hands in the industry.” said NAC CEO Martin Banner.

Cessna Light Jet Production Stalls

Cessna has again cut back production of its light jets including the Mustang, CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4, potentially by up to 30 percent, citing a first-quarter loss and weak sales. In June of 2010, the company briefly stalled production of the Citation Mustang, largely as a result of issues in the supply chain. At the time the company also said sales had been softer than expected. This time, the company is entering the second quarter fresh off an $8 million loss suffered in the first quarter. The Wichita Eagle reported that during a conference call with analysts, Wednesday, Textron CEO Scott Donnelly speculated that small business owners were putting off purchases due to concerns over higher taxes and uncertainty about the direction of the economy. But there were additional complications in the small business jet market.

Cessna believes that the value of many small jets has been impacted by the bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft and the restructuring that has led to Beechcraft Corporation. The value of used Hawker jets has fallen, and that has dragged down the value of used Citation jets. The company believes that depressed pricing deters some potential buyers from upgrading to new jets. Whatever the cause, reduced market demand is leading Cessna to slow production. Cessna is now forecasting that sales will be down in 2013 by $200 million, in part because of a dragging light jet market. On the upside, Cessna is sitting on a $1 billion backlog and has seen strong used aircraft sales. However, it has also spent $25 million in severance packages for employees who accepted voluntary buyouts of their salaried position to match with a projected drop of more than 25 percent in light jet production.

Doolittle Raiders Share 'Last' Public Meeting

Of eighty men, three of the four surviving members of Doolittle's Raiders, all now living their ninth decade, met publicly -- and, they say, for the final time -- during the week of April 15, at Eglin Air Force Base, to commemorate the 71st anniversary of their April 18, 1942, one-way mission to bomb Japan. The three members present were 97-year-old Col. Richard Cole; 91-year-old Staff Sergeant David Thatcher; and 93-year-old Lt. Col. Edward Saylor. The fourth surviving member, 93-year-old Lt. Col. Robert Hite, was unable to attend the reunion. All of the men had trained for the mission at Eglin in the winter of 1942. And this year Cole was afforded a flight (and reportedly flew a good portion of it, including the landing) in a B-25 owned by Larry Kelley. The men say they toast each year to the comrades who shared their mission and have since passed. But they have decided a special toast will now come sooner than originally planned.

Over the years, the men have made and kept a case of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet is inscribed twice with the name of a raider. One inscription is upright, the other upside-down. Each year, the surviving men toast to the comrades they've lost and turn upside-down the goblet of any man lost that year. But they have also kept a bottle of Hennessy cognac from 1896, the year their leader James Doolittle was born. The bottle was meant to remain untouched and saved for the last two surviving members. But they have decided to change that. According to a story filed from the gathering by The Associated Press, the men have decided that later this year they will meet together privately and, all four, share a drink from that bottle.

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Midweek Update

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