Midweek Update 6 June 2013

This week in Midweek Update

1 Weekend events
2 Forthcoming events
3 KZN Winter Tour
4 2013 Aviators Evening, Ysterplaat Airforce Base
5 ATR-600 aircraft, certified by the FAA
6 AirVenture 2013. Texas Flying Legends Heroes: Don 'Mac' McKibben
7 Reproduction of World's First Airliner Coming to Oshkosh
8 World's Only Privately Owned Harrier Returning to Oshkosh
9 Upcoming Springbok Classic Air Scenic Flights
10 28 Squadron celebrates the 50th anniversary of C130 service
11 Denel starts to show confidence in future


What's happening this weekend? ,

6-8 June: Zimnavex. E-mail

8 June: Mkuze Airshow. E-mail: info@kznwinterairtour.co.za

7-9 June: Carnarvon Mini Airshow. E-mail

8-9 June: RC Warbirds meet. AFB Zwartkops.

Save the dates.

See details below for the KZN Winter Tour

14-16 June. Alldays Bushveld Festival and Fly in. Alldays. E-mail: pieter@alldays vliegklub.co.za

15-17 June. SAPFA Precision Nationals, Kitty Hawk. E-mail:

16-22 June: SA National Paragliding Championships, Barberton. E-mail:

21-23 June. NAC Piston Fly-Away, Kimberley. E-mail:

3-7 July. Sports Aerobatics National, Hoespruit. E-mail: change@mweb.co.za

20 July. Taildraggers and Fun & Precision Rally, Nylstroom. E-mail:

27 July. Pylon Time Trials, Parys. E-mail:

27 July. 9th annual fly in, Hippo Pools Resort, Hoedspruit. Airstrip. For more:

27 July. Springs Fly-in free breakfast. Springs Airfield. E-mail:

For the complete 2013 calendar go to events

See below for the KZN Winter Tour


KZN Winter Air Tour.

Mkuze - 8 June 2013 Ulundi -15 June 2013
Richards Bay - 22 June 2013 Pietermaritzburg - 29 June 2013
Margate - 6 July 2013 Durban - 13 July 2013

Don't miss out on the action. Tickets will be available at www.kznwinterairtour.co.za or can be purchased on the day. For more information email info@kznwinterairtour.co.za or visit ww.kznwinterairtour.co.za

EAA Auditorium

Flying Legends Talk Show 13 June

Interview with Ivan Holtzhausen veteran Korean P51 Mustang and F86 Sabre pilot.
Book at: admin2.woods@icon.co.za


2013 Aviators Evening, Ysterplaat Airforce Base

Wessie vd Westhuizen reporting
Photos by Vernon Harvey Photography

On 23 May 2013 all and sundry attended the annual Aviators Evening, hosted by Airforce Base Ysterplaat. This ever popular event is hosted on an annual basis, to enhance and promote interaction between the Ysterplaat Base and the aviation community.

Colonel Stoebel, OC of Airforce Base Ysterplaat , was introduced, and welcomed everyone to the base. He then handed over to the guest speaker, Lt Colonel Gerrie van der Merwe, Officer commanding of 32 Squadron. (Dakotas)

Cnl vd Merwe, in his usual entertaining fashion, explained that his talk will revolve around the many positive and helpful things the SAAF are currently busy with in the face of recent rather negative press. He told us about the positive stories that are happening, unreported on, behind the scenes.

From Maritime assistance and rescue missions, to antipiracy efforts, to humanitarian efforts in rural schools in Africa were all things that lead to the SAAF receiving the prestigious Sword of Peace award no less than Eight times. A packed hall listened intently as CNL van der Merwe presented a slideshow highlighting all these efforts by the SAAF.

After the presentation, guests were entertained by some live music, good food, and a whiskey tasting promotion by Glenfiddich.

Looking forward to the next one!


ATR -600 aircraft, certified by the FAA

Turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR is pleased to announce that the newest ATR '-600 series' aircraft have just received their certification from the FAA, the American Federal Aviation Administration. This certification, for both the ATR 42-600 and the ATR 72-600, will enable the entry into service of these new aircraft in countries requiring FAA rather than EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification. Thanks to the cooperation between the two agencies, the FAA relied in part on the work done by EASA to grant certification to the two models of the ATR '-600 series'.

All of the tests done by EASA, supplemented by the flights conducted by the FAA test pilots, were used to validate proper operation of the new systems and equipment installed onboard the aircraft, notably its new avionics suite: a new “glass cockpit” with 5 LCD screens, as well as new communication, navigation and monitoring systems, flight management system (FMS), automatic pilot, alert management and multi-purpose computer (MPC), which integrates aircraft maintenance and protection functions in particular.

“Obtaining this new certification will allow us to expand the commercial and operational scope of our family of aircraft,” stated Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR. “Since their launch, the ATR -600s have become the best-selling under-90-seat regional aircraft in the world, a success furthermore confirmed by their excellent operational reliability and their popularity with passengers. We are convinced that the FAA certification is going to open doors for us in high-potential markets, to replace turboprop aircraft from previous generations as well as jets, which are less and less cost-effective.”

Since the new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 program was launched in October 2007, ATR has received orders for more than 300 aircraft from this new series. At present, almost two thirds of the under-90-seat regional aircraft on order the world over are ATRs from the new “-600” series.


AirVenture 2013

Texas Flying Legends Heroes: Don 'Mac' McKibben

May 30, 2013 - Along with an awesome collection of World War II aircraft, the Texas Flying Legends Museum will bring a number of WWII veterans to AirVenture in a C-53 transport. Here is the second in our series of profiles of those veterans, P-47 and P-51 pilot Don "Mac" McKibben.

Don "Mac" McKibben obtained his private pilot certificate in a Piper J-3 Cub through the Civilian Pilot Training Program in June 1941. He had tickets for a train to Canada to join the Royal Canadian Air Force on December 8, 1941, but history intervened the day before at Pearl Harbor.

Mac began U.S. Army Air Corps training in a Ryan PT-22, progressed to the Vultee BT-13 and North American T-6 Texan. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and awarded his wings at Luke Field, Arizona.

Assigned to the Fighting 21st Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group, Mac trained in the P-47 and later in the P-51. With 80 combat missions in both types, he was credited with at least one aerial victory.


Lark Harkens: Reproduction of World's First Airliner Coming to Oshkosh

(Photo courtesy of Mark Maier, Clinchmedia Productions, Eidson, Tennessee)

May 29, 2013 - A reproduction of the airplane that flew the world's first scheduled airline service will be on prominent display in the Vintage area at AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. The Benoist (pronounced BEN-wah) Type XIV is a biplane flying boat being recreated for the Duluth Aviation Institute in Hangar 10 at Duluth, Minnesota's Sky Harbor Airport.

A group led by Mark Marino, EAA 268003/Vintage 720929, is in the final stages of the project. Other craftsmen on the project team include Tom Betts, EAA 233695; Mike Gardonio, EAA 108159/Vintage 722061; Mike Shannon, EAA 576091; Jim Nelson, EAA 9023316; and Steve Dorsey. Their goal is to re-create a true flying reproduction of the Lark of Duluth - a wood and fabric aircraft built in St. Louis in 1912 by Thomas W. Benoist and his Benoist Aircraft Company. Plans are to participate in the city's upcoming Lark O' the Lake Festival set for July 12-14, marking 100 years since the original Type XIV made numerous "air ship flights" during six consecutive weekends in 1913 (June 27-28 to August 1-2). At the 1913 festival, the original Lark of Duluth gave airplane rides, raced boats, and was the talk of the event.

"It certainly was a huge deal back then just by reading the newspaper accounts," Marino said. The plane will be disassembled, transported to Oshkosh, and put back together so it can be prominently displayed in front of the Vintage Barn throughout the entire week at AirVenture. "Knowing this airplane became the first airliner is a pretty significant thing for folks around here," Marino said.

Although short-lived, that airline was launched soon after the 1913 festival in Duluth. Julius Barnes, Lark of Duluth owner, permitted Benoist and his pilots to explore their new business venture with his flying boat. The Lark returned to St. Louis for repairs and wing modifications, and then was shipped by rail to Florida where, on New Year's Day 1914, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew its first passenger. The contract between Percy Fansler and Benoist establishing the company was signed on December 17, 1913 - the 10th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight.

Flights included one passenger and the pilot. Linking St. Petersburg with Tampa via air significantly trimmed travel time to 25 minutes as opposed to boat (two hours), rail (six hours) and road (an all-day trip over very poor roads). The airline proved popular - by March 14, more than 1,200 passengers were flown, one at a time, and for $5 each. Once a government subsidy expired, however, the fledgling operation folded. The plane once known as the Lark of Duluth wound up in San Diego where a nonfatal crash damaged it beyond repair.

The current Type XIV build project began in 2010 following months of research, as no plans exist for the airplane, Marino said. So they had to hunt down historical photos from a number of sources including local newspapers, magazines, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. "We used whatever we could get our hands on," Marino said.

The original engine was a 75-hp Roberts four-cylinder inline water-cooled engine that produced 500 pound-feet of torque, turning the prop at only 1000 rpm at cruise speed - 1200 rpm on takeoff. Since there are no Roberts engines left, the Duluth Aviation Institute opted for a 140-hp GM marine engine, which has similar torque ratings.

The 8-1/2-foot pusher propeller wound up being recreated from a digitally mapped example of a Benoist prop discovered in the Florida Air Museum at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. The wood used is all planks, not plywood. Fabric covering materials were graciously donated by Poly-Fiber. The original had a linen-like covering. Since no color photos exist of the airplane, Marino said they got as close as they could to the hull's "vivid green." Having a sponsor company like Cirrus Aircraft in their city has also been beneficial to the project, Marino said. The company has provided testing materials, engineering and machining of parts for the gear reduction unit, and other help.

Other project sponsors include Lake Superior College Center for Advanced Aviation, Consolidated Aircraft Coatings and Coverings, Max and Betty Ramsland, Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, HydroSolutions, Aluminum Cabinet Co., and Hangar 10 Aero. EAA chapters and members have also pitched in on the project, including those from Duluth's Chapter 272, Chapter 1221 in Cloquet, and Chapter 1128 in Two Harbors. Marino, who will pilot the airplane, said the intent is to fly the airplane every year. "We want it in the air, not in a museum," he said. Marino has been flying since 1982 and has built seven airplanes, including a Hatz Bantam that was the 2010 Grand Champion Plans Built at AirVenture.

The plane will not fly at Oshkosh, however, due to logistics (it is a seaplane only) and safety reasons.


World's Only Privately Owned Harrier Returning to Oshkosh

Art Nalls' Sea Harrier hovers on the flightline at AirVenture 2010.

Art Nalls sits in the cockpit of his BAE Sea Harrier F/A2, the only privately owned Sea Harrier in the world. Nalls, EAA 689513/Warbirds 549224, wowed the crowd when he brought the aircraft to Oshkosh in 2010 and 2011. This year he plans to arrive Saturday or Sunday prior to opening day, then make several flying demonstrations throughout the week before departing Thursday, August 1.

Nalls, who flew Harriers while serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Marines, purchased the completely demilitarized aircraft in 2006 from a broker who had obtained it from Britain's Royal Navy surplus. It's the second Sea Harrier ever manufactured, Nalls said, and at 34 years old, the oldest one surviving. Over the years AirVenture attendees have seen their share of American AV-8A and AV-8B Harriers demonstrate the type's unique vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) abilities. But Nalls' was the first British Sea Harrier to appear in Oshkosh, and the differences in the aircraft variants are significant.

"The Sea Harrier is a fighter aircraft designed to shoot down enemy aircraft," Nalls said, while the AV-8s were designed for air-to-ground and close air support. "The Sea Harrier has a bigger nose, a raised canopy for better visibility, and shorter wings." It also has a 50,000 foot-per-minute climb rate, much faster that of the AV-8, which Nalls spent most of his military career flying. It's also a very thirsty bird, guzzling a gallon of fuel every six seconds. It uses 50 gallons just moving from its hangar to the runway at St. Mary's County Airport, Maryland, Nalls said.

Nalls is the first pilot to be civilian and aerobatic rated in Harriers. His flying partner and fellow test pilot, retired USMC Maj. Gen. Joe Anderson, is the second. Anderson and Nalls flew AV-8A Harriers in the famous Ace of Spades Squadron, VMA-231.

Flying demonstration times at Oshkosh have yet to be finalized, so stay tuned. However, it'll be obvious when the Harrier is flying. When Nalls fires up the thunderous Rolls-Royce Pegasus Mk.106 vectored thrust turbofans, it's almost as if time stands still; everyone's head turns toward the flightline. "It's the most amazing thing," Nalls said. "Merely starting the engine causes people to stop what they're doing."

Nalls said this year his airplane has seen a large spike in demand due to the widespread cancellation of U.S. military aircraft at air shows brought about by the federal budget cutbacks. "Our schedule is full with nine scheduled appearances this year," he said. "Many air shows rely on military airplanes, so we do what w


Upcoming Springbok Classic Air scenic flights

01 June 2013 - Return flight to Parys Airfield Depart at 07:00, return at 13:00.
R880.00 per person (breakfast excluded) Guests can either enjoy breakfast at the airfield restaurant or plan their morning in the town.

29 June 2013 10:00 - 20 minute scenic flights over Johannesburg
We depart from Hangar 5 at Rand Airport, take off and fly in a westerly direction, passing to the south of Johannesburg CBD. We then turn above Gold Reef City and head in a northerly direction with Soccer City on our left. We cross over Northcliff Ridge and then turn east, to the south of North Gate Dome, and pass to the south of Monte Casino. Then we turn south, opposite Megawatt Park, passing east of Sandton City and across Wanderers and Ellis Park before returning to Rand Airport.

Book your seat for the flight with Ronéll Myburgh:
Tel: Landline +27 11 824 2142; Mobile +27 82 779 9421 or E-mail:


28 Squadron celebrates the 50th anniversary of C130 service

The South African Air Force's 28 Squadron based at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 01 June 2013 held the 50th anniversary celebrations and reunion of its former and current members at the same base. The celebration included a Squadron-In-Review parade and a mass-fly-past of the C130 Hercules aircraft. Major General Wiseman Mbambo, the General Officer Commanding Air Command was the Review Officer on the parade.

The squadron is renowned for providing the medium-heavy airlift capability to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and being the first air transport squadron in the history of the Air Force.

Amongst its achievements, the C130 Hercules was instrumental in OPERATION LITCHI during floods in Mozambique in 2000 as well as ferrying South African troops and equipment to various missions performed by the SANDF in Africa. These missions are carried out to enable South Africa to portray a defensive posture with the main wish to ensure its security in cooperation with its neighbours in the Southern African Development Community region and Africa


Denel starts to show confidence in future
Mark Mansfield Reports

With an order book of R21 billion and an award for the best state-owned company safely in the bag, top management of the Denel Group is confident it will not be absorbed into a government department, as this is the fate of state-owned enterprises that do not perform in terms of a presidential review committee that recently submitted its report on state-owned entities.

Addressing the media, Denel Group chief executive Riaz Salojee said that the decision on the future of state-owned enterprises including Denel, is “At the end of the day, a political one,” adding that he did not see the state ever relinquishing ownership of the defence industry conglomerate.

Salojee said that in the 18 months since he was appointed chief executive, Denel had successfully completed an internal restructuring process as well as had a long hard look at where the company should be in terms of international markets. “We have come through some difficult times but are now in the position where we are well on the way to becoming sustainable. We are a credible company and do not want to be a millstone around government's neck,” he said in reference to years of posting multi-million Rand losses and having to be bailed out by National Treasury. “Denel is on a concerted drive to grow its share of the defence business in strategic markets, notably Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Although Denel's primary mandate is to provide the South African National Defence Force and the South African defence community with strategic technology capability, products, services and support, it is continuously growing its contribution towards broader national objectives and in the civilian markets.

Commenting further, Salojee said, “Our unmanned aerial vehicle systems can utilise technology designed for the defence environment to good use in the fields of environmental management, border security, the detection of veld fires and maritime reconnaissance. Our offer to support SanParks in its efforts to curb rhino poaching was well received. Through technology developed by Denel Dynamics, we are placing unmanned aerial vehicles in the skies above our national parks with the capacity to take video footage and relay information in real time to law enforcement officials on the ground. In addition, Denel Land Systems-Mechem has trained a number of SanParks rangers and dogs as part of a pro-active initiative to curb rhino poaching in national parks.”

The South African Air Force recently celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its deployment of the Hercules C-130BZ transport aircraft. At this event, tribute was paid to Denel Aviation for its formidable efforts to keep this workhorse of the sky well maintained for a period that has now been extended to 2020. This same high level of service and commitment to excellence is also at the disposal of the civilian aviation market. During the BRICS Summit earlier this year, we opened a Centre of Excellence to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul services on both military and civilian helicopters manufactured by Russian Helicopters. South African President, Jacob Zuma and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, referred to this event as a first tangible outcome from the Summit of the BRICS nations.

“We are excited about opportunities that will emanate from initiatives such as the Aerospace Sector Development Plan and the activities of the recently created National Space Agency. Denel intends to contribute to these initiatives using our experience in this field. The Denel Overberg Test Range, which is situated on the southern tip of Africa, is primarily responsible for the flight-testing of aircraft, missiles and airborne systems. But it is also a valuable partner to the French Space Agency (CNES), and recently provided telemetry tracking support for the launch of the Vega space mission in French Guiana, which had received significant global attention.” Said Salojee, and, “We are confident about the future of the company owing to a range of factors impacting on the business. “

Last year, Denel was named as the best-performing state-owned company in terms of corporate governance in a study conducted by the centre for corporate governance at the university of Stellenbosch.

Looking ahead, its strategy is to grow the company's revenue through diversification, exploring new markets and entering into new partnerships - both locally and overseas - and in leveraging our technology and intellectual assets.

Denel is currently engaging with Armscor to ensure the finalisation of the contract for the production of the 264 infantry combat vehicles as determined by Project Hoefyster. This is a contract that is of great significance- not only for Denel's own business, but also for the entire South African defence industry, said Salojee

Another positive development is that Denel will be the prime contractor on a key systems integration projects as recently announced by Armscor at the defence industry day.

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Midweek Update

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