1 Weekend events.
2 Forthcoming events.
3 Sling 4 to Oshkosh
4 Minister joins ATNS celebrations
5 Unique Aircraft Flying at AirVenture


27 July. Pylon Time Trials, Parys. E-mail: flyboys@global.co.za

27 July. 9th annual fly in, Hippo Pools Resort, Hoedspruit Airstrip. For more: http://www.hippopools.co.za/flying_runway.htm

27 July East Rand Flying Club will be hosting its annual free fly-in breakfast from 08h00 onwards. Contact Paul Sabatier 082 413 4614 e-mail: paulsabatier@gmail.com



29 July to 4 August EAA's annual AirVenture to be held in Oshkosh USA. Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden. E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net

9 & 10 August EAA of South Africa National Convention at Brits airfield. Contact Paul Lastrucci: 082 822 7018 E-mail:

9 to 11 August SAPFA Precision Team training at Brits airfield: Contact Mary de Klerk E-mail: maryd@expandingbranding.co.za or visit: www.sapfa.org.za

10 & 11 August Sport Aerobatics NW Regionals - Klerksdorp. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

9 to 11 August Race of Champions - Ulundi airport KZN. Contact Chris Briers 082 568 7988 or Mariska 082 253 5823 at AirTeam. Entry details and conditions on the website: www.airrace.co.za

17 August Krugersdorp Fly in and Spotlanding Competition. For more information E-mail kfc@iafrica.com

17 August SAPFA Gyrocopter Fun Rally at Kitty Hawk: Contact Mary de Klerk E-mail: maryd@expandingbranding.co.za or visit: www.sapfa.co.za

24 August Bela-Bela Falcons Flying Club - Neil Armstrong memorial fly in breakfast. Contact Pieter Roux 083 377 5227 or E-mail Info@justforfun.co.za

30 & 31 August Bethlehem Airshow. For more information contact Derek O'Connor 083 629 5242 derek@malutiskies.co.za

2 to 15 September World Precision Championships - Germany: Contact Mary de Klerk e-mail: maryd@expandingbranding.co.za or got to:

7 September Zandspruit Bush and Aero Estate airshow - Hoedspruit . Contact Martin den Dunnen 015 793 1192 info@zandspruit.co.za

Sunday 29 September Grand Rand airshow. Contact Carolyn Naude 011 827 8884 e-mail: carolyn@randairport.co.za

28 & 29 September Sport Aerobatics Cape Regionals - Mossel Bay Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

For the full 2013 calendar go to events calendar.


Sling 4 to Oshkosh

The Sling 4 concept emerged from the performance of the standard Airplane Factory Sling 2 during Mike and James' 2009 circumnavigation. Conceived as a 600kg MAUW "light sport" aircraft, it was soon clear that, even with a normally aspirated 100hp motor, the standard Sling was able to climb and perform well right up to 970kg. The first consequence is that The Airplane Factory Team performed all the required tests and approved the standard aircraft at 700kg MAUW. We also simultaneously commenced work on development of a light 4 seater version of the same aircraft.

1 Tedderfield Airpark, Johannesburg South, South Africa Lanseria Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa FALA 65 0.4 2013/07/20
2 Lanseria Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa Luanda, Angola FNLU 2 447 13.6 2013/07/21
3 Luanda, Angola (FNLU) Accra, Ghana DGAA 2 183 12.1 2013/07/22
4 Accra, Ghana Dakar (Leopold Senghor) GOOY 2 147 11.9 2013/07/23
5 Dakar (Leopold Senghor) Santa Maria, Azores LPAZ 2 600 14.4 2013/07/25
6 Santa Maria, Azores St Johns, Newfoundland CYYT 2 456 13.6 2013/07/26
7 St Johns, Newfoundland Green Bay, USA KGRB 2 736 15.2 2013/07/29
8 Green Bay, USA Oshkosh, USA KOSH 65 0.4 2013/07/29
9 Oshkosh, USA Green Bay, USA KGRB 65 0.4 2013/08/05

Saturday, 19 July 2013
Red Baron departs, Oshkosh Tour begins!!

When the production prototype Sling , ZU-TAF was flown around the world during 2009 at take-off and landing she was loaded to 965kg, some 365kg above the maximum all up weight applicable to the light sport aircraft category for which she was designed. Yet she proved herself again and again, performing consistently well at that weight with only a 100hp Rotax 912 ULS engine.

The Sling 4, a light 4 seater variation of the standard Sling, will have an empty weight approximately 50kg heavier than the standard 2 seater Sling. With a maximum all up weight of 920kg it will have a useful load in the vicinity of 470kg and with an 115hp turbo charged Rotax 914 UL engine, a constant speed propeller, the fuselage lengthened by some 550mm and standard Sling 2 wings extended by 400mm each at the root making it a respectable light 4 seater aircraft.

In fact, so confident are the guys at The Airplane Factory after their 2011 Sling 4 circumnavigation that they intend to fly the first production Sling 4 to EAA Airventure Oshkosh. Leaving only a couple of weeks of her first flight the Sling 4 will return to Johannesburg via Greenland, Iceland, England, Europe and down the west coast of Africa. Construction of the production Sling 4 commenced a couple of months ago in our R&D department under the watchful eyes of Jean and Mike. Although the initial plan was for James and Mike to complete the trip to and from Oshkosh they decided that it's only fair to give others a chance so. Mike and his son Greg will fly the first leg of the trip from South Africa to Oshkosh, with James flying out commercially. James and Tim Parsonson (the "Weather Guy" from the 2009 circumnavigation) will pilot ZU-TAD from Wisconsin over Greenland and Iceland to England. Andrew will then fly out to England, spend a couple of days with his Mum and complete the journey back to South Africa with James.

21 July 2013
Flight from Johannesburg to Luanda, Angola

ZU-TAD took off at sunrise for Lanseria to clear customs. The A, B tanks in the wings and the C tank on the backseat were all filled to the brim and she carried 450 litres in total. That off course was not she also carried all the tools, bags, life raft, immersion suits, food and water, survival equipment and spare parts that they may need on the trip. They cleared customs at Lanseria in ten minutes flat and got airborne heading in a north-westerly direction with beautiful tailwinds (thanks to Michiel de Koker). “Crossing Botswana was like sitting on the beach with a drink in the hand and I remember thinking this trip was going to be a piece 'o cake.” Mike said.

Angola kicked them in the teeth as if it had a score to settle. They hit a lot of horrible turbulence and within a couple of hours Mike was feeling sick as a dog but some meds and a few hours shut-eye did the trick. They flew for hours and hours without spotting more than a few tiny villages. The landing at Luanda went off without a hitch.

Monday, 22 July 2013
Flight from Luanda, Angola to Accra, Ghana
They were up at 4am to try get some weather reports from the airport as the internet in the hotel was too slow to do anything. But the airport controllers could only give them a standard Metar reading for Accra for the morning, but nothing for later in the evening when they would be arriving.

Monday, 22 July 2013
ZU - TAD continues its journey, next destination - GHANA!!

Landing at Accra in the dark was quite something. They arrived at Accra at around 10pm, hit some clouds and wind that shook them around quite a bit, but the massive, brightly lit runway was hard to miss and Mike performed like a true aviator! It was a great moment of relief and triumph for the both of them.

Finding Avgas in Accra was proving to be a bit of a problem. Only three people in the country have it and they're selling it for R65 per litre (US$6.50). So thanks to Andrew doing some research and making some phone calls we met up with Sam Winful who with his and Mish Aviation's helped they did get Mogas. But……. the only way to get it was to go back and forth with a few 25 litre canisters to a place half way to Cairo with no car so they only finished fuelling up at around noon. It was too late to take off for Dakar so they decided to stay and do some work on the engine - change the oil and reset the prop pitch a bit finer.

“If anyone wants to get through customs easily, remember to wear your pilot shirt with the Epaulette's showing. This morning we were wearing them and the customs officials let us through without even checking our passports or crew cards. This afternoon after working on the engine we were back in normal clothes and they treated us like scum.” Mike said.



Johannesburg: The Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, yesterday visited the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS)'s Operations Centre and thereafter celebrated with Board Members, Executive Managers and staff, the company's significant milestones - achieved over the past 20 years.

“I am ecstatic that our coming here coincide with a great milestones commemoration where we as a Transport family take out time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our very own Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) as South Africa and Africa's leading air navigation services provider. ATNS has seen the growth of the industry, the challenges, the achievements, as well as innovative ways of delivering world-class safety and operational performance” said the Deputy Minister in her congratulatory message.

ATNS was established in 1993, ninety (90) years after the invention of powered flight. A lot has changed since then. That year, ATNS embarked on a process of commercialisation designed to re-orientate the company to play a central role as a relevant and credible service provider. ATNS accepted the challenges and realised that in order to be cutting-edge and to best utilise business opportunities, it needed to improve service efficiencies, by providing better and more cost-effective services. This entailed providing infrastructure and refocusing human resource capacity.

ATNS's newly-appointed CEO, Mr. Thabani Mthiyane said that the South African aviation infrastructure is considered to be one of the best in the world, contributing to the country's aviation safety record. “It is for this reason that ATNS continues to invest wisely in this infrastructure to support the country's overall transport infrastructure. Through these activities ATNS provides significant contributions to the South African and the continent's aviation industry, thereby promoting safer skies” concluded Mr. Mthiyane.

For the past twenty (20) years, ATNS has been on a high, achieving the following significant and notable successes - within the Air Traffic Management (ATM) environment: The ATNS Air Traffic Management (ATM) Roadmap which was developed during 2010, is meant to achieve an interoperable, global air traffic management system for all users during all phases of flight, to meet agreed levels of safety; provide for optimum economic operations and to be environmentally sustainable and to ultimately meet all national security requirements.

As the Chairman of the AFI Flight Plan (FPL) 2012 Task Force, ATNS lead the African and Indian Ocean Regional efforts towards successful transition from the traditional flight plan format to the new format that took effect in November 2012. As the communications hub ATNS diligently and regularly updated the Aeronautical Information Management systems to support this implementation and allow for the successful transition in the Region.

ATNS has implemented a single repository of aeronautical information, called the Centralised Aeronautical Database (CAD). The CAD ensures amongst others; aeronautical data integrity and quality. The Company was instrumental in the successful hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa - from 11 June until 11 July 2010. This success was based upon comprehensive, long term planning and preparation to ensure that ATNS made the capacity available to support the demand of the airspace users during this prestigious event. The dedication and effort of all concerned ensured that ATNS not only met but exceeded the expectations.

South Africa successfully hosted the AFCON 2013 Tournament - with its associated increase in Air Traffic Management demand.

While ATNS's primary business focus remains air traffic management and aviation safety for South Africa, the company's scope has grown to extend beyond the country's borders to neighbouring countries and the rest of the continent, including the Indian Ocean region. This will enable ATNS to respond efficiently to global challenges, while providing the local aviation industry with air traffic management solutions that rank among the safest in the world.

The ATNS Aviation Training Academy (ATA) has been awarded the IATA Best Aviation Training Academy Award in 2011 and 2012 respectively.


Unique Aircraft Flying at AirVenture

The Air Tractor AT-400A representing Dusty from Disney's Planes will fly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
July 18, 2013 - Along with thousands of departing and arriving aircraft throughout AirVenture week, numerous aircraft fly as a part of the event itself, and we're not just talking air shows. They're various warbirds, examples from the Replica Fighter Association, vintage, homebuilts, LSA, and more. You certainly won't see many of these planes flying together anywhere else but Oshkosh.

You can see Justin Lewis fly his BD-5FLS microjet on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Terrafugia's Transition flying car is slated to fly on Wednesday before the night air show. The Air Tractor AT-400A representing Dusty from Disney's Planes will fly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A PBY Catalina will fly on Thursday. Larry Neal's SkyCycle gyro is scheduled to fly Thursday and Saturday. And catch the world's only airworthy Fairey Gannet flying on Monday.

Other aircraft:

Sonex's new SubSonex jet piloted by Bob Carlton will fly on Tuesday and Sunday (August 4).
Yuneec's eSpyder is scheduled to fly on Thursday.
Pratt and Whitney Canada gets the stage Wednesday with a PT-6-powered aircraft in celebration of the engine's 50th anniversary.
Cirrus Jet on Tuesday
Reno Air Race plane examples on Wednesday and Saturday
Various helicopters from the Helicopter Association International on Saturday and Sunday
Thrush 510 on Tuesday and Thursday
An Eclipse Jet on Friday

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