MIDWEEK UPDATE 5 FEBRUARY 2014
THIS WEEK IN MIDWEEK UPDATE
1 Plan your weekend
2 Forthcoming events
3 Captain's Log
4 Free Durban Land, Sea & Air Festival will bring adrenalin accelerating action to Durban's Beachfront
5 Fitch Ratings Upgrade to AAA confirms Denel's financial turnaround and long-term potential
6 Global experts meet in South Africa to discuss human factors in aviation
7 Brazil resumes EC225 operations, marking the return to service of all operators
8 Cirrus Aircraft SR-Series Engineering and Design Team Receives Joseph T. Nall Safety Award
9 Help build the 'one week wonder' airplane at EAA AirVenture
10 Advertising Rate Card
8 February: SAPFA Rally -Rand Airport. Contact Mary de Klerk email:email@example.com
1 March: SAAF Museum flight training and open day. Contact: Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 firstname.lastname@example.org
1 March: Swellendam fly-in. Contact Pieter Venter 083 250 9504 email@example.com
1 March: Parys Pylon Time Trials - VANS RV REVOLUTION, Parys, Free State, South Africa. Contact Scully Levin 083 500 8387 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
8 March: Bultfontein Wings and Wheels. Contact Piet Vermaak 082 571 3422 email@example.com
13-15 March: SA Navy Festival. Contact Navy PRO 021 787 5684
21-23 March: Durban Sky Grand Prix, Durban. Contact Gerna Fraser 031 563 9165
22 March: PASASA TMG fly-in, Kittyhawk. Contact Marietjie van Niekerk 082 765 6670
22 March: SAPFA Rally -Virginia Airport. Contact Mary de Klerk email:firstname.lastname@example.org
28-29 March: Wings and Wheels festival, Uitenhage. Contact Lourens Kruger 082 320 2615 email@example.com
29-30 March: SAC North-West regionals. Contact Annie Boon firstname.lastname@example.org
4-5 April: Namibian International Airshow. Contact: Maria Diekmann email@example.com
5 April: Parys Pylon Time Trials, Parys. Contact: Scully Levin firstname.lastname@example.org
11-13 April: SAA Pilot's Association Zebula Airshow and flyin. Contact: Paul Weich
28April-1 May: PASA SA National Skydiving Championships, Wonderboom Airport. Contact: Peter Lawson 012 566 6535 email@example.com
It has just been reported that SAA will again knock on government's door for another of their regular bale-outs. How long the taxpayer will have to subsidise this hugely overstaffed cash cow remains to be seen. Nothing has come of the much vaunted turn around plans that has cost them (and indirectly the tax payer) millions. These plans are either shelved or never implemented only for a new plan (compiled at huge cost) to be put on the table when they again approach government with begging bowl in hand.
Pilots Post has shown steady growth and now average more than 50,000 hits per month and our advertisers report excellent results. Our 2014 Rate card forms part of each Midweek Update. Feel free to phone us for more information.
We have also substantially increased our number of contributors and reporters and will bring you most of the news from the Cape, Free State, Kwazulu Natal and off course Gauteng and other provinces. We welcome Steve Allison who will do a regular feature on Airliners as well as Franz Smith who will advise on the pitfalls in insurance.
Have you signed the "Safety First" aviators pledge yet? If not go to:
Until next month, be a safety first aviator.
FREE DURBAN LAND, SEA & AIR FESTIVAL WILL BRING ADRENALIN ACCELERATING ACTION TO DURBAN'S BEACHFRONT
Hang on to your seats - the first Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival coming to the Durban beachfront on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd March promises some adrenaline accelerating, non-stop land, sea and air action for all. And it's free to the public!
The festival's main attraction is the never-before-seen-in-South-Africa Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics where the best South African and international pilots will perform heady aerial moves and races over the ocean to see who are the finest and fastest pilots. The planes will race, twist, turn and be pushed to the extreme as they blitz through multi-storey pylons placed on the beachfront piers to complete a flawless aerobatic routine. A ranking system using the National Championships score and a regional contest was conducted to choose the South African participants. So far the top six confirmed South African pilots are Nigel Hopkins, Patrick Davidson, Mark Hensman, Barrie Eales, Bertus Du Preez and Johnnie Smith. The last four positions will be filled after the final contest in Parys on the 2nd March.
Festival-goers will also be treated to a variety of displays by the SA Navy and enforcement services as well as other water sport competitions. These include the navy brass band and a submarine demonstration. Live music, air-themed movies and other land activities will keep the crowds going well into the night.
Festival organiser, Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds, says, "We have been planning the festival since mid-2013 and are very excited to bring this event to Durban. Nowhere else in the country are people able to watch so many exhilarating displays over and in the sea. The Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics alone will feature world champion pilots who compete against each other regularly on the world aerobatic circuit. It's going to be electric!"
The free, three-day festival is proudly brought to the city by eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government. "Due to the beachfront's easy access and the fact that the festival is free, this event will provide the opportunity for all members of the community to experience the thrills and exciting action that makes it unique. We look forward to welcoming the international participants and all the visitors to our beautiful city, and we are confident that this will be another exceptional and exciting event experience in Durban," says Vivienne Holden, senior event manager at eThekwini Municipality's Event Office.
Denel welcomes the decision by the Fitch Ratings to upgrade the company's long-term rating and affirm its current short-term rating and outlook.
"It is a vote of confidence in our prudent financial practices and a clear indication that our turnaround strategy is working and being recognised in financial circles and investor communities," says Riaz Saloojee, the Group Chief Executive of Denel.
"Denel is a valuable national asset which contributes more to South Africa than what is contained in its primary mandate to supply the defence community with defence-related technology and solutions," says Mr Saloojee.
"We are growing into our role as a technology and advanced-manufacturing powerhouse which also contributes to the broader national objectives of skills development and job creation through its investments in research and development and technical education."
Fikile Mhlontlo, the Group Financial Director says the long-term ratings upgrade to "AAA (zaf)" from "AA- (zaf)" is at the back of all time high order cover in excess R20bn, improving financial performance, strengthened balance sheet and continued strong support from stakeholders including Government. It also recognises the success of the financial turnaround which led to Denel reporting profits over the past three years.
It also notes that Denel has managed to diversify its revenue base away from the South African defence sector with 50% of revenue now generated from exports, most notably to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Fitch Ratings expects the export business to remain an important aspect of Denel's revenue growth but cautions that competitive pressure is likely to come from large global contractors.
Mr Mhlontlo says a higher credit rating for Denel will in no doubt result in significantly better access to credit facilities required to execute new significant contracts and lower borrowing costs. Denel's national short-term rating was confirmed at 'F1+ (zaf)' and its outlook is described as "stable."
This event, themed "Integrating Human & Systems Performance in Aviation Safety" was held on 28th to 30 February 2014, in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.
Certain industry analysts have observed a negative trend that implies that African countries are depressed economies, and are keen for international investments. This is an observation by ATNS CEO, Thabani Mthiyane. "We need to be careful that in this age of pushing aviation costs, we should not sacrifice safety, our safety standards can never be compromised" said Thabani.
Concluding his welcoming address Thabani referred the delegates to the Yamasoukra Declaration (YD) which was passed in 1988, aimed at creating conditions for the emergence of viable and quality African air transport that meets the integration imperatives of the continent. "I would like to encourage everyone within the industry, to support this declaration as it canvasses for the standardization of safety in aviation within the African continent. It strengthens safety and security in the region. I believe our common objectives during this symposium and the years to come will be to re-focus on Human Factors in order to improve our safety system's ability to organize and match the inherent hazards of our organized activities".
Human Factors is a broad term emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and improving work performance. It draws from many of the more established human science disciplines such as psychology, ergonomics, human resources, physiology, and anatomy in order to focus on how we might improve work conditions and produce better work outcomes.
In his well-packaged presentation, titled "Promoting distributed cognition on the Flight deck" Don Harris, Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Coventry University, said that the "old view that Human Factors was being concerned with the design of equipment and work stations", was no longer valid and in turn, is being superseded by a systems-based approach which examines all aspects of the working environment. "Such a socio-technical systems approach complements the latest thinking from cognitive science which incorporates the human use of technological artifacts in a wider data storage/retrieval and information processing system".
Sidney Dekker, who is currently Professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, got the audience in total silence when he delivered his paper, aptly titled "I wish I could get rid of the people who make mistakes". He spoke at length about the "The Bad Apple" theory, which suggests that "your system is basically safe if it were not for those few unreliable people in it". He said that the focus on "human error" very quickly becomes a focus on humans as the cause of safety trouble, and on humans as the targets for intervention. "This has long been shown to be a largely useless safety endeavour, because getting rid of one person does not remove the conditions that gave rise to the trouble they got into" he said.
It is a requirement by law for any civil or private pilot to receive weather briefing before take-off to ensure en-route flight safety. To the aviation community, flight safety is a non-negotiable; hence weather plays the central critical role. This is according to Rudzani Malala of the South African Weather Service (SAWS). "Aeronautical Meteorological Forecasters (AMF's) and Aeronautical Meteorological Observers (AMO's) are key to providing invaluable weather services to the entire aviation community in pursuit of achieving safe flying conditions to avoid unnecessary aircraft accidents and incidents which could easily be avoided. It is common knowledge that when an aircraft accident occurs, the first suspected causal factor is weather until thorough investigations prove otherwise", he concluded.
Other notable speakers included the Human Factors Manager at Emirates Airlines, Dr Niklas Dahlstroom, who said" The aviation industry is striving to become even safer in spite of having an already excellent safety record", and Executive Operational Advisor to Product Safety at Airbus, Captain Harry Nelson, who took a down to earth look at situational awareness, monitoring and workload from a pilot's operating perspective.
The Symposium was proudly sponsored by Comair, Thales, Airbus, Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, and ICAS.
These companies join other oil and gas industry operators in restoring EC225 missions: CHC Helicopter, Bristow, Bond, Sonair, Blueway DanCopter, Era, and MHS Aviation Berhad. Collectively, they cover the world's major regions for offshore heli-lift for the energy sector - from the North Sea and Asia to Africa, the Gulf of Mexico and South America.
"Our teams remain totally committed to supporting our customers as they regain the full availability of their helicopters worldwide," said Guillaume Faury, Eurocopter's President & CEO. "The EC225 has been the industry's most examined aircraft, and we are proud to have it back as a key player in the oil and gas sector - continuing to safely accompany our customers in their challenging missions."
The EC225's return-to-service is continuing according to plan, as more than 75 % of the fleet used globally for oil and gas duties is now flying, including eight EC225s that continued without interruption in Vietnam and China. As a result, more than 85 % of the worldwide EC225/725 fleet is now in service - representing a total of 144 aircraft, which encompasses those used for oil and gas missions as well as other operations.
Eurocopter developed preventative safety measures that were approved by airworthiness authorities for the return-to-service, and the company has equally undertaken a main gear box shaft redesign for retrofit on the entire EC225 fleet starting from the second half of 2014.
The EC225 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft in Eurocopter's Super Puma family. With more than 300,000 total flight hours logged to date, it is deployed in civil, military and para-public operations that range from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to search and rescue duties.
Globally, the Super Puma family accumulated more than 4, 8 million flight hours to date and is operated by some 100 customers for a wide range of missions, often in very difficult conditions.
A dedicated Knowledge Centre website (www.ec225news.com) features pilot interviews following the EC225's return-to-service, the latest status information and frequently asked questions. The website's content is aimed at customers as well as passengers who fly aboard these helicopters.
Cirrus Aircraft today announced that it's SR-series Engineering and Design Team has been recognized as the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Joseph T. Nall Safety Award, for pioneering a wide array of safety features designed for single-engine aircraft. The award is presented annually by the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (IATSBA) to honour industry leaders who have made noteworthy contributions to aviation and transportation safety. Prior recipients include Al Haynes, captain of the ill-fated United Flight 232 that crash landed in Sioux City, Iowa. Haynes is generally credited with saving the lives of most of the 300-plus people on board.
Cirrus Aircraft Co-Founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier and members of the Cirrus Aircraft Design Team accepted the award during an awards dinner at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Fla., in conjunction with the IATSBA annual conference in late 2013. These team members are:
Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder & CEO
Pat Waddick, President & COO
Paul Brey, Senior Vice President, Product Development
Mike Stevens, Chief Test Pilot
Paul Johnston, Chief Engineer
Travis Klumb, Director of Flight Operations
Dave Rathbun, Chief Engineer, SF50
Tim Timmerman, Director SR2X Program
Cirrus Aircraft's SR-Series aircraft have introduced new safety technologies to general aviation (GA) not previously seen in the industry. These have driven broad market acceptance of Cirrus aircraft and established new safety and technology standards for the industry. The company made history in 2002 with the first-recorded rescue of a private pilot with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS).
"We have the deepest regard for the aviation leaders who have received this award in past years, and Cirrus Aircraft is honoured to join them," Klapmeier said. "However, our work is far from done as we continue to challenge ourselves to make flying safer and more secure for new and seasoned pilots alike."
From the inception of the SR-series aircraft, Klapmeier and the design team challenged conventional wisdom and industry design standards while exploring ways to build a better, safer airplane. Cirrus has introduced key safety enhancements to the industry, including the well-recognized CAPS, as well as composite construction, advanced aerodynamics, airframe ice protection and Cirrus Perspective™ avionics by Garmin® - with its hypoxia recognition, bank-angle control and stall protection systems.
Cirrus Approach?, a multi-year pilot training initiative designed to enhance Cirrus pilot safety and reduce the general aviation (GA) accident rate, is the latest reiteration of Cirrus' commitment to safety. "There is little doubt that Cirrus SR-series aircraft have the most capable technologies available for safe flight," added Travis Klumb, Cirrus' Director of Flight Operations, "But, as pilots and owners, we have to become and remain proficient in order to use them successfully. Cirrus' and COPA's (Cirrus' Owner Group) complementary communication and training strategies will enable the potential of these technologies."
The Experimental Aircraft Association is the home for those who build and restore aircraft and at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, the tens of thousands of attendees at "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" can share the building experience through the "One Week Wonder" project.
EAA's unique building project is focused on building a Zenith CH 750 kit aircraft during the seven days of EAA AirVenture 2014, beginning on July 28 and continuing through completion or the event's final day on August 3. The goal is to completely construct, inspect, and taxi test the aircraft by the end of the weeklong event.
"We want people to discover that building an airplane is not that complicated and is within the reach of just about anyone, by watching this project take shape during the week and participating in it themselves," said Charlie Becker, EAA's manager of the organization's homebuilt programs. "This Zenith kit will arrive at Oshkosh just as any builder would receive it. The One Week Wonder will show how today's advanced kits and technology make aircraft building accessible and affordable, especially with the support from many EAA programs and members. It's a fun, interactive opportunity that will show thousands of people exactly how an airplane goes together."
The One Week Wonder project will also allow EAA to showcase how a person can build their own airplane, the technical achievements along the way, and EAA support programs for aircraft builders. AirVenture attendees will be able to add their own "hands-on" moment in the construction project and sign the logbook as one of the builders.
In the One Week Wonder display area, which will be located near the EAA Welcome Center in the main crossroads of the AirVenture grounds, other displays will include the completed Zenith CH 750 built by EAA employees - including many who had never built an airplane previously. There will also be interactive displays that highlight the aircraft construction process, the variety of aircraft available for builders, and information on getting started on an aircraft project.
More details about the One Week Wonder project will be announced as they are finalized.
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