By Vivienne Sandercock

1. Message from the Editor
2. Gearbox failure main cause of north sea helicopter crashes
3. Africa's 2014's Hazards, Incidents, Accidents and Safety Occurrences
4. Emergency Response Planning
5. Henley Global Safety and Quality Training
6. EU-mandated switch to pilot texting brings risks
7. Airbus shifts pilot training focus to emphasize manual flying
8. News from the Johannesburg Airports
9. Commercial Airport and Airline news
10. SAAFA donations
11. Finale


I am always amazed at the lack of attendance at Airport Safety Meetings by those who most need to be there. I question whether this is pure arrogance by those who feel that they have no need to be there as "they know it all" or whether it is a reflection on the general lack of discipline by some members of our aviation community. If you do not attend these meetings then the airport authority are bound by legislation to report that fact to the SA CAA via the attendance records.

I was very pleased to see that International Air-Safety Officials have taken a big step toward blocking voluntary incident reports from being used by criminal prosecutors or plaintiffs' lawyers. A policy-making panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations, recommended adoption of global standards intended to shield voluntarily collected safety data from criminal proceedings and civil litigation stemming from an accident or incident. The move is still subject to comment, possible changes and formal approval by the more than 160 countries that are members of ICAO. Industry officials anticipate that process could take years.



Gearbox failure was the main cause of two North Sea helicopter crashes, according to a new report by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch. There have been five crashes involving the Super Puma helicopter in the Scotland area, killing 20 people, and the latest investigation points to corrosion being the main cause of the catastrophes.

All 19 people were rescued when an EC225 LP Super Puma G-CHCN ditched in the North Sea approximately 32 nm southwest of Sumburgh, in the Shetland Islands in October 2012, and another 14 were rescued in a similar EC225 LP Super Puma G-REDW ditched in the North Sea east of Aberdeen in May 2012.

There have been three other incidents involving Super Pumas in recent years.

In August 2013, British aviation firms suspended all flights of Super Puma helicopters after four people were killed in the latest in a series of accidents in the North Sea oilfields. The four people died when a Super Puma AS332 L2 helicopter transporting employees from the Borgsten Dolphin platform to Sumburgh Airport on Shetland Island crashed off the Scottish coast. Fourteen people including two crew members were rescued from the sea and taken to hospital.

In April 2009 sixteen men died when a Super Puma plunged into the sea after its gearbox failed as it was flying from BP's Miller platform to Aberdeen

In February 2009 a Super Puma ditched in the Sea and all 18 people survived.

Failure of main gearbox

In the latest accident report into the two non-fatal ditchings in 2012, the AAIN found that the loss of oil pressure on both helicopters was caused by a failure of the bevel gear vertical shaft in the main rotor gearbox, which drives the oil pumps. The shafts had failed as result of a circumferential fatigue crack in the area where the two parts of the shaft are welded together.

On G-REDW the crack initiated from a small corrosion pit on the countersink of the 4mm manufacturing hole in the weld. On G-CHCN, the crack initiated from a small corrosion pit located on a feature on the shaft described as the inner radius. Debris that contained iron oxide and moisture had become trapped on the inner radius, which led to the formation of corrosion pits. Corrosion pits were present on both shafts from which fatigue cracks initiated, prompting the AAIB to issues a safety warning over the maintenance of the aircraft.

The AAIB has called on the European Aviation Safety Agency to commission research into the fatigue performance of components manufactured from high-strength low-alloy steel. An aim of the research should be the prediction of the reduction in service-life and fatigue strength as a consequence of small defects such as scratches and corrosion pits.

The helicopter manufacturer is currently working on a redesigned bevel gear vertical shaft which takes into account the findings of the investigation.



04 Jan Ran s-ses coyote II 1 Breede River between Cape Infanta and Swellendam, WC, RSA
14 Jan FA52 SAB 2 Nr Kabanje, Bwiketo Village, Zambia
20 Jan Antonov 28 0 On the approach into Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
24 Jan Jonker JS-1C Revelation 1 Tempe Airport, Bloemfontein, RSA
28 Jan KR2 (Homebuilt) 1 Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria, RSA
29 Jan Giles G-202 1 Alexandria, EC, RSA
03 Feb Beechcraft C90GTi 3 Lanseria International Airport, RSA
06 Feb PA25 0 Field adjacent to Parys Aerodrome, Free State, RSA
11 Feb C130 Hercules 77 Ouled Gacem, Oum El Bouaghi Province, 500 km east of Algiers, Algeria.
13 Feb Baron 58 0 Lanseria International Airport, RSA
15 Feb Aeros 2 1 Heidelberg, RSA
16 Feb Cessna 182 Tug Plane 1 Orient Hills, Magaliesburg, GP, RSA
17 Feb BAe-748-371 1 Bentiu, South Sudan
21 Feb Antonov 26 11 20 miles from Tunis-Carthage Airport, Tunisia
08 Mar TBA 1 75km from Ondongwa Airport, Etosha National Park, Namibia
11 Mar Tetras 2 Antananarivo, Madagascar
15 Mar Ravin 500 3 Camperdown, Kwazulu Natal, RSA
27 Mar Legacy 0 Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, RSA
15 Apr TBA 1 Farm near Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, RSA
22 Apr Piper PA-46 2 20 km South of Niekerkshoop NC, RSA
26 Apr Challenger 0 Lanseria, RSA
19 May TBA 2 York Farm Area, Lusaka West, Zambia
10 Jun Mirage 2000D 0 Between Gao in Mali and Niamey in Niger
13 Jun Light aircraft 0 Stellenbosch Airfield, WC, RSA
17 Jun Cessna Caravan C208 3 Mpumalanga, RSA
Source, amongst others, PlaneCrash; News24, Aviation Herald, Flight Safety Information


07 Jan Eurocopter AS 350 (Squirrel) 0 Grand Central Airport, GP, RSA
12 Jan RH44 1 Nr Gwanda Town, Zimbabwe
27 Feb RH22 0 Virginia Airport, KZ, RSA
09 Mar MI24 0 Nr Zarzaitine Airport, In Ameras, Algeria
10 Mar RH22 0 Northern Cape, RSA
15 Mar Ravin 500 3 Close to Emoyeni Lodge private airfield in a sugar cane field, KZN, RSA
27 Mar RH22 0 Freeway private airstrip, NE of Wonderboom Aerodrome, GP, RSA
11 Apr Military TBA 3 Grootfontein, Namibia
13 Apr Bell 412 0 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


INC 06 Jun P66 Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 Aircraft ground looped on landing PVT
INC 10 Jun B737-700 Budapest (Hungary) RWY 31L 0 On departure from Budapest (Hungary) to Monastir (Tunisia) was accelerating for take-off from Budapest's runway 31L (16:33Z) when the crew received indication of an engine (CFM56) failure prompting the crew to reject take-off at low speed. The a/c came to a stop about 350 mts down the RWY COM
INC 10 Jun Meridian Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 PIC reported flap extension problem. A/C landed safely PVT
INC 12 Jun C172 Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 Runway excursion TRNG
INC 20 Jun Cessna 337 Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 A/C experienced engine failure. Landed safely PVT
INC 21 Jun Tomahawk Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 Runway excursion TRNG
INC 22 Jun Rockwell 114 Rand Airport, GP, RSA 0 PIC did not have 3 greens displayed for landing PVT


INC 13 Jun Eurocopter Kilgoris Town, Kenya 0 Emergency landing CHTR
INC 24 Jun Military Koma Village, Machakos Country, Kenya 0 Helicopter was headed for Garissa when it suddenly came down MIL


January Goma, DRC Construction Hazards - Aerodrome being fenced and runway is being rehabilitated
January Goma, DRC Unmanned aircraft
January Lubumbashi, DRC Construction Hazards - runway and taxiway re-habilitation taking place involving RWY closures - check NOTAMS
February Kadugli, Sudan Numerous runway incursions caused by cattle and goats.
March O R Tambo, RSA Birds
March Cape Town Heliport Birds
April West & Central Africa Heavy Rain and tropical storms
May Wau, Sudan Eagles


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If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Blake Emergency Services then please do not hesitate to contact Rethea at the address given above.


Should you wish to make a booking for any of these courses please contact Candice on 011 024 5446 or by email to


07 July CRM - Recurrent Verity Wallace R 950=00
07 July Dangerous Goods - Recurrent Verity Wallace R 750=00
07-08 July Safety Management System Various R 2,250=00
09-11 July Air Safety Officer Course Various R 2,250=00
07-11 July Integrated Safety Management Course Various R 5,500=00
14-15 July Human Factors Dr. Joel Hughes R 2,250=00
28-29 July Quality Assurance Auditor Course Dan Drew R 2,250=00
04 August CRM - Recurrent Verity Wallace R 950=00
04 August Dangerous Goods - Recurrent Verity Wallace R 750=00
18-19 August Human Factors Dr. Joel Hughes R 2,250=00
25-26 August Quality Assurance Auditor Course Dan Drew R 2,250=00

Note: Cost per delegate includes all training materials, refreshments and lunch.
Note: Attendees paying in cash on the day are eligible for a 10% discount
Note: Both Recurrent CRM and Dangerous Goods Training Courses are available upon request - even at short notice.
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Clogged Bandwidth Has Messages to Air Controllers Bouncing Back, Causing Cockpit Distractio

A European effort to streamline communications between pilots and air-traffic controllers is creating confusion and safety threats, according to the region's aviation regulator. Nagging problems with the $1.3-billion initiative-intended to replace voice communication with text messaging-have broad international implications. The same type of electronic data-link systems also are essential components of future air-traffic control upgrades planned for the U.S. and other regions. Instead of relying almost entirely on traditional voice transmissions over radios, cockpit crews and controllers for years have been trying out exchanges of information across European skies by sending text messages via specialized data links. The European Union has been pushing such measures to help ease demand on overtaxed radio communications in the region's crowded airspace.

But despite years of efforts to improve reliability, a recent report by the European Aviation Safety Agency found that frequent failures-messages not going through-persist, leading to pilot distraction and other potential hazards. The average failure rate is 10 times higher than the "specified level" for the program, according to the report. But in particularly busy airspace the failure rate can be up to 30 times higher than envisioned. European aviation officials predict it will take years to come up with solutions and test them. Some are even concerned that electronic messaging, which has been gradually phased in starting more than a decade ago, may never be fully viable. "Shortcomings with the current system have been known for years," said one aviation official. "But addressing them didn't get the required level of attention."

The basic problem, according to the report, is lack of adequate bandwidth to handle various streams of air-to-ground messaging. The study concluded the system has reached its "saturation level resulting from the increased demand on data volume," and said widespread implementation of text messaging may have to be delayed. The links that pilots and air-traffic controllers use operate on the same frequency that airlines rely on to pass other information between the ground and the plane, such as maintenance and weather data. According to the EASA Executive Director "capacity constraints mean messages between pilots and controllers often bounce back resulting in pilots and controllers repeatedly trying to get messages to go through, and then being distracted from other tasks, possibly leading to "loss of situational awareness," the report stated.

Last month, EASA issued a safety bulletin warning crews that repeated attempts to transmit messages "may increase the workload" in the cockpit, and reminding airlines to urge pilots to revert to radio communication. The setback is frustrating for regulators hoping to fully deploy the system by 2025. Fixing the problem will require shifting to a multi-frequency network, with message traffic between pilots and controllers getting a dedicated frequency.

Plane makers such as Airbus Group and Boeing Co. have said they would make the necessary changes for free. Other costs airlines may incur as they upgrade their communications equipment aren't known yet. Ground installations also must be enhanced.

Europe's technical woes are being closely watched from the other side the Atlantic. "We want to get this stuff all squared away before we switch" to widespread airborne use of data and text communications in the U.S., according to the chief scientist for the Federal Aviation Administration's next-generation traffic control system. The FAA has made efforts to allocate bandwidth in a way that prioritizes air-to-ground data transmission, Mr. Bradford said. Otherwise, he said, "we would have the same problems of infrastructure." There may be additional delays as the EU tests upgrades more extensively. By contrast, data links have been routinely used across the North Atlantic-where there are many fewer planes-by pilots and controllers for years, without significant problems.

Regulators haven't identified specific incidents or close calls stemming from data-link failures above Europe, but EASA's May report emphasized that pilot reporting is spotty and there is no centralized effort to collect such data. Honeywell International Inc., Rockwell Collins Inc. and France's Thales are among the companies providing on-board equipment that handles these messages. A Honeywell spokesman said the company is working with carriers, regulators and traffic-control organizations "to understand what the root cause is," adding "we still have faith that this is a good and needed technology." Rockwell Collins declined to comment and Thales couldn't be reached for comment.

European airlines generally have been reluctant to complain publicly, preferring to see how the debate shapes up. Low-cost carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC said "we are engaging with the European authorities to reach a satisfactory outcome."
With thanks to Curt Lewis for this article originally compiled by ANDY PASZTOR and ROBERT WALL


Airbus Group EADSY is significantly revising its pilot-training policies to focus more attention than ever before on manual flying skills. Discussed at an international safety conference in June, the change marks a marked shift from traditional Airbus principles that for decades relied heavily on automated aircraft systems and basically taught pilots to use them to fly out of trouble in nearly all circumstances. But now, the European plane maker is emphasizing the importance of pilots practicing hand flying, and urging that they do so as early as possible when beginning to learn how to handle a new aircraft.

The Director of international regulatory affairs for Airbus, told the conference those principles are an essential part of the training programme under development for the A350 wide-body jet, which is slated to begin service with lead customer Qatar Airways around the end of the year. In proposing the training sequence for the A350, Mr. Tauzin said "we decided to put manual flying much earlier in the curriculum," before pilots are taught to perform normal procedures using automation. The program still must be approved by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. In an interview after his presentation, he said pilots will experience manual flying in the simulator after only a brief introduction to the A350. In the past, they would have spent more than a dozen sessions learning about the plane's various automated systems, and then started flying simulator sessions with the automation turned on. The goal is to first "just have them feel the plane, and how it behaves without" turning on automation or presenting any complicated system failures or emergencies. Experts say it is a way to make pilots feel more comfortable and confident about their ability to revert to manual flying in an emergency. Eventually, Airbus seeks to expand the revamped training approach to other models.

The new focus is the strongest sign yet of industrywide concern about the hazards of excessive reliance on automated cockpits, and worries about pilots who may be reluctant to take over manual control when necessary. The result could be to accelerate the movement of airlines toward training programs highlighting manual flight manoeuvres.

The A350 training changes are prompted by "the growing realization that pilots are losing their manual skills, and it is part of the industry's risk-management focus," according to the head of operations for Qatar's aviation regulator. Increasingly sophisticated automation has played a big part in making flying safer than ever in the U.S. and globally, but more recently regulators, pilot unions and outside safety experts have highlighted potential downsides. A comprehensive study prepared for the FAA and released last November found that some pilots "lack sufficient or in-depth knowledge and skills" to properly control their plane's trajectory. The study found that is partly because "current training methods, training devices and the time allotted for training" may be inadequate to fully master advanced automated systems. Among the accidents and certain categories of incidents examined in that report, roughly two-thirds of the pilots either had difficulty manually flying planes or made mistakes using flight computers.

Airbus began making limited adjustments to its training philosophy in the wake of the 2009 crash of an Air France A330 in the Atlantic. The crew failed to recognize the plane was in a stall and was confused by cockpit instruments. Initial changes Airbus introduced after that crash started training pilots how to avoid and recover from such high-altitude stalls. But the training program being developed for the A350 goes substantially further in explicitly emphasizing hand flying at various altitudes and across a wide range of manoeuvres.

Some airlines already are far down that path. According to the Managing Director of flight training for Delta Air Lines Inc., pilots "are exploring this manual flight stuff in the simulator more and more," when instructors deliberately turn off computerized systems. "There are times when you have to take over manually," because even the most sophisticated automated systems can get planes into situations and "places from where the pilots are going to have to fly out."


Next Safety Meeting will be held on 5th August at 09.00 in the arrivals hall.
The Grand Rand Show will be held on 17th August 2014

Next Safety Meeting will be held on 5th August at 12.00 in the Board Room

Next Safety, Security and Stakeholders Meeting will be held on 8th July at 12.00 in the LIA Training School


Kenya Airways has launched direct flights to Abuja in Nigeria from its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, paving way for closer ties between the two countries. Kenya Airways will now be flying four times a week between its hub at the JKIA in Nairobi and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

African low-cost carrier Fastjet has struck a deal to sell its stake in loss-making Fly540 Kenya for a nominal fee and is considering replacing it with a new venture, Fastjet Kenya. Fly540 Kenya formed part of Lonrho Aviation a legacy business that Fastjet acquired to establish itself in the African market. "After a thorough and lengthy evaluation of Fly540 Kenya, we concluded that converting the business into the Fastjet low-cost model would not be economically viable," Fastjet CEO Ed Winter said. The stake is being acquired by Fly540 director Don Smith Fastjet launched its own-branded Airbus A319 low-cost operations from Tanzania in November 2012. Besides Fly540 Kenya, it also owns Fly540 Angola , although both of these have been grounded to curb losses


Should you wish to make a donation to this more than worthy cause then please pay it (via EFT or as a deposit) into;
Standard Bank Bedford Gardens; Bank Code 018 305; Account Name: SA Air Force Association (JHB Branch); Account Number: 022 605 568. You may use either your Company or Individual name along with the word donation as the reference.


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Part Time Consultant Air Safety Officers required who comply with the requirements of SA CARS Part 135, Part 121, Part 127, Part 140, Part 141 and Part 145 - must have had appropriate SMS training, previous experience and preferably been approved by the South African Air Services Licencing Council.

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Q a category 4 or higher aerodrome licence;
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then you shall establish a Safety Management System for the control and supervision of the services rendered or to be rendered by that organisation.

If you do not already have an approved Air Safety Officer and an approved Safety Management System then please contact us for assistance.

We, at global aviation consultants, deliver the following SA CAA Approved training courses for Air Safety Officers at Rand Airport;

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