Plan Your Weekend……… Forthcoming Events……….This Week's Specials

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2: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

5: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail: webmaster@saafmuseum.org

5: SAPFA Durban Wings Club fun rally. Contact Mary de Klerk e-mail: mary@expandingbranding.co.za or Cate Juselius e-mail: cate@eastcoastsa.net

5: Wings and Wheels festival Uitenhage. Contact Lourens Kruger e-mail:


10: EAA Aviation Legends Talk Show THURSDAY 10th MARCH 2016. Guest Col. J. J. "Cobus" Toerien B.Mil (SAAF ret.) is one of just a handful of South Africans to have 2,000 hours on Supersonic type aircraft, such as Mirage III's, Mirage F1CZ, 800 hours on all Cheetah types. He flew 168 Combat Missions during the Angolan conflict and has been decorated 7 times including the Air Force Cross and CA. Since joining SAA in 1999 he has increased his total hours to 10,000 hours flying B737-800's, Airbus A330 and A340 types.
Time: 18h30 for 19h30 (time to order your drinks & Boerewors/ Steak roll) at the new EAA Auditorium Pub. Venue: EAA Auditorium adjacent to TAC and Holding point of Runway 29, Rand Airport, Hurricane Road, Germiston. Take the entrance at Hurricane Road off Rand Airport Road (NOT thru the main gate). Cost: R50.00 each (R30 for card carrying EAA, members). Booking: Send an e-mail to book at eaa.talkshow@icon.co.za

12: The Coves Fly in. For further information contact admin@the coves.co.za or Rudi Greyling 083 245 9955

12: Witbank fly in breakfast. Any interested parties to Contac Rob Clark @ 082 463 1372.

12: High Alt Flight Potchefstroom. RSVP before 4 March. Contact Riaan 061 719 2430 riaan@epic-aviation.co.za or Andries 076 520 3054

17 - 20: SA Navy Festival Simonstown. Contact Brian Emmenis e-mail: capital@icon.co.za

29 March - 3 April: FIDAE International Air & Space Fair Santiago, Chile. Contact website: www.fidae.cl African Pilot will be attending this exhibition


3: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail:

2-3: Swellengrebel Fly in Swellendam. Contact Pieter Venter e-mail: pventer@vgv.co.za Cell: 082 250 9504

2-3: SAC Western Cape regionals Saldanha. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

6: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

9-11: Airport show in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Contact Reed Exhibitions Middle East e-mail:

13: Rosslyn Aero Modellers Fly-Inn. Landing fee of R100.00 will be payable on arrival by the pilots. Hot-dogs and cool drinks will be available. No flying without a valid SAMAA card. Contact Ina Van Der Merwe at fullstop@mweb.co.za for any inquiries.

15: SAPFA National Rally Flying Championships at Brits airfield. Contact e-mail:

20 -23: AERO Friedrichshafen - Germany. Contact website: www.aero-expo.com

21-24; SA Navy Festival, Simonstown. Contact Brian Emmenis capital@icon.co.za

23 April-1 May: Kroon Microlighters South Coast Fying 2016 - Annual Margate trip. Contact Dawie (082 576 2355) or Pierre 078 119 0949) for more info.

29 April-1 May: EAA National Convention, Mossel Bay. Contact Marie Reddy 083 259 7691

29 April-2May: Bush Air - Fly-In Barberton Airport, South Africa. No airshow and no public will be allowed in. There will be fun activities and competitions during the day such as spot landing, stol, ribbon cutting etc. The rest of the time it will be a big fat party! Fly-in and camp with your plane. An attendance fee of R2000 per person will include all your food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as well as all drinks (Alcohol included) for the entire 3 day weekend. Payment info and to download registration and indemnity forms, go to web page: Deadline for all registrations will be Monday 25 April 2016.

29-2 May: Gyro Africa Fly in. Contact Juanita Kruger 082 040 9798


1: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail: webmaster@saafmuseum.org

4: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

7: SAAF Museum airshow at AFB Zwartkop. Contact Mike 'O Connor e-mail: oc@saafmuseum.org Tel: 012 351 2290

13-15: Battlefields Sports Resorts annual fly in Dundee KZN. Contact Dave O' Halloran e-mail gm@battlefieldslodge.co.za

15: SAPFA Shelia Taylor fun rally - Krugersdorp. Contact Frank Eckard e-mail:

17-28: Sky Grand Prix. Greyville Racecourse, Durban. Details to follow.

21-21: Lowveld airshow - Nelspruit. Contact Willemien Hodgkinson e-mail: willemien.hodgkinson@ffa.co.za

21-22: SAC Free State regionals, Bloemfontein - New Tempe. Contact Annie Boon e-mail:

20 - 22: Vryheid Wings Club Fly Inn. First 10 pilots who fly in on Friday and also on the Saturday will get free food and drinks for the whole weekend (pilots' only not entire crew). All other pilots and crew will be charged R 600 for entire weekend and R 450 from the Saturday and Sunday only (fly inn day only R150).

25-28: SAPFA President's Trophy Air Race hosted by the Bethlehem Aero Club. Website: www.sapfa.org.za e-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za Contact Robbie Myburgh e-mail: roblena@mweb.co.za Cell: 083 377 0925 Francois Marais e-mail: info@stanfra.co.za Cell: 082 726 8550 Philip Jacobs e-mail: md@lsgroup.co.za Cell: 083 284 6142

28: Botswana airshow at the Matsieng Flying Club. Contact Guillaume Knipe e-mail: gknipe@work.co.bw or Hentie de Wet e-mail:

R190.00 per copy. Order direct from the author editor@chrisav.co.za

Safair's long awaited coffee table book is now available from the Aviation Shop. At R400.00 the 160 page hardbound full colour history of one of South Africa's most iconic aviation companies is a real bargain


Photos © Glasair

The Merlin is a composite high-wing, tricycle gear aircraft designed to meet LSA Certification Requirements based on ASTM standards. it is fitted with a Rotax 912iS engine and Dynon's Skyview glass-panel avionics. Glasair also plans to offer an optional BRS parachute system. The LSA will also be the company's first certified aircraft.

After months of careful preparation, Glasair Aviation's new light sport aircraft, Merlin, took its first flight through the skies above Arlington Municipal Airport Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Following detailed validation testing, including engine run-up, high-speed taxi, and ground roll lift off, the team at Glasair stood back and watched as Merlin departed the surface of runway 34 with test-pilot Grant Smith at the controls. The flight lasted fifty-seven minutes, as Smith took the plane through a full test flight profile that included validating the engine's reliability, exploring flight control characteristics in flight and conducting standard flight manoeuvres.


Photos © Diamond Aircraft

Diamond's exciting new DA62 twin has received FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification, clearing the way for US customer deliveries.

"Our all new DA62 is getting overwhelming high praise from everyone that flies it. Its combination of cabin volume, utility, performance and efficiency make it an ideal traveller for the US market." said Peter Maurer, President and CEO of Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. (Canada). "We are extremely proud to be offering this great aircraft, alongside our popular singles and DA42 twin."

A new First Class cabin, comparable in size to a luxurious SUV, maximizes space to offer room for up to seven passengers. And you don't need to leave your personal luxuries behind, as the DA62 is able to carry plenty of bags in its huge rear and front baggage compartments.

Diamond's fleet of Austro jet fuel piston engine powered singles and twins are touring the USA, to let as many pilots as possible experience the simplicity of operation, extraordinary fuel efficiency and performance of these unique aircraft. Currently the demonstration team is touring California, followed by stops in Nevada, Arizona, Texas and then moving to the Southeastern US, with more tour details to be announced in the near future.


Photos © Aeromobil

Beautiful flying car. Beautifully integrated. Transforms in seconds from an automobile to an airplane. Gives you freedom to move.

AeroMobil is a flying car that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. As a car it fits into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic just like any other car. As a plane it can use any airport in the world, but can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred meters long.

The current flying car prototype AeroMobil 3.0 incorporates significant improvements and upgrades to the previous pre-prototype AeroMobil 2.5.

It is now finalised and has been in regular flight-testing program in real flight conditions since October 2014.

The AeroMobil 3.0 is predominantly built from advanced composite material. That includes its body shell, wings, and wheels. It also contains all the main features that are likely to be incorporated into the final product, such as avionics equipment, autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system.

AeroMobil 3.0 also implements a number of other advanced technologies, such as a variable angle of attack of the wings that significantly shortens the take-off requirements, and sturdy suspension that enables it to take-off and land even at relatively rough terrain.


Photos © Embraer

Embraer, the world's leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 130 seats, today took a step in the consolidation of its leadership by presenting the E190-E2, the first E2 jet - Embraer´s second generation of the E-Jets family of commercial aircraft. The aircraft´s maiden flight is scheduled for the second half of 2016, with entry into service scheduled for 2018. The ceremony was held at the Company´s plant in São José dos Campos.

"Today we have taken another step into the future of Embraer commercial aviation with the world premiere of our second-generation E-Jets," said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. "I'm sure that as a result of this event, the market´s interest in the E2 will grow even further, increasing the commercial success of this program throughout the world."

With an investment of USD 1.7 billion, the E2 program was launched in June 2013 and reinforces Embraer's commitment to continuously invest in its commercial aviation products as well as maintain market leadership in the segment of 70 to 130 seats. The aircraft will have state-of-the-art engines, which, combined with new aerodynamically advanced wings, full fly-by-wire flight controls, and improvements to other systems, will deliver significant reductions in fuel burn, maintenance costs, emissions, and external noise.

Since the E2 was launched, the program has reached 640 commitments, 267 of which are firm orders and 373 of which are options and purchase rights, from both airline customers and leasing companies. Currently, the E-Jets are operating with about 70 customers in 50 countries and, with over 50% market share; they are the global leader in the segment of aircraft with up to 130 seats.

"The rollout held today marks the completion of the assembly of the first E190-E2 and paves the way for the start of the tests that will lead to the first flight," said Luís Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President Operations & COO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. "We are delighted to reach this phase of the program, considering all of the technical and economic objectives set out at its inception."

This aircraft is the first of four prototypes that will be used in the E190-E2 certification campaign. Two additional planes will be added for the E195-E2 campaign, entry into service for which is expected in 2019, and three more will be used in the E175-E2 campaign, which is scheduled to enter service in 2020.

The E190-E2 has the same number of seats as the current generation E190 and can be configured with 97 seats in dual class service or with 106 seats in a single class layout. Additionally, the range of the E190-E2 has been significantly increased over the current generation aircraft, by 400 nautical miles, with the capacity to cover distances of 2,800 nautical miles.


Photo © Boeing

Boeing [NYSE: BA] launched the Next-Generation 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions from seven customers.

"The Next-Generation 737 provides exceptional value to express freight carriers through its superior payload, range, reliability and efficiency," said Stan Deal, senior vice president, Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes," Deal said. "Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts customers will need more than 1,000 converted freighters the size of the 737, with China's domestic air freight carriers accounting for nearly one-third of the total market."

Through its freighter conversion program, Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters, extending the economic life of the airplane. The 737-800 is the first Next-Generation 737 that Boeing has offered for conversion. While large freighters carry high-density cargo on long-range routes, the 737-800BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.

The 737-800BCF carries up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 metric tons) of cargo, flying routes of nearly 2,000 nautical miles (3,690 kilometres).

Twelve pallet positions - 11 standard pallets and one half-pallet - provide 5,000 cubic feet (141.5 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck. This will be supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet (43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.


Photo © Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson unveiled Virgin Galactic's much anticipated second SpaceShipTwo at a ceremony in Mojave, CA, attended by his family, Virgin Galactic's Founder Future Astronauts, stakeholders and partners. Professor Stephen Hawking named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity via a recorded speech and said, "I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship."

The ceremony featured four generations of Sir Richard's family, from his mother Eve, Richard himself, his son Sam, to his grandchild Eva Deia who celebrated her first birthday by christening the spaceship in the traditional way but with milk in place of champagne. The ceremony also included a video congratulations from Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai emphasizing the importance of space to science and technical education.

The new SpaceShipTwo is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic's wholly owned manufacturing arm, and is the second vehicle of its design ever constructed. VSS Unity featured a new silver and white livery and was guided into position by one of the company's support Range Rovers, provided by its exclusive automotive partner, Land Rover.

Richard Branson said, "Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth. Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose."


Photo© Embraer

The Embraer Phenom 300 was the most-delivered business jet in the world in 2015 for the third consecutive year, with 70 aircraft received by customers around the globe.

"We would like to thank our customers for their confidence and continuing relationship, which has enabled the Phenom 300 to enjoy successful acceptance worldwide since its launch," said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. "The Phenom family's design was based on the highest industry requirements, combining the attributes of a best-in-class aircraft. To have the most-delivered business jet in the world for the third consecutive year is a true recognition that we have achieved our commitment to design game-changing products to meet operators' needs."

Recognized as one of the most desirable light jets by fractional programs, charter services, corporate flight departments and owner-pilots, 320 Phenom 300s are in operation in 28 countries. To date, the fleet has accumulated close to 300,000 flight hours. The Phenom 300 also was the most-delivered business jet in 2013 and 2014.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association recently released its 2015 worldwide year-end aircraft shipment and billing report, which showed Embraer Executive Jets' market share had grown to 17% in terms of unit deliveries. In 2015, Embraer's executive aviation division delivered 120 aircraft, including jets in the Phenom, Legacy and Lineage families, and the highest number in five years.


Photos © Airbus Helicopters / Christophe Guibbaud

The twin-engine multipurpose helicopter H145 has successfully proved its operational capabilities for challenging offshore missions. During a two-day flight trial in late January the established offshore operators Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH and HTM Offshore were able to test the H145 in all the relevant fields of offshore operations. Both aviation companies collaborate closely to offer their customers a wide range of offshore services involving light and heavy helicopters. This concept is very appreciated in the offshore-wind-branch.

"One of our main activities is the transfer of harbour pilots via helicopter in any kind of weather conditions 24/7," explains Lars Hilgert, Chief flight coordinator at WIKING. "Harbour pilots navigate ships safely in and out of German harbours. In most cases these pilots are brought onto the moving ships using the winch. This process requires the utmost attention of the helicopter's pilot and crew," he added. "We are very positively surprised with the intuitive Helionix® cockpit of the H145 and its 4-axis autopilot with auto-hover function. These systems contribute to the helicopter's high levels of safety in every scenario. At the same time the workload of the crew is reduced, allowing them to safely accomplish their mission even in the harshest of weathers," Hilgert adds.

The rotorcraft is also well-suited for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). "Our rescue helicopters are constantly on stand-by for offshore HEMS. Every unit is staffed with a doctor and an assistant and ready to embark on a mission in a minimum amount of time. The H145 would qualify perfectly for these missions, given that it features tremendous levels of performance and a spacious cabin", explains Alexander von Plato, Managing Director at WIKING Helicopter Service.

The flight test programme also included other missions such as approaching the wind park alpha ventus in the German Bight, landing on the transformer platform and hoisting technicians onto the offshore wind turbines. All while sustaining winds of up to 50 knots, the H145 delivered a convincing performance.

"HTM Offshore is specialised in the transfer of service personnel in the wind industry," says Bernd Brucherseifer, Managing Director at HTM Offshore. "The technicians are increasingly used for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance missions on wind turbines, for instance if the turbine is not, or hardly accessible by ship due to rough waters. With wind parks emerging increasingly further away from the coastline we are reliant on a versatile but also efficient helicopter fleet. The H145 would be an ideal addition to our 11 Airbus Helicopters H135, as it can carry more passengers and travel for longer distances. Despite its spacious cabin the main rotor has a very small diameter, making it perfectly suited for approaching wind turbines."

USA, Washington: The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the captain's decision to reject the take-off resulted in the collapsed of the nose gear on 13 March 2014. Investigators found that the co-pilot entered the wrong runway into the flight computer after backing away from the gate. When the captain noticed, the co-pilot changed the information, but didn't also change the thrust and speed anticipated for the new runway. When the plane was moving faster than 92 mph, an audio alert in the cockpit announced "retard" repeatedly, as if directing pilots to slow down the plane. Neither pilot understood what the "retard' warning meant during a take-off because it was designed for a landing. But the captain decided the plane was unsafe to fly, so he aborted the take-off, investigators said.

The plane's tail struck the runway and then the nose-gear collapsed as it hit the ground and the plane skidded to a halt. But the plane could have taken off safely, investigators said. The plane reached 188 mph and it briefly bounced 15 feet in the air, investigators said. The 149 passengers and five crew members on board had to leave by emergency slides.

Australia, Melbourne: A group of up to 16 drunken, rowdy and disruptive passengers first delayed, then were asked to leave a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. The budget airline, Jetstar, fight was delayed about 90 minutes while the group disembarked and their luggage was removed from the baggage compartment. "We take safety and security seriously and have strict rules on alcohol use, including the right to deny boarding or offload intoxicated passengers," a Jetstar spokesperson said.

Japan, Tokyo: More than 150 passengers were forced to evacuate a Japan Airlines Boeing 737 in Japan after an engine problem caused smoke to enter the cabin moments before take-off. Four people were injured as they abandoned the Japan Airlines Boeing 737 taxiing at the snow-covered New Chitose Airport. Firefighters said they did not have to extinguish any flames and could not confirm there was actually a blaze.

Nepal, Kathmandu: A Twin Otter operated by Tara Air on a flight from Pokhara crashed in Nepal in bad weather, killing all 23 people on board. Officials said thick fog had enveloped the Mustang area. Mustang is a popular hiking area on the Mount Annapurna trekking circuit. A similar aircraft crashed in west Nepal in 2014, killing 18 people.

India, Mumbai: The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has suspended an air traffic controller and two pilots of Air India, who were operating a Boeing that hit a light pole at the Mumbai airport. Although the collision, that took place early on Tuesday, did not hurt anyone or cause any serious damage to the Boeing 777-300ER, the aviation safety regulator took serious note of the matter as the Newark-bound plane had 447 people on board. According to airport sources, pilots accused the air traffic control (ATC) official on duty of assigning a smaller taxiway which caused the collision. The incident delayed the flight by about two and a half hours.

USA, Michigan: A Michigan Appeals Court judge is facing a criminal investigation after a loaded handgun was found in his carry-on bag at Detroit Metro Airport. Henry William Saad was scheduled to fly to Ft. Myers, Fla., when Transportation Security Administration personnel spotted a weapon while scanning his bag. The case represents a violation of an airport ordinance that prohibits trying to take a gun through a passenger-screening checkpoint. Saad, who has a permit to carry a firearm, was released after airport police processed his case.

3 MARCH 2005

The late Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane around the world solo nonstop without refuelling, flying 25,000 miles in 67 hours and 2 minutes

Steve Fossett
Photo © NASA Kim Shiflett / commons.wikimedia.org

James Stephen "Steve" Fossett (April 22, 1944 - September 3, 2007) was an American businessman and a record-setting aviator, sailor and adventurer. He was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon and was best known for many world records, including five nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth.

Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer
Photo © C Radecki Akradecki / commons.wikimedia.org

Fossett made the first solo nonstop unrefuelled fixed-wing aircraft flight around the world between February 28 and March 3, 2005. He took off from Salina, Kansas in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer and flew eastbound with the prevailing winds, returning to Salina after 67 hours, 1 minute, 10 seconds, without refuelling.

The GlobalFlyer designed by Burt Rutan and his company, Scaled Composites specifically for long-distance solo flight is of carbon fibre reinforced plastic construction powered by a single Williams FJ44 turbofan engine.

On February 11, 2006, Fossett set the absolute world record for "distance without landing" by flying from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, around the world eastbound, then upon returning to Florida continuing across the Atlantic a second time to land in Bournemouth, England. The official distance was 25,766 statute miles (41,467 km) and the duration was 76 hours 45 minutes.

The next month, Fossett made a third flight around the world in order to break the absolute record for "Distance over a closed circuit without landing" (with take-off and landing at the same airport). He took off from Salina, Kansas on March 14, 2006 and returned on March 17, 2006 after flying 25,262 statute miles (40,655 km).

There are only seven absolute world records for fixed-wing aircraft recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and Fossett broke three of them in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.

Bellanca Super Decathlon.
Photo ©B Dreyer / commons.wikimedia.org

At 8:45 am, on Monday 3 September 2007 Fossett took off in a Bellanca Super Decathlon from Flying-M Ranch, a private airstrip, in Nevada, California. He did not return and a search began six hours later.

On 29 September 2008, a hiker found three crumpled identification cards in the Eastern Sierra Nevada in California about 65 miles (100 km) south of Fossett's take-off site. The items were confirmed as belonging to Fossett and included an FAA-issued card, his Soaring Society of America membership card and $1,005 in cash.

On 1 October air search teams spotted wreckage on the ground about 750 yards (690 m) from where the personal items had been found. Later that evening the teams confirmed identification of the tail number of Fossett's plane.

Midweek Update

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