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The RAASA offices at Rand Airport, Germiston will be closed from 23 December 2016 at 12h00 for the festive season and will re-open on 3 January 2017. To renew your licence or ATF before this closure please submit your license and / or authority to fly renewal application before 21 December 2016 and for postal applications before 19 December 2016. All applications for events and Parachute Display requests must reach the RAASA office on or before 10 December 2016. For any enquiries, please phone the office on 011 082 1000.

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

7: International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD), Margate. Contact Mark Swarts e-mail: swartsm@caa.co.za Cell: 082 878 0875

12: Crete 2 Cape - Vintage Air Rally. Baragwanath 11:00 Arrive direct from Botswana. 13: Blue Mountain Valley Airport. 14: Parys Airfield 07:00 - 9:00. 14: Bloemfontein 10:00 - 12:30. 14: Gariep Dam. 15: Plettenberg Bay Airfield. 16: Stellenbosch Airfield 11:00 Grand Air Arrival. Sam Rutherford. sam@prepare2go.com.


28: All welcome to our annual St Francis Field fly in at FACT. Free breakfast snack and coffee for all visiting pilots arriving by air.On line or SMA Wx available. Contact Barry Culligan for details on 083 611 3333 or get info from the pilots section of our website


21 - 22: SAC Judges' Trophy Tzaneen. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

28: Rand Airport Challenge. Rand Airport. Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za cell: 083 269 1516

28: January SAPFA Annual General Meeting at 14h00 after the Rand Airport Challenge rally at the Harvard Café, Rand Airport. Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za Cell: 083 269 1516


Stratos Aircraft flew their prototype 714 VLJ for the first time 21 November. The flight from Redmond, Oregon in the single engine jet with gear and partial flaps down lasted for 10 minutes with the Stratos reaching 3,700 feet and a speed of 128 knots. Test flights evaluating performance and handling have continued since then.

Test pilot Dave Morss reported a few minor issues after the flight. Stratos Aircraft CEO Michael Lemaire said that the company was very happy with the results if the maiden flight.

Deliveries of the Stratos, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5, were originally scheduled for 2017 but certification will take at least another 3 years and it now seems as if 2020 is a more realistic date.

The single pilot Stratos will carry three passengers at approximately 400 knots at 41,000 feet and has a 1,500-nautical-mile range.

Stratos currently have enough funds available to complete testing and development but will have to rely on further investments to complete the certification process.

Stratos officials plan a product introduction at EAA AirVenture 2017.


P2002-SR-MKII-2. Photo © Tecnam

Tecnam has introduced a substantially updated and improved Mark 2 version of the company's popular P2002 Sierra.

The Tecnam P2002 Sierra MkII retains all the features and flying qualities which have established the aircraft's position in the marketplace, but now offers an improved cabin for greater comfort, top level avionics, new paint colours and interior options and a re-designed cowling for the 100HP Rotax engine.

After 14 successful years since the original Sierra was launched, following a market survey, studying sales records and feedback from both clients & dealers, at the same time taking into account the flying characteristics which the customer has come to expect. The research considered three basic variables: the consumer's "needs and taste", the aircraft's life cycle, and the current competition in the market place. "The market is always demanding greater comfort and more features," says Paolo Pascale, Tecnam Managing Director, "so improving and updating our product is a must. At the same time innovation has always been part of Tecnam's DNA and has been one of the major keys to our success."

P2002-SR-MKII-4wDevelopment in Avionics has been rapid since the Sierra's debut and the MkII offers state of art of technology in a jet-style cockpit. Customers can choose from an extensive range of options, starting with the basic analogue instruments needed for visual flight, a six pack analogue with Garmin GPS, the Dynon SkyView with twin 10 inch displays, the Garmin G3X which features twin 10.6 inch screens, and the G3X Night version with fully backlit backup instrumentation.

The largest choice of options is for Interior and Exterior Styling, with four choices for every Style package: Standard, Premium and Power. For the exterior, the range of paint schemes includes new metallic colours which can be matched to the seats, cabin sides and instrument panel covering. The customer is free to choose whatever suits their imagination and taste.


Photo © Cirrus

Cirrus Aircraft announced the arrival of a new era in personal transportation as the Cirrus Vision® Jet - the world's first single engine Personal Jet - achieved FAA certification. With this milestone accomplishment, the Vision Jet ushers in a new category of aircraft that delivers an unrivaled pilot, passenger and operator experience, and certification paves the way for initial customer deliveries in 2016.

"What an amazing and impactful day for Cirrus Aircraft and the entire aviation and aerospace industry," said Cirrus Aircraft co-founder, CEO and U.S. National Aviation Hall of Fame member Dale Klapmeier. "Just as the SR series of high-performance piston aircraft has forever changed aviation, the impact of the Vision Jet on personal and regional transportation is going to be even more profound. Never before has a turbine aircraft solution come along that rewrites the rules in so many ways - iconic design, ease of operation, smart economics, simplified ownership and more."Innovation: A New Category by Design

The Vision Jet defines the new single-engine Personal Jet category by its spacious, pilot and passenger-friendly cabin with expansive windows, reclining seats and comfortable legroom that can accommodate up to five adults and two children. The cabin is complemented by the proprietary Cirrus Perspective® Touch™ by Garmin® flight deck, which delivers a wide array of highly sophisticated, easy-to-use global navigation capabilities and safety features to the pilot at the touch of a finger. Powering the Flight-Into-Known-Ice (FIKI) approved Vision Jet is a single, smart FADEC-controlled Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan engine.

"The art of innovation is achieving elegance and simplicity while changing people's lives," said Patrick Waddick, President of Innovation and Operations. "Not only did our development team deliver on that target, we put an exclamation point on it by designing a highly reliable airplane and going a step further by incorporating the life-saving Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®)." Waddick continued, "Innovation, safety, ease of use, and comfort have always been hallmarks at Cirrus, and combining these with the performance of a strong, lightweight carbon fiber airframe and 300+ knot cruise speed over-delivers. This is not just a product, it's an experience."


Photo© Lockheed Martin

The Lockheed Martin T-50A is soaring over Greenville, South Carolina with flight operations now underway. The initial test flight took place Nov. 19.

The T-50A was announced as the official Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) offering for the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Pilot Training (APT)/T-X competition in February, and Greenville was announced as the final assembly and checkout facility (FACO).

The T-50A is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking, and will train the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II pilots of tomorrow, as well as pilots for frontline 4th Generation aircraft. Building on the proven heritage of the T-50, the T-50A has more than 100,000 flight hours in its repertoire, training more than 1,800 pilots.

Lockheed Martin's accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System features innovative technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronized ground-based training platform.


Photo © Eric Raz /Airbus

Marignane - Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first three of the 11 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to Indonesia, ahead of contract schedule, at a ceremony at Airbus Helicopters' headquarters in Marignane, in the presence of representatives from Indonesia's Ministry of Defence and the Indonesian Navy.

Under the agreement, Airbus Helicopters will supply the AS565 MBe helicopters to its Indonesia industrial partner PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who will reassemble and outfit these rotorcraft in-country, acting as the design authority. This will notably cover the installation of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite which includes a dipping sonar and torpedo launch systems, allowing the Indonesian Navy to carry out its most demanding missions.

This Indonesian MBe Panther programme is the latest of a long-standing relationship between Airbus Helicopters and PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who celebrated their 40 years of strategic partnership earlier this month. The two companies have delivered more than 190 helicopters together, through joint programmes over the last four decades.

"We have been working with Airbus Helicopters on numerous projects for many years by now, and this milestone today further illustrates the commitment both companies have towards this programme", said Budi Santoso, CEO and President of PT Dirgantara Indonesia. "We look forward to receiving these green helicopters in Bandung, as we ready to start the installation of the mission equipment, and the subsequent qualification and certification of our future anti-submarine warfare helicopters", he added.

Recognised as one of the world's most capable light/medium anti-submarine warfare platforms, the AS565 MBe is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, which enhance the helicopter's performance in high and hot conditions, while enabling it to achieve a top speed of 165 kt and a range of 780 kilometres. It also boasts a new main gearbox, the latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot that reduces crew workload and makes the most demanding missions easier to perform.


Photo © Sikorsky

Colombia's civil aviation authority Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil (UAEAC) has approved the Offshore and Utility Type Certificate for Sikorsky's S-76C™ series (C, C+, C++), S-76D™ and S-92A® helicopters. The certificate enables Colombia's commercial aviation operators to add the multi-role helicopters for transportation of workers or cargo to offshore oil and gas rigs, as well as regional airline passenger service, and VIP transportation.

UAEAC signed the certificate Nov. 9, capping an intensive flight test program to introduce the commercial aircraft manufactured by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE: LMT), to Colombia.

"The approval by UAEAC authorizing transportation companies across Colombia to operate the S-76D and S-76C medium helicopters and heavy lift S-92 in Colombia is an exciting development," said Dana Fiatarone, vice president, Sikorsky Commercial Systems & Services. "These multi-role aircraft will provide profitable, high reliability flight operations to local operators."

"Colombians know the robustness, reliability and industry leading safety record of Sikorsky products thanks to the history of Black Hawks in Colombia, where more than 100 have operated for over 20 years," said Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky Regional Executive for Latin America. "As Colombia moves to a peacetime footing, with infrastructure development and oil exploration as priorities, it is a natural progression to have Sikorsky commercial products introduced to the country."

In Colombia, Sikorsky maintains training and support facilities in Melgar that employ more than 40 Colombian national employees. These facilities operate as Sikorsky's regional hub for support in Latin America.

South Africa, O.R. Tambo Airport: The decomposing body of about a 30-year-old man in the wheel-well of an Airbus A330-200 Arik Air flight form Lagos, Nigeria. The body was discovered by SAA Technical staff whilst undertaking a routine maintenance check. Judging from the state of decomposition the man must have hidden himself in the wheel-well 29 November when the aircraft departed from Lagos.

Portugal, Lisbon: A Qatar Airways Boeing 777 was re-routed during a storm
after heavy turbulence injured passengers to the Azores where it made an emergency landing at a Portuguese military base in the Azores islands. Several passengers were injured, one traveller suffering heart trouble. The injured passengers were taken to a hospital.

Hawaii, Honolulu: A New York City-bound flight returned to Honolulu after a passenger who had been drinking allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend, her children, passengers and crewmembers. The passenger, who had been drinking before the flight also allegedly, slapped a female flight attendant. He was restrained by other male passengers and arrested on arrival back at Honolulu.

USA, Grand Rapids: An Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines American Airlines plane made an emergency landing after damage inside the cabin. Passengers reported hearing heard three loud bangs before parts of the plane's interior began coming apart. Photos from inside the aircraft show debris on the seats and part of the planes interior shell damaged. The damage was limited to the interior shell of the aircraft and did not impact the plane's airworthiness. The flight crew went on to fly the plane to another location so the interior could be repaired.

Indonesia, Jakarta: An M-28 Skytruck with at least 12, including police officers and aircraft maintenance crew, on board crashed into the sea between Singapore and Indonesia. Search and rescue operations were activated by Singapore and the Indonesian navy deployed three ships and two patrol boats to conduct a recovery operation Fisherman discovered the wreckage.

13 DECEMBER 1951

Maj George Davis of the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron shoots down four MiG-15 s in a single day

George Andrew Davis, Jr. Photo Public Domain / commons.wikimedia.org

George Andrew Davis, Jr. (1 December 1920 - 10 February 1952) was a highly decorated fighter pilot and flying ace of the United States Army Air Forces in World War II, and later of the US Air Force during the Korean War. He was the only flying ace of the United States to be killed in action in Korea.

On 21 March 1942 Davis enlisted in the United States Army and on 3 June he was appointed an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps and started flight training on the Fairchild PT-19. He completed his training during February 1943 as a second lieutenant flying North America T-6 Texans with 314 hours total flight time.

Fairchild PT19. Photo Public / Domain commons.wikimedia.org

During his World War II Davis flew in 266 missions during WWII in the pacific. He was credited with the destruction of seven Japanese aircraft and was awarded the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and nine Air Medals.

It was in Korea that Davis showed his mettle when On 30 November 1952 during his 22nd combat mission his flight of eight F-86s spotted a large group of nine Tupolev Tu-2 bombers escorted by a force of 16 Lavochkin La-11 fighters. In spite of being separated from his wingmen and being continuously attacked by the La-11 fighters , he managed to destroy two of the bombers and cause the crew of a third to bail out.

North America F-86 Sabre. Photo Public Domain

On 13 December Davis whilst on a morning patrol was attacked by a group of MiG-15s. Davis destroyed two MiGs during the encounter bringing his tally to 10 victories and making him the first double ace of the Korean war. During the afternoon patrol commanding twenty-two F-86's, Davis spotted fifty MiGs in heading south towards the Taechon. Davis attacked and downed one MiG and then went to the aid of his wingman and shot down the MiG during the attack.

Photo © USAAF National Museum / commons.wikimedia.org

On February 10, 1952, Davis led a flight of four F-86s on a patrol near the Manchurian border they spotted a flight of 12 MiG-15s. He immediately flew behind the MiG-15 formation and attacked them from the rear and quickly destroyed two. Davis then moved to target a third MiG but as he was lining up when a MiG scored a direct hit on his fuselage. His aircraft spun out of control and Davis did not survive the crash.

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