Plan Your Weekend……..Forthcoming Events…….Aviation News

Worldwide Incidents and Accidents……This Week in Aviation History

21-22: SAC Free State Regionals. Tempe airfield. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

21 Durban Wings Club Fun Rally. Virginia Airport. Frank Eckard 083 269 1516

3rd Saturday of every month. Microland. Bring and braai. Fires and bykos provided. Fires start from 09h30. Contact person: Nick Swardt 082 441 8011 or Alan Hussey 072 82 2341

24-26: African Airshow. Kotoka International Airport Ghana. Contact Jade Myburgh at +971 2 4192714 Website:

28: Fly for Fodder fund raiser for our farmers at FAKR. For more information contact 082 441 6988

28: Nelspruit authentic Oktoberfest combined with aerial displays. For more information go to: lowveldairshow.co.za/oktoberfest2017

29: Wonderboom National Airport Fly in. Avgas at R10.00 per litre (Max 150L) Jet A1 at R5.00 per Litre (Max 150L) . Registration is essential. Register at www.waig.co.za

27,28 & 29: Oudshoorn Aeroclub Fly in. Braais, Fly-outs, live music, free shuttle service no landing fees and discount on Avgas. Contact Morne Jonker 062 429 5614 mornejonker @rocketmail.com

27-29: Palala Boutique Game Lodge weekend fly in. Directions 06/24 Airstrip is 1200 meters long, with 150 meters paved with hard rolled gravel in between 2700 ft. above sea level. S23 06 16 E027 52 49. Contact Elizabeth Olivier E-mail: marketing5@fusionhotel.co.za Cell: 072 320 4406 or

8: EAA Chapter 322 meeting. Dicky Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact: editor@afskies.co.za

4: SAAF Museum AFB Zwartkop open practise day

4: Aero Club of South Africa annual awards evening. Contact: Sandra Strydom Tel: 011 082 1100 E-mail:

4: Volksrust Breakfast Run. Braai and Hangar dance. Overnight at one of the guests houses. A shuttle service will be available. Please RSVP Robert Jacobs at Whatsup 082 907 4917 and indicate whether you will need Mogas and how much.

10-11: Peter Hengst Memorial Adventure Rally Brits EAA Adventure Rally-Brits. Contact Rob Jonkers 082 804 7032 rob@aerosud.co.za for Rally information and entries and Trixiie Heron editor@afskies.co.za for EAA

18: Baragwanath Fun Rally. Contact Frank Eckard 083 269 1516 frank.eckard@mweb.co.za

3rd Saturday of every month. Microland. Bring and braai. Fires and bykos provided. Fires start from 09h30. Contact person: Nick Swardt 082 441 8011 or Alan Hussey 072 82 2341

2: SAAF Museum AFB Zwartkop open practise day

2-3: SAC Ace of Base Vereeniging. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

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

9: SAAF Silver Falcons 50th anniversary airshow. AFB Langebaanweg, Western Cape.

3rd Saturday of every month. Microland. Bring and braai. Fires and bykos provided. Fires start from 09h30. Contact person: Nick Swardt 082 441 8011 or Alan Hussey 072 82 2341

28: FACF Fly in. ST Francis Airpark. Reserve date of 29 December in case of bad weather. All welcome, food and beverages will be available. Contact Barry Culligan mailto:barry@otto.co.za

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Photos © NBBA-BACE

NBAA brought to a close its 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), and organizers reported the event was an all-around success. "This year's show was special in many ways," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We celebrated NBAA's 70th anniversary and how our industry is stronger when we work together. We gathered in the company of aviation leaders and legends, like Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger and Captain Jim Lovell. We saw the launch of exciting new products, and we brought a citywide convention to Las Vegas, which the city welcomed with open arms."

Ranked as the sixth largest trade show in the United States, the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) was held on 10-12 October 2017, in Las Vegas, NV, bringing together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished.

NBAA this year celebrated its 70th anniversary with a look back at business aviation history. Visitors to the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) outdoor static display at Henderson Executive Airport got to see several vintage aircraft from the earliest days of business aviation, including the ground breaking Douglas DC-3.

Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell before NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) Opening General Session, where the aerospace legend expressed his optimism for the future of aviation: "There's a lot of young people who are still very much interested in all aspects of aviation - we ought to encourage them to keep going." Lovell also shared thoughts on Elon Musk's SpaceX program and the benefits and challenges of aircraft automation.

Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 member companies of all sizes located across the country. NBAA provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show.


Photo © Daher.

Daher announced the roll-out of its 200th TBM 900-series very fast turboprop aircraft since the introduction of this upgraded family in March 2014. The milestone airplane, serial number 1200, is a TBM 910 version to be received this week by Cutter Aviation in San Antonio - a Daher-authorized TBM distributor for the U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

Daher's TBM 900 family - its sixth evolution from the original TBM 700 configuration - is the latest evolution of the company's very fast turboprop concept, offered today in two production versions: the TBM 930, with Garmin's G3000 integrated flight deck and touch screen controls; and the TBM 910, with Garmin next-generation G1000 NXi avionics technology replacing the original G1000 avionics suite.

These developments come together with passenger comfort refinements, incorporating the new seat style introduced in 2017, as well as the Elite Privacy option for a quick-change lavatory compartment in the TBM's aft fuselage.

Both current TBM 930 and TBM 910 production models retain the basic characteristics of the TBM 900, which evolved from a four-year development program, integrating 26 modifications to improve efficiency and deliver superior performance without increasing fuel consumption or engine power. They include airframe aerodynamic optimization through the addition of winglets, along with the integration of a vertical tailfin strake and new tail cone; the use of a five-blade composite propeller and redesigned spinner; as well as a completely revamped electrical system.

The human-machine interface also was improved through the use of an ergonomic control yoke featuring new functions; a restyled cockpit panel for increased visibility and interaction with secondary system controls; and a revised cockpit center pedestal containing a single-control throttle, associated with a new torque limiter that enables the use of 850 hp. at takeoff.

"This 200th aircraft's roll-out is proof that our TBM 900-series aircraft are not only the fastest single-engine turboprop airplanes, they are the fastest-selling TBMs ever - with 200 aircraft produced in less than four years," commented Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher's Airplane Business Unit.

Chabbert said the TBM 900-series' impressive sales success builds on continual development efforts, with improvements that make it the ultimate very fast turboprop aircraft. "Further contributing to the TBM's value is the dedication of the teams at Daher and its partners in meeting customers' expectations," he added.


A KC-46A Pegasus tanker is refuelled by a second KC-46 for the first time as seen from the tanker's air refuelling operator station. During the flight the two aircraft successfully refuelled each other and transferred a total of 38.100 pounds of fuel. Photo © Boeing.

A Boeing [NYSE: BA]-U.S. Air Force test team recently refuelled a KC-46A tanker from another KC-46A tanker for the first time.

During the four-hour flight, the two aircraft successfully refuelled each other and achieved the maximum fuel offload rate of 1,200 gallons per minute. The program's first and second tankers transferred a total of 38,100 pounds of fuel over the course of the flight. Both aircraft took off and landed at Boeing Field, south of Seattle.

The milestone flight helps pave the way for the next phases of certification and specification compliance testing.

The KC-46 will refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft using both its boom and hose and drogue systems. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the plane's hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane's wing and centreline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.

To date, the program's test aircraft have completed 2,000 flight hours and more than 1,300 contacts during refuelling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10 and KC-10 aircraft.


Photo © MD Helicopters

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced that it has been awarded a 5-year, firm-fixed price Contract to provide an estimated quantity of 150 armed MD 530 aircraft and the required production support services, including program management, delivery support, pilot training, and maintenance, to U.S. and Partner Nation Army Aviation Forces in support of U.S. Army foreign military sales (FMS) opportunities.

The Contract has an estimated completion date of Sep. 30, 2022 and a potential value of $1,385,497,987. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is the contracting agency (W58RGZ-17-D-0089).

The first Deliveries under the Contract will be thirty (30) new MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters for the Afghan Air Force. Valued at $176.6 million, these first aircraft will be configured with MDHI's newly certified Block 1 glass cockpit, featuring the Howell Instruments Engine Instrumentation System, Garmin GDU 620 Electronic Flight Instruments, Garmin GTN 650H Communication/Navigation/Global Positioning System (COM/NAV/GPS), and Northern Airborne Technology Cabin Audio System.

Mission Equipment for these aircraft will include a ballistic crash worthy fuel system, consisting of a main fuel tank and a 38-gallon Auxiliary Fuel Tank, high capacity landing gear, FN Herstal Weapons Management System, DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) weapons plank and Fixed-Forward Sighting System, Rohde & Schwarz M3AR Tactical Mission Radio, and FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods and M260 7-shot rocket pods.

"The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has been a proven performer in support of ground operations and in the execution of close air support interactions since it first arrived in Kabul," Tilton continues. "It is extremely gratifying to see that our focus on quality, technology, and rapid delivery has resulted in such a significant contract; one that solidifies MDHI's position as a preferred provider of armed scout attack helicopter solutions."

Aircraft deliveries on the initial Contract Delivery Order will be complete by September 2019


Photo © S. Kervella/Airbus.

Marignane, The third H160 prototype (PT3) performed its maiden flight at the company's headquarters this afternoon. PT3, with its cabin interior configuration similar to that of a serial aircraft, will contribute to certification activities and flight testing to ensure the aircraft's level of maturity ahead of entry into service in 2019.

"The third prototype incorporates a significant amount of modifications based on feedback resulting from the first two years of testing by development, production and support teams" said Bernard Fujarski, Senior Vice President, Head of H160 programme. "It plays an essential role in delivering a mature aircraft at entry into service and it is also closer to the serial definition with its interior lining and transport cabin configuration" he added.

The first two prototypes have clocked more than 500 flight hours since the model's maiden flight in June 2015. In that time, the flight envelope has already been fully tested and the domain has been opened. The remaining development activity, for example complementary hot weather testing, antennas, and optional equipment will be done using all three aircraft.

The helicopter's final assembly line in Marignane is in the final stages of preparation and will be ready to start serial production shortly. Customer support activities are being prepared in parallel thanks to the extensive involvement of maintenance teams, through the "operator zero campaign", using the prototypes and test means to check and improve the maintenance plan, digital work cards and technical documentation, and tooling etc. ahead of actual operations.

The first version to enter service in 2019 will be the passenger transport one - commercial air transport or Oil and Gas, followed by the emergency medical services (EMS) version.


Photo © Vitaly Kuzmin / commons.wikimedia.org.

You may recall the innovative design of the Marenco Swisshelicopter SKYe SH09 - the light helicopter with the double doors at the tail section and large sliding door entry for the glass cockpit - and wonder what is happening with the Swiss project. The answer is a whole lot. The company announced last week it is making good progress on the development and testing program and is on track for type certification by the end of next year with deliveries beginning in 2019.

Marenco recently rolled out the third prototype for the multi-mission helicopter. The second prototype has accumulated 50 hours of flight testing, with more than 100 hours of rotor testing including the ground test. Plans call for a fourth prototype to roll out at the beginning of next year.

A Honeywell HTS900-2 engine powers the SKYe to speeds of around 145 knots. The rotor consists of five composite blades, which Marenco claims are low maintenance, have low vibration, and result in low lifecycle costs. The tail rotor is shrouded for reduced noise and increased safety, and the tail boom is mounted high for good access to the rear entry doors. The SH09 is designed to seat up to eight people.

The number of employees has increased by nearly 57 percent in the past year. There are currently 213 people on the payroll, the majority of who are engineers. The ramp up of personnel will continue to support the start of serial production. A nearly 41,000 sq ft production facility, with space for administration, training and product support, opened in Mollis, Switzerland this year, with a logistics and pre-assembly center in the neighboring town of Näfels. Another administration and construction facility will open by the end of the year in Wetzikon, about 26 miles northwest of Mollis.

France, Paris: French investigators are preparing for an intricate operation to repatriate an Air France Airbus A380 passenger jet that was forced to make an emergency landing in Canada after one of its engines came apart in mid-flight. The Airbus superjumbo diverted to Goose Bay in Labrador on Sept. 30 making the roughly 2,300 nautical mile (4,260 km) trip will need a switch in engines to help the mammoth jet fly smoothly. First, the rump of the broken engine will be taken off the wing then a spare engine will be mounted on the right wing in the same outer position as the damaged one. But this will only be used to balance the weight during flight and that engine will not be operable.

Bulgaria, Sofia: A Thomson Airways Boeing 737-800 on a flight from Newcastle, UK to Larnaca, Cyprus was en-route at FL370 about 110nm northwest of Sofia, Bulgaria when the crew initiated a diversion to Sofia reporting a sick passenger on board. The aircraft landed safely on Sofia's runway where paramedics went to the cockpit, wheeled one of the pilots out of the cockpit, took him to an ambulance and took him away.

Canada, Québec City: A Beechcraft A100 King Air operated by SkyJet was struck by a drone while 7 miles out and at 2400 feet inbound to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City. The aircraft landed safely.

Cote d'Ivoire, Abidjan-Felix Houphouet Boigny Airport: An Antonov An-26-100 cargo plane impacted the shoreline, while on final approach to runway 03 at Abidjan-Felix Houphouet Boigny Airport, Cote d'Ivoire. The aircraft came down in the sea, about 650 meters short of the threshold of runway 03. The aircraft broke in three upon impact. The aircraft was chartered by the French Army. On board were six Moldovan crew members and four French army personnel, part of the anti-terrorist operation Barkhane. Four crew members died in the accident.

16 OCTOBER 1992

Flt Lt Nicky Smith, graduated from 89 Course at Shawbury to become the RAF's first female helicopter pilot

Smith was born in Colchester in 1969 and studied aeronautical engineering at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where she joined Cambridge University Air Squadron in 1986. She was the first female RAF helicopter pilot and in 2002 she became the first female RAF officer to take command of a flying squadron.[

Re-graded from acting pilot officer to pilot officer on 15 July 1989, she passed out from the RAF College Cranwell in 1990 with the Sash of Merit as best female cadet. She was promoted flying officer on 15 January 1990 and in November 1990 she transferred from the Engineer Branch to the General Duties Branch as aircrew, becoming one of the first female trainee pilots in the RAF.

Smit was promoted flight lieutenant on 15 January 1992. She went to RAF Swinderby for elementary flying training, returned to Cranwell for basic flying training, and then went to RAF Shawbury, where she became the first woman in the RAF to qualify as a helicopter pilot in October 1992. She became a search and rescue pilot flying Westland Sea Kings, initially with 22 Squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey and then with 202 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, flying more than 250 missions. She was promoted squadron leader in 1999 and, after several ground jobs at Cranwell, she trained on Westland Wessex helicopters with 72 Squadron at RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland before being posted to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to take command of 84 Squadron in 2002.

She retired from the RAF in September 2006, although keeping her ties with the service by joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) as a flying officer, and taught mathematics at Felsted School until September 2007, when she joined CHC Helicopter as business development manager and Soteria Search and Rescue as transition manager. In April 2011, she joined Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance as a pilot.

Midweek Update

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