Compiled by Willie Bodenstein


Message from the Aero Club Vice Chairman Marthinus Potgieter

I sincerely hope you are well and keeping safe. I thought it would be appropriate to follow up on our last communique and give some feedback about what the Exco has been busy with. As most of you are aware, we lodged an application to the Minister of Transport last Sunday requesting a relaxation under SA Covid Level 4 for us to be able to perform Aircraft Maintenance Flights. As some might have seen as a video clip has been doing the rounds on social media, the Director General of Transport announced that such flights will be approved.

We are fortunate to have been able to make direct contact with the Department of Transport and have submitted further detail regarding the request. We are awaiting their detailed instructions possibly later this week as to exactly how these flights will be conducted and as from when. The final approval will most probably appear in a Government Gazette or via a NOTAM. I must thank the Director and Senior Managers at SACAA for supporting this application and motivating it to DOT. Also, I must commend the individuals at DOT with whom I have been dealing as they have an extremely positive and proactive approach. We have highlighted the importance of lifting restrictions on AMO's, AME's and AP's as well as ferry flights to maintenance organisations and I am sure it will be considered. Please do not shoot the messenger if the situation changes as we have recently seen with the extended ban on cigarettes.

On Friday Rob completed another application that deals with Levels 3, 2 and 1 as part of an Industry group forum. This application was submitted to a private convener appointed by the Director of SACAA whom we support whole heartedly. This application deals with the introduction of relaxation of regulations for ATO's and instruction, and POSSIBLY some forms of recreation. This application forms part of a comprehensive industry view that aviation especially non-scheduled & GA is a controlled environment with a low risk profile where there is low people density in its operations, thus easier to manage, even by softening many activities to be able to take place under Level 4. There will be another Industry forum to be held this week to finalise the application.

I would like to thank all the Chairs of AeCSA Sections who responded at very short notice. We live in a different world and work on very critical timeframes. We want to say a big thank you to John, Rowena and the rest of the team at MISASA who gave us a very comprehensive SOP at very short notice. It was extremely heart-warming to see the humble and unselfish response of some sections and members who did not just consider their own selfish needs but had an objective view of the bigger picture - thank you. I am proud to be part of individuals like that. Also, we want to express our sincere appreciation to Kev Storie and the CAASA team for continuously sharing information with us.

We will keep you informed as all these scenarios play out. Please be patient and responsible; the AeCSA Exco is trying their level best and spends many hours working to obtain relaxation for the recreation industry.

I will be requesting information regarding your insurance requirements as it has become my portfolio and I will be engaging with Dennis Jankelouw's representative regarding group benefits so please formulate what the AeCSA can do for you and your section in this area. I will also engage with other specialists in this field.

Best Regards
Marthinus Potgieter
(Vice Chairman)


In line with advice from public health organisations and government legislation that prohibits all events with more than fifty people, aviation events advertised on Pilot's Post will most likely be cancelled or postponed. Those planning to attend or participate in any of these events are advised to contact the event organisers direct for confirmation.

5 to 10: Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo. Lakeland, Florida, USA. Website: www.flysnf.org
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled.

6: EAA Chapter 322 Monthly Meeting.

Hi fellow EAA'ers,

I hope you are all bearing up under this crazy period we are going through. The uncertainty and not knowing what or when things are going to change is probably the most frustrating! When we will be able to fly again is anybody's guess but we all know that there are some members doing good work out there to help in keeping our airplanes maintained.

This coming week, as with a many EAA Chapters around the world, we will be hosting our first virtual meeting. I have been invited to join in on a few Chapter meetings in the USA, and so it would be nice to have a few EAA members from across the pond join us!

Our 322 meeting is scheduled for 18h00 on Wednesday 6th May. It will be a virtual meeting through an APP called ZOOM. This has been selected as it is easy and free for members to access and it is relatively easy to use on your Computer, ipad or phone - wherever you are. Wednesday evenings meeting will feature;

18h00 Open Meeting with Chapter Business
(Finance, Birthdays and New memberships viewed HERE)
Rob Jonkers, Aeroclub and negotiations with DOT / SACAA
Peter Lastrucci, Engines after a long lockdown
Karl Jensen, Operation Life Flight
18h40 Break and reopen meeting
Michael Boer Presentation

• Rob Jonkers : Updates us on current negotiations with DOT as regard to aircraft maintenance and maintenance flights during lockdown
• Peter Lastrucci : Advice on how to treat your engine after a long lay-off period
• MACH Program : Explanation of scoring system and "Supersonic" Status
• Operation Life Flight : Karl Jensen updates us on this wonderful initiative
• Michael Boer : Lecturer for aircraft design and performance estimation in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering at Wits University. Climbing through history: The aircraft climb has not been correctly explained in most texts on aircraft performance. The explanations given will be unpacked to explain why they are not adequate and why some are incorrect. The audience will be taken on a journey through light aircraft performance modelling that explains climb simply and adequately.

Look forward to meeting virtually on Wednesday evening.

Stay home and stay safe!
Best regards
Neil Bowden
Chapter 322

8 to 10: 20th Battlefields fly-in to Dundee KZN
Contact Dave O'Halloran E-mail: gm@battlefieldslodge.co.za Cell: 079 496 5286
Postponed due to COVID 19 new date to be confirmed.

9: SAAF Museum Airshow at AFB Zwartkop. Contact Mark Kelbrick Cell 082 413 7577 E-mail: markkelbrick@yahoo.com
Postponed due to COVID 19 new date to be confirmed.

16: The Coves annual fly-in closed event by invitation only. Contact JP Fourie E-mail: jp.fourie@nac.co.za Cell: 083 625 4804
Provisionally cancelled due to COVID 19. A new date may be set.

12 to 15: NAMPO Harvest Day at NAMPO Part outside Bothaville. Contact Bennie Zaayman, Wim Venter: E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za Cell 082 414 8099
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been re-scheduled for 11 to 14 August 2020

23: EAA AGM at the EAA Auditorium Rand Airport. Contact Sean Cronin E-mail: sean@glutek.co.za Cell: 083 447 9895

23 to 24: SAC Eastern Cape Regionals Wings Park, East London. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

22 to 24: SAPFA President's Trophy Air Race at Ermelo airfield. Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: chairman@sapfa.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032 Website: www.sapfa.co.za E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled but will be reviewed later in the year.

30: Botswana International Airshow at Matsieng Flying Club. Contact E-mail: hentie@dwddrilling.com Cell: +267 713 10935
Provisionally cancelled due to COVID 19. A new date may be set.

31: Fly-Mo fund raising breakfast fly-in at Springs airfield. Contact Fanie Bezuidenhout E-mail: ansan@tiscali.co.za Cell: 083 789 5507
Due to COVID-19 this event has been postponed to a date later in the year.

3: EAA Chapter 322 Monthly Meeting.

5 and 6: Newcastle Airshow. Contact Johan Pieters E-mail: Johan@champ.co.za Cell: 082 923 0078
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been re-scheduled to 3 and 4 October 2020.

3 to 7: Zim Navex Prince Charles Airport, Harare. Contact Marion Kalweit E-mail: zimairrally@gmail.com Tel +26 377 257 0009

6: SAAF Museum AFB Zwartkop Open and practice day

9 & 10: Aviation Mena 2020 Hilton Cairo Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt. Contact Alison Weller E-mail: alison@accessgroup.aero Web: www.aviationmena.aero
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been re-scheduled to 18 and 19 October 2020.

13: Maputo Air Land and Sea Airshow. Contact Gavin Neil E-mail: airshow@acm.co.mz

13: SAPFA Silver Queen Air Rally AFB Zwartkops. Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032

15 to 19: SAC National Championships New Tempe - Bloemfontein. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

20: SAC full day Airshow New Tempe - Bloemfontein. Contact Conrad Botha E-mail: rowco24cc@mailbox.co.za Cell: 082 465 4045

1: CAASA Symposium venue TBA. Sam Keddle E-mail: office@caasa.co.za Tel: 011 659 2345

2 to 4: AERO South Africa Wonderboom National Airport, Pretoria. Annelie Reynolds Tel +27 10 599 6150 Website: www.aerosouthafrica.com or Amanda Dube: E-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled for 2020. New dates 8-10 July 2021

10 - 11: EAA Taildraggers at Warmbaths airfield. Richard Nicholson E-mail: flybenchmark@gmail.com Cell: 082 490 6227

12 to 17: BAFSA South African Hot Air Balloon Championships.Bill Harrop's, Skeerpoort, North West Province. South Africa. Contact Richard Bovell e-mail: chairman@bafsa.co.za

11- 12: Flying Legends United Kingdom. Website: www.flyinglegends.com Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled

17 - 18: SAPFA Speed Rally at Thabazimbi airfield. Jonty Esser E-mail: jonty@promptroofing.co.za Cell: 082 855 9435.
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled.

17 to 19: Royal International Air Tattoo United Kingdom. Website: www.airtattoo.com
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled.

20 to 24: Farnborough Airshow United Kingdom five-day trade show - no public days
Website: www.farnboroughairshow.com
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled.

22 July to 1 August: SAC Advanced World Champs -
Malelane Airport, Malelane. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

21: CAASA AGM at CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: office@caasa.co.za Tel: 011 659 2345

20 to 26: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: calvin@designer.co.za
Due to the COVID 19 this event has been cancelled.

23-25 Brits Rally Nationals 23 - 25 July 2020. Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za Cell: 083 269 1516

8 to 10: SAPFA Rally Training Camp - Brits Aerodrome. Contact Mary de Klerk e-mail: maryd@expandingbranding.co.za cell: 084 880 9000

22: ASSA - Bethlehem Airshow.
Contact Stephan Fourie at fouriesj1491@gmail.com

21-22: Bethlehem Speed Rally - replaces FAKR ANR. Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: jonty@promptroofing.co.za Cell: 082 855 9435

6: Rand Airport Airshow

11 t0 13: SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally #6.
Secunda Airfield, Secunda, Contact Rob Jonkers e-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za cell: 082 804 7032

16 to 20 AAD - Waterkloof Air Force Base

24: Great Train Race and Fly-in. Heidelberg Airfield
Contact Van Zyl SchultzE-mail: vzs@mweb.co.za Cell: 082 5602275

26: Garden Route Airshow. Contact Brett Scheuble E-mail: info@gardenrouteairshow.co.za Cell: 084 418 3836

3-4: SAC WC Regionals - Swellendam. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

3: SAPFA Witbank Fun Rally. Witbank Airport.
Contact Rob Jonkers 082 804 7032 rob@aerosud.co.za

24-25: SAC Judges Trophy - Tzaneen. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

8 to 14: Training week WFRC 2020, Stellenbosch.
Contact Mary de Klerk, Cell 0848809000, Email maryd@expandingbranding.co.za

16 to 21: World Rally Flying Championships 2020.
Stellenbosch. Contact Mary de Klerk, Cell 0848809000, Email maryd@expandingbranding.co.za

27- 28: SAPFA Springs Speed Rally. Springs Airfield.
Contact Jonty Esser e-mail: jonty@promptroofing.co.za cell: 082 855 9435

5: AeCSA Aero Club of SA Annual Awards. Rand Airport, Main Terminal Building, Rand Airport Rd, Germiston.
Contact Sandra Strydom, email: sandra@aeroclub.org.za Tel: 011 082 1100

5-6: SAC Ace of Base - Vereeniging. Baragwanath Airfield.
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

The 68th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention was scheduled to be held on July 20-26, 2020.

"We looked at every possibility over the past six weeks as to how EAA could move forward with AirVenture this year, because it is such an important reunion for the aviation community," said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. "The current status in Wisconsin is that it is still under a stay at home order until May 26, which completely eliminates our ability to start ground preparation May 1. The reopening of the state also has no specific dates, creating uncertainty about mass gatherings in July. Ultimately, preserving the health and safety of all who would attend - and all the varying guidelines between states and countries from where our participants arrive - along with the massive commitments needed now for an event to meet EAA's high standards, made cancellation the only option for this year."

All pre-sold AirVenture 2020 admissions and camping reservations can be rolled over to the 2021 event or are eligible for refund. Those who have made such purchases will be contacted individually within the next two weeks regarding these options.

"Those of us involved in aviation know very well the importance of information gathering and planning prior to any flight, and I looked at AirVenture in much the same way before reaching this decision," Pelton said. "While no one can see every eventuality, as we looked as the scenarios for holding the event in 2020, it was dependent on a number of important factors where there are currently no definitive answers. That is not the way to commit to an event that welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to Oshkosh from more than 90 countries.

"There is no way to describe the disappointment I feel for everyone who sees AirVenture as aviation's family reunion each year. You can be assured that EAA is already eagerly looking forward to gathering along the AirVenture flight line on July 26 through August 1 in 2021."

"Notwithstanding the initial signs of progress in the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that the safety and health of our racers, their crews, our volunteers and staff are paramount and that rescheduling these training and recurrent practice sessions to September is in everyone's best interests," said Fred Telling, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. "The uncertainty surrounding the safety of gatherings of over ten people as well as travel restrictions in less than two months has led us to proactively adjust our plans to provide the participants time to adjust theirs."

By moving PRS to early September, just prior to the planned 57th STIHL National Championship Air Races, organizers hope the burden on the new racers and those who return to practice is diminished and they will have more time to assess the situation as it evolves.

For pilots interested in PRS, the Reno Air Racing Association is extending the deadline for applications and all documents to June 30. Applications for the 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races will be available June 15 and should be submitted by July 15.

The 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races, set for Sept. 16-20, are just 20 minutes north of downtown Reno. For more information visit AirRace.org

The one-of-a-kind event returns Sept. 16-20, 2020 with head-to-head air racing, civilian and military flight demonstrations, static aircraft displays, food, drink and plenty of vendors to peruse.

"Fans are in for a real treat this year. We are thrilled to feature the full demonstration of the F-35," said Tony Logoteta, RARA Chief Operating Officer. "It's truly a performance to remember that will give fans a glimpse of the incredible capabilities of the world's most advanced fighter jet."

The F-35A is the world's most advanced multirole stealth fighter, boasting 43,000 pounds of thrust reaching up to Mach 1.6 (about 1,200 mph). The demonstration profile will last approximately 18 minutes and feature the jet's extreme agility, speed and manoeuvrability.

The demonstration team is part of the 388th Fighter Wing out of Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The 388th Fighter Wing is currently the Air Force's first combat-ready operational F-35 wing in the service. The team is made up of approximately 15 Airmen, to include the pilot, wingmen, maintenance and public affairs Airmen.

The 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races are just 20 minutes north of downtown Reno. Attendees can witness the fastest motorsport in the world as seven racing classes go head-to-head, plus aerobatic demonstrations and one-of-a-kind static displays.

The parties had planned to create a joint venture comprising Embraer's commercial aviation business and a second joint venture to develop new markets for the C-390 Millennium medium airlift and air mobility aircraft.

Under the MTA, April 24, 2020, was the initial termination date, subject to extension by either party if certain conditions were met. Boeing exercised its rights to terminate after Embraer did not satisfy the necessary conditions.

"Boeing has worked diligently over more than two years to finalize its transaction with Embraer. Over the past several months, we had productive but ultimately unsuccessful negotiations about unsatisfied MTA conditions. We all aimed to resolve those by the initial termination date, but it didn't happen," said Marc Allen, president of Embraer Partnership & Group Operations. "It is deeply disappointing. But we have reached a point where continued negotiation within the framework of the MTA is not going to resolve the outstanding issues."

The planned partnership between Boeing and Embraer had received unconditional approval from all necessary regulatory authorities, with the exception of the European Commission.

Boeing and Embraer will maintain their existing Master Teaming Agreement, originally signed in 2012 and expanded in 2016, to jointly market and support the C-390 Millennium military aircraft.

All six helicopters were ordered on behalf of YiFei General Aviation Company which specializes in helicopter management, operation and training. YiFei has been using Robinsons since 2016. Impressed by the helicopters' performance, the company elected to purchase additional R22s and the R44 Cadets, bringing its current Robinson fleet to nine.

YiFei President, Qian JiYun stated his goal is to provide students with the most technologically advanced training helicopters in China. YiFei's Chief Pilot, Li ZhiYu believes the Cadets will allow students to transition easily into larger helicopters.

Robinson Helicopter Company along with its international dealer network is proud to further the advancement of flight training by providing high quality, reliable helicopters to flight schools around the world.

Leonardo announced that the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Florida, a Federal Aviation Administration certificated air carrier in southern Florida also known as Trauma Hawk-has signed a contract to purchase two light-intermediate AW169 helicopters.

Palm Beach County is the largest county by area in Florida with more than 2,300 square miles. The district maintains a well-organized instrument flight rules (IFR) infrastructure combining special instrument approaches and transition routing plus an extensive FAA approved IFR pilot training program to provide service during inclement weather. The AW169 is also equipped with Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) GPS, a precise navigational aid, to further enhance safe approaches and landings during low visibility.

The AW169 features a spacious 222 cubic ft. cabin-similar in size to models in the intermediate weight category-with flexible interior layouts providing 360-degree patient access essential for critical care. Capable of rapid patient transport, Trauma Hawk's custom medical configured cabin will enable the highest quality of care and meet the most recent US helicopter air ambulance standards for safety and operability. The helicopters will be the first from Leonardo to feature a longitudinal roll-on stretcher system to minimize workload and patient movement during loading and unloading.

With more power and range than competing light-intermediate twin helicopters, the AW169 can travel up to 440 nautical miles, boasts a top speed at 160 knots and climb to 14,500 feet. Latest generation avionics includes a four-axis, dual-duplex digital automatic flight control system and a full night vision goggle (NVG) compatible digital glass cockpit with three 8-inch by 10-inch displays. Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) mode allows the AW169 cabin to stay "power on" with rotor blades stopped creating a safe, quiet and comfortable environment for care and setting a new standard for helicopter EMS operations.

With orders for over 220 AW169s placed by customers worldwide for a range of missions, the type has already been chosen by rescue and parapublic operators in several nations including Italy, UK, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States.

The aircraft from the two demonstration squadrons flew in formation over New York and Newark beginning at noon. The formation was set to fly over Trenton, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

"We are incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to salute those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 response, we are in awe of your strength and resilience," said Navy Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader. "Thank you to all of those in essential industries keeping our nation moving forward. We will get through this. We are all in this together."

Luckily, the Volusia County Sherriff's Office Bell 407 was already in the air and on the scene in minutes. Pilot Dean Balmforth and flight paramedic John Oldham deliver the patient to Halifax Health Medical Center and add another successful medevac mission to their history.

With swamps, wetlands and a population of more than 550,000 residents, keeping Volusia County, Florida safe and connected to resources is a full-time mission that requires airborne support. Which is why the airborne unit owns and operates three Bell 407s. "There's a critical need because we are such a large county," Capt. Erik Eagan said. "In order to get to that golden hour and get you to the hospital for emergency treatment, we really need this resource. There's a huge benefit to having this resource also for law enforcement, being able to follow fleeing vehicles. . . . It's just an awesome tool that we use."

An ideal platform for helicopter emergency medical services and law enforcement support, the Bell 407 is known for its reliability and consistency. "The 407 is an excellent aircraft," said Chief Pilot, Greg Brooks. "They're very forgiving aircraft. They're very durable." This law enforcement team manages to keep at least one Bell 407 ready to go at all times. "It's extremely rare that we do not have an aircraft available," said Brooks. "I can probably count on one hand over the last 25 years where that's happened."

Whether reaching kayakers stuck in swamp to providing medical support to neighbouring counties, the Volusia County Sherriff's Office has a Bell 407 ready to get the job done.

Still, business jet demand remained strong in the quarter and the backlog "has held up nicely," according to General Dynamics chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic. However, Gulfstream logged four customer cancellations in the quarter.

Gulfstream manufactured 34 aircraft in the first quarter but could deliver only 23-20 large-cabin and three midsize jets-due to international travel restrictions, compared with 34 deliveries (27 large cabins and seven midsize) in the same period a year ago. Novakovic said the remaining 11 aircraft will be shipped to customers when travel restrictions are lifted. "Customers definitely still want them, and they will be delivered as soon as we can," she noted.

Backlog has remained flat year-over-year and book-to-bill was 1.1:1 in the quarter, according to Novakovic. Though she stressed that demand is still strong, sales are currently difficult to consummate because demo flights, in-person sales calls, and in-person contract negotiations are on hold during the Covid-19 crisis. Novakovic does expect sales to spike post-crisis, however.

Meanwhile, supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic have prompted Gulfstream to cut its projected deliveries this year from 150 aircraft to between 125 and 130.

The pilot and the co-pilot were killed when the Air Tindi King Air turboprop plane crashed into the bush at more than 700 km/h in January 2019. The plane was on a scheduled run from Yellowknife to two small communities and the Ekati diamond mine. Before leaving, the report says, the plane's co-pilot noticed one of its attitude indicators wasn't working. The report indicates the pilot said the instrument would start working once the flight was underway and it had warmed up. It never did. As the plane, flying on autopilot, approached Wha Ti, its second attitude indicator stopped working. That automatically shut off the autopilot, which forced the pilot to resume manual control while flying through heavy cloud. It is likely at this stage that the captain experienced unrecognized spatial disorientation. The flight path indicates the pilot tried to correct his error when the plane left the clouds about 700 metres above the ground. The aircraft left a trail of debris through the trees nearly a kilometre long. The accident was not survivable.

USA, Blake Field Airport: A Rans S-12 Airaile ultralight with the sole pilot on board impacted airport terrain at Blake Field Airport, Delta, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured.

Poland, Piotrków Trybunalski: An engine failure probably caused an emergency landing of a Zenair CH-601 UL Zodiac ultralight aircraft. The incident occurred near the Piotrków Trybunalski Airport the base of the Aeroclub Piotrkowska. The aircraft failed to reach the runway and had to land in a field near the airport. The pilot survived.

Bolivia, Suárez lagoon, near Teniente Jorge Henrich Arauz: A Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron of the Bolivian Air Force with six on board crashed following a loss of engine power. The pilot was attempting returning to
Teniente Jorge Henrich Arauz Airport, the point of departure when the aircraft impacted swampy terrain at Suárez lagoon. The two pilots and four Spanish passengers perished and the aircraft was destroyed by fire.

USA, Harris County, Texas: A MD Helicopters MD 500E (369E) of the Houston Police Department with two on board crashed into an unoccupied building in an apartment complex. Both police officers were injured and had to be cut from the wreckage. One police observer died about four hours later from the injuries sustained in the crash.

USA, Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport: a de Havilland DH-4, the only flying original DH-4 plane in the world operated by Saving Liberty DH4 LLC with only the pilot on board impacted the terrain at Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport, Bowling Green, Kentucky. The vintage biplane sustained substantial damage and the sole pilot onboard received minor injuries.

South Korea: Mount Jiri, Sacheon, Sancheong County: A Sikorsky S-76B firefighting / SAR helicopter operated by Sejin Aviation carrying 5 crew crashed on Mount Jiri, South Korea while hoisting a casualty (a mountain climber who is reported to have suffered a heart attack). A second climber was on the ground below. The five persons sustained minor injuries but the two climbers died.

Didier Delsalle joined the French Air Force in 1979 as a fighter pilot. Two years later he became a helicopter pilot, participating in search and rescue operations for the next ten years. Delsalle was then hired by Eurocopter, the world's largest helicopter supplier and a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, as chief test pilot.

On 14 May 2005 in the early morning Delsalle, set the world record for highest altitude landing of a helicopter when his Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel touched down on the 8,848 m (29,029 ft) summit of Mount Everest. The flight and the summit landing were captured by a battery of cameras and other equipment to validate the record. After sitting on top of the world for 3 minutes and 50 seconds, Delsalle lifted off and returned to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla, Nepal.

Delsalle used a virtually standard version of the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel B3, only removing unnecessary elements, such as passenger seats, to reduce the standard weight by 120 kg (265 lb) and thus extend the 1-hour fuel range.

This accomplishment had required extensive testing on site, especially because of the low atmospheric pressure available for the helicopter rotors, winds of over 299 km/h (186 mph) at these altitudes and oxygen depletion for both Delsalle and his helicopter's engine. Delsalle had to find areas of downdrafts and updrafts to complete the flight. Delsalle repeated the Everest summit landing the next day, May 15, 2005, to prove that the previous day had not been simple luck.

Midweek Update

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