Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



The Aero Club has engaged with the CAA in the last week to cover a number of topics of interest to the Recreational Aviation community, and particularly pertinent as we are returning to some sort of normalcy in our flying operations, and to start recovering from the burdens imposed during the higher levels of lockdown.

Very much at he forefront of discussions has been the processing delays experienced by our members on ATF and Licencing renewals hampered by office closures at the CAA during lockdown. The Aero Club did engage with the CAA in late July based on inputs received from a general member request on ATF renewal experiences, which lead to meetings held in this last week.

The Airworthiness dept has made significant changes to the process of handling ATF renewals, firstly that ATF applications are being dealt with by inspectors directly instead of currency fee officers, and that they are working to return to the promulgated turnaround times for ATF processing. Digital signing is also now being carried out for printing, where an emailed digital copy is acceptable document until the original has been received by post/courier/collection. Furthermore the Aero Club which has been offering a Membership Support Initiative for the last year in assisting in ATF & NPL renewals will now be enhancing this Initiative to a more digital process similar to the process that was developed during lockdown for the maintenance preservation flights - which should improve the quality of submitted documentation and quicker turnarounds.

The CAA is also due to release their long awaited General Aviation Safety Strategy (GASS) on the 11th of September. The overall strategy will cover "Regulatory Empowerment" where a devolution of powers of safety oversight be made at primary levels which should result in more cost effective operation, and "Community Responsibility" where regulatory measures are adapted to bring about more proportionality in aviation governance will place more responsibility on the GA community. In short - there will be more self-governance of our activities. This will lead to an amendment of part 149 in the coming months with a focus group that will lead the discussions on this topic. Overall this will be of great benefit to Recreational Aviation and the way we operate but it comes with the added individual safety of flight responsibility.

We have since the announcement of Level 2 returned to some level of flying normalcy, with industry and individuals now only needing to comply with National Covid protocols, and have at least had some Recreational Aviation events taking place amongst our Sections, although most International events are still curtailed for the year.

If you are not a member and wish to join the Aero Club and any of its Sections feel free to do so http://www.aeroclub.org.za/member-renewals-and-new-memberships/

We are also taking pre-orders of the Aero Club Centenary book that is due for release soon, to get your pre-order secured, please go to this link.

Centenary Yearbook Order Form



Due to Covid 19 and regulations regulating travelling as well as restrictions controlling the number of people congregating together, no aviation events open to the general public will take place in the foreseeable future. Pilot's Post will advise our readers as soon as this changes.

The following events will to take place under the rules controlling the number of people congregating together and are therefore not open to the general public.

EAA Chapter 322 gathering - Wednesday 2 September 2020 @ 18h30

We have a really exciting line-up featuring, in addition to our usual Chapter business; NASA's longest serving Flight Director in US history. Paul Dye, passionate homebuilder, aviator and technical expert in spacecraft systems, has taken overall lead in many missions to space. His latest book, "Shuttle, Houston - Life in the centre seat of Mission Control", has just been launched.

Paul's love of flying machines dates back to early childhood when he became involved in a J-3 Cub rebuild as a teenager. . Paul will be presenting a talk on "Experimental Aviation - Tips for Mission Control" which combines lessons from the space program that can be used in experimental aviation.

Paul built and flies an RC 8, a Subsonex Jet and his wife flies an RV 3. He is also editor-at-large for Kitplanes Magazine and an EAA Technical Counsellor and Flight Advisor.

Connect to this virtual meeting as follows:
Link: Connection details to join us on zoom

Meeting ID: 822 7830 6036
Password: 322Sept202
Remember, we are limited to 100 guests - make sure you join the meeting early!
Don't forget to scan the QR Code. (available at the meeting) to earn your MACH Number Points!!
Look forward to "seeing" you then!
Neil Bowden
Chairman EAA Chapter 322
Johannesburg, South Africa
EAA # 565560

12 September
SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally at Secunda Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: jonty@promptroofing.co.za Cell: 082 855 9435

18 September
Taildraggers Airmanship Competition, Bela Bela, Warmbaths.

29 September to 4 October
SAC National Championships Tempe Airport, Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

24 and 25 October
SAC North West Regionals at Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

and subscribe to our YouTube channel


Leonardo is strengthening the level of support and maintenance services offered to its customer base in South Africa with a new service centre following the recent acquisition of Precision Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd. This is located at Wonderboom Airport - Pretoria and comprises 2275 m2 of floor space, 450 m2 of workshop and store, and an equivalent amount of office space. Photo © Leonardo.

The site had been operating as an Authorized Service Centre for Leonardo's helicopters in the country over the last 25 years and is the first Leonardo Excellent Service Centre in the continent. 'Excellent' ranking is assigned to selected Service Centres focused on maintaining third party fleets and having the largest scope of service capabilities, all while guaranteeing the continued achievement of Leonardo's customers stringent expectations and considering specific market requirements. The first area of further enhancement implemented by Leonardo compared to previous services will be the spare parts availability, which will be further expanded.

The new service centre demonstrates Leonardo's long-term commitment to the region and its customers, improving support to a fleet of more than 120 helicopters mainly operating in Sub-Saharan African civil market. This is in line with the company's industrial plan's focus on stronger customer support services and proximity. The facility includes maintenance hangars, bonded warehouse, workshops and other services and provides maintenance, product support, engineering services while reinforcing spares availability for a range of models also including the AW119 single engine, AW109 light twin series, AW family including the AW139, AW169 and AW189, with the possibility to extend these capabilities to future products.

Enhanced services will contribute to maximise the helicopter fleet mission effectiveness and safety of operations to the benefit of operators, crews and the served communities. With over 100 helicopter service and maintenance centres worldwide to date, Leonardo plans to establish at least one 'Excellent' centre in all strategic markets. During the Covid-19 pandemic emergency Leonardo has delivered continued support through its global network and leveraged digital technologies for remote maintenance services.


After a long and successful partnership of some 30 years, IWM Duxford and The Fighter Collection (TFC) have announced that the Flying Legends air show will no longer be taking place at Duxford. Photo © IWM

Given the financial pressures which have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic over the past few months, IWM Duxford has been required to examine all future events and consult with key partners to ensure that, as a charity, the organisation is able to maximise income and remain financially stable. It was therefore mutually agreed that TFC would seek an alternative location to host Flying Legends, which will be confirmed at a later date.

John Brown, IWM Executive Director Commerce and Operations, commented: "The Fighter Collection will continue to be a highly valued partner at IWM Duxford and we are delighted that its collection of amazing aircraft will remain on site and continue to be displayed throughout the year. We are confident that Flying Legends will continue with its success and would like to thank them for entertaining audiences at IWM Duxford over the years. We will be making some exciting changes to our own Air Show programme for next year and look forward to sharing more details in the coming months."


Hill Helicopters unveiled its new disruptive, ground-up helicopter, the HX50. The five-seat, turbine-powered, 500-horsepower rotorcraft is the world's first truly private, luxury helicopter crafted to deliver a whole new experience in safety, performance, adventure, comfort, and elegance. Photo © Hill Helicopters.

Designed by a team of hand-selected, highly skilled engineers led by aeronautics engineer Dr. Jason Hill, Ph.D., the HX50 is a fusion of refined performance and artistic elegance. Its composite structure and rotor system, optimized engine, reimagined avionics and elevated interior design together make the HX50 a high-tech and high-performance personal aircraft.

"The helicopter industry has long awaited an Elon Musk-style disruption that redefines the modern helicopter. The wait is over," said Hill, founder and CEO of Hill Helicopters. "The only way to create something that is truly ground-breaking is to design from the ground up, giving equal focus to aerospace design, performance and safety as well as to the artistic and experiential aspects, including comfort, ergonomics, intuitive technology, and luxury. The HX50 brings all of this together to deliver a truly unique aircraft and experience."

The HX50 is currently in the advanced design phase, says Hill, with three prototypes scheduled to begin flight testing in 2022. The first deliveries are anticipated to take place in 2023, continues Hill. It will be built at a manufacturing base in Cornwall in the UK.

"The project will result in a helicopter that will appeal to a new global market - private owners that are looking for a practical, luxurious, affordable and well specified 5-seat helicopter with low running costs (£15k per year)."


Textron Aviation today announced it delivered a Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft to Australian aviation service company Skytraders, which will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Victoria Police. The aircraft has entered service. Photo Textron.

The King Air 350ER will primarily support Victoria Police Air Wing (VPAW) and its team of Tactical Flight Officers, who lead airborne law enforcement, training, search and rescue and extended offshore marine safety missions throughout the state of Victoria, Australia.

The custom-configured mission package for Victoria Police includes advanced mission management system, ground moving target indicator object detection, Tactical Flight Officer workstations, tactical radios, satellite communications and a data downlink. The extended range King Air is also fitted with optional factory installed Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67A engines.

"The King Air 350ER will undertake a wide variety of roles and enhance aviation capabilities of Victoria Police. With extended endurance and range, it will complement our helicopters by providing a valuable, uninterrupted observation platform that will support police across the state" said Ashley Bellamy, Aviation Program Director, Victoria Police.

The Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft is an extended range version of the King Air 350i twin-engine turboprop aircraft, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 350ER and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls.


Mi-26T2 is an upgraded version of the Mi-26T heavy transport helicopter. It has received modern avionics, enabling operations at any time of the day, in adverse weather conditions and over terrain that lacks landmarks for orientation. The upgrade has also allowed reducing crew to 3 persons. Photo © Rostec.

"Rostec supplies the Ministry of Emergency Situations with helicopters that are used for rescue operations, medical evacuation, firefighting and other missions. Mi-26T2 is the latest modification of the most powerful transport helicopter in the world. It significantly upgrades its capabilities in line with the latest requirements for avionics and flight safety," pointed out Andrey Boginsky, Director General of Russian Helicopters. "Mi-26T2 is already in mass production and has been supplied to foreign customers, who have been extremely satisfied with it. I am confident that the enhanced capabilities of Mi-26T2 will also be in demand for the demanding missions carried out daily by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations."

Mi-26T2 is equipped with modern navigation system. The helicopter comes with a "glass cockpit" (digital system for flight instrument displays), systems for inertial navigation, Glonass and Navstar positioning, enhanced ground proximity warning and energy-absorbing seats for the crew. It is equipped with a digital autopilot, capable of both navigating as well as landing the helicopter.

Its enhanced avionics can significantly reduce the workload on pilots, simplify their work and also reduce the flight preparation time. Compared to the basic version, many processes are automated. At the same time, almost all systems are redundant to increase reliability and safety.

Mi-26T2 can reach the altitude of 4600 meters and has cruising speed of 255 km/h (maximum speed is 295 km/h). Maximum take-off weight is 56 tons with a cargo of 20 tons. Range - 800 km with normal load (ferry range is 1920 km).

The helicopter is capable of performing various missions, such as evacuating up to 82 people from a disaster area or transporting 60 wounded and 3 paramedics, when used in the medical configuration. Mi-26T2 can operate as a tanker, transporting 14,000 litres of fuel and 1,000 litres of lubricants, and of course, extinguish fires using a bucket device.


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced the delivery of the first Bell-manufactured, public safety-configured Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to Alameda County Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit. Photo © Bell.

"Bell is proud to deliver Alameda County Sheriff's Office with one of the most technologically equipped short light single aircraft on the market today," said Doug Schoen, managing director, North America. "With more than 250 Bell 505s in service and 45,000 fleet flight hours, the aircraft continues to showcase mission capability, exceptional performance and unmatched direct operating cost in its class."

Following strong interest from global municipalities that are expanding their capabilities by adding aerial operations to their mission portfolio, Bell introduced its public safety configuration of the Bell 505, which includes the following onboard equipment: a 17-inch Macro-Blue MB17W display, an AEM 300-watt Loudhailer system, a Trakkabeam TLX Searchlight mounted on an AA AFT Hardpoint, a Wescam MX-10 Camera mounted on an Aeronautical Accessories' FWD Hardpoint, PS Engineering PAC45 Digital Audio System with Pilot and Copilot individual audio controllers, a Churchill ARS700 Map System Interfaced to the MX-10 and TLX Searchlight, two dual USB charging ports, AeroDynamix NVG Cockpit lighting, High Skid Gear, Technisonic TDFM-9100 radio and a cargo hook equipment.

Alameda County's Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern continued, "The Bell 505 is an outstanding machine that will provide a vital service to the citizens of Alameda County for years to come. Bell's responsiveness, attention to detail and willingness to get it right has far exceeded our expectations. As the leader of a law enforcement organization, I have a responsibility to provide my staff with high quality equipment that will keep them safe as they protect our community. The Bell 505 is no exception. This force-multiplier will enable us to quickly respond to any emergency within the region, thus elevating our service to the community."

With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing significant value to the operator. The customer-driven design of the aircraft places safety, performance and affordability at the forefront, blending proven systems with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design.


The U.S. Air Force is sending six B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers to fly over each of NATO's 30 members, a gesture meant to signal the alliance's unity. Photo © U.S. Air Force.

"This single-day mission, titled 'Allied Sky,' is intended to demonstrate NATO solidarity, enhance readiness and provide training opportunities aimed at enhancing interoperability for all participating aircrews from the U.S. and NATO allies," according to a US European Command statement.

"U.S. security commitments to the NATO alliance remain ironclad," Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of European Command, was quoted as saying in the statement. "Today's bomber task force mission is another example of how the alliance sustains readiness, improves interoperability and demonstrates our ability to deliver on commitments from across the Atlantic."

Four bombers, taking off from Royal Air Force Fairford in the United Kingdom, will pass over NATO's European members, according to a statement by U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. Two B-52s departing from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, are scheduled to fly over the United States and Canada.

Officials described the mission as a variation of the U.S. military's routine Bomber Task Force flights. Sending nuclear-capable bombers airborne amid global crises is a key tool in the Pentagon's deterrence calculus.


EHang announced that it has been selected to join Ambular, an international project endeavouring to develop a flying ambulance for medical emergency use. Supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization ("ICAO"), the project also seeks to inspire the global aviation community to unleash the potential of eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. Image © Ehang.

The Ambular project was the outcome of the ICAO's exploration of the future of aviation in late 2017. The ICAO recognized the possible use of AAVs for extremely rapid medical transport.

As the first company in the world to launch and commercialize passenger-grade AAVs, which achieved a new milestone in the deployment and proliferation of Urban Air Mobility ("UAM"), EHang will contribute the necessary hardware (such as rotors and motors) to the Ambular project, thus driving research and development of the power component of the aircraft.

EHang's expertise and experience in using AAVs for emergency response is also expected to significantly accelerate development of the project. For example, in February 2020, EHang's two-seat passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, served as an air ambulance to transport medical supplies and personnel to a hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, which currently relies mainly on ambulances or helicopters. In line with the Company's focus on social responsibility, EHang continues to explore the use of AAVs to solve challenges in emergency response, such as flood rescue, forest firefighting and high-rise firefighting.


U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing have deployed to the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Lask AB, Poland to take part in a joint training exercise with the Polish Air Force. Photo © USAF / Senior Airman Melody Howley.

According to Col. David Epperson, commander of the 52nd Fighter Wing ADR's are bilateral training exercises and deployments designed to enhance partner interoperability, maintain joint readiness and assure U.S. regional allies. During this rotation, the 480th EFS will be integrating with Polish partners to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Polish air force Col. Tomasz Jatczak, 32nd Tactical Air Base commander said his goals with the ADR 20.4 are to update proficiency from the Polish side and integrate procedures with the U.S.

"We will be flying with them, working on the front line with them and learning from them," said Epperson, adding that ADR's are a way for the U.S. to continue building partnerships and working with allies.

"Defensive Counter Air is one of the missions we will be working on during our time here in Poland, which consists of large force packages and immense training that we cannot get on our own. Another mission we will continue to work on will be Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, where we will integrate that capability with our Polish Allies and show them what we can provide in order to get them into a target area and back out safely." Said Epperson.


A Dassault Falcon 200 jet made a gear-up forced landing within the perimeter of Palenque Airport, Mexico. The pilot(s) fled the scene. Law enforcement officials found 3 tons of packages of pure cocaine stowed in the aircraft. Preliminary information suggests that the aircraft was stolen from Palenque Airport. In the evening it was reportedly detected by military radar when it was flying near Tenosique, close to the border with Guatemala. It continued at low altitude until it landed at Palenque Airport. {Photo Wikipedia. Not the incident aircraft.)

Republic of South Africa, Springs Airfield: A Cessna 172F Skyhawk operated by Mach 1 flight school crashed under unknown circumstances and was destroyed. One occupant, the student, died and another, the instructor, was seriously injured.

Nigeria, Opebi, Lagos: A Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III operated by Quorum Aviation crashed into a house under unknown circumstances in Opebi, Lagos, Nigeria. The helicopter was destroyed and all three people onboard were fatally injured.

USA, Fairbanks-Chena Marina Floatpond: A Cessna A185F Skywagon and a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub crashed following a mid-air collision. At the time of the accident, the Cessna was landing and the Super Cub was taking off. The Cessna impacted the gravel strip at Fairbanks-Chena Marina Floatpond and burst into flames. Two occupants of the Cessna plane died in the crash. A third occupant and the pilot of the Super Cub were seriously injured.

USA, 20 miles west of Warmic, Oregon: A Kaman K-1200 K-Max helicopter operated by Central Copters Inc crashed during firefighting bucket operations. The pilot was killed.

Colombia, San Jose del Guaviare Airport: An Aliansa Douglas DC-3 with three crew on board when landing at San Jose del Guaviare Airport veered left and went off the runway coming to a stop with all gear on soft ground left off the runway about 660 meters/2160 feet past the runway threshold. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained minor damage.

USA, near Benton Field Airport, Redding: A Beechcraft A36 Bonanza with four on board impacted foothills terrain below the departure end of the runway shortly after take-off from Benton Field Airport (O85), Redding, California. The aircraft was destroyed on impact and subsequent fire and two of the occupants onboard were fatally injured whilst two suffered serious injuries.

Canada, Yellowknife: A Summit Air Charter Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-200 with three crew on board on a flight from Diavik to Yellowknife was descending towards Yellowknife when the crew observed fluctuating parameters on the left-hand engine and shut the engine down as precaution. The aircraft continued for a safe landing in Yellowknife.

Russia, Moscow Sheremetyevo: AA Rossiya Boeing 747-400 was climbing out of Moscow for a flight to Antalya (Turkey), when the crew stopped the climb at FL300 due to abnormal parameters shown by the engine #2. The crew reduced the engine to idle and when the crew subsequently attempted to increase thrust again the engine indications didn't change. The crew reduced the thrust lever to idle again and decided to return to Moscow Sheremetyevo, where the aircraft landed safely about one hour after departure. A post flight inspection did not reveal any obvious damage.

Romania, Bucharest Baneasa Aurel Vlaicu International Airport: An Omni Air International Boeing 767-300ER with 80 passengers on board on a flight from Kabul, Afghanistan to Washington DC USA landed for a refuelling stop at Bucharest, Romania when the left main landing gear collapsed, causing the No.1 engine to skid across the runway. The aircraft came to a full stop on the runway. All 80 passengers on board were safely evacuated.


The first attack in the largest mass air combat in history takes place over Britain. Photo © Wikipedia.

The attacks began on 7 September 1940 and reached their daylight climax on 15 September when the Luftwaffe launched its largest and most concentrated attack against London in the hope of drawing out the RAF into a battle of annihilation. Around 1,500 aircraft took part in the air battles which lasted until dusk. The action was the climax of the Battle of Britain.

RAF Fighter Command defeated the German raids. The Luftwaffe formations were dispersed by a large cloud base and failed to inflict severe damage on the city of London. In the aftermath of the raid, Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion. Having been defeated in daylight, the Luftwaffe turned its attention to The Blitz night campaign which lasted until May 1941.

15 September, also known as Battle of Britain Day, is now an annual commemoration of the battle in the United Kingdom. In Canada, the commemoration takes place on the third Sunday of September.

Midweek Update

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