Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



The Aero Club, as part of its Centenary, had planned for a Centenary Year Book to be released in 2020, as part of the wider celebration plan. The book has now been completed covering a rich 460-page (with around 1800 illustrations) compendium of Recreational Aviation in SA through the last 100 years, under the expert guidance of John Illsey as the editor, with input from our membership from all our sections.

The books are now available and printed in Novalite (Leather), Hard Cover & Soft Cover versions, from the Aero Club Website Shop, or from the Aero Club office.

Delivery Options are collection at the Rand Airport Aero Club office, or door to door courier service anywhere in SA. Courier costs will range between R 100 to R 150 per book, dependent on location. Volume purchases are also available should this be required.

- Novalite (Leather) Bound Book - R 500
- Hard Cover Book - R 400
- Soft Cover Book - R 300



Great news! Entries to the Pilot's Post Chock Norris photo competition will open on the 22nd of November 2020

How to Enter:
Entering your aviation related photo is easy and simple. All images must be emailed to pilotspost@gmail.com with the following detail included:
Your name,
Email address,
Telephone number,
Where the photo was taken,
Phone used,
A theme name of the photo (Optional).

Due to the large amount of entries we expect, Pilot's Post will not acknowledge your entry!!

Entry Rules:
1. When entering the competition and by sending your photo to Pilot's Post, you explicitly grant the publication of your submitted photograph at Pilot's Post team's discretion without any remuneration or obligation to you.
2. Submitted photos must be resized to be less than 1 megabyte in size. If full-size photographs are required, the Pilot's Post team will request them from you.
3. Only photos taken with cell phones will be accepted.
3. All submissions must have an aviation theme.
4. Photo submissions may be cropped and / or resized only. Any other form of photo alteration or manipulation is not allowed and will be disqualified.
5. You may submit up too three entries per week.

1. The Pilot's Post team will select the 2 best photos submitted every week and add them into our "Midweek Update" published every Thursday morning, where our readers will then cast their votes by simply clicking the link below the photo of their choice.
2. At the end of each month, a complete article will be published on Pilot's Post to include the weekly photo submissions with the most reader votes. Our readers will then again have the opportunity to cast their votes by simply clicking the link below the photo of their choice. The photo with the highest number of votes will then be judged the Winner of the Month.
3. A prize of a set of Chock Norris personalised Aircraft Chocks with leather storage bag valued at R500
A voucher from the Pilot Shop valued at R200.00 will be awarded to each monthly winner.

The Pilot's Post "Chock Norris 2020" aviation related photo competition is open only to photographer's resident in South Africa as our prizes are not transferable and can only be redeemed in South Africa.


SAPFA has introduced a virtual rally flying competition where teams can practice their skills without burning avgas.
Here you can see us flying a route in the Stellenbosch area, and identifying an
enroute photo.

If you want to join in the fun, take a look at our high-speed server at:
You can sign up for these events at:

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.

Springs - SAPFA Speed Rally Season 2
Race 4 Finale and Gala Evening. Come and join us in this Fast-Paced Exciting Aviation Speed and Navigation discipline.
All welcome if you think you and your navigator can fly, then come and challenge yourself in this event.
It's great fun and you and your navigator will learn a lot about yourselves and your airplane
For more information please call Jonty on 0828559435

Sports Aerobatics Club of SA Ace of Base
Contact Annie Boone email

PilotInsure Rhino Park Fly Inn. Contact Franz Smit
084 979 8632

Springs Airfield Breakfast Fly -in

Witbank Aeronautical Association Fun Rally and Fly-in
Enter the rally at: www.speedrally.co.za

30 JANUARY 2021
SAPFA Rand Airport challenge
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za Cell: 083 269 1516

30 JANUARY 2021
SAPFA AGM at Rand Airport after the rally
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za cell: 082 804 7032

30 & 31 JANUARY 2021
Sport Aerobatic Club Gauteng Regionals Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za


The organisers of the AAD Expo are excited to announce a new event on their calendar, Aerospace and Defence Trade Show 2021, which will be hosted on 24 to 26 March 2021 at Lanseria International Airport (Lanseria). Leading up to Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2022, AAD continues to create platforms that will promote innovation and capabilities within the defence and aviation industry.

The Aerospace and Defence Tradeshow 2021 (ADTS 2021) is about exploring new paths, sharing solutions and showcasing innovation beyond Covid-19. Accessible to trade visitors only, the event will be industry focused and aptly emphasise industry capabilities and technologies that emanated from the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. ADTS 2021 will include business to business meetings, onsite capability demonstrations for aircraft and UAVs and a conference. Parallel to the Lanseria event program, traders can also expect a fully-fledged display of land forces innovation and capability demonstrations at the Gerotek Testing Facility. Located in the West area of Pretoria, Gerotek offers a variety of testing and capability demonstration set to marvel participants.

ADTS 2021 is set to bring together approximately 150 exhibitors consisting of 80% local industry and 20% international industry including the Defence and General Aviation industry, Airports, UAV/Drone operators, Security System Operators (Cybersecurity, Crowd Control, etc), Medical Supply Companies, Support and Logistic services to name but a few. This experience gives the South African and International defence and general aviation industries an opportunity to showcase their products and services, while also engaging in dialogue and discourse on what is pertinent to their industries.

"The hosting of AAD events, for the past 21 years, has made a significant contribution to the growing of the South African economy and that of its neighbouring countries through leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts. We will continue to create an enabling environment for dialogue in our sector. As one of our key mandates pronounces, it will remain our goal to bring together subject matter experts in thought leadership dialogues such as ADTS2021." Said Sandile Ndlovu - Executive Chairman of AAD Expo

The AAD Expo traditionally brings together a plethora of local and key international guests to explore and discuss opportunities on the African Continent. Through ADTS2021, AAD will entrench its position as an economic catalyst for the Defence and Aerospace industry.

For more bookings and trade information, visit: www.aadexpo.co.za


The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings through the third quarter of 2020. Piston airplane deliveries increased slightly, while turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries declined through the first nine months of 2020 as compared to the same period of 2019.

"This latest shipment report gives insight into how the industry is faring after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are still trailing in comparison to last year's figures due to a virus impacted second quarter, it is encouraging to see deliveries in certain segments have rebounded. This is reflected in what aviators have witnessed over the past few months at GA airports on both sides of the Atlantic where flight activity is robust, particularly in the flight school arena. It is also worth noting that this is the first quarter in history where we are reporting certified electric aircraft deliveries. This portends an exciting evolution in propulsion technologies and highlights another pathway in our industry's multifaceted efforts toward, and commitment to, environmental sustainability," said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. "While the industry has shown its resilience, it will likely once again face stiff headwinds from the resurgent pandemic, especially given that many European countries have once again gone into lockdown without a common pan-European policy enabling general and business aviation travel across national borders. Despite these significant challenges, it continues to be our dedicated workforce that enables our industry to persevere through the recovery process."

Airplane shipments through the first nine months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, saw piston airplane deliveries increase 1.4%, with 889 units; turboprop airplane deliveries decline 27.0%, with 254 units; and business jet deliveries decline 26.7%, with 378 units. The value of airplane deliveries through the third quarter of 2020 was $11.9 billion, a decline of approximately 20.1%.

Civil-commercial turbine helicopter deliveries for the first nine months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, saw a decline of 23.3%, with 333 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw a decline of 25.5%, with 105 units.

Nine Month Aircraft Shipments and Billings
Aircraft Type 2019 2020 Change
Piston Airplanes 877 889 +1.4%
Turboprops 348 254 -27.0%
Business Jets 516 378 -26.7%
Total Airplanes 1,741 1,521 -12.6%
Total Airplane Billing $14.9B $11.9B-20.1%
Piston Helicopters 141 105 -25.5%
Turbine Helicopters 434 333 -23.3%
Total Helicopters 575 438 -23.8%
Total Helicopter Billing $2.2B $1.9B -16.2%


In the course of Belgian Defence's Military Prospection Phase for Basic Flight Training Capability, a delegation of three from the Belgian Air Force and the Directorate of Material Resources visited Diamond's Headquarters in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

The purpose of the visit was to have a first impression of the DART aircraft, not only in flight, but as well to explore the possibilities of the Ground Based Training System and the Support Package that comes with the aircraft.

Colonel Aviator Patrick "Goose" Goossens, Head of Work Group Future Pilot Training & new Basic Training Aircraft and former Head of Training of the Belgian Air Force, participated a flight on the DART, together with a Diamond Test Pilot. After "Goose" got off the aircraft, he was positively surprised of how stable and how easy to handle the aircraft is. During the debriefing the delegation pointed out that the DART-550 training system is certainly a candidate for the replacement of the existing fleet of Marchetti SF-260s. As well known in the commercial flight training market, Diamond now also offers a turn-key training system as a one-stop-shop to military training organizations or service providers.

"Belgium is at this stage keen to keep the competition for the new Basic Training Aircraft as open as possible. This visit, the flight and the constructive exchange of information confirmed that the DART-550 earns his place in that competition", says Colonel Aviator Patrick Goossens.

"We are pleased that the Belgian Air Force is considering the DART-550 as an option for their new Basic Training Aircraft, which is going to educate future pilots of the Air Force. We are glad to see that the DART is already considered for many programs all over the world, which proves once again that the DART is right at the sweet spot of the future basic training requirements for military pilots", says Mario Spiegel, Sales Manager DART.

"The concept of the DART program and its success so far is showing very impressively that Diamond was hundred percent correct in investing into such new state-of-the-art product to finally meet new upcoming training requirements. The feedback so far is absolute positive, another impressive milestone in the history of Diamond to produce super-efficient, full composite airplanes for all different market segments", says Markus Fischer, Director Special Mission Aircraft.

Despite current COVID measures, both sides managed to allow safe and productive meetings, under strict compliance with the set rules of conduct.


Leonardo welcomes the announcement made by the U.S. Department of Defence to award AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp. a 171 million USD modification to the previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract for the US Navy's Advanced Helicopter Training System. This modification exercises options for the production and delivery of an additional 36 TH-73A aircraft, with work expected to be completed in December 2022 in Philadelphia, PA.

In January 2020 Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract valued at 176 million USD for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A helicopters, initial spares, support and dedicated equipment as well as specific pilot and maintenance training services. The TH-73A will be used to train the next generation of student aviators from the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


Leonardo has begun the final testing of the C-27J Next Generation which features new equipment, a new avionics system and advanced aerodynamic devices, these will enhance the existing high performance of the aircraft. The first C-27J in the new configuration will be delivered to an undisclosed customer in 2021.

The performance and reliability of the C-27J Spartan continues to evolve as the best response to its customers' needs. Pushing on the aircraft's versatility and mission flexibility, the C-27J offers an ever-increasing range of mission solutions, which adapt in response to new challenges faced by operators. A true force enabler, its unrivalled multi-mission capabilities are key in presenting the latest evolution of the Spartan as a cost-effective solution and an intelligent investment for nations, which are selecting it for their military, as well as civil protection requirements.

Marco Zoff, Leonardo Aircraft Division's Managing Director, said: "The enhanced C-27J brings the unrivalled quality and capabilities of the Spartan to the next, higher level. Its operators will benefit from modern avionics, increased performance and efficiency. The Spartan embodies the essence of national security, proving to be the best asset for armed forces' defence operations and for their fundamental contribution to population support and disaster relief." In a world hit this year by the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies international media have extensively reported on the C-27J's relentless and effective support to communities in need. Mr. Zoff also added: "Our customers have discovered in this aircraft an element of social inclusion, because it is the only aircraft capable to reach people in the most remote rural areas of their nations."

Leonardo is committed to serving and protecting communities around the world, contributing to their sustainable growth by leading in next generation technologies. Partnering with governments, private organizations and industries for the best security and safety capabilities is a cornerstone of Leonardo's BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan.

Already acknowledged as the most effective multi-mission military transport aircraft in its class, the C-27J Next Generation today features comprehensive new avionics and aerodynamic developments with new winglets, for improved operational efficiency and even better performance. Mission-proven across all continents with a number of prime air forces, the Spartan is operated in the world's most demanding operational environments - from the Andes to Afghanistan - for military transport, cargo and paratroopers air drop, last tactical mile troop support, special operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


Airbus and the Federal Republic of Germany today submitted their official offer to the Swiss Federal Office of Armaments armasuisse for the sale of Eurofighter aircraft to Switzerland. The offer has been prepared in cooperation with the other Eurofighter nations as well as the industrial partners Leonardo and BAE Systems, and meets the requirements of the so called new combat aircraft (Neues Kampfflugzeug - NKF) procurement process implemented by Switzerland to replace its currently used F-5 and F/A-18 fleet with a more modern model.

With the acquisition of the Eurofighter, the Federal Republic of Germany is offering Switzerland the opportunity to deepen its existing military partnership, particularly with regard to the joint training of the two air forces. With the Eurofighter, Switzerland will gain full autonomy in the use, maintenance and application of the data from its aircraft. With more than 660 orders, the Eurofighter is by far the most widely used aircraft for securing airspace over Europe. It is operated jointly by the four partner nations Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain and is undergoing continuous development. Only a few days ago, Germany itself signed the contract for the procurement of 38 Eurofighters from the latest Tranche 4 and is offering Switzerland the opportunity to lay the foundations for even closer political, economic and security cooperation by procuring the same type of aircraft.

Michael Flügger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Switzerland, said: "With this offer, we are inviting Switzerland as our neighbour and reliable partner in security policy and economic matters to protect its airspace with the Eurofighter and to close cooperation between our air forces. For Germany, Switzerland is not just a customer, but a strategic ally with whom we would like to further intensify our already close cooperation. The Eurofighter is the only platform jointly developed and operated by several European nations and would therefore be an ideal solution for Switzerland".

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said: "With the offer submitted today, we want to show that the Eurofighter is the best overall package for Switzerland. It is the most modern fighter aircraft currently built in Europe and meets all the requirements demanded by Switzerland. By providing construction data and other important information, Switzerland will be given complete and independent control of the Eurofighter, guaranteeing full transparency. With over 200 suppliers in the confederation, Airbus is already a strong partner for Switzerland, and we look forward to expanding this cooperation even further".


Aviation and Las Vegas-based private aviation charter operator, Thrive Aviation, today announced the delivery of three preowned Cessna Citation Sovereign+ business jets. The midsize Cessna Citation Sovereign+ is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.

Thrive Aviation is a private aviation company dedicated to providing proactive service and elevated flight experiences for its guests across North America. With a newly opened corporate headquarters at Henderson Executive Airport, Thrive Aviation's footprint in Las Vegas includes an expanded, private 21,000 square foot hangar at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

By the end of 2020 fourth quarter, Thrive Aviation will boast an impressive offering of 11 Cessna Citation jets. The three Sovereign+ aircraft are currently going through extensive interior and exterior overhauls, including paint to match Thrive Aviation's flagship livery design. These jets will join the company's existing array of aircraft, including two Cessna Citation M2 entry-level jets, four Cessna Citation CJ3+ light-jets, and one Cessna Citation XLS+ midsize business jet.

Out of any OEM in the industry, Cessna Citations make up the majority of charter flights worldwide. With nearly 500 charter flights year-to-date, Citations continue to be the aircraft of choice for private jet operators. With class-leading amenities, performance and efficiency, Citations make great platforms for a variety of operations from charter to special missions.

With the broadest product line up in the industry, Cessna and Beechcraft products provide a wide range of platforms for those exploring the benefits of private aviation. From providing charter operators with aircraft to support their customers, to offering whole aircraft ownership solutions- Textron Aviation strives to find its customers the best solution to fit their needs.

The current Citation business jet family consists of seven models with seating configurations between seven to 12 passengers. The entry-level M2, comfortable CJ3+ and versatile CJ4 light jets all offer upgraded efficiencies with added speed and range while the best-selling midsize jet, the Cessna Citation Latitude and flagship Cessna Citation Longitude round out Cessna's line-up of jets, providing customers with an aircraft fit for nearly ever mission.


In support of Europe's Green Deal Strategy and Recovery Plan, VoltAero has been selected by the European Innovation Council as one of the game-changing start-ups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to receive multi-million-euro funding.

Based in Médis, France, VoltAero was chosen for an initial €2.1 million grant, and also is designated for "blended financing" at a higher value that includes an equity portion of up to €11 million.

VoltAero was among the very top-rated companies in a jury's assessment of 2,077 candidates for this European Union project's funding. Receiving a "seal of excellence," the Cassio project was recognized for its motivated team, aviation knowledge and experience, as well as a sound business model and commercial analysis.

"The European Innovation Council supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions to pressing societal and environmental challenges, supporting the Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe," said Mariya Gabriel, the European Union's Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. "These start-ups and SMEs are set to scale up, creating jobs and growth and giving Europe the global lead in green technologies and solutions."

VoltAero is developing a family of hybrid-electric airplanes for use that include commercial flights on point-to-point regional routes, operations by air taxi/charter companies, deployment in various utility-category applications, and for private owners. The aircraft will be offered in three versions accommodating from four to 10 seats, with each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality.

"The European Innovation Council's grant is another vote of confidence for our commitment in taking electric aircraft to an entirely new level," explained Marina Evans, VoltAero's Director General and Co-founder. "This is a recognition of how hybrid-electric aircraft can unleash a revolution in fast, convenient, and eco-efficient regional travel - in which our Cassio airplane family will have an important role."

Jean Botti, VoltAero's CEO and Chief Technology Officer, added: "The European Union project funding keeps us on track for our highly pragmatic and realistic strategy to create an all-new hybrid-electric aircraft family, with the goal to initiate deliveries of production-version Cassio airplanes in 2023."

VoltAero's Cassio design brings together a sleek, aerodynamically-optimized fuselage, a forward fixed canard, and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail. The company's hybrid-electric module that will power these aircraft currently is undergoing full-scale flight evaluations, using a testbed aircraft operated from VoltAero's headquarters at the Royan-Médis airport in southwest France.

The Cassio airplanes will be produced at a purpose-built final assembly line in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France, with VoltAero leading a world-class team of partners and suppliers. Licensed production opportunities will be pursued in North America and Asia.


Encouraging the development of an integrated ecosystem of partners, Bell joins the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) in its effort to establish Canada as a global leader in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). Announced Oct. 28, the multi-stakeholder group created by the Canadian Air Mobility and National Research Council of Canada (NRC) will streamline research, development and commercial operations in the AAM sector.

Bell's Innovation teams are currently developing and testing the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT), a tail-sitting, eVTOL vehicle capable of moving 70 lbs of goods through autonomous flight. The groundwork for Bell's innovative, new platform was developed in the Bell Textron Canada facility in Mirabel, Quebec.

Bell's innovators in Fort Worth and Mirabel are working to create a new on-demand delivery solution for consumers, war fighters and medical personnel. In collaboration with NASA, APT recently flew a pre-programmed 10-mile circuit path in Fort Worth through complex air space, collecting detect and avoid data while demonstrating its beyond visible line of sight flight capabilities. The innovation team in Mirabel also played a key role in testing the rotating ducts for our Bell Nexus 4EX, which was showcased at CES 2020. With many more milestones to come, our team continues to develop unmanned technology to deliver impactful experiences for our communities, consumers and global businesses.

As an investing member of the CAAM, Bell is thrilled to lend expertise to industry and government partners to develop an integrated AAM ecosystem in Canada. Paving the way for innovation like APT entails close collaboration and an open conversation about the associated infrastructure, regulatory, operational and technology needs. Through these partnerships, Bell moves closer to redefining mobility and bringing advanced vertical lift solutions to urban regions, like Vancouver.


A report published by the Pakistani Aircraft Accident Investigation Board said the 2016 crash of the ATR 42-500 twin-turboprop on a domestic flight with 47 on board that crashed in the mountainous was caused by at least two pre-existing technical anomalies. The report found PIA's engineering department had failed to replace a faulty blade during routine maintenance a month before the accident, even though it "fulfilled the criteria for replacement". PIA said it "acknowledges that there were three latent factors that aligned together at the time of the crash". "Had any of these factors happened in isolation, the consequences would not have been so devastating," it said in a statement.

Kenya: Birika, Isinya, Kajiado County: An AutoGyro MTO Sport 2010 operated by the Kenya Wildlife Service on a training flight crashed under unknown circumstances in Birika, Isinya, Kajiado County, Kenya. The trainee pilot died in the crash. The Gyro was damaged beyond repair.

Democratic Republic of the Congo, near Katale Airport, Rutshuru: A Cessna C150 operated by the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature with on the pilot on board crashed upon take-off 500 meters from the runway of Katale Airport. The pilot died in the crash. The plane was destroyed and four persons were injured on the ground by debris.

Hong Kong, Chek Lap Kok Airport: A Boeing 747-47UF operated by Atlas Air with 5 on board on a cargo flight shortly after touchdown first veered to the right and then to the left of the runway centreline. About five seconds later, it abruptly swung towards the runway centreline and as it did the aircraft also rolled right so that the bottom of No.3 and No.4 engine nacelles, made contact with the runway before the aircraft was realigned with the runway centreline. The lower section of the engine nacelles and No.4 engine was damaged. There was no engine fire and abnormal indications on the engine instruments.

Malaysia, NW of Senai International Airport: A Beechcraft F35 Bonanza with only two on board suffered a loss of engine power and force landed onto roadway terrain in Senai northwest of Senai International Airport. The aircraft was not damaged and the two occupants onboard were not injured.

India, Mysore: A Trujet Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A on a flight from Belgaum to Mysore with 47 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Mysore when the aircraft touched down hard and went around. The crew could not retract the gear afterwards, the transponder signal was temporarily lost and recovered about 15 minutes later, however, the aircraft no longer transmitted any altitude information. The crew diverted the aircraft to Chennai, about 210nm east of Mysore, reaching a maximum of 180 knots over ground. The aircraft landed on Chennai but suffered the collapse of the right main gear. No injuries are being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Paraguay, Itakyry, Alto Parana: The burnt-out wreck of a Cessna 210M Centurion II allegedly used for the transportation of illegal drugs was found by law enforcement officers in Itakyry, Alto Parana.

An Aeroflot Airbus A320-200 on a flight from Surgut to Moscow Sheremetyevo with 60 passengers and 6 crew, was enroute at FL360 about 120nm west-south-west of Khanty-Mansiysk when the crew smelled smoke in the cockpit, descended the aircraft to FL200, turned around and diverted to Khanty-Mansiysk for a safe landing about 35 minutes after leaving FL360.

Bahamas, near Mayaguana Airport: A Cirrus SR22 operated by Suncoast Aviation LLC with only the pilot on board force landed in a wooded area after a CAPS ballistic recovery system parachute was deployed following an engine failure. The pilot survived; the aircraft suffered substantial damage.

Brazil, Sao Paulo Guarulhos: A LATAM Brazil Airbus A321-200, on a flight from Sao Paulo Guarulhos,SP to Belem with 178 passengers and 7 crew, was climbing out of Sao Paulo deviating around weather, when the crew stopped the climb at FL200 after both windshields cracked. The crew decided to return to Guarulhos for an overweight but safe landing.

USA, NE of Arlington Municipal Airport, Snohomish County, WA: A home built experimental Thunder Gull Odyssey impacted rural terrain under unknown circumstances northeast of Arlington, Washington. The airplane sustained unreported damage and the sole pilot onboard received fatal injuries.

30 NOVEMBER 1913

First air-to-air dogfight: pilots (Dean Ivan Lamb) from rival Mexican factions exchanged revolver shots flying a Curtiss Pusher vs Phil Rader in a Christopherson biplane during the Siege of Naco, Mexico. The combat ended with no hits registered.

Dogfighting became widespread in World War I. Aircraft were initially used as mobile observation vehicles and early pilots gave little thought to aerial combat. The new airplanes proved their worth by spotting the hidden German advance on Paris in the second month of the war.

Enemy pilots at first simply exchanged waves, or shook their fists at each other. Due to weight restrictions, only small weapons could be carried on board. Intrepid pilots decided to interfere with enemy reconnaissance by improvised means, including throwing bricks, grenades and sometimes rope, which they hoped would entangle the enemy plane's propeller.

Pilots quickly began firing hand-held guns at enemy planes, such as pistols and carbines. The first aerial dogfight of the war occurred during the Battle of Cer (August 15-24, 1914), when Serbian aviator Miodrag Tomic encountered an Austro-Hungarian plane while performing a reconnaissance mission over Austro-Hungarian positions. The Austro-Hungarian pilot initially waved, and Tomic reciprocated. The Austro-Hungarian pilot then fired at Tomic with his revolver. Tomic managed to escape, and within several weeks, all Serbian and Austro-Hungarian planes were fitted with machine-guns.

In October 1914, an airplane was shot down by a handgun from another plane for the first time over Reims, France. Once machine guns were mounted to the airplane, either on a flexible mounting or higher on the wings of early biplanes, the era of air combat began.

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