Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



Dear Aero Club Member,

To renew your membership or join the Aero Club and its sections Click go to
www.aeroclub.co.za where you can use the Aeropay System, or you can pay via EFT. See below your pro-forma invoice for your current Aero Club fee and other section fees. The Aero Club fee has seen a small nominal increase (from a previous reduction applied for 2020) and section fees have either remained the same or have also applied nominal increases. We continue to manage our budgeted finances to apply our resources to facilitate advocacy matters with the regulator with collaborative support from the sections. Please review and renew your membership as per the payment methods noted. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Aero Club office by email or phone as given below: - Sandra and Charne are ready to assist.
Tel: 011 082 1100
Tel: 011 082 1100
Fax: 086 635 3755
E-mail: office@aeroclub.org.za


Hello fellow air racers, this our 1st newsletter of the year in the run up to the PTAR. Herewith some important information: firstly, to announce that entries are open - go to the SAPFA website for the entry link. We had to, of course, abort the 2020 PTAR and have retained the same venue (Ermelo) for this year.

Date: Friday and Saturday 21 & 22nd May 2021
Where: Ermelo Airfield, Mpumalanga
The fees are as follows:
• Entry Fee R 3 850 per aircraft as the early bird fee (This amount can be paid into the SAPFA bank account - Nedbank Limited, Account Number 1876019840). Fees will increase after 30th April to R 4500

• Membership fees Aero Club & SAPFA R 900 per crew member - to register or renew www.aeroclub.blueboxonline.com
• FAI licence R 280 per crew member (Can also be purchased on line on the Aero Club Bluebox payment system)
If neither of the crew are SAPFA members then the total fee per crew is R 2360.
If preferred, this total amount can be paid to SAPFA, SAPFA will apportion to Aero Club the membership fees.
• Additional banquet tickets at R 450 ea (The two crew members get a banquet ticket each as part of the Entry fee of R 3 850)
• Accommodation & car hire - options for accommodation and car hire will follow

The race format will follow what was established in 2019 in Saldanha, which has also been successfully executed in the Speed Rally series.

Organisation of the event in Ermelo is progressing well. The race committee have conferred and have held meetings with the club, have prepared the proposed airfield layout and are busy getting the necessary approvals in place. Our next meeting will take place shortly to confirm the remainder of the logistics such as accommodation and car hire.

Home Page for PTAR - www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/presidents-air-race (watch this space)
For Entries: - www.speedrally.co.za/event-details/ptar-presidents-trophy-air-race-sapfa-faeo-ermelo

Further details of the planning and run up to PTAR 2020 will be communicated in due course. Your comments are most welcome: - please mail chairman@sapfa.co.za

Till next time, fly safe

Rob Jonkers (Race Director)



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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.

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:

EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting virtual and Dicky Fritz MOTH hall. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net Cell: 084 674 5674

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

EAA Chapter 322 drive-in or fly-in night at Jack Taylor Krugersdorp. We will show a movie on a giant screen on the airfield. Members can drive in or fly in (camp that night on the field). The planned movie is 'Flying the Feathered Edge' with Bob Hoover.
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net Cell: 084 674 5674


Less than three years after the first delivery, the 100TH PC-24 has just been handed over to its new owner. The PC-24 is now present on every continent, flying innumerable missions every day: providing medevac flights in Australia and the USA, for example, business travel for a German automobile manufacturer and transport for government officials in South Africa and Switzerland.

The 100TH Super Versatile Jet "made by Pilatus in Switzerland" is now in use as a business aircraft with its new owner, Jetfly Aviation. This handover marks another milestone in the still young history of the first Swiss business jet: the global fleet has clocked up over 33,500 safe hours in the air so far, of which over 2,375 hours have been accumulated by the fleet leader.

The PC-24's exceptionally generous interior, 501 cubic feet (14.2 cubic metres) of cabin volume with flat floor throughout, comfortably offers sufficient space for up to ten passengers. In relation to cabin size, the PC-24 has earned its place in the "mid-size jets" category: customers who opt for a PC-24 actually end up with the same cabin size as in a model of the next higher price category.

The PC-24 offers passengers individually adjustable seats, a washroom with toilet, a baggage area which remains accessible in flight and a wardrobe. It also boasts a large cargo door with a system for securing luggage - a unique feature in this aircraft category and one that is much appreciated by the pilots tasked with stowing passenger baggage.

From now on, the PC-24 is also available with a modular inflight catering facility. The forward galley is located in the front section of the cabin and offers additional stowage room for coffee, ice, beverages and catering items.

The Super Versatile Jet also scores extra points for its modern, fuel-efficient Williams engines and smart Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE).

The PC-24 provides access to almost twice as many aerodromes around the world as other jets currently on the market. It takes passengers closer to their actual destination because the PC-24 is designed for use at small airports with shorter runways - a great way to avoid the usual administrative complexities at larger airports and keep transfers on the ground to an absolute minimum.

By way of example, the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia flies missions on remote strips in the Australian Outback, daily proof that the PC-24 is perfectly suited for these assignments. Whether on grass, gravel, snow or asphalt - the PC-24 can land (almost) anywhere.

Jetfly has operated Pilatus aircraft for over 20 years. With the handover of this 100TH PC 24, Jetfly now runs a Pilatus fleet of 51 aircraft - the largest in Europe.


Premier Aircraft Sales, the largest Diamond Aircraft dealer in North America, announced stronger than expected Diamond sales for 2020, selling 23 new aircraft (11 DA62s and 12 DA40s) and 17 preowned models. Since 2003, Premier has been the highest volume Diamond aircraft dealer in the world, now selling a total of 637 new and pre-owned Diamond aircraft since then.

"We went into 2020 with high expectations for our aircraft sales business," said Travis Peffer, Premier's president. "When the pandemic hit in late February last year, we saw an industry-wide dip in business for a few months. After we were awarded our Diamond territory in July of last year and opened two new sales offices - one in Texas and one in Massachusetts, we saw a steady increase in business and ended the year with one of our strongest years ever."

Peffer credits two factors with helping increase sales: customers looking to private air travel because of safety and efficiency benefits over commercial air travel and tax savings included as part of the coronavirus relief CARES Act. "Our November and December sales were tremendous and with Diamond aircraft in particular," he said. "In fact, we sold every Diamond we could get from the factory and are now sold out of new models for the first months of 2021."

Premier's Diamond sales territory accounts for 42 percent of aircraft sales and service for Diamond customers. The territory spans 19 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bahamas.

"We expanded our Diamond customer base in 2020 and look forward to a strong 2021 with new models such as the DA50 coming to market," said Jeff Owen, Premier vice president of Sales. "Diamonds remain high-demand aircraft due to their tremendous value and performance features as well as impeccable safety record. There are Diamond models for every mission need and pilot experience level."

Owen adds that Premier offers a tiered referral incentive program to industry partners and individuals for new Diamond aircraft sales. "We're also currently working to increase inventory of used Diamond aircraft, especially while there is a temporary shortage of new aircraft availability," he said. "We offer no-obligation estimates to customers looking to trade or sell. Estimates can be really convenient for customers who have their aircraft in with us for service or maintenance."


Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM is proud to announce a further expansion of mission capabilities for the versatile P2012 aircraft series with Apex Flight Academy in Taiwan after signing a contract for a TECNAM P2012 in a purpose-built skydiving configuration.

In 2019 the P2012 Traveller commuter airliner began commercial operations and was quickly followed by Air Ambulance, Combi and Cargo variants. TECNAM revealed in summer 2020 the P2012 Sentinel Special Mission Platform. Winter 2020 has brought the sixth variant to the P2012 and a new option for jump operators.

The P2012 jump ship will provide benefits for the operator, the jumper and the diver driver. For the operator: low op cost for a twin, mid-size load factors with good time to climb. The jumpers get a big door and a fuselage that will accommodate launching chunks and easy access for tandems. Jump pilots get full FADEC piston engines for no-hassle engine management, easy hot engine starts and less CG worries as jumpers bomb the door.

This new configuration will also enhance the P2012 Sentinel SMP mission capabilities, providing to governments and militaries a low acquisition and operating cost jumping platform as primary or secondary tasking.


The Sukhoi Company of United Aircraft Corporation has handed over to the Russian Ministry of Défense three Su-35S multipurpose fighters of the 4++ generation. The aircraft were built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft plant named after Yuri Gagarin, a branch of the Sukhoi company and were sent to permanent airfields of the Russian Air Force.

"We have completed the implementation of the next long-term contract for 50 Su-35S to the Ministry of Defence. Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft plant is one of the most modern industrial sites in the United Aircraft Corporation, which has invested in the development and modernization of production capacities. This allows us to fulfil our obligations to customers in full and on time. The plant continues to execute state defence orders and is well prepared for future development", said General Director of United Aircraft Corporation and General Director of Sukhoi Yuri Slusar.

As a reminder, within the framework of the Army-2020 forum, United Aircraft Corporation signed a number of long-term contracts for the supply of the latest aviation equipment for the Russian Ministry of Defence, including Su-35S fighters.

The Su-35S has an extensive range of possibilities over land and water. This aircraft and its associated technologies are distinguished by high manoeuvrability, a wide range of weapons and "intelligent" crew support.


Arsenyev Aviation Company "Progress" named after N.I. Sazykina of the Russian Helicopters holding handed over to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation all the Ka-52 Alligator combat reconnaissance and attack helicopters scheduled for delivery in 2020 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the state contract.

In addition, the company is currently working on the modernization of the Ka-52 helicopter in conjunction with JSC NCV Mil and Kamov design bureaus.

"This year was challenging, first of all, from the point of view of the epidemiological situation. Despite the difficulties in the pandemic, we managed not only to fulfil all our obligations under the state contract on time, but also to lift our first modernized Alligator, the Ka-52M, into the sky", said Yuriy Denisenko, Managing Director of "Progress".

The new Ka-52M is equipped with an upgraded optoelectronic system with an increased target detection and recognition range and a new digital drive, which will improve the accuracy of cannon firing. The upgraded Ka-52 also received a new radar system with an active phased antenna array and a long-range guided missile.

The Ka-52M main rotor blades are equipped with a more powerful heating element, which will allow the aircraft to operate over the entire temperature range, including Arctic conditions. The helicopter is equipped with landing gear wheels with increased bearing capacity and wear resistance, as well as lighting equipment based on LEDs. The modernized Alligator also has a new cockpit interior, which will ensure the fulfilment of modern ergonomic requirements.


Bombardier is pleased to announce a firm order for 10 Challenger 350 aircraft in a transaction valued at $267 million, based on 2020 list prices.

"This order highlights the tremendous value customers place on the unmatched capabilities of our aircraft," said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. "Bombardier's newly refreshed portfolio and growing service network position the company well to respond to growing interest in private aviation and the enhanced safety it provides."

The Bombardier Challenger 350 aircraft holds the coveted title of best-selling super midsize business jet since entering service six years ago and continues to strengthen its position with performance enhancements and cabin upgrades. Discerning passengers seek out the Challenger 350 business jet thanks to its spacious and sleek design, productive environment, quiet cabin and smooth ride.

With true seats full, tanks full and a 3,200-nautical-mile range, the Challenger 350 business jet can connect New York to Los Angeles or London and Paris to Dubai nonstop.


India cleared the country's largest-ever indigenous defence deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft. The deal was approved by the government's apex security body, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The deal will see state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited manufacture 73 LCA MK1A Tejas fighter versions and 10 trainers' versions, the Ministry of Defence said.

"This deal will be a game-changer for self-reliance in Indian defence manufacturing. It would act as a catalyst for transforming the domestic aerospace ecosystem. The LCA-Tejas is going to be the backbone of the [Indian Air Force] fighter fleet in the years to come," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.

"Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan [Self-Reliant India Initiative], India is continuously growing in its power to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting-edge technologies and systems in the defence sector," the MoD said in a statement. "About 500 Indian companies, including MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] in the design and manufacturing sectors will be working with HAL in this procurement. The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant, self-sustaining ecosystem."

The MoD said this deal is the first "Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)" category procurement of combat aircraft with indigenous content of at least 50 percent - and it's expected that will increase to 60 percent by the end of the program.

HAL Chairman Ramakrishnan Madhavan said the Tejas program will involve the highest level of local work in comparison to any Indian program of this scale.

According to a senior HAL executive, the private defence companies that will support assembly include Larsen & Toubro for the wings, Dynamatic Technologies for the front fuselage, Alpha Tokal for the rear fuselage and VEM Technologies for the centre fuselage.


All Nippon Helicopter's (ANH) H160 has performed its first flight test, a 95-minute flight at the Marseille Provence Airport. This successful maiden flight paves the way for the aircraft's entry into service in Japan.

ANH deploys a helicopter fleet comprising six AS365s and five H135s for electronic news gathering for the TV stations across Japan. This H160 will replace one of its AS365s.

"We are delighted to see the successful inaugural flight of Japan's very first H160 and are looking forward to this next-generation helicopter playing an important role in our nationwide missions," said Jun Yanagawa, President of ANH. "Since the introduction of the AS365 helicopter three decades ago, the requirements of the electronic news gathering market is constantly evolving and has significantly improved. This state-of-the-art helicopter H160 is a timely welcome for our operations."

The H160 was granted its type certificate by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in July 2020, with the certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) expected in early 2021. Upon delivery of the helicopter, specialised equipment installation and customisation will be performed at Airbus Helicopters' Kobe facility, before its entry into service.

Japan's electronic news gathering market is a mature market with 87 helicopters dedicated for such missions today. Close to 70% of these helicopters are manufactured by Airbus, with the H125, AS365, H135 and H155 platforms commonly used by the operators. With the imminent introduction of the H160, which is equipped with additional safety features from the Helionix's accrued pilot assistance, this helicopter will bring added leverage to the operator.

Designed as a multi-role helicopter capable of performing a wide range of missions such as offshore transportation, emergency medical services, private and business aviation, as well as public services, the H160 integrates Airbus' latest technological innovations. The helicopter provides passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility that benefits both passengers and pilots.


The Leonardo AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter will be the new Presidential Transport helicopter in the Republic of Colombia. The aircraft, in a special VVIP configuration, is expected to be delivered in spring this year and will be operated by the Colombian Air Force.

The supply of this helicopter will make the Colombian Air Force the first military customer of the type in the country and will expand the existing AW139 fleet in Colombia. The model has already proven successful for civil transport operations supporting the Oil & Gas industry, with five units in service used by prime operator Helistar S.A.S. The Presidential AW139 will feature, among others, an eight-seat configuration in the largest cabin in its category, the highest safety standards and include a self-defence suite, typically integrated into other helicopters in the Head of State/Government transport role.

The selection of the AW139 VVIP in Colombia confirms the leading role of Leonardo in the world's VIP multiengine helicopter market with a 40% share and grows the success of the type across Latin America for a range or roles, including VIP and offshore transport, law enforcement and public services. A successful model in the global military market thanks to its outstanding performance in hot & high, payload, versatility, latest technologies and modern serviceability approach often replacing the ageing UH-1 series, the AW139M military variant is also being proposed by Leonardo to respond to the multirole requirements of the Air Force, Army, National Police and Navy in Colombia. With over 400 civil and military helicopters in service in Latin America today, Leonardo is a major force in the rotorcraft sector across the region.

The AW139 sets new standards as a result of its advanced technology, high performance, reliability, safety, role flexibility and cabin space. Its modern avionics reduce crew workload allowing the pilot to focus on the mission. Orders for nearly 1,200 units in over 70 countries have been placed by more than 280 customers worldwide and nearly 1,100 helicopters are in service with more than 2.9 million flight hours logged in operations to date, confirming itself as the bestselling aircraft in its category. The AW139 has also found significant success for VVIP and Government transport duties worldwide thanks to its outstanding reliability, safety, comfort, customisation and versatility.


EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) ("EHang" or the "Company"), the world's leading autonomous aerial vehicle ("AAV") technology platform company, announced strategic partnerships with Zhuhai Da Heng Qin Pan-Tourism Development Co., Ltd., Zhuhai Huafa Sports Operations Management Co., Ltd. and Flying World (Zhuhai) Technology Co., Ltd. to jointly initiate Urban Air Mobility ("UAM") operations for aerial sightseeing and other air mobility services in the Hengqin New Area, the largest island and a Free Trade Zone in southeast Zhuhai in Guangdong Province of China.

By establishing AAV experience centres and a suite of supporting service systems, EHang AAVs will be integrated into the daily life of the local population.

During a signing ceremony held on January 8, a fleet of EH216 AAVs made passenger-carrying flights in Tianqin Park on Hengqin New Area. The flights were seen by local government officials, enterprise representatives, the media and local residents. A total of 36 passengers flew in the autonomous EH216, enjoying safe and comfortable aerial sightseeing trips. Through this event, EHang fully demonstrated its leading-edge technology for the centralized management of simultaneous flights of multiple AAVs in distributed operations under the command-and-control systems.

Li Weihui, Deputy Secretary of the Hengqin New Area, said, "We warmly welcome the arrival of EHang passenger-grade AAVs to Hengqin. We believe this new style of intelligent air mobility will have more and better uses and will flourish in our beautiful Hengqin New Area."

Resting on the west bank of the Pearl River estuary, the Hengqin New Area is regarded as the core of Pearl River Delta and boasts a unique geographical location adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. With an advantageous geographical location, pleasant natural scenery and rich tourism resources, it boasts favourable conditions and market demand for the development of short- and medium-haul urban air transportation. According to the Outline of the Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Overall Development Plan of Hengqin issued by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Hengqin will become a demonstration area for in-depth cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and an international leisure and tourism destination suitable for living, working and travel, accelerating the integrated development of tourism in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.


An SA Airlink Embraer ERJ-170, on a flight from Harare to Johannesburg (South Africa), was climbing out of Harare's runway 23 when the aircraft suffered a bird strike. The crew stopped the climb at about FL170 and returned to Harare for a safe landing on runway 05 about 35 minutes after departure. The aircraft remained on the ground for about 18 hours, then positioned to Johannesburg.

RSA, N4 highway near Kroon Airfield: Following a loss of engine power, a Kitplanes for Africa Safari LSA sustained substantial damage subsequent to an ensuing forced landing at the N4 highway near Kroon Airfield, Pretoria. The sole pilot onboard the airplane was not injured.

Egypt, Cairo: An Egypt Air Bombardier C-Series CS-300on a flight from Beirut (Lebanon) to Cairo (Egypt), was on approach to Cairo in low visibility, was cleared for the ILS approach to runway 05L. While turning final over the Nile river, about 10.5nm from the threshold of runway 05L, the aircraft went through the localizer runway 05L and aligned with runway 05C. ATC detected the false line up and queried the crew that they were cleared for 05L, not 05C. Subsequently ATC instructed the crew to turn left heading 360 and intercept localizer 05L. The crew intercepted localizer 05L and descended reaching 400 feet MSL about 2.6nm before the threshold runway 05L, where the aircraft should have been at 825 feet MSL. The crew subsequently went around, positioned for another approach to runway 05L and landed safely about 15 minutes after the go around.

Kenya, Tsavo East National Park: A Kenya Air Force (KAF) Harbin Y-12-II with four on board crashed under unknown circumstances at Irima hill in Tsavo East National Park near Voi, Kenya. All four occupants were killed.

Ethiopia, Wad Zayed: A Sudanese military Mi24 attack helicopter loaded with weapons and ammunition burst into flames after crashing at Wad Zayed airport in the town of al-Showak in al-Qadarif province. The three-person crew survived the crash.

Zimbabwe, Chibuyu, 180 km from Binga: A Cessna 210M with four occupants en route to Kariba Airport crashed on landing at Cibuyu after the engine stopped. All four occupants were unhurt.

Brazil, Campo Grande: An Azul Linhas Aereas Embraer ERJ-195-E2 on a flight from Sao Paulo Viracopos, SP to Campo Grande,MS (Brazil) with 137 passengers and 5 crew, landed on Campo Grande's runway 24, when during roll out the "Nosewheel Steering Inop" occurred. The crew stopped the aircraft on the runway and worked the related checklists. The aircraft needed to be towed to the apron.

USA, Spanish Fork Municipal/Woodhouse Field UT: A Hughes 269C operated by Trike Industries LLC with two on board experienced an apparent autorotation to open field terrain following a loss of engine power while manoeuvring in the vicinity of Spanish Fork Municipal Airport/Woodhouse Field (SPK/KSPK), Spanish Fork, Utah. The helicopter sustained substantial damage and the two pilots onboard were not injured during the accident.

USA, Pell City, St Clair County, AL: An Extra EA 300/L with only the pilot on board sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to open field terrain subsequent to a loss of engine power over St Clair County, Pell City, Alabama. The sole pilot was not injured.

Russia, Moscow-Domodedovo Airport: An Airbus A320-232 operated by Yamal Airlines diverted to St. Petersburg Airport, Russia, after suffering unreliable airspeed indications. The aircraft had departed Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, bound for Salekhard. The flight entered a holding pattern to the northeast of Moscow. An approach was attempted to Domodedovo Airport, but this attempt was abandoned. The flight crew then elected to divert to St. Petersburg and the flight declared an emergency. They made a safe landing at St. Petersburg Airport.

USA, at Treasure Island, Pinellas County, FL: A Piper PA-28-181 Archer II suffered a loss of engine power over the water about 24 minutes after take-off from Albert Whitted Airport (SPG/KSPG), Pinellas County, Florida. The pilot was not able to restart the engine and performed a forced landing on a beach at Treasure Island. Both occupants escaped unhurt and the right-hand wing tip of the aircraft suffered some damage after it hit a small pole.

18 JANUARY 1992

The United States armed forces retire the last F-4 Phantom II from front-line service.

A tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft was the F-4 Phantom. It first entered service in 1961. It was also adopted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force, and by the mid-1960s, became a major part of their air arms.

Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record and an absolute altitude record.

A large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2, the F4 could carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles and various bombs. Like other interceptors of its time, was initially designed without an internal cannon, an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon.

The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War. It served as the principal air superiority fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war.

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