Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



Hello fellow Air Racers, this our 2nd newsletter of the year in the run up to the PTAR and 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 - First National Bank - Account No: 62879279307). Fees will increase after 30th April to R 4500
• Membership fees Aero Club & SAPFA R 900 per crew member - to register or renew go to www.aeroclub.blueboxonline.com
• FAI licence R 260 per crew member (Also can 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 2320. If preferred, this total amount can be paid to SAPFA, SAPFA will apportion to Aero Club the membership fees.
• Additional banquet tickets R 450 each (The two crew members get a banquet ticket each as part of the Entry fee of R 3 850)
• Accommodation - we have negotiated rates at Ermelo Inn for the competitors and guests - please mention PTAR in your booking
• Car Hire - Options to follow
The race format will follow as to 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: - https://www.speedrally.co.za/event-details/ptar-presidents-trophy-air-race-sapfa-faeo-ermelo
Further details of the planning and run up to PTAR 2021 will be communicated in due course. Your comments are most welcome - send an email to chairman@sapfa.co.za
Till next time, fly safe
Rob Jonkers (Race Director)


Dear Member, this is a reminder of the upcoming 80th Annual General Meeting of the members of The Aero Club of South Africa. The details of this meeting are as follows:
Date: 16 March 2021
Time: 18:00 for 18:30
Place: Virtual Meeting (Zoom) - Invite details will be made available on the website closer the date.
Available on the Aero Club website are the following documents:
• The Agenda
• The Draft Minutes of the last AGM no 79
• Proxy form
• Nomination for Council Seat
Should you wish to place any items on the Agenda under General, please notify the Aero Club Office at office@aeroclub.org.za for inclusion. Any nominations to be made to serve as Council office bearers can be to the same address. See you there.


Dear Aero Club Member,

To renew your membership or join the Aero Club and its sections go to www.aeroclub.co.za where you can use the Aeropay System, or you can pay via EFT. 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 listed. 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
Fax: 086 635 3755
E-mail: office@aeroclub.org.za



Congratulations to Steve Brown, our January winner

Contestants, please note multiple votes from one device will only be counted once and may led to the entry being disqualified.

Vote now for February week 4 finalists

Vote for FebW4.1

Vote for FebW4.2

Final entries! The competition will close on 31 March 2021

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 to 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
a soft cover copy of the Aero Club of South Africa's Centenary Yearbook valued at R300.00 sponsored by Chapter 322 of the EAA of SA
The Pilot's Post "Chock Norris 2020" aviation related photo competition is only open to photographers resident in South Africa as our prizes are not transferable and can only be redeemed in South Africa.

With our MACH program (Member Awards for Chapter Help), your membership could win you a trip to Oshkosh!
Click on the link below today to renew or join!
or for EAA membership information go to

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 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

Where: Rand Airport - Old Customs Hall, Briefing: 08:30. Organiser - Frank Eckard. Contact frank.eckard@mweb.co.za Tel: 083 269 1516
ENTRY FORM HERE: www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/component/competition/?view=pilot
Those who did the training on the 30th January, let see how much you learned about the sport. Those who have SAPFA loggers, please bring them along.Programme of the Day: From 08:00 Breakfast available at the Harvard Café 09:00 Compulsory Briefing. Prize Giving after the event - time to be advised. Entry Fee: R850 per a/c for members. See the rules at the following link www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/rally-regulations or www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/fun-navigation. for Sportsman's Class

26 & 28 FEBRUARY
Sandstone Steam Festival. Contact 051 933 2235 Website: www.sandstone-estates.com

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

SAPFA Morningstar ANR Morningstar Airfield. Contact Tony Russell E-mail: tonyr@therussells.co.za Cell: 0832640107

Eagles Creek Breakfast Fly-In

Air Navigation Rally Wonderboom Airport. For more information got to www.myaviationlife.com/rally

RMAC Jet Fly in. Contact James at james@beyerschocs.co.za

6 & 7 MARCH
Sport Aerobatic Club Judges Trophy Venue Baragwaneth Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

12 & 13 MARCH
Bethlehem Aero Club event TBA. Contact Stephan Fourie E-mail: fouriesj1491@gmail.com Cell: 072 344 9678

Aero Club of South Africa AGM venue TBA. Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032


Pipistrel is proud to announce that conceptual design studies that had been conducted are indicating significant market potential on the premise of identified technological and infrastructural feasibility. Our Miniliner concept will deliver a leading solution for future small regional aircraft that will enable clean, fast, and cost-effective transportation.

The Miniliner is a new kind of zero-emission airplane in the 20-seat size class, capable of operating quietly from runways shorter than 1 km, including grass airstrips at small aerodromes. These aeroplanes have therefore the potential to disrupt aerial mobility, connecting currently unserved populations at 200 to 1,000 km range, but also catering for microfeeder services from small airports to large hubs.

Having started considering larger zero-emission aircraft as a part of the MAHEPA project several years ago, Pipistrel is now actively performing conceptual design studies in-house, as well as partnering with universities under the also EU-funded UNIFIER19 project.

While several powertrain solutions are being evaluated, advanced hydrogen-based propulsion systems answer the non-negotiable requirements of zero-emission, quiet and safe operations.

Current aircraft in this segment rely on 40-year-old designs, powered by fuel-burning, noisy and maintenance-intensive turboprop engines. Pipistrel's Miniliners allow for a Direct Operating Cost (DOC) reduction of 30 to 40% on a per-seat metric relative to today's solutions, even with the introduction of new zero-emission propulsion, real-time emissions monitoring and advanced flight control automation technologies. The latter will, at the same time, facilitate single-pilot operations.

Pipistrel aims for an EIS (Entry into Service) of 2028-2030, as the proposed concepts are geared towards not requiring large infrastructural investments. To overcome current challenges on the regulatory, operational and technological domains, Pipistrel is engaging with Europe's Clean Aviation, SESAR and EASA, as well as setting up multiple industry partnering initiatives.

We are excited to be surrounded by like-minded organisations which will achieve regulatory adaptations to next-generation single-pilot cockpits and commuter operations from unpaved runways. Microfeeder flights will leverage advanced air traffic control systems to safely integrate the miniliners into the busy airspaces around large airports. With airports becoming zero-emission multimodal nodes, as directed by EC Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, hydrogen powered zero-emission miniliners are every day closer to reality and will springboard the developments to bring Clean Aviation closer to communities.


Sometimes segments of the aircraft market grow stagnant and become ripe for disruption. Enter the Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, a brand-new high-performance aircraft that changes everything. Designed with more performance, more versatility, lower operating costs, smarter cabin space and a superior service network, the Cessna Denali turboprop is rising above the competition.

Powered by GE's clean-sheet Catalyst turboprop engine GE has taken a step toward entry into service with the first example now mounted on the wing of a testbed King Air. Product line leader David Kimball said the Catalyst's innovative integrated prop engine and prop control system "worked seamlessly" during initial ground tests. First flight was previously expected in 2020, but COVID-19 delays pushed the schedule to the right.

The 1.240 shp Catalyst, like the PT6-A, is a reverse-flow free turbine, meaning intake air flows through ducts and enters the engine at the rear, while exhaust flows from stacks at the front of the engine nacelle. But the similarity quickly dissipates from there. GE boasts that modern materials, 21st century production techniques and advanced computer controls provide 10% more cruise power than a comparable PT6-A; 20% less fuel burn resulting in lower emissions and greater efficiency; lighter weight; a single-lever power control and dual-channel full-authority digital engine control (FADEC).

The GE AVIATION CATALYST powerplant features a dual channel FADEC and propeller control which provides easy jet-like power control in the flight deck as well as unrivalled operating efficiencies and engine protection.


The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), is exercising an option in their contract with Saab regarding aerial firefighting capability in Sweden. Saab will provide two additional aircraft with associated crew.

The order from March 2020 concerns the capability to fight fires with two bucketing aircraft yearly, from 1 April to 30 September, through 2023. MSB is now exercising the option in the contract for two more aircraft, beginning with the 2021 fire season. This is a resource that will be available both for Sweden and for the EU.

During the past year, Saab has established capabilities in the form of firefighting aircraft of the type Air Tractor AT-802 F and pilot and technician skills, as well as specific permits for operation. During the summer, MSB decided to deploy Saab aircraft and pilots to fight a total of five different forest fires.

"We are proud to be a part of the Swedish national defence system and we are looking forward to expanding our firefighting capabilities with two more aircraft and several pilots. Prompt national responses to forest fires are important," says Ellen Molin, head of Saab's business area Support and Services.

The AT-802 F aircraft type is a water-bombing aircraft that can release 35,000-50,000 litres of water per hour in the event of, for example, a forest fire. The firefighting aircraft will be based in Nyköping, where Saab already has aviation operations for, among other things, aerial target services and support for Swedish Coast Guard aircraft. From Nyköping, the aircraft can reach Copenhagen or eastern Finland within 2 hours and Luleå within 3 hours. If necessary, resources can be based at another location with advanced technical and maintenance resources. Rapid response to forest fires is crucial.


The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) has agreed to purchase four Beechcraft King Air 360CHW turboprop aircraft, with an option to purchase an additional two aircraft. The new aircraft will add to their already large fleet of Beechcraft King Air aircraft. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2021 and continue through 2023.

By providing a wide range of essential healthcare services to regional, rural and remote communities, the mission scope of the RFDS requires 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operational availability for the vast territory of the state of Queensland.

Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Missions Sales: "By providing a wide range of essential healthcare services to regional, rural and remote communities, the mission scope of the RFDS requires 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operational availability for the vast territory of the state of Queensland," said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Missions Sales. "We are honoured that the RFDS, in evaluating its choices for this fleet, continues to choose the Beechcraft King Air as the platform of choice for these crucial operations."

The six Beechcraft King Air turboprops, configured for multi-stretcher air ambulance operations, will be equipped with a factory installed aft cargo door, heavy weight operations package and Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67A engines for additional performance capabilities. With its corporate office located within the Brisbane Airport precinct, the RFDS currently operates 20 aircraft across eight operational bases located at Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Charleville, Mount Isa and Roma.

The King Air, the most popular twin-turboprop model in Australia, provides unrivalled performance in terms of operational cost, speed and runway access throughout Queensland. Textron Aviation supports nearly 200 King Air aircraft in a variety of configurations throughout Australia.

"The King Air is the world leader in twin-turboprop special missions because of the aircraft's unmatched capabilities and reliability," added Gibbs. "Continuing to be a trusted supplier for emergency services in Australia is a testament to the King Air's performance when every minute matters."

RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said it was vital that the Service, one of the world's largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations, remained "future fit" as it neared 100 years of operation.

The Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft forms a key part of our 10-year aircraft replacement strategy, which will ensure we can continue to deliver world-class aeromedical retrievals and healthcare to regional, rural and remote Australians.


Air Bear Tactical Aircraft LLC ("Air Bear") and Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH ("Diamond") jointly announce award of DA62 MPP distributor status to Air Bear. Air Bear, based in Santa Ana, CA will be promoting sales and mission integration of the DA62 aircraft to Airborne Law Enforcement ("ALE") surveillance clients in the United States.

Air Bear has established itself as one of the preeminent prime contractors offering custom ISR and special mission aircraft since 2014. John Nielsen, Air Bear's Director of Law Enforcement Operations states: "The DA62 MPP is a great addition to our suite of mission ready aircraft platforms. It fills a niche between low performance piston aircraft and high-cost turbine platforms, with capabilities uniquely suited for the ALE community." Nielsen continues, "The DA62 MPP combines speed, range and payload to address the needs of ALE along with being custom designed to support the mission. Add its attractive acquisition price along with its extremely low JET-A fuel consumption and the community now has an outstanding performer at affordable prices."

Successfully supplying ISR and special mission aircraft since 2014, Air Bear counts among its clients the California Highway Patrol, Florida Highway Patrol, Orange County (CA) Sheriff, SB County Sheriff and Riverside PD among its many customers. Gary Bushouse, Director of Business Development at Air Bear states, "Air Bear has strived to provide the best capable, cost effective, mission ready solutions to ALE and the DA62 MPP, certified for US operations and provides an unrivalled mix of affordability and mission capability."

Mario Spiegel, Sales Manager Diamond Special Mission Aircraft at Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH states, "We are excited that we finally have found a distributor that is that well connected within the US ALE market, as Air Bear. The DA62 MPP offers everything you would expect of a state-of-the-art surveillance aircraft, such as multi-sensor capability, most modern avionics, efficient and quiet jet fuel engines, superior and easy handling and a roomy cabin.


The Uzbek Air Force took recently over the last of the six L-39 Albatros aircraft, which underwent a general overhaul in Aero Vodochody. Part of the overhaul of Uzbek aircraft is also a partial modernization of their on-board equipment.

"Aero is systematically strengthening and developing relationships with current L-39 users. Uzbekistan is the first of a number of customers who have decided to overhaul and modernize their fleet of L-39s at Aero Vodochody, which as the original manufacturer, is the only one in the world authorized for this type of overhauls," said Jan Štechr, vice president for military programs at Aero Vodochody.

The contract with Uzbekistan for overhauls of six L-39C aircraft was signed in September 2018 with the assistance of long-term strategic partner of Aero, the OMNIPOL company. In 2019, all six machines arrived to Aero premises at Vodochody, Czech Republic under strict secrecy.

As part of the partial modernization of six Uzbek Air Force aircraft, the original Russian radio station together with the on-board telephone was replaced by a Czech-made radio station on all six aircraft. The radio navigation system was replaced by system made by Garmin company. The radio compass was also replaced by more modern technology while the icing indicator was replaced by a new one made by Rosemount Aerospace.

Aero produced 2,900 L-39 Albatros aircraft, hundreds of which are still flying around the world. Uzbekistan got their L-39C after the collapse of the Soviet Union. L-39s are historically the most successful training jets. However, many countries also use them for other missions, such as reconnaissance missions or border protection.

Aero provides a wide range of support services to users of its L-39, L-59 and L-159 aircraft. In 2020, AERO secured orders for maintenance, repair and modernization of L-39C and L-39ZA from four foreign customers from Africa and Central Asia and a maintenance order for 16 L-159 from the Czech Air Force. In December, Aero handed over three L-39ZAs to the Nigerian Air Force after repairs and life extensions while another three Nigerian aircraft are undergoing general overhaul in Aero.


Czech defence exporter Omnipol announced the sale of 12 L-39NG trainers to Vietnam. The batch of the new L-39NG will be delivered to Vietnam's People Air Force from 2023 through to 2024. Included in the contracts are aircraft spare parts, equipment for ground-based training, logistics support and specialised airport systems.

OMNIPOL, an in Prague (Czech Republic) based investment and trading group and the Ministry of Defence of Vietnam have signed a contract for the supply of twelve Aero Vodochody L-39NG jet trainers. The contract includes the training of pilots, instructors, ground crew and mechanics. Also included will be the supply of aircraft spare parts, as well as the supply of equipment for ground-based training, logistics support or specialized airport systems. The L-39NGs will be delivered in the 2023-2024 timeframe.

The Không quân Nhân dân Vi?t Nam (Vietnam People's Air Force) has been a long-time operator of the L-39C Albatros, one of the most prolific communist bloc jet trainers. More than 2,800 L-39s were delivered around the world during the Cold War, including 31 to Vietnam. These Czech-built Aero L-39C Albatros' training aircraft are operated by the 910th Aviation Training Regiment of the Air Force Officer School at Dong Tac Airport.

The L-39s are highly valued by customers around the world, for their robustness, high-quality workmanship and simplicity of maintenance. Proven experience with Czech aircraft, especially being able to operate in harsh climatic conditions, is an important criterion for the purchase of the L-39NG by the Vietnam People's Air Force. The aircraft shares a basic structure with the original variant, but the engine, flight deck, canopy, landing gear and ejection seats are all new, along with aspects of the airframe. The aircraft's avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer's requirements. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centres with the goal to increase training efficiency.


International energy group Shell has selected leading US offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four Airbus H160s to service a support contract in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract marks the entry into the oil and gas market of the H160 with a wealth of design features promising new levels of safety, comfort and schedule reliability in offshore operations.

The three companies - Airbus, PHI and Shell - are cooperating in a unique partnership. In a pioneering move, Airbus will provide one H160 ahead of final deliveries to PHI and Shell for a year-long route-proving programme to enable the operator and the final customer to familiarize themselves with the type's advanced features and mitigate the normal challenges around entry into service.

At PHI it will be based at Houma, Louisiana and join a large company fleet of H125s and H135s deployed in emergency medical service throughout the United States, as well as two H145s operating for Shell on pipeline survey work in Louisiana and two H145s flying the world's longest harbour pilot shuttle in Mackay, Australia.

With 68 patents, the H160 is the world's most technologically advanced helicopter and features an unprecedented suite of pilot aids delivered through its Helionix avionics, which substantially reduces crew workload and decreases the risk of pilot error.

They include the world's first ground helipad assisted take-off procedure, a vortex ring state pre-alerting system and a recovery mode to automatically regain steady flight in difficult circumstances.

The H160 is powered by two of the latest Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines and incorporates an embedded monitoring system and a redundancy of sensors while it can be maintained autonomously far from base. The design emphasises robust corrosion defence specifically envisaging offshore missions.


Continuing its 63-year legacy of providing safe and reliable transportation for the president of the United States, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), is under contract to manufacture a total of 23 VH-92A® Presidential Helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. Sikorsky is on schedule to deliver the next generation presidential helicopter later this year.

The award announced on February 5, 2021 by the U.S. Navy for five aircraft, is the final lot of VH-92A presidential helicopters set to deliver in 2023. Sikorsky's highly skilled workforce is completing final modifications on 12 of the production aircraft at its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut and Owego, New York.

"This contract to build more presidential helicopters shows our customer values Sikorsky's proven record of supporting this no fail mission for decades and is confident in our ability to innovate and deliver this next generation aircraft flying the president well into the future," said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. "This aircraft has a special place in the hearts of our employees who treasure the legacy and look forward to watching the new White Top enter service."

The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky brings unmatched experience and a proven track record to this mission having flown every U.S. commander-in-chief since President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A, also called a "White Top" due to its notable white and green livery, will continue this legacy for decades to come.

The VH-92A program ensures long-term affordability and maintainability by utilizing the FAA certified Sikorsky S-92 aircraft which has industry leading reliability and availability. The S-92 aircraft is modified for the VH-92A mission based on government-defined requirements. The S-92 fleet surpassed 1.7 million flight hours in 2020 and averages 14,400 hours of safe flight per month.


The first Boeing [NYSE: BA] KC-46 tanker destined for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) took to the skies on its maiden flight yesterday. This successful flight highlights an important milestone as the aircraft now transitions into the certification phase of development.

Japan is the KC-46 program's first international customer and is scheduled to receive its first jet this year.

"This is an exciting milestone for the JASDF and Boeing," said Jamie Burgess, KC-46 program manager. "Japan is getting closer to receiving the most advanced air refuelling tanker in the world."

"Boeing's KC-46 and its robust defensive systems will play an invaluable role in the security alliance between our two countries," said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. "This tanker's ability to carry cargo and passengers also makes it a critical tool to support humanitarian relief efforts across the Pacific region and beyond."

The KC-46 refuelling certification encompasses U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and JASDF aircraft.

Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and Japan on its 767-production line in Everett, Washington. Boeing's Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure.


On 21 January 2019, a Douglas DC-3C was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Kidron, Ohio. The two pilots were fatally injured.

The two pilots departed in a turbine powered DC-3C at maximum gross weight for a repositioning light. The airplane was part of a test program for new, higher horsepower engine installation. Soon after lift-off and about 3 seconds after decision speed (V1), the left engine lost total power. The propeller began to auto-feather but stopped feathering about 3 seconds after the power loss.

Witnesses observed white smoke exiting the left engine exhaust system immediately after take-off and the airplane banked and yawed left. The airplane subsequently descended and struck power lines and trees before impacting terrain.

The power loss and auto-feather system interruption occurred during a critical, time-sensitive phase of flight since the airplane was at low altitude and below minimum controllable airspeed (Vmc). The acutely transitional phase of flight would have challenged the pilots' ability to manually feather the propeller quickly and accurately. The time available for the crew to respond to the unexpected event was likely less than needed to recognize the problem and take this necessary action - even as an immediate action checklist/memory item.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of airplane control after an engine flameout and auto-feather system interruption during the take-off climb, which resulted in an impact with terrain and the death of the crew.

South Africa, Lichtenburg Airport, North West Province: Unconfirmed reports regarding the Aérospatiale SA 341F Gazelle crash at Lichtenburg Airfield suggest that this accident may have been caused by a handling issue resulting from an inexperienced pilot with limited hours on the Gazelle. The aircraft is thought to have lost control while manoeuvring between hangars ultimately resulting in the main rotor severing the tail boom. Another theory being considered is the possibility of widespread fuel contamination as the cause behind a recent spate of accidents across South Africa. The pilot suffered no injuries. The aircraft suffered substantial damage.

South Africa, Lions Head, Clifton, Cape Town: A Paraglider pilot lost his life in an accident on Lions Head at Clifton, Cape Town.

South Africa, Kromdraai: The pilot of a Bell Jet Ranger that had suffered an engine out performed a hard auto rotation landing during which the rotor severed the tail section. The aircraft came to rest on its skids and the pilot walked away.

South Africa, Kroonstad: An AirTractor crop spraying aircraft forced landed in a field near Kroonstad in the Free State. The pilot was not injured but the aircraft suffered substantial damage.

South Africa, Alberton, WSW of Rand Airport: A Cessna 172L Skyhawk on a flight from Bloemfontein International Airport to Rand Airport, Germiston sustained substantial damage upon impact with the roof of an industrial structure in Alberton while on approach to land at Rand Airport Germiston, Gauteng. The two occupants onboard received minor injuries.

Nigeria, NE of Abuja International Airport: A Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft B300 King Air 350i with seven on board was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after take-off following a reported loss of engine power near Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Nigeria. The aircraft crashed on the final approach path of Abuja Airport runway 22. The seven people onboard perished.

USA, near Denver International Airport CO: A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 with 241 on board on a flight from Denver to Honolulu, Hawaii. experienced an uncontained no. 2 engine failure 4 minutes after departure from Denver International. Parts of the engine inlet cowl and fan cowls separated and came down in a residential area of Broomfield. The crew declared a mayday and circled back and landed safely. There are no reported injuries onboard the aircraft or on the ground.

Brazil, Fazenda Decisão, São Desidério, BA: An Embraer EMB-202A Ipanema air tractor with only the pilot on board on an agricultural operation flight from Fazenda Decisão, shortly after taking off, lost control and crashed. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The pilot was unharmed.

France, Le Castellet: Two French Armée de l'Air Dassault Rafale B's of the 4e Escadre de Chasse of the Armée de l'Air took off from Base Aérienne for military manoeuvres. During a low pass near Le Castellet, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, one aircraft hit a high-tension wire, causing the wire to be severed. The aircraft sustained damage and was forced to divert to Base Orange-Caritat, where it made a successful emergency landing.

Netherlands, over Meerssen: A Longtail Aviation Boeing 747-412 with only the crew on board suffered an uncontained engine failure of the no.1 engine. At that point, the aircraft was climbing through 1400 feet. Blade fragments were ejected from the engine, coming down in the village of Meerssen, 2 km past the end of the runway at Maastricht airport from where it had departed. The flight crew initially declared a Mayday and subsequently requested vectors for a holding pattern at FL100 to dump fuel. The flight then diverted to Liège Airport, Belgium, as this airport had a longer runway. A safe landing was made one hour after take-off from Maastricht Airport.

Antarctica, Larsen C glacier zone: A Fuerza Aérea Argentina de Havilland Canada DHC-6-200 Twin Otter with three on board was on take-off roll when the nose landing gear was locked by a fissure on the ice, breaking it. All crewmembers were unhurt and rescued by a pair of Argentine AF Bell 212 helicopters based at Base Antártica Marambio. The recovery of the DHC-6 is being evaluated.

USA, SSE of Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, WI: A experimental Velocity V-Twin with two occupants crashed in unknown circumstances in wooded terrain to the south of Rock County-Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, Wisconsin, USA. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and there were no survivors.

United Kingdom, North Sea, approx. 260 km North of Aberdeen: A Loganair ATR 42-500 with 37 occupants returned to Aberdeen following an engine failure. The aircraft had departed Aberdeen, Scotland, carrying oil industry personnel to Sumburgh Airport, Shetland Islands. The aircraft was en-route at FL170 about 25nm south of Sumburgh Airport when the crew descended the aircraft to FL110, turned around and returned to Aberdeen due to a problem with the right-hand engine. At that point the flight was over the North Sea, about 260 km North of Aberdeen and 50 km South of the destination, Sumburgh. They landed safely at Aberdeen 55 minutes later.

20 FEBRUARY 1977

Death of Cristoffel Johannes "Boetie" Venter, South African WWI fighter ace, Director-General of the SAAF during WWI and later, director of South African Airways.

Cristoffel Johannes "Boetie" Venter was born in November 1892. He joined the 7th Mounted Rifles in 1912, then the 5th SAMR, in August 1914 for service in South West Africa. He joined 1 South African Infantry Battalion

In 1916, as a member of the 1 South African Infantry Battalion, he served in France until he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in February 1917. He was shot down and captured in 1918. He won the DFC and bar and was credited with 16 aerial victories.

During his career, he was Awarded Order of the Bath UK, the Companion of the Order of the Bath, the UK DFC, the UK Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, the Greek Order of the Phoenix and the Belgium Military Cross.

In 1922, after the war, he joined the South African Air Force where he commanded 1 Squadron SAAF and served as Officer Commanding Wits Command in 1936 as Major General.

He was Director-General of the Air Force from 1940 to 1945. After World War II, he was managing director of South African Airways.

and subscribe to our YouTube channel

Midweek Update

Copyright © 2023 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilot’s Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilot’s Post.