MIDWEEK UPDATE 18 MARCH 2021

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein







COVID 19 REGULATIONS, INITIATIVES AND AEROCLUB NEWS

AERO CLUB COMMUNIQUE MARCH 2021 #1

Planning for the Centenary (+1) Airweek is now well underway, with detail planning having started after a kick-off meeting having taken place at Middelburg on 12 February. Essentially the outline theme remains the same,

The dates are 23 - 27 April 2021, with early arrivals on the 23rd and the SAPFA speed rally planned for the 27th April. The EAA annual convention will also take place during this weekend as will other sections of the Aero Club participating in their various disciplines. Please visit the website for more details. www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek

Registration is also open for attending - and those who plan to attend, you can register at this link https://forms.gle/fNu45vALTcrRGzQMA

Those who wish to camp and hire tents, the booking link is here https://forms.gle/jHhK9t2PGQvVWSvB8

For Exhibitors wishing to book exhibition space, visit the website www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek-events-pg-2 for details and Exhibitor forms.

If you have any queries or require information, please email rsvp@aeroclub.org.za

If you are not a member and wish to join the Aero Club and any of its sections, feel free to do so member-renewals-and-new-memberships

Our Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase (see advert below) from our new webshop www.aeroclub.org.za/shop







R1,000.00 WORTH OF PRIZES - THE CHOCK NORRIS AVIATION THEMED PHOTO CONTEST

Final entries! The competition will close on 31 March 2021

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

Vote now for March week 3 finalists


Vote for Mrch3.1


Vote for Mrch3.2

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.
Judging:
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
and
a voucher from the Pilot Shop valued at R200.00 will be awarded to each monthly winner
and
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

Eligibility:
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.



EAA CHAPTER 322
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!

www.eaa.org.za/membership/membership-form
or for EAA membership information go to
www.eaa.org.za






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.

20 MARCH
Stellenbosch Fly Inn. For more information go to www.stelfly.co.za

26 - 28 MARCH
Large Scale Aerobatics at Barnstormers. Contact Stan 084 268 2025 or Justin 084 465 1000

27 MARCH
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



2 TO 5 APRIL
Sandstone Steam Festival - train rides all day from 10h00. Contact 051 933 2235 Website: www.sandstone-estates.com

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

17 APRIL
Robertson Flying Club annual breakfast fly-in with spot landing competition. Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: boeredata@breede.co.za Cell: 083 270 5888

17 & 18 APRIL
Sports Aerobatics Club Eastern Cape Regionals Wings Park Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

15 & 17 APRIL
SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally - Stellenbosch Airfield. Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za Cell: 083 269 1516

24 APRIL
EAA South Africa at Middelburg Airfield AGM details to be announced

23 & 27 APRIL
Aero Club Airweek at Middelburg Airfield. Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032

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

1 MAY
Military and history festival. Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria. For more information bemarking@vdm.org.za








START-UP ENGINEMAKER HERON'S 130 SHP MINI-TURBOPROP ENGINE, WILL IT CHANGE THE LSA MARKET?




A Greek start-up engine maker, Heron Engines, has started testing its 130 shp Mini-Turboprop Engine on a Bristell light-sport-category aircraft. The company stated that once testing is completed, they will have all the information regarding consumption, price, maintenance, delivery time etc. Pre-orders will start then.




TWO FOR ONE: DUAL AIRVENTURE AIR SHOW PERFORMANCES PROMOTE SOCIAL DISTANCING





An innovative air show format to promote social distancing will be part of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, as the afternoon air show will at times feature a split performance area that accommodates two acts flying at the same time.


The split performance areas along Oshkosh's 11,000-foot flightline will be used for aerobatic displays with aircraft that have a smaller performance footprint. It will allow two acts to safely fly their rehearsed routines at the same time - one at the north end of the aerobatic box while another flies simultaneously at the south end.

"This is one way that will allow us to spread the crowd more evenly along the entire flightline instead of having the major density at air show centre," said Dennis Dunbar, EAA's director of flight operations. "Think of it as splitting a football field. Normally, everybody wants to sit at the 50-yard line. With this format, the centrepoint becomes the 25-yard line at each end. You can enjoy a great performance right in front of you, regardless of where you sit."

The AirVenture sound system already has the capability to split narration, so each act will have its own announcer and music.

"Imagine, for instance, Vicky Benzing flying her Stearman in the north box with her own announcer while Patty Wagstaff flies her Extra in the south box, also with her own music and announcer," Dunbar said. "We'll manage the schedule so that later in the week those acts will change locations, so if you're camping down in the vintage area or volunteering up in warbirds, you'll still see all the performers throughout the week."

For aircraft that require a larger demonstration area, such as the F-16 Viper Demo Team and the World War II warbirds that fly through the entire air show box, the full flightline will be used for their performances, as in the past.

As the daily afternoon air show line-up is announced each morning during AirVenture, the schedule will include what performers will be flying in the split box format and at which location. In addition to the split-box format, consideration is being given to spread other assets along the crowd line as well.

"One example might be instead of having an Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey insert special operators at air show centre only, we would request more than one Osprey and insert operators at locations along the crowd line," Dunbar said. "These are really common sense measures that do not impact safety while spreading the entertainment value along a much larger area. Some of these innovations could become a permanent part of AirVenture past 2021."

The air show innovations are part of the significant planning for AirVenture 2021 to maintain best practices for possible COVID-related challenges. The initial alterations for the AirVenture grounds were announced last week, with additional information coming as it is confirmed.

"We understand that we have to be innovative as we plan for AirVenture 2021," said Rick Larsen, EAA's vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. "Social distancing could very well still be a part of our lives by late July, so we wanted to find a way to encourage that on the flightline while also providing the best possible air show experience for everyone at Oshkosh."

AirVenture 2021 features nine air shows over seven days, including night airshows on July 28 and 31. The daily afternoon air shows are presented by Daher and Pratt & Whitney Canada, while the Wednesday, July 28, night air show is presented by Covington Aircraft.



CELEBRATING 65 YEARS OF THE LEGENDARY CESSNA SKYLANE



On 2 March 2021, Textron Aviation celebrated 65 years of the Cessna Skylane 182. More than 23,000 Skylane aircraft have been delivered since its type certification on 2 March 1956.

The four-seat, single-engine piston aircraft remains popular with aviation enthusiasts worldwide because of the adventure and freedom it provides, making 2 March a special anniversary to many pilots who took their memorable first solo flight in a Skylane.

The Skylane is an iconic aircraft to fliers, supporting a wide range of roles and missions. Multiple variants have been produced through the decades and the aircraft is regularly used by civil operators, cadet organizations and flight schools worldwide.

Much like the legacy of the Skylane, flying often runs in families for generations. The Old Green Plane is a Cessna Skylane that once belonged to Collin Caneva's father and now Caneva flies himself.

Caneva carries on the legacy of his father and the Old Green Plane by visiting interesting places and people in the aircraft with his co-creator Craig Spilker. The duo recently visited Textron Aviation to fly in two iconic Cessna Skylanes - theirs built in the early 1960s and one brand new straight out of the factory - with Rob Scholl, Textron Aviation senior vice president of Sales.

"If you're in aviation and you don't own at least one 182 in your life, then you're doing something wrong" said Collin Caneva, Old Green Plane Co-Creator

Happy anniversary to the Cessna Skylane and a special thanks to our many customers and employees around the world who have made it a legendary piece of aviation history.



FOURTEEN EACH SU-57 AND SU-34 FOR THE ALGERIAN AIR FORCE?



Apparently, Algeria has signed a contract to acquire 14 Su-57 stealth fighters, the first customer to whom the manufacturer Sukhoi will export this flagship of the Russian combat aircraft. The country has also signed for 14 Su-34 bombers and 14 Su-35.

The decision to purchase was made in the summer of 2019 after the visit of an Algerian delegation to the MAKS air show in Moscow.

Final deliveries will be completed by 2025. The Algerian Airforce will then be able to deploy two squadrons of Su-30MKA, one of Su-57, one of Su-35 and one of Mig-29M2 as well as two squadrons of Modernized Su-24 and one of Su-34 for the bomber fleet.



VERTIS AVIATION ADDS AFRICA-BASED CHALLENGER 604 TO PORTFOLIO.



Switzerland-based Vertis Aviation is expanding its footprint in Africa with the addition of a Bombardier Challenger 604 to the Vertis Charter Management Programme, VCMP. This is the second aircraft to sign up to the VCMP in as many months and represents the first Challenger 604 that the Argus Certified Broker will exclusively market for charter.

Based in Accra, Ghana, the Challenger 604 seats up to 11 passengers and also welcomes small pets when in a travel carrier. Equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, a full galley, divan and club seating, the spacious cabin provides a productive and comfortable environment. Vertis anticipates the home-base location in West Africa and the range - the Challenger 604 can fly nonstop across the continent - will stimulate demand from regional and international government, corporate, ultra-high net worth and broker customers. The aircraft is a familiar model in the African skies and West African government officials are already taking advantage of the jet's immediate availability.

A number of resilient West African nations are also seeing economic growth despite the pandemic as telecommunications, inward investment and reforms, and the growth of agricultural industries drive business development in the region. "We are seeing strengthening interest from the region, and as the limitations of commercial flights across Africa have been amplified by the global pandemic, we are extremely pleased to be able to market the Challenger 604. The model is already established and well-liked by the African business aviation market sector, it's a real work-horse and we're excited by the opportunities," adds Foster. The aircraft is operated by Austria-headquartered Avcon Jet, which has extensive experience operating across the continent, and is supported by a European crew.

The addition of the Challenger 604 showcases the distinctive qualities of the VCMP. The programme adds value to the ownership experience by providing a highly personalised approach to revenue generation on behalf of the owner. Vertis delivers outsourced professional charter sales management enabling the operator to focus solely on operations. The business model generates revenue from the asset for the owner yet provides the flexibility for owners to use the aircraft as needed. It also increases the bank of charter aircraft available to the market and enables Vertis to transform its portfolio to meet changing charter market trends. "It's a powerful combination and as we celebrate our first decade of business it demonstrates the need for, and sustainability of, this business model," says Foster. The VCMP is part of a wider portfolio of Vertis products which also features aircraft charter, lease, and transaction services.

The Vertis team works from an international network of offices located in Zug, London, Dublin, Beverly Hills, Dubai and Cape Town promoting a select portfolio of business aircraft including a Global 6000, Global 5000, Legacy 600, a Challenger 350 and now the Challenger 604 too.



BLUE LINE AVIATION PLACES ORDER FOR 100 DIAMOND AIRCRAFT



Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. and Blue Line Aviation recently inked a firm order for 50 Diamond Aircraft, including single engine DA40 NG's, twin engine DA42-VI's and a Diamond Simulator, with an option for up to 50 additional aircraft.

The order comes less than a year after Blue Line Aviation's 8-year anniversary, which was celebrated with the delivery of a brand new DA 40 NG from Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. Blue Line, North Carolina's leading flight training provider, has increased its fleet of modern aircraft to 16 aircraft, including ten DA40 NGs and two DA42-VIs. The company was founded in 2012 with one goal in mind: to provide the highest quality flight instruction in a professional environment. Operating new Diamond Aircraft aligns with that goal, allowing students to train in modern, technologically advanced aircraft.

"The timing of this aircraft order marks a significant milestone for Blue Line Aviation", said Scott McFadzean, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc., "We have followed the tremendous growth of this operation very closely and are impressed with their laser focused vision towards the future during this pandemic, which has caused a drastic shift in short-term pilot demand in the industry. We are proud to count them among our greater Diamond Family and look forward to continuing and growing the partnership for many more years to come."

"I'm thankful to everyone that has played a part in making Blue Line what it is today. We couldn't have done it without the hard work of our staff, students and friends at Diamond Aircraft," said Trey Walters, CEO and Founder of Blue Line Aviation. "Currently, we train approximately 40 full time students at a time in our 5.5 month career pilot course. We expect to triple that, or more, with the new aircraft and recently announced full student financing. We've been able to change lives through flight training and do some good in the world. At the end of the day, that's what matters."

Blue Line is also in the midst of constructing a new $16-million, 50,000-square-foot headquarters at Johnston Regional Airport (KJNX) with plans to permanently relocate in 2021. The state-of-the-art flight training facility will feature hangar space, the Professional Pilot Training Centre, a barbeque restaurant and rooftop terrace, simulator room, operations center and dispatch, flight briefing rooms as well as Diamond Aircraft Maintenance and administrative offices.



AMERICAN EXPRESS VENTURES MAKES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN BOOM SUPERSONIC TO FUEL THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL



Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world's fastest and most sustainable commercial airliner, today announced a strategic investment from American Express Ventures. The funds will support the continued development of Boom's flagship product, the supersonic airliner Overture.

Overture is Boom's 65- to 88-seat supersonic airliner, capable of running on 100% sustainable aviation fuel. The supersonic aircraft is slated to roll out in 2025 and begin commercial flights by 2029. Built on the core principles of speed, safety and sustainability, Overture will fly twice as fast as conventional jets over more than 500 transoceanic routes worldwide. Boom currently has $6 billion in pre-orders of Overture aircraft.

"We're proud that Amex Ventures shares our commitment to making the world more accessible by bringing sustainable supersonic travel to passengers everywhere," said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. "2021 is a pivotal year for Boom. As we prepare to fly our supersonic demonstrator, XB-1, we are also accelerating Overture development."

"Boom is building a supersonic passenger aircraft that will make travel faster and more sustainable," said Harshul Sanghi, Global Head of Amex Ventures. "Travel has been a key part of American Express' heritage and it remains an integral part of our Card Members' lifestyles. We are excited to support Boom's development and invest in the future of travel."

Last October, Boom unveiled XB-1, the world's first independently developed supersonic jet and a precursor to Overture. XB-1's first flight will be 100% carbon-neutral and is slated to take place this year in Mojave, California.



DA50 RG IS NOMINATED FOR AEROKURIER INNOVATION AWARD 2021



After launching the DA50 RG and receiving the EASA certification in 2020, Diamond Aircraft was honoured to earn Aerokurier Innovation Award 2020 for best new aircraft. Now in 2021, we are proud to be nominated again with our stunning DA50 RG.



EMBRAER ANNOUNCES 19 NEW ORDERS OF IPANEMA AGRICULTURAL AIRCRAFT



Embraer has announced that its agricultural aviation division has sold 19 EMB-203 Ipanema single-seat aircraft in February, totalling 27 aircraft sold this year. This sales volume in the first two months of 2021 is already 8% higher than what was negotiated throughout 2020.

The second consecutive month of high sales reflects the favourable performance of the Brazilian agribusiness and the technological innovations incorporated in the new version of the Ipanema aircraft. Agricultural crop-dusting services has been leading the market demand this year.

Although the demand for Ipanema remains more intense in the Midwest, the main agricultural hub in Brazil, the pace of sales this year has also been increasing in other regions in the country.

With almost 1,500 units delivered, Ipanema is the leader in the agricultural segment with a 60% share of the national market. Its role in precision agriculture combines high technology and continuously evolves to meet the requirements of high productivity and low operating cost.

The Ipanema 203, the most updated model in the series, has incorporated multiple improvements such new wing parts with different geometry and more resistant stainless steel material. This solution postpones eventual wear and tear from the severe natural condition of field operations and maintenance expenses over the years. The advanced aerial sprayer also has a new design on the engine hood, with new air outlet grilles to ensure greater cooling.

Ipanema's history begins in the late 1960s, when the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture signed a contract with Embraer for serial production in the country of an agricultural aircraft, with the aim of modernizing the sector by making new production techniques available.

The aircraft initially appeared as a project for engineers from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), in São José dos Campos (SP) and was tested for the first time at Fazenda Ipanema, in the municipality of Sorocaba (SP). In July 1970, Ipanema made its first flight and in 1972, it was commercially produced.

The most current version, the Ipanema 203, runs on renewable energy (ethanol) and was certified in 2015. This model guarantees more agility, efficiency and productivity, in addition to the lowest operating cost in the category. With its wingspan increased to 13.3 m and an improved wing profile, it allows a greater range of deposition of pesticides, reaching 24 meters of track with scientifically proven quality.

Mainly used in the spraying of fertilizers and pesticides, Ipanema has avoided, throughout all these decades, losses due to crushing of the crop and its ability to operate in regions with irregular terrain, allowing for greater flexibility. The aircraft is also used in seeding activities, vector and larvae control and river settlement.



VERTICAL AEROSPACE PARTNERS WITH ROLLS-ROYCE ON ELECTRIC PROPULSION FOR VA-X4 EVTOL



Vertical Aerospace has partnered with Rolls-Royce Electrical to power its five-seat eVTOL aircraft, which the UK startup aims to certify by 2024. The Bristol-based startup will begin assembly of the full-scale prototype shortly and plans to fly the aircraft this year.

Rolls-Royce will design the architecture of the electric propulsion system, employing eight of the company's "latest 100 kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units" coupled with the power distribution and monitoring systems, according to the company's press release.

Along with the partnership announcement, Vertical appears to have increased its range and speed targets for the company's production eVTOL, from 100 to 120 miles (160 to 190 kilometres) and 150 mph to 200 mph (240 to 320 km/h), respectively. The company also renamed its prototypes - formerly an unnamed proof-of-concept, the Seraph, and the VA-1X - to the VA-X1, VA-X2, and VA-X4, reflecting intended passenger capacity.

"We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power their pioneering eVTOL aircraft," said Rob Watson, director of Rolls-Royce Electrical. "This exciting opportunity demonstrates our ambitions to be a leading supplier of sustainable complete power systems for the new urban air mobility market which has the potential to transform the way that people and freight move from city to city."

This is the first commercial partnership for Rolls-Royce in the eVTOL space. In October, the company's research testbed at Cranfield University was filmed conducting ground tests by a student. Rolls-Royce confirmed it was focused on developing hybrid and all-electric propulsion systems to be used for eVTOLs after acquiring Siemens' electric aviation business.

The propulsion partnership is a boost for Vertical's eVTOL development effort, which began in 2016 and flew two full-scale wingless eVTOL prototypes before unveiling the startup's tiltrotor design in August of last year. Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers will work with the Vertical team to develop the aircraft, according to the powertrain manufacturer.

"This collaboration builds on our existing partnerships and Vertical is well-positioned to develop the world's leading eVTOL aircraft, certified to the highest CAA and EASA safety standards being set globally," said Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, who previously served as head of Future Technologies at Rolls-Royce.

In February, Vertical announced Solvay would develop the aircraft's composite structure.

An unannounced vehicle partner to Uber Elevate, Vertical received significant assistance on the design of its latest aircraft from the Elevate team. The propulsion system, with four tilting propellers mounted in front of the wing and four fixed at the rear of the wing that assist with vertical flight, bears some similarity in that respect to Uber's eCRM-004 design, as does Archer's Maker eVTOL.

Conscious of its well-funded competitors, Vertical has chosen to forgo sub-scale prototyping to meet its aggressive flight test and certification timeline for the VA-X4. Vertical also hired former Boeing lead flight test engineer Dean Moore to direct the company's flight test campaign, along with numerous other experienced aerospace executives.

Rolls-Royce also partnered with Tecnam in October to develop an all-electric version of Tecnam's P2012 twin-engine utility airplane. Dubbed the P-Volt, the aircraft is targeting entry into service later this decade with nine passenger seats, powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce motors that are yet to be described.



US NAVY BLUE ANGELS FIRST APPEARANCE IN NEW SUPER HORNETS WILL BE AT SUN 'N FUN



The Blue Angels are celebrating their 75th season this year and the US Navy's storied Flight Demonstration Squadron is marking that milestone with the unveiling of new jets for the team - the F/A-18E Super Hornet. The Blues' public debut performance in this incredible multi-role fighter will take place in Lakeland, FL at the 47th annual SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo, April 13-18, 2021. The move to the Super Hornet will be the first time the team has changed aircraft since it transitioned from the A-4F Skyhawk II to the F/A-18 Hornet 35 years ago in 1986.

"We are thrilled to return to the 2021 SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo, where we will have the opportunity to debut our new jet platform, the F/A-18 Super Hornet and logistics support aircraft, the C-130J Super Hercules", said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels. "We are humbled by the support and hospitality the Lakeland community provides us and we are excited to showcase the capabilities of Naval Aviation."

The Super Hornet, while visually similar to the "legacy" Hornet, is essentially a new aircraft. It is approximately 20% larger, 7,000 lbs heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lbs heavier maximum weight than the original airframe. The Super Hornet can carry 33% more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41% and endurance by 50% over its predecessor. A unique design characteristic of the Super Hornet is that it can be equipped with an aerial refuelling system (ARS) or "buddy store" for the refuelling of other aircraft, giving it another layer of versatility.

"We are honoured to be the first airshow performance site for the Blue Angels to help launch this exciting new era of their 75-year history," said SUN 'n FUN CMO/Airshow Director Greg Gibson. "The Blues' display of precision, excellence in flight, and character on the ground, is exactly the inspiration we want to bring to our fans."

The annual SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo is returning in 2021 after being forced to cancel 2020's event due to COVID-19. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Aerospace Centre for Excellence (ACE), the 22-acre STEM education complex located on the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus and its absence was a major blow to the organization. Former Naval aviator and F/A-18 pilot John "Lites" Leenhouts, President / CEO of SUN 'n FUN / ACE is ready to get the annual festival back in the air.

"Having the Blue Angels headline our return to business is a perfect parallel to SUN 'n FUN's journey," said Leenhouts. "A team built and established with great leadership and high standards can overcome any adversity, stand the test of time and innovate to remain relevant. Congratulations and welcome back to the Blues!"

The Blue Angels are scheduled to make their official debut performances on Saturday and Sunday, April 17th and 18th, with arrival and practice shows beginning two days prior.



THE NIGERIAN AIR FORCE TO GET CHENGDU PAC JF-17 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT AND TWENTY-FOUR M346 TRAINERS



According to information, Leonardo will supply 24 Leonardo M346 Master jet training aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force. The first six aircraft are already expected to be delivered this year.

The new aircraft are reported to replace the Alpha Jets. The M346s will also be used as a lead-in trainer for the new Chengdu PAC JF-17 fighter aircraft that were ordered with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

The Chengdu PAC JF-17 fighter aircraft were due to arrive in Nigeria in November 2020, but delays due to the worldwide pandemic crisis seemed inevitable.





USA



A USAF C-130J-30, assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, with four on board conducted a routine periodic pilot evaluation flight.
The crew flew a maximum effort (assault) landing at Ramstein Air Base and experienced a hard landing with a vertical acceleration load factor (g-load) exceedance value of 3.62 times the force of gravity (g) and a landing sink rate of 834 feet per minute exceeding the aircraft's maximum allowable landing limits of 540 fpm and g-load of 2.0g. Immediately upon touchdown, the crew executed a go-around and coordinated with Air Traffic Control for a visual approach, full-stop landing.
The landing g-load exceedance resulted in significant damage to the centre wing, both outer wings, left and right main landing gear assemblies, and engines, to include mounting structures. The estimated damages are $20,917,089.
The Accident Investigation Board President found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the cause of this mishap was the pilot's early engine power reduction (power pull), beginning at 70 feet above ground level (AGL) and fully flight idle at 45 feet AGL. In addition, the board president found, by the preponderance of evidence, that the evaluated pilot and other pilot's failure to identify the excessive sink rate and their failure to arrest the excessive sink rate or go-around in a timely manner were substantially contributing factors that resulted in the aircraft exceeding the C-130J-30 g-load and sink rate landing limits.

Tunisia, Monastir-Habib Bourguiba International Airport: A Tunisair Boeing 737-6H3 with 109 occupants diverted to Tunis, Tunisia, following a loss of cabin pressure. The aircraft was en route from Monastir to Lyon at FL380 when the crew initiated an emergency descent to FL100. A safe landing was made at Tunis Airport.

Kazakhstan, Almaty Airport: A Kazakh Border Service Antonov An-26 with six on board crashed at Almaty Airport, killing four of the six occupants. The aircraft crashed about 600 m short of the threshold of runway 23R and burst into flames. Weather at the time of the accident was poor with overcast clouds at 300 feet (91 meters), a visibility of 5 km with light freezing drizzle and mist.

Spain, El Tietar Airport, Toledo: A Club Agrupación de Pilotos del Sureste Schleicher ASK 13 glider with two on board experienced an apparent stall/spin after the tow launch and a subsequent impacted with airport terrain at El Tietar Airport. There were no survivors and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

USA, Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI: An Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia operated by Berry Aviation with two occupants performed a gear-up landing at Detroit-Willow Run Airport, Michigan. A review of the LiveATC.net audio revealed that the crew requested a return to KYIP. Shortly thereafter an emergency was declared. The flight was vectored for, then cleared for a visual approach.

Belize, Placencia:
A crashed and abandoned Beechcraft Baron 55 was found in Placencia, Belize. It had been used for transporting drugs. A fake registration, YV124, had been applied to the aircraft.

USA, near Poplar Bluff, Butler County, MO: A Cessna 170A experienced an inflight electrical anomaly and subsequent forced landing to open field terrain near Poplar Bluff, Butler County, Missouri. The airplane sustained substantial damage when it came to rest upside down and the sole pilot onboard was not injured during the incident.

USA, Maricopa County, Arlington, AZ: A Sportplanes Of Iowa Inc CubCrafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS sustained substantial damage upon impact with cacti during an off-airport landing in Maricopa County at Arlington, Arizona. The sole pilot onboard the tailwheel equipped airplane received serious injuries.

Russia, near Sochi: A S7 Airlines Airbus A321-211 was hit by a strong discharge of static electricity between two clouds, as it was climbing after take-off from Sochi, Russia. The captain decided to proceed to the destination and the flight landed safely at Moscow-Domodedovo Airport, two hours after the incident. The aircraft was suspended from flying, to assess damage sustained.

USA, Northampton County, Nazareth, PA: A Balloon Talk LLC Hot Air Balloon "Just Ducky" with three on board clipped trees, powerlines and impacted the terrain in Northampton County at Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The balloon "Just Ducky" sustained no damage and the three occupants onboard were not injured during the incident.

USA, Chicago-O'Hare International Airport: An American Airlines Airbus A319-115 suffered a bird strike after take-off from Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (KORD). The flight crew turned back immediately and landed safely, 16 minutes after take-off. Engine no.1 had ingested a goose, causing damage to fan blades and an acoustical panel.

USA, Colby Municipal Airport, KS: A Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron with only the pilot on board force landed near Shalz Field Airport (CBK/KCBK), Colby, Kansas, shortly after take-off. The pilot survived the crash with apparent minor injuries.





14 MARCH 1960



Within a year of completion of a major expansion program, Chicago's O'Hare International airport has become the busiest terminal in the US, handling 10.2 million passengers in 1959, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) reports. In the same year it handled 431,600 take-offs and landings.

Designed to be the successor to Chicago's Midway International Airport, nicknamed the "busiest square mile in the world", O'Hare began as an airfield serving a Douglas manufacturing plant for C-54 military transports during World War II. It was named after Edward "Butch" O'Hare, the U.S. Navy's first Medal of Honour recipient during that war. As the first major airport planned after World War II, O'Hare's innovative design pioneered concepts such as concourses, direct highway access to the terminal, jet bridges, and underground refuelling systems.

Scheduled passenger service began in 1955, but growth was slow at first. Although Chicago had invested over $25 million in O'Hare, Midway remained the world's busiest airport and airlines were reluctant to move until highway access and other improvements were completed.

In 2018, the city and airlines committed to Phase I of a new Terminal Area Plan dubbed O'Hare (or ORD) 21. It marked the first comprehensive redevelopment and expansion of the terminal core in O'Hare's history. ORD21 enabled same-terminal transfers between international and domestic flights, faster connections, improved facilities and technology for TSA and customs inspections and much larger landside amenities like shopping and restaurants.



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