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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.
Robertson Flying Club annual breakfast fly-in with spot landing competition. Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 270 5888
17 & 18 APRIL
Sports Aerobatics Club Eastern Cape Regionals Wings Park Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
SAPFA Middelburg Speed Rally at Middelburg Airfield. Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 855 9435
30 APR TO 2 MAY 2021
North meets South @ Gariep 2021. Venue: Gariep Dam. Tommie Jordaan. WhatsApp : 0828023221 email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Military and history festival. Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria. For more information bemarking@ vdm.org.za
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting virtual and in person at Dicky Fritz MOTH Hall, Edenvale. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 674 5674
SAPFA Sheila Taylor Navigation Rally at Krugersdorp Airfield. Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
Battlefields Country Lodge and Sports Resort annual fly-in. Contact Dave O' Halloran E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 034 218 1614
8 & 9 MAY
Sport Aerobatics Club KZN Regionals Ladysmith Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
20 TO 22 MAY
SAPFA President's Trophy Air Race at Ermelo Airfield. Website: www.sapfa.co.za E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
SAA Museum Society Airline Collectables Fair - Rand Airport. Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 076 879 5044
28 TO 30 MAY
RC Jets over Utopia. For more information contact Dave 082 455 1071 or Clint 082 894 2068
Fly-Mu breakfast fly-in and music festival at Springs airfield. Contact Fanie E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 789 5507
TEXTRON ANNOUNCES ENTRY INTO ELECTRIC AVIATION MARKET WITH FORMATION OF NEW DIVISION
Textron has formalized their entry into the electric aircraft market with the creation of their newest division: eAviation. Textron's eAviation has been announced to be headed by Rob Scholl, a long-time senior executive who was previously the senior VP of Sales and Marketing and who will now serve in a senior VP role that will report directly to the chairman and CEO of Textron, Scott Donnelly.
Already well known for producing Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft, eAviation's role will be a bit of an exploratory one; Scholl's main role with eAviation was described to be as leveraging the "work across our aerospace and defence businesses to develop new opportunities and take advantage of our fixed-wing and rotorcraft expertise in emerging technologies." In addition, eAviation under Scholl will also include assembling enterprise talent from throughout Textron, networking to create external partnerships and ultimately to create a path for further development and application of electric aircraft and related mobility technologies in the global market.
The Bell Nexus, an electric air taxi set to be manufactured by Bell, a subsidiary of Textron. Photograph: Bell Flight
As for eAviation's stance on aerial mobility, Donelly for now intends to take a cautious approach to the industry, citing concerns with the state of domestic regulations in regards to aerial mobility. "I do think we have to be cautious here in terms of not getting too far out front of a regulatory environment that's very uncertain to allow that business model to be successful."
However, Bell Aircraft, a subsidiary of Textron, has been doing work with both manned and unmanned electric aircraft for some time now, most recently with their Nexus air taxi and Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) designs. Bell also established an office on Textron Aviation's Wichita campus, showing that Textron does hold some interest in establishing a presence in this sector of the market.
Why it's important: Textron's move to the electric aviation market will mean several possibilities, from the electrification of some of their most popular Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft to a potential move into the aerial mobility market. In regards to aerial mobility, while they remain cautious for now, a favourable change in the regulatory state for aerial mobility could see Textron making their move into the quickly growing sector.
MOMENTUM BUILDS FOR CESSNA SKYCOURIER PROGRAM AS CERTIFICATION FLIGHT TEST BEGINS
The Cessna SkyCourier turboprop continues to surpass significant milestones as it begins the certification flight test phase of the program for the high-wing, large utility aircraft. Each major achievement has allowed the members of the flight test program a better understanding of the aircraft's strength, capability and durability.
The Cessna SkyCourier aircraft is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
The fleet of three flight test aircraft has now completed more than 700 flight test hours and the program continues toward FAA certification and first deliveries later this year.
Since the third aircraft joined the flight test program in late 2020, the Cessna SkyCourier team has gained momentum through several substantial accomplishments that include: Envelope expansion to all corners of the speed, altitude, and structural design. Extreme hot and cold weather testing, ensuring aircraft systems are functional and operational at extreme temperatures. Bird strike testing, which included eight separate tests over a two-month period, to demonstrate the impact resistance of the windshield glass and surrounding structure.
Certification of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engine through Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification expected soon.
Natural icing certification, demonstrating the aircraft's ability to operate in actual icing conditions.
"The SkyCourier was designed to fulfil a need in the marketplace for a flexible, reliable, high-utilization aircraft for customers around the world and its versatility makes it a great fit for a wide range of operations," said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs. "The aircraft has performed exceptionally well through every phase of testing, and we're pleased by its progress. With the start of certification flight test phase, we are entering one of the most important phases of the SkyCourier program and I'm confident in our highly skilled team and the outstanding abilities of this aircraft."
Production final assembly for the SkyCourier begins this month on the company's east campus in Wichita. State-of-the-art tooling, including high-speed machining, has been developed for the aircraft's assembly. "We're excited to manufacture another revolutionary product for our customers," said Brad White, senior vice president, Operations. "Everything with the Cessna SkyCourier tooling is brand new and designed and produced in house. Our production team has made final preparations to the process, focusing on every step to ensure assembly is completed with great efficiency and excellent quality."
The Cessna SkyCourier aircraft will be offered in two configurations including a 6,000-pound payload capable freighter and a 19-seat passenger version, all based on the common platform. The Cessna SkyCourier aircraft will deliver a combination of robust performance and lower operating costs. The aircraft will include single-point pressure refuelling as standard to enable faster turnarounds. The aircraft features the popular Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite and offers highlights such as a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 kts and a maximum range of 900 nm.
MAGNIGYRO PRESENTS THE M16 AGRI GYRO
Agricultural production presents various challenges ranging from productivity, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, climate change and, last but not least, sustainability. New technologies that help face these challenges are considered to be of priority implementation. There are two basic elements to take into account: aircraft must be performing and efficient but, above all, their environmental impact must be kept under control.
It is no coincidence that one of the mottos that best represents MagniGyro, a leading manufacturer of gyroplanes, is "innovate to be innovative". Constant research and development and an important collaboration with AG-NAV have led to the development of the M16 Agri. This new model, developed based on the well-known Magni M16 Tandem Trainer, puts a new perspective on aerial work, particularly in the agricultural field.
Thanks to its extreme operational simplicity and great manoeuvrability, the M16 Agri is also an ideal partner for small and medium-sized agricultural producers, who find the gyrocopter a valuable ally, not least because of its extremely low operating and maintenance costs. These favourable characteristics led, on 9 December 2017, to the official delivery of two Magni M16 Agri to the Ministry of Agriculture in Ecuador. The two aircraft are still employed in the fumigation of banana plantations owned by the Banavid Association.
Unlike other aircraft, the gyrocopter has no stall and can therefore fly at very low speeds and heights. The aerodynamic configuration of the rotor generates minimal turbulence during flight, allowing fumigation to be carried out without unnecessary dispersion of product.
The high manoeuvrability of the gyroplane also allows it to return to the plantation in a minimum of time once it has completed its pass. These characteristics, combined with reduced take-off and landing distances, which are possible even from semi-prepared surfaces, allow the aircraft to operate close to the field to be treated, making reloading trips much easier and shorter. All this reduces time and fuel consumption, and represents a huge cost saving.
The M16 Agri is equipped with an irrigation system, with a 120 or 150lt tank positioned in the passenger seat and MICRONAIR or NOZZLE type sprayers operated by an electric pump in the case of low spraying volumes or by a wind pump in the case of higher volumes. The width of the pass is approximately 10/15 m depending on the working height and the type of crop to be treated.
The available spraying systems are therefore customisable according to operational needs, guaranteeing a wide delivery range between 15 and 60 l/min suitable for most of the crops to be treated.
The integrated spraying management systems facilitate the work of the pilot who, regardless of the speed or direction of flight over the field, will obtain a constant and uniform spread of product. This is achieved with the aid of sophisticated GPS systems, which, once the type of field to be treated has been set, manage the flow of product in relation to flight speed by partialising the flow rate to the spray booms. Spraying also starts and stops automatically when entering and leaving the field, and in the event of overlapping passages.
A large LED bar provides the necessary information for correct alignment.
The M16 Agri is available with two different engines: Rotax 914 Turbo with 115HP and Rotax's latest engine, the 915iS with 141HP. Thanks to its performance and operating versatility, the M16 Agri proves to be a sustainable, fast and effective solution, thanks to its very low consumption per hectare compared to a "land-based" treatment.
ADDITIONAL HELICOPTERS TO JOIN THE MOZAMBICAN MILITARY AS MERCENARIES ARE EASED BACK
Written by Defence Web
An Mi-8 helicopter releasing flares
Mozambique's military will soon start using Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters in the fight against insurgents in Cabo Delgado province as Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) private military contractors have their involvement reduced. This is according to Zitamar News, which reported that DAG is to end its involvement in the conflict on 6 April 2021.
A well-placed source told Zitamar that DAG's helicopter support would come to an end on 6 April, and from then on, air support would be provided by Mozambican military helicopters recently acquired from Paramount. These will be flown by Mozambican pilots trained by Paramount and its partner company, Burnham Global. DAG has used Gazelle, Alouette III and Jet Ranger helicopters in Mozambique.
Zitamar sources told the news company that the Mozambican pilots would operate four Gazelle helicopters, while two Russian-made helicopters - an Mi-17 and an Mi-24 - would be operated by Ukrainian crews.
Journalist Nuno Rogeiro late last year reported that Mozambique would be getting several upgraded Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters from Paramount, fitted with weapons, sensors and other equipment. While Mozambique has its own Mi-24 and Mi-17 helicopters, they are all understood to be grounded/unserviceable and the new acquisitions are refurbished second hand models.
In February this year, two ex-UK Army Gazelles were seen at Nacala Airport in Mozambique in Mozambican military colours. They were supplied by Paramount and it is understood another four were destined to be transferred from the UK to South Africa before making their way to Mozambique or perhaps the Paramount Academy in Polokwane or another African defence force.
Africa Intelligence in December last year reported that an agreement between Mozambique and Paramount covers at least 12 Marauder armoured vehicles and four Gazelle helicopters, with the Gazelles to be delivered by February.
Fifteen Mozambican pilots were being trained at the Paramount Technical Training Academy based at Polokwane International Airport, Africa Intelligence reported. Burnham Global is also providing training in the operation of the armoured vehicles on the ground in Mozambique, according to the Daily Maverick.
On 23 February, Paramount and Burnham Global announced a multimillion dollar contract with an African government to provide a range of military training and advisory services. This country is believed to be Mozambique.
Paramount is believed to be supporting the Mozambican Ministry of Defence while DAG has been employed by the Ministry of the Interior to support police operations in Cabo Delgado. DAG started operations in Mozambique in April 2020, and saw its contract renewed in July that year and expanded to include training ground troops, Zitamar said. Dyck Advisory Group lost a Gazelle helicopter in April 2020, which was apparently shot down by insurgents it was targeting at the time.
Dyck's apparently reduced presence in Mozambique comes after an Amnesty International report said DAG had fired indiscriminately on civilians while helping the government fight the insurgency.
DART AEROSPACE RECEIVES TRANSPORT CANADA APPROVAL FOR NIGHT HOVER REFILL OPERATIONS
In partnership with Talon Helicopters, DART Aerospace recently received Transport Canada approval for Talon to perform night hover refill operations with its DART AS365 Fire Attack System (FAS). The approval is the first step in pursuing a full FAA STC update to allow night vision goggles (NVG) aided and unaided night hover refill operations on all DART AS365 Fire Attack Systems.
Talon Helicopters Airbus AS365N2 night flying water drop exercise near Pitt River, BC. Heath Moffatt Photo
This move comes as demand for night firefighting increases around the globe to help battle the world's growing number of devastating wildfires. Certified tanks like DART's fire attack system are the only firefighting tool for night VFR flights.
The original AS365 FAS STC only allows ground fill operations at night. After purchasing the FAS-equipped aircraft, Richmond, B.C.-based Talon Helicopters requested DART's support in removing night hover refill restrictions.
"We installed NVG capabilities on the aircraft in preparation for increased firefighting support," says Peter Murray, president of Talon Helicopters. "Yet right from the get-go, we found the restriction on hover refills an obstacle to rapid response. DART was unbelievably fast and accommodating in helping us remove this restriction."
DART worked with Transport Canada and Talon, arranging NVG-aided and unaided flight tests to demonstrate the safety of night hover refill operations. DART submitted the flight test report and other certification documentation to Transport Canada.
"We recognize the extreme importance of helicopters in the battle against the world's growing forest fires and our responsibility to help support our customers in that effort," says David Shepherd, vice president of certification for DART. "The work with Talon helped pave the way for additional options on our future systems to further support night firefighting operations."
GULFSTREAM'S G700TM FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM SURPASSES 1100 HOURS OF FLYING WITHIN 1 YEAR
Gulfstream Aerospace has announced the Gulfstream G700TM flight-test program has made significant progress, surpassing 1,100 hours of flying and completing new company test regimens, all within the program's first year.
After its maiden voyage on February 14, 2020, the G700 successfully completed several critical phases-of-flight tests, including envelope expansion, flutter, aerodynamic stalls, flying qualities, flight control systems and air-data testing.
The test fleet then went on to conduct winglet and wing-ice shape stall testing, loads testing and initial cold-weather testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The test aircraft have performed avionics testing in Chicago, as well as Van Nuys, San Jose and Oakland, California. More recently, the G700 began flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) testing and successfully completed high-altitude engine-performance testing at Telluride Regional Airport in Colorado, at an altitude of 9,078 feet/2,767 meters. The aircraft is also undergoing high-intensity radiated fields/indirect effects of lightning (HIRF/IEL) testing.
"Thanks to the outstanding Gulfstream team, the G700 flight-test program is going remarkably well," said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. "The aircraft itself has been performing flawlessly, whether going to extreme speeds and heights or running through its paces in the high-altitude environment at Telluride. We have spent the past year rigorously testing this mature, high- performing aircraft for our customers and I look forward to continuing to do that and more in the coming months as we steadily move toward certification and customer deliveries."
CHALLENGER 350 AIRCRAFT WAS THE MOST DELIVERED BUSINESS JET IN 2020 BY BOMBARDIER
Bombardier has said its best-selling Challenger 350 aircraft was the most-delivered medium category business jet in 2020, making it the category leader for a seventh consecutive year. The company also outpaced competitors by delivering 44 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2020. This accomplishment was driven by a record 16 Global 7500 business jet deliveries in that timeframe.
Bombardier's comprehensive family of business jets firmly positions it to respond to the growing interest in private aviation and the enhanced safety they provide during these exceptional times.
As more people seek to avoid crowds and interest in fractional and air charter increases, the best-selling Challenger 350 aircraft is there to take passengers where they need to be and it continues to surpass expectations while doing so.
In 2020, Bombardier announced a firm order for 10 Challenger 350 aircraft in a transaction valued at $267 million US and also marked the 350th delivery of the Challenger 350 business jet, a milestone reached after only seven years in service. The best-selling Challenger 350 aircraft now features an expanded selection of sophisticated and contemporary interior design schemes, high-speed Viasat Ka-band connectivity and a refreshed cabin management system, inspired by the industry's flagship Global 7500 business jet.
In addition to the Challenger 350 aircraft, Bombardier's Challenger 650 business jet is a masterful expression of high-end craftsmanship and functionality. With its ideal combination of range, speed and field performance capabilities, the Challenger 650 aircraft is perfectly suited for both private and specialized missions, including medevac. The Challenger 650 aircraft is in service with many governments worldwide for various special missions.
BELL BOEING V-22 OSPREY SOARS PAST 600,000 FLEET FLIGHT-HOURS
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has logged more than 600,000 flight-hours, providing continuous customer support to maintain mission readiness and transport critical cargo and personnel. Built by Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Boeing [NYSE: BA], the V-22 fleet has grown to more than 400 aircraft and is operated by the United States Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force.
The V-22 is the only military production tiltrotor aircraft in the world. Its speed, range, manoeuvrability and logistical capability make it one of the most versatile and cost-effective solutions for its customers.
"There is no other aircraft in the world capable of matching the unique capabilities of the Osprey," said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director. "The 600,000 flight-hours represent countless tactical, logistical and humanitarian assistance missions. The dedication of the men and women who maintain and operate the aircraft every day to keep it an advanced aircraft."
Bell Boeing directly supports V-22 readiness by providing comprehensive global services to V-22 squadrons, including maintenance support, training, on-site field representatives, data analytics and new and repaired parts. For example, the Naval Air Systems Command recently awarded Bell Boeing a contract to deliver and install kits for nacelle improvements and the conversion area harness onto the CV-22 aircraft for the Air Force. The program refines the design of the nacelles and wiring harnesses for better reliability and maintainability, ultimately reducing repair time and improving readiness.
Recent program accomplishments include the V-22's latest variant, the CMV-22B, assigned to the "Titans" of Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30, completing the first delivery of an F-35 engine to the USS Carl Vinson, along with successful paradrops with the U.S. Navy's parachuting team, "The Leap Frogs," earlier in the year.
"From its first flight over 30 years ago to achieving this significant flight-hour milestone, the V-22 has a demonstrated legacy of mission success," said Shane Openshaw, Boeing V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing V-22 deputy program director. "As we look at optimizing future sustainment and support, our customer partnerships and commitment to innovation, flexibility and agility will ensure we build on the aircraft's ability to support whatever the mission demands."
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defence, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION FLEET TO ADD MORE SPECIAL MISSION BEECHCRAFT KING AIR 350/360CER AIRCRAFT
Textron Aviation has announced that it has been awarded a contract for the 28th and 29th Beechcraft King Air 350/360CER turboprop aircraft for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO).
The Beechcraft King Air 360CER is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales: "These two Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) will complete the current acquisition program of record and join a fleet of King Air 350 turboprops safeguarding the United States border. Textron Aviation is also honoured to have recently delivered the 26th aircraft of this type."
The agency's aircraft are equipped with a sophisticated array of technology that can be deployed for ground interdiction operations, air-to-air intercept operations and medium-range maritime patrols, including active and passive sensors and an optimized communications suite. The aircraft are operated by skilled crewmembers who employ the mission equipment and coordinate information flow to the ground.
The Beechcraft King Air 360ER is an extended range version of the King Air 360 twin-engine turboprop aircraft, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 360ER aircraft and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls.
LEONARDO'S LYNX HELICOPTER MARKS 50 YEARS SINCE MAIDEN FLIGHT
Fifty years ago, on Mar. 21, 1971, a bright yellow Lynx prototype (XW835) took off from Yeovil. The now-iconic aircraft, piloted by Ron Gellatly, completed two short flights of ten minutes and 20 minutes respectively. In addition to the chief test pilot, his deputy, Roy Moxam occupied the co-pilot's seat. Dave Gibbings flew as the flight test engineer, responsible for instrumentation management, stress data monitoring and back-up observations.
This landmark marks the 50th anniversary of Leonardo stepping into the leading position in this size/weight category in the helicopter market. The Lynx's design and further development has met operators' demands and changing requirements on land and at sea, which has led to the introduction of several variants in line with newly emerging technologies. The Lynx legacy also strongly contributes to the protection of the mainland and surrounding waters in the UK, ready to counter any potential threats in the maritime environment, in addition to performing in a combat helicopter role among others.
More than 500 aircraft in this class have been built, serving operators worldwide. There are nine customers still using the aircraft today for missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, battlefield, search and rescue, coastal protection and light utility among many others. Current operators of Lynx variants include the Brazilian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy, and South African Defence Force.
The Brazilian Navy has been operating Lynx helicopters for more than four decades. At the end of last year in the UK, the Brazilian Navy and Leonardo completed the Factory Acceptance Test for the fourth out of eight upgraded Super Lynx Mk21B helicopters. Leonardo continues to support its global customer base that still operates the Lynx.
Leonardo at its Yeovil site is currently upgrading five Lynx MK95A aircraft for the Portuguese Navy. Modernization work includes new engines, a new glass cockpit with Integrated Display Units among many other technologies.
The origins of the Lynx development started as part of an Anglo-French three aircraft program. The basic Lynx development was carried out utilizing five prototype aircraft, each of which was painted a different colour: yellow (XW835), grey (XW836), red (XW837), blue (XW838), and orange (XW839). The early flight test program involved 13 aircraft.
In March 1972, the fourth Basic aircraft flew for the first time and it included the first 'Monobloc' rotor head and was the standard chosen for production. The production rotor head would feature a central hub with four integral flapping elements forged from a single block of titanium, known as the 'Monobloc' head. The first production Naval Lynx (XZ227) flew for the first time on Feb. 10, 1976 and the first delivery to the Royal Navy was made on Jul. 8, 1976.
The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) ordered the Lynx before the UK trials were complete and the first Lynx Mk 25 flew in September 1976. The RNN aircraft were delivered in parallel with the Royal Navy aircraft and the Lynx entered service with the Royal Navy on Jan. 26, 1978. The British Army Air Corps started to receive deliveries the following June and by the end of the year, the Lynx was deployed in Germany.
The Lynx featured new technologies at the time including the British Experimental Rotor Programme (BERP) blades able to increase maximum speed and lifting capabilities, later adopted also for all Lynx/Super Lynx variants and for the AW101. The iconic aircraft broke the world speed record 35 years ago on Aug. 11 as the so-called G-Lynx reached speeds of 249 mph/216 knots/400 km/h over the Somerset skyline.
The AW159 represents the most recent capability offered by Leonardo in this market segment, continuing its leadership. With its fully integrated avionics and mission suite, coupled with a tactical processor and Military derived Human Machine Interface, the AW159 delivers advanced situational awareness in both the Maritime and Land environments. It is designed to operate safely from the smallest ships' decks in the harshest environment of poor weather and high sea states, while delivering high availability for immediate mission prosecution. The AW159 is not only key to the protection of today's and tomorrow's UK Royal Navy vessel fleet, but is also in- service with export customers delivering multi-role capability for surface and sub-surface operations. For the UK Army it is an integral part of the 1st Aviation Brigade in the Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance role with utility across the spectrum of operations.
On 11 November 2019, a Bombardier DHC-8-315 operated by Surveillance Australia with four crew on board was about to start the take-off roll from Darwin Airport, Northern Territory, on a surveillance flight. The aircraft was on the departure runway with the brakes on. Power was applied to both engines, but when take-off power was reached, and prior to the release of the brakes, the crew heard a loud bang. The take-off was aborted, and air traffic control advised the crew of smoke from the right engine.
After reviewing the engine instrumentation, the crew shut down the engine and returned the aircraft to the maintenance hangar. A subsequent inspection of the runway identified metal fragments behind the aircraft's take-off position. An external inspection of the right engine revealed significant damage to the power turbine (PT) assembly.
What the ATSB found
The PT shaft of the aircraft's right engine fractured due to fatigue cracking, resulting in secondary damage and engine failure. The fatigue cracking initiated at corrosion pitting, which was probably associated with prolonged low-altitude operation in a marine environment.
The PT shaft originally installed in the engine was replaced during its first overhaul in 2011 due to excessive corrosion pitting. However, the finding of corrosion was not escalated by the maintenance organisation to Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), possibly due to the informal reporting process at the time (this process was replaced in 2018 with formal guidance and criteria for reporting such findings).
The ATSB investigation also identified that the PT shaft in Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 series engines operating in certain marine environments is susceptible to corrosion pitting, which can grow undetected between scheduled inspections, increasing the risk of shaft fracture and engine failure.
Pratt & Whitney Canada advised the ATSB that it had commenced a review of historical overhaul experience of the PT shaft in an effort to identify which engines and operators are potentially exposed to an increased risk of PT shaft corrosion.
Kenya, Nairobi: A Beechcraft B200 Super King Air made a forced landing on the Ngong Racecourse, located about 7 km west of Nairobi-Wilson Airport. The left-hand wing of the aircraft separated just inboard of the no.1 engine.
USA, Bibb County Airport, AL: In the evening of Thursday 25 March 2021, Bibb County Airport, Alabama, USA. was hit by a tornado. The tornado destroyed several hangars and damaged multiple aircraft parked inside these hangars. Some aircraft were turned over. At least six aircraft were damaged or destroyed.
Taiwan, Republic of China: Two F-5E Tiger IIs from the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF, Taiwan Air Force) collided in mid-air and crashed. The two Tigers disappeared from the radar screen and crashed into the sea southeast of the air base. It is reported that both pilots managed to eject. A RoCAF Black Hawk and Coast Guard and other rescue ships are scrambled to search the area for the missing pilots. One of the pilots has been found and unfortunately did not survive.
Russia, Shaykovka Air Base: During engine start, the ejection seats of a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-22M3 with four crew on board were activated by mistake, resulting in the death of three crew members. One other crew member survived the accident and was taken to a hospital.
Japan, Okami, Aoki village, Nagano prefecture: An Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil with six occupants crashed on a paddy field in unknown circumstances. The doors, rotor blades and under side of the fuselage were damaged. All six occupants received injuries; four of them seriously.
El Salvador, San Salvador Airport: A United Parcel Service Boeing 757-24APF diverted to San Salvador Airport, El Salvador, after suffering an issue with one of the hydraulic systems. The aircraft that had departed Managua, Nicaragua initially entered a holding pattern at 4100 feet for 50 minutes before climbing and proceeding to divert to San Salvador Airport. After a 35-minute hold off the coast of El Salvador, a safe landing was made. On rollout after landing the hydraulic fluid leaked onto the runway.
USA, near Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, TX: A US Navy McDonnell Douglas T-45C Goshawk with two crew operated by VT-22 "Golden Eagles", crashed during a training flight 3 miles northeast of Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, Texas. Both pilots ejected safely.
Argentina, Ceres, Santa Fe: A Cessna A188B-300 AGtruck with the pilot on board impacted farmfield terrain during an aerial application flight in Ceres, Santa Fe, Argentina. The airplane was destroyed and the sole pilot onboard received serious injuries.
Bolivia, Sacaba, Cochabamba: A Hongdu JL-8 trainer of the Fuerza Aérea Boliviana with two crew trainer aircraft crashed into a house in Sacaba, Cochabamba and was destroyed by fire. There is said to be one fatality on the ground. Both pilots are said to have ejected safely.
United Kingdom, St. Martin, near Helston, Cornwall: A Royal Navy BAe Hawk T1A with two crew crashed near St. Martin, 5 miles south south-east of Helston, Cornwall after a suspected engine power loss. Both pilots ejected safely and were airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth for checks and treatments. Early reports state that the crew may have sustained minor, but not life-threatening injuries.
Russia, Curonian Lagoon, Polessk: A Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Kamov Ka-32A11VS helicopter with three on board crashed in the waters of the Curonian Bay near Kaliningrad. The rescue helicopter went down during a training flight. Two people were rescued, another one is being sought by other rescuers.
USA, over Tennessee: An iAero Boeing 737-4B7 had departed from San Antonio International Airport on a flight to Detroit-Willow Run Airport carrying the Michigan women's basketball team while en route over Tennessee, a drop in cabin pressure forced the flight crew to perform an emergency descent. The crew diverted to Evansville Airport where they made a safe landing.
27 MARCH 2004
Nasa's X-43 pilotless plane breaks the world speed record for an atmospheric engine by briefly flying at 7,700 km (4,800 mi) per hour (seven times the speed of sound)
The NASA X-43 was an experimental unmanned hypersonic aircraft with multiple planned scale variations meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight. It was part of the X-plane series and specifically of NASA's Hyper-X program. It set several airspeed records for jet aircraft. The X-43 is the fastest aircraft on record at approximately Mach 9.6.
A winged booster rocket with the X-43 placed on top, called a "stack", was drop launched from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. After the booster rocket (a modified first stage of the Pegasus rocket) brought the stack to the target speed and altitude, it was discarded and the X-43 flew free using its own engine, a scramjet.
NASA flew a third version of the X-43A on November 16, 2004. The modified Pegasus rocket was launched from a B-52 mother ship at an altitude of 13,000 m (43,000 ft). The X-43A set a new speed record of Mach 9.64 (10,240.84 km/h; 6,363.36 mph) at about 33,500 m (110,000 ft) altitude and further tested the ability of the vehicle to withstand the heat loads involved.