Compiled by Willie Bodenstein




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.

29 MAY
Harvard day at Brakpan Airfield. From eight till late. R3,800 per flight. Restaurant will be open. Contact Clarissa 074 953 7144

28 TO 30 MAY
RC Jets over Utopia. For more information contact Dave 082 455 1071 or Clint 082 894 2068

29 MAY
SAA Museum Society Airline Collectables Fair - Rand Airport. Contact E-mail: info@saamuseum.co.za Cell: 076 879 5044

30 MAY
Fly-Mu breakfast Fly-In and music festival at Springs airfield. Contact Fanie E-mail: ansan@tiscali.co.za Cell: 083 789 5507

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

Kroon Airfield Fly-Inn. Contact Marius 083 419 6613 or Kevin 061 008 9561. Food and refreshments will be available as well as a farmers' market, flips and more.

SAPFA Silver Queen Rally at AFB Zwartkops. Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032

Chapter 322 & International Young Eagles Day Panorama Airfield. Volunteers needed to help fly potential Young Eagles. Contact neil1@telkomsa.net or Geoff Sprenger 079 three nine six 5304

16 to 20 JUNE
Please be advised that the 41st South African Hot Air Balloon Championships will be held at Bill Harrop's Balloon field from 16 - 20 June 2021. For more information go to www.hotairballoons2021.co.za www.hotairballoons2021.co.za or contact Hanke Fourie Cell: 082 553 0210

RV Fly-In day at Kitty Hawk airfield. Contact Frank van Heerden E-mail: frankvh@mweb.co.za

30 JUNE - 3 JULY
Sport Aerobatics Club National Aerobatics Championships Phalaborwa Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za or Natalie Stark natalie@stark.co.za


Bearhawk Aircraft has announced the first flight of a Bearhawk Companion, side-by-side two-place aircraft. The Companion is a utility aircraft with backcountry flying characteristics. It is derived from the tandem seating Bearhawk Patrol wings and the 4-Place Bearhawk Model 5 fuselage.

Design goal cruise speed of 145 mph (126 knots indicated) has been met, as well as payload target of 1,070 lb. The first flight of a Bearhawk Companion was performed by the aircraft's builder, Dave Lenart of Bethel, Vermont. Dave completed the build from a manufactured kit. An experienced builder and mechanic, Dave has built two prior Bearhawk aircraft including 4-Place and LSA models. He is currently assembling a Patrol.

Working closely with Bob Barrows, creator of the Bearhawk line-up, Dave incorporated a 180-hp Lycoming O-360 engine built by Bob into the first flying Companion. The aircraft features completely flush-riveted aluminium wings, a super strong steel tube fuselage and an airfoil shaped empennage. The two-place Companion handles and performs much like the narrower Patrol. A slightly shorter fuselage makes it sportier than the "SUV/pickup" styled Bearhawk 4-Place.

The build was completed in 10 months and an estimated 1,000 hours-a short timeframe by most kit-built aircraft standards. The first Companion has accumulated 12 hours thus far in flight tests held at Lebanon Municipal Airport (KLEB), also confirming centre of gravity loading.

According to Dave, "The shorter nose of the Companion makes taxi visibility very good. With full fuel of 50 gallons, the aircraft has proven very stable." He noted that clean stall is at 42 knots indicated and 38 knots with full flaps. The aircraft was engineered by Bob with STOL characteristics in mind. A Riblett airfoil gives the aircraft uncharacteristically higher cruise speeds than other aircraft of its class.

Commenting on the kit, "I see excellent quality welding, fit and finish of the tubular steel frame. Wings were delivered at an advanced stage of completion. Tanks were installed, wings were drilled with proper dihedral and angle of incidence. The wing struts were finished. Its tail surfaces were balanced." Dave added, "The skylight formers and other improvements are nice updates to the older kits." He estimated a savings of 100 hours or more from his earlier projects.

Buyers were clamouring for a side-by-side, two-place Bearhawk and the Companion delivered. The result is a very rugged utility plane with a large area for cargo. The model was introduced in August 2019, with first kit deliveries in January of 2020. Dave's Companion came in at 1,130-lb empty weight and 2,200-lb gross. It spins a Catto 76x62 two-blade, composite cruise propeller.


Van's Aircraft is resuming limited scheduling of demonstration flights at its Aurora, Oregon headquarters (KUAO) and at our East Coast representative's location at New Garden Airport (N57 - Chester County, PA). Please note that we are not currently taking walk-in requests for demo flights - all appointments must be pre-arranged and confirmed and are offered on an as-available basis.

Our factory is still closed to the public and factory tours are not available at this time.

We will be resuming demo flights and transition training at the New Garden Airport, PA location in the RV-10 and RV-14A aircraft. Our East Coast rep and instructor is Joe "Zack" Czachorowski, who can be reached via email at zack@vansaircraft.com. Please email him to schedule appointments for demo flights and transition training, which will resume beginning May 17th. Note that transition training appointments will be given priority over demo flights.

To schedule demo flight at our headquarters in Aurora, Oregon please email info@vansaircraft.com with the aircraft you wish to demo and the dates you are available. We provide demo flights in the RV-7A, RV-10, RV-12iS, RV-14 and RV-14A from our headquarters location. These aircraft are also used for training purposes, so not all aircraft are available for demo flights at all times.

Note that transition training with instructor Mike Seager resumed in Oregon earlier this year. To contact Mike for transition training, please email rv6cfi@hotmail.com.

Additional transition training instructors and resources can be found on our web site's RV Fight Training page.

Important: Specific aircraft availability, pilot availability and weather conditions are the final determining factors in whether or not we will conduct a flight on any given day, and as such, all flights are subject to cancellation up to the last moment should conditions or circumstances dictate. In the event health-related mandates modify or the availability of demo flights and/or transition training, we will make schedule adjustments as required.

Written by Guy Martin

The United States has selected the Bronco II multi-role aircraft to take part in the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Armed Overwatch flight demonstration along with the Textron Aviation Defence AT-6E Wolverine, L3 AT-802U Sky Warden, MAG Aerospace MC-208 Guardian and Sierra Nevada Corporation M28/C-145 Wily Coyote.

On 14 May, SOCOM announced that it had awarded five fixed-price prototype project other transaction agreements (OTAs) totalling $19 million to five companies for prototype demonstrations in mid-2021. Each company will fly four demonstration flights between 14 June and 23 July at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Janes reports. If the prototype project is successful, a company could be requested to provide a proposal for a follow-on production award, most likely in 2022.

SOCOM's 75-aircraft Armed Overwatch acquisition was halted in November (when flight trials were originally due to commence) but resumed after a review, according to Aviation Week.

Special Operations Command revealed its Armed Overwatch programme in February 2020. SOCOM previously evaluated the OV-10G+ Bronco in a field test in Iraq in 2015 as it pursues a light attack capability. The command is looking to budget $101 million for the first new light attack aircraft with another ten per year for the next seven years.

Leidos, Paramount Group USA and Vertex Aerospace in May last year announced they had teamed up to pursue the Armed Overwatch contract with the Bronco II intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and light attack aircraft. Leidos is the prime contractor and Paramount and Vertex are primary teammates. The Bronco II would be manufactured in Crestview, Florida and designed to meet the specific needs of US Special Operations Command.

The Bronco II will now face off against the AC-208 (armed Cessna Caravan turboprop), M28/C-145 (a new armed version of the Skytruck twin-engine light transport), AT-802U (armed version of the cropduster) and AT-6E Wolverine trainer/light attack aircraft. Interestingly, the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano was not selected for the flyoff. Unmanned aerial vehicles are not favoured as they require a larger footprint than manned aircraft.

"The Armed Overwatch acquisition programme aims to provide Special Operations Forces with deployable, affordable and sustainable manned aircraft systems capable of executing close-air support, precision strike and armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements in austere and permissive environments for use in operations against violent extremist organizations," SOCOM said.

SOCOM presently flies U-28 Draco (PC-12) and MC-12 Liberty (King Air 350ER) turboprops for light reconnaissance and forward air control - they have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. The new aircraft would be able to launch munitions as well, when necessary.



The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) will bring a wide spectrum of its aircraft designed for unique missions as part of its presence at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, which takes place July 26-August 1.

"As we've solidified the roster of aircraft from AFSOC this year, the variety of aircraft coming to Oshkosh is truly impressive," said Rick Larsen, EAA's vice president of communities and member programming, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. "Each of these aircraft have a distinct mission and role within AFSOC and those stories will be told at AirVenture 2021."

AFSOC is comprised of highly trained, rapidly deployable airmen, who conduct special operations missions worldwide. Airmen who undertake AFSOC careers specialize in unique skills such as parachuting, scuba diving, rappelling, motorcycling, survival skills and more. Aircraft in the command include specialized mobility aircraft such as the MC-130, CV-22, and C-146, strike aircraft such as the AC-130 gunship, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft such as the MQ-9 and U-28.

The AFSOC aircraft are scheduled to arrive on Thursday, July 29 and remain through Sunday, August 1. There may be more than one of some models at Oshkosh. The aircraft roster includes (subject to change): AC-130J Ghostrider, MC-130J Commando II, EC-130J Commando Solo, CV-22 Osprey, U-28A Draco, C-145A Combat Coyote. C-146A Wolfhound, MQ-9 Reaper and MC-12W Liberty.

The AFSOC aircraft will be on ground display with several participating in air show flying demonstrations. In addition, AFSOC personnel will participate in an evening program at EAA's Theatre in the Woods on Saturday, July 31, to highlight the activities and mission of the Special Operations Command.


Embraer has signed a contract with Aerodata AG, from Germany, to sell a Praetor 600 to be converted into a Flight Inspection Aircraft, to fulfil the full range of flight inspection missions. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Aerodata in 2022 when they will begin to install the systems and equipment required to execute the intended missions.

The state-of-the-art Praetor 600 aircraft fully complies with the high-level requirements of the end-user and is prepared for the installation of Aerodata's most modern flight inspection system AeroFIS®.

After the modification, the aircraft will be delivered and operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Seoul Regional Office of Aviation, Flight Inspection Centre in South Korea, which has conducted an international public tender for this acquisition and will be the end-user of the solution. This is the first time Embraer is selling an aircraft for this kind of mission outside of Brazil, opening new market opportunities for Embraer's innovative solutions using current products.

The contract with Aerodata also includes training for both pilots and mechanics and an initial support package for the final end-user. The aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, such as head-up displays (HUD), high-end communication systems, paperless operation capability and additional customized interior features.

The fully configured Praetor 600 Flight Inspection Aircraft will be a state-of-the-art platform able to perform a wide array of flight inspection tasks in the modes of site survey, surveillance, commissioning inspection, periodic inspection, any special inspection, procedure validation and ADS-B airborne checks.


Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), unveiled its newest aircraft, VoloConnect, at EBACE Connect. This electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) is designed to connect suburbs to cities and complements the company's existing family of aircraft for the intra-city mission. VoloConnect's distinctive hybrid lift and push design is expected to achieve certification within the next 5 years.

With the capacity to travel longer distances, VoloConnect joins Volocopter's aircraft family and extends the company's UAM ecosystem coverage to the suburbs. The new aircraft will be seamlessly integrated into Volocopter's existing portfolio of UAM ecosystem solutions: VoloDrone, VoloCity, VoloPort, and the digital platform, VoloIQ. VoloConnect is designed to increase Volocopter's total addressable UAM market while preserving the company's high standard of sustainable, safe urban flight. As the newest addition to Volocopter's aircraft family, VoloConnect carries on Volocopter's track record of developing high-tech, electric aircraft for the urban mission.

VoloConnect uses a hybrid lift and push design to transport up to four passengers electrically on routes of 100 km at a speed of 180 km/h, with a top speed of ~250 km/h. The compact aircraft layout, necessary for urban missions, is naturally stable and highly efficient during forward flight while maintaining a low stall speed. Volocopter's Munich-based team of experts, led by Chief Engineer Sebastian Mores, have been working on the aircraft for over two years and filed several patents for its technology. They are already flying multiple scaled prototypes of VoloConnect and are quickly progressing towards testing full scale prototypes.


The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) has granted its type certification for Airbus Helicopters' multi-role twin-engine H160, heralding a new chapter for helicopter operations in Japan.

"It is an honour to receive the H160 type certification from the JCAB. This certification, following the recent completion of Japan's H160 first flight in France, paves the way to the aircraft's upcoming entry into service in the country," said Guillaume Leprince, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan.

"This achievement reflects the strong commitment and collaboration between Airbus Helicopters teams in France and Japan, working in tandem with the JCAB to ensure thorough assessment complying with the highest safety standards. We appreciate the airworthiness agency's trust and support in certifying the aircraft in record time while navigating COVID-19 challenges. We look forward to delivering the first H160 to Japan."

Preparation work for the H160's entry into service in Japan has commenced with technical training underway in Kobe, Japan. An H160 Helionix avionics trainer has been deployed at the facility, contributing to the training experience.

Designed as a multi-role helicopter for a wide range of missions such as offshore transportation, emergency medical services, private and business aviation, as well as public services, the H160 integrates Airbus' latest technological innovations. The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sound levels and deliver high end performance at the same time. Powered by Safran Helicopter Engines' latest Arrano engines, the H160 enjoys a 15 percent reduction in fuel burn, contributing immediately to reducing emissions.


Textron Aviation has announced that Geneva-based private jet charter company DALaviation Switzerland as the first Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2 customer in Europe. The largest Citation jet in the light jet segment, the Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2 will support DALaviation Switzerland as the company continues to increase its customer base throughout Europe by delivering an elevated passenger experience. The Citation CJ4 Gen2 will be the third addition to DALaviation Switzerland's business jet fleet, which includes a Cessna Citation CJ2+ and a Citation CJ1.

"The CJ4 Gen2 is the ideal aircraft for charter operators like DALaviation Switzerland that seek to provide customers with total cabin comfort, first-class flight experience and flexibility - all backed by the most comprehensive service network in the industry," said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales, EMEA, Textron Aviation. "With the addition of the CJ4 Gen2 to its fleet, DALaviation Switzerland will be able to serve more customers who will have access to a greater number of destinations across Europe, due to the aircraft's best-in-class range of 1,926 nautical miles (3,567 km). We are proud to support DALaviation Switzerland as the operator continues to deliver exceptional aircraft charter services in Europe."

The new aircraft will be fuelled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at delivery in the coming weeks, aligning with Textron Aviation's commitment to meet industry goals for reducing carbon emissions.

"Citation business jets have a solid reputation among our customers as reliable, high-quality aircraft and we are proud to be the first company in Europe to add the CJ4 Gen2 to our charter fleet," said Nicolas Trefeil, founder and CEO, DALaviation Switzerland. "Flexibility and wellness are top-of-mind for our customers as travel resumes and our client base is growing as people are increasingly turning to charter services for an exclusive and comfortable flying experience. Alongside our CJ1 and CJ2+ business jets, the CJ4 Gen2 will help us continue expanding our business and exceeding our customers' expectations."

The Cessna Citation CJ4, a 525C type aircraft, achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in 2011 while EASA interior certification for the CJ4 Gen2 is expected in June.

The largest Citation in the light jet segment offers operators a host of features that elevate ramp presence and in-flight comfort, including a new stair and handrail, premium seating options and enhanced ambiance lighting throughout. The cabin has been designed to optimize comfort and productivity, with an upgraded wireless cabin management system that enables passengers to stream entertainment and wirelessly control cabin lighting, temperature and window shades from their mobile device.

The single-pilot certified jet combines superior speed, range and operating economics when compared with larger aircraft, making it the ideal platform for owner operators or corporate missions. The CJ4 Gen2 has seating for up to ten passengers and includes a notable 1,040-pound baggage capacity.


The failure of a pilot to control an airplane following the loss of thrust in one of two engines just seconds after take-off led to the fatal crash of a Beechcraft King Air 350i in Texas, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report.
The King Air crashed into an aircraft hangar 17 seconds after lifting off a runway at Addison Airport, Addison, Texas, 30 June 2019. The accident killed both pilots and all eight passengers.
The NTSB said in its report that after the left engine lost almost all thrust several seconds after take-off, the pilot responded to the emergency with left rudder input, the opposite action of what the emergency called for. Seconds later, the pilot applied right rudder but by that point the airplane was rolling inverted and that there was insufficient altitude for recovery.
Investigators determined that had the pilot initially applied right rudder input, the airplane would have been controllable.
The audio from the cockpit voice recorder revealed the pilots did not call for any of the checklists that would typically be used before take-off, nor did they discuss what they would do in the case of a loss of engine thrust on take-off or any other emergency procedure. The NTSB said the pilot's failure to follow checklists and adhere to the airplane manufacturer's emergency procedures contributed to the accident.

Nigeria, near Kaduna Airport: A Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft B300 King Air 350i with eleven occupants crashed under unknown circumstances near Kaduna Airport. All four crew members and seven passengers were killed.

Guatemala, Sayaxché, Petén: A burnt and abandoned Hawker 800 was found by Guatemalan law enforcement officers. It had been used for transporting drugs. The drugs were later confiscated found onboard a boat.

USA, Byron Airport: A Van's RV-6 with only the pilot on board experienced a loss of directional control and subsequent runway excursion during the take-off attempt at Byron Airport (C83), Byron, California. The tailwheel equipped airplane sustained damage upon impact with a ditch and the sole pilot onboard received minor injuries.

Peru, Puno, San Gabán: A Policía Nacional del Perú Bell UH-1H-II Super Huey with five occupants initially was missing after the pilot had informed his base that he was going to perform an emergency landing. The wreckage was eventually found. All five had occupants died in the crash.

Belarus, Baranovichi: A Belarus Air Force Yakovlev Yak-130 with two crew crashed in a residential area during an attempted take-off from Baranovichi Baranovichi Air during an instructional flight. Both pilots died.

Ukraine, Oddesa: Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-8FZ was performing a scheduled Istanbul to Boryspil flight when it declared an emergency above the Black Sea and was diverted to Odessa. The aircraft apparently suffered a drop in engine oil level, which led to engine stop. The aiircraft landed safely in Odessa Int' airport. There were no injuries onboard.

Russia, Saki Air Base, Crimea: Both pilots of a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30SM ejected inadvertently while performing their prefight checks. Both survived.

Slovakia, Pieštany Airport: Two Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team XtremeAir Sbach XA42's suffered substantial damage when they collided while taxiing. The pilots suffered no injuries.

India, Moga district, Punjab: A Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 crashed in Moga district, Punjab under unknown circumstances. It had flown to a weapons range near Jagraon (Punjab) for target practice and was returning to Suratgarh when it crashed. The pilot did not survive.

Ventura, CA: A Boeing Stearman with two on board flipped upside down during a forced landing in a field in Ventura. The occupants were not injured.

USA, Cross Lake, Shreveport, LA: A Pocket Jet LLC Sonex SubSonex JSX-2 impacted the waters of the Cross Lake, Shreveport, Louisiana. The sole pilot onboard was fatally injured.

17 MAY 1928

Lady Heath (formerly Mrs. Elliot-Lynn) lands in London, becoming the first woman to fly solo from Cape Town, South Africa to London, England in an Avro Avian 594 Avian III.

Mary, Lady Heath born on 17 November 1896 was an Irish aviator. She was one of the best-known women in the world for a five-year period from the mid-1920s.

In 1926, Lady Heath became the first woman to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain and along the way, set records for altitude in a small plane and later a Shorts seaplane. She was the first woman to parachute from an aeroplane (landing in the middle of a football match).

After her great flight from the Cape, she took a mechanic's qualification in the US, the first woman to do so. Britain's Lady Lindy," as she was known in the United States, made front-page news as the first pilot, male or female, to fly a small open-cockpit aircraft from Cape Town to London (Croydon Aerodrome). She had thought it would take her three weeks; as it turned out, it took her three months, from January to May 1928.

On 9 May 1939, aged 42, she died in St Leonard's Hospital, Shoreditch, London following a fall inside a double-decker tram.

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