COVID 19 REGULATIONS, INITIATIVES AND AEROCLUB NEWS
AERO CLUB COMMUNIQUE OCTOBER 2021 #1
There has been some further relief on the lockdown status with Level 1 having been declared and commencing 1 October 2021. At least it allows larger gatherings and allowing more aviation related events to take place with a 750 person indoor limit and 2000 outdoors.
The CAA has released a link for a customer survey - see link below, with the following introduction - this is your opportunity to have your say regarding the service received from the CAA. "A key strategic outcome indicator of the SACAA is to measure and improve the customer service experience of all its customers and stakeholders. Critical to delivering good customer service, is feedback from the customers themselves on the standards that will satisfy them. The SACAA aims to give seamless services to its customers and further add value by being an enabler of our customers businesses. Participating in the customer satisfaction survey will take 7 minutes of your time."
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
SAPFA EVENTS OCTOBER 2021
Dear Fellow Aviator,
We are now coming into the last quarter of 2021, a year of tumult, probably worse than 2020, where the on and off again lockdowns have wrought havoc for anybody or organisation wanting to do long range planning, coupled with a slow vaccine roll-out locally. With SA still on red-lists and a growing anti-vax movement that further keeps us all in check. At least level 1 was declared on the 1st October and we trust that a 4th wave does not make its appearance within the next month or two.
SAPFA still has a few events planned, an Air Navigation Race (ANR) in Stellenbosch on 6th November, the Landing Nationals to be held in Brits on 13th November and the Speed Rally Season Finale to be held at Springs on 26 - 27 November.
The Speed Rally is the latest and greatest, fastest growing and newest sport in general aviation. The sport that defied lock down and has stood the test of its first few seasons, now moves toward its epic season finale this November at Springs Airfield. The SAPFA Speed Rally also has a new Racemaster with David le Roux joining the team to fulfil this role!
The role is one designed to manage the events smoothly so as to improve the entire experience for all stakeholders in the sport. The Racemaster has the responsibility to host the teams, communicate with officials, MC the briefings, coordinate marketing and promotion of the sport, among many others.
David le Roux, having gained 16 years' experience in the aviation industry, has worked closely with the management and sponsorship of air-rally and racing events since 2008. Taking a more hands on role in the last few years, David is well equipped to take over the reins and make a massive success of the sport well into the future. David has always been well positioned in the South African aviation industry. He has a passion for aircraft, people and safety, thus making him the perfect fit to take over the running of the Speed Rally events.
"I am honoured to be serving South African aviation on the SAPFA Committee as Racemaster. We have an incredible team supporting this entire event. I am extremely excited to be slotting in and doing what I can to make the show go onward and upward. Thank you again, SAPFA for placing your faith in me to make this happen."
With plans to elevate the sport to a new level going into the 2022 season, we look forward to what David has planned as the new Racemaster for Speed Rallies in South Africa. Good luck and God's speed, sir!
Rob Jonkers continues to be the Competition Director and Route Planner, looking to give the competitors the most interesting and challenging navigation courses to follow. Iaan Myburgh has now also joined the team of officials and is the scorer for the Speed Rally & the PTAR.
The following events will take place under the rules controlling the number of people congregating together and are therefore not open to the general public.
3 TO 9 OCTOBER
The 2021 South African Gliding Nationals will take place from 2-9 October 2021 in Potchefstroom and hosted by Akavlieg - Potch Gliding. 2 October will be the practice day with the competition starting officially on 3 October. Johan Badenhorst E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 874 9532
EAA Chapter 322 virtual monthly meeting via Zoom. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 674 5674
8 TO 10 OCTOBER
EAA Taildraggers at Warmbaths airfield. Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 490 6227
Krugersdorp Flying Club Spot Landing and Airfield Festival. It is that time of the year again: Join us on 16 October from 07h00 for a fun-filled day at the Jack Taylor Airfield in Krugersdorp. It is the annual Spot Landing and Airfield Festival. There will be food stalls, raffles, Heli flips and the highlight being a visit from the Puma Flying Lions. For more detail, please Whatsapp or e-mail 0835778894 or email@example.com
Panorama breakfast Fly-In. Contact Alan Stewart E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAA Chapter 322 virtual monthly meeting via Zoom. Contact Neil 084 674 5674 or E-mail: email@example.com
Children's Flight at Orient airfield. For more information contact Felix Gosher firstname.lastname@example.org
6 NOVEMBER SAA Museum Airlines Collectables Fair. Dakota Crescent, Rand Airport. For more information phone 076 879 5044
5 TO 7 NOVEMBER
EAA Sun 'n Fun at Brits airfield. Contact Neil Bowden 084 674 5674 or E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA SA Landing Championships at Brits Airfield. For more information contact Ron Stirk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 445 0373
Jack Taylor Airfield Krugersdorp Fly-In. For more detail, please Whatsapp or e-mail 0835778894 or email@example.com
SAPFA Springs Speed Rally at Springs Airfield. Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 855 9435
Sports Aerobatics Club Western Cape regionals at Stellenbosch airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
EAA Chapter 322 virtual monthly meeting via Zoom. Contact Neil Bowden084 674 5674 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards venue TBA. For more information contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
4 & 5 DECEMBER
Sports Aerobatics Club ACE of Base Baragwaneth Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEMPORARY HOME FOR ORYX 1234 AT AFB SWARTKOP
Written by defenceWeb
The helicopter population of the oldest base in the SA Air Force (SAAF) - Swartkop in Centurion - has grown by one but the rotorcraft will neither be operational nor join other exhibits at the SAAF Museum.
Oryx 1234 was on the strength of AFB Ysterplaat-based 22 Squadron for some time and earlier this year found itself at Denel's Ekurhuleni campus for what has been reported as "a scheduled overhaul".
Earlier this month, the medium transport helicopter was put onto a lowbed, after preparation to allow for road transport, ahead of moving to the base adjacent to what was the SAAF Gymnasium in Valhalla. Speculation was the Oryx was destined for the SAAF Museum with at least one observer saying the lack of work on the locally manufactured machine was due to a shortage of funds - from both the air force and Denel.
"Chronic underfunding of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), together with the terminal funding crunch at Denel, means no funds are available to fund the overhaul (of Oryx 1234)," defenceWeb was told.
The official response from the Directorate: Corporate Communication of the national defence force is the aircraft is not being withdrawn from service. It is, according to Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, "awaiting service" at Swartkop and "will return for utilisation" once the necessary major maintenance work is complete.
If 1234 had gone to the SAAF Museum at Swartkop, it would have been the first of type to be exhibited.
The other occupant of the oldest SAAF base is helicopter unit 17 Squadron. With 15 Squadron at AFB Durban, 19 Squadron at AFB Hoedspruit and 22 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat, they are currently the only operational helicopter squadrons.
The Oryx was taken into the SAAF inventory in 1991, replacing the Puma as the force's primary rotary-winged transport. Fifty-one Oryxes, assembled at what was then Denel Aviation, were delivered to the airborne service of the SANDF. In 2006, the SAAF approved a mid-life upgrade for 35 airframes with all work undertaken at Denel's Ekurhuleni campus, east of OR Tambo International Airport. These re-entered service by 2017.
BRONCO II, AC-208 OUT OF SOCOM ARMED OVERWATCH COMPETITION
Written by defenceWeb
The Paramount/Leidos Bronco II and MAG Aerospace MC-208 Guardian have been eliminated from the US Special Operation Command's Armed Overwatch competition, leaving three other aircraft in the running for a roughly 75-aircraft order.
The remaining competitors are the Textron Aviation Defence AT-6E Wolverine, L3 AT-802U Sky Warden and Sierra Nevada Corporation M28/C-145 Wily Coyote, Aviation Week reported last week.
The Bronco II (Mwari) was offered by a team comprising Leidos, Paramount USA and Vertex, with the aircraft carrying out flight demonstrations in June and July 2021. However, after several successful flights, the aircraft was parked on the ground on 9 July when one of the main landing gear legs collapsed, resulting in minor damage to the aircraft.
Although Paramount/Leidos were confident the incident would not affect its chances in the competition, the Bronco II is one of the first aircraft to have been eliminated. The remaining competitors are expecting an imminent request for proposals (RFP).
The head of the Air Force's Special Operations Command, Lieutenant General Jim Slife, last week said there is a good likelihood the armed overwatch programme will transition to procurement in fiscal year 2022.
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.
FINAL FLIGHT TEST OF DRAKEN'S CHEETAHS MARKS END OF AN ERA
Written by defenceWeb
Cheetah C tail number 376 performed its final flight acceptance test on Wednesday 29 September ahead of being shipped to the United States, marking the end of Cheetah flights in South Africa. Draken has acquired 12 ex-SA Air Force Cheetahs for adversary training.
Nine single seat Cheetah C and three dual seat D models were in 2017 sold to Florida-based Draken, which will use them for adversary training for the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps. Draken sees the Cheetah as complementary to its recent acquisition of 22 modernised radar-equipped Spanish Mirages F1Ms.
After painstaking efforts to reassemble and return the aircraft to airworthy status after years of storage, each Cheetah is flown several times by Denel Aeronautics to make sure everything is working correctly (included upgraded avionics) before partial disassembly and shipping to the United States - this involves the wings being removed and the engine taken out, among others.
Over the last year and a half, Denel has been flying and accepting Draken's Cheetahs, culminating in Wednesday's final flight with 376. The aircraft last flew with the SA Air Force in 2001 (the Cheetah fleet was retired in 2008).
The first two Cheetahs (a single seat and a dual seat) arrived in the United States in October 2019. According to import tracking websites, Denel's most recent shipment was in June this year.
In addition to the 12 ex-SAAF Cheetahs, Draken has acquired a vast supply of spares and equipment from Denel to support the Cheetah fleet, including the Cheetah simulator from Air Force Base Makhado.
USAF WRAPS UP DIVESTITURE OF 17 B-1B AIRCRAFT, MOVES TOWARD B-21
US Air Force Global Strike Command concluded its divestiture of 17 B-1B Lancers Sept. 23, as the last bomber departed Edwards Air Force Base, California, to fly to the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
The divestiture of the aircraft is in support of the U.S. Air Force's efforts to modernize America's bomber fleet, as authorized by the National Defence Authorization Act.
"The divestiture plan was executed very smoothly," said Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell, AFGSC director of logistics and engineering. "With fewer aircraft in the B-1 fleet, maintainers will be able to give more time and attention to each aircraft remaining in the fleet."
The 17 B-1B aircraft were retired from a fleet of 62, leaving 45 in the active inventory. Out of the 17 retired, one went to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, as a prototype for structural repair actions; one went to Edwards AFB as a ground tester; one went to Wichita, Kansas, to the National Institute for Aviation Research for digital mapping and one went to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, as a static display for the Barksdale Global Power Museum. The remaining 13 aircraft will be stored at the boneyard at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB in Type 4000 storage. Four of those will remain in a reclaimable condition that is consistent with Type 2000 recallable storage.
The retirement of the B1-B did not affect the service's lethality or any associated maintenance manpower and allowed officials to focus maintenance and depot-level manpower on the remaining aircraft, increasing readiness and paving the way for bomber fleet modernization to meet future challenges.
"Beginning to retire these legacy bombers allows us to pave the way for the B-21 Raider," Bell said. "Continuous operations over the last 20 years have taken a toll on our B-1B fleet and the aircraft we retired would have taken between 10 and 30 million dollars per aircraft to get back to a status quo fleet in the short term until the B-21 comes online."
By retiring these aircraft now, AFGSC can focus on prioritizing the health of the current fleet, including modernization efforts, to make the bomber fleet more lethal and capable overall, said Bell.
The Air Force needs to transition from three bombers to two - the rebuilt B-52H Stratofortresses and the next-generation B-21 - to deter both established and rising powers. This change is vital to future joint and allied operations because no other service or partner nation provides long-range bomber capability.
VOLOCOPTER AND GEELY JOINT VENTURE ORDERS 150 VOLOCOPTER AIRCRAFT
Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), and Aerofugia, a subsidiary of China's innovation-driven group, Geely Technology Group, announced the finalization of their joint venture (JV) company to introduce UAM in China. Operating under Volocopter (Chengdu) Technology Co., LTD (Volocopter Chengdu), the JV has signed an agreement to purchase 150 Volocopter aircraft. Geely Holding Group's CEO, Daniel Li Donghui, has joined Volocopter's Advisory Board.
The JV, headquartered in Chengdu, will work closely with the aviation, transportation and government agencies in Chengdu and other parts of mainland China to bring urban air mobility to China within the next three to five years. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province and a significant economic, cultural and transportation hub in Western China. It is also a key manufacturing base for Geely - one of many great synergies the JV will profit from on top of Geely's production capability and industrial distribution expertise.
At the opening ceremony, Volocopter also signed a Contract Manufacturing Agreement with Volocopter Chengdu and General Aviation Manufactory Base of Geely Technology to produce Volocopter's aircraft and parts in China. This production agreement will strategically satisfy the fast-growing demand for air taxi services after commercial launch in China.
UAM refers to a new mode of urban transportation that uses electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people or goods within lower urban and suburban airspaces. It helps relieve the strain on increasingly congested city roads and allows people and goods to reach their destinations faster and safely. As the first and only eVTOL company globally to obtain Design Organisation Approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency in 2019 and subsequently secure Production Organisation Approval in 2021, Volocopter has been leading in the UAM industry, with its family of aircraft for passengers (VoloCity and VoloConnect) and goods (VoloDrone).
Expa - a global network of start-up founders supporting entrepreneurs through expertise, access, and funding - has announced a strategic investment in Wingcopter. Getting things to where they need to go isn't always simple and, often, can be critically urgent. That's where Wingcopter comes in. The leading German company not only develops and manufactures autonomous delivery drones, but also operates drone-delivery-as-a-service infrastructure. Whether deploying vital supplies, life-saving medicine, parcels, or spare parts-the sky is Wingcopter's highway.
Expa's support of Wingcopter aligns with the firm's mission of backing tech-enabled companies that build the next generation of category champions and solve global challenges through innovation. Expa's hands-on, partnership-driven approach has resulted in the growth and development of industry-shaping companies across transportation and logistics, including Beacon, Aero and Convoy.
Wingcopter's new flagship aircraft, the Wingcopter 198, is a state-of-the-art, all-electric delivery drone, designed for safe, reliable, fast and bi-directional deliveries across a wide range of use cases. The company's patented tilt-rotor technology allows for vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL), while also enabling efficient forward flight over long ranges, thanks to its fixed-wing design. A key value proposition of Wingcopter is to help its partners increase operational efficiency through pioneering triple drop technology, using smart and easily swappable batteries to maximize time in the air and developing software that will enable a single pilot to fly and monitor up to 10 drones simultaneously.
"Just how Uber revolutionized the way people get from point A to point B, Wingcopter is providing that same level of innovation to the transport of goods including urgently needed medicine and medical supplies, groceries, or freshly prepared food and even has the power to automate e-commerce. Accelerated by the tailwinds of the global pandemic, we approach an inflection point in consumer adoption and industry regulation. Wingcopter is ideally positioned to capitalize on this momentum thanks to its cutting-edge delivery drone, software and services," said Garrett Camp, Founder, Expa. "Given the team's track record and impressive technology stack, Wingcopter will have a deep impact on supply chain transformation, logistics and on-demand delivery."
Wingcopter's product has already received significant commercial traction and inbound interest by globally renowned corporations. As such, the company has recently announced a partnership with America's largest air medical service provider Air Methods to set up a drone-based medical delivery network for thousands of hospitals all over the United States. In Japan, Wingcopter collaborates with ?ANA Holdings Inc., parent company of Japan's biggest airline All Nippon Airways. ANA aims to build a drone delivery network to help improve quality of life in rural areas across the whole country.
Wingcopter is backed by a wide range of institutional investors such as Silicon Valley-based Xplorer Capital. Based on strong traction in the market, it is preparing its Series B round. While Expa believes in Wingcopter's growth phase and their ongoing fundraising, the firm usually invests in earlier stages. Along with the investment in Wingcopter, Expa continues to build out its portfolio in Europe and actively scouts for early-stage investment opportunities in transportation, logistics, advanced technology, fintech, health and wellness.
"We couldn't be more excited to partner with Expa and Garrett which bring a brilliant network and years of experience building and globally scaling companies that disrupt entire industries," said Tom Plümmer, CEO & Co-Founder, Wingcopter. "With their hands-on approach 'By builders for builders', Expa is actively supporting our strategy to create national-scale logistical highways in the sky."
Wingcopter is a German manufacturer and service provider of eVTOL unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) dedicated to improving and saving the lives of people worldwide through meaningful commercial and humanitarian applications. The start-up is focused on optimizing medical supply chains. In the future, Wingcopter will also deliver packages, tools, spare parts, as well as food and groceries. Thanks to its patented tilt-rotor mechanism, the Wingcopter 198 can take off and land vertically like a multicopter, while flying long distances as efficiently and quickly as a fixed-wing aircraft, even in rain and wind.
INDIA FORMALISES ACQUISITION OF 56 AIRBUS C295 AIRCRAFT
India has formalised the acquisition of 56 Airbus C295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force (IAF) legacy AVRO fleet. It is the first 'Make in India' aerospace programme in the private sector, involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem: from the manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.
Under the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in 'fly-away' condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
The first 16 aircraft will be delivered over four years after the contract implementation. All the IAF C295s will be handed over in transport configuration and equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
"This contract will support the further development of India's aerospace ecosystem, bringing investment and 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the coming 10 years," said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. "The C295 has proven again as the segment leader and with the addition of India as a new operator, the type will enlarge its footprint even more, not only on the operational aspects but on its own industrial and technological development".
Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, said, "This is a moment of pride for Tatas and a milestone for the Indian military manufacturing ecosystem. For the first time, an Indian private company will be wholly manufacturing an aircraft in India. This endeavour demonstrates Tata Advanced Systems' capabilities as a defence manufacturer to build globally competitive complex platforms in India."
'Make in India' is at the heart of Airbus strategy in India, with the company constantly increasing the country's contribution to its global product portfolio. The C295 programme will see Airbus bring its complete bouquet of world-class aircraft manufacturing and servicing to India in collaboration with our industrial partners, including the Tatas and leading defence public sector units such as Bharat Electronics Ltd. and Bharat Dynamics Ltd, as well as private Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
With a proven capability of operating from short or unprepared airstrips, the C295 is used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft. It can airdrop paratroops and loads, and also be used for casualty or medical evacuation (medevac), as demonstrated during the COVID-19 crisis, using either basic litters or mobile intensive care units (ICU) with life support equipment. The aircraft can perform special missions as well as disaster response and maritime patrol duties.
The IAF becomes the 35th C295 operator worldwide, with the programme reaching 278 aircraft, 200 of which are already in operation and have booked more than half a million flight-hours.
FIRST CONNECTICUT-BUILT SIKORSKY CH-53K™ HELICOPTER IN HANDS OF U.S. MARINE CORPS
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, recently celebrated the first Connecticut-built CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter that will be delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps. This helicopter, which moves more troops and cargo more rapidly from ship to shore, was the first all digitally designed helicopter.
"This Connecticut-built CH-53K aircraft is a testament to the Sikorsky legacy of building safe, reliable rotorcraft for decades. But the way we design, test and build helicopters has transformed," said Paul Lemmo, President, Sikorsky. "Our employees are using digital tools and other advanced technologies such as manufacturing simulation and 3D laser inspection technology. This factory transformation is a model for all future helicopter programs at Sikorsky."
This King Stallion™ helicopter will be stationed at Marine Corps Aviation Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina where Marines will conduct training flights and support the fleet with heavy-lift missions with the aircraft in preparation for the CH-53K's first deployment in 2024. This heavy-lift helicopter is part of a 200 aircraft Program of Record for the Marine Corps with a total of 33 aircraft currently on contract and an additional nine on contract for long lead parts.
"The CH-53K helicopter provides advanced capabilities allowing Marines to get anywhere in the world where the mission requires heavy-lift logistics support," said Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Lt. Gen. Mark R. Wise during a ceremony at Sikorsky. "This helicopter is a much safer aircraft because it can manoeuvre in low visibility environments. It will forward deploy Marines quickly and effectively."
The factory floor at Sikorsky is active with six CH-53K aircraft in build, and there are 36 more in various stages of production including the nine that we are procuring long lead parts for. Sikorsky has made significant investments in workforce training, tooling, and machinery to increase the number of aircraft built and delivered year over year.
This is the first CH-53K helicopter to roll off the Stratford, Connecticut production line, with the next one set to be delivered in early 2022. Since October 2020, Sikorsky has delivered three operational CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The CH-53K program entered initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) in July. Four aircraft are now in the hands of VMX-1 operational and test evaluation squadron. Marine pilots and maintainers are operating the CH-53K in a fleet environment as part of the rigorous test program.
Marines are learning to fly and maintain the CH-53K using a suite of training devices developed by Sikorsky. Pilots receive hands-on training by experiencing a highly immersive virtual environment in the Containerized Flight Training Device (CTFD). The CFTD replicates the functionality, flight characteristics, mission profiles and unmatched capabilities of the CH-53K helicopter. The device can replicate the various environmental conditions that the aircraft is likely to fly in as well as a multitude of mission profiles in the operation of a true heavy-lift helicopter.
FLEET OF UP TO 10 CESSNA GRAND CARAVAN EX AIRCRAFT EXPANDS REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY IN BRAZIL
Textron Aviation has announced the first deliveries in a fleet order of Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to Brazilian aviation company, Azul Conecta, a subsidiary of Azul Airlines based at the airport of Jundiai in São Paulo. The company recently placed an initial five-aircraft order with options for an additional five Grand Caravan EXs. Azul Conecta will utilize the fleet of Grand Caravan EX aircraft to transport travellers from smaller cities and remote locations throughout the country.
"The Caravan platform provides a valuable form of transportation throughout Brazil, especially for people in rural areas," said Marcelo Moreira, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Textron Aviation. "It's a proven and versatile platform in Latin America, flying passengers, cargo or both. With its combination of performance and rugged reliability, the Grand Caravan EX is capable of reaching remote areas that other aircraft cannot; connecting many people throughout the region and supporting the development and economic growth of the country."
Following today's two deliveries, Azul Conecta expects to take delivery of another Grand Caravan EX in 2021 and two more in early 2022. With the addition of these two aircraft, Azul Conecta now operates 18 Caravan turboprops in its fleet and is the largest operator of Grand Caravan aircraft in Brazil.
"Azul Airline's business plan is to develop a regional and sub-regional aviation company in Brazil and our operations with Azul Conecta represent this well since last year," said Flavio Costa, CEO, Azul Conecta. "From August 2020 until now, we have already transported more than 40,000 customers, opened 12 new destinations and completed more than 15,000 flight hours. However, we are growing, and the announced purchase of new planes coming from the factory is a demonstration that we are expanding our operations in the country. Azul Conecta is already a great success in the interior cities and, connecting with Azul Airlines, we will reach the milestone of 200 cities served in Brazil in the coming years."
A Trans Maldivian Airways float-equipped DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 sustained serious damage during landing at Malé-Velana International Airport, Maldives. One flight crew and one cabin crew member received minor injuries.
The aircraft and crew had stayed overnight at Vommuli and departed at 06:14 on a flight back to the main base at Malé-Velana International Airport. The captain was Pilot Flying.
Taxi-out, take-off, cruise, approach and until touch down at MLE all were normal and uneventful. Light rain was encountered during the approach and the captain stated that he used windshield wipers. At the time of approach for landing the wind was 180 degrees/ 20 knots as given by the ATC.
The aircraft landed on water runway designated "North Right". About two seconds after the initial touch down the aircraft rapidly banked/rolled to about 60 degrees to the right with the right wing digging into water and the left wing high in the air. The aircraft veered to the right, making a U-turn.
Immediately after the U-turn, the left wing abruptly dropped which resulted in the left wing and left-hand engine propeller blades impacting the water heavily causing damage to the wing and the propeller blades.
The captain who was the PF had been operating DHC-8 (land planes) for a long period prior to reconverting to DHC-6 (floatplane) beginning January 2020. It took 60.38 hours for him to be finally released for line flying. This is more than the operator's standard 25 hours required for a PIC to be released for line flying.
Following release to the Line Flying, like many others, the PIC did not have the opportunity to undertake flying primarily due to lack of air transportation activities resulting from the lockdown imposed in the country to control spread of Covid-19 virus. He had only 37.5 hours of flying during the last 90 day period prior to the accident flight.
Causes / Contributing Factors:
a) Loss of control on landing;
b) Varying crosswind conditions during landing;
c) Lack of practice or experience (change of motor skills) of the PIC for landing floatplanes.
Algeria, Algiers Airport: An Air Algérie ATR 72-600 (72-212A) suffered a runway excursion after landing at Algiers (ALG). There were no reported injuries. The aircraft suffered minor damage.
Libya, Tripoli-Mitiga International Airport: A Libyan Arab Airlines Airbus A330-202 suffered a tire failure on take-off from Tripoli-Mitiga International Airport, Libya. The flight entered a holding pattern north of Tripoli and landed safely back at the airport, one hour and three minutes after take-off.
Finland, Hyvinkää Airport: A Van's RV-8 with two on board was about to land at Hyvinkää Airport but collided with the ground before landing at the runway. The pilot died and the passenger was taken to hospital. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.
USA, Butternut Lake, near Eagle River, WI: A Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander operated by Surdex Corp with three occupants impacted a swamp of Butternut Lake, near Eagle River, Forest County, Wisconsin. The pilot and 2 passengers were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed. According to ADS-B data, the airplane climbed to 15,600' pressure altitude and levelled off at 08:58:53L. Over the next 68 seconds, altitude was constant as groundspeed decreased from 209 knots to 125 knots. At 09:00:01 a descent had begun (15,500 pressure altitude and 125 knots groundspeed). Shortly after 09:00:54 the final data point was received which indicated an extrapolated descent rate of over -21,000 feet per minute at 12,300' pressure altitude and 58Kt groundspeed.
UK, Stapleford Aerodrome (EGSG), Abridge, Essex: A storm (desribed as 'a mini tornado') ripped across Stapleford Aerodrome, Abridge, Essex, overnight on the night of 28/29.9.2021, causing major damage to buildings and aircraft. Aircraft known to be damaged are:
- G-AWAZ PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow (overturned)
- G-ATRW PA-32-260 Cherokee Six
- G-GUSS PA-28-151 Warrior (overturned)
- G-IDEB AS355 F1 Twin Squirrel
- plus at least 4 others.
USA, Byrd's Backcountry Airstrip (51AR), Franklin County, Ozark, AR: An experimental Just Aircraft Highlander sustained substantial damage subsequent to impact with powerlines while turning onto final. The pilot was practicing short field touch-and-go landings at Byrd's Backcountry Airstrip (51AR) in Franklin County, Ozark, Arkansas. The sole pilot onboard the tailwheel equipped airplane received serious injuries.
USA, Oregon City, Clackamas County, OR: An experimentally built Zenair CH 750 Cruzer sustained substantial damage subsequent to impact with residential terrain in Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon. One occupant onboard received minor injuries and one of the two occupants onboard the single-engine airplane was not injured.
Italy, San Donato, near Milano-Linate Airport: An Aviroms Rent a Car Pilatus PC-12/47E with eight occupants was destroyed in an accident near Milano-Linate Airport (LIN/LIML), Italy, killing all eight on board. The aircraft took off from runway 36 at Linate Airport at 13:04 local time. It made a right hand turn after departure and stopped the climb at an altitude of about 5300 feet. At 13:07 the aircraft entered a steep and fast descent until it impacted a building under construction. A large fire erupted.
3 to 5 OCTOBER 1931
Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn make the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Samushiro Beach, Japan, to Wenatchee, Washington in 41 hours in a Bellanca Skyrocket.
Following college, Clyde Pangborn, born in 1895, worked briefly as an engineer for a mining company before joining the Air Service during World War I. He completed flight training and he was subsequently stationed as a flight instructor at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. While teaching cadets how to fly the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" biplane, Pangborn learned to roll his plane onto its back and fly upside-down for extended periods, earning him the nickname "Upside-Down Pang".
After World War I, Pangborn took up barnstorming, exhibition flying and aerial acrobatics, which he did for the next nine years. He performed as a part of the Gates Flying Circus, of which he was a co-owner along with Ivan Gates. Early in his career, he was injured when he fell out of a speeding car as he attempted to jump onto a flying plane; this was his only serious injury during his entire career in flying. He received national fame after assisting in a mid-air rescue of stuntwoman Rosalie Gordon, who had become caught on Pangborn's landing gear while demonstrating a parachute jump, in Houston, Texas
It was during this time that he also met Hugh Herndon, who later became his co-pilot in a historic trans-Pacific flight.
With their eyes on a $25,000 prize, Pangborn and Herndon decided to attempt the first nonstop trans-Pacific flight. They flew from Siberia to Japan in preparation. In the spirit of documentation, Herndon took several still pictures and 16 mm motion pictures, some of which were of Japan's naval installations. The photography and inadequate documentation to enter the country (which they had not been aware of), resulted in the men being jailed. They were eventually released with a $1,000 fine, but they were allowed only one chance to take off in Miss Veedol; if they returned to Japan, the plane would be confiscated and the men would return to prison.
Miss Veedol had to be overweighted with fuel, far beyond the manufacturer's recommendation (650 gallons stock was expanded to 915 gallons) and they would have to abandon their landing gear after take-off to reduce drag.
They almost ran into Mount Rainier when flying over Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle were fogged in. They decided to fly to Boise, where they could claim the furthest distance record along with the nonstop transpacific. Due to fog, Boise, Spokane and Pasco, Washington, were unavailable, they turned back, to Wenatchee, Washington. They belly landed on a strip cut out of the sagebrush on Fancher Field near what is now East Wenatchee. The flight from Japan took a total of 41 hours and 13 minutes.