Compiled by Willie Bodenstein




SAPFA Springs Speed Rally at Springs Airfield. Contact Dawid Cell: 073 338 5200 or on E-Mail david@pilotinsure.co.za

Sports Aerobatics Club Western Cape regionals at Stellenbosch airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

EAA Chapter 322 virtual monthly meeting via Zoom and live at the EAA Auditorium, Rand Airport. Contact Neil Bowden on 084 674 5674 or E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net

3,4 & 5 DECEMBER
Tonto Skydive Boogie JHB Skydive Club.

Aero Club of South Africa annual awards venue TBA. For more information contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032

Sports Aerobatics Club ACE of Base Baragwaneth Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

Steady Climb Fly-In and expo at Rhino Park airfield. Contact David Le Roux Cell: 073 338 5200


Long-time rumours that China has been extensively converting retired fighter jets into unmanned combat drones were recently confirmed when the People's Liberation Army's (PLAAF) showed satellite photos of a large number Shenyang J-6s's on its east coast bases near Taiwan.

All identity numbers and insignia that may link the drones to a specific unit has been digitally blurred suggesting that the J-6s are still in active service.

The J-6, a Chinese copy of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 interceptor was officially retired from the PLAAF in 2010.

In 2013, reports started emerging that the PLAAF were converting a large number of CJ 6's into unmanned combat aircraft, for use either as a decoy to overwhelm adversary air defences by their sheer numbers or as a rudimentary unmanned combat aircraft. Since then, numerous J-6s have been seen on satellite imagery of two airbases in China's coastal provinces opposite Taiwan.


Textron Aviation Défense LLC has announced a $143 million contract with the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) for an Integrated System in support of the 41st Wing light attack operations at Chiang Mai Air Base. The historic contract - for eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, ground support equipment, spare parts, training and other equipment - establishes Thailand as the international launch customer for the USAF's latest light attack aircraft. The work in support of this procurement will take place at the company's Wichita, Kansas facilities.

"We are honoured the Royal Thai Air Force has competitively selected the Beechcraft AT-6 to conduct a broad array of missions in support of its border security and its anti-smuggling, counter-narcotics and anti-human trafficking operations," said Thomas Hammoor, president and chief executive officer of Textron Aviation Défense LLC. "The RTAF is a key U.S. security ally and operator of one of the most advanced air forces in Asia Pacific. Its extensive market research and stringent procurement process sought the alignment of best cost, schedule and performance to replace its existing fleet of aging Aero L-39 Albatros aircraft and advance the capabilities of its fleet with the latest technology."

The contract for the AT-6 - designated the Beechcraft AT-6TH in Thailand - supports the modernization and interoperability objectives at the forefront of the mutual defence cooperation between the U.S. and Thailand. The contract also contributes to the growth of Thailand's aerospace industry detailed in the 10-year Royal Thai Air Force Purchase and Development (P&D) Plan, complies with requirements set forth by the Thai National Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) and empowers RTAF light attack aircrew with a vital technological advantage.

"RTAF pilots and concerned parties found the attributes of the AT-6 procurement program extremely favourable," stated AM Pongsawat Jantasarn, RTAF's chairman of the procurement committee. "It will also benefit both Thai and U.S. mutual interests, strengthening the enduring strategic partnership between our nations."

The contract signing, witnessed by RTAF Air Chief Marshal Chanon Mungthanya, aligns the procurement with the Thai government's S-Curve 11 strategy - a program that pioneers development of the Thai domestic defence industry, cultivates diversity and supports involvement across foreign and Thai companies.

The Beechcraft AT-6TH becomes the second RTAF procurement contracted in support of S-Curve 11. The first procurement under the new strategy was the Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II, awarded in 2020. The Ministry of Defence supports the S-Curve 11 strategy and the two procurements.

Textron Aviation Defence training of RTAF maintenance professionals is set to begin in Thailand in 2023, while pilot training is set to begin in Wichita in 2024. The Beechcraft AT-6TH will join the Royal Thai fleet in 2024.

Purpose-built for light attack, counter-insurgency and Countering Violent Extremist Organizations (C-VEO) missions, the high performance, low risk Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine capitalizes on the proven heritage of the T-6 Texan II and delivers 4th generation capabilities at 2nd generation acquisition, operating and sustainment costs. The U.S. Air Force is the first U.S. operator of the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine and Thailand is the first international operator.

Purpose-built for a wide range of capabilities, the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II prepares military pilots for real world missions. Tens of thousands of aviators worldwide have begun their aviation careers in the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II. Textron Aviation Defence designed each training capability - from initial pilot screens to advanced operational training - to support military requirements, equipping pilots with the expertise and confidence to graduate and achieve success in their next phase of training. In operation across two NATO military flight schools and 12 nations, the global fleet of nearly 1,000 T-6s has surpassed 4.6 million flight hours and achieves daily readiness rates of up to 91% among the international T-6 fleet. Thailand is the first Asian nation and the eleventh international fleet operator of the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II.


De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited ("De Havilland Canada") has announced that the company is completing the aircraft currently under production. The announcement follows the ratification on October 26, 2021 of collective agreement extensions by members of Unifor Locals 673 and 112 who work at the Downsview site in Toronto,

De Havilland Canada will also begin the process of decommissioning the facility following the sale of the Downsview lands by Bombardier to the Public Sector Pension Investment Board in 2018. The manufacturing equipment will be decommissioned and stored while De Havilland Canada reviews future production opportunities.

De Havilland Canada maintains an optimistic outlook on its future and the future of the Dash 8 program and has stated publicly that it intends to be ready to meet new aircraft demand as the industry recovers from the pandemic. Our objective is to resume new aircraft production at a new site at the earliest possible time, subject to market demand. We believe that our upcoming pause in production is a responsible and prudent measure that reflects current industry conditions and will limit strain on the market and De Havilland Canada's supply base as the pandemic recovery occurs.

Our leadership and sales teams are in active and ongoing discussions with customers and our commitment to the global community of Dash 8 operators is unchanged. We will be able to offer aircraft from our inventory and we will be proactively seeking new opportunities and investing in new product and service innovations to enhance the Dash 8 aircraft's relevance to existing and new operators. In effect, we are seeking to stimulate the demand for Dash 8 aircraft. This demand is the prerequisite to new aircraft production.

Our July 15, 2021, the announcement of our work with Pratt & Whitney Canada to integrate hybrid-electric propulsion technology into a Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator is further evidence of our commitment to build a long-term future for this aircraft program. Our aircraft are well known for their industry-leading credentials on sustainability, including fuel efficiency, low noise footprints and low carbon impact on the environment. We are excited about ongoing R&D efforts to decarbonize aviation and are participating in numerous investigations into the development of technologies and future aircraft designs that support the industry's goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.


Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., of Israel, signed an expanded teaming agreement, allowing the team to jointly develop, market, manufacture and support Rafael's Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE™) 250 weapon system for sale in the United States and in Poland. This agreement marks the first time SPICE 250 is available for sale to the U.S. military.

The addition of SPICE 250 builds on a 2019 teaming agreement, where Lockheed Martin and Rafael agreed to jointly market SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 guidance kits for U.S. sale.

SPICE is a family of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems that provide affordable precision in a GPS-denied environment. The combat-proven SPICE family of products includes two guidance kits, SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000, as well as an all-up round, known as SPICE 250.

"Lockheed Martin's deep expertise in weapon system integration will help us adapt SPICE 250 to meet U.S. standards," said Dave Pantano, Lockheed Martin program director. "We're excited to leverage this experience and offer this unique, proven weapon system to aircraft operators for additional mission flexibility where it's needed most."

In use since 2003, SPICE is combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other nations worldwide. It enables maximum loadout on F-16's and F-15's, reduces pilot workload and provides multiple strike capability against multiple target types.

"GPS is not required to operate any of the products within the SPICE family, allowing for operations in a variety of locations and adverse environments," said Alon Shlomi, Rafael Air to Surface Directorate vice president. "By expanding our teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin, we're able to offer the entire product portfolio to the U.S. military - providing warfighters with the opportunity to enhance mission flexibility."


From the world's first police helicopter placed into service in 1948 to an ever-expanding role in public safety missions throughout the world, Bell's commitment has been unwavering to product performance, service and support offerings.

In Europe, the Bell 429 equipped with ESG's Mission Management System is the definitive platform for public safety missions. For these missions, the 429 can be equipped with specialized equipment including an infrared camera, searchlight, removeable and sliding doors, wire strike protection system, optional auxiliary fuel tank, fast rope insertion/extraction system and an equipment operator station with two 17" HD displays. The twin-engine aircraft is already in use with several European law enforcement customers, including the Swedish National Police (SNP), Slovakian Police and Turkish National Police.

For the SNP, its Air Support Division has its aircraft available 24/7 in case of any emergency. They work alongside alpine rescue services and navigate mountain ranges to save trapped or injured individuals, while also performing a number of law enforcement to protect their communities.

"Since our fleet of 429s entered service over five years ago, we've seen first-hand just how advanced and versatile this platform is," said Dick Johansson, police air commander, Swedish National Police. "With the Bell 429, we have a very capable aircraft that ideally suits the demands of our operations, but one that's backed-up by outstanding reliability and an unrivalled support network. We were confident the 429 would be the best solution for our force and our experience with the aircraft over the last five years has proved that this is the case."

In 2020, Bell announced its collaboration agreement with ESG to install their Mission Management System in a Bell 429 as a law enforcement demonstrator. The new demonstrator will be used to showcase the aircraft's capabilities to the police and military markets in Europe and across the globe, making its first public debut at European Rotors in Cologne, Germany.

"We are very happy to unveil the Bell 429 demonstrator with ESG´s Mission Management System at European Rotors and providing law enforcement demonstrations around the continent in the upcoming months," said Thomas Buck, Head of ESG´s Helicopter Division. "This is a class-leading platform which we are confident will appeal to European and global, law enforcement customers."

Known for its spacious and easily configurable cabin - bigger than any other twin helicopter - the Bell 429 holds almost 500,000 proven flight hours in vastly different terrains and climates. Stop by the Bell booth at European Rotors to learn more about the Bell 429 ESG law enforcement demonstrator, the Bell 505 and other latest products and services.


Airbus and NTT DOCOMO, INC. have demonstrated the ability to use its solar-powered Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) to deliver future wireless broadband connectivity. The trial took place in the United States in August when the Zephyr S aircraft undertook approx. 18-day stratospheric flights to test various capabilities.

Carrying an onboard radio transmitter, the Zephyr S provided an agile datalink during a stratospheric flight to simulate future direct-to-device connectivity. Test data was captured at different altitudes and at different times of day and night, focusing on assessing how connectivity is affected in the stratosphere by factors including weather conditions, different elevation angles and aircraft flight patterns.

Tests included various bandwidths to simulate direct-to-device service from the HAPS to end users using low, nominal and high throughput. The demonstration confirmed the viability and versatility of the 2GHz spectrum for HAPS-based services and also the use of a narrow (450MHz) band to provide connectivity in a range of up to 140km.

The measurement and analysis of the propagation of radio waves transmitted from Zephyr demonstrated the feasibility of stratospheric communications to devices such as smartphones. Based on the results of this experiment, Airbus and NTT DOCOMO aims to provide communication services to mountainous areas, remote islands and maritime areas where radio waves are difficult to reach.

"DOCOMO believes that HAPS will be a promising solution for coverage expansion in 5G evolution and 6G," said Takehiro Nakamura, General Manager of DOCOMO's 6G-IOWN Promotion Department. "In this measurement experiment, we were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of HAPS, especially for direct communication to smartphones, through long-term propagation measurements using actual HAPS equipment. Based on these results, we would like to further study the practical application of HAPS in 5G evolution and 6G with Airbus."

As part of efforts to further advance 5G and prepare for 6G, "coverage expansion" to expand communication networks to any location, including air and sea, is being studied worldwide. To achieve this, non-terrestrial network (NTN) technology is expected to be used. In addition to coverage of the air and sea, stratospheric HAPS networking will be useful for disaster preparedness and many industrial use cases, for example, to increase communication capacity in densely populated areas such as event venues and remotely controlling heavy equipment at construction sites.

The test data will be used to inform future LTE direct-to-device services that are expected to be provided via the Airbus Zephyr HAPS solution.

"Billions of people across the world suffer from poor or no connectivity. These tests show us the viability of the stratosphere to bridge this divide and provide direct to device connectivity via Zephyr without the need for base stations or extra infrastructure," Stephane Ginoux, Head of North Asia region for Airbus and President of Airbus Japan K.K.

The trial involved a radio propagation experiment from the stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 20 kilometres to a receiving antenna on the ground. Tests involved a direct connection between the radio equipment on board a Zephyr S HAPS aircraft flying in the stratosphere and the ground antenna under conditions of ever-changing altitude and day/night time.

The trial tested the stability of the connection between the Zephyr S HAPS and the ground antenna and how it was affected by factors such as weather conditions, differences in reception distance and the flight pattern of the HAPS aircraft. As a result, under three specific scenarios: clear, rainy and cloudy conditions and in a multitude of flight patterns, data transmissions across various speeds were successfully demonstrated, up to a distance of 140km.


German urban air mobility (UAM) pioneer, Volocopter, has completed the first crewed public test flight with its 2X aircraft in Seoul, South Korea. It was the first ever crewed public test flight of a fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in South Korea. The Republic's Minister for Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MoLIT) Noh Hyeong Ouk, together with senior officials from Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea and German Embassy, witnessed the historical test flight, which marks a milestone in Volocopter's plan of introducing air taxis globally.

The 5-minute crewed test flight took place at Gimpo International Airport, covered a distance of approximately 3 kilometres, reached a maximum altitude of 50 meters and maximum speeds of 45 km/h. The test flight was part of the MoLIT's UAM demonstration event - 'Open the Urban Sky'.

Seoul is the second city in Asia that Volocopter has conducted a test flight following the first successful public flight trial over Singapore's Marina Bay area in 2019.

Volocopter has been leading the pack in the UAM sector with a family of electrically powered aircraft that can transport passengers (the VoloCity and VoloConnect) and goods (the VoloDrone). It is the only eVTOL company that has obtained design and production organization approvals (DOA and POA) from European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).


EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) ("EHang" or the "Company"), the world's leading autonomous aerial vehicle ("AAV") technology platform company, announced that it will collaborate with the Spanish National Police to explore potential use cases for AAVs in emergency and security missions. At a Press Day of Expodronica at World Air Traffic Management Congress, EHang made the first public exhibition of the EHang 216 passenger-grade AAV in Spain at the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome in Madrid.

EHang and the Spanish National Police plan to work closely to use the AAV in emergency situations such as rescue, surveillance and other missions that are critical for improving the quality of life and safety of citizens. As a result of this collaboration, the Spanish National Police and EHang, together with the Polytechnic University of Valencia ("UPV"), will demonstrate how to best utilize revolutionary AAV technology through trial flights and use case analysis, thus exploring safer and more effective solutions for saving more lives.

Chief Commissioner of the Air Vehicles Unit of Spanish National Police affirmed the collaboration with EHang and the UPV represent progress in determining the best uses of AAV for policing, "AAV technology holds the promise to significantly improve our capability in emergency and security missions, such as firefighting, accessing contaminated areas with nuclear, radiological, bacteriological or chemical risks, landing in confined areas, transporting material and other police services that may require agile mobility. The application of the AAV technology makes the Spanish National Police a vanguard among police using AAV technology nationally and internationally."

Victoria Xiang, the CEO of EHang Spain & LATAM, emphasized that collaborating with the Spanish National Police is very important for EHang. "The application of AAVs in emergency, national security matters and the fight against the pandemic is crucial and advantageous for the public sector. Autonomous, sustainable and efficient mobility enables the authorities to execute their tasks in an environmentally friendly manner. EHang and the Spanish National Police will work jointly to leverage this cutting-edge technology to benefit citizens and society."


On 29 July 2021 at approximately 0842Z, a Cessna C172 aircraft with registration ZS-EWX was engaged in a training flight at Grand Central Airport (FAGC), Gauteng Province. On-board the aircraft was a student pilot conducting a solo circuit training on Runway 17.
The flight wasconducted during daylight with good weather conditions prevailing and under the provisions of Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) 2011 as amended.
According to the student pilot, he received clearance for a long approach for FAGC Runway 17 while he was three miles inbound from the north. Air traffic control (ATC) readout weather conditions at the time were as follows, wind: 250º at 10 knots (kts) gusting 17kts. The aircraft was configured to counteract the crosswind; however, it was pushed off the centreline, but the student pilot managed to correct its direction. The student pilot noted that the aircraft's approach was at a high speed. After the aircraft bounced during touch down, he opted to carry out a go-around.
Communication was conducted with ATC and permission was granted for a go-around. The student pilot then came in for another approach and he experienced a similar wind condition. This time, there was a slight change to the wind direction with ATC's readout as follows; wind: 230º at 10kts, gusting 17kts. However, the pilot opted to land the aircraft.
During final approach for touchdown, the aircraft was still at a high speed, but he opted to continue with landing. The left-side main landing gear touched down on the edge of the runway on the left-side. The aircraft touched down hard, resulting in a bounce. The pilot then attempted to give power to do another go-around; however, the aircraft's right wing lifted, causing the aircraft to veer off to the left-side of the runway. This was followed by the collapse of the nose landing gear, which resulted in the propeller striking the ground. The aircraft continued to skid further to the left of the runway with the nose section in contact with the ground until it came to a stop in a nose-down left-wing high attitude.
The student pilot did not sustain any injuries during the accident sequence. The aircraft sustained damage to the nose landing gear (which broke off), the propeller, the fuselage (multiple structural fractures), both wings, both main landing gears and the horizontal stabiliser. According to the aircraft Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), the maximum allowable crosswind component is 15kts.
The student pilot had a Student Pilot Licence (SPL) issued by the Regulator (SACAA) on 5 May CA 12-57 Date: 18 June 2021
On 29 July 2021, after a debrief by the instructor, the pilot took off on a solo consolidation flight, which was the day of the accident. According to the pilot's records, all pre- and post-flight debriefs were carried out with records showing that the pilot was progressing effectively and satisfactorily.
Probable Cause:
The aircraft approached at high speed, resulting in a hard landing on the left edge of the runway and the aircraft bounced before the pilot lost directional control of the aircraft as the crosswind lifted the right wing, causing it to veer off to the left of the runway.

Namibia, North of Katutura: A Signa Aviation Services Airplane Factory Sling 4 with two on board sustained substantial damage following a forced landing after the engine had lost power.

UK, Breighton Airfield, East Yorkshire: An amateur built Just Escapade crashed upon landing at Breighton Airfield (EGBR), Sand Lane, Bubwith, Breighton, East Yorkshire under unknown circumstances. The aircraft caught fire on impact and the pilot died in the crash.

USA, Mountain Air Airport (2NC0), Burnsville, NC: A Polaris Fire Protection Inc Cirrus SR22 sustained substantial damage when during an attempt to land at Mountain Air Airport (2NC0), Burnsville, North Carolina it crashed off the side the runway while attempting to land and caught fire. The sole pilot onboard the airplane received non-life-threatening injuries.

USA, near Hangar Haciendas Airport (AZ90), Laveen, AZ: An experimental built Sonex Waiex B operated by Air-Spaces LLC sustained substantial damage subsequent to a nose over during the forced landing to desert terrain following a loss of engine power over Maricopa County near Hangar Haciendas Airport (AZ90), Laveen, Arizona. The sole pilot onboard the single engine airplane received minor injuries.

USA, Boston-Logan International Airport MA: A United Airlines Boeing 757-224 suffered an APU fire while at the gate at Boston-Logan International Airport, MA. ARFF services quickly extinguished the fire. There were no passengers or crew members on board at the time of the incident.

Malaysia, RMAF Butterworth Air Force base, Penang: A Royal Malaysian Air Force BAe Hawk Mk 108 with two crew crashed under unknown circumstances at Butterworth Air Force base, Penang. One pilot died and another was injured.

UK, Mediterranean Sea: A Royal Air Force Lockheed-Martin F-35B Lightning II crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The pilot ejected safely and was rescued.

Greece, Andravida AFB: A Hellenic Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52+ crashed under unknown circumstances at Andravida Air Base (PYR/LGAD) during a training exercise. The pilot ejected safely.

USA, Laughlin AFB (DLF/KDLF), TX: Two US Air Force Northrop T-38C Talons suffered substantial damage when they collided on the runway, resulting in the loss of one pilot while two others were injured. One of the injured was in a critical condition and was airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

USA, Old Bridge Airport (3N6), Englishtown, NJ: An Old Bridge Flight School LLC Cessna 172N Skyhawk II was destroyed by fire subsequent to a runway excursion during a landing attempt at Old Bridge Airport (3N6), Englishtown, New Jersey. The student pilot onboard received minor injuries.

Austria, Sölden, Tirol: A Zlín Savage Cruiser with two on board was destroyed when it crashed under unknown circumstances on a mountain at an altitude of 3000m in Sölden, Tirol. Both occupants were seriously injured.

19 NOVEMBER 1919

Photo by Sunnya343/commons.wikimedia.org

The first municipal airport in the United States opens in Tucson, Arizona and is still in use today.

Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS, ICAO: KTUS, FAA LID: TUS) is a civil-military airport owned by the City of Tucson 8 miles (7.0 nmi; 13 km) south of downtown Tucson, in Pima County, Arizona, United States. It is the second busiest airport in Arizona, after Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

In 1928, commercial flights began with Standard Airlines (later American Airlines) while regular airmail service began in 1930. The 1936 airport directory shows Tucson Municipal at 32°11'N 110°55'W "just north of the railroad" (since removed) referring to the site that was then being used as the city's airport southeast of the intersection of S. Park Avenue and E. 36th Street.

During World War II, the airfield was used by the United States Army Air Forces Air Technical Service Command. A contract flying school was operated by the USAAF West Coast Training Centre from July 25, 1942 until September 1944.

Today, the 162nd Fighter Wing is the largest Air National Guard fighter unit in the United States and operates over 70 F-16C/D/E/F aircraft in three squadrons. The wing's F-16s augment operates as the active Air Force's 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW) at Luke AFB, Arizona as a Formal Training Unit (FTU) for training Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard and NATO and allies' F-16 pilots.

The wing also hosts the Air National Guard / Air Force Reserve Command (ANG AFRC) Command Test Centre (AATC) as a tenant unit, which conducts operational testing on behalf of the Air Reserve Component. The 162 FW also hosts "Snowbird" operations during the winter months for Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard F-16 and Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II units from northern tier bases in the continental United States, as well as Canadian Forces and Royal Air Force flying units.

Not counting students or transient flight crews, the installation employs over 1,700 personnel, over 1,100 of whom are full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel and the remainder traditional part-time Air National Guardsmen. Although an AETC organization, the 162nd also maintains an F-16 Alert Detachment for U.S. Northern Command / NORAD and AFNORTH at nearby Davis-Monthan AFB in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

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