Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



22 and 23
SAC Gauteng Regionals venue TBA. Contact Annie Boon on E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge - Rand Airport. Contact Frank Eckard on E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za or Cell: 083 269 1516

SAPFA AGM at Rand Airport 14h00. Contact Rob Jonkers on E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za or Cell: 082 804 7032

On Saturday 29 January 2022, Pylon Racing South Africa will be hosting the Summer Races event, at RMAC in the South of Johannesburg. Come and join us for an adrenaline filled action packed day with high speed racing fun.


Written by defenceWeb

Three days after officially assuming command of SA Air Force (SAAF) base Makhado, Brigadier General Lance 'Lancelot' Mathebula had to take notice of a Department of Defence (DoD) media statement grounding the air force's lone fighter squadron and its Swedish designed and manufactured Gripens.

The grounding appears, without being said in as many words, due to complicated and protracted contract negotiations as regards to maintenance and support of the single-engined Saab JAS 39 Gripens.

The 26 fighters were acquired as part of the then new-in-power ANC government's Strategic Defence Procurement Package (SDPP) to re-equip the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). In addition to the 26 Gripens in single and two-seater configurations, the SAAF received 24 Hawk Mk 120 lead-in fighter trainers, 30 Agusta A109 light utility helicopters and four Super Lynx 300 maritime helicopters. The SA Navy (SAN) was the other recipient of government defence prime mission equipment largesse. Four Valour Class frigates and three Type 209 diesel electric submarines, operating as the Heroine Class, returned a blue water capability to the maritime service.

The new boss of what is widely known as the SAAF's "fighter town" will have to be content with the Hawks of 85 Combat Flying School (CFS) keeping the jet part of the base front of mind until hopefully amicable settlement of legal and financial issues around Gripen. SAAF Gripens are on the inventory of 2 Squadron, known far and wide as the "Flying Cheetahs" and in the parlance of recently retired SAAF aircrew as "2, the one still operational" in reference to 1 Squadron standing down in 1997 when the Mirage F1AZ was retired.

The media invitation for last week's change of command parade at Air Force Base (AFB) Makhado notes the new base boss will "be equal to the task at hand in spite of the arduous journey he will traverse as GOC (General Officer Commanding) AFB Makhado".

"Among challenges Mathebula will face include, but are not limited to, a budget shortfall which continues to bedevil the operational mandate of the SANDF as previously rehashed by the top echelons of the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans," the invitation notes.

The one-star general is no stranger to military jets, qualifying as a Hawk Mk 120 flight leader in 2009 and is the first black pilot to command the Limpopo base.

Mathebula has been in command of the base since April but only officially assumed command last week.

"I have been in command for the last nine months - it has been a long hard couple of months but it is very refreshing that if you have the stuff like the stuff we have at Air Force Base Makhado and the support is there to make sure that we can keep the capability," the SABC reports Mathebula as saying.

"Firstly, my main focus on as a commander is to make sure that safe flying and safeguarding operations at Air Force Base Makhado, as per the Force Preparation and Force Employment requirement. Secondly, I aim to ensure that the social welfare of the members on the Base is enhanced. I also aim to prioritise the relationship of the Base with its stakeholders in the community of Vhembe District and Limpopo Province and by extension the country", said Mathebula.

Mathebula's predecessor was Brigadier General Andre Barends. Makhado has been home in the command sense of the word to a number of respected senior SAAF officers, including the late Des Barker.

Apart from its current lone flying unit - 85 CFS - Makhado is also home to 102 Squadron (a Reserve Force unit), 3 Air Servicing Unit (ASU) and 515 Squadron (protection services).



magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, has been selected by Tier 1 Engineering, specialists in the design and development of electric aircraft, to provide magniX electric propulsion units (EPUs) for the clean delivery of life-saving organs.

Tier 1 is developing the electric helicopter, by modification of the Robinson R44, for launch customer Lung Biotechnology PBC, which plans to acquire a fleet of aircraft to fly transplant organs. Tier 1 Engineering will integrate their battery system and the magniX electric propulsion unit onto the helicopters, perform flight testing, and demonstrate compliance to airworthiness standards to obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). Tier 1 Engineering is currently working with the FAA Aircraft Certification Office in Los Angeles on the e-R44 project.

"magniX was chosen as they are leading the industry in the development of aviation-specific electric propulsion and we recognized that significant progress had been made towards obtaining FAA certification. With magniX's technology, we are now much closer to obtaining STC approval of the e-R44 and transforming the delivery of life-saving human organs," said Glen Dromgoole, president of Tier 1 Engineering.

Tier 1 Engineering has taken delivery of the first EPU from magniX, at its Santa Ana, California, facility, a major milestone on the path towards achieving the STC. The flight-proven magniX EPUs have been powering all-electric aircraft in flight since December of 2019 and are on course to Part 33 certification with the recent publication of the Special Conditions from the FAA. "We are now another step closer on this noblest of causes - improving the lives of those in need of organ transplants and doing so at minimal harm to the environment thanks to electric aviation," said magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. "A partnership like this speaks volumes to the world-changing applications of electric propulsion technology for aircraft and this is just the beginning. Together we are committed to ongoing innovation and building a better future for all with clean, quiet, low-cost aviation."


Saab held a high-level meeting with authorities from Brazil and Sweden to present the first six serial production Gripen E aircraft, which have left the factory and entered the delivery phase. The delegations from both countries also had the opportunity to discuss joint activities that will be beneficial to the Gripen programme.

The meeting was attended by: General Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, Commander of the Brazilian Air Force; Major General Carl-Johan Edström, Commander of the Swedish Air Force; Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab and Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

"These deliveries form an important part of strengthening our capabilities and defending Sweden. JAS 39 E Gripen will increase Sweden's defence capability, allowing us to build a stronger and tactically superior Air Force for every situation," said Major General Carl-Johan Edström, Commander of the Swedish Air Force.

"It is a pleasure to follow the fulfilment of yet another step in the delivery process of the F-39 Gripen aircraft, which will lead the evolution of the Brazilian Air Force's combat capability. This project represents a new technological level for Brazil and it is of fundamental importance in the development of our Industrial Defence Base," said General Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, Commander of the Brazilian Air Force.

"The start of the serial delivery phase with these four aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force and two for the Swedish Air Force is an extremely important achievement for the Gripen programme. It shows that we have a mature product and that we fulfil our contractual obligations," said Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab. "This all has been possible thanks to our smart ways of working, innovative production technologies and close cooperation with the customers," he added.

During the visit to Saab, several serial production and test aircraft were presented to the authorities, who also had the opportunity to test the new Gripen mission trainer simulator and to view an air display with both Swedish and Brazilian Gripen aircraft.


The Velis Electro fleet in Switzerland achieved together more than 1000 hours of flight time in flight school usage with their 10 partner flight schools.

The student pilot who made the thousandth flying hour was Ms Andrea Blindenbacher, as a part of her PPL training. She said: "The experience is twofold for me. The ease of use of the Velis Electro allows you to fully concentrate on flying and really enjoy it, plus, knowing that your flights are at lower emissions and with less noise makes it even better."

Mr. Fabio Zaugg of AlpinAirPlanes GmbH reported: "The Fleet leader Velis Electro aircraft HB-SYE will shortly arrive at 300 hours of flight time."

It is great to see that the Swiss fleet of Pipistrel Velis Electros is flying high! The AlpinAirPlanes GmbH and their team are getting more and more experience with "electrifying" aviation!


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, has announced at European Rotors purchase agreements for five aircraft to customers in Ukraine.

"Both the Bell 429 and 505 continue to make exceptional progress in the European market, especially as ideal platforms for private travel," said Duncan Van De Velde, managing director, Europe and Russia, Bell. "Equipped with easily configurable cabins and advanced avionics, both aircraft offer efficient and comfortable transportation experiences for private operators and corporate customers."

The signature ceremony was held at European Rotors with Heliclub Ukraine LLC, the Bell official representative in Ukraine. The signed purchase agreements include two Bell 505s, two Bell 429s and one Bell 407GXi with the newly certified Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) configuration.

The Bell 429 is the most successful Bell model in Europe in the corporate, helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and law enforcement segments with more than 400 aircraft operating worldwide. The platform boasts a large, customizable cabin with club seating to comfortably fit up to six passengers and wide doors for enhanced visibility and easy ingress and egress.

The Bell 505 is one of Bell's fastest growing commercial programs to date, surpassing several significant milestones since its first delivery in 2017. The global Bell 505 fleet has surpassed more than 70,000 global fleet hours with aircraft operating across six continents. Bell has delivered more than 60 Bell 505 aircraft in Europe to date and continues to receive growing interest in the short light single platform.


Airflow.aero, Inc., an aerospace company building a next-gen electric Short Take-off and Landing (eSTOL) aircraft, and Pipistrel, the world-leading small aircraft designer and manufacturer, has announced a partnership through which Pipistrel will supply motors, motor controllers and batteries for Airflow's proof-of-concept aircraft. Through this work, the two companies will further explore collaborating on the electric propulsion solution for Airflow's production aircraft.

Pipistrel is the maker of the first and still the only type-certified electric airplane in the world, the VELIS Electro. The company's extensive expertise in clean sheet design through to successful project completion makes them an excellent partner as Airflow moves to design, build and test its full-scale proof-of-concept eSTOL. As Airflow uniquely leverages Distributed Electric Propulsion, high performing and reliable motors, controllers and batteries are key components to the ultimate success of the aircraft.

"Pipistrel's pioneering work in electric flight and their industry-leading experience in building and certifying powertrains for electric aircraft makes them an ideal partner to help us build and fly a first-of-its-kind eSTOL airplane," said Marc Ausman, CEO and co-founder, Airflow. "They understand and can meet the challenges of a high-performance system with the reliability and safety requirements of the aerospace industry."

"We relish working with partners that are pursuing ambitious and achievable goals in electric aviation. There are a lot of ideas flooding the market, which is exciting to see, but not all are based on real technology and realistic aerospace timescales. It makes it hard to clearly see the aircraft that are best-positioned to meet their targets," said Ivo Boscarol, CEO, Pipistrel.

"The Airflow team understands what it takes to bring a new electric aircraft to market and their experience building and flying the Airbus Vahana makes them one of the best positioned teams to accomplish this. Their goals at Airflow are ambitious and we're excited they've selected us to be on this journey with them."

Airflow was founded in 2019 by five former Airbus Vahana team members to bring eSTOL capabilities to the passenger and middle-mile logistics market. The team is passionate about expanding aviation's benefits to the world and has vast experience in aerospace and technology development. The founding team's background includes Airbus, Eclipse Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Uber Elevate, Airware and Scaled Composites.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has completed its certification of the S-70M Black Hawk helicopter - a new type designation - by issuing Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT) a Restricted Category Special Airworthiness Certificate. FAA certification, and the establishment of a pilot type rating, are expected to broaden the market for the military-designed helicopter by allowing civil and commercial operators in the United States to purchase new Black Hawk aircraft direct from the factory.

"With type certification, new production S-70M Black Hawk helicopters in the latest configuration are available to the U.S. commercial/civil market for the first time," said Jason Lambert, vice president of Sikorsky Global Commercial & Military Systems. "Internationally, where the FAA restricted category is not widely accepted, we can now discuss with other civil aviation authorities the potential of validating the aircraft for challenging civil operations in their countries' airspace."

"We thank the FAA for its rigorous evaluation of the first S-70M aircraft, and FlightSafety International for its partnership to upgrade an S-70i™ flight simulator and training curriculum to S-70M FAA standards," he said. "We also congratulate and welcome our first S-70M customer, San Diego Gas & Electric, which requires the rugged design and lift capacity of the Black Hawk helicopter to perform the demanding aerial firefighting mission."

California public utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) took delivery of the first S-70M Restricted Category aircraft on November 18 at the Sikorsky Training Academy in Stuart, Florida. SDG&E will modify the aircraft to the Firehawk® configuration at United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods in Colorado. By 2023, the aircraft will be ready to drop water onto wildland fires with high accuracy from its 3,785-liter (1,000-gallon) external tank.

Sikorsky received a type certificate for the S-70M aircraft from the FAA in February 2019 and produced the first-of-type aircraft a year later. During 2020-21, Sikorsky proved the aircraft conformed to the type design and assisted the FAA in establishing the new type rating.

The FAA certified the S-70M aircraft under Part 21 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations in the Restricted Category, basing its certification on the U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Although capable of several special purpose operations in the Restricted Category, Sikorsky requested approval for three: Agricultural operations; External Cargo, which allows usage of the aircraft's 4,082 kg (9,000 lbs.) external lift cargo hook and Forest and Wildlife Conservation, which includes the dispensing of liquids on wildfires.

PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company, will build S-70M aircraft conforming to the FAA Restricted Category Special Airworthiness Certificate in Poland. Like the S-70i™ aircraft, the S-70M is a third-generation Black Hawk helicopter featuring a digital cockpit, GE 701D engines and wide chord rotor blades for increased levels of safety, performance, manoeuvrability and situational awareness.


MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announces the delivery of a new MD 530F to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency's first aircraft, the helicopter's primary mission is to seek out and eliminate cannabis cultivation on public land and assist in the cleaning up the destruction caused by the illegal activity. The aircraft will also support the department's additional fish and wildlife missions including search and rescue, surveys and general law enforcement.

"Illegal marijuana growth operations far outnumber licensed operations and with them comes water theft and the poisoning of our fragile forest ecosystems with pesticides and other illegal chemicals," explains Gavin Woelfel, senior warden pilot for California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We chose the MD 530F for its powerful performance from sea level to altitude, allowing us to safely and effectively patrol all of California's diverse topography in search of these illegal and destructive operations and better protect our natural resources."

The MD 530F provides the department with a new tool in the fight against these illegal operations that threaten already drought ridden lands and stressed vegetation. As the department's first helicopter, the aircraft allows officers to search wider areas more efficiently and from the air, the hardest direction for illegal growers to hide their operations from.

MD Helicopters' certified glass cockpit is the focal point of the aircraft's advanced night vison goggle interior designed to enhance safety during night-time patrol, surveillance and tactical operations. It features the Garmin G500 TXi Electronic Flight Instruments (EFIS), Howell Instruments Electronic Engine Instruments and Crew Alert Systems (EICAS) and Garmin GTN 750Xi Touchscreen NAV/COM/GPS. The 530F's powerful Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650 shp turbine engine allows for additional mission equipment to increase the aircraft's capability. The configuration also includes an extended range fuel tank, left and right side fast rope rappelling systems, integrated cargo hook for sling loads and human loads, special operations benches, Raptor Long Gun System rifle racks and wire strike protection system. The NVG compatible cockpit comes with Garmin's GTR 225B NVG and Canyon Aeroconnect Flexcomm™ RT-7000 Airborne Tactical Radio to ensure seamless broadband civil and government communications.


Archer Aviation Inc. ("Archer''), a leading developer of all-electric vertical take-off and landing ("eVTOL") aircraft has been actively engaged with the FAA through its Center for Emerging Concepts & Innovation and the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office to develop the airworthiness and environmental requirements necessary for full certification of its eVTOL aircraft. Archer is pleased to announce that the FAA G-1 Issue Paper: Certification Basis ("G-1 Certification Basis") has been approved and signed, enabling Archer to move further down the runway towards its goal of obtaining an FAA Type Certification for its eVTOL aircraft.

The G-1 Certification Basis is based on the FAA's certification standards contained in 14 C.F.R. Part 23. With Part 23 as the foundation, the G-1 Certification Basis sets forth the specific Airworthiness Standards and Environmental Standards required for FAA Type Certification. With these requirements now established, Archer can focus on finalizing its G-2 Issue Paper with the FAA, which will set forth the means of compliance to meet the requirements set forth in the G-1 Issue Paper. Archer has been working on the means of compliance for the G-2 Issue Paper with the FAA since earlier this year, as well as the necessary testing and methods required to demonstrate safety and compliance of our aircraft.

Since its inception, Archer has focused on ensuring that its design, engineering and business decisions align with what it believes is necessary to design and develop an aircraft that meets the FAA's rigorous safety standards and achieve FAA Type Certification as soon as possible. These achievement results from a collaborative relationship Archer has established with the FAA, led by Archer's Head of Certification, Eric Wright, an accomplished aviation professional with a decades-long history of designing and obtaining FAA Type Certificates for aircraft.

"We're certainly proud to have hit this historic milestone for Archer. Obtaining the G-1 Certification Basis is a significant step forward towards Archer's and the eVTOL industry's goal of changing how people will move around urban environments," said Archer's Head of Certification Eric Wright. "This is an exciting time to be a part of the aviation industry as we work to electrify the skies and we look forward to continuing to partner with the FAA on revolutionizing aircraft transportation."

"The G-1 certification basis with the FAA is a pivotal breakthrough and yet another proof point that Archer is at the forefront of revolutionizing the future of urban transportation," said Scott.

Kirby, CEO of United Airlines. "We are excited to continue to collaborate with Archer to usher in a new era of sustainability, mobility and exploration."

"Certification continues to be the shining light at the end of our design and development tunnel," said Brett Adcock, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer. "While there is still significant work ahead of us, we now have a basis agreed upon with the FAA that will allow us to better focus our efforts on our goal of obtaining certification on an efficient timeline."

"Our team is pragmatic and realistic about the steps towards launching our urban air mobility network. The aircraft is just one part of the business Archer is building and we will never lose sight of that final goal," said Adam Goldstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer. "We use accomplishments like the G-1 certification basis to measure our success based on the broader picture of an established urban air mobility network and wide technology adoption. The future is certainly looking bright!"


Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions (Eve), an Embraer company, and Sydney Seaplanes, a leader in the transition to sustainable aviation, have announced a partnership that will lay the foundation for new electric air taxi operations in Greater Sydney. With the partnership, Sydney Seaplanes has placed an order for 50 of Eve's electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), with progressive deliveries expected to commence from 2026.

The new partnership accelerates the progress towards 100% of greater Sydney's local tourism and commuter flights coming from zero emission electric aviation.

"This is an exciting development for Sydney Seaplanes. Sydney needs a post-COVID lift and what better way to do that than by developing high-tech and zero carbon jobs that support transport, tourism and the vibrancy of this wonderful city. Eve's eVTOL technology will integrate seamlessly with our electric amphibious fleet to deliver a range of tourism and commuter journeys. Subject to community consultation, we expect some flights will operate from our iconic Rose Bay aviation terminal in Sydney Harbour. This service will have widespread appeal which will allow us to open new routes beyond the Harbour and throughout the greater Sydney region," said Aaron Shaw, CEO of Sydney Seaplanes.

"We are pleased to support Sydney Seaplanes as they seek to bring new mobility solutions to Sydney. The Greater Sydney market offers significant potential for scaled Urban Air Mobility operations, to make the most of the iconic beauty of Sydney Harbour and to improve the efficiency of movement to complement existing transport modes. Eve will support this new partnership with comprehensive solutions for aircraft operations including air traffic management solutions, maintenance, training, and other services," said Andre Stein, President & CEO of Eve Urban Air Mobility.

Benefitting from a start-up mindset and backed by Embraer's more than 50-year history of aircraft manufacturing and certification expertise, Eve unveils a unique value proposition by positioning itself as an ecosystem partner by offering a suite of products and services with the highest levels of safety standards. Eve's human-centered, eVTOL design combines disruptive innovation and a simple and intuitive design. In addition to the aircraft program, Eve is harnessing the expertise of both Embraer and Atech, a subsidiary of the Embraer Group, in providing globally recognized air traffic management software to create the solutions that will help safely scale the UAM industry going forward.


Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) issued a type certificate for an all-new Ka-62 civil helicopter to Russian Helicopters holding company of Rostec State Corporation. This document allows selling the helicopter into the Russian market.

The Ka-62 helicopter flight test program was launched in 2017 using three prototypes that performed 434 flights with a total duration of about 700 hours. During the flight tests, specialists of Mil & Kamov National Helicopter Center assessed overall operability of the helicopter and checked functioning of the main systems of power supply, on-board equipment and engine unit.

"Obtaining a type certificate for the Ka-62 is an important milestone for the Russian helicopter industry. Currently, a fuselage of the first commercial Ka-62 has been assembled at Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company in the Far East. Starting next year, we plan to launch a full-scale commercial production of this helicopter and to supply it to Russian operators. In 2022-2024 we will work on further expending helicopter's capabilities through certification of optional equipment - external load sling, onboard hoist, medical module, anti-icing system", - reported the aviation cluster of Rostec.

Ka-62 is a multi-purpose helicopter designed using world's best practices in aircraft industry, which meets Russian and international airworthiness requirements as well as reliability and safety standards for cargo and passenger flights. The helicopter has a single-rotor configuration with a ducted multibladed tail rotor. The design of Ka-62 widely uses polymer composites (up to 60% by weight), which enabled a lower fuel consumption, higher speed and load capacity of the rotorcraft. Ka-62 is also equipped with modern avionics - the state-of-art control system of general helicopter equipment enabled lower loads on crew, lower weight and simplified its maintenance.

The range of Ka-62 is 700 km and the maximum speed is 310 km/h. Maximum take-off weight of the helicopter is 6.800 kg and the seat capacity is 15 passengers. Ka-62 can also carry 2 tonnes of cargo inside the cabin and up to 2.5 tonnes of external load.


On 11 May 2020, a twin turboprop Metro 23 aircraft, operated by Toll Aviation, was being loaded for a scheduled freight service from Townsville to Brisbane via Rockhampton, in Queensland.
Prior to take-off from Townsville, the pilot completed a load and trim sheet based on a load plan provided by the ground handling team.
A load and trim sheet is used to calculate the total weight on board, and to ensure the distribution of that weight does not shift the aircraft's centre of gravity beyond lateral and longitudinal limits, which is critical to ensure stable, controllable flight.
The pilot's calculation indicated the distribution of freight throughout the aircraft's six main zones was too heavily weighted to the rear.
To address this, the pilot and ground handlers agreed 126 kg of freight would be moved out of the aircraft's third zone compartment and into the nose storage compartment.
The resulting discrepancy between the pilot's planned load and trim sheet, and the actual load distribution on the aircraft, was not initially enough to put the aircraft's centre of gravity outside the allowable limits.
However, when the aircraft landed in Rockhampton, more freight was loaded into the rear half of the aircraft, and the centre of gravity shifted further aft, beyond the allowable limit.
On the second leg of the journey, the pilot reported the aircraft had a strong pitch-up tendency and that strong forward pressure on the flight controls was required to maintain the correct pitch attitude.
During the cruise, the autopilot would not consistently maintain level flight. The pilot disconnected the autopilot and, with full nose-down trim applied, the pilot had to maintain forward pressure to control the pitch attitude of the aircraft.
After landing safely in Brisbane, the pilot discussed the incident with ground maintenance engineers and the freight from each compartment was reweighed as it was unloaded.
The pilot subsequently completed a new load and trim sheet using the actual weights and the centre of gravity was found to be aft of the rear limit.
Additionally, when accounting for the weight added in Rockhampton, the new data showed the aircraft was actually about 6 kg above its maximum take-off weight when it initially took off from Townsville, on the first leg of its journey.
Due to fuel burn during the first leg of the flight, the aircraft had come under its weight limit by the time it landed and took off in Rockhampton.
The ATSB's investigation found the operator's ground handling manual did not contain detailed procedural guidance for facilitating accurate redistribution of freight and ensuring that an aircraft would be correctly loaded.
Following the incident, Toll amended its ground handling processes and included increased direction to ensure that freight would be accurately redistributed in the event of a last-minute change.

South Africa, Baragwaneth Airfield Syferfontein, Westonoria: A Slick 360 crashed when performing aerobatics in Syferfontein, Westonoria. The pilot did not survive the accident and the aircraft was destroyed.

South Africa, Bronkhorstspruit Nature Reserve, Pretoria: An Evektor SportStar crashed under unknown circumstances in Bronkhorstspruit Nature Reserve, Pretoria. The pilot died in the crash. A photo from the crash scene suggests a wing separated in mid-air. There were reports of serious turbulence in the Bronkhorstspruit area at the time of the accident.

Germany, Frankfurt International Airport: A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-343 suffered a loss of hydraulic pressure on approach to Frankfurt Airport, Germany. The aircraft landed safely on runway 25C but was unable to turn onto the taxiway. It was towed to the apron 45 minutes later.

Peru, near San Mateo, Huarochiro province: A Fuerza Aérea del Perú Mil Mi-171Sh with five occupants disappeared near San Mateo County, south of Lima en route to Pucallpa. Weather conditions did not allow an immediate search from the air or by land. The next day the wreckage was located. All 5 aboard died.

Japan, 190 km W of Misawa Air Base, Sea of Japan: A Japan Air Self-Défense Force Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II made an emergency landing at Hakodate Airport. The Lightning II took off Misawa at 11:15 LT, and suffered trouble on computer system at 11:58 LT while flying over the Sea of Japan, 190 km west of Misawa, with another F-35A (reg. 19-8725, c/n AX-25) which also landed at Hakodate. No injuries were reported. The runway of Hakodate was closed for ten minutes and one commercial departure flight was delayed a half hour. According to JASDF, similar computer troubles had been reported previously.

USA, McKinney National Airport (TKI/KTKI), Dallas, TX: A CHR International Safari 400 helicopter was destroyed subsequent to a dynamic rollover and explosion during a take-off attempt at McKinney National Airport (KTKI), Dallas, Texas. The sole pilot onboard the helicopter received serious injuries.

USA, near Bermuda Dunes Airport, Palm Springs, CA: An experimentally built RV-3 crashed shortly after take-off from Bermuda Dunes Airport (UDD/KUDD), Palm Springs, California in Riverside County, California. The 83-year-old pilot passed away 9 hours after the accident.

USA, Stuart Powell Field, Danville, Boyle County, KY: About 12 aircraft were destroyed during a violent tornado at Stuart Powell Field (KDVK), Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky, on Saturday morning 11 December around 04h00.


Photo By Ted Quackenbush / commons.wikimedia.org

Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771, a BAe 146, is hijacked and deliberately crashed near Cayucos, California, by a disgruntled airline employee. All 43 passengers and crew aboard the plane died, five of whom, including the two pilots, were presumably shot dead before the plane crashed.

The perpetrator, David Burke, was a disgruntled former employee of USAir, the parent company of Pacific Southwest Airlines. USAir, which had recently purchased Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), terminated David A. Burke, a ticketing agent, for petty theft of $69 from in-flight cocktail receipts. He had also been suspected of involvement with a narcotics ring. After meeting with Ray Thomson, his manager, in an unsuccessful attempt to be reinstated, Burke purchased a ticket on PSA Flight 1771, a daily flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Thomson was a passenger on the flight, which he regularly took for his daily commute from his workplace at LAX to his home in the San Francisco Bay Area

The most plausible theory as to what happened was deduced from the pattern and audible volume of the shots on the CVR. According to the Mayday episode, Burke likely first shot Thomson twice. Thomson's own seat was never recovered, but part of a seat that was identified from its serial number as being directly behind Thomson's, which had not been sold and was therefore presumably vacant, was found to contain two bullet holes. As Burke was using a particularly powerful revolver, investigators concluded that the bullets could have travelled through Thomson's body, his seat and then through the seat behind. First Officer Nunn immediately reported to air traffic control that a gun had been fired, but no further transmissions were received from the crew.

The crash was the second-worst mass murder in Californian history, after the similar crash of Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 in 1964.

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