PTAR Newsletter #1
UN honours SA military helicopter crews.
Denel's troubles delaying maintenance of SAAF aircraft.
AFB Waterkloof fire “an accident”.
Tecnam P2010 H3PS hybrid aircraft takes to the skies for the first time - a milestone in green aviation.
NAC proud to advance women in aviation.
Textron aviation delivers 8,000th Cessna Citation business jet.
Gulfstream customer support marks successful year of expansion and continued investment.
Indonesia to purchase 42 Dassault Rafale Fighters.
Joby begins first conformity testing, enters next phase of certification process.
Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing selects Honeywell engine to power Defiant X.
10th Bell 429 Delivered to the Philippines.
Worldwide incidents and accidents.
This week in history, Birth of Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr., brigadier general in the USAF, best known for being the pilot of the B-29 'Enola Gay.'
PTAR NEWSLETTER #1
Hello fellow air racers, this our 1st newsletter of the year in the run up to the PTAR which contains some important information. Entries are open- please go to the SAPFA website for the entry link.
Date: Friday and Saturday 20 & 21 May 2022
Where: New Tempe Airfield, Bloemfontein
The fees are as follows:
• Entry Fee R 4 000 per aircraft as the early bird fee (This amount can be paid into the SAPFA bank account - Nedbank Limited, Account Number 1876019840). Fees will increase after 30th April to R 5 000
• Membership fees: - Aero Club & SAPFA R 970 per crew member - to register or renew: www.aeroclub.blueboxonline.com
• FAI licence: - R 280 per crew member (Can also be purchased on line on the Aero Club Bluebox payment system)
If neither of the crew are SAPFA members, then the total fee per crew is
R 2500. If preferred, this total amount can be paid to SAPFA. SAPFA will then apportion to Aero Club the membership fees.
• Additional banquet tickets are R 550 each (The two crew members each get a banquet ticket as part of the Entry fee of R 4000)
• Accommodation & car hire - options for accommodation and car hire will follow.
The race format will follow what was established in 2019 in Saldanha and which has also been successfully executed in the Speed Rally series.
Organisation of the event in Bloemfontein is progressing well. The race committee have conferred and have held meetings with the club, have prepared the proposed airfield layout and are busy getting the necessary approvals in place. Our next meeting will take place shortly which will be used to confirm the remainder of the logistics such as accommodation and car hire.
Taskings executed by the airborne South African component of the United Nations (UN) mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo were acknowledged when composite helicopter unit (CHU) air and ground personnel were honoured with 44 UN medals.
The CHU is based at Goma in the eastern DR Congo and its achievements since starting up some 10 years ago have been noted positively by senior UN peacekeeping personnel.
A UN medal parade for dedicated service by CHU personnel is reported on by Major A Cengani, RSABATT (South African battalion) public information officer, who quoted MONUSCO Chief of Staff, Brigadier General VZ Ngcobo's words to those awarded the medal.
“We are celebrating the medal parade of the CHU. The presence of distinguished guests is a befitting endorsement of the achievements of the Republic of South Africa peacekeepers which substantiated itself as the best of the best. South African peacekeepers continually serve with unstinted resilience and unwavering mettle in MONUSCO.
“Despite vulnerabilities and challenging climatic conditions in DR Congo, South African Aviation provided a commendable influence to the mission.
“You have excelled on the mandate given by MONUSCO Force Headquarters.
“Since the beginning of your operation under the auspice of MONUSCO, Rooivalk flew 86.28 hours, while three Oryx flew 985.28 hours. You achieved this due to a high level of competence as men and women of the SA National Defence force (SANDF) who dedicated their time for peace and stability in DR Congo.”
CHU operates three Rooivalk combat support helicopters assigned to 16 Squadron at Air Force Base (AFB) Bloemspruit and Oryx medium transport rotorcraft from three squadrons that operate the type. They are 15 (AFB Durban), 17 (AFB Swartkop) and 19 (AFB Hoedspruit).
DENEL'S TROUBLES DELAYING MAINTENANCE OF SAAF AIRCRAFT
Written By Guy Martin
The liquidity crisis within Denel is hampering the maintenance of South African Air Force (SAAF) aircraft, including the Rooivalk and Oryx helicopters and C-130 Hercules transports.
Armscor, in a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on 16 February, said Denel's liquidity crisis meant subcontractors were requesting full payments before commencing any work, resulting in Armscor having to pay them directly.
Denel is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the Rooivalk and Oryx and an accredited service centre for the C-130 Hercules. It has a R1 billion contract to service the Rooivalk fleet between April 2019 and April 2022.
There is full capacity and additional personnel at Denel Aeronautics providing a full array of services required in the Product System Support contract. However, the lack of funding to procure spares is hampering the delivery of aircraft and components, Armscor said.
Of the 11 Rooivalks in the fleet, seven are currently unserviceable and four serviceable. The SAAF budget caters mainly for fixed costs and there is limited provision for on demand funds that are required to get unserviceable Line Replacement Units serviceable. “Lack of on demand funds is negatively impacting aircraft availability,” Armscor said.
Denel Aeronautics has a R1.2 billion contract to maintain the 39-strong Oryx fleet, between April 2019 and end March 2022. Like with the Rooivalk, there are limited funds to get Line Replacement Units serviceable, and this is negatively impacting aircraft availability. Seventeen Oryx are currently unserviceable, while 18 are undergoing maintenance, two are in long-term storage, and two have been written off.
Three of the C-130BZ Hercules are undergoing maintenance, while just one is airworthy. Denel Aeronautics has a R350 million contract valid from December 2018 to end June 2022 to maintain these aircraft but Armscor notes that the SAAF budget for the C-130 needs to be increased in order to ensure better serviceability.
“Due to the age of the aircraft, there are certain obsolete items and this adds to the higher cost to maintain the system. Also due to the low budget, high cost overhaul items such as engines are delayed which has a direct impact on the serviceability of the aircraft,” Armscor said. It added that there is limited maintenance, repair and overhaul (capacity) at Air Force Base Waterkloof, which is manned primarily by Denel Aeronautics. With this limited capacity there is always a backlog of servicing of C130BZ aircraft. This issue relates primarily to the shortage in funding.
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The PCDMV heard that only 46 of the SAAF's 217 aircraft are currently serviceable. Armscor put the blame on the liquidity crisis at Denel, the SAAF's reduced budget, ageing aircraft that require more maintenance, and COVID-19 related disruptions.
Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, Chief of the SAAF, told the PCDMV that the situation is “very dire” and that the decline of Denel is one of the biggest risks to the SAAF. “Denel is the original equipment manufacture of most of our aircraft systems, specifically the rotary capability…Denel is the original equipment manufacturer of the Rooivalk and also they are supporting us in terms of C-130 for servicing. What we are watching on the horizon is a great worry for us. If Denel actually goes under, we have thin opportunities, or manoeuvring space, to continue doing business…This compounds the challenges we are facing at the moment.”
AFB WATERKLOOF FIRE “AN ACCIDENT”
Written by defenceWeb
No evidence of foul play or sabotage was discovered by SA Air Force (SAAF) investigators following a fire at the bulk fuel installation at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof on 23 January.
Base Commander Brigadier General ET Mokoena this week briefed Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), allaying fears of sabotage when he informed the committee “the preliminary investigation confirmed the fire was an accident”.
A slide in his presentation has it that “a component failure in the pipe system caused a fuel leak that was ignited by a spark from the pump wiring”.
“The start of the fire is captured on video, which further indicates there was no sabotage on the fuel system.”
The fire now comes under the scrutiny of a SAAF board of inquiry (BOI) which, according to Mokoena's presentation, has six objectives - one is to advise “on its recommendations on prevention measures”.
On the way forward and to prevent another fire, a certificate of essentiality request has been generated to ensure expedited process for repairs of the infrastructure, according to the presentation. Fire suppression equipment will be installed; frequency of maintenance increased; inspections will be more frequent and cameras will be installed that will be monitored day and night.
In the interim, measures are in place to limit the effect of any possible fire damage to base operations. This means AFB Waterkloof personnel can support its own operations undertaken by 21, 28, 41 and 44 squadrons and handle visiting aircraft.
The one-star general told the PCDMV reaction by base personnel to the fire was “swift” and it was extinguished in less than an hour.
“The swift action prevented more than 240 000 litres of fuel catching fire that would have led to an explosion,” according to the presentation, which adds the speedy actions of air force personnel at the Centurion base saved it and neighbouring communities. Suburbs in close proximity to the base are Lyttelton and Pierre van Ryneveld.
TECNAM P2010 H3PS HYBRID AIRCRAFT TAKES TO THE SKIES FOR THE FIRST TIME - A MILESTONE IN GREEN AVIATION
Tecnam P2010 H3PS is the first General Aviation aircraft with a parallel hybrid configuration to take flight, representing a major milestone on the aviation industry's journey towards de-carbonization and R&D on alternative powertrains.
Tecnam Aircraft, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce and Rotax specialized teams, successfully flew the new P2010 H3PS hybrid aircraft for the first time on 21 December 2021, at precisely 3:54 pm CET. The Permit to Fly was issued by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority.
The flight was performed by Tecnam's Chief Experimental Test Pilot Lorenzo De Stefano, with Tecnam, Rolls-Royce and Rotax Teams on the ground assisting in this historic moment.
Tecnam P2010 H3PS is powered by a 104kW Rotax 915 IS engine coupled with a 30kW Rolls-Royce electric motor, totalling 134kW (180hp) powertrain in a fully integrated parallel hybrid configuration. As such, this four-seat aircraft is first of its kind.
According to Tecnam Aircraft's R&D Director Fabio Russo, the H3PS successful flight test demonstration marks a major milestone on the aviation industry's journey towards de-carbonization and R&D on alternative powertrains.
“Though H3PS is not intended for market purposes, our successful flight tests demonstrate that the hybrid powertrain, with a combustion engine coupled with an electric motor, can bear the same useful load of the traditional 180hp combustion engine,” said Russo.
H3PS, which stands for “High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain”, is a project funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Launched in 2018, the project has reached its objectives. With H3PS' success, Tecnam Aircraft and project partners have validated the aircraft's scalability potential, lower emissions, state of the art power management technology and building a viable launchpad for future green aircraft models.
Commenting on the future developments, Tecnam's Managing Director Giovanni Pascale Langer stated that the company will continue to focus on driving the green transition in aviation.
“Tecnam's approach to innovation is truly sustainable,” said Pascale Langer. “Our development focuses on three key pillars: environmentally friendly, technologically viable and marketable solutions. We do this by leveraging our multi-generational expertise, research and development, next-generation technology and strategic partnerships.”
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“I look forward to seeing H3PS inspire more innovation and drive our industry forward with cleaner, more efficient technologies,” Pascale Langer concluded.
Rob Watson, President of Rolls-Royce Electrical added: “The successful first flight of the P2010 H3PS demonstrator is a pioneering achievement by the team to advance hybrid-electric flight. Working with Tecnam and Rotax has been hugely beneficial and this project has continued to build our capabilities in delivering all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems for the advanced air mobility market. Rolls-Royce is committed to investing in the technology solutions to enable and deliver sustainable aviation.”
“We are very pleased that we could intensify our collaboration with Tecnam and Rolls-Royce within the H3PS project. The tests showed that there are still challenges to take up, however due to the efforts of all three parties the test flight could be concluded with deeper understanding and of course with a safe landing. The project showed that the joint venture with the qualified knowledge of these three global player companies in aviation lead to very interesting and future-orientated results for innovative propulsion systems”, said Michael Dopona, Head of design Organization BRP-Rotax.
“In December 2021 ENAC issued the permit to fly, for research and development purposes” - commented the Director General of ENAC, Alessio Quaranta - “to the first Made in Italy General Aviation aircraft powered by hybrid propulsion system (electric - unleaded fuel): the Tecnam P2010 H3PS. It deals with an important technological innovation in favour of savings in consumption and emissions. ENAC actively participated this challenge in developing the new propulsion system and its integration within the Tecnam P2010 airframe, in line with a commitment towards a Sustainable Aviation future”.
H3PS (acronym for “High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain”) is a project funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Grant Agreement No. 769392.
NAC PROUD TO ADVANCE WOMEN IN AVIATION
Learning to fly is a dream many little boys and girls share. Very few, however, will ever go on to pursue this dream. And, unfortunately, even less are female. NAC Helicopter Training has had the privilege of teaching many talented female pilots and hopes that their experiences will inspire other women to follow their passion for flying.
In her late forties and an extremely busy mom of three, Christine Webster's decision to learn to fly a helicopter was impulsive and unplanned. Once she took up the challenge, though, she was hooked.
“This journey would never have been possible without the awesome instructors at NAC Rand,” Christine says. “I have been licenced for two years now and the best part of my week is the mornings I spend in the air!”
For Bells Youngleson, learning to fly was just what she needed at an important juncture of her life. “As a woman heading to my 40's, having had kids and a successful career, something in me just asked 'Is this it?'” Bells explains.
“Vicky and her team at NAC made it so easy to take up flying and this has allowed me to stretch myself in so many ways I never knew I could achieve. I have made so many new friends who share the passion of being in the air.”
For Bells, flying helicopters has fulfilled her lifelong dream and ignited the same passion in the next generation of dreamers. “My son explained it so well one day after a helicopter flight, 'Mommy, my heart is full of smiles'”.
Tarryn Pucjlowski was introduced to aviation after leaving school when a family friend suggested she go for an intro flight. This created the spark and she's been flying ever since. “I finished my CPL and Instructors for aeroplanes first and then two years later I did my helicopter licenses,” she explains.
Despite her enthusiasm, Tarryn admits that she was never a 'natural' in the air. “It took a lot of hard work and very many attitude adjustments to get to where I am today. Sixteen years later and I still love being in the air. I also love teaching and the challenges that come with it. There is nothing better than when my students start flying better than me, though I'll never tell them that.”
Having instructors that bring out the best in their students is critical to the success of any aspiring pilot. This is why Sue Brewitt took the opportunity to have helicopter flying lessons at NAC Rand Airport after she had sold her business.
“I was so inspired by my instructors who were brilliant and so enthusiastic and encouraging,” she says. “It was a wonderful experience and I shall always treasure this opportunity.”
TEXTRON AVIATION DELIVERS 8,000TH CESSNA CITATION BUSINESS JET
Textron Aviation has announced that it has delivered a Cessna Citation Longitude to Scotts Miracle-Gro. This jet represents the 8,000th Cessna Citation jet delivered worldwide, reinforcing the Citation family as the most popular line of business jets in the world. Scotts Miracle-Gro is one of the world's largest marketers of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care and a long-time Citation owner. This is the fifth Cessna Citation in the company's fleet.
“A milestone like this wouldn't be possible without all the owners and operators who love to fly our aircraft and trust the reliability and versatility of our Citation products. With more than 41 million flight hours across the globe, our customers continue to make Citation jets their aircraft of choice,” said Textron Aviation President and CEO Ron Draper. “I also want to thank our extraordinary workforce. Each and every one of you played a part in reaching the 8,000th Citation delivery.”
Cessna Citations are renowned for their ability to combine reliability, efficiency and comfort with advanced technology and class-leading performance: - no other family of business jets offers such a seamless progression of aircraft with extraordinary capabilities.
"The Citation is one of the most functional and reliable brands in the general aviation industry and I, along with the members of our flight department, congratulate Textron Aviation on the delivery of its 8,000 Citation aircraft," said Jim Hagedorn, chief executive officer of Scotts Miracle-Gro, a personal owner of the Citation CJ4 and former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot. "Reaching this milestone is a credit to the Cessna brand, which represents quality, design and attention to the entire flying experience - all things we were looking for as we add to our fleet of business jets."
GULFSTREAM CUSTOMER SUPPORT MARKS SUCCESSFUL YEAR OF EXPANSION AND CONTINUED INVESTMENT
Aerospace Corp. recently recognized the many accomplishments achieved by Gulfstream Customer Support in 2021, including facility and service expansions, increased investment in customers and continued success in sustainability.
“The business aviation industry has experienced great gains in 2021 and Gulfstream Customer Support has been well-positioned to support our customers around the world as their flying increases,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. “As we continue to implement our master plan for customer-focused expansions in strategic locations, we are establishing our industry's most modern facilities to accommodate Gulfstream's growing fleet of next-generation aircraft, including the recently announced all-new large-cabin Gulfstream G400 and ultralong-range Gulfstream G800 and the industry-leading Gulfstream G700 which we're doing so sustainably.”
In July 2021, Gulfstream Customer Support celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Farnborough service centre in England. In the first year, the facility has grown its staff to more than 230 and earned 30 foreign regulatory approvals in support of customers throughout the U.K., Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. Gulfstream Farnborough has also partnered with Farnborough Airport to align on shared goals for sustainability which include a decreased carbon footprint and zero emissions, as well as the availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for customers on-site.
Gulfstream also marked the one-year anniversary of its new Customer Support facility in Palm Beach, Florida, which opened in August 2020 and includes sustainability features. The 125,000-square-foot/11,613-square-meter facility is shared with sister company Jet Aviation and features a 75,000-sq-ft/6,968-sq-m hangar. The site has grown to more than 120 employees and has consistently supported customer events since opening. Gulfstream Palm Beach has earned 16 regulatory approvals, including Argentina, Brazil, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, among others.
In November 2021, Gulfstream announced an all-new, sustainable service centre in Mesa, Arizona, currently projected to open in 2023. Hangar space, back shops and employee and customer offices will be included in the 225,00-sq-ft/20,903-sq-m facility, which is expected to gain LEED Silver certification and employ more than 200. Additional sustainable features include a fuel farm with dedicated SAF availability; low-flow plumbing fixtures; a heat-reflecting roof; native plants and low-water-demand landscaping, along with additional sustainable building-management systems. Gulfstream will begin operating out of an existing Mesa facility early this year.
Gulfstream also made progress on its new Customer Support service centre facility in Fort Worth, Texas, announced in 2020. The nearly 160,000-sq ft/14,864-sq m service centre will consist of hangar space, back shops and employee and customer offices and will create approximately 50 new jobs, in addition to transferring current Customer Support employees from Gulfstream's Dallas Love Field location. The facility is projected to open later this year.
“As we continue expanding and investing in our customers, Gulfstream is also building our workforce in the U.S. and around the world,” continued Zimmerman. “The best-in-class Gulfstream Customer Support service also employs our industry's most talented workforce and we look forward to building our teams in the year to come.”
INDONESIA TO PURCHASE 42 DASSAULT RAFALE FIGHTERS
Indonesia will buy 42 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters as part of a series of deals that include submarine development and armament production. The contract includes a full range of training and logistical support, including two full-mission simulators.
Earlier this year Indonesia stated that a contract was ready to sign, following the establishment of a range of industrial offsets. Among these is the involvement of the country's main aerospace company, PTDI, in the maintenance, repair and overhaul for the Rafales.
“It is a great honour for Dassault Aviation to see the Rafale join the highly prestigious Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara [TNI-AU, Indonesian air force], and I would like to thank the Indonesian authorities for the trust they have placed in us,” said Trappier. “This contract marks the start of a long-term partnership that will see Dassault Aviation rapidly step up its presence in the country.”
Following recent orders from Croatia, Greece and the UAE, Indonesia becomes the eighth nation to sign up for the 4.5-generation fighter.
JOBY BEGINS FIRST CONFORMITY TESTING, ENTERS NEXT PHASE OF CERTIFICATION PROCESS
Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE:JOBY), a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, has announced the company has begun Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conformity testing, a key milestone on the path to achieving type certification for its aircraft.
The start of conformity testing is a significant moment for Joby as the company's aircraft type certification program enters the “implementation phase” for the first time.
Joby's first series of conformity tests, observed and documented by an on-site FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER), were completed this week at Toray Advanced Composites USA's facility in Morgan Hill, CA.
The testing, developed by Joby engineers, is designed to confirm the material strength of composite coupons that are representative of the aerostructure of Joby's aircraft. The resulting compliance data will form the foundation for future testing of structural components of the aircraft as Joby progresses through the type certification process.
Each system and structure of the Joby aircraft will enter the implementation phase and begin conformity testing following completion and approval of requirements definition and compliance planning. During this phase, Joby will complete thousands of inspections and tests to demonstrate the airworthiness and safety of its aircraft before receiving a type certificate from the FAA.
“After years of development and company testing, we're excited to formally begin the process of conformity testing,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “We began engaging with the FAA in 2015 to lay the groundwork for certification of our aircraft and today we move closer to bringing fast, clean and convenient aerial ridesharing to the world.”
In November, Joby completed its first FAA part conformity inspection as expected, confirming that the batch of test coupons used in the “for credit” testing conformed to the attributes and specifications of their associated design data and as intended for the aircraft's type certification.
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The coupons, constructed using a toughened epoxy and state-of-the-art carbon fibre, result in a material that is lighter and stronger than existing aerospace-grade composites, making it ideal for a high-performance eVTOL aircraft.
“Entering this stage of testing demonstrates that we're capable of manufacturing composite parts in accordance with their design, our quality system is capable of producing conforming composite parts for the aircraft and that we have the requisite traceability and design verification processes in place to progress toward our type and production certifications,” said Lina Spross, quality and supply chain lead at Joby.
In 2020, Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received an initial (stage 2) signed G-1 from the FAA in 2019. In parallel with this work, the company continues to make progress with the FAA on defining the means of compliance that will apply to its aircraft as it progresses with certification efforts.
LOCKHEED MARTIN SIKORSKY-BOEING SELECTS HONEYWELL ENGINE TO POWER
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE: LMT), and Boeing (NYSE: BA) has announced Honeywell (NYSE: HON) as the engine provider for DEFIANT X, the advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.
With Honeywell providing the HTS7500 turboshaft engine, Team DEFIANT brings unsurpassed army aviation experience to revolutionize Army air assault while seamlessly integrating with legacy platforms, proven tactics and existing infrastructure. DEFIANT X® will be the fastest, most manoeuvrable and survivable assault helicopter in history.
“Team DEFIANT's strength is built on the experience of Sikorsky and Boeing, and a commitment to army aviation,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. “Honeywell's history with Boeing and the U.S. Army makes us even more confident that DEFIANT X® is the best fit for the army's total mission.”
“DEFIANT X® is a transformational aircraft, and Honeywell is giving us a transformational engine to power it,” said Paul Lemmo, president of Sikorsky. “DEFIANT X® is optimized for operational effectiveness, sustainment and interoperability with the enduring fleet, and will transform the army.”
DEFIANT X® is a complete weapon system that builds on the handling qualities and capabilities proven by the team's technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT®. It flies twice as far and fast as the venerable Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace. Currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment, the aircraft continues to prove itself as the most survivable platform for mission requirements.
“Honeywell is excited to be a part of Team DEFIANT and proud to play a part in the future of vertical lift for the U.S. Army,” said Ricky Freeman, president, Defence & Space at Honeywell Aerospace. “We're confident our HTS7500 engine on the DEFIANT X® platform will provide the army with an agile, fast and manoeuvrable platform that will help ensure overmatch capability in the future battlespace.”
Sikorsky-Boeing submitted the proposal for DEFIANT X® for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft in September 2021. The contract is expected to be awarded this year.
10TH BELL 429 DELIVERED TO THE PHILIPPINES
Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore (February 17, 2022) - Bell Textron Inc. has delivered the 10th Bell 429 to a corporate customer in the Philippines, demonstrating the Bell 429's continued popularity among corporate customers in the Philippines who value the Bell 429's reliability, smooth and quiet ride along with Bell's industry-leading support and services.
Earlier this year, the Bell 429 marked a milestone, surpassing 500,000 global fleet hours. The Bell 429 remains at the forefront as mission requirements evolve. Advanced capabilities of the 429 include single pilot IFR, Category A operations and an integrated avionics glass cockpit, designed to offer the best combination of flexibility, safety and durability.
The aircraft can complete a range of missions including, search and rescue, medical evacuations, natural disaster relief, national security and military training. Along with the newest Bell 429 in the Philippines, there are currently more than 400 Bell 429 aircraft serving an array of customers, offering versatility through missions and excellent performance.
On 3 May 2021 at approximately 1045Z, the pilot on-board a Cessna 402C aircraft with registration ZS-NVE was repositioning the aircraft from Ithala Lodge Airstrip to Wonderboom Airport (FAWB).
The flight was conducted under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) by day.
Upon reaching right downwind, the pilot maintained an altitude of 7000ft and proceeded with downwind checks, which included extending the flaps, lowering the landing gear and observing that the three green lights were on (which indicated that the three landing gears were extended and locked).
The pilot stated that he confirmed on both the base leg and final approach leg that the three green lights were on. After touchdown on RWY 29, approximately 200 to 300 metres from the runway threshold, the nose landing gear collapsed and the aircraft subsequently stopped in the middle of the runway.
The aircraft sustained damages to the nose cone, nose gear doors, pitot tube and both the left and right engine propeller blade tips. The pilot did not sustain any injuries during the accident.
According to the aircraft maintenance organisation (AMO) technical report, the nose landing gear lowered to the down and locked position when the nose of the aircraft was lifted during recovery from the runway. The aircraft was towed on its main landing gear (wheels) to the hangar where it was placed on jacks. The landing gear system was first inspected to establish if there were any damages;
It was tested thereafter and it operated normally (eight fault-free retractions were carried out). The pilot disputed the technical report with regards to the date the tests were done, stating that the retraction tests were not carried out on 3 May 2021 (the day of the accident) but on 4 May 2021.
The pilot and the owner were present on the day of the retractions. The pilot disagreed with the determination that it was likely that he retracted the landing gears instead of the flaps after landing because it is not possible to retract the landing gear when the aircraft's weight is on the landing gear.
The pilot further stated that it is not easy to mistake the flaps lever for the landing gear lever as the flaps lever is situated on the co-pilot's side; also, one has to lean over to reach the flaps lever whereas the gear lever is located at the pilot-in-command's (PIC) side above the right knee. Post-accident, the investigating team dispatched to the hangar to examine the landing gear retractions.
The investigating team found that when the landing gear lever was engaged to retract position, the right main landing gear retracted first, followed by the nose landing gear and, lastly, the left main landing gear. When the landing gear system is extended, the main landing gears face slightly out, which keep them from retracting when they are on the ground.
What was found:
• When the aircraft was lifted off the ground during recovery, the nose wheel moved to the down and locked position.
• The AMO indicated that the landing gear system was inspected to establish if there were any damages; thereafter, the landing gear was recycled eight times and each time the landing gear was recycled, it engaged into the down and locked position. The landing gear operated normally without fault.
It could not be determined why the nose gear collapsed as it operated well during post incident tests.
The nose landing gear collapsed during the landing roll; the cause of the collapse could not be determined.
Australia, near Pipers Brook, Lebrina, TAS: A Richmond Valley Aviation Bell-Garlick UH-1H Iroquois was destroyed subsequent to an impact with terrain during firefighting operations near Pipers Brook, Lebrina, northern Tasmania. The sole pilot onboard was fatally injured.
Puerto Rico, San Juan-Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport: An Air Flamenco Britten-Norman BN-2A-9 Islander with three on board suffered substantial damage in an accident while landing on runway 13 at Culebra Airport (CPX), Puerto Rico. The right-hand wing was partially severed at the wing root and the airplane came to a stop in the grass on the left side of the runway.
New Zeeland, near Whitianga Aerodrome, Waikato: Shortly after departing RWY04 at Whitianga airport, when the aircraft was mid-downwind, the propeller of the Waiex departed the aircraft and the pilot conducted an emergency landing (glide approach) onto the cross vector (RWY34) at Whitianga airport. There were no injuries involved to anyone onboard the aircraft or anyone on the ground from the propeller detaching. The propeller was located following the incident.
USA, Jolon, CA: A Joby Aero JAS4-2 eVTOL prototype aircraft crashed during an unmanned test flight.
Spain, near Pinzón, Utrera, Sevilla: A Cessna FA150K Aerobat (Reims) impacted a field near Pinzón, Utrera, Sevilla after entering a spin. The pilot died in the crash.
Italy, Grumento Nova (Potenza): A Mudry Cap 231 was destroyed in an accident at Grumento Nova Airfield, Potenza. The pilot was injured.
USA, David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, Houston, TX: A Pitts S-1T impacted airport terrain about 2000' short of the runway at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH/KDWH), following a loss of engine power while on approach to Rwy 35L, Houston, Texas. The accident damaged the localizer equipment at the end of the runway. The airport was closed for several hours due to the accident. The sole pilot onboard was transported to the hospital with reported minor injuries.
Iran, Tabriz: An Iran Air Force Northrop F-5 crashed under unknown circumstances. The aircraft was reportedly returning to Tabriz due to 'technical problems when it crashed in a residential area of Tabriz, Iran. Both pilots and a person on the ground died in the crash.
USA, near Triangle Airpark (AZ50), White Hills, Mohave County, AZ: An experimentally amateur build Van's RV-7A crashed near Triangle Airpark (AZ50), White Hills, Arizona. The owner/builder pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed.
Birth of Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr., brigadier general in the USAF, best known for being the pilot of the B-29 'Enola Gay', the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare.
Born on 23 February 1915, Tibbets enlisted in the United States Army in 1937 and qualified as a pilot in 1938. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, he flew anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. In February 1942, he became the commanding officer of the 340th Bombardment Squadron of the 97th Bombardment Group, which was equipped with the Boeing B-17. In July 1942, the 97th became the first heavy bombardment group to be deployed as part of the Eighth Air Force and Tibbets became deputy group commander.
Tibbets returned to the United States in February 1943 to help with the development of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In September 1944, he was appointed the commander of the 509th Composite Group, which would conduct the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the war, he participated in the Operation Crossroads nuclear weapon tests at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946 and was involved in the development of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet in the early 1950s. He commanded the 308th Bombardment Wing and 6th Air Division in the late 1950s and was military attaché in India from 1964 to 1966.
Tibbets died in his Columbus, Ohio, home on 1 November 2007, at the age of 92