Midweek Update 27 Apr 2023

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein


Enstrom announces the sale of two helicopters to the Zambian Air Force.
PJ Aviation Pitot-static test set.
American Legend Aircraft - Reinventing the Piper Cub the dream airplane to own.
MD Helicopters ramps up production; receives award to deliver 12 Cayuse Warrior Plus Helicopters to Nigerian Army.
Saab receives order for Gripen C/D development.
The Fighter Show - nothing comes close.
Resumption of Rafale deliveries to France.
Worldwide incidents and accidents - AOPA - faulty assumptions accident case study.
This week in history - John Wise (balloonist), an American, introduces the balloon ripping-panel,
Bonus Video - Harvard A2A shoot.

FATA Breakfast Fly in. Tedderfield Airpark.

4 to 7
Kalahari Bundu Bash Adventure Koppieskraal Pan. Contact Cell: 078 459 2636 or 054 331 3534 E-mail:

4 to 8
NAC fly-away to Namibia. Contact Agnes Phillips E-mail:
agnes.phillips@nac .co.za Cell: 082 893 3399

5 to 7
BONA BONA fly-in at the Bona Bona airfield and country lodge. Contact Christian E-mail: christian@vsg.co.za Cell 083 251 4573

5 & 7
Kuzuko Lodge and private game reserve RV fly-in safari. Contact E-mail: kuzuko@legacyhotels.co.za

5 & 6
SAAF Museum annual airs how AFB Swartkops. Contact Maj. Ntshangase. Zero 8 three four one 0166 five

EAA Chapter 322 monthly gathering 07h30 EAA Auditorium Rand Airport. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: airadventuresa@gmail.com

6 to 7
SAPFA Speed Rally at Bona Bona airfield. Contact David le Roux E-mail: david@pilotinsure.co.za Cell 073 338 5200

Lowveld Airshow at Nelspruit airfield. For more info contact Johan@kishugu.com Cell: 082 456

7 to 14
Sling Africa Tour: Departing from the Kalahari Bundu Bash led by Mike and Sue. Contact Shanelle Visagie E-mail: Shannelle@slingairctaft.com

16 to 19
Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day. Contact Wim Venter E-mail: wim@grainsa.co.za Tel: 086 004 7246

17 to 20
SAC National Aerobatics Championships Tempe airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: info@anniesaviationcorner.com

18 & 19
Orion training, tech, drones and unmanned aviation conference. Contact Thabo Ndimande E-mail: thabo@orion-training.co.za Cell: 072 663 2724

New Tempe airshow Bloemfontein. Contact Conrad Botha E-mail: rowco24cc@mailbox.co.za Cell: 082 770 5505

20 May
SAA Museum Hobby and Collectables Fair Rand Airport. Contact E-mail: events@saamuseum.co.za Cell: 076 879 5044

25 to 28
SAPFA Presidents' Trophy Air Race Middleburg airfield Website:
www.sapfa .co.za Contact Iaan Myburgh E-mail: iaanmyburgh@gmail.com Cell: 082 449 2531

1 & 2
Drones and Unmanned Aviation Conference Birchwood Hotel. Contact Gerald E-mail: admin@bussynetadt.co.za Cell: 067 611 0365 or Byron E-mail: byron@bussynetadt.co.za Cell: 067 611 0365

1 to 4
RC Extravaganza at Henley Model airfield. Contact Emil Henrico E-mail: info@rcasa.org.za Cell: 082 962 2334

EAA Chapter 322 breakfast gathering 07h30 EAA Auditorium Rand Airport. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: airadventuresa@gmail.com

Parys Airshow. Contact Brendan Horan E-mail: brendan@creativespacemedia.co.za

EAA Young Eagles Day (Venue TBA) & EAA International Young Eagles Day. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: airadventuresa@gmail.com

Newcastle Airshow. Contact Johan Pieters E-mail:

9 to 11
EAA Convention. Middelburg Airfield. Rsvp@eaa.org.za

Brakpan Aero Club Cobra Club and fly-in. Contact Clarissa E-mail: Clarissa@airborneaviation.co.za Cell: 074 113 2911

Virginia Airport Air Show, Durban. Brendan Horan E-mail: brendan@creativespacemedia.co.za

SAC Fundraiser event venue TBA. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: info@anniesaviationcorner.com

Maputo International Airshow on the waterfront. Contact Gavin Neil E-mail: gavin@haps.co.mz Cell: +258 84 391 7408

30 June to 2 July
EAA Taildraggers at Warmbaths airfield (Bela Bela). Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail:
ichard.nicholson1963@gmail .com


Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is pleased to announce the sale of two turbine powered 480B helicopters to the Zambian Air Force (ZAF). The contract, which was signed on February 23 by the Ministry of Defence, includes both the helicopters and training for ZAF pilots and personnel. The helicopters will be based in Lusaka, and used for training and utility missions.

"We are very excited to be supporting the ZAF missions," said Enstrom's VP of Sales & Marketing, Dennis Martin. "The 480B will be a lot more efficient than some of the other light helicopters they were using, but with its performance and quick reconfiguration options, the 480B will provide the capability and flexibility they need."

The contract, which was signed on February 23 by the Ministry of Defence, includes both the helicopters and training for ZAF pilots and personnel. Enstrom Helicopter Corporation Photo

The helicopters will be equipped with cargo hooks and hard points for cameras, as well as the latest in Garmin avionics and glass panels. One helicopter will be supplied with a full glass cockpit, the second glass cockpit and analogues combined to allow pilot students to have experience on the various ZAF platforms.

Safomar Aviation Group South Africa coordinated and assisted Enstrom in the sale to the ZAF, including logistics, specifications, and configuration of the Helicopters. Safomar operates a large regional MRO as well as a flight school, and both maintains and operates Enstrom helicopters throughout sub-Saharan Africa. According to Shai Shalem, Managing Director of Safomar, "We are excited to have Enstrom back and under new management with exciting and excellent helicopter upgrades. It is an honour to have sold two of the first helicopters off the line under the new ownership. These 480B's are just the right fit for military and Law Enforcement missions."


Unlike the FAA, SACAA requires NTCA annual calibrated pitot static testing. The word calibrated turns a simple check into an expensive requirement for the aircraft owner and approved person.

Checking the calibration of an airspeed indicator might be accomplished using a water manometer, but it's a bit unwieldy out in the field. But it's the altimeter that's the real problem. You need an absolute local pressure reference. Yes, you could call the local ATC, if you are close enough and you can trust his readout. But you still need a big manometer rig.

Imported test sets are available, but today a new one will run at a couple of hundred thousand Rand. How can an AP recover this investment? Did those that wrote our CATS for NTCA consider this?

So, we decided to employ two Kanardia Indu instruments to produce a more affordable test box. These electronic instruments have both analogue and digital readouts. A normal mechanical instrument can't be used for calibration, due to its inherent friction, hysteresis and lack of precision.

The analogue pointers of the Kanardia indicators are driven by smooth stepper motors. These help the user to reach a setpoint smoothly without overshoot, whilst the digital reading provides the required precision reading of airspeed or altitude.

The Indu altimeter has an integral rechargeable battery, and this supplies power to the Indu airspeed indicator via a CANBUS cable. This makes the test set totally portable. There is an integral mains charger. QNH/altitude offset and airspeed zero can be adjusted at annual calibration.

The test set is provided with altimeter and airspeed ports. Tubing and large and small syringes are provided for altimeter and airspeed simulation. Instructions to meet CATS tests are included.

Altitude calibrated range -500 to 20 000 ft
QNH range 390 to 1080 hPa
Altitude resolution 10ft
Airspeed range 0 - 205Kt (analogue scale can be specified)
Airspeed resolution 1Kt
Battery operating time Approximately 1 hr (level indicator on screen)
Case dimensions 330 x 210 x 112 mm.

Available from PJ Aviation
Mobile: 083 265 0581



MD Helicopters, LLC (MDH) announced that they are ramping up production line capabilities and increasing staffing to accommodate additional sales orders. This includes 12 Cayuse Warrior Plus scout/attack helicopters awarded by the Nigerian Army to assist in counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in Nigeria.

To support production, MDH restructured its production facility and has planned a staff increase of over 120 employees. These efforts will also support additional, large aircraft orders and strategic customer engagement opportunities.

"We are grateful for the trust of the Nigerian government, and are pleased to showcase our purpose-built, light attack aircraft solution to Nigeria and the world." says Brad Pedersen, President and CEO at MD Helicopters. "MD Helicopters has streamlined our production processes to directly address the current and planned increase of aircraft orders,"

The Cayuse Warrior Plus is a derivative of the original Cayuse Warrior and is a combat proven tactical scout and light attack aircraft valued for its unmatched power, safety, speed, agility, and unparalleled confined area capabilities. Mission enhancements include sensors, weapons system, avionics improvements, armour, and increased power performance.

The aircraft will be used for area security, tactical reconnaissance convoy escort, and drug interdiction missions in Nigeria. The Nigerian selection includes a complete ILS package, spares, pilot and maintainer training, and Flight Training Device (FTD).


Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) concerning support and maintenance services for the JAS 39 Gripen C/D fighter aircraft. The order ensures continued operation and a cost-effective solution regarding maintenance and availability of the system. The order is valued at SEK 308 million.

The order includes development, studies, and testing regarding rear maintenance of JAS 39 Gripen C/D, development of a packaging concept, and studies on how, from a maintenance perspective, Gripen C/D and Gripen E can effectively coexist in the fleets. The order also includes avionics computers.

The order is a call-off of an option within the framework of a previous agreement with FMV relating to ensuring the continued operation of and capability-enhancing measures for JAS 39 Gripen C/D, an agreement that was communicated on 16 December 2022.

In 2023, two additional services were ordered with a total value of approximately SEK 220 million. These services include the integration of the target designator pod LDP15 (Laser Guided Pod) on JAS 39 Gripen C/D as well as the procurement of related support systems and maintenance equipment.

The work, which is already underway, is being carried out at Saab in Linköping and Arboga.


Eurofighter is excited to launch The Fighter Show - a world-first YouTube series owned and produced by Eurofighter Typhoon

Hosted by Flo Taitsch, our VP Communications and Marketing, The Fighter Show is on a mission to inform, educate, and entertain.

Each episode is between 6-8 minutes and broadcast fortnightly and they are researched, developed and produced by the Eurofighter Communications Team. The first in the series features Flight Lieutenant Matt Brighty the RAF's Typhoon display pilot for the 2023 season.

The episodes are being filmed at a variety of locations, from Air Bases to Air Shows and we will also have a purpose-built TV studio our officers near Munich.

Flo Taitsch says: "Once again Eurofighter is breaking new ground - this is a world-first aviation industry internet TV show connecting with a younger audience. And it provides viewers with unique access to Typhoon Air Forces and the different industrial partners."

"Our aim is to bring the excitement and importance of our world alive to a whole new audience. The format and style is fresh and dynamic - it's deliberately fast-paced captivating media - and reflects our audience's taste."

Future guests will include the pilots, engineers, technicians, authors, and producers from the Eurofighter world. Our plan is to speak to anyone with a good story to tell.


Dassault Aviation's Mérignac plant recently delivered Rafale B359 (F3R standard) to the Direction Générale de l'Armement (French defence procurement agency). This event marks the resumption of Rafale deliveries to France after an interruption of four years.

The Rafale B359 is for the French Air and Space Force. It is part of the "tranche 4" order for 60 aircraft awarded in 2009.

In accordance with the various Military Programming Acts, deliveries to France were interrupted for budgetary reasons.

The Rafale production line was then dedicated to export orders.

A further 27 Rafale are still to be delivered for tranche 4, plus 12 Rafale ordered by France in 2021 to make up for the 12 aircraft sold to Greece.

Tranche 5 should be awarded in 2023.

In the current strategic context, the Dassault Aviation group is particularly proud to be a partner in equipping and supporting the French air force, as it has done for more than a century.


Sudan, Khartoum International Airport and Jebel Aulia Air Base: An Antonov An-26/An-32, four Antonov An-12, one Kush Air Ilyushin Il-76TD, two Antonov An-72/An-74, three Sukhoi Su-25, one Guizhou JL-9, one Belcanto Airlines Ilyushin Il-76TD, multiple Mil Mi-24, One Aeromexico Boeing 737-852 XA-A, an Solenta Aviation opf United Nations ATR 42-500 ZS-AFR , an Antonov An-72-100D, one Badr Airlines, Ilyushin Il-76TD, a Government of Sudan, Dassault Falcon 20F, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules , an Asia Cargo Airlines Boeing 737-33A and a privately owned South African Beechcraft 350 King Air ZS-SYX, were damaged or destroyed at Khartoum International Airport and Jebel Aulia Air Basein clashes between Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces.

Sudan, Kobar Bridge in Khartoum State: A Mil Mi-24 helicopter of the Sudan Air Force crashed under unknown circumstances near Kobar Bridge in Khartoum State.

Canada, Ottawa International Airport, Ottawa, ON: An Ottawa Flying Club Cessna 150L, C-FGSK, sustained substantial damage in a forced landing in an open field and impact with a tree near Ottawa International Airport (YOW/CYOW), Ottawa, Ontario. The sole pilot onboard received unspecified, but apparent minor injuries.

Japan, Usa City, Oita Prefecture: A Japan Coast Guard Cessna 172S Turbo Skyhawk JT-A crash landed in a field in Usa City, Oita Prefecture due to engine failure, and flipped over. The flight crew, a trainee and an instructor, told to ATC about the power loss of the engine, and squawked 7700 just before the crash. Both occupants were slightly injured and the aircraft received substantial damage.

USA, Bridgeport Municipal Airport, Bridgeport, TX: An Aero Vodochody L-139 Albatros 2000 impacted open field terrain and came to rest in an empty barn during an apparent forced landing while on approach to Bridgeport Municipal Airport (KXBP), Bridgeport, Texas. The two occupants single-engine jet were seriously injured and the aircraft was written off.

Australia, in sea off Leighton Beach, North Fremantle, Perth, WA: A Piper PA-28-181 Archer II crashed into the sea off Leighton Beach, North Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia, after an engine power loss. Both occupants survived the crash. The aircraft is damaged beyond repair after being totally submerged in sea water as well as suffering structural damage.

Chile, 150 metres off the coast of Mocha Island, Arauco Province: A Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six C took off from Isla Mocha-Isla Mocha Airport (SCIM) to Cañete-Las Misiones Airport (SCNM) in Chile's mainland and crashed shortly after take-off in sea 150 metres off the coast of Mocha Island, Arauco Province, Biobío Region. Four of the five occupants died and the sole survivor was taken to hospital in Cañete.

27 APRIL 1839

John Wise (balloonist), an American, introduces the balloon ripping-panel, a glued section that the pilot can pull open for quick emptying of the balloon after landing. This prevents the balloon from being dragged along the ground.

John Wise born 24 February 1808 was a pioneer in the field of ballooning. He made over 400 flights during his lifetime and was responsible for several innovations in balloon design. His balloon, The Jupiter carried 123 letters to make the first official airmail delivery run for the US Post Office in 1859.

Wise made his first ascent in Philadelphia on 2 May 1835. in his home-made balloon. He used muslin sheet coated with a mixture of birdlime suspended in linseed oil to make the sheet impermeable. The ascent was short and uneventful.

In 1838 he developed a balloon that if ruptured or deflated when aloft would collapse to form a parachute (the bottom half would fold upwards into the top half to form the classic parachute shape) which would allow the occupants of the basket to descend without injury or loss of life. On a flight from Easton, Pennsylvania, on 11 August 1838, in bad weather, the design was put to an impromptu test when Wise's balloon was punctured at 13,000 feet (4,000 m). In less than ten seconds all the gas had escaped. The balloon descended rapidly with an oscillating motion, and, on reaching the earth, rebounded, throwing Wise 10 feet (3.0 m) from the car. Wise survived without injury.

Another of Wise's innovations was the rip panel for controlled deflation on landing. Prior to Wise's use of the rip panel, balloons would drag along the ground when landing and had to be secured by anchors and lines. Balloonists wishing to deflate their balloons would climb out of their baskets onto the netting surrounding the balloon, and having scaled to the top of the balloon would open the valve to allow the gas to escape.

On 28 September 1879 Wise disappeared with passenger George Burr on a trip in high-speed winds from East St. Louis, Illinois over Lake Michigan. No trace of Wise or the balloon Pathfinder have ever been found. The body of George Burr, the passenger, was found in Lake Michigan.

Harvard A2A Shoot

Aviation Economy
Midweek Update

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