THIS WEEK IN MIDWEEK UPDATE
Aero Club Communique July 2023 #1.
First public ground run in over three years for Ysterplaat Shackleton.
SA Air Force progresses with establishment of Space Command Section.
IBA forecasts positive outlook for helicopter market.
Egypt to host new air show in 2024.
Airbus Helicopters H160 granted FAA certification.
Textron Aviation announces order for 40 Cessna Skyhawks to support pilot training for ATP Flight School.
Tecnam introduces Continental engine option for the P2012 Traveller and Sentinel Series.
Gabon Air Force to acquire a C295 transport aircraft under a loan agreement.
Worldwide incidents and accidents
This week in History - The largest light airplane meet outside the United States brings 750 small planes to the Popular Flying Associations annual meeting in Leicester.
Bonus Video - Denel Rooivalk Battle Proven
There have been a number of engagements with the regulator on various topics, notably at reviewing the turnaround times for various services as per their current Service Charter, in particular those that are Recreational focused, such as ATF renewals which should be simplified.
There has also been some movement on the Airfield Licencing/Registration topic related to Part 91.07.3(1) which was promulgated in error (for which an exemption is still in force), with changes proposed to Part 139 that will be submitted at the next CARCom for review. We will keep appraised of this all-important topic to ensure our airfields and operations thereto are not curtailed or restrained or the need to be formalised. We are also looking into future proposed fee structures that the CAA are proposing to be more Activity Costing based, which are not appropriate for our NTCA sector. We are also challenging the fees being charged for differences / familiarisation which is now being charged against previous convention with no charges.
Waiting for ignition and gouts of flame. Picture: Dean Wingrin.
Not even the current bout of cold, wet, wintry weather in Western Cape could dampen the enthusiasm of military aviation enthusiasts who turned up at Air Force Base (AFB) Ysterplaat for the first public Shackleton ground run in over three years.
Although it is highly unlikely the four-engine specialist maritime patrol aircraft will ever fly again, occasional ground runs of the Rolls Royce Griffon piston engines serve as a nostalgic reminder of its former glory.
Organised by John Wilson of the Friends of SAAF (South African Air Force) Museum Ysterplaat with approval from museum and base management, the Saturday (24 June) start-up was the first open one since COVID-19 and its associated restrictions severely curbed South Africans' movements. Wilson said a run - "more accurately a test run" - took place last November, adding the public were not allowed entry to the base for that occasion.
Capetonian and military aviation enthusiast extraordinaire Dean Wingrin said of the event: "After a way too long time, the sounds of Rolls Royce Griffon Mk 57A piston engines again reverberated around AFB Ysterplaat when the SAAF Museum held a ground run of its resident Shackleton (1722)".
Another visitor - "fortunate" to be in Cape Town - said the failure of the number two engine to start did not "diminish from a huge thrill to witness".
Asked about the probability of 1722 ever flying again, Wingrin was not optimistic.
"Very doubtful. She was grounded some time ago due to concerns regarding the high risk. There is no aircrew current on her, the original guys who kept her airworthy and flew her passed on or are too old - even for reserve duty. Now it's reliant on younger SAAF volunteers willing to give up their spare time for ground run certification."
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEDICATED SPACE COMMAND SECTION WITHIN THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE (SAAF) IS GAINING MOMENTUM. www.defenceweb.co.za
During the Air and Space Power Symposium in September 2022, Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, announced the establishment of the South African Space Command Section (SASCS) to manage and coordinate all defence-related space activities in collaboration with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and other government agencies. He noted that air and space power are relevant in the SA National Defence Force's (SANDF's) journey to greatness and the Fourth Industrial Revolution does not favour slow pace and lengthy procrastination.
Speaking at a Commission and Wings Insignia Parade at Air Force Base (AFB) Langebaanweg outside Cape Town on Wednesday 21 June, Mbambo noted the progress made on the establishment of the SASCS. He explained that the SAAF is known for its ability to detect, identify, and respond to airborne threats, such as aircraft, missiles and drones. Recognizing the increasing role of space in modern warfare, the SANDF has embarked on the development of a dedicated Space Command capability, he said.
The creation of the SASCS signifies a significant development for South Africa, indicating the nation's renewed interest in space exploration and technology. Beyond defence applications, this development promises positive impacts on various sectors, including telecommunications, agriculture, and environmental monitoring.
To ensure a seamless implementation of South Africa's National Space Strategy, the Space Command Integrated Planning Team (SCIPT) was established to spearhead the establishment of a dedicated Space Command Section within the SAAF. Comprising skilled military practitioners, Mbambo said "the SCIPT has made remarkable progress in the short period of its existence since 2022."
The team has engaged with multiple stakeholders from public and private entities, locally and internationally, fostering a unified approach in the implementation of the national space strategy. The groundwork of the SCIPT is almost complete and the local capabilities have been mapped, which includes future planning from industry and national government.
Locally, the SCIPT has collaborated closely with industry partners such as the National Earth Observation Space Secretariat (NEOSS), SANSA, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The SCIPT has also embarked on international engagements to ensure that the SAAF aligns with global best practices. A bilateral engagement with the Italian Air Force has already taken place, with a focus on sharing insights from the implementation of the Italian Defence Force Space Operations Command. Further engagements with other allied nations are planned, solidifying South Africa's commitment to adopting international standards and knowledge.
"By leveraging these collaborations," Mbambo explained, "the SAAF is positioning itself at the forefront of space capabilities, actively contributing to national development."
Mbambo expressed the SAAF's pride in its collaborative efforts with industry partners, recognising the invaluable contributions of organizations such as NEOSS, SANSA, DSI, and CSIR in shaping the future of space exploration and defence capabilities. Moreover, Mbambo observed, the SAAF remains steadfast in its commitment to inspire and educate future generations of aviators and space explorers through its ambitious space programme.
IBA FORECASTS POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR HELICOPTER MARKET
IBA, the leading aviation market intelligence and consultancy company, outlined a largely positive outlook for the helicopter market in a webinar earlier this week.
IBA's expert panel signposted a number of key positive factors for the market including expected continued growth in helicopter leasing, the easing of supply chain issues, growth opportunities in sectors such as EMS (Emergency Medical Services), offshore and wind farms, and the successful introduction and growth of the super medium helicopter category.
Looking at the market overall, IBA lists its addressable value at more than US$55 billion, with a current global fleet of over 22,000 'western built' turbine helicopters. Deliveries of these types have averaged around 500 per year in recent years, with a fall to under 500 in 2022 due to supply chain issues. IBA forecasts that this will recover to 475 - 525 airframes in 2023.
Lease penetration is highest in Europe and North America, followed by Asia and South America, with the Leonardo AW139 and the Sikorsky S-92A leading the leasing market.
The largest market segment is light helicopters, which remain central to EMS, utility and short-range transport missions. The Airbus H125 and H145, and the Bell 407, are among the most popular models in this category, with an average of 350 annual deliveries for the past five years. IBA estimates up to 360 light helicopters will be delivered in 2023.
The medium helicopter fleet reached around 3,800 aircraft by the middle of 2023, used for a variety of functions including EMS, Search and Rescue (SAR) and offshore operations. The most popular aircraft in this category are the Leonardo AW139 and AW169, the Bell 412 and the Airbus H155. IBA forecasts that deliveries will significantly increase in 2023 to as many as 75 helicopters, compared to around 55 in 2022.
The newer super medium category, which was initiated in 2013-14 with the introduction of the Leonardo AW189 and Airbus H175, is seen by many as the replacement for existing heavy helicopters given their more compelling operating economics. IBA estimates that up to 10 aircraft of this size will be delivered in 2023.
The heavy helicopter segment is dominated by the Airbus H225 and Sikorsky S-92 families. It has experienced very low delivery rates since 2016, but is now experiencing a revival in the used market driven by higher oil prices and increased level of offshore activity. However, delivery rates for the segment are still very modest, with IBA estimating up to four in 2023.
IBA forecasts burgeoning growth in a number of key helicopter operating sectors, led by EMS which it estimates will grow from 14% to 19% of the market over the next decade. Offshore operations, taking into account the fast-growing offshore and wind farm sector, are forecast to increase from 4% to 7%, and firefighting from 2% to 3%.
All helicopter segments have seen a recovery in values post pandemic, but the heavy segment is lagging behind. The market values of the light, medium and super medium categories are at 115%, 111% and 106% respectively of Base Values, with IBA predicting further value growth for all in 2023 and 2024. However, heavy helicopters are currently at 80% of Base Values with an uncertain future outlook.
Lease rates have also recovered significantly, but with the same size category trends. Light helicopter lease rates are now at 112% of 2019 levels, with medium and super mediums both at 110%, and with further growth forecast by IBA for 2023 and 2024. Much like the value outlook, the near-term future of heavy helicopter lease rates remains uncertain and will be heavily influenced by movements in oil price. Should oil remain at current levels or increase, the outlook for heavy helicopter lease rates will remain positive.
EGYPT TO HOST NEW AIR SHOW IN 2024
Supported by the Ministry of Defence, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Egypt will host the inaugural Egypt Air Show next year at Alamein International Airport.
To be held from 14 to 17 May 2024, this four-day event aims to highlight cutting-edge developments in the defence, space, and commercial aviation sectors. The event will feature an array of aircraft displays, including static displays, demonstrations, and flying displays, the organisers said.
Over 250 exhibitors are expected to participate, along with more than 50 aircraft in both static and flying presentations.
Furthermore, the event will feature a delegation programme, hosting more than 100 VIPs from around the world, and 20 country pavilions.
The air show is being organised by Arabian World Events. Thomas Gaunt, CEO of Arabian World Events, stated: "The event will serve as a place for international air forces, civil aviation authorities, space agencies, airlines and other VIP delegations to meet with the entire aerospace value chain, many of whom have already committed to their participation in the show."
Egypt is growing its position as an aerospace and defence exhibition host, and will later this year be hosting the third edition of the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX). The expo, which will be held between 4 and 7 December, will showcase the latest military technology, equipment, and systems across land, sea, and air, with over 35,000 military and defence industry visitors expected.
The third edition of EDEX will be organized by Arabian World Events, with the full support of the Egyptian Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Military Production.
AIRBUS HELICOPTERS H160 GRANTED FAA CERTIFICATION
Airbus Helicopters has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the H160 helicopter, marking a significant milestone in the aircraft's development and positioning it for entry into the U.S. market.
"We are pleased to receive FAA certification for the H160, which is testament to many years of hard work and commitment from our teams in order to deliver this multirole helicopter to the customers in North America who have already placed their trust in the H160," said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. "This aircraft features the highest level of innovation and we are confident that its advanced capabilities, along with our strong customer support network, will solidify its position as the preferred choice for customers in the U.S."
The H160 is a revolutionary medium-class rotorcraft that sets a new benchmark in terms of safety, comfort, and environmental performance. It features cutting-edge technologies, including noise-reducing Blue Edge rotor blades, a canted Fenestron tail rotor for greater useful load, and Airbus Helicopters' Helionix avionics suite for reduced pilot workload.
The H160 previously received certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in July 2020 and has proven to be a popular choice for customers across the globe. Airbus Helicopters has received orders for more than 100 H160s from customers around the world, including more than a dozen from U.S. customers. The H160 has entered service in Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Europe and the fleet has accumulated more than 1700 flight hours.
The H160 is a multi-role helicopter ideal for carrying out a variety of missions, including offshore transportation for the energy industry, private and business aviation, emergency medical services, commercial passenger transport, and public services such as Search and Rescue and law enforcement. With its exceptional range, speed, and efficiency, the H160 offers a superior level of performance and flexibility to operators.
Plans have been underway for several years to ensure a smooth entry into service for the H160, including the previously announced addition of North America's first H160 level D full flight simulator (FFS). The FFS is expected to be ready for use as early as the second half of 2025 and will be located at the Helisim Simulation Centre inside the Airbus Helicopters, Inc. facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.
TEXTRON AVIATION ANNOUNCES ORDER FOR 40 CESSNA SKYHAWKS TO SUPPORT PILOT TRAINING FOR ATP FLIGHT SCHOOL
Textron Aviation announced an agreement with ATP Flight School for the purchase of 40 Cessna Skyhawk aircraft to be delivered in 2025. The piston aircraft will add to ATP's existing fleet of nearly 200 Skyhawks, positioned across 82 training centres nationwide.
This is the second fleet purchase of Cessna Skyhawks for ATP's Airline Career Pilot Program in less than a year, as the flight school scales to train 20,000 airline pilots by 2030. In October 2022, ATP and Textron Aviation agreed to the purchase of 55 Cessna Skyhawks, with deliveries starting in the third quarter of 2023.
"The Cessna Skyhawk has been the standard in aircraft training for over six decades," said Chris Crow, vice president, Textron Aviation Piston Sales. "We are thrilled to see these aircraft continue to inspire the next generation of professional pilots through this agreement with ATP Flight School."
The stable flight characteristics, advanced avionics and demonstrated dispatch reliability of the Skyhawk have made it a dependable training platform for the flight school for over three decades. The new airplanes will be used by students to put them in the pilot's seat of the most popular training aircraft in the industry.
"With 95 Skyhawks on order, ATP is committed to providing students with unparalleled access to a modern and advanced fleet, so they can achieve their airline career goals on the fastest timeline possible," said Michael Arnold, vice president of Marketing, ATP Flight School. "ATP's nationwide fleet operates over a half million flight hours annually, with the oversight and support from ATP's safety, maintenance, and flight operations quality assurance teams. The Skyhawk's proven dispatch reliability and effectiveness as a trainer is crucial in meeting this mission and delivering industry-leading training."
Since the aircraft first took to the skies, more than 45,000 Skyhawks have been delivered to customers worldwide - more than any other aircraft in aviation history.
TECNAM INTRODUCES CONTINENTAL ENGINE OPTION FOR THE P2012 TRAVELLER AND SENTINEL SERIES
Tecnam announced today the Continental GTSIO-520-S engine as available option for the P2012 Traveller and Sentinel aircraft series. The GTSIO 520 "S" version, specifically introduced for the Tecnam P2012 series, is available along the Lycoming TEO-540 C1A engine.
The GTSIO-520-S is a horizontally opposed, geared, six-cylinder, fuel-injected, air cooled, turbocharged engine incorporating a wet sump and crossflow induction system. The engine features traditional controls for power management with throttles, propeller levers, and mixture controls.
Both engine options are rated for 375 Hp each, with the Continental coupled to a three blade MT-Prop propeller and the Lycoming coupled to a four blades MT-Prop propeller.
P2012 mission accomplishment and flight safety are enhanced by the modern "SPACE" (Single Pilot Advanced Cockpit Environment) cockpit incorporating the latest technology. The state-of-the-art G1000 NXi avionic system and GFC700 autopilot are provided to reduce pilots' workload and fatigue. An active and connected flight deck (Bluetooth, flight stream, Iridium Satellite phone and data) and a toolbox of modern aids (integrated weather radar, integrated storm scope, Garmin Maps, Synthetic Vision™) increase the active flight safety and situational awareness.
GABON AIR FORCE TO ACQUIRE A C295 TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT UNDER A LOAN AGREEMENT
Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba recently gave the greenlight for a CFA31 billion ($52 million) loan to purchase an Airbus C295 military transport aircraft for the country's Air Force.
The decision for the loan to be secured from Spain's Santander Bank was taken during a recent cabinet meeting on 26 June, chaired by the president. The meeting approved a draft legal text from the executive requesting authorisation to go ahead with the plan.
According to the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the President requested the government to approve the loan in line with the country's constitution.
"This draft text, adopted in application of the provisions of article 47 of the Constitution, authorises the state of Gabon to contract a loan for an amount of €47 676 067," reads a part of the communiqué.
"The funds from this specific loan will be used by the Gabonese government to purchase a CASA C295 MTA aircraft in order to enhance the operational capabilities of the Air Force," it added.
It is not clear when the loan will be obtained or when the country will take delivery of the aircraft. Airbus has not registered the order yet. The acquisition accounts for about 20% of Gabon's 2023 defence budget.
Gabon's Air Force already flies a CN235M, which first flew in 1991. It was recently overhauled by Airbus in Spain. Several C-130 Hercules/L-100s remain in storage. The Air Force has few serviceable aircraft aside from a Puma, three Gazelles, an ATR 42 (for VIP use), a Falcon 900 (for VIP use). The fighter force comprises six former South African Air Force Mirage F1 AZ fighters; to further assist training fighter pilots, South Africa supplied two MB326 Impalas in 2013.
The Garde Republicaine Gabona flies a couple of EC135T2+ helicopters, two EC120Bs, and an EC225LP Super Puma.
Gabon has been acquiring numerous batches of military hardware over the last decade. In 2019 it emerged that the Chinese VN1 8×8 armoured vehicles were in service with Gabon - this is an export variant based on the ZBL-08 (Type 08) IFV that is fully amphibious, weighing 21 tonnes. Other relatively recently delivered hardware includes Dongfeng EQ2050 vehicles and, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 19 Type-07P infantry fighting vehicles, also from China.
Gabon took delivery of eight Aravis IFVs from French company Nexter between 2015 and 2016 and 24 Matador APCs from Paramount in 2010, followed by ten Maverick internal security vehicles. Five VAB-VTT vehicles were supplied second hand by France for Gabon's UN peacekeeping forces. Last year Chinese VP11 4×4 armoured vehicles were seen in service for the first time.
Ecuador, Pastaza: A Cessna 172M Skyhawk suffered an accident under unknown circumstances near Damointaro, Pastaza, coming to rest inverted in a small stream. The three occupants were not injured and the aircraft received substantial damage.
USA, Cornelius: An Aviastroitel AC-5M glider, N40233, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Cornelius, Oregon. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The FAA reported that both wings broke off inflight, and the pilot parachuted to safety, but sustained a serious injury during the process.
USA, near Jack A Buell Airport, St. Maries, ID: A Cessna 182N Skylane, N703Z, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Jack A Buell Airport (S72), St. Maries, Idaho. The sole pilot onboard was fatally injured. An eyewitness reported seeing smoke coming from the engine shortly after the aircraft departed. The pilot announced that he had an engine failure and crashed in a hay field half a mile from runway 28.
UK, Heveningham Hall, Suffolk: A Grumman FM-2 Wildcat (General Motors built), registration G-KINL, sustained substantial damage when it overturned during a landing attempt at Heveningham Hall, Suffolk. The pilot was seriously injured. The Grumman Wildcat was recently restored to flying condition at Duxford as Royal Navy AX733 "K" and made its first post restoration flight at 12 October 2022.
USA, N of Murrieta/Temecula-French Valley Airport: A Cessna 550 Citation II crashed short of runway 18 near Murrieta/Temecula-French Valley Airport (RBK), California, USA. The six occupants died and the aircraft was destroyed. The flight departed Las Vegas International Airport, NV (LAS) about 03:15 local time on a flight to RBK. Upon arrival in the area a marine layer of fog began to envelope the area with low ceilings and visibilities. At 04:03 hours, the pilot aborted the approach to runway 18 and performed a go-around. The aircraft crashed on the second approach to land.
6 JULY 1980
The largest light airplane meet outside the United States brings 750 small planes to the Popular Flying Associations annual meeting in Leicester.
The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) founded in 1946 as the Popular Flying Association is the representative body in the United Kingdom for amateur aircraft construction and recreational and sport flying. It oversees the construction and maintenance of homebuilt aircraft, under an approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
LAA publishes a monthly full-colour member magazine, Light Aviation (formerly Popular Flying) and holds its annual Rally at Sywell Aerodrome on the first weekend in September, probably the largest gathering of light aircraft outside the USA. The event held on 6 July1980 was attended by 750 small planes to the Popular Flying Associations annual meeting in Leicester.
The regime for approving amateur-built aircraft in the United Kingdom differs from that in many other countries, of which the United States is the prime example. Instead of the FAA's Experimental airworthiness category, under which an amateur may design, build and operate (and is ultimately responsible for) an aircraft 'for experimental purposes', the UK CAA is required to investigate any such aircraft's 'fitness to fly' and to issue a 'Permit to Fly' when satisfied.